"What else have you got in there? Chocolate rations? Boy Scout knife? Army-issue contraceptives?"
—Silk Spectre II to Nite Owl, Watchmen
Stuff that might be found in a Utility Belt:
- A Grappling Hook Pistol.
- Smoke bombs and/or Stun Grenades.
- A lock pick or Skeleton Key.
- A flashlight.
- Bat-shark repellent.
- Anything they need.
- Your keys, money, and stuff.
Note that this is usually not the same as a Bag of Holding. A Bag of Holding is generally used to just pile in as much as you can when looting (ie removing stuff from the enemy base/dungeon) while a utility belt holds carefully chosen key items in specific, easy to access places to take them with you for use at the enemy base/dungeon.
When it comes to carrying capacity, the Utility Belt fits between the mundane backpack and the utterly fantastic Hammerspace.
Not to be confused with Rob Liefeld's pouches, which are NEVER USED.
- Batman, natch. In every incarnation. There is even a wikipedia article about it. In the Planetary crossover, in which it turns out that every universe has a version of Batman except the usual Planetary universe, the Batman who resembles the TV show from the Sixties pulls, from a normal-sized belt pouch, an aerosol can the size of a can of spray paint containing "Bat-Female-Villain-Repellent-Spray". It actually works, too.
- The original Kathy Kane had a utility purse.
- Nightwing shakes things up a bit by keeping his stuff in wristband/gauntlets and boot tops from time to time, since his costume does not always include a belt.
- Red Hood kept most of his gadgets in simple jacket pockets for a while.
- In one Silver Age comic book story ("The Joker's Utility Belt!", featured in Batman #73), The Joker tried to beat Batman at his own game and devised his own utility belt to counter Batman's. It failed; Batman is a little too good at his own game and used the Joker's belt against him.
- Batzarro wears his upside down with all of the pouches open giving you the sense that everything has fallen out.
- Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders has Batman and Robin take part in a Utility Belt duel, showing off some of the more esoteric (and unbelievable) items they carry.
- Stephanie Brown tries to bring a bit of realism to the utility belt when assumes the Batgirl identity in her series. She wears the traditional waist-belt, but also wears numerous other belts to give her enough pockets and pouches to actually carry all this equipment. She skirts the edges a bit, like all the Bats, but never outright breaks the well-established real world physics of pockets.
- And that mysterious utility belt that she's worn on her thigh since her debut? It's empty. She wears it because she likes the way it makes her look.
- Spider-Man wears a utility belt to hold extra web cartridges, spider-tracers, his camera, and his "Spider-signal" flashlight buckle. He wears it under his shirt but since it leaves only a small bulge, and he is usually moving around so much, most people don't even realize he has one. Ben Reilly wears his on the outside with his Scarlet Spider costume.
- Top Cow Productions comic book series Freshmen. The character Norrin has no abilities except for a fairly useless utility belt.
- In Quantum and Woody, Quantum has a fully-laden utility belt.
- Watchmen: As the above quote shows, Nite Owl had one.
- The "Knights" of Checkmate wore nifty Tricked-Out Gloves ... plus a utility belt on the right thigh that held, among other things, the telescoping staff weapon they called a "lance," and binoculars with a long-range microphone to listen as well as watch.
- In The Secret Return of Alex Mack, Terawatt/Alex gets one as a gift to add to her Terawatt costume after her first few ops with the SRI, mainly to hold energy bars, but also a couple of useful toys.
- Although it's not literally kept in a belt, Nabiki in Desperately Seeking Ranma is starting to rival Batman for the sheer amount of useful stuff she's carrying around. At the urging of her AI assistant Jun, she's begun accumulating all manner of high- and ultra-tech equipment which she keeps in her personal Hammerspace "just in case" -- including a lot of emergency rations and water, several Surveillance Drones that Jun can interface with, and even a couple space suits.
- In Star Wars: A New Hope, Luke swipes a utility belt from a Stormtrooper, and later uses a grapple and line to swing himself and Leia to safety.
- In some of the later EU books Luke still carries a grappling hook and rope around despite being the most powerful jedi out there.
- Later on, R2D2 turns into a walking, mostly not talking, self aware utility belt.
- In Toy Story 2, Buzz takes one from a newer Buzz Lightyear toy, whose box says "New Utility Belt!"
- The combat robot Johnny Five from Short Circuit has a waist-mounted rotating multitool containing, among other things, wire cutters, lockpick, and a soldering iron. In the second movie, he replaces his shoulder-mounted laser with a utility pack with a magnetic grappling hook, hang glider, camera, and metal cutter.
- Spoofed in Battle Beyond the Stars, where Space Trucker 'Cowboy' has a belt that dispenses a belt—specifically Scotch, soda and ice.
- Captain Underpants has a "waistband utility belt."
- Doc Savage has a utility vest. May be the Trope Codifier, if not the Ur Example.
- Septimus Heap: Both Septimus Heap and Marcia Overstrand have such belts, that include things such as lenses.
- Amelia Peabody Emerson often wore a belt with "useful items" attached. In the early days, she had the things hanging by cords from the belt rather than in pockets, which caused delays sometimes when the cords got tangled.
- Batgirl, Batman & Robin from the Sixties tv show, the show that inspired research into real life "Bat-Shark-Repellent-Spray", will always win with the "dehydrated Bat costume", a pill taken from the utility belt that, when soaked, produce a new costume complete with a new utility belt.
- Paladin has one in Have Gun — Will Travel. Not the superhero style, but his belt carries bullets, and he keeps a derringer behind the belt buckle.
- Due to the lack of pockets in their uniforms, Starfleet officers in Star Trek: The Original Series had to wear belts to hold their communicators and phasers. A few early first-season episodes actually showed Kirk putting on such a belt in the transporter room.
- Ayla/Phase of the Whateley Universe was the first character to buy one. The creator, "Mobius", had made a belt that had pockets that worked like Bags Of Holding. Phase paid Mobius several times the asking price, pointed out how much the uber-Utility Belt was really worth, and offered to help market the device for a small percentage of the huge amounts of profit he would be making for Mobius.
- Several other characters have various alternatives. They tend to be Bags Of Holding.
- For instance, Hank/Lancer has a 0-range Telekinesis power that usually just makes him a Flying Brick, but he carries two sword shapes made of paper, that can roll up to fit in a normal pocket. When he applies his telekinetic forcefield to them, they work like regular swords but much sharper and much tougher.
- New York Magician has Wibert's bandolier. Interestingly enough, it only has a few, precisely defined, very useful items in it. Strangely, Michel can apparently get away with openly wearing a bandolier in a major city in the 21st centur-oh, right, it's New York.
- In Dynomutt Dog Wonder, his master the Blue Falcon had a variety of tools in his utility belt.
- In the Veggie Tales spinoff The Animated Adventures of Larry-Boy, the title character had a utility belt.
- In The Simpsons episode The Homer They Fall, Bart obtains a utility belt which contains such items as a compass, matches, a "help" button that has a recording which simply repeats the word help and shoots off a rocket with "call 911", and of course turn signals.
- Swiss Army Knives / Gerbers / Leathermans fit this trope.
- Somewhat disappearing due to the integration of multiple devices into cell phones, but geeks of yore used to carry a wide variety of electronics and tools on their belts, and in geek parlance they were often referred to as "Bat-Belts."
- Mechanical devices and electronic aren't yet being integrated in the same system very often. If you have a utility knife or a keychain, or wallet with ID/money/whatever you need somewhere to keep it.
- Many people in Real Life find a need for having a variety of tools or equipment readily accessible, though usually going by a variety of names. What handyman would be complete without his handy tool belt? Cops wouldn't have enough pockets to keep their badge, holster, handcuffs, etc. if they didn't have a belt to hang it all off of.
- American soldiers call the heavy nylon belts they wear in the field "Web Belts", and many accessories, to include canteens, flashlights, and a wide variety of pouches are specially designed to attach to it. The belt can be attached to a shoulder harness to help support the weight, or it can be replaced with a utility vest. Nowadays, most soldiers just carry their gear in pouches attached to their Bulletproof Vest.
- In some ways a messenger bag is best for someone who does not feel the need for a quick draw as it has a shoulder strap -- which of course has the whole body for a support instead of just a beltloop. Sometimes you just want to use some of your stuff as bling (wallet chains for instance make a good show) or just to get comfort from having it easily reached. Or whatever. An ordinary belt can strain too much if you wear to much on it and will wear the belt and more to the point will be uncomfortable. So if you do want your gear where it can be seen or where you can touch it a specially made belt will help.
- Band-O-Gear. You know you want one.