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Story Breaker Power / Live-Action TV

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  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • Most of the Inhumans are significantly more powerful than anyone else on the show; Daisy can bring down buildings, and at one point Lincoln pours enough electricity into a power line to create an impassable rain of lightning. The show mostly gets around this by having them face enemies that they need to take in alive with minimal property damage. Their powers are still useful, but they don't break the show.
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    • Elena "Yo-Yo" Rodriguez is a step above the rest of the Secret Warriors. Her power lets her move at superspeed for a single heartbeat before snapping back to where she was when she activated her power. While that's far less destructive than her teammates, it's far more useful, and she can use it to do everything from stripping the weapons from an entire corridor of soldiers to scouting a base in minutes. It should be noted that this is a heavily nerfed version of her comics powers (which was more traditional "move fast as long as you want" super speed), and she's still one of the most powerful people on the team. She spends a lot of time away from the plot for various reasons during the third and fourth seasons, because she would break the story too easily. In season five, Elena is promoted to a core cast member, but she loses her arms halfway through the season, limiting her usefulness...until Mack and Fitz give her robotic arms that enhance her strength. Although this initially leaves her unable to use her superspeed without crippling pain, Fitz eventually recalibrates the arms to overcome this, leaving Elena even more of a story-breaker than before... which is countered by putting the team up against Graviton, whom she can't approach without being affected by his powers. In season six, Elena ends up infected by the Shrike, which causes a Psychosomatic Superpower Outage for the rest of season six and the first half of season seven... and when she overcomes it, she loses the "snapping back" restriction, making her even more broken. Granted, it's the final season, so there's not much more story to break, but it says something that the very next episode after her power-up had Elena stuck in the Quinjet, unable to help with the plot.
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    • On the other side we have Hive's Co-Dragons, Giyera and Lucio. Giyera has the ability to control any non-organic matter in his line of sight. This would be a pretty broken power if used to its full potential, and to his credit he does do a couple cool things with it like shooting ATCU Agent Banks with his own gun and hijacking control of Zephyr One. But in a fight, mostly what he does is pick up small objects and telekinetically fling them at people. He's even been known to ignore his powers completely and instead fight with his martial skills alone, allowing Badass Normals who'd otherwise have stood no chance to get the better of him. Lucio, meanwhile, has the power to paralyze anyone just by looking at them. You'd think that would allow him to neutralize whole groups of enemies in only a few seconds, and that does seem to be the case when he's up against mooks, but somehow he never seems to get more than one or two of the heroes at a time.
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    • Robbie Reyes, the Ghost Rider, is incredibly powerful and able to dispatch foes quite easily, which is why he spends nearly two-thirds of the season trapped in Hell. When he returns, Robbie can easily dispatch Life Model Decoys and harm Aida, who had used the Darkhold to become a human with numerous Inhuman powers that rendered her virtually unstoppable otherwise. The final conflict is not about him overpowering Aida, but finding a way to let Ghost Rider approach her without the latter running away in terror.
  • The Almighty Johnsons: Mike as Ullr has the supernatural power to win any game and the smarts to make any challenge he's facing into one. Fortunately for the plot, Mike is The Fettered, as he considers Ullr his Superpowered Evil Side.
  • Alphas:
    • Nina Theroux can control people's will simply by looking at them in the eye. The show sometimes makes up excuses as to why she can't just "push" the bad guys left and right (since theoretically it would make the job too easy and a drama television show can't have that). A good example of this is in "Anger Management"; when Nina was questioned why she couldn't "just push [the] kid", she revealed that her power only lasted for a couple of minutes and "Rosen doesn't like to work that way". Well, that's too bad because it would have resolved the conflict MUCH sooner and easier.
    • We're extremely lucky that Jason Miller, the all-powerful hormonal hive-mind gathering alpha, is just a lonely teen who just wants friends and has no psychotic motives.
  • American Horror Story: Coven:
    • Misty Day is a gifted witch whose main power is her ability to resurrect the dead by touching them. She can do this to anything dead, from birds, to alligators, to people, to herself after she was burned at the stake. Moreover, she can heal serious damage inflicted upon the corpses of those she revives — she undoes completely burnt off skin and partial bodily decay with contemptuous ease. Misty has resurrected not only herself but two other members of the main cast, and it's gotten to the point where the characters just come to her when someone dies, lampshading it as they go. In order to balance this, two characters have taken to destroying the bodies of their victims in order to keep them from being revived.
    • Possibly why Madison was killed off in episode three — her telekinesis and fire-starting powers would make short work of the zombie army attacking their house, and would stunt Zoe's arc about her necromancy powers.
  • Angel:
    • Illyria started out as very much one of these. That list of powers likely to be story-breakers? She was pretty much all of the above. She specifically dismisses the Big Bads of the entire series as being like insects compared with her, and not without justification claimed she was a god to the gods. She was so powerful that one wonders why she even needed an army back in ancient times, save that one recalls there were others like her running around. The heroes didn't (and couldn't) beat her; Illyria failed to conquer the world simply because she lost interest. In short, Illyria put the "cosmic" in Cosmic Horror Story. Until she lost control of her powers due to the puny human body she was reincarnated into, and got a Power Limiter slapped on her, taking away some of her powers entirely and dialing the rest of them down so she wasn't much stronger than the other protagonists.
    • Earlier in Season 1, Angel manages to acquire the Gem of Amarra, a mystical ring described as the equivalent to the Holy Grail for vampires, from Spike in a Crossover episode from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This artifact would grant the vampire wearer increased abilities and complete invulnerability to all their usual weaknesses, as demonstrated by Marcus earlier when he shrugs off a bow-to-the-heart from Oz and the ability to walk in direct sunlight without erupting in flames. At the end of the episode Angel, who had remained doubtful about keeping the ring or not, decided to destroy it, preventing the show and Angel's fights from being a lot less suspenseful.
  • Arrow: The main criticism of Damien Darhk's character is that he was far too powerful of a villain for Team Arrow to be as big of a problem to him as they were, being telekinetic, able to kill people by touching them, and freaking teleport. You could make a drinking game out of the number of times Darhk could have slaughtered all of the heroes but takes his sweet old time.
    • The same goes for his few fully-powered appearances in Legends of Tomorrow. Once, he slaughters a whole platoon of nameless time agents in moments... and then toys with the heroes before leaving.
    • Made absurdly blatant in Season 3's finale "My Name is Oliver Queen". Barry Allen was called in by Oliver and easily defeats the League of Assassins, breaks out the group, and makes utter chumps of the entire complement of League members left at Nanda Parbat in the space of less than 5 minutes after an entire season of Team Arrow trying to accomplish the same thing. And then he doesn't join the final battle for the rest of the episode with the excuse that he's got his own problems he's dealing with right now (namely his own season finale).
    • Another heroic example is Ragman in Season 5. Putting a guy immune to bullets (and nuclear bombs) on a team of Badass Normals is awesome to watch for a few episodes, but the writers kept having to come up with different excuses to not have him beat the Badass Normal Big Bad in five minutes before the season was halfway finished (including the incredibly implausible scenario of having said villain knock him out with a non-superpowered punch to the head). Ten episodes after he was introduced, Ragman lost his powers and left the team.
  • Babylon 5 had a recurring problem with this after "A Voice in the Wilderness, Part 2" granted the heroes control of a piece of Imported Alien Phlebotinum on the uninhabited planet the station orbits. While they use the Great Machine as an intelligence source and to Time Travel in later episodes, the installation also has tremendously powerful surface-to-space weapons, forcing the writers to always come up with a reason why they couldn't use them to defend Babylon 5 when it came under attack by the Monster of the Week (such as the Shadows jamming their communications in "Z'ha'dum").
  • Samantha from Bewitched and Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie. Their powers were pretty much "do anything by wiggling your nose/bobbing your head". If it weren't for the random nature of their powers and otherworldly relatives, Darren and Major Tony would lead completely idyllic and boring lives.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor is the Trope Namer for the Timey-Wimey Ball because without it, he could simply time travel anywhere and change anything, and if he made a mistake just go back again and fix it. This problem was parodied in the Comic Relief parody The Curse of Fatal Death, which put the Doctor and the Master in a series of time traveling counter-moves to each other.
    • The Doctor could just evacuate everyone on the doomed space ship that's getting sucked into the sun, sucked into a black hole, impacted by meteors a la the Titanic, etc, in the TARDIS, if it didn't always (in)conveniently get blasted away into space and out of useful range for the episode.
    • The Doctor is a member of one of the most advanced races that the universe ever has or ever will produce. If he seriously applied himself to any single project, he could probably end up running everything. However, his short attention span keeps him constantly moving and prevents him from hatching many long-term plans. His seventh incarnation was an unusual exception in that he apparently had a number of elaborate schemes going on. But he rarely bothers to clean up after them. There's also the fact that he's very aware that Power Corrupts, and he doesn't want to rule the universe.
    • So many stories would be a lot shorter if the Doctor remembered he can read minds — any of the Whodunnit stories, any stories where someone turns out to be backstabbing the Doctor... Of course, Mind over Manners is probably in play here, as is the fact that he only seems to be able to use Touch Telepathy.
    • One way the series avoids this trope is because, while the Doctor is incredibly smart and cunning, he's also (or at least close to) a Badass Normal in a World of Badass, so he has to figure out ways to beat enemies who are more numerous and powerful than him.
    • The sonic screwdriver and its ability to basically do anything the Doctor needs it to (except wood and deadlock seals — perhaps, it's Depending on the Writer a lot of the time) is a classic example of this trope, and ironically enough, the writers realised this during Peter Davison's run and had it destroyed for the rest of the classic series, only for it to return in the modern series more broken than it had ever been before. And the icing on the cake is that unlike the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors who apparently had no means to replace it, nowadays the TARDIS can manufacture new and improved ones for him in hours, meaning that it is now impossible to deprive him of it permanently.
    • The Leaking Can of Evil Sutekh in "Pyramids of Mars" runs into this problem in that he's basically immortal, with such great psychic power that he is able to Mind Rape the Doctor effortlessly, possess people on Earth at will, and turn whole planets into dustbowls. He proved such an effective villain that Robert Holmes wrote himself into a corner, unable to think of a way that the Doctor could possibly overcome him, and the ending we do get to the story is cobbled together and somewhat unsatisfying.
    • "The Big Bang": The Doctor starts the episode imprisoned in an inescapable trap designed just for him. Logically, there should be no way out... except for the Timey-Wimey Ball (after he gets out he travels back in time and sets things in place so he'll be able to get out, which begs the question of what the writers couldn't have gotten him out of using this method).
      River Song: He's interacting with his own past. It could rip a hole in the Universe.
      Amy Pond: Yes, but he's done it before!
      Rory Williams: And in fairness the Universe did blow up.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • Barry Allen should be able to win any fight against a non-speedster opponent instantly because he can move orders of magnitude faster than they can. But he has this terrible habit of running up to them and stopping dead in front of them.
    • The Thinker has Super Intelligence great enough to let him predict every action and every outcome to Team Flash's plans, letting him remain one step ahead at all times. Combined with his incredible technology, and he's essentially invincible because he can't be taken by surprise. He had to cause his own downfall in order for the heroes to win.
  • Game of Thrones: Politically speaking, Ned Stark was an absolute powerhouse. He's head of one of the most respected houses in Westeros, and controls the North which, as we learn later, is actually very difficult to subjugate. And as best friend/Hand of the King, he really doesn't have to say much to Robert to get anything done. The Lannisters coming into power explicitly involves removing Ned from the board. Add to that, the revelations he's sitting on concerning the true parentage of his "bastard", Jon Snow, and you have a character whose existence would make most of the events of the story null and void.
  • Heroes:
    • In the first season, Peter Petrelli can permanently gain anyone's power simply by being near them. It doesn't take long for him to rack up flying, time control, teleportation, and healing. With all of his powers, he should be able to achieve just about any conceivable goal. To keep him as a viable character, he's given amnesia in Season 2, loses his powers briefly, and then regains them at a significant downgrade.
    • Hiro's time control and teleportation abilities alone make it necessary for his character to constantly grasp the Idiot Ball so that he doesn't just solve everything instantly.
    • Matt Parkman is only a telepath in season 1, able to read surface thoughts at best. His Psychic Powers greatly expand in both power and versatility, eventually becoming one of strongest evolved humans in the series next to Hiro and Sylar. Naturally, he eventually started showing up late to the party whenever the Big Bad needed to be dealt with each season.
    • Claire's regenerative powers are so great that her blood can heal any wound, even fatal ones. You can tell the writers regretted giving her this ability when it had to be ignored for the turn-Sylar-into-Nathan plot to take place, and it's never been mentioned after it was used to revive Noah Bennet back in season 2.
    • Arthur Petrelli is a Power Parasite that can rob anyone of their powers permanently and give it to himself. After taking Adam Monroe's Healing Factor/Immortality and all of Peter's powers, he's the closet thing the setting has to a Physical God. The writers had to make Arthur an Orcus on His Throne so the protagonists had something resembling time to find a way to kill him.
  • Jessica Jones (2015): Kilgrave can effortlessly control anyone's mind within his line of sight. The effects fade with distance and time and under the influence of powerful sedatives, but always leave him more than enough of a window to make a getaway in the unlikely event he's cornered. Basically, if he sees you, you've already lost. The reason he doesn't with Jessica is because he is a Stalker with a Crush who became obsessed with her after she broke his control the first time they encountered each other, or... as it turns out, Jessica's ability to defy him was not a one-time thing, but a sign that his power no longer worked on her.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Kuuga's Ultimate Form is so powerful that its only equal is the Big Bad himself, with the two sharing all of the same abilities and each possessing enough power to destroy the planet. In order to keep from overpowering the plot, Ultimate Form only appears in the last two episodes and is said to come with the risk of turning the user evil to discourage Godai from ever using it again.
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki has the villainous Kamen Rider Odin. He's physically stronger than the rest of the Kamen Riders, has stronger weapons, and has a Teleport Spam that makes hitting him almost impossible. He doesn't even need use his Mirror Beast in any of his fights. Lead characters Kamen Riders Ryuki and Knight can barely slow him down, even with their Survive Modes, and if he dies Kanzaki Shirou can bring him back. He's made to be like this to rig the contest for Kanzaki, and is only beaten by Talking the Monster to Death.
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto's Hyper Clock Up allows him to move faster than light, and travel through time and alternate dimensions. On top of Kabuto being The Ace. However, he does not appear to have full control over its more powerful functions, it will sometimes send him to random places of its own accord, his most powerful attack cannot be used while it is active, and some of his enemies have powers which can counter it.
    • Decade. Big Bad monsters from previous series iterations? Taken care of in no time flat. Still in a tight spot? Turn on your Super Mode and summon a previous rider clone for a synchronized double attack. Baddie still not finished yet? Turn that ally into a useful weapon or vehicle to blow him away. Going up against giants and spaceships? Merge with J and turn everyone else into a card to kick them all to death. Just another day for a passing-through Kamen Rider. Decade skirts around breaking any story he's in by having no story to break, instead jumping around between worlds and solving other people's problems as he travels. Notably, when he appears as a recurring character in Kamen Rider Zi-O, it's revealed late into the series that Decade is running on half of his power, having used the other half to create the Decade RideWatch as a backup in case his powers were stolen, which the Big Bad does do to him. And even with half his power, Decade still claims that he can destroy the universe if he needs to do so to stop a Time Crash from damaging the rest of the multiverse.
    • Kamen Rider Double has the villainous Kamen Rider Eternal, who can make all Gaia Memories — the main source of power for heroes and villains alike — that were created before his stop working. One of the heroes quickly acquires a lesser power that's not affected by Eternal's ability, and uses it for the majority of the movie before managing to disable the ability outright just before the final battle.
    • Of all of Kamen Rider OOO's myriad forms, the GataKiriBa Combo outshines the rest, even the statistically more powerful TaJaDor and PuToTyra combos, and with good reason. GataKiriBa's Set Bonus multiplies OOO an almost-infinite number of times, and, as The Movie demonstrates, with the right amount of Core Medals, each copy can individually transform into all of OOO's forms at once.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid undergoes a Lensman Arms Race that ends in Ex-Aid's Hyper Muteki form being a literal Invincible Hero. The Big Bad survives for a shockingly long time against a hero he has no means of harming (even subverting the tradition of brutalizing the first enemy coming into contact with the heroes' Super Mode) by pulling off a string of increasingly elaborate dirty tricks to keep his schemes in motion for just one more episode.
    • Kamen Rider Build has the Big Bad Evolt, who spends essentially the entire show with the ability to kill the heroes at any time he wishes, but doesn't because he needs them alive for his plans to acquire even more power. Defeating him ultimately requires tricking him into accepting an upgrade that's secretly Blessed with Suck.
    • Kamen Rider Zi-O spends the entire show attempting to avoid becoming his Evil Overlord future self, Oma Zi-O, but is forced in the final episode to adopt that form. Once he does, he possesses the combined powers of everyone else on this list and more, and defeats the Big Bad with one kick. He then immediately gives up the power to restore time to its proper state, after being warned that if he does so he will never get it back.
  • Legends of Tomorrow:
    • Firestorm, who can shoot fire, absorb and send out nuclear blasts as well as fly among other things. Since Firestorm is a combination of two people, they spend as much time apart as possible (until the character is written out in season 3).
    • Nate Heywood, who can turn into steel and when in his steel form, is bulletproof and has Super Strength. Considering most of the cast is made up of Badass Normals, he's arguably one of the most powerful of the cast (especially after the departure of Firestorm). If he actually used his powers, he could probably defeat or at least escape from the Villain of the Week a good portion of the time.
  • One drinking game for Merlin could be described thusly: take a shot for every problem that Merlin could have solved if magic wasn't punishable by death and he wasn't restricted by his lack of training. He gets his full power and training in the Grand Finale, and curb stomps the entire Saxon Army at Camlann.
  • The theme song to Mystery Science Theater 3000 says that Joel could have built a device that could have skipped movies directly to the end. Instead, he used those parts to build his robot friends.
  • Once Upon a Time: Rumpelstiltskin could solve most of the show's problems if he wanted. Or if he weren't the cause of most of them.
  • Person of Interest: The Machine, the omniscient espionage computer that is spying on the entire planet and calculating the possibility of violent crimes (it was designed to predict terrorists, but it works for anything) cannot be defeated, tricked, or hidden from. Its information is always right, since it is crunching data on everything. The unspeakable potential for misuse is why the Machine only gives the government social security numbers of people relevant to threats to national security; no data on how these numbers are generated is provided, and the Machine itself is a complete black box immune to all tampering. On the rare occasions when someone gains unfettered access to the Machine, they become invincible. The Machine warns them of every attack, every threat, from incoming enemies to massive conspiracies. At one point, Root casually strolls through a gunfight with one of the two most dangerous men on the planet, then shoots him without even looking.
  • Power Rangers: Tommy Oliver from the first season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers is the Green Ranger and, between his natural karate skills and ranger powers, is about as strong as the other five combined. So to keep things interesting, The Powers That Be gave him an appalling memory that meant he was always forgetting his communicator and they eventually took away his powers altogether. He got new ones but not quite on the same level.
    • Doesn't help, the character they get his footage from...only appeared sparingly, and was just as much of a 'scenario solver'. His Super Sentai equivalent would die if he used his powers too much.
  • Just like in the comics, Smallville didn't want Martian Manhunter hanging around overshadowing Clark, so they gave him an arbitrary weakness; his body's Healing Factor was inhibited by Earth's dense, oxygen-filled, and very un-Marslike atmosphere, so he frequently had to fly into space for extended periods to heal after a battle — Put on a Bus to the ionosphere, so to speak. Later they just depowered him entirely in a contrived Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Stargate-verse:
    • The Asgard are one of, if not the most advanced race in the entire story (arguably surpassing even the Ancients at least in certain areas) by the end of their lifespan, and also happen to be very kind and helpful protectors of the Milky Way. So how come the Milky Way is overrun by the evil Goa'uld anyway? The Asgard are at a long-spanning war against the Replicators, a far more dangerous enemy, and they're not winning. Add that they are literally a dying race. The only time the writers allowed them to be Big Damn Heroes is in a parallel universe.
    • The Replicators themselves, who turned the Asgard from the mightiest extant species in the known universe to The Remnant barely holding onto their few remaining planets. They absorb and adapt rapidly to any new technology, which thanks to their FTL Mind Hive connection is spread amongst all units instantly, and can reform an entire swarm from a single active unit at ridiculous speeds, and that's before they start making human-form Replicators which are even more advanced and smart. Kinetic weapons can temporarily take down smaller units, but they just reform and larger units are impervious. As soon as they arrive in our galaxy the Goa'uld, the undisputed power of the Milky Way and the main threat for eight seasons, get absolutely demolished in a single episode, only taken down using a weapon that could wipe out all life in the galaxy. They're even considered a Story Breaker in-universe, as the back-up plan in The Ark of Truth is to unleash a swarm in the Ori galaxy, under the belief that not even they could take them down.
    • Ascended beings are basically gods, able to command the forces of nature at will to terrifying effect. To prevent this trope, the writers introduced the idea that the Ancients also have a self-imposed Alien Non-Interference Clause. Which, naturally, they didn't apply to the Ancients' Evil Counterparts the Ori when they needed new villains for the Post-Script Season.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Counselor Troi can sense the emotions of most beings. This would end a lot of episodes really quickly if the writers didn't keep coming up with circumstances where her powers are blocked or confused or she's unable to warn the other characters. Some episodes Hand Wave or completely ignore her powers and the impact they would logically have on the plot. In early episodes, she's able to communicate with non-Betazoids (or at least her lovers) telepathically, even across long distances. It's not hard to guess why the writers quietly dropped this aspect of her character.
    • There's the issue of the entire Betazoid race, and other friendly telepathic species, would seemingly be able to solve all sorts of problems by reading minds. It's a wonder anybody in the galaxy can carry out a hidden agenda. This was demonstrated in one episode where Troi's mother casually revealed that two alien diplomats were really assassins the second she encountered them.
    • If it weren't for Villain Decay, The Borg would be in here easily. In their first appearance in TNG's "Q Who", it practically took Divine Intervention from Q to save the Enterprise. And before Star Trek: Voyager, they could basically copy and negate the technology of any species they came across, and design nanites that integrated the physiology of any species they encountered into their collective. One of their ships could bring the Alpha Quadrant and any races less powerful than Organians or Douwds to their knees. Indeed the Borg were so powerful that no good reason was ever given why the Borg hadn't conquered the entire galaxy: the writers could only combat this by handing the Borg multiple Idiot Balls and eventually sticking them in many of Voyager's Idiot Plots.
    • The biggest Story-Breaker Power in the franchise, however, is the transporter. The ability to teleport seemingly anything anywhere has been the resolution of just about any plot where it didn't get immediately taken offline or blocked.
    • Replicators fall under this. They can convert energy into matter. Its rarely is ever even handwavednote  why any MacGuffin of the week cant just be replicated such as the Dilithium Crystals which allow ships to use Faster Than Light travel. Just some of the demonstrations include a robotic beam turret or a fully functioning rifle. One episode even had the Transporters and Replicators combined to make a gun that could fire teleporting bullets anywhere on a space station.
    • Data's android intelligence does this in-universe when he plays Sherlock Holmes on the holodeck in "Elementary Dear Data". Even when the obvious Game-Breaker and Sequence Breaking of being able to remember the plots down to the tiniest detail is worked around, the result is still the android equivalent of easy mode for the computer-generated plots. Increasing the difficulty level brings disaster when it makes one of the characters sapient...
      • Data also has superhuman strength and should be able to effortlessly deal with any situation that can be solved with hand-to-hand combat or an application of brute force. This would be out of character for him but that still isn't an excuse for it almost always being ignored as a solution.
    • The wide beam setting on the hand phaser would have ended two thirds of every firefight we've ever seen on this show immediately if the characters actually bothered to use it. In Deep Space Nine when gunfights became more common they conveniently forgot that they even had a beam setting at all.
  • Supergirl has Martian Manhunter, but unlike in Smallville he is allowed to stick around as a main character. He can supposedly read minds and yet this is almost never put to good use and is barely even mentioned except for occasional excuses that even ordinary humans are 'blocking him somehow'. Not only that but he is a Flying Brick with no weakness to kryptonite, no dependence on a yellow sun, Shapeshifting abilities and secret agent skills to rival anyone on earth. Why he is constantly outperformed by the title character is a mystery.
    • Supergirl herself is capable of having this problem during her crossovers with other shows, especially in the Invasion! event. She's so much more powerful than basically anything else they've got that she'd solve their problems easily. Invasion! thus had her immediately brainwashed and turned against Flash and Green Arrow making her a liability in the first episode, then asked to stay out of it by Oliver until the very end of the finale, with the middle episode having her and Barry take down in about a minute a villain that would otherwise take Team Arrow a whole episode to deal with and showing why she needed to be sidelined. Averted in the second event, Crisis on Earth X, where she's given an equally powerful opponent to keep her occupied.
  • Supernatural:
    • A fifth season episode introduced Jesse Turner, the purported Antichrist who (due to being a half-demon Half-Human Hybrid) gained really high-level Reality Warper powers following Lucifer's presence on Earth, and was obviously more powerful than any other character seen up to that point. Having probably realized this, the writers quickly abandoned the character by writing him out at the end of his first appearance.
    • Castiel. Angels are among the most powerful beings in the setting, even "grunt" angels like Castiel effortlessly dispatching most demons and monsters, heal fatal wounds, and even resurrect the dead. While this was fine for Story Arcs where he was fighting other angels who were equally powerful or even stronger than he was, it trivialized the Monster of the Week episodes as Cas could just locate the monster and zap it in two seconds. Thus, the writers were forced to continuously include excuses and storylines which explained why he couldn't help the Badass Normals. In the seventh and eight seasons, the writers continuously toy with the idea of killing or permanently incapacitating Castiel, but they won't because he's one of the most popular parts of the show, and his episodes get the best ratings. Also, he's funny and arguably the show's heart, so his other attributes make the show more enjoyable. The writers just need to figure out how to depower him. Indeed, the Season 8 finale ends with Castiel's grace being taken from him, effectively turning him human.
    • Ezekiel is worse than Cas ever was. Introduced immediately after the above event, he quickly becomes the show's go-to fix it guy. In nearly every episode since his introduction he has served as some form of Deus ex Machina, including bringing Cas and Charlie back to life, healing Sam from the trial sickness and a slashed neck, and scaring Abbadon away when she and her mooks have the upper-hand against the Winchesters. They try to avert it by saying he's been weakened by his fall from Heaven and doesn't have enough power to be constantly doing this, and yet every time he's needed he's able to muster the strength without issue. But the worst part is, since he's using Sam as a vessel they can't even not have him around when it's inconvenient to the plot like they did with Cas.
    • Word of God admits that in hindsight they made angels too powerful and have had to come up with numerous Drama Preserving Handicaps to keep them from solving everything single-handedly, hence the proliferation of angel-killing blades and the angels' tendency to Forget About Their Powers. In Season 7, they introduced the Leviathans, who were supposedly even stronger than angels, and unlike the angels were all villainous, but a direct comparison of the Leviathan's abilities versus the angels' was still hilariously one-sided in the angels' favor. Season 9 had to issue a species-wide Nerf by casting the angels out of Heaven and burning off their wings, removing their ability to teleport and weakening their other powers.
    • The biggest problem with the angels is the trivial ease in which they can resurrect the dead. Despite the show's Death Is Cheap reputation, just about every character who isn't Sam, Dean, Bobby, or Castiel tends to stay dead when they die — and even Bobby was eventually Killed Off for Real in Season 7 — and originally this was justified as resurrection having a high cost such as selling your soul or the victim Coming Back Wrong. But once the angels were introduced, they were granted the ability to resurrect the dead with absolutely no drawbacks whatsoever. This has caused all sorts of problems as the show continues to kill off the heroes' friends and allies, and nobody ever seems to consider asking Cas or another angel to bring them back. Occasionally there will be a Hand Wave explanation as to why it can't be done, but more often than not the writers just pretend the angels don't have this ability unless the plot calls for it.
    • The Colt, a supernaturally powered gun that can supposedly One-Hit Kill anything. Originally it was limited by the number of bullets it had — any old regular bullet wouldn't work, they had to be enchanted like the gun — so the heroes had to save them for kills that really mattered. In Season 3, however, the heroes figured out a way to make new bullets for the gun after extinguishing the original supply. Without the limited ammo, the gun quickly became story-breaking as Sam and Dean no longer needed to figure out monsters' weaknesses and could just kill anything they came across by shooting it. Once they realized this, the writers had Sam and Dean lose the Colt, and replaced it with Ruby's knife, which is also a One-Hit Kill, but only works on demons. The Colt briefly resurfaced in Season 5, only for it to be revealed that it actually can't kill everything, as the Winchesters discover to their horror that Lucifer, and four other as of yet unidentified beings, are immune. It's lost again after only a single episode in the heroes' possession and never seen again, at least until Season 12.
    • The Angel Blade, the primary weapon angels carry which later fall into human hands. Like the original wielder, it is extremely powerful in that it can kill basically everything in the attic and the basement, including Angels and Seraphs, Nephilim, Hellhounds, Demons, the aforementioned near-omnipotent Antichrist, and even Reapers. These weapons tend to drop in and out of the story though, and one tends to wonder why nobody tried to use such weapons on the Monster of the Week as they more than likely would work.
    • The ultimate example in the series is God Himself. That's actually the reason he doesn't take a more direct role in the story. When he finally does, it's only because he isn't an example of this anymore since the Big Bad is his own sister Amara who is even stronger (at least in terms of combat ability).
  • Parodied in That Mitchell and Webb Look, where Angel Summoner and the BMX Bandit form a mismatched duo. Angel Summoner can summon angels, which can accomplish essentially anything; BMX Bandit has... BMX skills, making him feel like a permanent third wheel. On one mission Angel Summoner allows BMX Bandit to fight alone, while secretly summoning invisible angels to help him.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • The Originals are the first vampires to ever exist and some of the most powerful group of characters in the setting. They're immune to all vampire weaknesses and have the unique ability to compel even normal vampires, meaning even Stephan and Damon aren't safe from them mentally. Being the epitome of Stronger with Age, Each Original possess Super Strength superior to even the oldest non-Original Vampires, so even with a numbers advantage victory wasn't guaranteed against them. They did posses a weakness to the White Oak that created them, but when it was discovered that killing an Original meant the death of every Vampire in their sire line the protagonists had to destroy their collection of White Oak steaks and surrender the war to them. The Originals became a combination of this trope and Contractual Immortality due to the previous reveal and their eventual Face–Heel Turn, and being so much more powerful than the actual protagonists meant they needed to be spun-off into their own series so they could face threats meant to combat them.
    • Alaric Saltzman was a little Too Cool to Live after he returned from The Other Side because he retained his powers as an "Enhanced" Original Vampire; Alaric was immune to all traditional vampire weaknesses like the Originals were, was always immune to the sole weakness the Originals had, became immune to his own personal weakness after Elena became a Vampire, still able to compel normal vampires, and his Super Strength was superior to the eldest Original, the Original Hybrid Klaus Mikaelson. The show found the fastest excuse it could to De-Power Alaric early in Season 6, lest he make chumps of any future threats to Mystic Falls.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: One episode featured a spell that allowed the user to rewind time a small amount to fix a simple mistake. It never gets used again despite being a simple solution to most of the mishaps they spend entire episodes trying to fix.


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