A Muggle Born of Mages is someone privy to The Masquerade, born to parents with Magic and Powers, but entirely mundane himself. He ought to be just as powerful, but he isn't. No fear, though: the world is full of Muggles and no one comments. He can simply become one of them.
The Un-Sorcerer is not so lucky. In her world, there is no Masquerade, because Everyone Is a Super... except her. Magic healing doesn't help, and neither does therapy. The kids at school tease her. She can't operate Magitek. She can't even claim to be a Badass Normal, because normal people have the Power!
As bad as this sounds, though, there's a silver lining: someday, it will turn out that her unique status is an asset to her. She may be immune to magical attacks, or to The Corruption. Maybe she really has a game-breakingly awesome power that takes a long time to manifest. Maybe there's an Ancient Artifact that only activates for someone with no magic. Or perhaps, lacking a crutch, the Un-Sorcerer develops a Charles Atlas Superpower in a world of Squishy Wizards. What's certain is that the Un-Sorcerer will go far, and may even be The Chosen One.
- Rygart from Break Blade is the Trope Namer, having no power over quartz and consequently being unable to operate any complex machinery, with the exception of an ancient and super-powerful golem that refused to respond to anyone else. It's heavily suggested that this is because he is the only person the golem recognizes as being actually human.
- Rock Lee from Naruto, the only Konoha ninja who can't perform Ninjutsu. Fits neatly within the aversion of Hard Work Hardly Works.
- The hero of Iris Zero lives in a world, where most of the children is born with Evil Eyes and was once thought to have the power to tell what other people's powers are. He's really just incredibly clever.
- Louise the Zero from Zero no Tsukaima developed a humongous pride and hair-trigger temper to compensate for her lack of magical powers, something that defines nobility in her world. It turns out she actually has a very rare and powerful magical ability.: Void Magic, the legendary Fifth Element...which happens to be explosion/energy-based magic.
- Normalman is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Played incredibly straight with "President Thor," a story arc from Ultimate Fantastic Four. It details a world where the Skrull have given everyone superpowers; except Ben Grimm. The superpower gift is revealed to be a virus that feeds power into the Ultimate Super-Skrull. It also can be activated to kill the carrier. The Skrull King activates the killer gene, but without any power source, the Super-Skrull is easily defeated by Grimm in a powersuit.
- In Sky High, the main character, Will Stronghold, is the son of two superheros but has no visible powers and is placed in the sidekick class. Until later when he discovers that not only does he have powers, but he inherited power from both parents. Super-strength from his father and flight from his mother. Will's best friend Layla performs a sort of half or one-and-a-half subversion of this when she refuses to do anything with her power, gets put into the sidekick class, and then turns out to be a force to be reckoned with in the moment of crisis.
- Godo(Gun God) from Notes is presumably the last unmodified human alive in the post-apocalyptic world where Everyone Is a Super. Worse, he must regularly take medications just for daily survival. He's Blessed with Suck though as only "untainted" humans like Godo can wield the Black Barrel, a gun that can kill even the Aristoteles.
- Tavi in Codex Alera is the only Aleran to not be able to command any furies. Mostly he's an Action Survivor, but he's had to be very, very clever to prosper without any furycrafting.
- Even lampshaded by Kitai, one of the Marat savages.
"You Alerans think nothing can be done without your sorcery."
- Minor example in The Smoke Ring: occasionally a "dwarf" is born whose growth isn't distorted by the zero-gee environment—in other words, a normal human. They're considered ugly, but if your clan happens to own one of the ancient space-suits, guess who's the right size to wear it?
- In Xanth, everyone has exactly one power, although that power's strength and utility can vary. Bink alone has no such power, and the culture demands his exile. It turns out that his power is to automatically set up coincidences to protect from magical threats, up to and including dragons getting laryngitis right before breathing fire, and polymorph-spells hitting his skin microbes instead.
- Interestingly, his power is hidden because it interprets mundane harm that would come to him as a result of other people knowing his talent, as harm that would result in magic. In other words, his talent even protects Bink from itself. If it didn't, spells would just fizzle when they hit him, and then people might realize they just needed to punch him. A punch that would never have come if not for his talent.
- In the second of the Abhorsen trilogy, the protagonist Lirael is born of the Clayr, seeresses who live in the cold northern arctic. Most girls are expected to gain the Sight around the time they hit puberty, but as Lirael enters her late teens, she still shows no sign of it, and agonizes over being considered still a child and an outcast. She turns out to be a Remembrancer instead, which is much more rare and powerful.
- Joram of The Darksword Trilogy. There are some people in the world with so little magic they can't do anything useful with it, but Joram is unique in having absolutely no magic whatsoever. He narrowly avoids being executed for his powerlessness as a newborn, and has to spend the rest of his life faking minor magic through sleight-of-hand. Lucky for him the eponymous weapon can only be wielded by the Un-Sorcerer.
- Jonathan of Gull Mountain is about a boy born without wings, in a society where everybody has them. Anvilicious Aesop about life with a physical handicap ensues.
- In Hart's Hope by Orson Scott Card, there's a Chosen One created by the gods as a natural magic sink. He can't benefit in any way from magic, which in this world comes from blood sacrifices, but he eventually serves as a living Reset Button for centuries of enchantment.
- Outcast: The Un-Magician focuses on a boy who is the only one in his society to have no magic at all. It turns out that his presence cancels out magic, which makes him pretty powerful in that world.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- In SaGa Frontier 2, almost everyone can use Anima; however, young Gustave XIII cannot, which costs him the throne and leads to him and his mother being exiled. But Gustave eventually discovers that, while weapons made out of materials like wood and stone are used by everyone because they channel Anima so well, Steel-based weapons, which dampen anima, are far stronger. And since he lacks the ability to channel Anima anyway...
- Unblessed in Infinite Undiscovery. Unable to use Lunar Glyph powers, but quite conveniently also immune to transformation into Vermiforms.
- The protagonist of Black Sigil is at a particular disadvantage—a previous non-magical character in this setting was guilty of terrible deeds, so almost nobody trusts him.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- Two of the protagonists of Atomic Laundromat. He owns the eponymous laundromat and comes from a family of supers and is okay with not being super. She's a lawyer who defends supervillains and is not okay with not being super.
- In The Wotch, a magic shop owner is unable to use magic, but also unable to be affected by it. This makes him perfect for handling items of power and artifacts of doom that would be dangerous for anyone else.
- Main character in Barbie Fairytopia is wingless fairy, Elina. Other fairies tease her becouse of that. But a lack of wings comes in handy, when she has to face Enchantress' Evil Twin and her magic substance making every flying creature weak. Later Laverna even tries to pull Not So Different and We Can Rule Together offering her wings, but Elina rejects her. At the end her dream comes true anyway and she is given a pair as a reward.