Bucket Helmet

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    A Sub-Trope of Improvised Armour; one good way to start making it is putting a metal bucket, or, alternatively, a metal pot or colander, on your head. Most likely to be used by children.

    See also Cool Helmet.

    Examples of Bucket Helmet include:

    Comic Books

    • The first Red Tornado was a woman who fought crime with a pot as a helmet on her head.
    • Marvel Comics' Forbush Man, modeled after Red Tornado referenced above.
    • Although Magneto's helmet is not an actual bucket, "bucket head" is a common Fan Nickname for him.
    • In the Star Wars parody comic Diary of a Crazed Mimbanite, the Darth Vader parody has a helmet that looks exactly like a bucket.

    Folk Tales

    • Johnny Appleseed is often depicted with a saucepan on his head.


    • At one point in one of the Pippi Longstocking books, Pippi puts a bucket over her head as a helmet. It covers her eyes. She proceeds to trip over something and says it's a good thing she was wearing the bucket or she'd have hurt herself — to which Tommy and Annika comment that if she hadn't been wearing the bucket she wouldn't have tripped in the first place.
    • Early in The Belgariad, Garion and his friend play-fight using, among other kitchen implements, a pot helmet and pot-lid shields. This does not go down well with his overprotective aunt, who is also the mistress of the kitchen.
      • As a bit of an Ironic Echo, many years later in The Malloreon, the same aunt provides Belgarion with a lidded pot, which are converted into an actual helm and shield via the use of a little scrap steel from a broken knife, a fair amount of river clay, and no small amount of sorcerous transmutation by Durnik.
    • Don Quixote: Don Quixote couldn't find a helmet, so he used a barber's washbasin instead, making this trope Older Than Radio.
      • He had a proper helmet, but he threw it away for the traveling barber's bronze shaving basin, which the barber simply wore as a hat while traveling (à la Johnny Appleseed); Quixote in his dementia believed that the basin was a magical golden helmet that would give him courage, and so he liberated it from the barber, thinking him a thief of great treasures.
    • The Shel Silverstein poem Man in the Iron Pail Mask.

    Live Action TV

    • In the Top Gear: Vietnam Special, Hammond was the only one whose head was small enough to fit inside a locally-bought helmet, so May resorted to using a colander for head protection and Clarkson used a metal bucket at first.
    • During a MythBusters test regarding how easily one could get lost in the wilderness in certain conditions, Adam and Jamie wore buckets on their heads to limit visibility to just a few feet. The technique was effective; Adam got lost, while Jamie only kept a straight path because of his wilderness survival training.


    Tabletop Games

    • Paranoia adventure Vapors Don't Shoot Back. One of the illustrations shows a High Programmer wearing Improvised Armor, including a Bucket Helmet.

    Video Games

    • One of the kids from Brave Fencer Musashi does this. His playmate's "helmet" is a woven basket—he uses this to convince her that his obviously superior bucket is a legendary artifact.
    • Plants vs. Zombies: some zombies wear bucket helmets, which give them quite a defense compared to normal ones.
      • Crazy Dave wears a pot over his head, presumably to protect his brains from being eaten.
      • The bucket helmet is available as a hat in Team Fortress 2 for Soldier.
    • One of the male Lilty designs in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is called "Bucket Head", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Donny in Fire Emblem: Awakening always wears a metal pot as a helmet, even after he promotes from a villager to a proper soldier.
    • Boktai: Trinity wears one of these
    • The main character of Heart of Darkness wears a metal colander as a helmet.
    • You'll need a bucket helm to complete the Bonus Dungeon in Dungeon Siege 2.
    • Corporal Paraplonk in Mario And Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story wears a plastic red bucket on his head—though it's a little big for him, making his eyes peek out under the space between the handle and bucket itself.
    • In The Secret of Monkey Island, Guybrush has to wear a pot on his head whenever he gets shot out of a cannon to avoid injuring himself.
    • A bucket and a traffic cone are both cheap, if somewhat underwhelming, helmet options in Dungeons of Dredmor (in addition to finding them randomly, Item Crafting allows the player to make the latter, while the former can be upgraded to an actual, useful helmet).
    • X-Men: Mutant Academy 2, on the PS 1, featured a pool party stage where all the characters had their costumes replaced by swimwear. Juggernaut wears a plastic sand bucket in placement of his helmet.

    Web Animation

    Western Animation

    • In one of The Simpsons shorts from the Tracy Ullman Show days, Lisa and Maggie put cooking pots on their heads to play Space Patrol; Bart puts a vase on his head and it promptly slides down, blocking his vision.
      • Another episode has Homer and Bart putting pots on their heads and then charging at each other head first.
    • Johnny Pompalope (the Lake Hoohaw equivalent of Johnny Appleseed) in the PB and J Otter episode "The Johnny Pompalope Story".
    • A common Fan Nickname for many incarnations of Megatron from Transformers is "Buckethead", due to his distinctive head design. Generation One Megatron's Start of Darkness established that it really was a helmet, a keepsake from his days as a lowly miner.
    • In an episode of The Tick (animation), Die Fledermaus and Sewer Urchin had to infiltrate a group of supervillians by improvising evil costumes from a gardening shed. Sewer Urchin had a metal bucket with an angry face drawn on it over his head.

    Real Life

    • Ned Kelly's helmet was a real functional bulletproof helmet shaped like a bucket.