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Basic Trope: A super-powered character who often fights as if he or she is a Badass Normal

  • Straight: Bob has telepathic powers but often just uses his martial arts skills and a BFG or two.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob has only used his powers once or twice, preferring to use his combat skills instead. In fact, most people don't even realize he has powers.
    • Bob is a Reality Warper, yet almost always subdues his enemies with his fists.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • Bob is so powerful, he would end up killing a lot of innocent people if he used them.
    • Bob was a soldier before gaining powers and is simply more comfortable using his combat skills.
    • If Bob uses his powers too much, they cause him extreme pain/exhaustion/or turn him evil, so it is best to avoid using them as much as possible.
    • Bob has a power that is useless in battle.
    • Bob knows martial arts in case he fights people who are equally powerful so he has an advantage.
    • Bob is afraid that, if he ever lost his powers, he would be ineffective so he tries to use hand-to-hand combat and weapons as much as possible.
    • Bob likes keeping his powers secret so he'll have a hidden trick up his sleeve if needed.
    • If Bob uses those powers openly, The Masquerade is going to broken wide open, leaving him and those like him exposed to a lot more problems in the long term. It's in his best interest to keep his abilities mostly secret.
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    • Bob is a wizard whose spells are very slow to cast, so to avoid leaving himself vulnerable, he rarely attempts to use magic in a fast-paced combat situation and instead falls back on his martial arts training.
    • Bob wants to be remembered for skills he's earned, rather than the accident of his birth that gave him his powers.
  • Inverted: Powers Do the Fighting.
  • Subverted:
    • Despite Bob's power-limits, he uses his powers in concert with his combat skills.
    • It turns out all of Bob's powers actually center around enhancing normal hand-to-hand combat, giving him enhanced strength, durability, faster reflexes, etc.
    • Bob says he's not using any powers, but he's actually just using things like precognition very subtly, while claiming he's not doing so at all to keep his mystique up.
  • Double Subverted:
    • This causes such a strain that Bob's powers dwindle to the point of being near-useless. He has to rely on his skills now.
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    • ...And it also turns out that Bob won't even use his enhanced hand-to-hand abilities; he insists on fighting purely as a Muggle.
  • Parodied: Bob has several powers but always forgets them when he goes into battle, regretting it for one reason or another.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Bob alternates between using his powers and using his combat skills, depending on who he's fighting.
    • Bob's powerset is very difficult to separate from normal combat skills (ex. Super Strength or Super Speed), and so he effectively uses his superpower and martial arts at the same time.
  • Averted: Bob uses his powers and doesn't have much in the way of combat skills.
  • Enforced: The writers know Bob is too powerful so they find ways to restrict him.
  • Lampshaded: "Wait, you have telepathic powers but you're going into battle with a gun and some kung-fu skills?"
  • Invoked: Bob doesn't want to depend too much on his powers so he "practices" his skills in battle so he doesn't get rusty.
  • Exploited:
    • Bob is keeping his powers a secret so when it comes to fighting, he brings out the guns and martial arts.
    • Bob is picked to be a member of the Justice Legion because he has experience fighting without his powers.
  • Defied: Even though Bob is very skilled, he sees no reason not to use his powers when needed.
  • Discussed: Members on Bob's team wonder why he fights this way and debate how effective he is.
  • Conversed: Characters reading a comic talk about a superhero who fits this trope.
  • Implied: Bob makes a passing statement implying he may have powers.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Bob refuses to use his powers in battle, resulting in his defeat and the near-death of some of his teammates.
    • Eventually a situation comes up where Bob can't get by with just his fists, but when he attempts to resolve it with his powers he finds that his powers are weak from lack of use.
  • Reconstructed: His team confront him on this issue and he mentions that he doesn't want the team to always rely on his powers to win the day. He has learned not to put too much trust in them and so should they.
  • Played For Laughs: Bob has Eye Beams but uses a gun instead. When asked for the reason, he embarrassingly admits he doesn't have good aim with his super power but somehow aims better with a gun.
    • It's a Running Gag that everyone but Bob forgets he has powers.
  • Played For Drama: After an innocent civilian died while Bob was fighting a super villain, he has since vowed to never use his powers again and battles evil in other ways.

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