• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

Charmander demonstrates that sometimes, Scissors Cuts Rock.

A monster whose massive, terrifying appearance is offset by such a massive, terrifying handicap that it rarely presents any actual threat at all. Essentially, they're regular Mooks, just bigger (and slower, much slower). Later, you may encounter fully-powered versions of the Fake Ultimate Mook, or you may fight many of them at once, but a single one is of minimal threat.

Often caused by Statistically Speaking and/or Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors.

For actual bosses, see the Warmup Boss and/or Anticlimax Boss.

Contrast with Giant Mook, which is proportionally stronger because of its size; and the Boss in Mook Clothing. Polar opposite of the Killer Rabbit, which is an extremely cute or otherwise harmless-looking creature that will grin and hand you your ass if given the opportunity. When it comes to Mooks, its opposite is Invincible Minor Minion. Compare Surprisingly Easy Mini Quest for other situations where a tough fight or problem gets resolved with surprising ease. Subtrope of Paper Tiger.

Examples of Fake Ultimate Mook include:

Action Adventure

  • The first boss of any Mega Man X sequel will typically be the largest or second largest boss in the game. And by far the easiest.
  • Mega Man ZX had a giant mechanical snake in the forest as its first boss. Complete with cutscene where it looks even more imposing.
  • The giant monsters in world 4 of Super Mario Bros 3 definitely qualify. Though they tower over the pint-sized Mario, Giant Goombas still die after jumping on them just once.
    • Conversely, you occasionally get swarms of really tiny Goomba which are harder to stomp on and do just as much damage. In Super Mario Bros. 3, however, they usually hide under Brick Block which they also use as a means of offense, or else are dropped by certain types of Paragoomba, in which event they simply hinder Mario's jump.
  • The fake Kraid in Super Metroid. Kraid was the hardest boss in the first Metroid, in Super there is an enemy that looks just like him but isn't challenging at all. Even the proper boss in that game is a warm up boss.
    • The Elite Pirates from the first Metroid Prime game were stupidly easier than the Troopers, or even the regular Pirates. Thermal Visor, lock onto the cannon on their shoulder, fire a Super Missile...splat. Usually dead before they get an attack in. Even if they survive the cannon exploding right against their neck, their only real attack at that point is a shockwave along the ground, which you basically have to have your arms fall off at that exact moment not to be able to jump over.
  • The Giant Smiles in Killer 7 can be considered these, since despite being somewhat annoying, they can be easily dispatched by walking up to them to set them off, then running away and watching as they very slowly topple over and explode.
  • Star Control 2. Just after refueling the Starbase, a big and scary Ilwrath battleship confronts you... with only a skeleton crew and a malfunctioning cloaking device. It's what passed for a ship-to-ship combat tutorial in 1992.
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the first Titan mutant you face is all huge, ugly, super-strong and invincible. He dies after a minute by himself due to imperfections in his mutation process.
  • In certain Kirby games (Squeak Squad and Amazing Mirror, to be specific), there are giant versions of the Waddle Dees. The only way they're more powerful than their smaller kin? You need to hold the inhale button for a second or two to build up enough power to eat one. Oh, and they take slightly more damage to kill any other way--including simply running into them and taking the hit.
  • One of the first levels of Super Mario Galaxy has a Giant Goomba that goes down with one Spin Attack.
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night opens up with the castle entrance, with the first enemies being giant wolves (the Wargs) that are twice the size of Alucard. However, because this is A Taste of Power segment, you kill them all in one hit. Stronger varieties appear much later on, but they're not much of a threat. Dawn Of Sorrow also features them, and they are no stronger than the common axe armours they appear with.
    • Rondo of Blood has giant golems in the first level, which also reappear (with the same sprite, no less) in Portrait of Ruin. They tower above your character and look menacing enough, but they're actually quite easy to kill and slow to attack.
  • The early game bosses and some enemy battleships in Naval Ops: Warship Gunner, suffer similar problems to the EVE example below. A Destroyer with the best engines and as many tri-barreled cannons as it can fit on it will be one of your best ships throughout the game as it can avoid most gunfire and dish it out equally hard in return. And then YOU can become the FUM when you take on enemy carriers, as your lack of AA coverage means small and fast divebombers can hassle you with impunity until you take out the carrier.

Fighting Game

  • The giant Goombas in Super Smash Bros Brawl's Adventure mode. Like the small ones, they are vulnerable to the classic Goomba Stomp...but their size makes them even easier to hit. They DO have to be stomped more than once, but since they don't move a bit after being stomped, it's child play to just stay on top of them until they're damaged enough.
    • Fights against a giant opponent tend to be this. Even if they can potentially hit hard, their size makes them very easy to juggle and it doesn't take much distance to send them flying or falling out of the stage boundaries. Better yet, they still have the same AI as a regular opponent, making it easy for them to simply fall into the pit while trying to land an attack.
  • This is the reason why Kuma/Panda is often regarded as a Joke Character in Tekken; it's big and has long, easy combos, but its limbs are too short to actually reach its opponent.
    • Azazel in Tekken 6 seems to be very difficult to beat...until you realise he is utterly defenseless against flying kicks.
  • All of the Fortress Borgs in Gotcha Force except the Final Boss can be taken down by a single borg of nearly any type with a ranged attack with just a little effort dodging.


  • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, the Cyclopses are really huge, but do relatively small amounts of damage quite a bit less damage than you'd expect... and to add insult to injury, their attacks are easily evaded. Add their low resistance or vulnerability to a Sacred Twin weapon, and they go down like rocks.
    • The fact that they can only use axes also means that they're easy prey for a sword user, especially a blademaster with over 30% crit. (Oh, and if you thought they had trouble hitting most of your units, just wait until you send a sword-user at them.)
      • The fact that they use axes also contributes to that whole "easily evaded attacks" thing, as axes are the strongest, but heaviest and least accurate (physical) weapons in the game. [1] Too bad for the Cyclopses that the power of axes is insufficient to compensate for their surprisingly low Strength... though they do have high Constitution, so it's not like even the bigger axes slow them down much. (But they're already plenty slow and inaccurate without being weighed down by their weapons.)
  • Reapers in X-COM: UFO Defense. They're large and therefore intimidating, but they can only attack in melee and can't fit through most of the doors on the level. Their HP is good enough that six or seven hits from the (infamously awful) basic rifle are needed to bring them down, but their size makes them a relatively easy target for your (also infamously awful) troops. It also roughly quadruples the damage they take from grenades and other explosive weapons thanks to a quirk of the game engine. X-COM being X-COM however, Reapers are still relatively dangerous for an example of this trope, particularly in the early game; its melee attack is a nearly guaranteed One-Hit Kill before you research actual armour, and unlike the alien ranged weapons there isn't a possibility of it missing.
  • In most Star Wars games, the Star Destroyer is a classic one, but by far, Rebellion is the most egregious: An Alliance Escort Carrier armed with five squadrons of X-wings and one of Y-wings can take out nearly any Star Destroyer The Empire throws at you until he gets the TIE Defenders and Executor-class Super Saxton Star Dreadbringers.
    • Was actually quite a balance issue: The Imperials get far more powerful ships to start with, but they're vulnerable to much cheaper hardware that the rebels can mass produce in a hurry. Two Nebulon-B Frigates or a few squads of Y-Wings can trash a Star Destroyer, and the unshielded TIE fighters and Interceptors aren't a huge help. This was one of two things that heavily disadvantaged the Empire in a HQ victory game: if the rebels got lucky and started with a strong enough fleet, they could take Coruscant almost immediately and there was very little the Imperial player could do about it.

First-Person Shooter

  • The helicopter gunship in Level 3 of Perfect Dark 64 can be taken down in just one single blast of a rocket (thankfully displayed by mooks on the office level). The ship (and rocket) belong to a multi-trillion dollar evil corporation. A robotic drone on a later level is invulnerable until you crash a taxi into it.
    • Same could be said for the Skedar after only a few quick glimpses of one a few levels earlier and a cutscene of it knocking down the Carrington Institute's very solid steel door you finally get to fight it only to find out it's just another mook that only takes a few shots to kill.
  • The Hunters in Halo look like they're all that, but can thanks to a mistake in the first game, they go down in one hit to any orange area with a headshot weapon, which they are oh so eager to expose. This was only the first game though, in the second two (plus ODST) they are considerably harder to kill.
    • This mistake was removed in every game after the first (though it was incorporated into the novel based on the first game), and now those enemies are as difficult to face as they should be.
  • With the development of circle-strafing and mouse-aiming, even the mighty Cyberdemon has become this, at least in the original Doom. Later games based on the engine (i.e. Plutonia Experiment, Doom 64) usually used level design (i.e. small rooms, tight corridor mazes) to prevent you from simply circle-strafing him to death.
    • Similarly, in the original Doom the Spider Mastermind (Episode 3 endboss) was far easier to defeat than the Cyberdemon (Episode 2 endboss) not least because Episode 3 allowed the player to use the original BFG. In addition, the Cyberdemon has more hitpoints (4000 vs. the Spider Mastermind's 3000). 3000 hit points, incidentally, is less than the maximum possible damage done on a close-range BFG shot, so unlike the Cyberdemon, the Spider Mastermind can be a One-Hit Kill for a lucky space marine.

Role Playing Game

  • Pokemon has several examples of Pokemon that looks menacing, but ended up being surprisingly underpowered for one reason or another:
    • Onix can usually be fought and captured early on in the games. Though they're towering snakes made out of stone that boasted an incredible 160 Defense stat, but the rest of its stats are surprisingly low that barely reached 50 with the exception of its speed being 70. Further hurting Onix is its Rock/Ground typing; while this type combination is beastly at offense, Onix doesn't have the power to take advantage of that and granting it crippling weaknesses to two common elements; a Grass- or Water-Type attack will usually take it down in one hit if it doesn't have Sturdy. Brock's Onix, in particular, used to be a particularly glaring example in Red & Blue. Level 14, stats just high enough to make it a challenging fight... But a Pidgey spamming Sand attack can make all that negligible due to the fact that its only attacks were Tackle and Bide. Fortunately, Pokemon Gold and Silver introduced its evolution, Steelix, who ditches Rock-type in favor of Steel-type that grants its more resistances as well as turning its crippling Grass-type weakness to being neutral to it and raising its stats to reasonable levels with the exception of its speed that was decreased to 30, turning it to an efficient Stone Wall.
    • Slaking is a regular Pokemon that has an overall stats of 670, the same as the legendary Kyogre and Groudon from the same generation, but its Truant ability makes it unable to move on its every second turn. It's also an unusual mix of Magikarp Power as its pre-evolution, Slakoth has terribly low stats but also has Truant, which Vigoroth loses but regains it upon evolving into Slaking.
    • As a master of the Regi Trio, Regigigas has a massive 160 attack stat, and average 100 in everything else but Special Attack. However, Slow Start halved Regigigas's Attack and Speed for the first five turns every time it switches in, and it's awfully difficult for Regigigas to stay past 5 turns even with its massive bulk.
  • The boss monsters in Final Fantasy Tactics a 2 partially qualify. While they are definitely powerful, their size (3x3 squares) and the fact they can't move makes them drop pretty fast. Especially if a good number of clanmembers have Counter and get an extra hit in everytime the boss uses a bigger attack.
    • This is true for the 3x3 monsters in Jeanne D Arc also. An attack that affects more than one square at once (common for magic-users and spear-wielders) will hit bigger creatures multiple times, doing considerable damage.
    • In Front Mission III, the final battle of Alisa's Story has the Big Bad riding in a ridiculously large wanzer (compared to your party's wanzers). Being so large, he takes up a considerable amount of squares, making him incredibly easy to hit. The boss also doesn't move, and while his HP is fairly high, his defense is laughable.
  • Final Fantasy XII has a kind of early-game enemy called Slavens, which are described as being "beasts of burden gone feral" that are twice as tall as your characters, but that are barely any more dangerous than the wolves or bats from the areas they show up in.
    • The T-Rex you run into in the very first wild area of the game, however, is very much not this trope, which is why the thing doesn't attack first.
  • Final Fantasy X 2 has many of these. The game mostly uses enemies from the previous game, Final Fantasy X, but apparently just scrambled them and used them completely randomly. As such, you'll often encounter menacing enemies early on that not only clash with their surroundings, but take an extra hit to kill at most.
    • Also averted in that you can run into some absurdly powerful monsters early on too. The Macalania woods are a deathtrap at low level, and you can run into a fucking Tonberry amidst Fake Ultimate Mooks in Mushroom Rock Road even at level 2.
  • Final Fantasy XIII has quite a few early on. Somewhat useful for emphasizing the stagger system, in which enemies suddenly become weak if you can keep a good chain of attacks coming.
    • The Centurion enemies you encounter starting at Chapter 10 are a pretty good example. They're big and look very flashy, but are insanely easy to stagger and, due to their size, very easy to get an infinite-air-juggle going on.
  • In Fallout 3, the standard Super Mutants are surprisingly weak; they're armed with slow-firing, inaccurate bolt action hunting rifles, and can be brought down with a handful of headshots from the standard 10mm pistol (the first weapon you get in the game). This is in contrast to the original Fallout series, where even the lowest-level Super Mutants were highly tough bruisers armed with miniguns, and the Super Mutants as a whole were the 2nd most difficult enemy faction in the game (second only to the U.S. Government's Powered Armor stormtroopers). The Super Mutant Brutes and Super Mutant Masters you fight later in Fallout 3 are still pretty tough, though.
    • Ironically, the Hunting Rifles they use are actually good when used with VATS. You can take one down with three rifle shots, and loot their bodies, receiving more ammo than when you started.
    • Enclave Troopers in Fallout 3 are late-game Fake Ultimate Mooks. Compare this to Fallout 2, where Enclave Troopers can cut though even the toughest of the end-game groups.
    • In Fallout 3, there is a Random Encounter with a resident Demonic Spider Deathclaw in it, regardless of level. Luckily, this Deathclaw had a leg crippled beforehand, making it very, very slow, and lacking a ranged attack, easy prey. Though its important to double check the leg's condition before engaging in combat; there is a random encounter that involves a perfectly healthy deathclaw, and getting too close to one of those will get you mauled to death.
    • Deathclaws in general are deadly in every other Fallout game, and every time they're mentioned they're made out to be the most dangerous thing in the Wasteland. In Fallout 3, though, a decently high-level player should have no problem with them. Fallout: New Vegas, though, remedies this.
  • Fallout: New Vegas has its own Fake Ultimate Mook in the Honest Hearts DLC. Yao Guai return from Fallout 3, and the locals seem to think that they're Hell on wheels. While they're competent enemies, they lack any kind of ranged attack and have merely decent damage and hit points. Already significantly weaker than the Mojave's Deathclaws, Yao Guai are ultimately rendered Fake Ultimate Mooks by the geography of Honest Hearts--it takes place almost entirely in meandering canyons, meaning that shooting them from high ground makes them drop with ease.
    • A tribal even comments that you probably don't have anything as bad as Yao Guai where you're from, despite Yao Guai being considerably easier to deal with than about 80% of the enemies in the Mojave--and being no match whatsoever for the armed tribals you fight for most that very DLC.
  • The Antlion in Magical Starsign. It takes up both DS screens, but it's weak to one of your first party members' magic and goes down quickly. It's only level 2, according to the game's Bestiary.
  • The Wendigos in Diablo II are hulking, monstrous beasts over twice the size of a human. They are regularly beaten to death by level 1 characters using the weapons they start the game with.
  • World of Warcraft has a particularly glaring example where you fight Giants (with the bones of their victims still stuck to the soles of their boots) and dwarves in the same area and they are pretty much equal in strength. But pretty much any large enemy that isn't an elite counts.
    • Also quite notorious are the objects of a decent helping of quests asking you to slay an Elite Monster, which would normally require at least one other player's help. However, some of these Ultimate Mooks can be soloed with only moderate difficulty if the player knows what they're doing and can play their class well.
  • In the first dungeon of Tales of Symphonia, the party encounters a huge, respawning rock golem... that goes down no problem with Lloyd's wooden swords. Repeatedly. If anything, the thing is easier than the normal monsters in the dungeon, since there is only one at a time.
  • In the 'Exodus' chapter of Hellgate London, the track tunnel of an evacuating train is completely blocked by a towering fiend. After it falls surprisingly easily, a series of them appear along the tracks, no more dangerous than standard Mooks entering from side tunnels. It's not until the end of the line that the level's real boss appears.
  • In Chrono Trigger, you face a "Golem Boss", which is supposedly more powerful than the previously encountered Golems (according to Dalton). You fight it on the wing of a flying airship though, and it is afraid of heights. After a couple of turns, it simply flees.
  • Battle alphas were some of the most powerful monsters in the first Geneforge, so it's a bit of a surprise in the beginning of the third game when, after a whole bunch of them kill most of your teachers, one of them attacks you. Not to worry, though--it's already badly wounded, and you can finish it off in a couple of hits. (Full-strength battle alphas don't appear for quite a while longer, and make for much more respectable foes.)
  • Invoked in Paper Mario: the mini-boss Monstar in Chapter Six looks pretty menacing, and one of your partners, who provides useful intel on enemies, says he doesn't know this guy's attack power but expects it to be really high. Then he uses a super flashy, lengthy star-shower attack animation that ends up doing one damage. It turns out he's actually just a bunch of young star spirits trying to scare Mario away from their home, not realizing that he's their friend.
    • As a bonus to making it seem tougher than it is it is immune to elder star abilities. This was bound to scare players that started the fight with one of these abilities (no other enemies are immune to those abilities) and hadn't yet seen his weak attack.
  • In Final Fantasy VII Any big enemy with a level that is a multiple of 4 qualifies because it is weak against Level 4 suicide (which takes off 31/32 of it's current HP). Few enemies are weak, but there are a few really powerful ones (like Dragons and Malboros) that are, allowing them to be killed in two hits.
  • Krogan enemies in Mass Effect 2. In Mass Effect 1, the average krogan mook was a durable Lightning Bruiser who soaked up tons of damage, regenerated very fast, and would frequently sprint towards the player to beat him to death with a few melee attacks. They usually came armed with shotguns that had a decent range, and could also fire red plasma balls from those shotguns to deal extra damage. Finally, if you killed one with anything other than Cryo, Incendiary, or Toxic ammo,then it would just get up and have to be killed again before it finally stayed dead. In the second game, their speed is drastically reduced, their melee attacks are nowhere near as powerful, and they can't get up after being shot down anymore. Despite their high health, they are very slow, and usually just lumber towards you in a straight line while firing very short range shotguns for Scratch Damage. They can still fire plasma balls, but they are very easy to dodge and are their only long range attack. Most people find the supposedly weaker vorcha to be far more dangerous due to their automatic weapons, unpredictable movements, and massive numbers.


  • In the Angband variant Zangband, a greater hell-beast has 1500 HP, can cast spells, moves somewhat faster than normal, and eats through walls. Its description warns, "This unholy abomination will crush you. Flee while you can!" It's set to appear on the first dungeon level, just to scare players who don't know that its attacks do literally no damage.
  • Hydras in Dwarf Fortress are by far the easiest Megabeast to defeat because, unlike the creature from Greek Mythology, they have no regenerative abilities. Blood loss from one head being damaged effects the whole body, thus their extra heads and necks give them a bunch of weak points. The grappling from all the mouth hurts like hell, but ranged weapons can hit it a a couple times and almost guarantee striking an artery.

Tabletop Games

  • in Mortasheen, Doomboros may look intimidating, but they're really cowardly, and their only real power is to transfer this fear to its opponents. But try to hurt its master...
  • In Dungeons and Dragons, being bigger is only a nominal advantage at best, and can also be a notable disadvantage. While many very difficult monsters (dragons, for example) are large, oversized zombies are not really any harder than regular ones.
    • Weirdly, no rule explicitly states that larger beings are inherently stronger. Almost every size-increasing effect also explicitly increases Strength, and adding hit dice to animals and animal-like monsters will increase size and Strength simultaneously. Being larger does grant automatic bonuses to other things--notably, it increases the difficulty of most combat maneuvers (grappling, tripping, etc.), improves Intimidate checks, grants access to larger size categories of weapons (which are slightly more expensive but typically have noticeably increased damage), and extra reach (which is priceless). It also carries some built-in penalties--the most noteworthy are penalties to Hide checks, attack rolls (since everything is, relatively speaking, smaller to you), and Armor Class (since you're a bigger target to everyone else). Small characters get all of this in reverse. The end result is that a 10 foot tall Orge berserker is typically easier to deal with than a 3 foot gnome assassin as the Ogre is typically reduced to swinging wildly and destroying anything it actually manages to hit.
    • A well known monster is the Tarrasque, a unique creature that originally was intended as kind of the ultimate boss creature for very high level groups. In the 3rd Edition, people soon realized its terrible flaw: lacking any kind of ranged attack. At level 20 there are countless very easy ways to get your whole party the ability to fly and shoot spells from above.
      • Oversized zombies are also hard to affect noticeably by turning, because the turning ability is based on the undead's hit dice and doesn't consider the possibility of a relatively low difficulty creature that has a lot of hit dice. (High difficulty creatures with few hit dice get turning resistance.)


  • In Eve Online, frigates (the smallest combat ships in the game) are often used against battleships (the largest non-capital combat ships in the game) with great efficiency. The battleships guns are unable to track and hit the small, fast frigates and end up doing no damage most of the time. Mind you - should you stop just for a few seconds, you'll be torn apart very quickly - battleships with low refire guns are often quite capable of taking an immobile frigate in a single volley. In fact, when in a gang, frigates are often used as "tacklers" - to stop the enemy from fleeing. It's not that uncommon to have a single frigate prevent a capital ship from jumping away for long enough to get reinforced by a friendly fleet. This means that your friend who just created an account can be ready for battle in just a few days - flying the "weakest" ship with great efficiency. Also, comparing the price of a frigate and battleship...
    • "My ship costs less than your ammunition. My modules were all picked off of rats. I don't even think my weapons are loaded. And I'm about to ruin your life."
  • In Air Rivals, a lvl 19 BCU mission requires you to beat a lvl 65 boss in an early map. This troper, who were ANI for all his gaming experience, knew how hard that boss is, and trying to do that mission on a BCU gear he went like OMGWTFBBQ, until he killed the thing with ONE. FREAKING. SHOT. Turns out that's a dud boss, done for the mission, much weaker than the real one (although the real one spawns right after the fake one is defeated, so yeah, you can still be doomed.
  • This is the reason Behemoths, huge monstrous demons, are known as the best enemies to farm in City of Heroes. A recent patch buffed them a bit though.
    • If your build features a lot of knockdown or knockback inducing attacks (like Super Strength with Air Supremacy from the Flight Pool) , it's quite easy to defeat a Behemoth, or even one of the larger Wailer Lord bosses because they won't be able to stand up.
    • "Oh my god, having Fire Armor as a tank sucks! I have almost no defense, my resistance is only against fire and a bit of cold, what good is--" Cue angels singing as a fire tank, that's been barely survivable proceeds, to solo an entire map full of Behemoths that only do fire damage but are not, strangely, resistant to it
  • In the new Well of Eternity instance in World of Warcraft Cataclysm, your party encounters a giant, molten infernal (a more badass version of the standard flaming rock golem demons.) It's Ao E is enough to wipe the party, but thanks to a buff from Illidan, the mob in question is down in about a minute.

Non-gaming examples:


  • A recurring theme in Discworld and The Carpet People, another work by Terry Pratchett, is "Always choose a bigger enemy - it makes him easier to hit". Usually this means in terms of numbers, but occasionally it's this trope.


  • A rather bizarre, non-videogame example is arguably Heroes. Volume 3 involved the company building having a breakout from Level 5 and were said to be all big and strong and "worse than Sylar." None of them survived the volume. Heck, in the last episode, Mr. Bennet releases all the surviving Level 5 Supervillains so they can help distract Sylar. They all last less than two minutes, tops.
  • The Prisoner: Number 2 in "Hammer Into Anvil". At the start of the episode, he seems to be the most dangerous, sadistic, tenacious, calm, hands-on Number 2 in the series so far. Number 6 easily and utterly destroys him.

Web Comics


  • Generally, this applies to teams who struggle despite sky high payrolls; the biggest example of this at work is the New York Rangers. From the end of the 90's until the lockout of 2004, the Blueshirts loaded up on superstars such as Wayne Gretzky, Eric Lindros, Pavel Bure, Theoren Fleury, and Mark Messier (after a disastrous run in Vancouver). Adding onto that, they also added many solid second-tier players (Bobby Holik, Mathieu Schneider, John MacLean, Kevin Hatcher) and signed them to expensive contracts. They never made the playoffs during that span.
    • Ironically, the Rangers made the postseason with the new CBA intact, which included a salary cap.
  • In 2008, the Seattle Mariners became the first team in MLB history to lose 100 games with a payroll over $100M. They came less than $14M away from doing it again in 2010.
    • The Minnesota Twins were only one loss away from joining this list in 2011.
  • Newcastle United FC, despite a very liberal wage bill, ended up getting relegated after the 08-09 season.
  • In NCAA football, Clemson was the shining example of this. They regularly pull out Top 25 recruiting classes, but their ACC Championship in 2011 is only their first since 1991.
    • Basketball wise, Northwestern. As of the 2011-2012 season, they are the only BCS conference team to not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
  • With Dan Snyder as the owner, the Washington Redskins have signed Deion Sanders, Brad Johnson, Albert Haynesworth, Shawn Springs, Clinton Portis, DeAngelo Hall, Adam Archuleta, LaVar Arrington, Donovan McNabb, and Antwaan Randle El. They even brought in Super Bowl winning coaches Joe Gibbs and Mike Shanahan as well. However, the Skins only have two playoff appearances, one playoff win, and no NFC East titles to show for it.

Card Games

Real Life

  • The MiG-25 Foxbat and its relationship with NATO mirrors this. Here was a high-speed interceptor which kept the West up at night until a Russian fighter pilot brought one to NATO by way of Japan, revealing the Foxbat to be a Fragile Speedster with the turning circle of an ocean liner that needed its engines rebuilt after it reached its Mach 2.8 top speed. Anything with air-air missiles that could get behind it first could kill it. Just ask the Iraqis.
    • Said defector also informed the West that a superior aircraft was being developed based on the MiG-25. The resulting MiG-31 Foxhound sacrificed some of the MiG-25's speed in favor of better (but still unspectacular) agility, and more importantly the ability to carry more and better long-range missiles, vastly better radar, and the ability to throttle up to full speed without being physically damaged.
  1. The hierarchy of power/accuracy for the physical weapons goes in order from axes to lances to bows to swords, with swords being the weakest but lightest and most accurate.