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  • Aladdin: The Series: Aladdin has access to a Genie, a flying carpet, and assistance from royalty. To compensate, not only did Genie and the Carpet get power downgrades and a slew of new weaknesses, many of their adversaries can range from armies of robots to literal gods. Oh, and the royal army? They all hate him, and they're pretty useless anyways.
  • American Dragon: Jake Long: A likely reason Kara and Sara only appear sparingly is that their visions make it easy for them to uncover and thwart villains' plans (as demonstrated in "The Academy").
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Bloodbending, which enables sufficiently skilled waterbenders to control people's bodies, would be this if it were not only usable under a full moon, during which waterbenders get a minor power-up. The only way Katara is able to defeat Hama while she is bloodbending Aang and Sokka is to use the technique herself. That said, it is shown that bloodbending multiple people is difficult, and it's doubtful doing it to a large room was within the capabilities of either woman.
    • Bloodbending came back as a true storybreaker in The Legend of Korra, where a crime lord named Yakone was capable of bloodbending dozens of people in the middle of the day with his mind. Granted, he still wasn't a match for Aang, who quickly removed his ability to bend. But years later, his sons who have the same ability serve as a major challenge for Korra.
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    • The Avatar State itself is this. The Avatar is already one of the strongest benders around due to their ability to learn and master each of the four elements. The Avatar State takes that power and increases it to incalculable levels. Yes, Aang and Korra's ability to enter the state would've been devastating during the runs of their respective series... if they could use it at will. Aang naturally only masters it in the final episode of his show, and while Korra is given the ability to control it at the end of Book 1, she loses that ability at the end of Book 2, and doesn't fully regain control of it until Book 4.
    • Toph, who is easily the most powerful Earthbender in either series. Earth is already an extremely versatile element; aside from its obvious use in crushing people, Earthbenders can use rock to trap their opponents, create large tunnels and blast holes through stone walls, and shield themselves with large slabs of rock or crystal armor. Toph's Disability Superpower lets her use the earth as a form of quasi-echolocation, where she can sense anything as long as it's touching earth, which also makes her nigh impossible to sneak up on. In her debut episode, she creates a sandstorm to blind her opponents while she can still see them through the earth. She can also detect changes in people's physiology this way, which -among other things- makes her a Living Lie Detector. Once she creates metalbending, she becomes capable of breaking out of prisons and destroying tanks and airships singlehandedly. And by the time she returns in The Legend of Korra, she's found a way to channel her seismic sense through the vines of the Foggy Swamp, allowing her to observe everything on the planet simultaneously. All-in-all, she is a very powerful character. For the most part, the show handles this by having Toph occupy herself with mooks; she rarely fights the major antagonists directly outside of a few group battles against Azula's crew and an encounter with the Combustion Man. A few episodes such as "The Boiling Rock" write her out entirely to keep her from being able to solve the plot in two seconds.
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    • In Season 3 of Korra, Zaheer showed how broken airbending truly be, if someone decided to fully cut loose with it. With only Airbender philosophy and mental training to guide him, Zaheer steamrolled multiple master benders and was nigh-unstoppable (up until he took on Tenzin) and even held his own vs. an enraged Korra in the Avatar State.
    • Korra herself had this problem in the second season. A fully realized Avatar, in the prime of their youth, with unlimited access to the Avatar State is, more or less, unbeatable. The only things that could challenge her are the Rogue Spirits introduced early on and even then they stopped being a problem after she could just purify them with a special form of Water-Bending. The conflict of this season was mostly political, so her strength couldn't help very much. Probably to make her easier to write for.
  • Adventure Time: Jake's extremely overpowered Voluntary Shapeshifting powers should be able to defeat or at least seriously challenge pretty much every enemy they face, especially since they come with size shifting and Super Strength when he's big. To get around this, in most stories Jake is Brilliant, but Lazy and can't be bothered to use his powers effectively, or even just forgets he has them. One episode even has them worrying that Jake is going to die of poison until the villain accidentally reminds them at the last second that Jake could just grow a big enough liver to neutralize it. Against more serious villains, he tends to get taken out of the fight early on.
  • Beast Wars:
    • Tigerhawk, the last Maximal to premiere in the show. In addition to being a Flying Brick, he can create giant tornadoes and earthquakes that lays waste to the Predacons' lair that the Maximals have been hammering away at for three seasons; he can even stand toe-to-toe against Megatron's final form in a one-to-one match, something that not even Optimus Primal in his final form can do. If he was in the Final Battle, it wouldn't last five minutes, which was probably a reason why Tigerhawk died protecting the Maximal base just before the final showdown, against a giant Cool Starship that was stated to be the strongest Decepticon warship ever built, and he still managed to put a decent fight against it with it taking all the power in its fusion cannon to kill him.
    • Rampage was introduced in a episode styled as a Slasher Movie. It took 2 Maximals and 1 Predacon to take him down and they had to resort to gunning him down off a cliff, knowing it would only stun him long enough for them to escape. At the end of the episode, Megatron manages to capture and weaken his spark, forcing him to obey the Predacons but levelling him down to "merely" Made of Iron so he could be defeated in regular combat.
  • Ben 10:
  • Ma-ti from Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Yes, that Ma-ti. While his powers are limited, just like the other Planeteers, he is still the most powerful of the group. He cannot mind control extremely evil people, calm animals that are too scared, read unconscious people, etc. But if Ma-Ti was flawed enough not to resist Zarm's evil charms and he picked up Heart of Conquest in the episode "The Conqueror", he would be able to mind control the world. An Alternate Universe, Ma-Ti abused his powers to force sympathy and get rich people to donate money to him freely.
  • Liquidator from Darkwing Duck. His power is complete control over water. In his origin episode he used several powers (like turning all water in St. Canard solid) that he never used again as a member of the Fearsome Five. This trope is also the reason why he was never used as a solo villain apart from said origin episode, unlike the other members of the Fearsome Five.
  • Discussed when Doug Funnie and Skeeter Valentine write a comic together with their superhero alter egos, Quailman and the Silver Skeeter. Skeeter continually has his character do whatever is needed to fix the problem at hand, driving Doug nuts at the lack of tension in the story, ultimately leading him to point out that each solution would just cause extra problems by accident.
  • A recurring reason most plots have Rufus and Amberley save The Dreamstone whenever it is stolen, since both the Dream Maker and the Wut army have a near-unlimited amount of power that disposes of the Urpneys' plans with complete ease whenever they are finally forced to take action (most exceptions seem to involve them simply standing there hopeless until the Noops do something). This, however, still leaves the conundrum of why they constantly decide to send two powerless children into harm's way when they could easily do the job themselves.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Timmy has two nigh-omnipotent beings at his beck and call who have to do anything he says so long as he prefaces it with "I wish". Early seasons would usually have an Ass Pull reason why he couldn't use them to solve this particular problem, but in later seasons he just flat-out doesn't think of it unless the plot demands it.
  • Felix the Cat's Magic Bag of Tricks, introduced in the 1959 Trans-Lux TV cartoons. It can summon or turn into anything Felix needs. The reason for its introduction was because Trans-Lux, who produced the series, had a mandate that Felix had to be able to help anyone out in any way possible, even if it meant taking the easy way out in a story with the tool. Making matters worse was that the deadlines and budget for the show were so tight (they had $6,700 per episode, had to put out three new episodes every week and had hours to write the scripts for each episode) so there was no time to refine or overthink the stories anyway. However, Joe Oriolo, the showrunner of the original TV series, wisely made sure not to overuse the Magic Bag—many episodes don't feature the bag at all, and even episodes that do have it tend to use the Bag as a last resort or for something more mundane.
  • Generator Rex has Breach, an E.V.O. with the ability to create portals that go anywhere, including at least one Pocket Dimension where she placed an entire city to be her "dollhouse". The only thing keeping her from completely breaking the story for either the heroes or the villains is that she's too mentally broken to reach her full potential.
  • The titular character is this in Godzilla: The Series. To keep the tension (and to make sure every monster battle doesn't end in five minutes), Godzilla will often be confronted with a monster that seemingly doesn't have a weakness or is just really powerful; this gives H.E.A.T. a reason to be around, as Godzilla keeps the kaiju at bay while they figure out a solution to their current predicament (often times Godzilla will act as The Cavalry, sometimes more than once in an episode)
  • Gravity Falls: "Little Dipper" introduced crystals that, when light is refracted through them the right way, can make anything larger or smaller, with no apparent drawbacks beyond the obvious problems of being too big or shrunk down. Dipper breaks off a piece and tapes it to a flashlight so that he can grow or shrink anything by flipping the crystal over and turning the light on, giving him something that can freely control the size of any object, animal, or person. Given that most of the Monsters of the Week could be beaten by regular humans with no powers, the twins making themselves giant or shrinking their enemies would have trivialized most of the creatures in the series, with Reality Warpers and ghosts being the only major exceptions. To say nothing of the advantages of being shrunk, like stealth or getting in or out of places more easily. The small crystal on the flashlight is broken at the end of the episode, but the main cluster of crystals was still out in the woods. Its ability was still unused until the Grand Finale, which had an antagonist much more powerful than the episodic threats anyway.
  • Invader Zim: Professor Membrane is a super genius who can restore power to the entire planet with a single hand blast, has the support of all the world leaders, and casually creates inventions that can shape the entire world. In Enter the Florpus, he takes down Zim's entire robot army and recalibrates Minimoose to return the Earth back to its original position to escape the Irken armada and the Florpus Hole. His complete inability to believe in aliens or the paranormal pretty much keeps the show interesting, since everything would end awfully quickly if Dib were ever successful at convincing him of Zim's true nature.
  • In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Tony's Extremis upgrade lets him take control of anything electronic, and most of his enemies are as tech-based as the heroes. It is not nerfed, forgotten, or given a counter, and we learn just why most characters in most works do have this happen to any over-the-top ability: pretty much every battle after he gets it goes thusly: "Tony shoots a couple repulsor blasts at it, and when that doesn't work, remembers Extremis is a thing, and instantly wins literally just by thinking about it." Say bye-bye to any excitement in his fights.
  • Justice League:
    • The Flash, period. Like the comics, the writers had to find a way to nerf his powers to better maintain tension in the story. When the writers finally have him go all out, Flash completely curbstomps Brainthor. In another episode, the completely unfettered Lex, given control of Flash's body, showed just how deadly the Flash could be if he didn't hold himself back.
    • Amazo, returned with godlike powers (defeating the defenses of Oa and the entire Justice League at once without really breaking a sweat) and wanting to find his purpose in the universe. He quickly disappears for the remainder of the series after discovering his powers were making a magic-fueled enemy stronger. The writers must have realised that having a virtual god on the good guys' side who can shift planets to other dimensions on a whim and whose superpowers were as beyond Superman as Superman is beyond a normal human, would make the Justice League pointless.
    • Superman, like his comic counterpart, qualifies. The writers admitted they had to find ways to get him out of the way to ensure the other members had something to do. In the first season, he would end up getting knocked out a lot and the show was criticised for this. In later seasons, the writers found other ways to deal with it such as having the foes be magical or alien. They also had different objectives be far apart so that the League would need to split into teams to deal with all of them simultaneously. Even as far back as Superman: The Animated Series which is based in the same universe, the writers put clear limits on his powers so he isn't as powerful as he is in the comics. They stated that having a hero who can move planets makes it really hard to come up with interesting threats and so in the DCAU, Superman can conceivably be killed with an extreme application of force without having to use kryptonite at all.
  • Kim Possible:
    • The title character's battle suit was meant to be a one-shot 11th-Hour Superpower in the Grand Finale; its enhanced strength, speed and other nifty abilities allowing her to put a definitive beatdown on arch foe Shego, and then ride off into the sunset (Or to the prom, in this case). Then the show was Un-Cancelled and the writers had to deal with a weapon that would let Kim curb stomp her entire rogues gallery. Solution: Split time between making excuses to not put on the suit and having bad guys try and steal it. Up until the other Grand Finale, where Warhok is strong enough to take Kim out, suit or not.
    • Ron has his own Story Breaker Power in the form of Mystical Monkey Power. He learns the skill in Season 2, but is unable to consciously use it because of his phobia surrounding, well, monkeys. Seeing Kim get defeated in the second finale gives him the motivation to push past his fear and finally use the power to its full potential.
  • Much like his master, the title character of Krypto the Superdog had a bevy of powers that would have rendered most every villainous plot over in a matter of seconds. To that end, the most common line on the show after the catchphrases was "There's even some Kryptonite in it, so it will work on Superdog!", which was inevitably said after the villain of the episode introduced their latest robot/mind control ray/what have you. Then again, it's not as though it's hard to find the stuff.
  • Lisa Loud from The Loud House is a Child Prodigy, capable of using chemistry and technology to resolve whatever crisis was going on. Only the fact that the show is, at heart, a comedy prevents her from being successful most of the time. To name an example, in "No Laughing Matter", she creates a Time Machine to stop Luan from giving up on comedy. The only reason the kids chose to let Lincoln perform at Luan's comedy gig in her place instead was because the side effects of time travel included having butts on their faces.
  • The premise of the first season of The Miniavengers had a group of kids that had an episode in which they learn life lessons by getting Superpowers For A Day based on their defects. This series has a Superpower Lottery in which some kids get powers specific to the situation they are in, while other get powers that turn them from RealityWarpers to TimeMasters. Examples include Louis (who can errase everything that he states that he doesn't like, included the whole world), Rick (who can freeze time with his hiccup), Olivia (who can rewind time), Carmen (who can transform everyone in what she said about them) or Isabelle (that can teleport herself anytime). The kids rarely use these powers for anything more than their own schemes and are Brought Down to Normal by the end of all episodes anyways. The second season changes entirely the premise and has five of the kids having their powers permanently. Of course these are the ones that had X-Rays, super stretching, Weather Manipulation, making everything small, and Fartillery, since all the previously mentioned Game Breaking powers would possibly solve any possible situation without trouble.
  • The titular heroine's World-Healing Wave in Miraculous Ladybug could easily become this if used to its full potential. Since it can canonically reverse any damage dealt by Ladybug, Cat Noir, or the akumas, up to and including death, it would logically allow the heroes to simply Shoot the Hostage, and then bring that hostage Back from the Dead after defeating the villain.
    • On the same note, Cat Noir's Cataclysm is a No Saving Throw One-Hit Kill. If used against any enemy other than the akumas, it would be an absurdly easy road to victory.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The Elements of Harmony are explicitly stated to be the most powerful magic in Equestria, and swiftly defeated every villain they've been used against. Thus the conflict of many two-parters revolve around actually getting to them, and then making sure they work properly (as they effectively weaponise The Power of Friendship). In the Season 4 premiere, the Mane Six sacrifice the elements by returning the items to its source, the Tree of Harmony, rendering them no longer usable... but then the season finale has them replaced by the even more convenient Rainbow Power that when used was an Instant-Win Condition for that two-parter conflict. Then it turns out that Rainbow Power Only Works Once. Later, Season 9 has King Sombra personally remove the Elements from the picture.
    • The Power of Friendship, and to a lesser extent The Power of Love, are horrendously powerful in Equestria. As mentioned, it powers the Elements of Harmony, incinerates Windigos, defeated Discord by inducing a Heel–Face Turn, and Queen Chrysalis gained a gargantuan power boost by absorbing the love of only one pony. There's a reason Celestia was so insistent on Twilight making friends.
    • Princess Celestia and Princess Luna are magnitudes more powerful than all but a handful of beings note , and their political clout could solve many of the interpersonal issues the cast faces, thus they frequently pull a Deus Exit Machina or are otherwise unavailable. And the few times Celestia does show up she falls victim to The Worf Effect.
    • Presumably this is the reason Spike was absent from "The Cutie Map." He has four general abilities: Fire breath, being a living fax machine, near Nigh-Invulnerability, and a track record for being surprisingly competent when under pressure. And none of these abilities could be neutralized by Starlight Glimmer's cutie mark removal spell, since he's a dragon that naturally lacks one. Having a character handy who could have just called for reinforcements or torched Starlight's cutie mark vault while she stood by and screeched at him not to would have cut the two-parter into a one-parter.
    • Discord is a Reality Warper so powerful he almost seems omnipotent. The Elements of Harmony are initially the only thing that threaten him, and his powers are so divergent from everyone else's, that it's almost funny. He undergoes a Heel–Face Turn in the third season after he comes to value his friendship with Fluttershy too much to risk angering her by returning to his villainous ways, but as a being of chaos he generally isn't likely to help out in solving problems, sitting back to play Trickster Mentor at best. On the two occasions he did agree to help, he was manipulated back into villainy before being backstabbed ("Twilight's Kingdom") and fell prey to an Anti-Magic field that completely negated his abilities ("To Where and Back Again"). The fact that he wasn't in The Movie (except for two small cameos) speaks volumes.
    • ...but another story-breaker was introduced in the movie with the Obsidian Orbs. These Magitek Trick Bombs releases a gas that turns anyone caught in the blast into obsidian statues, and are able to bypass magic shields, including those of Cadence. Tempest Shadow used them to easily capture three of the powerful princesses, with Twilight only escaping by sheer luck. Conveniently for the heroes, Tempest Shadow and the rest of Storm King's forces never use them again while hunting them down until the movie's climax. No points for guessing who gets killed by the last one.
  • Reboot: The final season has Hexadecimal pull a Heel–Face Turn. Hexadecimal is so powerful in-universe that even legions of brainwashed Guardians are not remotely a threat to her. She doesn't even have to kill them- She can non-lethally group them up via her powerful telekinesis powers and simply throw them back through the portal they came in in the first place. Daemon Rising resorts to depowering her until the very last moment to keep any semblance of tension, and she commits a Heroic Sacrifice in the end so that My Two Bobs can happen at all.
  • The final season of Samurai Jack introduces Ashi, one of the Daughters of Aku who eventually befriends and falls in love with Jack. She doesn't learn that she inherited her father's powers until the penultimate episode, and it was only in the final episode when she realises she could simply create a Portal to the Past for Jack, allowing him to return to the point where Aku was at his weakest and finish him off, thus finally undoing the future that was Aku (at the cost of Ashi's existence). Of course, only Jack's sword or the gods that forged said sword were still the only means that can kill Aku, so even his own power still paled in comparison.
  • The Big Bad of Shadow Raiders is an indestructible Planet Eater which, anywhere else, would end the story in moments. The only way the heroes can triumph is by teleporting said planet eater away, and even that just causes it to change targets.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: By Word of God, this is the reason why Yoda rarely got Day in the Limelight episodes or was shown fighting in the titular wars. Other than Sidious, who canon dictates Yoda can never meet, there just aren't any antagonists capable of posing a threat to him. The two story arcs that did feature Yodanote  both sidestepped this issue, the first by treating his victory as a Foregone Conclusion, and the second by delving into the mysticism of the Force rather than trying to put him in a physical conflict.
    • As stated in the main article, any fight between a Force-User and a non-Force-User could be ended in about 10 seconds due to, among other things, telekinesis. The show attempts to avert this hard in most circumstances. The most blatant are Jedi Master Ima Gun Di vs a droid army (he is overrun and cannot deflect 500 or so simultaneous blaster shots) and Pre Viszla, the leader of Death Watch (The three fights he has against Force Users, he fights the martial pacifist Kenobi in front of the Actual Pacifist Duchess Satine, who he loved and thus holds back for, and Viszla still has to retreat after having his men fire rockets at Kenobi; against Padawan Ashoka Tano he fights her to a stalemate despite her being one of the strongest combatants in her age group; and in his fight against Maul loses despite Maul fighting without using the Force to appease the Mandalorian troops. The latter is doubly averted because there is actually a reason written into the story as to why Maul specifically didn't use his powers to win). In the last arc Maul is forced to fight without a lightsaber for a while, and he's very obviously more deadly than he ever was when using one.
    • The one time Sidious is shown fighting he goes out of his way to demonstrate that he could have won through telekinesis alone without his opponents being able to do anything about it. He then fights a hilariously one-sided lightsaber duel against Maul and Savage simultaneously just for fun.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil:
    • Dimensional Scissors are one of the most prominent examples. They can be used to open portals to any point of any dimension. They basically teleport any character that has them to where they want to be, and it allows them to escape any situation. Some plots would have been solved in seconds if the characters had remembered that had them (or if they had them in the first place), like in "Booth Buddies". This is especially evident when the show starts develing more into its Myth Arc.
      • They're a major plot point in "Running With Scissors" a beloved episode where Marco spends 16 years in another dimension to earn his own from Hekapoo. While preparing to stop Toffee at the start of season three, it never occurs to him to use the scissors to get help from his other friends like Tom. To be fair, he does eventually recruit his friends to fight Meteora at the end of said season.
    • Rhombulus, one of the members of the Magic High Commission, has one of the most simple but useful powers in the series. His crystal beams are capable to trap anyone in a crystal cocoon from which they can't escape, while preserving them alive and unaltered. The only ones capable of break or melt the crystal are Rhombulus himself and Eclipsa, and the latter needed the help of Queen Moon to do it. Since the victims of this spell are still alive (though and they can be imprisoned for an inhumane long period of time), there aren't any moral problems at using it indiscriminately against enemies, using it to Shoot the Hostage without killing them, and interrogate enemies after capturing them. On the other hand, Rhombulus is a Dumb Muscle that sometimes fights his enemies physically rather than use directly his powers. Moreover, nobody thought that he could have crystallized Toffee and his monster army, and he is nowhere to be seen during the battle against Meteora.
    • In the episode "Deep Dive" Star Unlocks her Golden Mewberty form and learns how to activate and deactivate said form anytime. While being in this form, Star can fly, open portals without dimensional scissors and increase her magic powers to the point that she can disintegrate the immortal Toffee in an instant and fight toe to toe against a giant Meteora. She didn't bother to use it against Mina Loveberry or any other enemy until the end of the season and even then she is the last one to appear to fight Meteora. Even when she is finding her mother in the Magic Dimension, she didn't think that it would be easier using her ability to fly.
    • The first season episode "Freeze Day" introduces a time-stopping spell, that can be used to stop time indefinitely. However, it went wrong since Star couldn't get time to resume again. After solving the problem, Father Time told Star and Marco not to freeze time again, and they never used the spell again.
  • Steven Universe has the title character discover he has healing powers in "An Indirect Kiss", which destroys pretty much any tension from Gems getting hurt or damaged, provided that aren't killed outright... at least until a few episodes later, where confidence issues cause his healing powers to cease working for two seasons. Even then, they can not completely recover Gems from being corrupted, an issue Steven learned about in the intervening time.
    • In "Steven and the Stevens", Steven gets a portable time traveling device, similar that the one seen in the pilot. He tries to use it to create a music band with Stevens of various timelines. However, a war starts between the Stevens, forcing the original Steven to break the machine to make all the other Stevens disappear. That kind of technology is never mentioned again.
      • This is not the only insanely powerful artifact that was in the ownership of the Crystal Gems. In "Onion Trade", Pearl gives Steven a "replication wand", a device that can make copies of any object that the user targets. Apparently it has no limitations in use, being capable of making endless copies of any object very quickly and without any size or weight limitation. In the episode, Steven gives this wand to Onion for an exchange and Onion, who is just a young kid, almost destroys Beach City and defeats the Crystal Gems with it by dropping cars on them. After the gems get it back, Garnet just destroys the wand to make all the replicated objects made by Onion disappear.
    • Steven's pet Lion can create portals to go anywhere on Earth, and even to a moon base if it put enough effort, making the warp pads obsolete. It also can walk on water, weaponize its roars, hide things inside its mane, and it probably knows many of Rose's secrets. The thing that prevents Lion for being a perfect mission companion is that it behaves like a house cat: it is very lazy, has a contrary nature that makes it disappear for long periods of time, and is very indifferent to Steven and the Gems, disobeying even the most simple commands. It only helps Steven with its powers or showing him new hidden objects in his mane when the plot requires it. In season 5, another supporting character in the show, Lars Barriga, gains abilities similar to Lion's, but is inconvenienced by being stuck on the Gem Homeworld with no way back to Earth. This event increases Lion's status as this because Lion and Lars share the same Pocket Dimension on their manes (hair in Lars's case), which turns them into a walking portal between Earth and the Gem Homeworld, a portal that they logically can't use themselves. This leads Lion to make a Deus Exit Machina when he goes with Connie in "Dewey Wins" and didn't appear again until five episodes later. When Steven revisits Lars in "Lars of the Stars", it is shown that all of this was made to let Lars and the Off-Color Gems have an Offscreen Moment of Awesome by stealing a space ship from the Homeworld.
    • Garnet has future vision, an ability that allows her to predict events before they happen. You'd think that most of the story arcs of the series could have been solved simply by preventing them from happening, but Garnet's powers are more akin to calculating the probability of various timelines, so her powers are not always reliable. Despite that, she makes a lot of correct predictions through the series, such as locating Pearl's and Amethyst's cell's position in Peridot's space ship (in "Jail Break") and preventing some Bad Futures (in "Winter Forecast"). In addition, she can transfer this power to Steven by kissing him on the head. She could have prevented one of the most important arcs in the series if she would have told Steven what would happened if he tried to visit Pink Diamond's palanquin. She said that the reason that she didn't say exactly what she saw is that it would make him more interested, but she could have kissed Steven to show him that Blue Diamond would visiting the palanquin, and then he would not have put his father in danger by taking him there. This ability is also pampered by her own preconceptions of people, with a season five episode having her realize that she's been failing to have accurate visions recently because she still viewed Steven as the same Tagalong Kid he was at the start of the show.
    • Before joining the Crystal Gems, Peridot had prosthetic limbs that gave her some cool and useful abilities like flying, a Tractor Beam, and a powerful energy shot. They were also hinted to have the information that they needed to stop the Cluster from destroying Earth. However, after she was bubbled by Garnet, Amethyst threw those Limb Enhancers in the ocean, so she could't use these abilities after joining the Crystal Gems, which could have been helpful in the Cluster mission, and finding Jasper. She later gains a limited control over metal as a trade-off, though.
    • Lapis Lazuli is another example. Her power is absolute control of water, with a later episode directly stating that her race's purpose in the Gem hierarchy is terraforming entire planets. In "Ocean Gem", she is able to control the entire ocean, even with her gem cracked. In the same episode, she is able to create water clones that can easily defeat the main characters. When Steven repairs her gem with his previously mentioned healing powers, she also gets the ability to create water wings to fly, which she can summon even without a nearby water source. In general, the series counterbalances this by making Lapis a flighty PTSD sufferer who has no interest in the overall conflict, and tends to leave the scene whenever possible. When she finally properly joins and aligns herself with the Crystal Gems, she manages to give Blue Diamond some trouble. Even as an official member of the Crystal Gems, she is basically never around when there's a fight to be had.
    • Fusions in general. They only require two (or more) gems with a common objective (that can be just as simple as lifting a drill or impersonating someone's wife), activated simply by a synchronized dance (or even just contact or making a pose). The result is a larger gem with new and dynamic abilities based on the combination of the powers of the gems forming it. They can be so powerful that they can Curb-Stomp any opponent that they fightnote , and they could have defeated every corrupted gem that they found during the first season in mere seconds. However, they forget about this option a lot of times, and it's later seen that fusions tend to be unstable if the emotional bonds of the members are broken or if one of the members is traumatized. Also, Homeworld Gems have technology that can counteract them, such as the Gem Destabilizer, or Aquamarine's wand.
    • White Diamond. In addition to being a giant diamond with all the raw strength and other abilities that entails, she can take direct control of any gem which obviously brings an abrupt end to any conflict in a show where all of the characters even remotely powerful enough to stand up to her are gems. It's pretty telling that the only way they resolved the "final battle" was by Steven finally convincing her that he wasn't Pink Diamond anymore, which made her decide she'd rather bring her family back together peacefully. If she wanted to win through force anyway it's very likely that she would have wiped everyone out pretty much immediately.
    • In the final season, Steven himself. Of course there are the healing and resurrection powers mentioned above, but after gaining complete control over his powers as a diamond he can also turn his nearly indestructible barriers of force into powerful weapons, fly and enter into a super speed state where he's fast enough that time practically stops around him. He starts to slip into Person of Mass Destruction territory when having an emotional breakdown and is strong enough that he effortlessly shatters Jasper (previously shown to be one of the strongest non-fusion gems around, even though just a quartz soldier) on accident when he fully loses control. It makes sense then that most of his role in the season is spent learning how to live in a peaceful universe where there is nobody left to fight since any new villains would have to get some pretty serious power creep to be a believable threat. Case in point, when the time comes to give the show its Final Boss they decided to just let Steven fill that role, with his power growing so far out of control that he transforms into a sort of gem kaiju that can only be defeated with The Power of Friendship.
  • The Sword of Omens from Thunder Cats kept getting new powers so it could be the solution to so many plots as the series wore on that it became this. Even when it was destroyed, they just reforged it again.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Kid Flash, unlike his adult counterpart in Justice League, did not conveniently receive a Nerf. This resulted in him being able to defeat enemies with ease that the actual main characters routinely struggled against. This may also be the reason why in the finale, Kid Flash is the last to actually show up to help.
    • Raven's powers are massively more diverse and generally stronger than those of her teammates. Consider how many episodes have to either separate her from the group or remove her abilities altogether; when she does cut loose, she tends to end the events and the battles regarding them in about ten seconds.
  • The Mask:
    • In effect, Loki's Mask could potentially be this, but with it being an Imagination-Based Superpower, could render the episode over in a few seconds, but because it's dependent on who's wearing it, e.g. Nice Guy Stanley Ipkiss, in his persona as an Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! Jerk with a Heart of Gold Anti-Hero Troll The Mask, there's things that even he cannot solve. Some individuals who wear it, like Pretorius, the Big Bad of the series, have no imagination and are complete sociopaths, while others, like No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Ross Perot, known only as Government Guy, seen in a Time-Travel Episode, have a lack of understanding of the powers it grants. Other Mask personas tend to have different problems such as Eve is love crazy, Masked Peggy Brandt is egotistical and Masked Dr Neuman is psychotic.
    • The sister mask created by Pretorius in the episode of the same name could be this if not for characters having a Heroic Willpower to stop themselves from being 100% People Puppets by whoever controls the sister mask.
  • Transformers: Prime:
    • This trope is the reason Makeshift got Killed Off for Real during his debut episode. The creators felt his ability to copy the form of any Cybertronian would be too powerful, so after discovering the Autobot base, he went boom.
    • This is also why the Dark Star Saber goes unused and unmentioned throughout most of season 3. Megatron was already dramatically more powerful than everyone else, with the exception of Predaking and the upgraded Optimus who he winds up using the blade against in the finale.
    • Even before that, the Star Saber was immediately broken after its debut episode, since it gave the Autobots an advantage Megatron was terrified of. It gets repaired in the season finale, but it vanishes from the plot until the finale, and even then it's not wielded properly by a Prime, but it nevertheless is used by Bumblebee to kill Megatron. It briefly appears in the Grand Finale movie, but it's never used again, not even against Unicron.
  • Xiaolin Showdown:
    • The Golden Tiger Claws lets its user to slash open a portal to anywhere the user wants to go. When Katnappe got a hold of them she curb-stomps the Xiaolin Dragons without much effort. Omi stops her by using the claws to slash a portal to the earth's core and then throw them in so neither side can use them. They eventually got retrieved when the Xiaolin Dragons have to use them to defeat Mala Mala Jong but after that point both teams became powerful and skilled enough where the claws don't make as much of a difference in battle.
    • The Shard Of Lightning - which stops time entirely - gives Jack the ability to not only curbstomp the heroes within seconds, but totally humiliate them at any given time, steal the Shen Gong Wu whenever he wants, and basically defeat any opponent without needing any help whatsoever. As he would have become totally undefeatable if he had held onto it, he manages to lose in the end and it's locked away in the vault where no one can abuse its power. This is basically how the show gets rid of every game breaker Shen Gong Wu: lock it away for the benefit of the world, just in case it somehow ends up in the wrong hands.
    • The Reversing Mirror, mostly due to its having a myriad of uses and little downsides. It can reflect attacks magical or otherwise, it can cause attacks to have the opposite effect, it can override the effects of near any Shen Gong Wu just by being in the vicinity, it can change things that have nothing to do with Shen Gong Wu to their opposite, and can be used in conjunction with Shen Gong Wu most famously by bringing a ghost to life. Pretty much every time it's used by someone with a bit of cunning, the results are extreme: more usage in the series might have brought about some very interesting techniques, but it also would have likely resulted in its user(s) being basically impossible to attack. So it was only brought out when the plot called for it specifically.
    • The Sphere of Yun imprisons its target in an unbreakable sphere. The first time we see it in use, Jack Spicer - who is THE Harmless Villain - uses it to effortlessly capture Chase Young, the strongest villain in the show. The only way to escape is the aforementioned Reversing Mirror.
    • The Sands of Time. Time Travel. Need we say more? It was disposed of when Omi's 80 year old self took it with him to his own time. Like the Golden Tiger Claws, it was later retrieved, but then flat-out destroyed soon after. 1500 years ago. Whatever.
    • Wuya at full strength is so powerful, she trounces the Monks with little to no effort, conquers the world in like, an hour and is only beaten by being placed back in Dashi's puzzle box. When she's brought back to life a second time, Chase Young explicitly limits her powers so that she doesn't just invalidate every other villain.
  • Wander over Yonder: Major Threat was the most menacing and powerful Galactic Conqueror who Lord Hater idolized, and for good reason too! He has an array of psychic powers, such as telekinesis which, according to Peepers, is strong enough to crush planets! He also has mass brainwashing and technology manipulation, and in a show filled with villains who use Mooks and spaceships, this is huge. It's a wonder how he didn't just solo Lord Dominator in 'The End of the Galaxy'. The thing that holds him back is Wander having helped him go through a Heel–Face Turn, so he is now a New-Age Retro Hippie who only uses his powers to help people.
  • Young Justice:
    • The entire Justice League is essentially unusable in most circumstances because, as the most capable heroes of the setting, they can solve almost any problem the Team may face. Especially the heavy hitters like Superman and Shazam. Thus, the Team is usually deployed to deal with situations where the League is politically unable to act. In later seasons, many of the League's heavy hitters are off-world dealing with the fallout of Vandal Savage's mind control plot, so the remaining Leaguers are able to be a bit more involved with the plot.
    • Klarion the Witch Boy is an otherworldy demon with almost unlimited magical power. He is actually the most powerful member of The Light by far and the writers tend to only use him as a Deus Exit Machina for Vandal Savage after his initial appearances.
  • The Zeta Project introduces a remote that can control any mechanical device, even Zeta. Eventually, Roe gets her hands on one, but by the end of the episode it is forgotten. And for good reason; if the heroes have one they never have to fight again and if the villains have one they don't need to work to stop the heroes. Ironically, a later episode implied the device was a mass-produced children's toy.


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