If you love something, throw it at your enemies. If it cleaves their skull and comes back to you, you know it's yours.
Comic book boomerangs, rather than being just sticks with a vague tendency to curve around, are nearly supernatural items with an ability to return where they started no matter what happens. They can bounce off the interestingly ridged skulls of alien conquerors, latch onto weapons or jewelry, or run off to the bar for a quick Jack and Coke, and yet still return to the waiting hand of whatever costumed goon threw it. The boomerang arrow is basically the same thing, only rather than simply ignoring physics, it drags physics home, chains it up in the crawlspace, and feeds it cockroaches and detached pigeon toes.
A real-life boomerang is simply a stick carved in such a way as to get some rotor lift when thrown turning end-over-end. Thrown properly, the boomerang will curve back on its course and return to its point of origin. It was designed for hunting fowl and returned for another shot if the hunter missed the first time (if it hit, the hunter would have to retrieve the kill anyway). Bigger ones retain enough of energy on return to injure the thrower if not caught, which probably is one of the reasons why real-life battle boomerang don't return, but fly straight - they still have greater range and cross-section (therefore chance to hit) than purely ballistic thrown weapons. Some boomerangs allow for more complex trajectories, though these are more for sport than hunting.
In fiction, however, a boomerang is virtually a living creature possessed of the single goal of returning to the thrower's hand, come Hell or high water. This results in boomerangs doing things that are flatly impossible, such as continuing to fly after striking multiple targets and actively following the thrower around until he dutifully stops to catch it. Does it really have to be stated that the Rule of Cool is involved?
This trope covers all weapons that can perform this trick, not just boomerangs.
Most would allow a Boomerang Comeback.
Anime and Manga
- Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. Ken's Birdrang.
- An extreme example from Fate/stay night: whenever Archer throws one of his dual swords, it will always return to him as long as the other is still in his possession (due to their being "married" swords). Shirou uses this to great effect against Saber Alter: he throws both from the first pair, and Traces a second. The first pair is deflected, but when Shirou attacks with the second set, the first set flies back to hit from behind at the same time.
- Sango's boomerang from Inuyasha is as tall as she is, can shatter boulders and returns to her after carving out a swath of total destruction (or even after being deflected!). To be fair, though, it's made out of youkai bones and is magical, probably very nearly a living weapon. (In the manga, it is revealed that it does have its own thoughts.) Inu-Yasha defeated her one time by knocking her off balance while her boomerang was away. When it returned, she wasn't prepared to catch it.
- Sette of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, whose Inherent Skill was the ability to fully control the flight path of her Boomerang Blades.
- Sepikmon's boomerang from Digimon Frontier. Also double as a mysteriously conspicuously invisible camera.
- Eureka Seven's LFOs use "Boomerang Knives" for combat, several thousand feet in the air, yet when thrown, they always manage to make it back. This is even worse in the Video Games, where the boomerangs will actually chase you to come back.
- Gundam Seed introduced beam boomerangs, which sound absurd, but might be Justified Trope by the fact that they're mechanized weapons, potentially with their own thrusters and guidance systems. And safety-shutdown-mechanism, since they are Beam-edge Boomerang—it's not safe to hold them or ridiculously catch them, even for a Gundam.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- The Gurren actually uses two pairs of giant Cool Shades as boomerangs. It actually was once lost in the middle of a battle and thrown back at the user. Later, the Gurren Lagann uses both the sunglasses and its (wing-shaped) jetpack.
- The Chouginga Gurren-Lagann also used it's shades (both the head-face's and the torso-face's) as an EXTREMELY big boomerang. It even returned to the mecha after cutting one of the attacking Ashtangas in two along it's entire length.
- Ranma ½
- Ryôga's umbrella in the early manga.
- The Kinjakan: a polearm weapon with a metal ring attached at the head. The user can send the ring flying with devastating force, ricocheting off walls, ceilings, people, and the ground (usually carving deep gauges where it impacts) and it will always return to the pole, with similar force and momentum. Novice users tend to run away when they see the ring coming back.
- Several members of the Mazinger Family wield boomerangs, including Great Mazinger (Great Boomerang) and Grendizer (Shoulder Boomerang). The most extreme, however, is Mazinkaiser, whose Kaiser Boomerang is actually its own massive winged backpack, and in The Movie cuts a massive flying fortress in half.
- The Colonel in Fist of the North Star uses boomerangs as his main weapon. Their ridiculous accuracy is revealed to be due to his Psychic Powers—it's easy to hit an enemy with a boomerang when you're controlling it with your mind.
- Kuniko in Shangri-La wields a boomerang as her weapon of choice, so it figures that she'd be able to let it do whatever she pleases.
- Raideen: God Boomerang!
- In Busou Renkin, this is actually the power of the Motor Gears.
- The title character of Cutey Honey has her Honey Boomerang.
- Averted in Bobobo-Bo Bo-bobo. When Jiggler is attached to a power-draining ball by Pana, Bo-bobo uses a move to hit it like a pool ball. Jiggler tries to bounce off the walls and hit Pana, but he ends up smashing into the first wall he hits because he's "non-bouncy".
- In Yu Yu Hakusho, Kazemaru's shuriken will stay in the air until they hit a target. Justified Trope as they are powered by spirit energy.
- Sailor Moon
- "Moon Tiara Action!" Note that it obeys her commands—Sailor Moon once ordered to stop right before it'd hit an ally.
- Zoisite used an actual boomerang when he was impersonating Sailor Moon (and it came back after it hit).
- Used in the first episode in Trigun. Unfortunately, the wielder is incapacitated shortly after throwing it, leading to a landslide.
- Chikuma Koshirou from Basilisk dual wields kama scythes. He once threw them so that both of them cut off half a human head and still returned to his hands. They work solely by Rule of Cool, no magic involved, since when Kisaragi Saemon and Kasumi Gyoubu knocked the weapons off course, they just fell to the ground.
- In Batman, Batarangs and Birdarangs all fall under this. Bats even went as far as to invent a remote-controlled Batarang. This is also averted at times. Depending on the Writer, Batarangs can also be simple bat-shaped shurikens. While keeping the name. Most notably, this is what they are in The Dark Knight Saga.
- Nightwing has even been shown doing this with Escrima Sticks (which aren't even meant to be thrown to begin with), bouncing them off the heads of two mooks, a wall, the floor, and back to his hand.
- So does Marvel's Daredevil with his billy club. Most egregiously in one of Kevin Smith's issues, where Daredevil throws it through a glass window where, instead of shattering the window completely, it just leaves a small hole, approximately 1.5 inches in diameter. Then it bounces around, knocking out the Mooks and returns through the exact same hole.
- His MC2 successor Darkdevil mostly avoids this by just having them teleport back to him. He still uses it a couple times.
- Needless to say, DC supervillain Captain Boomerang is pretty good at this. To the point that he was once able to make (specially prepared) boomerangs travel through time.
- His son Captain Boomerang Jr. is also capable of such stunts. He does have the advantage of Super Speed, but his feats including picking bullets out of the air with bent paperclips, and holding his own in a prison riot with things he managed to find on the spot.
- There's also Marvel's (just plain) Boomerang (who's basically Capt. Boomerang with jet boots).
- Captain America (comics)'s shield is basically a giant, indestructible boomerang, capable of flying through a hail of weapons fire (ballistic and laser), tagging multiple targets and returning to Cap's hand without even losing velocity. Handwaved by it being made from an alloy of the indestructible metal vibranium, which is able to absorb vibrations. Lampshaded somewhat by the fact that Cap's temporary replacement, John Walker, could never get the shield to do more than fly in a straight line, while Cap (as "The Captain") was pulling off nearly identical feats with an inferior copy.
- Soon after Cap was thawed out, Iron Man put gadgets into the shield. By using controls in his gloves, Cap could control the shield in flight. He soon took them out, for they messed up the shield's balance. So it can be done, he just doesn't like to do it.
- In Liberty's Torch, a tie-in novel, it's definitely skill on Cap's part. Steve Rogers totally pwns another character at pool, and makes a casual comment about starting to play when he realized calculating angles on the fly would be handy "at work".
- When Cap (temporarily) dies, Iron Man looks for somebody else to take up the shield. Everybody who tries to throw the thing accomplishes little more than making themselves look like idiots. Then Iron Man goes to Hawkeye, who is good enough to pull it off, but after a brief trial period deems himself unworthy to be the new Captain America. Cap's former sidekick Bucky Barnes then ends up as the new Captain America, and his cyborg enhancements allow him to pull off the crazy shield-throwing tricks.
- Thor's hammer Mjolnir is enchanted by Odin to always return when thrown, among other things.
- Project Superpowers: Death Defying 'Devil's weapons of choice.
- In a comic book of The Tick (animation) (not the original comics, a licensed-from-the-cartoon version), The Tick invents a "Tick-arang". With typical Tick logic he believes it will return because he's written his name and address on the side, with the phrase "Return Postage Guaranteed." The amazing thing is... it works.
- Spider-Man villain Tracer has a variation on this; his guns fire bullets that lock onto their target and will avoid any obstacle to get to them. This allowed him a leg up on Spidey in the quipping department; after Spider-Man claims he laughs at bullets, Tracer notes that his bullets laugh back.
- Sin City has Miho who occasionally uses her manji-shaped shuriken in this manner.
- Tintin in America features a Chicago gangster with a literal boomerang doing this.
Films -- Animation
Films -- Live-Action
- The Predator's disk and shuriken weapons are a high-tech version, though occasionally they won't come back due to being lodged in a wall. Or somebody's chest.
- The Road Warrior has the Feral Kid's sharp metal boomerang. It slices off fingers and returns to him without a problem. Partially subverted when it gets buried in a dude's head.
- The Farmer's weapon of choice in the infamously bad In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is the boomerang, which he must hurl with great effort, apparently. And he carries it with him at all times along with his sword, even when he's harvesting.
- The Glaive from Krull: a magical five-bladed throwing weapon controlled in flight by its wielder's will. Lost at the end when it couldn't free itself from The Beast's body. Justified (assuming the Glaive even qualifies) due to the fact that this ridiculously powerful magic weapon could fly, cut through Nigh Invulnerable barriers, and hover in place.
- In Mystery Men, The Bowler does this with, true to her name, a bowling ball. Justified, since her father's spirit (and skull!) is in the bowling ball. Hence, this falls under Empathic Weapon.
- In Tron and Tron: Legacy, the Identity Discs can, among other things, be thrown this way. In skilled hands one can weave around obstacles to seek its target, reorient and attack several more times from varying angles if blocked (usually by another disc) or dodged by that target, and still seek out and return to its owner's hand.
- The boomerang-axe from The Brothers Grimm. Justified Trope in that it is enchanted.
- Spoofed in Black Dynamite with Dr. Wu's kung-fu projectiles, which rather than returning to the user's hand return to wherever it was that the user was aiming. This is done deliberately when he attacks Black Dynamite with one by throwing it to the side of Dynamite (Dynamite looks confused but then dodges it before it comes back), and later when Dynamite uses one against Dr. Wu by throwing it before he entered the room, and then somehow it came in through the window from outside.
- Blade's glaive is used in this fashion right from the word go: in the opening sequence of his first film, he stood at the entrance of a circular room, while several vampires stood at regular intervals around it, ready to attack him. He proceeds to decapitate all of the vampires with a single throw, before the glaive dutifully returns to his waiting hand.
- In an old Italian film starring Toto, such a boomerang is used in the climax. It's so effective that not only it takes down a whole room of bandits, but it even knock on a door in order to return to the thrower (of course, hitting him in the head).
- Subverted in the movie Batman Returns—Batman takes a Batarang, programs it to hit multiple targets, and lets fly. A small dog catches it like a Frisbee before it can return so that it can be used to frame him later.
- In the 1963 movie Jason and the Argonauts, throwing a discus (metal frisbee) out to a faraway rock is a test of strength for those who want to join the Argonauts. One slender young fellow asks to be given a try, despite his comparative lack of muscles, and hurls the discus with a gesture that definitely isn't the standard technique. But lo and behold, a few seconds later everyone hears the clang! of his discus hitting the rock. OK, they acknowledge there's more to this guy than they thou— oh, wait, the discus just came flying BACK!
- Wulfgar's warhammer in R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms novels always returns to him after he throws it. In this case, it's not a matter of the hammer flying through the air, though—the hammer, being magical, simply rematerializes in Wulfgar's hands after it falls to the ground.
- This is based on the returning enchancement in Dungeons & Dragons, see below.
- Averted in The Last Continent, a Discworld novel, where the eponymous continent's Creator is described as having a boomerang "that does not return to the thrower, typically because it's stuck in the ribs of whatever he threw it at."
- Ian Cormac, the lead protagonist of Neal Asher's Polity series, has a shuriken that is programmable and can fly under its own power, returning to the user and even being remote controlled in flight. Another character in the first book has a knife that will return to his hand as long as he is wearing the ring that comes with it.
- Xena in Xena: Warrior Princess has a Precision-Guided Chakram which always returns to her after ricocheting off walls, rocks, and enemies, sometimes in a really convoluted way. This culminated in a Groundhog Day Loop episode where Xena, realizing she has no time to fix every problem on her own, spends some time planning ridiculous trajectories and using the chakram to interrupt every problem. Ironically, the controversial scene where Callisto hits Xena in the back with her own chakram had its own Fan Wank, stating that no one else seems able to do the rebound trick.
- Note the real-life counterpart of a war quoit is sharp all the way around and definitely not something that would return like a boomerang, not that you'd probably want it to. The show tends to treat it as a Selectively-Lethal Weapon in any case.
- The lethality of the chakram entirely depended on whatever the plot needed it to do. Sometimes it was insanely sharp (in an early episode, it acted like a buzz-saw and sliced through a tree-trunk), and other times, Gabrielle was using it as a back-scratcher. After a while, the fans just accepted that there was a button, somewhere on the chakram, that turned it blunt.
- It got even better when the chakram got upgraded into a weapon that could split in two after tossed, bounce off of multiple objects, strike many people, and recombine in mid-air before returning to Xena. At this point it was all Handwaved by magic, not that anyone cared about how it worked.
- Its ability to selectively bounce off of a surface or become lodged within it for use as a stepping stone/grabbing point/etc. as demanded by the plot was also highly questionable. Consider the Fridge Logic at work when Xena once threw the chakram into a rock and then proceeded to use a whip to grab onto the chakram to pull herself out of some quicksand. Even if you accept the magical laser precision of the chakram, the mere physics of that makes your head hurt. All said and done, Xena's chakram may very well be the biggest piece of Applied Phlebotinum in existence.
- Nowhere near as extreme, but Hercules (and once, Gabrielle) can get a similar effect with a small rock.
- An Alternate Reality Episode version of Xena who was some kind of slutty socialite accidentally performed the exact same chakram trick by throwing a high-heeled shoe, but this was Played for Laughs.
- In Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger (adapted into Power Rangers Dino Thunder), the Abaren-Ou can throw the entire body of the Pteranodon mecha as a huge-ass boomerang.
- In Warehouse 13, an artifact football will always return to where it was thrown... a few hours later, after circling the entire world.
- Some weapons wielded by the main characters in several Ultra Series, such as the Eye Slugger and the Ultra Bracelet.
- Averted in "My Boomerang Won't Come Back", the tale of an aborigine who can't get his boomerang to just return.
Myths & Religion
- The Muppet Show has Lew Zealand and his boomerang fish act. "I throw the fish, and they come back to me."
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Early editions nicknamed return-after-throw enchanted items "boomerang weapons". Such as the Hammer, Dwarf Thrower (AIEEE!)... sorry, Dwarven Thrower, which is inspired by Mjolnir. Additionally, the returning enchantment can be applied to any throwing weapon to turn them into an impromptu boomerang. Also, the Axe of Hurling and Darts of Homing.
- Boomerangs as such appeared in AD&D2 core, for once described as working in the way a boomerang should.
- In the 2nd Edition (and perhaps the later, too), the thri-kreen (mantis-like insect humanoids) has the weapon called chatkcha - "crystal throwing wedge", depicted as three-winged star configuration boomerang. According to Dark Sun rulebook, "The chatkcha can be thrown up to 30 yards and still return to the thrower if it misses the target".
- In the 3rd Edition it's common for thrown weapons with an enchantment over +1 (except arrows, bolts, and bullets).
- There are also a few prestige classes that allow a character to pull the trick off even with non-magical weapons. The Hammer of Moradin can do it with hammers, and the Bloodstorm Blade can do it with any melee weapon.
- Better still when the Bloodstorm Blade takes levels in a class with skill at improvised weapons, becoming able to make boomerangs out of dinnerware, broken bottles, and furniture.
- There are also a few prestige classes that allow a character to pull the trick off even with non-magical weapons. The Hammer of Moradin can do it with hammers, and the Bloodstorm Blade can do it with any melee weapon.
- In the 4th Edition, all magically-enhanced throwing weapons have this effect by default, presumably because nobody in their right mind would throw an expensive magic weapon if there was a chance they wouldn't get it back.
- Several characters in Warhammer 40,000 (most commonly, Eldar) use variations of this trope. Maugan Ra, an Eldar hero armed with a shuriken-launching BFG can cause his projectiles to ricochet off walls, depriving his enemies of the benefits of cover.
- A better example would be the Eldar weapon called the triskele, a three-bladed dagger-like weapon that can be hurled like a boomerang or used in close combat.
- The Iron Raptor Technique enables you to throw any melee weapon like a boomerang and have it return to you.
- You can attain similar effects with legitimate throwing weapons, such as the sky-cutter (a literal precision-guided boomerang). For the rare occasions anyone with a sky-cutter can't gain 2 successes on a Dexterity + Thrown roll, you can learn a Thrown-based version of Call the Blade to make it leap back into your hand.
- Anything with the Loyal Weapon enchantment will do this in GURPS and will keep trying if someone tries to stop it.
- The magical Devastator Spear will return to its owner after being thrown.
- The Hawk Hatchet has a kernal of True Air forged into it that causes it to return to the thrower's hand.
- Averted in Kirby both by the main character and various enemies. Most boomerang attacks will go forward before reversing direction but will not return to the thrower if they've moved.
- Boomerang Bros in mario games.
- Mega Man
- An early Capcom example is Cut Man's weapon (Rolling Cutter) in the original game. The Rolling Cutter follows a specific path, but always comes back to Mega Man when it's done.
- The same can be said for Boomer Kuwanger's special weapon in Mega Man X. Which deserves special mention because if it doesn't hit an enemy and returns, you get the Weapon Energy back.
- In the Capcom beat-em-up game, Alien vs. Predator, the disc would go through enemies and bounce off of walls, but always rebounded straight back at you at the wall or the edge of the screen. If you weren't there or you were in the middle of a damage animation, it flew by you and was lost forever. In the PC second version it lost ability to bounce, but can be "recalled" to you, using part of your energy; also, its guidance system is (still?) very loose.
- In the 2010 game, the Predator's disc will always find its way back to you. Also, it's targeting is tied to your Laser Sight, so you can steer it around a bit in midair.
- In Tron 2.0, the Disc Primitive is just what it was in the film, and is the main non-energy-weapon. No self-guidance, but can be manually "corrected" through the flight. It ricochets off nearly any surface and will always return sooner or later—though it can be forced to return in case you need to use it as a shield. Ricocheting can be a problem, if you're using disc near "civilian" programs.
- The Guardian and Nomad bloodlines from Bloodline Champions. The former has an "Axe of Zechs" ability, while practically half of the latter's abilities consist of this. The former does it with a two-handed axe, while the latter at least really uses a boomerang.
- The Legend of Zelda
- Link's boomerang allows for limited control. Once he upgrades to the magic boomerang, it can travel the full length of the screen. The boomerang in The Wind Waker physically locks onto multiple targets when you aim, and will hit them all when you release. And it's not even said to be magic! The similar Gale Boomerang in Twilight Princess is explicitly magic, as it's inhabited by the "Fairy of Winds". One little trick with the boomerang in The Wind Waker was to throw it upwind then sail down wind and watch as the boomerang chases the boat when trying to return to Link.
- Phantom Hourglass and sequel Spirit Tracks takes it to a new level, with a boomerang that can follow any path you draw, making it no problem at all to throw it around corners, hit two enemies, grab an item, then navigate back to you. And, unlike many boomerangs in the Legend of Zelda series, such as the above Twilight Princess example, they don't Hand Wave it by labelling the boomerang magical.
- The Magic Boomerang in Oracle of Seasons is similar, but instead of drawing a path it's controlled with the d-pad. It doesn't turn very well, though.
- What really takes the cake is the boomerang from Link's Awakening. If you have the boomerang and the flying cuckoo at the same time, you can throw the boomerang and pick up the cuckoo before it returns. The cuckoo will make you hover several feet in the air, and the boomerang will spin around underneath you until you land. You can move while hovering, and the boomerang will follow you wherever you go, which basically makes you into an invincible flying engine of death, since Link can't be harmed by enemies while airborne, and the boomerang is easily the most powerful weapon in the game. Almost anything it is capable of affecting will die in one hit, including the final boss.
- There's also a spot in the Great Bay Temple in Majora's Mask where you can throw the Zora Boomerangs while being pushed around in a circle by the water current, letting you move faster than normal. If you keep running away, you can avoid the boomerangs indefinitely as they continue to chase you in a circle.
- In Pokémon, the bones that Cubone and Marowak wield in battle exhibit this trope when Cubone or Marowak uses the Cubone family's signature move, Bonemerang.
- Jet's boomerang in Wild ARMs 3 acts the same way, and is necessary to activate some switches.
- In many console Role Playing Games that have boomerangs or similar weapons, including the Phantasy Star and Dragon Quest series, their advantage is that they can hit multiple enemies in one attack.
- They do get distinct names in different Phantasy Star games. In Phantasy Star III, they're slicers; Phantasy Star IV calls them slashers.
- Averted in the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for the NES; boomerangs follow a fixed path, and if the player doesn't catch them on the return, they are lost. Boomerang-wielding Mooks, on the other hand, play it straight.
- In the original Ninja Gaiden, the giant shuriken—the Windmill Star—would return to you, no matter how doggedly you dodged it. A skilled warrior could use a single star to fight over a long period of time, simply by repeatedly jumping over it. The Xbox remake also features the Windmill Star as a somewhat hidden weapon. It's the single best subweapon in the entire game, being the only one (other than the bow, and that doesn't really count) that can hurt bosses, and also capable of killing sufficiently weakened mooks.
- This is actually pretty common for video game boomerangs, right down to being able to keep it going indefinitely. Model PX's charged shot (which is an especially bad example, as it holds still for a second before returning) can orbit Aile in Mega Man ZX, without having to keep moving or anything.
- Just about any Mega Man game with a boomerang-based weapon allows you to set the thing in robocentric orbit if you launch the weapon and jump in the right way. Quick Man's Quick Boomerangs don't even return to him; they're more like really fast guided missiles that look like boomerangs.
- In the Dynasty Warriors series, any weapon thrown as part of an attack will return to the wielder's hand, follow them as they turn—or move, if the attack allows it—and can hit multiple targets. This is odd enough with Zhu Rong's Boomerang... but it gets weirder with Sun Shang Xiang's chakrams, which aren't returning throwing weapons; and Yue Ying's War-Spear/Dagger-Axe, which she shouldn't even be able to use as a throwing weapon at all.
- Postal has a precision guided machete.
- Cham Cham out of Samurai Shodown II has one of these as her primary melee weapon (her heavy slash is basically to toss it about a metre in front of her). This actually makes it one of the best projectiles in the game, since it will plow through and disrupt all but a few other projectiles in the game: it can't destroy other melee weapons, and some projectiles escape just by not being where the boomerang goes. And it always returns, even while she's being grappled and pummelled. "Oh! How dangerous a boomerang is!"
- In Kingdom Hearts, Sora has an attack that allows him to throw his keyblade multiple times. Each time he throws it, it travels until it goes offscreen before reappearing in his hand. This is explained in the same way as Wulfgar's hammer above: The keyblade is a magical weapon that will appear in the hand of the wielder whenever they want it to.
- Goofy's shield and Axel's chakrams also return to them when thrown.
- In the Ultima series, there is a weapon called the Magic Axe which acts EXACTLY like the clichÃ© boomerang: when thrown, it will fly straight ahead, and return to it's wielder once it hits it's target or hits the edge of the screen, no matter how its wielder moves. It's one of the more powerful weapons in the game, up to the seventh in the series, Ultima VII—which introduces a two-handed sledgehammer called the Juggernaught that does the same thing. Itself subverted within the same game (perhaps unintentionally) if playing the game on a slow PC—the terrain tiles are moved before the weapon tiles are, making it entirely possible to have either the Magic Axe OR the Juggernaught wind up embedded in the terrain and unrecoverable. Which is painful in both, because there are limited numbers of Magic Axes (five) and Juggernaughts (one) in the game, so once embedded they are lost to the player for the rest of the game.
- In the doujin fighter game Eternal Fighter Zero, Mizuka Nagamori throws her cello bow as a boomerang for one of her attacks. Her bow will hone in on her position on its return voyage, remaining airborne until she regains it. Mizuka can also control its direction by waving a conductor's baton.
- The main character of Dark Sector has a glaive which acts like this, going so far as to have a puzzle at one point where you have to throw it over a fence and curve it down to hit a switch. Somewhat Justified Trope since when he first gets it, it actually seems to be coming out of him, meaning it's organically attached to him or something.
- Some of the Fire Emblem games have throwing axes which can be thrown from a distance. The attack animation has them 'boomerang'. This, however, does not seem to apply in the ninth and tenth games, as the thrower now, instead, takes out new axes from Hammerspace.
- The Boomerang class of weapons from Secret of Mana can defy all sorts of conventional physics when sufficiently charged up, but will always return to the wielder when thrown.
- The videogame adaptation of The Jungle Book has a boomerang as one of the weapons; interestingly, while it comes back to you after being thrown, you still lose one boomerang whenever you throw one.
- The Kirby series features a boomerang-like copy ability called Cutter, though it typically doesn't try to follow its thrower. However, in Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards, the Cutter ability causes Kirby to throw a piece of himself as a boomerang, and given his greatly reduced mobility during this, it's guaranteed that the projectile will return home shortly after rebounding. Also, in Kirby's Dream Land 3, using Cutter while teamed up with Rick causes Rick to throw Kirby as a boomerang, though this time it's possible to avoid catching the projectile and even set up a situation where Rick can just stand still and have Kirby orbit endlessly around him. In the same game, teaming up with Pitch for certain copy abilities turns Pitch into a returning projectile, though for Cutter he becomes a crescent-shaped blade that does not spin like a boomerang.
- World of Warcraft has a couple, surprisingly enough.
- Linken's Boomerang is a quest reward named after the aforementioned Link.
- Much more enjoyable is the Booterang, which can be used in a daily quest. Note that these items obey the trope perfectly, following you around literally forever as long as you don't catch them or change zones, and it's easy to outrun them on a fast flying mount. Since the items' use cooldown works independently of the graphical effect, it's also possible to have a ridiculously huge number of them on screen at once. Yes, this means you could fly orbits around Shattrath pursued by a swarm of 100 Booterangs, if you really wanted to.
- Cataclysm introduces the engineering-exclusive Loot-a-Rang, which allows you to rifle through the pockets of a fallen foe and collect piles of gold and/or items from a distance.
- Dead Rising has a boomerang that will return to you even if you move from where you threw it. It will only fail to return if you step behind something or leave the area.
- In Mortal Kombat 4, Tanya's weapon of choice was a boomerang. While all characters could throw their weapons, hers would actually return to her if it misses the opponent. However, the trope is averted in that she has to retrieve it if it hits.
- Super Double Dragon allows players to pick up and throw boomerangs at enemies, complete with return flight. However, in an odd and unintended aversion, they deal damage to the user as well. This was because the developers had yet to program the ability to catch them (along with many other things) when they forced to rush-release the U.S. version, which was based on an incomplete build. They were able to add the ability to catch them for its slightly more complete Japanese release, Return of Double Dragon, although in a more conventional aversion, they're still lost forever if the player fails to catch them.
- Somewhat subverted in Bart Simpson's Escape from Camp Deadly, where boomerangs were the main weapon. They could ricochet at 90 degree angles from the ground and hard objects, but if you missed them on the way back, they were gone.
- Ty the Tasmanian Tiger
- The Doomerang, which is player-controlled while your character stands immobile and vulnerable, making it Awesome but Impractical, unfortunately.
- There's also the Megarang, which automatically targets crates and enemies, and will merrily bounce from enemy to crate to enemy, before returning to Ty's hand, er, paw.
- For that matter, Ty's ability to Dual-Wielding boomerangs that ALWAYS return directly to him certainly counts, considering they're the most frequent theme in the games.
- Castlevania has had boomerangs as a secondary weapon since the first game. Some of them are crucifixes, some are X-shaped, and some are actual boomerangs. see here for more info
- In Vampire Killer, the crucifix and the axe both act as boomerangs, but you lose them if you don't catch them.
- The Axe Armours do this with their axes.
- Nethack The boomerang is a decently powerful missile weapon that moves in a circular pattern when thrown. Among other effects, this means that you can't throw it in narrow passages. And yes, if it actually hits, it doesn't come back.
- The Infinity + 1 weapon of the first Breath of Fire game: The Tri-Rang. It split and flew in three directions at once and hit every enemy it it's path at least twice - multiple times if the enemy was big enough. (The game also featured lesser boomerangs of the lesser "hit and return" variety)
- Subverted in Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure. Boomerangs are one of three weapons in the game, follow an improbably far-reaching curved path, and float around in the air upon return. They do disappear if you don't grab them again, however... and they don't return if they hit an enemy.
- Once thrown, the Boomerang acquired in Joe and Mac Caveman Ninja will literally chase you wherever you run as long as it does not lodge into a mook on the way.
- A couple Turok games feature the Razor Wind, a thrown circular saw that passes right through most enemies and, if it manages to get stuck, simply appears in the wielder's hand. What's more, it never seems to hurt the wielder despite its lethal shape.
- In Final Fantasy VII, Yuffie's shurikens work this way. Oddly enough, you can never get thrown weaponry back. Not sure why you can't just pick it up after the battle....
- The extended re-release of the Final Fantasy VII movie Advent Children features Cloud hurling one of his swords several hundred feet, where it flies in a wide lateral circle and slices through three monsters along the way before returning to him. Not only does he throw it, the sword splits in two in mid-flight. And he catches the second sword with the blade of the first one.
- In Final Fantasy VI there were boomerang weapons which could be dual wielded! Also they could be made to steal items using Lockes Capture/Mug command.
- Final Fantasy XIII: Hope Estheim's Weapon of Choice is a folding boomerang that can make a figure eight-shaped arc to hit the mook at least twice before returning to him, the game justifies this, he has a device on his wrist that makes his boomerang follow his arm movements.
- Darksiders features a Crossblade that works exactly like Wind Waker's boomerang.
- Star Wars games often have "throw lightsaber" powers that let Jedi turn their lightsabers into Precision Guided Boomerangs. This is more due to the Jedi's telekinetic Force abilities than the lightsaber, but to an observer, it looks the same.
- Your hammer in God of Thunder, when thrown, comes back directly towards you, no matter how much you move after throwing it. If there's an obstacle in its way, it will stop against the obstacle and hover in mid-air until you move aside to give it a clear path to you.
- Aika from Skies of Arcadia uses these.
- Twisted Metal II's Roadkill had a boomerang missile that would shoot straight out, make a 90° turn and swing back to you. It was pretty sporadic as to whether or not you got credit back when you "cought" it, and sometimes it would just decide to fly circles around you. As a bonus it did double damage if it hit an enemy on the way back.
- Looney Tunes on Game Boy gives Bugs and Daffy auto-return frisbees that would swing around you if you dodge their first attempt. If you do manage to throw it off, it's pointless because the frisbees are actually infinite.
- Averted by Batman: Arkham Asylum. Regular Batarangs, after hitting their target, would simply bounce off, never returning to Batman. You can even find them lying around after tossing a few. (However, they would cut through ropes fairly flawlessly, though that's more of an Absurdly Sharp Blade.) Also, the usual "multiple targets" of other video game boomerangs is averted in that you can only hit one target with a single Batarang; later upgrades let you throw more than one, letting you pick more targets (but never more than the amount of Batarangs you can throw). The Remote Control ones are justified, seeing as... well, they're remote control. (And they can be guided back to Batman, whereupon he will actually catch it. You don't have to do this, however.)
- Your frisbees in Purple always return to you after throwing. Should they fail to do so, they immaterialize and return as soon as possible passing through everything (or in case of Cluster F., split).
- In Star Ocean, Fear Mell fights with two throwing knives that always return (and some versions hit on the way back too). She wears a magical ring (that cannot be removed) to give her this power. Marvel Frozen similarily fights with a flying orb that she manipulates with her telekinetic power.
- Anachronox: Stiletto Anyways fights with daggers. Depending on which set she's equipped with, they're thrown at the enemy and return every time.
- In Crusader of Centy, the first skill the hero learns is throwing his sword, which will indeed spin around and come back like a boomerang.
- In Maximo the title characters shield acts very much like the Captain America example above: it always returns to him (regardless of what it hits) and with the right upgrades can bounce between ememies and/or hover in mid-air.
- Touhou Project: Elly's Scythe in Lotus Land Story. Even if you FIRE at it, it just blocks the attack and makes Elly more of a pain than she already was.
- In Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Captain America's shield can be controlled in midair, probably through the controls mentioned in the above comic book section. It's worth noting, however, that controlling it is damn near impossible in-game. It's better to just throw the shield and let it do its own thing. It'll return to you regardless.
- In League of Legends Sivir has two abilities that do this. The first causes her auto-attacks to bounce and hit nearby enemies, the other throws her crossblade straight forward, where it will return to her. She can move while it's in flight to alter the angle of its return so that it hits an enemy it would otherwise miss.
- Lux has an odd defensive version of this. She throws her wand, and every allied champion it hits gains a defense shield. As with Sivir, moving while it's in flight can be used to make it hit more people, or hit the same person again on the return journey to reapply the shield.
- Kid Kool and its Spiritual Successors by Vic Tokai all featured a partner that could be thrown at enemies but would return after a few seconds, though you would lose it if you took a hit:
- Wicky in Kid Kool.
- Bird Fly in Psycho Fox.
- The skull in Decap Attack (whose counterpart in Magical Hat no Buttobi Turbo! Daibouken was an egg named Robogg).
- Chakrams in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Not only do they come back when thrown, but they can do a few tricks in the air like hitting multiple targets before coming back to you. Justified since they're explicitly magical weapons.
- Colette in Tales of Symphonia wields chakrams that do this.
- Glaive-type melee weapons in Warframe can be thrown, bounce several times on enemies and walls, and always return to the player after a set amount of bounces, travelling a maximum total distance or when actively recalled (immediatly changing direction mid-flight in many cases) and even phase through obstacles to reach the player's hand. They still do damage on the return phase and this property can be used by skilled players to hit more enemies than the glaive would normally do on its own. Ivara's Navigator ability and a thrown glaive make a deadly combo, allowing to disregard the aforementioned limits in bounces and distance entirely and hit enemies multiple times in a single throw for a lot of damage.
- Knights of the Old Coding
- The comic parodies this, when it is revealed that Ryu's Windmill Star always returns, but he had slept through the class on how to catch a giant spinning blade of death. He eventually stops it—by embedding it in a Dragoon's back.
- Similarly, when Kuros finds the Axe of Agor, he discards the Knife of Throwing, forgetting that it always returns until it stabs him in the back.
- Chief has a spear that materializes in his hand after throwing it. It also splits into lots of spears when thrown.
- Kin also had a crossbow with bolts that regrow in the quiver... but that takes an hour.
- In the Kate Modern animated episode "The Wedding Video", Ninja!Charlie throws a bent Katanas Are Just Better at a group of enemies. It slices straight through them all and arcs around, coming to rest embedded in the wall next to where Charlie is standing.
- In the That Guy With The Glasses Anniversary Video, That Aussie Guy whips out "The Stereotype of Doom", throwing a boomerang that knocks down Linkara, Handsome Tom, Marz Gurl, and Ma-Ti, before he effortlessly reclaims it, spouting a menacing "Oi" at the end.
- In The Gods of Arr-kelaan, this is a major plot point that Satan triesto plan around. The magical pink mallet still goes through him to return to Ronson.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Sokka's boomerang does this to a lesser extent, and has been known to simply show back up after being lost, or be found again by sheer luck—a more mundane form of returning, but you can't doubt its loyalty. Lampshaded once when Sokka was stuck in a pit and an apple was just out of reach. While struggling to get free, the boomerang dislodges from him and falls in front of the apple, and Sokka remarks: "Now come back, boomerang." Furthermore, in one episode, the group's packs are stolen, and Sokka's boomerang with them. Later in the same episode, they run into the thieves and the boomerang is dropped. When Sokka sees it, he snatches it up, cuddles it and proclaims "Boomerang! You really do always come back!"
- In "The Western Air Temple", Sokka became the worst abuser in history. Based on the angle of two firebending attacks, he was able to locate and hit an enemy hundreds of feet away, at least one floor up, from behind a wall, and it still comes back. Add to this was the fact that it was a headshot, and when the guy gets back up and tries to attack again he explodes. Seriously. While it was completely insane, I'll be damned if it wasn't awesome. Granted, there was Foreshadowing in a previous episode that hitting his third eye causes his mind/firebending to backfire and blow up in his face, so there's at least a reason for that part.
- Then subverted in the Grand Finale, where Sokka throws it in a last-ditch effort to save himself and Toph. He then guesses (correctly) that it's not coming back when he realizes that he only delayed the inevitable... only to be saved by Suki's timely comeback. Made all the funnier by Toph (who is blind and thus only heard the ensuing carnage) asking the question, "What happened? Did boomerang come back?"
- In the sequel comic "The Promise" we see he has it or a very similar one again, apparently having recovered it offscreen.
- Skyland: Mahad's boomerang.
- One episode of the The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh has Tigger throw a boomerang at a beehive. Said boomerang hunts him down like a bloodhound for the rest of the episode, even into houses.
- Code Lyoko
- An episode of Peter Pan and The Pirates had Smee cursed with a boomerang that always returned. Even from a locked chest at the bottom of the sea. Even with people clinging to it (and getting a free ride).
- The Tick (animation)'s most colorful apprentices from "The Tick vs. Education": the Babyboomerangotan! A man in an orangutan costume... throwing baby dolls which returned to him. Except for the doll dubbed "the middle child", which exploded.
- In Teen Titans, Robin's Birdarangs are examples, and one of his many shoutouts to Gatchaman.
- The Herculoids. Zandor's shield, which could even return while carrying a person.
- In one episode of The Penguins of Madagascar, Private uses a butterscotch lollipop as a boomerang.
- In the "A Better World" episode of Justice League, Wonder Woman uses her tiara as this against Justice Lord Wonder Woman.
- In the classic Disney short Mickey Down Under (1948), Mickey Mouse uses a boomerang that's borderline self-willed. It barely needs to be thrown and just flys in circles at the slightest touch. Pluto struggles for a while with it, and both he and Mickey end up chased by the boomerang at the end.
- In both Batman Beyond and The Batman, the Batarangs are much more often just bladed throwing weapons that may or may not curve. And sometimes they're not. However, The Batman might also be a justified case, since here the Batarang is equipped with the same kind of weird technology found within the Grappling Hook Pistol, the BatWave, etc. -- remember that strange zinging noise the Batarang makes.
- In Krypto the Superdog, Ace the Bat-Hound also has a teleguided batarang.
- Wile E. Coyote and a boomarang. I think you can figure out the rest.
- Advice from the Boomerang School: “If it starts coming at you and you aren’t confident you can catch it, move out of the way. That’s your self-preservation instinct kicking in - listen to it!”
- "...but there was one (isn’t there always one?) who managed to throw it almost straight up, and it returned practically on top of heads. I suppose that’s the reason that everyone except the thrower is kept inside a roofed wire enclosure".
- A guilt-ridden American who stole a boomerang from an Australian museum in 1983 returned it. Just goes to show you that boomerangs really do come back, even after 25 years.
- Just for Fun: R.W. Wood (physicist, enthusiast of boomerang and surfing, and sort of daredevil) at one of his open demonstrations decided to show how the boomerang flies and sent it into wide loop over tribunes. Then one of his students raised an umbrella high enough to be in the way. Boomerang cut it down.
- A very basic boomerang (as in, aero-ballistic thrown toy) is quite easy to make: many schoolboys have fixed two straight rules at the center in "helicopter blade" cross to throw the contraption frisbee-like. It has curved path, but not good enough to return - as such, how quickly its popularity fades may tell us something about the advantages of returning versions.