Handbag of Hurt

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Turtles: Turtles fight with honour!

Irma: And women fight with handbags!

The use of a purse or a briefcase/suitcase as an Improvised Weapon. The former may be related to When Elders Attack, while the latter to Briefcase Blaster.

Often occurs in the Cat Fight and Wimp Fight. (Little note - fights in football in Britain are often mere slap fights, and the commentators occasionally describe such a fight as "handbags", a shortened version of Handbags At Dawn.) One reason people should Never Mess with Granny

Examples of Handbag of Hurt include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Stuck Rubber Baby is a comic depicting civil rights demonstrations in the south. One character learns to defend herself with a brick - in her handbag.
  • Ms. Tree carries her pistol in her handbag, which makes it handy to swing at a enemy with unexpected force.


Roger: What do you have in that purse of yours, rocks?
Anita: Oh, no; bricks.

    • She really was carrying bricks. She was collecting bricks one or two at a time as she saw them, using them to build a wall or a cobblestone walk or something at her home piece by piece.
  • In Madagascar, an old lady attacks Alex with her purse.
  • The Sting: after Hooker yanks a woman out of a phone booth, the woman hits both Hooker and his partner with her purse.
  • Mrs. Marcus from Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad World will very often hit other people with her purse when she's really angry. The following characters she's hit with her purse are; Melville Crump, J. Russell Finch, Col. Hawthorne, Otto Meyer, and a random pedestrian.


  • Harry Potter: Mrs. Figg hits Mundungus Fletcher with her handbag, which, from the clanking, appeared to be filled with cans of cat food.
  • In Discworld, Agony Aunt Dotsie's unnaturally heavy purse provides a quick removal of any threat

Live Action TV

  • A staple of Ruth Buzzi's old lady character on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer once improvised a weapon from a handbag and a couple of bricks. On the commentary, Joss Whedon refers to it as "Bag fu."
  • The Golden Girls: Sophia would sometimes indulge in this, using the beaded purse she carried with her everywhere. One episode of note is when her sister, Angela, moves to Miami and moves in with Sophia's current boyfriend. Sophia automatically assumes that the two are having an affair and goes to confront them. Angela pleads her innocence...only for Sophia's boyfriend to walk out of his bedroom with another woman. Sophia and Angela gang up on him.

Angela: You've insulted my sister's honor!
Tony: I don't know what to say.
Sophia: I'll tell you what you can say! Say "ouch"! {whacks him with her purse}
Angela: Say, "That hurts!" {whacks him with her purse}

New Media

  • There is a (possibly staged) YouTube video of a little old lady in a crosswalk responding to the impatient honking of a motorist by whacking his front bumper with her handbag hard enough to set off his airbags.

Puppet Shows

Stand Up Comedy

  • Eddie Izzard once suggested that the Queen should be attacked by dogs (long story) and that she could defend herself with a handbag with a brick in it.

Video Games

  • Killer7: Garcian Smith's down attack involves hitting an enemy with his large suitcase.
  • Maple Story: a briefcase is a usable weapon for players.
  • Handbags were available as weapons in Final Fantasy Tactics - but only for female characters of a few classes. Some of them actually packed a rather impressive punch.
  • Chat in Tales of Eternia uses these as weapons, though sometimes she just pulls hammers out of them.
    • Karol from Tales of Vesperia smacks foes over the head with his large handbag for his various debuffing artes.
  • Handbags are a possible weapon (albeit a very weak one) for players to find in Dead Rising.
    • It's definitely in the sequel as shown here.
  • In The Sims 1 & 2, the ambiguously wedded Mrs./Miss Crumplebottom carries a handbag that, while not murderous, is quite humiliating.
  • Kisarah Westfield from SNK's Neo Geo Battle Coliseum is a schoolgirl who fights with her bookbag, which is a callback to the fighting game she originally comes from (Aggressors of Dark Kombat) where various weapons can be picked up and temporarily used.
  • A handbag is the first weapon you can give to Eileen in the Escort Mission section of Silent Hill 4. (Protip: Don't do it! Her AI will flip from "cower-and-hide" to "reckless enthusiasm" and she'll take damage. If you need the help, give her one of the better weapons you find later.)
  • EarthBound has the Cranky Lady and the Extra Cranky Lady, who can deal decent damage by wielding their shopping bags.

Web Comics

  • Laura Gates of Beyond Reality has a lead weight sewn to the bottom of her purse for this exact purpose.
  • In Lackadaisy Cats, Mitzi slams one into Mordecai's face in shock when he hid in her backseat to have a word with her.

Mordecai: I'd like a word with you... if you can refrain from assaulting me with a bakelite for a moment.

Western Animation

  • Irma, the dorky friend of April O'Neill, utters the battle cry in the page quote in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987, while facing off against an unstoppable robot.
  • In the Looney Tunes short Boston Quackie, Quackie's girlfriend Mary clobbers the man in the green hat with her handbag. Of course, she is carrying an anvil in it...
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "The Mysterious Mare Do Well", Rainbow Dash gives Granny Smith an unwanted helping hoof and gets bonked with Granny's purse for her troubles.
  • In one episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man, an old lady on the subway saves Spider-Man's life by employing this technique ... against the Lizard!

Real Life