Follow TV Tropes


Weaksauce Weakness / Live-Action TV

Go To

Weaksauce Weaknesses in live-action TV.

  • On All That, Superdude... is lactose-intolerant. Even throwing milk on him will send him to the ground, disabled. The bulk of his rogues' gallery is dairy-related: Butter Boy, Yo-Girl, Cow-Boy, the Dairy Godfather, and his Arch-Nemesis Milkman. His one foe without quick access to lactose, the Evil Superdude, is assisted by a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! moment when confused bystanders use a pitcher of milk to Spot the Imposter.
  • Advertisement:
  • On The Boys, Black Noir for all his abilities is severely allergic to tree nuts. While he can shrug off multiple close-range IEDs without even flinching, all it takes to down him for the count is to force-feed him some nuts. Queen Maeve does exactly this to save Starlight from him, by shoving an Almond Joy in his mouth and calmly kicking his Epipen out of reach while he gasps and convulses on the floor.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Turned on its head by the Gentlemen, who die instantly upon hearing a human scream. Because of this, they steal the voices of everyone in Sunnydale, making themselves essentially invincible and all the creepier — they're cutting your heart out and you can't scream!
  • Doctor Who is renowned for ending its episodes either by Reversing The Polarity or exploiting the latest Monster of the Week's Weaksauce Weakness.
    • The most famous example is the Cybermen and their allergy to gold, which underwent a Power Creep, Power Seep, slowly going from "gold dust can gum up the works" to "touch gold, die screaming." It eventually led to "Silver Nemesis" and the hilarious scene of Cybermen being stopped by gold coins and a slingshot. At the time a popular joke was that in their next appearance, just saying the word "gold" to one would kill it. This was quietly ignored in later episodes, since those Cybermen came from an Alternate History (though a Continuity Nod was made in a tie-in website which stated that said Alternate History Cybermen did initially have an "allergy" to gold, but it was eliminated by R&D). No-one has actually tried using gold on them yet... As of "Nightmare in Silver", it is revealed that the weakness to gold wasn't due to hardware but, somehow, software problems!
      • The new Cybermen don't have it much better. Their weakness is being given back their emotions; they fry when the humans they're made from enter What Have I Become? mode. The Doctor really hates doing this because it's turning them back into real people who promptly suffer Death by Despair at the horror of their situation. What makes it weaksauce is that it gets easier and easier to do: "emotions removed" seems to mean "everyone's emotions suppressed by a single Emotion Suppress-O-Tron". If you point a sonic screwdriver at the right doohickey in a Cyberman-run facility — and getting into position to do this takes less fuss with each encounter — an entire invasion force winds up clutching its heads and falling dead. At least with the old ones, you'd run out of coins to slingshot eventually. If that incident was the lowest the Cybermen fell in the old series, in the new series it must surely be "Closing Time". A guy thinking about his love for his child as he was being converted caused all the Cybermen to fall apart and their ship to EXPLODE.
      • The Cybermen had a wide variety of one-episode weaknesses in the original series, including radiation, cold, plastic, bullets (yes, really) and nail varnish remover.
    • Advertisement:
    • Daleks are famed for their inability to climb stairs, though this was never established in the show. However, they could be blinded by obscuring their rather obvious eyestalks, or incapacitated by pushing them over. One '60s story even sees a Dalek defeated by pushing it so it faces a wall and then piling rocks around its base to stop it moving. In their very earliest appearance they could only operate by absorbing static electricity, preventing them from leaving their city. This was later ignored, even in "Genesis of the Daleks", which was set earlier. Over time, they became far more credible foes. They were actually shown climbing stairs in 1988's "Remembrance of the Daleks" (much to the Doctor's horror). In the new series, they can not only hover but swoop around like crazy ("EL-E-VATE!!"), remove foreign substances from their eyestalk lens (much to Wilfred's chagrin), and incinerate humans on touch.

      Their main weakness now seems to be ignorance, given that the Doctor convinced them a Jammie Dodger was a TARDIS self-destruct device. This only worked because the Doctor threatened to "use it" if the Daleks present tried to scan it to verify his claim. Considering Daleks probably haven't got any clue about Earth biscuits, it's likely a case of uninformed cautiousness.
    • Advertisement:
    • The Doctor has one of his own: aspirin.
    • The Doctor's sonic screwdriver "doesn't do wood", in that it can't help much against wooden latches and other such things. Several people have lampshaded that this means it's useless as a screwdriver. It also can't overcome a "deadlock seal", and can be deactivated by some hairdryers.
    • The Sensorites, from the classic-era first season. Afraid of darkness and loud noises. They panicked if you turned out the lights (we're not talking pitch-black darkness, either — half-lit darkness a person with modest night vision could navigate was enough) and could occasionally be cowed into submission by raising your voice.
    • "Image of the Fendahl" had the Fendahleen (but not the Fendahl Core) defeated by rock salt. Of course, the application of the rock salt involves a shotgun to the throat, which is bound to sting a bit.
    • The Slitheen, due to their bodies consisting mostly of calcium, messily explode if acetic acid comes into contact with their skin, no matter how little. Cue the squirt guns filled with vinegar. Or, to be specific, pickle juice. However, it is implied in the first episode showing this, "World War Three", that this is only effective if the Slitheen in question has recently been using a body-compression disguise, as it weakens their physical structure.
    • "Tooth and Claw" directly addresses the trope: When Rose wonders how the werewolf, a creature powered by moonlight, can be killed by... moonlight, the Doctor points out that she's 70% water, but can still drown.
    • "Blink" has creatures that can, when no-one's looking, move faster than Jack Harkness confronted with a twelve-step program. When seen, however, they can't move. The episode plays this up for Nightmare Fuel, as you have to blink sometime... On the other hand, their biggest weakness is being tricked to look at each other. Apparently, a video recording of an Angel is an Angel in itself. The problem is, if you keep staring at it, it'll eventually download into your brain. That weakness? It's just another trap. Everyone knows to keep their eyes on them, but if you stare into the abyss long enough...
    • "The Fires of Pompeii" has the Doctor fighting seven-foot rock beasts with a water pistol... and winning. Well, irritating them into backing off, not killing them.
  • When an episode of Extras featured the filming of a mock Doctor Who episode, this very trend was parodied with a giant slug who was vulnerable to table salt — which he conveniently kept on his desk, just within reach of the Doctor. It's a reference to Colin Baker's first serial, "The Twin Dilemma", where the Doctor really does fight a giant slug. In the novelisation, the Doctor briefly wonders where he could find a lot of salt, before dismissing the idea.
  • In Earth: Final Conflict the Atavus have a Healing Factor that makes them hard to kill. However, partway through Season 5 it's reveled that they are weak to cold temperatures.
  • In Farscape, Sebaceans are slowly incapacitated by higher temperatures; by higher temperatures, we mean "sweaty but bearable" by human standards. This hits recurring villain Scorpius particularly hard, since as a Scarran/Sebacean hybrid, he has both the crippling heat weakness and glands in his body with no function beyond generating massive quantities of heat, forcing him to insert cooling rods into his brain.
  • The alien "Gua" in First Wave turn out to be badly affected by salt. It affects them roughly like heroin affects humans. One episode featured renegade Gua hiding out in a derelict building snorting packets of McDonald's salt. This is the same series where the hero fought the alien invasion using the lost diaries of Nostradamus, so... Also, technically, we never see an actual Gua. They're husks—cloned human/Gua hybrids. It's possible that actual Gua are immune to salt but happen to be crappy genetic engineers.
  • Heroes:
    • Sylar could be reduced to a writhing, quivering lump with the use of a tuning fork after acquiring Dale's super hearing (though Dale was the same way). This no longer affected him after he lost almost all his powers in the second season.
    • Similarly, Elle possesses powerful electrical powers, but because of them can be incapacitated by a bucket of water, which shorts the circuit and fries her with her own powers if she tries to use them.
  • Kamen Rider
    • The original series featured the monster Hitodenger, a starfish-fossil monster whose main gimmick is that his skin is harder than steel, rendering him immune to Kamen Rider's attacks. However, if he gets wet his body absorbs the water, softening it to the point of extreme vulnerability. Let that sink in for a minute... a starfish who's weak against water, as in the thing that starfish naturally live in.
    • The True Final Boss of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid proves immune to all of the heroes' attacks, regardless of how strong they are or how many dozens of levels they've gained. However, he's a Fusion Dance between two other villains, one a human and the other a Bugster, which Emu realizes just makes him a bigger, tougher version of the Bugster Unions from the first few episodes of the show. Sure enough, he has the same weakness: he can only be damaged by someone at Level 1 (as in, the then-long-unseen joke chibi forms of the Riders.)
  • Sportacus, the superhero of LazyTown, becomes helpless if he eats things with sugar, like candy. However, it may be that he's actually weak to processed sugar, as he can eat (and in fact gets stronger from eating) fruit, which also contain sugar.
  • In Lost Girl, as a wolf-Fae, Dyson is very strong with excellent senses. These senses can be thrown off by kitty litter. Bo is appropriately incredulous.
  • The new version of the Putty Patrol in season two of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers were stronger than their predecessors... but the Z logo on their chests is their power source, and hitting it causes them to fly apart. It is also honking big. This rendered the new Putties the weakest grunts ever. In one episode, children (only some of which were de-aged Rangers) dealt with them using a ball.
  • The Magicians: It's a fairly common weakness of magic-users in fiction that any damage to their hands and fingers will greatly limit their ability to cast spells, but this show takes it one step further: even if the hands are instantly restored to their full physical functionality, the magician will still be unable to cast for the time being. When Eliot's hands were broken, they were healed but he was warned not to cast spells right away or else he'll injure them again, and when Alice's fingers were cut off on her right hand in the final season, they were magically reattached and even though her hand was physically fine at that point, she lost the ability to cast with it. This hinders her for the rest of the season and it's heavily implied to be permanent.
  • Misfits:
    • In season one, Kelly can't read minds unless the person is thinking something about her. She advances beyond this weakness by episode 5. But in season 3, her new power, rocket science intelligence, is useless because of her "chavvish" personality.
    • In season one, Simon's invisibility won't work if someone is looking directly at him and he notices. Also in said season, he randomly turns invisible whenever he feels ignored.
    • In perhaps the most annoying example, Curtis cannot use his time control power at all unless he feels intense regret or fear. This means if someone important dies, he has to either witness it or cause it in order to undo it. It's speculated that he gets over this weakness in episode six of season two. This also happens to be his Berserk Button. He's annoyed by this weakness just as much as we are.
    • His new power he gained to become a woman, comes with every disadvantage a dirty Hormone-Addled Teenager could come up with.
    • Then after trading THAT power, he gets the power to resurrect the dead, which seems good, but results in an eventual zombification.
    • Alisha's weakness is her power itself: people want to have sex with (or rape) her the second they touch her, and don't even remember it afterwards.
    • A dangerous mind-controlling villain cannot control minds unless her victims can hear her.
    • A shape-shifting villain feels incredible pain anytime she shapeshifts.
    • A villain of the week turns out to be allergic to peanuts, which gets cranked up to Mundane Made Awesome levels and treated as a Kryptonite Factor in the confrontation.
  • In the non-canon Murdoch Mysteries Halloween Episode "Sir. Sir? Sir!!!", the alien bodysnatchers turn out to be vulnerable to alcohol. However, Crabtree gets turned before he can take advantage of this discovery.
  • The alien "Frogs" (who despite the name look more like humanoid Energy Beings) in Raumpatrouille are immune to hard vacuum and the beams of the human protagonists' energy weapons pass right through them when they're encountered for the first time on the space station MZ-4 in the pilot episode. What kills them in short order once their unprotected bodies are exposed to it? Oxygen. What keeps this weakness from being completely ridiculous in at least that episode is that they've already vented the station's entire atmosphere into space and wrecked the life support system beyond repair, so the two Orion crewmembers trapped with them have to improvise (and get them all right the first time, too, because the same trick might well not work twice).
  • Smallville:
    • Aquaman's guest appearance explained that he needed to be constantly wet or otherwise have a glass of water or he loses his immense strength and begins to wither. Considering he has had plenty of his own superpowered problems, this is especially glaring.
    • Kryptonite is so common that Clark would almost be better off powerless. Especially problematic in the earlier years when his "monsters of the week" got their powers FROM kryptonite.
    • This (unbelievably large amount of Kryptonite on Earth) even made Ultraman flee his own reality because everyone had it and wouldn't hesitate to use it against him.
  • The classic Star Trek episode "Day of the Dove" features an Energy Being which feeds on negative emotions, and so causes total chaos on the Enterprise by provoking conflict in order to feed on it. Kirk eventually figures out that the alien can be driven off by peace.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • In an episode, the crew deals with a hostile silicon-based lifeform that draws its energy from light. They subdue it by turning the ship's interior lighting off.
    • In another episode the Captain finds an ancient Vulcan artifact believed to be some kind of superweapon. By that time he has realized its critical weakness—it can only kill people who have violent thoughts. Remaining calm renders it ineffective — even Worf is able to counter it using this method. However, this is an intentional design feature of the weapon - it was built to end conflict, not prolong it. The goal of the designers was that ultimately the weapon would be rendered useless when their people learned to be peaceful.
  • Supernatural:
    • Ghosts don't like salt. This Truth in Television, or as close as you can get: A book on ghosts states that they actually can't stand salt. If you sprinkle some on your doorstep, they can't get in your house. It's supposed to be pure.
    • The Fair Folk are also weak against salt, sugar, or any granular substance. If some is spilled, they have to stop and count each piece. After losing a fight against one, Sam simply says "Why didn't I do this earlier?" and opens the capsule of salt he had on him.
    • For some reason the Leviathans are harmed by Borax, a chemical you can find under the kitchen sink. Interestingly, this might be one of the reasons why the Leviathans targeted America first, since Borax is also used as a common food additive in every country except America. So in other words, the rest of the world is literally Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth!
  • The Busters of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters each have a weak point. Ryuuji (Blue Buster) and Yoko (Yellow Buster) have relatively reasonable and easily dealt with weaknesses, but Hiromu (Red Buster) freezes (to the point of hanging in mid-air) if he gets scared. Which wouldn't be too bad, since he's rather fearless, in general. Unfortunately, he has an extreme phobia of chickens — even seeing a cartoon chicken, or hearing the word is enough to lock him down for a while. This happens in battle multiple times. His Buddy Roid partner, Cheeda Nick also has a terrible sense of direction. (Which wouldn't be so bad if Nick didn't turn into Hiromu's bike.)
    • Power Rangers: Beast Morphers changes this up quite a bit. Ravi (Ryuuji's counterpart) and Zoey (Yoko's counterpart) have equally similar reasonable and easily dealt with weaknesses, Devon (Hiromu's counterpart) freezes up at the sight of a dog. All of these are due to Evox's presence in the Morphing Grid still present when the trio became Power Rangers, thus the animal DNA they were bonded with also mixed in their base weaknesses.
  • One episode of The Twilight Zone features aliens that can't stand the harmonica.
  • V (1983): The aliens are vulnerable to certain inoffensive bacteria that live in the human digestive tract. It backfires later on.
  • Rangers had a sister series, VR Troopers that had their own Mooks with a bad weakness. The Skugs could be defeated by touching each other.
  • "The enemy of all magic" for the Wizards of Waverly Place is... wait for it... plastic! The villain of the week even manages to take over WizTech by filling the place with plastic balls. Considering how ubiquitous the stuff is in the mortal world, it's a wonder magic works at all. In later seasons, all spells can work through phones. Explain that.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: