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Just one out of many reasons why having a Secret Identity would suck.

  • In Adventure Time: Banana Guard Academy, Punch Bowl's backstory is a parody of Kool-Aid adverts that shows how annoying a party-obsessed bowl of punch would actually be.
  • Afterlife with Archie:
    • Everyone (except for Reggie) easily accepts Kevin's sexuality. Nancy is convinced she and Ginger wouldn't be as accepted as a well-off white boy and that's largely why they are closeted.
    • Sabrina ignoring her aunts' warnings and using her magic however she pleases is usually treated lightly in her source series. Normally there are no lasting consequences and she simply gets a minor punishment, if any at all. Here it causes a Zombie Apocalypse and her Aunts respond by turning into horrific monsters and banishing her to purgatory while taking her mouth away so she couldn't plead with them. Moreover, it's revealed that her reckless use of magic summons Cthulhu.
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  • Age of Reptiles: In Ancient Egyptians, when the male Spinosaurus encounters the previous chicks of the female, he immediately goes into Kill 'Em All mode on them, as this is what a male trying to bring a female to season in real life would do.
  • Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld: While Amethyst's heroics are loved by people in her 2020 solo, her actions make delicate diplomacy with Dark Houses she keeps picking fights with a nightmare, to the point her own mother considers her a political liability. Torquoise is her only political ally and is constantly pressured by other houses to stab her in the back.
  • Astro City:
    • In the 1950's, a reporter sees a fantastic battle of the Honor Guard and some cultists. However, his editor keeps cutting down the story because he can't prove any of it and the Honor Guard not talking about it. Thus, the tale simply becomes a report on a frozen shark derailing a train. When he become editor himself, the reporter admits his boss was right on not printing what can't be backed up by facts.
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    • The comic defies Comic-Book Time by having characters age and heroes often forced to retire. One story arc has Crackerjack and Quarrel, two regular, non-powered street fighters, forced to acknowledge that in their 40's, they're not as physically capable as they once were.
    • In a shot on the Silver Age "Lois and Superman" stories, Irene Merryweather is obsessed with proving that her co-worker Adam Peterson is the famous superhero Atomicus. Finally fed up with his games, Irene publicly pulls Adam's shirt off to reveal his costume. Atomicus is enraged, erupting on how all he wanted was a quiet and normal life, and leaves Earth. Irene realizes too late this was never a "game" to him and her own career suffers driving a hero off the planet.
    • A thief finds himself using a magic talisman to bond with his pet dog into a dog-themed hero. Sadly, the magic does not extend the dog's lifespan as, after a decade, the owner realizes his beloved pet is reaching the end of his life.
    • A lawyer is given the impossible task of defending an obviously guilty mobster. He hits upon the novel defense that in a world of evil twins, shapechangers, mind-controllers, and even people coming back from the dead, is there such a thing as "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?" However, it gets flipped around at the end of the story, where the now-retired lawyer notes that "the law caught up" and the trick wouldn't work in the present day, since the defense would need proof of superhuman or otherwordly shenannigans for such claims to be taken seriously.
    • One issue shows how many people with superpowers, rather than put on a costume and fight/commit crimes, prefer to live quiet and normal lives.
  • Atomic Robo:
    • Louis and Martin's reckless approach to their scientific endeavors gets them into serious trouble every time. The first time they almost destroy the world, they're simply Reassigned to Antarctica, but the second time, they end up doing the same thing and getting sixty people killed at the same time, so it's off to jail forever for them.
    • Task Force ULTRA have zero specialists or scientific knowledge, relying entirely on stolen tech that they do not (and never did) understand themselves, and they throw themselves into the Biomega conflict of The Ring of Fire with zero effort to actually gather intel about the opposition first. Their anti-Biomega taskforce was annihilated with contemptuous ease, with a final kill count of zero. On top of that, their public actions have destroyed their reputation with the American public and have caused several international incidents. By the end ULTRA finds itself having to defend its actions before congress, and are very close to being shut down entirely.
  • In The Beano's 60th anniversary issue, Tim Traveller goes back in time to 1938 to try and get a cheap copy of issue 1. Unfortunately, it turns out they had different money in 1938.
  • The Boys is a massive Deconstruction of the underlying corporate nature of superheroes and the comic book industry, and of the idea of Silver Age-style superheroes existing in real life. The superheroes in this setting were raised from birth with everything handed to them on a silver platter from Vought-American. Because of how Merchandise-Driven superheroes by nature are, spoiling them with all the wealth in the world is pretty much all Vought can do to make sure they don't one day go off the deep end. That being said, the superheroes, as a result of all the power they've been given right from the moment they were born, end up sociopathic, immature, spoiled, and utterly hedonistic—fixated only on their own individual satisfactions without much regard for the innocents whose lives are in their hands. What's even worse is that since superheroes are such a massive investment and turn in extremely huge profits, Vought's management is very much willing to do whatever they deem necessary to ensure their business remains afloat.
    • The events of 9/11 unfolded differently in this setting; the President listened to the CIA's suspicions of an impending terrorist attack and ordered the planes to be shot down, but Vought-American called off the jet that would have shot down one of the ones heading for the World Trade Center so they could have The Seven save it as part of a publicity stunt. What happened next shows exactly what would happen if a Justice League-esque superhero team tried to stop a midair plane hijacking; The Seven had no plan beyond "enter through the forward doors", resulting in the death of one of their teammates and the plane smashing into the Brooklyn Bridge, which ends up doing even more damage to New York than the loss of the World Trade Center and kicks off the comic's plot.
    The Legend: They ain't trained for this, see. They ain't practiced. They don't know shit about hijackin', or hostage situations, or how a goddamn plane flies through the air... They ain't even got a plan. They just think— We're The Seven. We're super. We can do this. […] You imagine how things'd be right now if the assholes'd manage to land that 'plane? But instead... Well. That's what you get when a bunch of fucks in tights try to save the goddamn day.
  • In Common Grounds, a fight between a superhero and supervillain ends up killing a civilian caught in the crossfire. The result is both hero and villain getting arrested and sentenced to prison for manslaughter. After they get out, the hero ends up homeless and struggling to find employment, as it's difficult for ex-cons to get jobs.
  • In Crossed a band of survivors is trying to stay undetected while a large group of the infected psychopaths are in the area. One survivor asks a soldier in the group if he can just snipe them down from a distance. The soldier informs her that this isn't the movies where magazines are bottomless and shooters are uncannily accurate. He only has half a magazine left in his rifle, and even if every shot was a hit and every hit was a kill, he can't take them all out.
  • A common situation with superheroes since the end of the Silver Age. It's resulted in some great stories, but falls flat a lot of the time. The problem being that some of the basic tenets of superheroes, namely the ones that require a greater suspension of disbelief, have to be kept in order for the genre to work.
  • In Dark Horse's Conan the Avenger, the main protagonist's allies attempt to pull some Slave Liberation by assaulting a slave-trading hub, killing all slavers, and freeing the prisoners. Their glory is short-lived as a massive military force is assembled from warring city-states that joined forces to destroy them, as this attack is a massive disruption to their economy. Trying to go around freeing slaves by kicking ass and taking names like Daenerys Targaryen will only get a massive army breathing down your neck.
  • Danger Girl: In Back in Black, Sydney Savage learns the hard way that a zipped-down corset is not the best attire for motorcycle riding.
  • In Dastardly & Muttley real world is being transformed into the one of a cartoon. Toon Physics are treated as Body Horror and behavior out of a Zany Cartoon causes total chaos and panic especially after the president of the United States gets affected.
  • Diabolik examples:
    • Kidnappings are almost always incredibly traumatizing, even when the victim knows they'll get out without a scratch.
    • Diabolik is incredibly feared, to the point he earned such fully justified names as King of Terror, Murderer with a Thousand Faces, and many others. When he's arrested, the terror he caused leads to a Kangaroo Court by complete accident, as the judge and the public are terrified and want a scapegoat (even if he's actually guilty) and his court-assigned lawyer too is too scared to do a good job, and he's sentenced to death even if there wasn't enough evidence yet.
      • Also, having a famous criminal being sentenced to death in a Kangaroo Court is liable to be a formidable occasion for activists to demand a retrial to have him sentenced to life in jail... But, considering the evidence that popped up after the trial, the judge refuses.
    • Elisabeth Gay's descent into madness is all about this: spending months with your fiancée, then getting him arrested and finding out he's the King of Terror by accident took a heavy toll on her psyche, and finding out he was about to dump her like all her previous boyfriends pushed her over the edge.
    • Diabolik only uses knives and various gadgets, but finds guns too noisy for his stealthy modus operandi. A man with a gun could easily kill him, and the only reason nobody did it yet is that he's smart enough to know it and make sure nobody gets a clear shot.
    • Diabolik never reuses a gadget or plan, with the only exceptions of his knives, needle launchers for poisoning or putting someone to sleep and his trademark perfect masks. That's because he knows that the next time the police will be ready for it... As shown by the police having the habit of pinching someone's face to check for masks once they found out about them and often wearing protective knife and needle-proof vests and gas masks.
      • Also, the police only recycles their own anti-Diabolik schemes only when they have reason to believe Diabolik didn't realize what happened, as they know that the next time Diabolik will be ready, as shown by the many times Diabolik waltzed through a mask check (always with different tricks of course, as the next time the police will be ready for that one).
    • In a world where only one man can create Latex Perfection, that man is a target for everyone.
  • In Dilbert, the main character joined a society dedicated to the preservation of an endangered squirrel. The idea was to tranq the last male and mate it with the last female.note  Dilbert's team get to work, they fire the tranq from the rifle from a few feet away, there's a Reaction Shot of their Oh, Crap! faces, and then one of them points out that, perhaps, they should've used a smaller dart.
  • Surprisingly enough, the Disney Mouse and Duck Comics tend to do this a lot:
    • On one occasion, Scrooge McDuck and his family ventured into the ruins of an ancient civilization to look for the secrets of their Lost Technology. They find scrolls with all the necessary blueprints and they immediately go home where Scrooge shows them to his engineers... Who proceed to tell him that these designs are nearly identical to their latest project. After all, just because technology is lost, doesn't mean it can't be independently redeveloped later, especially over the course of centuries. Scrooge then destroys the ancient blueprints in anger... And Huey, Dewey and Louie decide not to tell him that he just destroyed ancient documents that prove the high advancement of an ancient civilization that any museum would pay a fortune to purchase.
    • Typically, whenever someone other than Scrooge tries their hand at the "Swim around in money" thing, they just hit their heads while diving onto a pile of metal and fall unconscious, if they're lucky. Coins are very hard, after all. The in-universe explanation for how Scrooge can do it with no ill effect is that he's been diving around in money for so long that his body has just adjusted to it. ("I'll admit, it's a trick!" Scrooge once stated). Granted, this talent has limits. When Scrooge tries it on a giant chest full of silver coins pulled from a sunken shipwreck, he hurts himself because the coins, after centuries in a high-pressure environment, have fused into one solid chunk.
    • The Beagle Boys provide a lot of it:
      • The people of Duckburg often laugh at the Beagle Boys due their repeated failures to rob the Money Bin... not realizing that an independent group of thieves consistently able to pose a serious threat to a fortress defended by incredibly advanced technologies are actually more than formidable at their jobs. Whenever they decide to dedicate themselves to other targets, there's a sudden and unstoppable crime wave that the police simply cannot stop, and more than once Scrooge's business rivals had to beg for his help after the BB started targeting them.
      • A group who dedicates themselves to robbing the Money Bin to the detriment of anything else are incredibly stubborn and determined - hence why they will never use their immense array of technical skills to get honest jobs. They're also the only non-supervillain criminals who still consistently try to fight or run when caught by Paperinik, as they just don't know when to quit.
    • Magica DeSpell is well known in Naples for being a witch, being very attractive, and for living on the Vesuvius. Much to her chagrin, her home is considered a tourist attraction, no matter how many people she turns into frogs for trespassing.
    • Super Goof is Goofy as a Flying Brick. A Klutz with such powers has caused a lot of collateral damage, at least early on.
    • On one occasion, Super Goof was challenged by rival Flying Brick Megatop in a superheroing contest. The challenger was stronger and not a klutz... and had only a couple weeks on the job, and Super Goof outperformed him with ease in all three tasks:
      • When it came to catch two "criminals", Super Goof casually arrived on target with ease while Megatop was still accelerating because Goof knew exactly how much speed he needed and when to start slowing down, and only lost that one because the "criminals", being Emil Eagle's henchmen, were on Megatop's side and managed to distract him.
      • The second contest consisted into putting out a burning building. Megatop used his Super Breath... And not only did it not extinguish the flames, they threatened the watching public on the nearby stand- for all of the second it took to Super Goof to carry them away, as he already knew what would happen.
      • The third contest was an all-out battle. At first Super Goof is overpowered, then some rain gives him a moment to recover and reveals that Megatop is actually a robot... And a quick Punctuated Pounding later, Megatop is decapitated.
    • Mickey is quite the fighter for his small size. As his usual opponent in a scuffle is Pete, who is much taller and tough, it rarely goes well for him.
      • On the other hand, years of getting into fights with Pete mean he's formidable against less tough opponents.
    • John Rockerduck eats his hat every time he's defeated by Scrooge. After a while, it became known he's having stomach issues from all the hats he's eaten.
    • Paperinik New Adventures:
      • Before this series, Paperinik started out as a vigilante who avenged himself by committing what were effectively crimes, and never lost his sadistic streak or habit to ignore the rules to do the right thing. With a past like this one, a charismatic and cunning journalist like Angus Fangus can ruin his reputation with ease, and the Time Police, who knows he's a hero, doesn't trust him anyway because they expect him to screw up the space-time continuum by doing anything that he believes is the right thing (and they're right).
      • The job of the Time Police is to prevent alteration to the space-time continuity. This means that not only they won't lift a finger to prevent a cold fusion experiment from going awry and nuking Duckburg, but when it's actually prevented they send an assault squad to cause it anyway, only relenting when attempts at causing it anyway start risking to cause even more alterations.
      • Altering history by changing a single event almost invariably has unforeseen consequences. Examples shown are the Organization sending an operative to kill Paperinik while ruining his reputation spiraling out into the Time Police being disbanded and the Organization being taken over by two artificial intelligences, an attempt at preventing an experiment that could destroy the entire space-time continuum ends up getting it to start earlier so the mysterious saboteurs won't ruin it, Paperinik preventing the destruction of Duckburg apparently gave the Evronians a chance to recover from the destruction of their empire, and Paperinik preventing the Alpha Spore from taking Ur-Evron as a host and become the first Evronian results in the event happening anyway and the successful Evronian conquest of Earth. In the reboot, a group of Evronians stealing a time machine and preventing the founding of their arch-enemies, the Guardians of the Galaxy, causes the Evronian Empire to demilitarize, with the only alteration that does exactly what is supposed to be is Odin Eidolon kidnapping Trip, the son of the Raider, so he won't grow up to be the Organization operative that ruined Paperinik's reputation and nearly killed him, and that's because kidnapping him at the precise time he did got the Raider to abort the mission in which he died to track his son down. In fact time criminals are wary of altering history precisely because they know the risks (even inventing a device to change history without unforeseen consequences for when they decide they have to), as the owner of the time machine stolen by the Evronians gloated about The Butterfly Effect when they found out of the consequences of their actions.
      • The Evronian invasion appears to be prevented entirely by Paperinik. It's later shown that the interstellar empire with vast armies and advanced technology simply has bigger fish to fry (including Xadhoom) and can't spare the resources to assault Earth directly and its massive nuclear arsenal, and all Paperinik is doing is (barely) preventing a sliver of their forces from establishing a bridgehead on a single planet. In fact, in one of the few times the Evronians play for keeps, an antiquated and run down cruiser (by Evronian standards) decimates the full force of Earth's most advanced military, and doesn't finish the job only due to the antimatter alternator breaking down.
      • The antimatter alternator of the Evronian cruiser mentioned above would often make an annoying noise, and the assigned technician would "fix" it by punching it so often he's taken to call it "standard procedure". As said above, the antimatter alternator broke down the first time it actually had to supply a large amount of energy, crippling the ship until the alternator is dismantled, has all the broken down parts identified and replaced, and is finally reassembled and mounted, something that takes a whole day.
      • The Evronians power many of their machines with emotional energy. This means they have to continuously invade new worlds to keep their civilization running, and even then their energy situation is so desperate that their plan to deal with Xadhoom's vendetta against them is to try and turn her into an energy source.
      • The Evronians are Emotion Eaters who use guns that fully drain the emotions of a victim, turning it in an emotionless slave, but Earthlings are so emotionally rich that a single shot often isn't enough, and they can fully recover if given time. To the Evronians, this means that Earth is a plentiful banquet and an alternative solution to their energy crisis if that aformentioned plan with Xadhoom doesn't work out.
      • When Everett Ducklair invented what would become Paperinik's PKar he made it run on monomethylhydrazine, the same fuel as the Space Shuttle. When Paperinik has to leave the Ducklair Tower and loses One's support, usage of the PKar diminishes because he can't make the fuel at home and doesn't have the kind of support network to buy it. Ultimately Paperinik switches back to the 313-X in the PKNE revival stories, as that one runs on gas.
  • In Earthworm Jim, A giant snowman appears and attempts to attack Earthworm Jim, but then it immediately melts because it showed up in a fiery place. This was lampshaded by Jim afterwards...
    Jim: He had a snow-ball's chance in a hot place... like a desert or Venus or something.
  • Mark Waid's Empire revolves around a Lex Luthor-style supervillain named Golgoth finally managing to unite his fellow supervillains and taking over the world. After he does so, he proceeds to learn the hard way that his supposed allies are far more of a threat to him than the heroes ever were. They all wanted to take over the world too and are all just as amoral as Golgoth, so he's now constantly fighting off rebellions and assassination attempts, all while hopelessly trying to keep his court under control.
  • Empowered:
    • Amusingly one of the first times Empowered comes across as actually being badass. She points out, quite effectively, that driving an SUV at 75 miles an hour into a villain's back is much more effective than hitting him with a thrown one at about 5 miles an hour. This allows her to defeat a villain that the entire superhero squad she's a Butt-Monkey for was defeated by. Unfortunately, the car is totaled, leaving her tied up and unable to brag, and her superhero squad walks off, assuming they and the villain knocked each other out. (Forgetting about Empowered in the process.)
    • A super-doctor explains to Emp in no uncertain terms that despite the fact that most heroes have some flavor of Super Toughness, they still have a very high chance of accumulating severe brain damage due to constant low-level head injuries; they are specifically compared to professional athletes and soldiers, who have similar problems. In fact, supers are the only demographic besides infants who suffer from "shaken baby syndrome," due to super-strong enemies throwing them across the city like a ragdoll.
  • In FoxTrot, Jason spends the cash prize from a chess tournament on gumballs. The next time he goes to the dentist, he has cavities.
  • Ghostbusters (IDW Comics): Gozer tries to open the chamber where his essence was trapped in by the ghostbusters while possessing Ray. The door has a palm reader, so it should work... except Gozer causes Transformation Horror on his victim, so his hand is bony and calloused and not very Ray-like at all.
  • In Grimm Fairy Tales, Mercy Dante is a young woman whose parents were killed by a hitman when she was a child. Years later, she tracks down the hitman and finds out that he's retired and now has a young daughter named Trisha. Mercy kidnaps Trisha and then forces her father to watch as she shoots the girl in the head, killing her. When Mercy next appears many issues later, we see that revenge has brought her absolutely no comfort, as she's now wracked with guilt over having slain an innocent child. She ends up being given a second chance after being sent back to the day she killed Trisha, and this time, she opts to let her go.
  • This trope occurs frequently in Irredeemable and its sister series Incorruptible.
    • The Plutonian's tragic childhood where he was shuffled and bounced between numerous foster homes was caused by the simple fact that Muggle Foster Parents really wouldn't know how to deal with a kid with superhuman abilities.
    • Another flashback from Plutonian's early teen years showed that he heard his foster mother was about to commit suicide, and got there in a fraction of a second, intending to stop her. But sound takes almost ten seconds to travel two miles. She had already been dead when he heard her.
    • When Plutonian revealed his Secret Identity to his Love Interest, instead of being awestruck by his awesomeness, she's freaked out that he deceived her like that and wants nothing more to do with him.
    • The series' resident Badass Normals are very swiftly killed off by the Plutonian after his Face–Heel Turn. After all, if a Flying Brick with Super Senses who can destroy a full-sized city in less than an afternoon wants you dead, martial arts, nifty gadgets and money won't do jack to save you.
    • Career criminal and major enemy of Plutonian Max Damage resolves to turn over a new leaf after witnessing firsthand the Plutonian's rampage in Sky City. He even goes as far as to torch his wealth and gadgets since it's all in his words blood money. Unfortunately Max not only being a notorious crook for so long but also keeping his pseudonym, appearance, and even sidekick from his life of crime doesn't help to make him more trustworthy in the eyes of not just the public but already established heroes as well. It's not until it looks like he chased Plutonian away from Coalville that he starts to become really accepted by the public. Heel Face Turns flew more smoothly in the Silver Age comics (Hawkeye and Black Widow being key examples), but not anymore after Reality Ensues.
  • Mark Millar does this a lot:
    • An issue of The Ultimates had Batman clone Nighthawk break his ankle trying to pull off a Dynamic Entry by jumping off a building to attack some mooks. The same issue deconstructs the concept of a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits by showing how badly a group of people (The Defenders), inexperienced at superheroing with the exception of one, perform during their first outing as superheroes.
    • In Ultimate Avengers the Nerd Hulk challenges a vampire named Anthony to a fight. Anthony agrees, and Nerd Hulk decapitates him with one punch. Hulk has Super Strength and doesn't have any reason to hold back against a vampire so...
    • The same arc has the introduction of the new Daredevil. After Matt Murdock is killed during the events of Ultimatum, Stick lucks out and finds a young boy named Ray Connor, who has gained similar Super Senses after being blinded in an accident. He trains Ray and makes him the new Daredevil, only for Ray to end up overwhelmed and bitten by a swarm of vampires during one of his first superhero outings. A Kid Hero is still just that, a kid, so tossing them into the thick of battle probably isn't the best idea.
    • Old Man Logan revolves around a Legion of Doom wiping out the superheroes with sheer numbers after all the villains are able to finally put aside the personal differences that keep them apart in the mainstream continuity.
    • A similar 'villain army' plot is central to the comic book series Wanted.
    • Kick-Ass:
    • The second issue of Superior has a kid testing out the superpowers of his favorite Superman Substitute. He attempts to use his "super-breath" to put out a house fire, only to demolish the house and spread the fire over a much larger area.
  • In "Marshal Law Takes Manhattan", a psychotic parody of Daredevil is falling to his death from a skyscraper and manages to grab hold of a flagpole protruding from the building... whereupon the inertia rips his arms off.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (Boom! Studios) adds new nuances to the original series that they were unwilling or unable to add in.
    • Both the early issues and the Necessary Evil storyline deal with the Rangers having to deal with major changes in line up and teamwork (Tommy joining the team and suffering from being The Atoner and Tommy becoming the White Ranger and Adam, Aisha and Rocky replacing Zack, Trini and Jason). The new heroes have trouble getting used to teamwork and the old heroes cannot stand their newbishness as it ruins their cohesiveness.
    • Being set in more modern times and circumstances changing the reasons, Jason, Zack and Trini being sent to a "peace conference" is a cover for becoming the secret Omega Rangers. Thanks to the advent of text messaging and cellphones, the friends must constantly lie and hide where they are from their old teammates. Even more, both Tommy and Lord Zedd accuse the trio of being cowards who ran when Zedd's attacks grew fiercer.
    • While Tommy was Easily Forgiven in the original show, that is not the case here. The public is understandably wary of someone who had attacked their city for months and the team itself is divided on it, Zack in particular calls out Jason for asking Tommy to join the team since he did it without consulting anyone else.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW):
  • The original Mask comics make a big deal of the fact that while whoever wears the titular mask operates under Toon Physics, the same does not extend to anyone else, leading to a large number of grisly deaths as we're shown what really happens when someone gets Squashed Flat or has a hole blown through their chest.
  • Paper Girls: As part of the Deliberate Values Dissonance pertaining to The '80s setting, Mac smokes constantly, despite being a kid. When her friends time travel to 2016 in a later issue, they find out that Mac ends up dying of leukemia in The '90s, almost certainly brought on by her fondness for cigarettes.
  • Powers:
    • The series is essentially a Police Procedural set in a standard superhero setting, as such, the majority of supervillains shown are relatively realistic criminals with some special powers. As such, most supervillains aren't out to rule the world and most of them don't do anything as grandiose as rob banks; the most dangerous supervillain group isn't a Legion of Doom, but a superpowered equivalent to The Mafia; non-violent villains are held in a minimum security prisons, and some of them are happy to snitch; and many known supervillains walk the streets free because there isn’t sufficient evidence to convict them, or they just haven’t been caught recently.
    • In this world, there is a Super Registration Act that prevents people from so much as wearing a costume in public without the proper authorization. After a Superman Substitute goes insane and tries to conquer the world, the act is expanded to ban super-powered beings entirely. The heroes grudgingly accept this and hang up their capes... leaving the regular human authority figures helpless against all the super-powered criminals still active (since they don't really care about breaking the law).
  • Much of the humour of Rat-Man relies on this:
  • Rogue Trooper: While the Genetic Infantry are incredibly skilled and resilient, and have several perks due to their improvements, they are still a light infantry unit. Being ambushed by a conventional unit equipped with better intelligence, good combined arms doctrine, artillery and armor led to what was later known as the Quartz Zone Massacre.
  • In the first Sam and Max comic, they're tied up on top of an active volcano and a husky cult leader intends to kill them. The large amount of heat from the volcano causes the cult leader to spontaneously combust. However, the comic decides to play it off as a Deus ex Machina for the sake of humor.
  • Sex Criminals: The Sex Police aren't actually police. On the one hand, this means that they have no real power to arrest anyone or any kind of legal authority, but on the other hand, they're essentially vigilantes who have no reason to play nice and nobody to hold them responsible for anything.
    • When Susie and Jon tell Ana that they're bank robbers, her response is to tell them to get out- after all, they'd just made her an accessory after the fact, why would she want anything more to do with them?
    • Susie and Jon's crime spree gets a lot of people with orgasm-powers very pissed off at them. Sure, their motives might be good, but they're committing crimes, potentially exposing everyone, and they have little if any sense of restraint- they're a disaster waiting to happen.
  • A one-shot story from The Simpsons comic features Bart, Milhouse, Martin, and Ralph wanting to go to an R-rated movie, but the ticket seller said he could only sell them tickets to a cheesy kids movie. Bart accepts, and he and the rest sneak into the R-rated movie and continue to do so for sometime. Everything goes well until Milhouse revealed their scam, and soon every kid starts buying a ticket to a kiddie film and then sneak into an R-rated one. As a result, mushy kids movies have suddenly become incredibly profitable, and studios react by halting production on films with mature content and crank out the cutesy stuff like there's no tomorrow.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • For the longest time, there were many factions and individuals that, based on their respective showings, could've defeated Dr. Robotnik/Eggman very easily. In particular, the echidna civilizations would've delivered a Curb-Stomp Battle if they fought him. Instead they allowed him to continue since he wasn't a serious threat to them and he kept the other minor threats under control, even though his schemes have endangered them one way or another and he was aware of them from his time in the royal court of Mobotropolis. Eventually, because they gave him free reign to do whatever he wanted, Robotnik was able to improve his technology to the point that, with some minor help, he could attack them directly and raze their civilizations to the ground before they were finally and completely erased from existence.
      • Geoffrey St. John is put on trial for his role in enabling Ixis Naugus' rise to power in Acorn and how he apparently was aiding him for years. He's found guilty... only for King Naugus to use his royal authority (and an article of Acorn law) to pardon Geoffrey. There's no way that Naugus wouldn't use his newfound position as Acorn's king to keep his loyal servant out of prison. Earlier during Naugus' takeover, Sonic learns that the Council of Acorn doesn't appreciate Sonic disrespecting their authority no matter what villain is attacking.
      • In Tails' mini-series, Tails arrives at Downunda with the intent of surprising Robotnik's underboss Crocbot. He gets spotted immediately and is attacked by Wing Dingoes and badly injured, requiring him to be rescued by the local Freedom Fighter group.
      • Silver's Inspector Javert tendencies to persecute and try to kill people he thinks are wrong-doers on questionable evidence, compared to his Easily Forgiven Aesop Amnesia in the games, slowly but surely leaves him on very bad terms with the Freedom Fighters, eventually banished and labelled a fraction of the hero they are by Sonic (who was already having his All-Loving Hero ethics tested sorely at this point). This leads to a sincere Heel Realization by Silver, and while the Secret Freedom Fighter unit take pity and induct him so as to atone, it takes much heavier convincing that Silver has changed for Sonic and the others to forgive him.
      • In the events leading up to the House of Cards arc, Sonic dates Fiona despite full knowledge of Tails' crush on him, and during said arc, when Tails' father is arrested after leading what amounts to an angry mob to Castle Acorn and cause a riot in pursuit of political reform, Sonic tactlessly insults Amadeus' intelligence right in front of Tails, only to be confused when Tails shoots him a Death Glare and walks out of the room; Sonic proceeds to blow off Nicole's insistence that they talk things out because they're "practically brothers". Later, Sonic goes so far as to gloat to Amadeus and Rosemary's faces that even if they are Tails' parents, he grew up with him and is close enough to him that Tails will get over it; he's Instantly Proven Wrong when Tails, who overheard the entire confrontation, finally snaps and physically attacks him, chewing him out for his lack of sensitivity all the while. It goes to show that just because Sonic and Tails are lifelong best friends and surrogate brothers, with Tails being a Hero-Worshipper of him, that doesn't mean they won't have fights or always see eye to eye; they'll have disagreements and tensions like any friends would in real life, and not talking things out will only allow those tensions to fester.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW):
      • In general, the Restoration proves that it's not the Knothole Freedom Fighters through this trope. Amy tries to bring Sonic back into the fold and have him lead the group, but he refuses as it doesn't gel with his carefree, never staying put in one place attitude. When Angel Island is saved, Knuckles immediately abandons the group to be guardian of the Master Emerald again and, by issue #31, Amy is so overwhelmed by the logistics of it all that she tosses the reins to Jewel.
      • After Sonic and Tails beat the Egg Hammers in Issue #1, they look back at the town they just saved and see the damage caused, with some of the townsfolk again panicked. In addition, Tails is still worried about possibly losing Sonic again.
      • In Issue #15, Sonic and Amy explore an abandoned base of Eggman's that the Resistance managed to raid and liberate prisoners from during the war. However, Amy glumly mentions they lost people as well, showcasing that the war against Eggman indeed had causalities on their side.
      • In Issue #22, we see the Resistance HQ can only hold so many uninfected since they're all in a small building and housing millions on people from cities they evacuated. And not surprisingly, miss whomever was infected. One of them manages to get into the base, hiding that the Metal Virus got on him until ultimately he succumbs. This, combined with the Zombot-ified Charmy that Vector and Espio brought in breaking free from his container, ends up infecting the base in no time.
      • In Issue # 25, Starline's attempt to use the Cacophonous Conch to control the Deadly Six fails as he didn’t know the Restraining Bolt only works when it's blown into.
  • In the Star Trek (DC Comics) storyline "Who Killed Captain Kirk?", William Bearclaw is exposed as a Fantastic Racist and, being the last straw, is told by Kirk that he's going to get him transferred to another ship where he won't be trouble for him or others. He attempts to prove his worth by conning a member of a possible suicide mission into swapping with him. He makes it out alive and saves a member of the team in the process... and is chewed out for disobeying a direct order (which was "No, you can't go"). When Kirk fingers him as the culprit to his assassination attempt, no one wants to stand up for him because of his transgressions.
  • In the Pathways story of the Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures comics, a battledroid fighting for the Separatist Alliance steps on a mine but survives the explosion, damaged and now cut off from the hive mind of the Separatist battledroids. With this newfound independence and seeing the carnage around it, the droid runs away from the battle, not wanting to be destroyed; it had never had the choice to fight or live before, and now that it did it chose life.
  • Stray Bullets:
    • Nick runs for sheriff against the unpopular and corrupt Montana, and garners a lot of public support due to his charming persona and promise to bring prosperity back to the town. Just before the election, Montana threatens to kill anyone who doesn't vote for him, and wins in a landslide.
    • Despite her perpetually optimistic demeanor, it becomes increasingly clear in later arcs that the Trauma Conga Line Virginia experienced throughout her childhood (witnessing a murder, dealing with an abusive mother, having her face slashed, losing her father to cancer, having two of her friends die, and getting kidnapped and threatened with sexual assault multiple times) has taken a toll on her and caused a host of mental and emotional issues. The most evident of these is her disturbing propensity to respond to problems (even minor ones) with extreme violence, such as when she almost pulls a knife on Eli's cousin after he insults her. She also displays signs of PTSD, such as sleeping on the floor instead of in her bed.
    • Following the events of Somewhere Out West, Beth and Virginia are hiding out in California after escaping Harry's goons. Despite trying to keep a low profile, Beth's decision to not make Virginia attend school winds up causing problems and getting the police involved, as truancy is still a crime in most of the United States.
    • In Dark Days, Virginia fights tooth and nail to save her friend Bobby from a pedophile named Ron, but is eventually overpowered and knocked unconscious. She may be a Little Miss Badass, but she's also still just a kid trying to beat up a grown man.
    • Also during Dark Days, Beth accidentally shoots a cop while trying to find Virginia. Even though the cop survives and even expresses sympathy for her plight, Killers later reveals that Beth still went to prison.
    • A group of kids steal a gun and decide to fire it, only to immediately injure themselves when they don't properly prepare for the recoil.
    • In Sunshine and Roses, Orson tries to sell his dad's car to pay off Beth's debt, only to be told that won't work because he doesn't have any registration proving it's really his. When he then suggests they sell it to a chop shop, Beth points out that illegal car rings generally steal the cars themselves rather than buy them.
    • After getting hit on the head with a pot, Annie is knocked unconscious and the other characters are unable to revive her. Even though she eventually wakes up, the untreated brain damage remains and later causes her to suffer a stroke.
    • In the same story, Orson kidnaps Annie's cohort Dr. Blumstein in order to force him to treat her. Blumstein is quick to point out that he's merely a reconstructive surgeon with a specialty in cosmetic procedures; brain injuries are completely outside his wheelhouse, and he advises Orson to take Annie to a hospital.
    • Played for Laughs (the Black Comedy kind) when Orson accidentally kills the abusive ex-boyfriend of a burlesque dancer he'd befriended by knocking the man off a balcony:
    Orson: Wow. Who freakin' dies falling one story?
  • In the Mickey Mouse story "Topolino e il serial-ladro", an FBI agent arrives to help the Mouseton police with a particularly high-profile investigation. When she learns that Mickey is not a police officer, she is shocked that the chief of police would allow a random civilian to participate in the investigation and freely roam the police depot unsupervised. She immediately has him thrown out of the building.
    • One European comic has Mickey face an Imp that is a pretty blatant Expy of Mr. Mxyztplk. The entire story is told by Mickey to his therapist - since Mickey is an everyman in this story, not a superhero, the experience left him traumatized and terrified of the Imp's return.
  • In Über, the American superhuman Colossus goes up against his Nazi counterpart Sieglinde. Colossus hasn't been fully enhanced yet, but he's brave, clever and determined... and the fully-enhanced Sieglinde rips him to pieces in a matter of seconds.
  • The Walking Dead breathes this trope:
    • A vast majority of attempts to stop a zombie bite from killing a person via amputating the bitten limb has ended with the person dying anyway due to the resulting blood loss or bacterial infection. One of the only times where it did succeed (with Dale and Connie) was only because the infectee was immediately taken to a sterilized environment and had the limb amputated by someone with extensive medical experience.
    • Rick beats Thomas to a pulp in a blind rage when he finds out he's the one who murdered Maggie's sisters. So severely, in fact, that he damages his own hands and knuckles to the point where he is flat-out told he'll never be able to clench his left hand in to a fist again.
    • Gregory's attempt to kill Maggie fail in part due to him simply not giving her a high enough dose of poison to actually kill her.
  • The Wicked + The Divine: The power and adoration one gets by becoming a god is enough to convince people to do some very horrible things in order to get the chance to ascend. It convinces two fans to try to kill Lucifer, shooting innocents in the progress, and convinced 1830's Inanna to agree to murder her sister's children in exchange for ascension.
    • Most of the gods are not at all happy with their drastically-reduced lifespan, especially poor Minerva, who's 12.
    • Being a god does not mean that you're above the law, as Lucifer finds out. Also, when Laura/Persephone kills Ananke, the other gods' first thought is how they'll stop her from getting convicted for murder.
    • The gods are all teenagers of various ages who have been given vast amounts of power and adoration, who can do almost whatever they want, and who have to deal with the shock of their new identities, their reduced lifespans and their responsibilities on top of all their other problems and already-existing insecurities. The result? Sure, some of them are nice, but a few are complete douchebags.
    • The gods are viewed as entertainers, and most people consider their original personalities to not really matter. As a result, when Tara tries to play her own songs and recite her own poetry instead of just performing like everyone else, the crowd turns on her and she gets so much hate that she gives up and commits suicide by Ananke.
    • Laura becomes Persephone, achieving her every wish, and then has to watch as Ananke, a woman she trusted, kills Inanna- Laura's good friend- and Laura's entire family. The poor girl is so shocked and traumatised that she does almost nothing for days afterwards.
    • Ananke has known the gods for millennia, is the one who helps them ascend, and is trusted absolutely. So she's in the perfect position to stab them all in the back.
  • W.I.T.C.H.:
    • The Guardians of Kandrakar have an easy time against Mooks because of this: their enemies use middle ages meelee weapons, and they wield powerful magic that can strike at distance. For obvious reasons, it's very rare to find a soldier who comes back for a rematch.
    • In a What If? issue they attacked a police van to rescue a friend, thinking it would be no different from the many battles against normal mooks they won, especially as this time it's five of them against two cops... Who have guns. The Guardians are nearly killed.
  • Second Coming:
    • Sunstar and his girlfriend are unable to conceive a child because she is human while he is a Human Alien. Subverted in the end when God blesses them with a child as thanks for being Jesus' friend.
    • Jesus is briefly arrested and put up for psychiatric evaluation when he claims to be the Jesus Christ.
  • Kim Reaper
    • Vol 2 Vampire Island
      • One that pretty much kicks off the story, Beca and Tyler love vampire stories. So Kim takes them to an island to see real ones. But naturally they all realize what a bad idea that was as it's like putting a lamb in a den of wolves. Once the vampires realize they're human, they nearly kill Becka and Tyler, only saved when Charlie helps them until Kim can come back from reaper business.
      • Charlie's backstory had her and Kim do some amateur vampire hunting. Of course, saved for only being armed with stakes, they're not trained in the slightest. When they do stumble upon a group of vampires, they instantly get cold feet and try to back away. Unfortunately Kim stepping on a stick gets the vampires attention, the duo run but end up getting separated in the confusion (being in woods at night didn't help) and Charlie, trying to take a breather ultimately ends up caught, fed on and turned.
      • Charlie escape the island with Kim and her friends. But the realization soon hits everyone that since she's a vampire and the island supplied her blood, she now had to find a new source for it since she pretty much outed herself as a traitor by helping the group. Tyler nearly has to let her bite him until Kim stops them and comes up with an alternative.


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