Weapon of Choice

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Why doesn't The Lancer carry a lance?

Don't be shocked by the tone of my voice

Check out my new weapon -- Weapon of Choice
Fatboy Slim, "Weapon of Choice"

This is similar to Personality Powers, but with weapons. Basically, in various works of fiction, characters tend to possess weapons that are either a direct reflection of their personality or the traits commonly deemed to their character type.

This is why you don't see ogres with rapiers or ninjas with clubs. The martial arts allow this trope to survive as Pastimes Prove Personality.

  • Swords: The heroic lead usually winds up wielding the iconic broadsword in the west. The katana often takes its place in the east. While the big two-handed blades, if they're not in the hands of the hero, usually go to The Big Guy. If they're trying way too hard to be cool, they'll use two swords, or a single really big one.
    • Rapier: Rapiers and short-swords typically go to swashbucklers and foppish characters
    • Katanas: If both katanas and broadswords are present, the katana will invariably be in the hands of the Badass, because Katanas Are Just Better
  • Machetes: The machete and related blades are used by characters who live wild, or have wild, untamed natures, calling back to its use in the wilderness. Usually used by an Anti-Hero. However, they can be used by anyone in a jungle setting, when used as a tool.
  • Axes: Proud Warrior Race Guys tend to get axes. This probably is due to the fact that Tolkien's dwarves, one of the most prominent examples of the proud warrior race, favored axes. A favorite of the Ax Crazy. Also a favourite of the big guy who doesn't have a club (see below), in which case it will be a simple enormous, double-bitted job. The Berserker (who could be seen as the intersection between the preceding tropes) often favors an axe. Also favored by woodsmen due to having to chop wood constantly, and living in log cabins. Or policemen.
  • Clubs/Hammers: Big and brash characters, like a giant Smash Mook or The Big Guy, just need the bluntest weapon they can muster: A giant club, mallet, or mace. Dwarves tend to like hammers, too; probably because they like forging so much. Size for size, hammers are heavier, slower, and harder hitting than axes. Smaller, more manageable versions are sometimes favored by paladins and priests or monks who frown upon shedding blood, but have less compunction about causing concussions and breaking bones. This originated with a medieval papal mandate to discourage bloodshed between Christian nations (although blunt weapons still do shed plenty of blood). Dungeons and Dragons revived this idea in the modern world as a form of game balance, but it became popularized to the point where all fantasy clergy are depicted with blunt weapons. Very large, possibly comically oversized warhammers are also favored by a number of Cute Bruiser types in roleplaying video games. If a hammer is a mundane utility hammer, then the wielder is almost always Ax Crazy.
  • Staves: Wizards and other wise characters that rely on talents other than brute force to deal with conflict still sensibly bring at least a staff for protection. This covers the White Magician Girl and the Black Magician Girl, both of whom typically use them. In the former's case, they'll typically be called Staves, while in the latter's case, they'll be Rods/Wands. It's a less lethal but still effective weapon often used by the Technical Pacifist, who needs to fight but doesn't want to use deadly force. Those trying for historical accuracy may have them appear in the hands of Robin Hood and his merry men, or other persons legally or practically barred from possession of edged weapons for their close-range fighting needs.
    • GunStaffs, for when you need the ability to beat things over the head and shoot people in a single package. Wizard's staves count here but it can also be a technological gizmo that shoots electricity, for defensive characters who DO want to use deadly force.
  • Fists: Any person who carries no weapon when everybody around him is carrying one is either cocky enough to believe that he doesn't need a weapon, or highly-skilled enough to know that he doesn't need a weapon. The two are generally completely opposite in characterization, with the cocky version generally being a braggart and a bit of an ass, and the other being contemplative and spiritual to the point of being a Martial Pacifist or a Warrior Therapist. Or they're just a Technical Pacifist. Be warned, however, that the latter level of expertise may also contain the Arrogant Kung Fu Guy, who really is as good as he brags about. However, some others...
    • Gauntlets and Such ...compromise with practicality. Though some have little choice in the matter.
    • Greaves: These are fighters from a martial tradition (almost exclusively Asian) who are nonetheless using "greaves," the metal shin guards worn by European knights. Such fighters use their feet as their primary attack options: what would be the point of wearing metal boots if you intended to punch someone? Technically, gauntlets and greaves are armor, not weapons... But since when has that stopped anyone?
    • Natural Weapons: Some characters have something better than fists. Claws, tails, talons, and so forth. These weapons imply a character is feral and savage, almost more animal than man... after all, if they weren't, they'd pick up a weapon and kill each other like civilized people.
  • Flails and other chain weapons: Halfway between a whip and a bludgeon, a big spiked ball on a chain can make for an intimidating weapon. As such, they tend to be wielded by equally intimidating brutes and other scary characters. Many more varieties of chain weapons exist in the east; nunchaku, kusari-gama, multi-sectional staves and the like. These are wielded by showy martial artists demonstrating their prowess, evil martial artists hoping to confuse the nice guy with a scary foreign weapon, or by Highly-Visible Ninja who should know better.
  • Strange weapons: If a character is just improvising and ordinarily goes unarmed, he's probably the Unlucky Everydude who just got caught in a fight (like most of the characters Jackie Chan plays). If someone regularly goes around with a weapon like this, they're not totally connected to reality—either The Ditz or the Cloudcuckoolander, or they're so Badass they can kill people without needing "regular" weapons. Or they have a need to go armed in portions of society that do not take kindly to the presence of actual weapons, and have adapted accordingly. This category may include such sports equipment that does not fall under Staves, above, such as baseballs, hockey pucks, and the like.
  • Bows: Characters with composed personalities are archers. This again has roots in Tolkien, where the elves typically were depicted as being able to stay composed even in extreme duress. The Sniper Rifle is the modern day equivalent although Bows can still be seen.
  • Guns: In a setting where guns are rare, they will be mostly the province of The Smart Guy. In settings where they are more common, they take the place of swords, with the largest going to the hero and the most distinctive going to the Badass. In any case, the protagonists are invariably impossibly good shots, while the Mooks suck. When guns aren't so rare, the type of gun often is a shorthand for the type of user, leading to Good Guns, Bad Guns in the West. The big list of Guns and Gunplay Tropes details more ways how the heat a character packs tells the audience who they are.
  • Blowguns: Usually a weapon of choice of tribesmen.
  • Scythes: Especially for villains and goths despite being very impractical to actually fight with. Associated with death, or those who command it. It should be noted that a scythes can be made into an effective weapon by reattaching the blade so it extends upright from the pole. Alternatively the Chinese had a workable version even before that. These more effective designs are rarely seen in fiction. Oddly enough, rarely if ever used by farmers, who prefer...
  • Pitchforks: The official weapon of the unruly mob, this is normally used by a farmer or small-town folk defending his home. Shotguns and hunting rifles can also fill this niche in a modern setting. You may also see some traditionalist infernals wielding pitchforks to prod the damned with.
  • Polearms: Usually, a polearm - such as a poleaxe, spear, halberd, or any other weapon that's a long stick with something sharp and metal on one end - is the province of hapless Mooks: city guardsman, honor guard, Spear Carrier and so on. Anyone who needs something long to cross over a portal to prevent someone from entering will use a polearm. When not in the hands of mooks, they are the weapon of choice for calm collected individuals. Occasionally an RPG will have a powerful weapon that happens to be a halberd (probably the best polearm design ever conceived, as it can stab, slash, thump, and trip) or spear (as it has all sorts of cool connotations of being "ancient"), but you're damned if you're gonna find any ancestral bec-de-corbins in any medieval-flavored fantasy novel anywhere.
    • Trident: The weapon of sea gods like Poseidon, Proteus and Nereus and merpeople is now the weapon of anyone associated with the sea or water. Not entirely contrived, as the trident was originally a fishing spear, hence its pairing with a fishing net in the hands of a retiarius (a type of Roman gladiator).
  • Anchors: A favored weapon for sailors and pirates. These come in two flavors: either swung from a chain, or used as a heavy bludgeoning weapon with a cool shape.
  • Whips: Whips tend to be found in the hands of cowboys, swashbuckling characters, certain vampire slayers, archaeologists, female villains with a thing for tight leather and a dominatrix streak, brutal slave drivers, torturers... and prosecutors.
  • Curved Weapons: Hooks, sickles and other such things tend to belong to psychos for hire and similar characters. The same is true for weapons that are notably serrated.
  • Knives: Ninjas and assassins go for the lightest and smallest tools. Even most Ax Crazy characters prefer using knives—though their knives will usually be broader and longer, such as chef knives, machetes, or Kukris Are Kool. A knife wielder is usually swift, fierce and pragmatic, going for a quick kill instead of a lengthy battle. If a character specializes in throwing knives, he's probably either very flashy (a la the circus knife thrower) or extremely subtle, with weapons hidden all over his body. Many knife-users like attaching them to their hands like animal claws. Due to being often light and easy to handle, knives, daggers and such are often the favourite defense weapon for women, who often dip it in poison for extra effect.
  • Chainsaws: Chainsaws are a very intimidating weapon usually only wielded by those who are truly Ax Crazy. But certain heroes have also made use of them, particularly those who fight zombies, demons and other nasties - if you're fighting something frightful, sometimes you need a weapon that roars and bites back.
  • Drills: Similar to the above, though with some different connotations. A drill's ability to bore through obstacles may reflect its wielder's determination, or may be something altogether more Freudian. Also makes an effective terror weapon for the same reasons, or due to invoking memories of the dentist's chair. There are two types of them. Triangular drill is often used by strong brutes while utility drills are used by Ax Crazy people. Robots sometimes have a drill as an appendage, or convert an appendage into a drill.
  • Magic Wands - Not so much a weapon for "beating them over the head" but rather "blow them up with a bigger fireball." More of a favorite with wizards, witches and such than staff, but they often combine them for the best of both worlds. Not necessarily always a wand, this covers any object used for spellcasting.
  • Baseball Bats/Lead Pipes -- The preferred weapons of street fighters and urban brawlers from bad neighborhoods, especially in the US. (Cricket bats may also be used, but this is more likely to be played for laughs or be ineffectual, unless of course the setting is the UK or Australia). Is often something of a throwback to the image of a big angry guy with a club coming towards you. Also tends to be the weapon of choice when someone is caught in a surprise emergency (such as an armed burglary or a Zombie Apocalypse) and has to grab the closest thing to them they can use as a weapon. Thus it can suggest either brutal, simple, unsophisticated violence or the desperation of someone clutching one in a time of crises.
  • Slingshots: Seen as a kid's toy (and for good reason, since slingshots are generally weak and difficult to aim, making them impractical for battle), these are generally in the hands of a mischievous child who wants to annoy rather than harm. If used by adults, it's because they're either improvising or something of an oddball.
  • Fundamentally Absurd Weapons: Often a game will have a weapon that makes the aforementioned scythes look simple and logical. These objects almost always appeal to the Rule of Cool, and are ridiculously overpowered. Napalm Chainsaw-Nunchuck-Missile-shooting Double Gunswords, anyone?
  • Shields: Surprisingly rare for major fictional characters. Usually meant to be used alongside another one-handed weapon (such as the good ol' sword and board), but many characters will use only a shield, usually as a Technical Pacifist or matching their personality as either defensive and fragile, or protective of others. Or simply as an Improbable Weapon. Shields are almost always near-indestructible, magical or made of Unobtainium. Some characters (like Captain America (comics)) can actually throw them.
  • Slings: They're usually associated with peasants, children, halflings and primitive tribesman. Rarely an effective weapon in fiction, they are more likely to distract than cause real damage, David and Goliath aside.
  • Thrown Explosives and Incendiaries: Grenades and the like are usually associated with those with poor impulse control (in plain English, people who really like explosions). They may or may not also be Mad Bombers. They may also be associated with controlled and logical people, as a juxtaposition. This weapon most often occurs in more technologically advanced settings like Urban Fantasy or Science Fiction.

Of course, any true Troper's Weapon of Choice would have to be a Big Freakin' Gatling Shotgun that can be Dual Wielded with a Detachable Chain-Bladed Laser Katanas Are Just Better. Anything else just pales in comparison, save for the Giga Drill Breaker. If there is a Five-Man Band, the weapons will probably be Heroes Prefer Swords, Blade on a Stick, Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me, Simple Staff, and Magic Wand. For non-weapon examples, see Tell Me How You Fight. Contrast Choice of Two Weapons. See also Good Weapon, Evil Weapon.

Examples of Weapon of Choice include:

General[edit | hide | hide all]


Anime & Manga[edit | hide]

  • In Black Butler, the shinigami have a fondness for peculiar weapons that would fit in better in a garden instead of on the battlefield. There are 5 named shinigami whose weapons have been show; there's William T. Spears who wields a Pruning Sheer, Grell Sutcliff wields a chainsaw, Ronald Knox has a lawnmower, Eric Slingby has a normal saw, and Alan Humphries who has a Japanese Style Garden Slasher.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has this with each of the main characters having a specific "device".
    • Nanoha has her magic staff, Raising Heart. (Still called Raging Heart by many. For good reason.)
      • As the power of Nanoha's weapon improves, it increasingly comes to resemble a spear—which coincides with her increasingly sneaky and tactical [1] fighting style. Yes, I did just call Little Miss Beamrape "sneaky"—she tends to draw people into traps so she can charge up the Starlight Breaker rather than just power through their defenses like Vita does.
    • Fate and her scythe/bardiche/bfs, named Bardiche.
    • The Wolkenritter align to this trope perfectly. Leader Signum wields a longsword, the wizardly Shamal thinks with portals using magic rings (wand-equivalents), and Cute Bruiser Vita has a hammer. That also turns into a rocket. And has a giant hammer/drill mode.
    • Teana and Vice's devices are firearms.
  • Haruko Haruhara of FLCL uses an unusual item as a club: a midnight blue, left-handed Rickenbacker bass guitar model 4001S with a pull-start engine.
  • Bleach is full of both this and Personality Powers. Every single weapon used in the series is supposed to be a reflection of the owner's personality. Granted, this doesn't follow the normal guidelines at all, but it's still there.
  • Madan Senki Ryukendo shows this trope in both showing the Madan Warriors' personalities through the weapons, and by giving the weapons themselves personalities. Kenji/Ryukendo, the title Idiot Hero, uses a sword. The sword itself, GekiRyuKen is equally heroic, but a Trickster Mentor. Fudou/Ryugunou and his blaster, GouRyuGun, calculate their strategies, making Fudou the intelligent balance to Kenji's Determinator. Koichi/Ryujinou is an interesting case. His ZanRyuJin becomes an axe and a bow. Koichi himself is powerful and dangerous, but does know how to fight controlled. ZanRyuJin itself is a wiseguy, only on good terms with his partner.
  • In Yoroiden Samurai Troopers, (Ronin Warriors in US), this trope partially applies to the heroes. The main hero has dual wield katanas that also connect into a single double-sided sword, The Smart Guy is an archer, and the one whose powers come from water has a trident. The other two of the Five-Man Band are anomalies: the weapon of the quiet, mature Sage is a huge greatsword, while big eating, hot tempered Big Guy Kento uses a sectioned staff.
  • Urusei Yatsura: Shinobu the super-strong lesser Yandere is known for her use of heavy school desks as bludgeons and projectile weapons. Even in environments where there are no school desks such as Mendou's yard.
  • Tsukihime's protagonist Tohno Shiki only ever uses his knife, which has the symbols for '7 Nights' carved into it (the actual meaning of the characters is 'Nanaya,' it is an heirloom from his true family of demon-slaying assassins that was passed down to him.).
  • In the My-HiME/Mai-Otome universe, this is quite evident on the elements used by the main characters. The stoic loner Natsuki uses pistols or other guns, elegant Shizuru uses a naginata or a similar polearm, somewhat crazy Nao uses claws or wires, the Determinator Haruka uses a mace or a ball and chain if she has an element of her own but the original lead Mai has odd bangles/anklets with magatama beads. This is solved in Mai-Otome where new lead Arika has a double-bladed sword.
  • Many late 1980s Anime involving female juvenile delinquents equipped them with toys as weapons. Notable examples include:
  • The characters in Soul Eater fight in partners, one as a weapon and one as a wielder. Maka uses a scythe, Kid uses two pistols, and Black* Star usually uses either a Katanas Are Just Better or a kusarigama.
  • Roronoa Zoro from One Piece always uses 3 katanas; Usopp has his slingshot and Nami her Clima Tact.
  • Yui Lan of Full Metal Panic! is nearly always seen dual-wielding what look like mecha-sized carbines with bayonets. And her little sister was introduced in a scene where she used two kukris and excessive amount of Gorn.
  • From Berserk, both the original Band of the Hawk and Guts' post-Eclipse party have weapons of choice. In the Band of the Hawk, we had Guts with a greatsword, Griffith with a rapier, Casca with a short sword, Judeau with knives, Pippin with a hammer, Corkus with an ordinary sword and Rickert with a crossbow. In the post-eclipse team, we have Guts with the Dragon Slayer, Serpico with a rapier and then a fan/sword, Isidro with two knives, Schierke with a magic staff and Farnese with a small silver knife.
  • Golgo 13 generally uses an M-16. They're easy to find (so he can acquire one on site), easy to have modified, and cheap enough to dispose of if necessary (whereas specialized sniper rifles tend to be expensive and hard to get on short notice). In addition, this gives him a close-combat weapon if circumstances go sour. He has, however, used other guns as needed. Notably, Golgo tends to upgrade to the latest model of M-16 five to ten years after their release. Fans speculate he waits for their reliability to be proven before switching preferences.
  • Shu from Now and Then, Here and There favors a simple wooden stick, reflecting his generally peaceable mindset. He doesn't want anyone to die and rejects knives and guns when they're offered to him or forced on him.
  • Many characters from Blood Plus: Each of the Schiff uses a different kind of weapon, many of them fairly oversized. Saya wields a specially designed katana later reforged with a crystal from George, David uses a Revolvers Are Just Better, Kai wields his father's handgun with explosive ammo, Solomon chooses to transform his hand into a simple and functional blade..... the list goes on. The weapons represent either their personalities or their history and emotions. Or both.


Comics[edit | hide]

  • Subverted in Greg Rucka's Queen and Country. Secret agent Tara Chace is issued a gun for a mission; her contact comments, "Your file says you're a P99 girl," to which she replies, "I'm more of a stay-at-home-and-fancy-a-cuppa girl." As the series handles guns and gunplay very realistically, weapons are rarely issued, and when they are, it's usually a sign that Something Bad will happen.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • Leonardo, the heroic leader, uses swords (a ninja-to style katana)
    • Raphael, the pragmatic Loose Cannon who's just a little bit crazy at times, uses sais.
    • Donatello, the intellectual, uses a (bo) staff.
    • And Michaelangelo, being the cool party guy, uses the coolest ninja weapon of the '80s: nunchaku. A flashback has him practicing with a manriki-gusari and complaining that he'd prefer using his "'chucks".
    • The supporting cast gives another example: Casey Jones, the Badass street-fighting vigilante armed with a variety of sports equipment: baseball bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks... he even produced a cricket bat in the movie, prompting Raphael to mock him.

Raphael: Cricket? Nobody understands cricket! You gotta know what a crumpet is to understand cricket!
Casey: I'll teach you! (wham) See? Six runs.

  • When Captain America (comics) throws his mighty shield, all those who chose to oppose the shield must yield!
  • The Green Lantern Ring.
  • And Batarangs.
    • Robin has been known to use a staff, and at one point two sticks in the Escrima martial arts style.
      • The Fifth Robin has a thing for katanas.
  • Hawkeye, who may or may not be Marvel's expy of DC's Green Arrow, is likewise a hotshot archer whose real weapon isn't the bow so much as the bag of tricks he fires from it. He's shown to have the same accuracy hand-throwing his arsenal of arrowheads or firing them from improvised launchers.
    • In the Ultimate Universe, he's even shown using his fingernails, but then that version of the character is borderline Ax Crazy and a former black ops. As of Volume Three, he started showing a preference for guns.
  • The Saint Of Killers, in Preacher (Comic Book), dual-wields a pair of Walker Colt Revolvers Are Just Better. Never mind the fact that he's an unkillable One-Man Army in a duster coat, these things were forged by Satan himself from the sword of the world-weary Angel Of Death; their hammers will never fall on empty chambers, they never miss, and no wound they give will ever be less than fatal. Oh, and he's a supernatural quick-draw artist, too; "I saw a blur, and then shooting. I didn't see no draw." After surviving a nuke - in the midst of the inferno, he calmly spits and growls "Not enough Gun", he wraps up the series by killing God. I will call your Badass and raise you to infinity.
  • Whiplash/Blacklash, an Iron Man foe best known as the partial basis for The Movie's Whiplash, engineered his own electric whips and used them to wreck things up... until he was accidentally killed by his old enemy. He could also turn his whips into nunchucks. Anyway, since his death, a BDSM-loving couple adopted both the Whiplash and Blacklash identities, then his daughter stepped into the role, a version inspired by the movie character debuted, and the original's been seen in action again, too.
    • Somewhat related are the Constrictor and Omega Red, who both have tendrils that come out of their arms. Constrictor's Serpent Society teammate Coachwhip explicitly themed herself around her signature weapon, as well.
  • In The Uncanny X-Men/NewMutants, Illyana Rasputin, A.K.A. Magik, possesses the Soulsword. And vice versa.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • Taken to extreme lengths in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fic, I Am What I Am. Prior to the climactic battle, Xander forges custom magic weapons for every member of the group except Willow (at her request). Each weapon's name, type, and special powers are explicitly designed to complement their personality and fighting style, particularly because the weapons' powers will only function for their intended wielder.
    • Buffy gets a short sword named "Companion" that enhances her secondary Slayer powers (prophetic dreams, sensing vampires, etc.), and provides a mental link to Faith.
    • The free-spirited Faith gets a pair of tomahawks -- "Tommy" and "Tammy"—that come back to her when thrown, and provide a mental link to Buffy.
    • Cordelia gets a greatsword named "Subtlety" that grants her minor healing powers, doubles as a lie detector, and is actually very light when in her hands.
    • The straitlaced Kendra gets a katana named "Honor's Grace" that allows her to stop time for a few seconds every time she draws it.
    • Angel gets a short sword, "Solitude", similar to Buffy's that can burst into flame, and will burn him up if he loses his soul.
    • Giles receives a rapier, "Wisdom" that enhances his casting abilities.
    • The D&D-loving, spellcasting Jonathan gets a staff, "Backbone", that enhances his spells and can heal others.
    • Jenny gets a pair of daggers -- "Twilight" and "Dusk"—that enable her to turn invisible.
    • Oz's weapon was originally a bastard sword named "Cool Sword" with frost powers. However, it spontaneously transformed into a pair of Wolverine-esque claws that gave him some measure of control over his werewolf.
  • In the virtual series spin-off to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Slayer Academy, several of the Slayer Characters have signature weapons
    • Sophia: The Scythe from season 7 of Buffy and Fray
    • Skye: Sharpened Sai Daggers
    • Alita: Nunchucks
    • Erika: Staff
    • Reiko: Bladed Fans
  • In the Kim Possible fanfic "Reunion", Ron Stoppable, during a temporary split from Kim, reclaimed the Lotus Blade and operated as a solo hero named Ronin. In the sequel, "Union, it's revealed that the Lotus Blade is one of five powerful magic weapons, and the most powerful of the five, as it can take on the appearance and properties of the other four.


Films -- Live Action[edit | hide]

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy Krueger's glove, with knives for fingers.
  • In Halloween, Michael Myers' primary weapon is a large knife.
  • In the Friday the 13th franchise, Jason Voorheese's favored weapon is a machete.
  • James Bond and his Walther PPK have gone gun-in-hand ever since Dr. No, when it replaced his Beretta 418. Although it got swapped in Tomorrow Never Dies for the P99, it seems to be making a comeback in Quantum of Solace.
    • Also, he used a Walther P5 in Octopussy, but nothing was made of that.
      • Product Placement. Walther were trying to market the P5 to civilian agencies and asked for it to be used rather than the classic PPK, but the script wasn't changed to reflect the different gun.
    • Of course, in Moonraker the only time he uses his PPK is for the opening gunbarrel sequence, having swapped it (apparently) for a wrist dart gun.
    • And, in Live and Let Die his Walther is mangled by Tee Hee and he uses a magnum revolver for the final fight.
    • Some of Bond's villains have their own weapons. Oddjob used a bowler-hat with a steel brim that behaved like a chakram. Rosa Klebb had knives concealed in the toes of her shoes. Tee Hee Johnson (from Live and Let Die) had a metal pincer for a right hand. And of course, Francisco Scaramanga is The Man with the Golden Gun.
  • Harry Callahan is famous for using a .44 Magnum revolver, and is responsible for popularizing the revolver as the Weapon of Choice for badasses everywhere.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera has a few. The Henchgirls wield shotguns, Rotti has an elegant antique pistol, Luigi has his very large knife, and the Repo Men have a whole bunch of upsized surgical instruments, including scalpels and bone saws.
  • 28 Days Later. Selena has a machete, befitting her badass status, Jim has at first a plastic bag full of cans of soda and later a baseball bat and (on another occasion) a tire iron. The soldiers have rifles.
  • Indiana Jones' most distinctive weapon/tool is his whip; however, he most frequently uses his fists or revolver (against armed foes).
  • A Jedi's (or Sith's) lightsaber.
    • These are subdivided further by color of the focusing crystal.
      • Blue are for Guardian Jedi, who actively hunt down evil.
      • Yellow are for the Sentinel Jedi, who are halfway between the two and rely on intellect and physical skills.
      • Green are for Consular Jedi, who prefer to teach, heal, or make peace.
      • Red are for Sith, who are evil.
      • And purple for bad motherfuckers.
    • Han tends to go for his pistol as first choice.
  • Equilibrium: Grammaton Clerics use a modified Beretta 92F in the course of their duties, the barrels producing a cross-shaped muzzle flash when fired.
    • The shotgun-like weapon used by some guards is likewise a modified Walther WA2000, which is odd since the weapon's a sniper rifle.
      • The scopeless WA2000 was only used in the dog killing scene. Most of the time the Mooks use either the Beretta AR-70 or the Heckler & Koch G36.
  • The Iron Man movie features Whiplash (a Composite Character of Whiplash/Blacklash and Crimson Dynamo from the comics) who dual wields energy whips that pack enough of a wallop to tear apart a racecar on the track.
    • For the record, Whiplash and Blacklash are the same guy - he changed his supervillain name and got a new costume at one point.
  • Ash from Evil Dead has his boomstick and chainsaw combo, although he kind of abandons the chainsaw for a metal hand in the middle of Army of Darkness.
  • The Baseball Furies use bats (Thank you Captain Obvious!), but The Warriors use them better.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • CS Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe:
    • Peter, leader by virtue of being the first-born and therefore The Hero, is given a sword.
    • Susan, the mature, no-nonsense type, is given a bow and arrows.
    • Lucy, the youngest and not yet old enough to fight, is entrusted with the universal Magic Antidote and given a small dagger—just in case.
    • Edmund wasn't there at the time, so he didn't get a present from Santa—which is a pretty good point to remember. A musical stage version gives Edmund a mace.
      • The films show Edmumd as very much a Combat Pragmatist when he steals a Telmarine crossbow and proceeds to kick all kinds of ass.
  • The Dark Tower: Badass Roland uses a pair of finely-wrought six-shooters, passed down from father to son for generations and said to have been made from the melted-down metal of Excalibur.
    • In the back story, Roland's constantly joking best friend Cuthbert preferred a slingshot to a gun. Jamie used a bow and arrow, though he only appeared in one scene in the entire series and didn't really do anything. In a possible subversion, the quiet, intelligent, and psychic Alain got to use a machine gun at one point, and enjoyed it very much.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Hero Rand uses a crystal sword that conveniently jacks up his magic powers to an insane degree -- sometimes literally, for which reason he generally prefers more modest swords made from unbreakable steel or summoned fire.
      • While Rand does use a sword throughout the series, he never uses the crystal sword Callandor in physical combat, instead keeping it surrounded by wards in the Stone of Tear when he isn't using it for wielding the Power. For the stabbity, he uses his father's sword, and later, after it is destroyed, he uses the sword that had belonged to the king of Cairhien. When he's caught unarmed, he generates a Flaming Sword with the Power. He does use a smaller angreal to increase his power, rather than Callandor. Callandor lacks any safeguards against the taint of the One Power, which made is dangerous to use before the cleansing of the One Power (the taint would be magnified as the power was).
        • Technically, he did use it as a sword once, when the Stone of Tear was attacked by Shadowspawn.
      • Callandor also lacks safeguards against drawing too much of the One Power. An overly ambitious feat risks killing yourself and anyone nearby.
    • Mat started off with a bow as his Weapon Of Choice. This lasted for about half of the first book, before he switched to using a cursed dagger until it gets stolen at the beginning of book 2. He uses a staff for book three, then uses knives for book 4, and then switches to the naginata for the rest of the series (though he does still get plenty of mileage out of those knives...). He also acquires a good Two Rivers bow stave from an unsuspecting quarter staff salesman who didn't realise the quality of the wood or its purpose. He, like Perrin and Rand, also has skill with a bow and sling. All but Rand use their bows when the situation is best suited for it. Mat avoids combat the best he can, but is always drawn to it by fate which gives him a reputation of a great general (which he is) and unstoppable in battle, but that was not his choice.
    • Former blacksmith Perrin uses a somewhat symbolic axe and hammer, eventually abandoning the former so as to use a tool from his more innocent past to kill people in more disfiguring ways. He also, like almost all Two Rivers males, is a good shot with a longbow. His skill impresses almost everyone except other Two Rivers bowmen.
  • Kull the Conqueror: Proud barbarian warrior Kull uses a battle axe as his main weapon. After he becomes king, his advisors make several attempts to civilize him, including training him in swordsmanship. He never quite takes to it, and goes back to his axe, showing he's truly a barbarian at heart.
  • L. Ron Hubbard's Mission: Earth series had the protagonist Jettero Heller (distinct from the antagonist narrator, Soltan Gris). Mr. Heller was a champion "bullet-ball" player back home, and discovered that he could throw Earth "base-balls" with up to lethal speed. He also discovered that baseball cleats make for a deadly surprise against opponents, since no one in these parts expects a cleat-wearer to kick with them.
    • ... proving that L. Ron either never played baseball as a kid, or managed to grow up around the damndest well-behaved kids in the country.
  • In The Dresden Files, Thomas the White Court vampire regularly uses both a saber and a Sawed-Off Shotgun (though not at the same time), and has begun to use kukris (curved knives used by gurkhas) alongside his saber.
    • The three (one, currently) Knights of the Cross also have their own signature weapons, each carrying one of the nails from the Crucifixion: Amoracchius, a broadsword that is heavily hinted to be Excalibur; Fidelacchius, a katana (possibly a shirasaya, as it's been described as having a cane-like sheath); and Esperacchius, a saber. Throughout the years, they've been periodically reforged as different types of swords to better suit their wielders.
  • Kel in Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small Quartet is an exception to this Trope: while she is the Hero, she uses a glaive (polearm)instead of the hero's traditional sword.
    • She actually uses the naginata, and only calls it a glaive since that's how it translates into.
  • Alex from A Clockwork Orange uses his cut-throat razor.
  • In The Phantom of the Opera, the title character's Weapon of Choice is the Punjab lasso that he uses to strangle people.
  • In John C. Wright's War of the Dreaming the heroes' weapons mostly correspond to this, although they don't have the classical lineup...
  • The closest thing Jakub Wedrowycz has to a Weapon of Choice is a steel brake cable made into a small lasso. He mostly uses it to catch homeless dogs and cats for eating, but it comes in handy against supernatural threats as well, as featured on the cover of one of the books.
  • In the Battle Circle trilogy by Piers Anthony, the main culture is based on Proud Warrior Race Guys; and the society is based around ritual combat in the titular Circle, with warriors typically specializing in one of 7 common weapons (although a few less common ones show up occasionally). All men are known by their signature weapons, which they use as a title, eg. Var the Sword, Kal the Club. A few rare individuals are proficient with more than one, which they add to their title.
    • The main characters the trilogy are Sol of All Weapons, who is unique in his mastery of combat, and Sos the Rope (actually a long steel cable), who choses an unusual signature weapon after being forbidden to use the common ones.
    • Nearly all warriors are also proficient with bow-and-arrow; but these are used exclusively for hunting. They are not considered acceptable for the Circle, which is exclusively hand-to-hand ritual combat.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship's signature weapons are as follows:
  • In Star Trek: Klingon Empire, of the various Klingon weapons established in canon, Davok uses the qutluch, the signature dagger of an assassin. He throws it with fantastic accuracy even in close-quarters combat. He claims that he took it off an assassin who tried to use it on him. His leader Wol finds this claim to be dubious, but has no trouble believing that Davok would piss someone off enough to have them put a hit on him.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire, most obviously with Arya's Needle, Jon's Longclaw, Dothraki arakhs, and Ned's Ice. Ser Barristan Selmy even discards his sword in favour of an epic staff, befitting his transition from general Badass to Badass Grandpa.
    • Tyrion subverts this by fighting with maces and swords, extremely at odds with his character and his physical stature.
  • In the Time Scout series, each character tends to have one or more preferred weapons.
    • Aversion: Sven loves all weapons.
    • Anne has a pair of delightful little Royal Irish Constabulary Webleys.
    • Skeeter pines for the recurve bows of his youth, but he'll use a gun. In the Arena, he tricks them into giving him a lariat and a trident, those being what he was trained with and what was closest to the spears of his youth respectively.
    • Jack the Ripper prefers an Arabian jambiya for the ceremonial taking of heads.
    • Kynan Rhys Gower prefers his longbow or a war maul. But when their superiority is demonstrated in the face of an angry Cape buffalo, he asks, "You show gun?"
  • Obviously in Harry Potter, wands are the weapon of choice for the wizarding world, but there are two that stand out: The Elder Wand, which is the weapon of choice for Antioch Peverell, Gregorovitch, Gellert Grindeelwald, Albus Dumbledore, and Lord Voldemort; and Harry's holly and phoenix feather wand, which he actually mourns when it is broken.
  • In The Stormlight Archive, swords are considered upper-class weapons, meaning that Kaladin, who is lower-class, uses a spear as his Weapon of Choice (toying in a minor but noticable ways with genre conventions). Heroic and villainous aristocratic characters use swords all the time as a status symbol, with the magical shardblades being the most prized. Anti-Villain assassin Szeth also has a shardblade, which both makes him even more Badass than he would be otherwise and, since he comes from an extremely pacifist society, using the most deadly weapon of all marks him as a disgraced outcast.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Xena: Warrior Princess of course has her Chakram (a weapon originally associated with the Sikhs). In Season 5, she swapped her older chakram for a new model that resembled a yin-yang, and could split into two hand-held bladed weapons.
    • Gabrielle also had her Sais starting in season 5 and lasting until the end of the series, and her (less exclusive) staff in seasons 1-3.
  • Buffy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has her Slayer Scythe during the last few episodes of season seven, right up to the end of season eight.
    • Her and every other Slayer within spitting distance.
  • Angel follows this trope more closely, particularly with smart guy Wesley in the later seasons. While the other characters stick with more traditional fantasy weapons like axes and swords, he starts bringing along shotguns, dual pistols, and a healthy dose of Gun Fu. Unfortunately, it doesn't often help.
    • Gunn also carries his Hubcap-Axe until season 4.
  • The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog:
    • Rohan, The Hero, uses a sword.
    • Deirdre, The Chick, uses a crossbow.
    • Ivar, the Knight of Water, uses a trident.
    • Garrett, the Sixth Ranger with serious ego issues, uses an ax.
    • Angus, the Knight of Earth, uses a mace, probably just because it's round, and they had to show boulders shooting out of it.
  • Super Sentai/Power Rangers: You can expect almost every team to have character-specific weapons in addition to smaller guns / swords (or guns that turn into swords), and in most cases the personal weapons will combine to form a blaster for the Finishing Move. Listing every example could be a page in itself.
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: In the original lineup, Jason the Red Ranger (The Hero) used a sword, Zack the Black Ranger (The Lancer) used an axe, Trini the Yellow Ranger (Action Girl) used twin daggers, Billy the Blue Ranger (The Smart Guy) used a trident, and Kimberly the Pink Ranger (The Chick) used a bow. When Tommy the Green Ranger first appeared, he also used a sword, but he changed to a dagger that could summon his Dragonzord after his Heel Face Turn. All of them except Tommy had blasters as backup.
    • Didn't matter much, considering the Dragon Dagger could fire off energy blasts, as well as lightning.
  • Firefly follows the trope with Western-inspired (of course) weapons. Mal has a gun based on a six-shooter; Zoe carries a custom 1892 Winchester rifle (and, unusually, a bulletproof vest). Jayne, the other badass, has an assortment but favours an assault rifle and a BIG knife. Inara, the mysterious woman, uses a futuristic bow (she also holds a stolen laser pistol, but it doesn't work). Shepherd Book, with his mysterious past, seems content with rifles—he's a Technical Pacifist from his faith (although the Bible, while specific on killing, is 'a mite fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.') River, the Mysterious Waif, is pretty much a blender with anything. And with nothing. The rest of the crew make do with pistols and shotguns of varying accuracy. Though notably Wash uses a Mateba auto-revolver which considering their scarcity and quirky design fits his character quite well.
  • Richard Sharpe uses his Baker rifle to devastating effects. He also carries a 1798 pattern cavalry sword, which is essentially a sharpened club with a knuckleduster attached.
  • The P90 personal defense weapon is basically the signature weapon of Stargate Atlantis and Stargate SG-1, carried by most tau'ri from the SGC.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The standard weapon of the Space Marines is a fully-automatic-armour-piercing-rocket-assisted-mini-cannon. Their heavy weapons are quite varied. For close combat, there's the good old fashioned chainsword.
    • Orks don't usually have a preferred weapon of choice; rather, they prefer to ensure whatever they're carrying has either "more choppy" or "more dakka." Or both.
    • The Tau are in love with their plasma guns, as well as railguns and guided missiles.
    • The humble Imperial Guardsman typically carries a simple, durable, and low-powered (for the setting) lasgun, often with bayonet. However, the sheer variety of weapons available to the Imperial guard also means that any given squad can have everything from grenade launchers to bipod-mounted autocannons to handheld anti-tank fusion cannons.
    • With Commissars it varies, but the stereotypical set is bolt pistol and chainsword.
    • The Witch Hunters Kill It with Fire.
      • Priests also like fire. Though some fanatics favour "Eviscerator" - two-handed chainsaw boosted with weak disruptor field, originally designed as a demolition tool. And the missionaries often prefer shotgun.
    • Daemonhunters (the "Ordo Malleus") like really big force hammers.
    • The Divine Light of Sollex sect of Mechanicus (secretive fanatical weapon-mystic cyborgs) use, produce and develop a lot of weapons, but they really like high-powered lasers. And sometimes Sollex-Aegis Energy Blade (using schematics fished out of an ancient databank, discovery of which led to formation of Sollex cult in the first place).
    • Eldar favour advanced laser weaponry and blade-firing "shuriken catapults", along with long swords.
      • Eldar Aspect Warriors all specialize in a single type of weaponry, from the above shuriken catapults, to chainswords or powerswords, to powerful laser weapons, to microwave "melta" guns, to guns that fire streams of "razor floss"—supersharp monomolecular wire.
      • Harlequins are close-combat specialists whose signature weapon is a narrow sharpened tube, similar to an oversized hypodermic needle, that punches through armour and shoots a jet of the aforementioned monomolecule wire inside their targets, effectively liquifying them inside their battlesuits/exoskeletons.
    • Dark Eldar utilize similar weaponry to the Eldar, though firing antimatter instead of lasers and needle-like shards instead of discs.
    • The Necrons have a distinct preference for weapons which strip apart their target layer by layer, but a few enjoy skinning you with their claws, then wearing your skin.
    • The Tyranids prefer to jump on your face and eat you, though they're not above using biological firearms grown using their particular brand of Organic Technology.
    • Only War strongly encourages this. Each regiment has its own Standard Kit [2] adjusted by Doctrines [3] and possibly customized further via options to push some upgrades or extras to Standard Kit. Specialists also have "specialist equipment" (if one hauls a heavy machinegun, lascarbine stays in the foot locker, but it's there). The regiment also has its choice of Favoured Weapons: one Basic [4] and one[5] Heavy [6] - Weapon Specialist may carry the former (instead of lasgun, flamer or shotgun) and Heavy Gunner the latter (instead of missile launcher or heavy machinegun), and for others, while these weapons and ammunition will be not in such ready supply as Standard Kit, they are easier to find than random gear. For individual soldiers there are Weapon Customisation rules that give advantages to the intended user (for others most of these adjustments are either minor inconvenience or meaningless), such as using materials from the homeworld (minor bonus vs. Fear), adjusting the trigger assembly, etc. Hammer of the Emperor expansion also adds "Trademark Item" talent, which gives some advantages to the commander in possession of a recognizable (and as such probably non-regulation) signature item - not necessarily weapon, but often it is.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • AD&D1 gives limited number of weapon proficiencies (4 for fighter, even less for other classes) that slowly increases with levels, and anything else is used at a penalty. AD&D2 also allow further specialization in a specific weapon for warriors and (in expanded rules) broader groups in which one can be proficient but not specialized.
    • 3rd edition starts with wide lists per class, but feats allow players to specialise in particular weapons to a greater or lesser degree. This is usually done by Fighters, since their bonus feats are more or less designed for it.
    • There is also the Weapon Master Prestige Class, which requires the character to choose one type of weapon to focus on before they can take the class.
    • And 4th Edition's Fighters has a different spin, first one chooses feats that work for a specific weapon, then powers that lend themselves to different weapons.
  • The Weapon Master advantage in GURPS lets the character use a particular weapon or class of weapons well beyond what a normal human can even attempt.
  • Althought the Fighting Style merits in the core New World of Darkness book mostly focus on martial arts, quite a few in the supplementary material center around a specific type of weapon (examples include knife-fighting, sword-and-shield, and heavy swords).

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The Tall Man of Chzo Mythos uses a giant metal spike with four extremely wide scythe-like blades installed on one of the ends. His preferred method of killing is ramming the bottom of the spike through the very top of the victim's skull. Squick indeed.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Solid Snake himself has had three such guns. In Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, it was a Beretta 92 (which reappeared in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty firing tranquilizer rounds). Metal Gear Solid gave him the Mark 23 Mod 0, which he handed to Raiden early on in 2. In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots he's taken up a Springfield Operator, a modernized replica of Big Boss' M1911.
    • Vulcan Raven had the M61 Vulcan he ripped from a downed F-16 to show he's an effin' giant.
    • Sniper Wolf, anybody know what she uses?
    • Raiden would later take up a High-Frequency Blade - probably better to highlight his more Bishounen qualities, and a way to symbolically distance him from Snake (who admits that he's "no fan of blades"). He still keeps a SOCOM in a holster just in case.
    • The bosses of Sons of Liberty had their own weapons of choice - Fatman had his bombs, Fortune had her gigantic railgun, and Vamp was a Knife Nut. Solidus himself had a P90 and a pair of high-frequency blades.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has main protagonist "Naked Snake" utilizing his trusty M1911/Knife combo, Ocelot's beginnings and shaping of his trademark revolvers, The Joy's badass accessory the Patriot, which is just an XM16E1 with the butt sawed off, and the barrel shortened, and attached with an infinite drum barrel magazine, Eva using the Mauser+ traditional shooting styles (Bandit shooting), The Fear's Crossbow, The Pain's Killer Bees, The End's Mosin Nagant (Customized for tranq rounds), The Fury's Flamesuit/jet pack, and Volgin's use of his power to fire bullets.

  • Dynasty Warriors. Simple one-handed swords are generally popular with the leaders of major factions and calm individuals while large polearms are fairly common with the tougher but not necessarily nuts enforcers. Women tend to get weapons that most men wouldn't dare carry. Lu Bu, the game's most feared character, tended to wield a halberd as if it were a one-handed sword. Dynasty Warriors 6 however changed things up a bit, as before that everyone had more or less always used the same weapon.
  • The Soul Calibur series. Some are rather strange (see Necrid's fragment of an alternate universe).
  • EarthBound has a variation where Ness, the hero, uses a baseball bat (which could be excused by his wearing a baseball cap) or a Killer Yoyo. However, Paula, the White Mage, wields a frying pan, Jeff, the smart guy, uses guns, and Poo, the martial artist, uses either nothing or a sword.
  • Chrono Trigger has this as well. The hero, Crono, has his trusty katana (and starts, like all good swordsmen, with a bokken/wooden sword). Marle, instead of a staff, finds herself with a crossbow. Lucca, the mad genius, gets the guns of the game. The knightly Frog takes to Western weapons (oddly, the game's Masamune is this style and not a katana). Ayla, the primitive woman, gets her bare fists (cutscenes show her with a club). Robo uses robot parts. Finally, gothic and anti-hero Magus gets... yes, the scythe.
    • The Masamune is only called that in the western releases of the game. Its original name (and the one used in the retranslation) is Grandleon, which makes sense for a European-style broadsword. It was probably translated on the assumption that it had been given a European name for exotic flavour rather than simply because it's that kind of sword, and so the translators chose a name that would preserve this intention for the English version.
  • Despite having four (or five to six depending on the game) types of melee weapons, Fire Emblem manages to do this; most axe fighters are obsessed with fighting in one way or another (and Keiran in Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn, who takes "Proud Warrior" to an extreme is an Axe Knight), all but four (all but one of whom play second fiddle) of the lead characters use swords, and ALL thieves and assassins in the series use knives (at least in battle sprites). On the flip side only two archers in the series qualify for the listed personality and spear wielding units are just as competent as the other ones. It also subverts this slightly with weapons effective on certain types of foes (such as a large mallet being good on armored units) though.
    • Also of note that there are two different classes that wield swords. First is Mercenary/Hero (the sprites in The Binding Blade/The Sacred Stones were broadswords regardless of sword used), the other being Myrmidon/Swordmaster (the sprites here used Eastern-style katanas). Swordmasters also generally get a specialized sword late game called the Wo Dao (which in the later games just is a Katana). Heroes are generally more manly and romantic-male-lead-ish when it comes to looks. While the majority of Swordmasters are females, or males that are very pretty, the animations for the Swordmaster attacks seem very graceful compared to the straight power of the Hero (graceful is badass). The rapier weapon (appears in Shadow Dragons and the Blade of Light (as well as its remake, Shadow Dragon)/Mystery of the Emblem/The Binding Blade/Fire Emblem/The Sacred Stones) is usable only by the games leading character (who is always royal, giving them a proper societal weapon). The exceptions are Lyndis (Fire Emblem) and Ike (Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn). Lyndis has her own legendary katana, and Ike isn't actual royalty (and all his animations would fit way more with a Broadsword than a rapier).
  • Wild ARMs 3: sunny heroine gets pistols akimbo (with flowery holsters). Wise, composed, always suggests best course of action science guy has the sniper rifle. Impulsive ditz gets the sawed-off shotgun. Badass amnesiac loner gets machine gun and ammo bandoliers.
  • The characters in Persona 3 openly state the reasons for their specific weapons, whenever it isn't obvious. The Hero can use anything, though he unsurprisingly defaults to a one-handed sword. Junpei uses a two-handed sword that he holds like a baseball bat (which is to say, improperly). Yukari, a member of the Archery Club, uses a bow. Mitsuru, the rich girl, uses an "elegant" one-handed sword. Akihiko, star boxer of the school and a bit of a Blood Knight, uses his fists. Aigis, a Robot Girl, uses attached guns of various types. Koromaru, the team pet, uses a small knife held in his teeth, presumably to avoid actually biting the monsters. Ken, a Wise Beyond His Years ten-year-old, uses a spear to even the playing field between him and larger enemies. Shinjiro, the tough dude with issues, uses an axe or mace. In FES, Metis, Miss Exposition, also uses an axe, due to its power.
  • Although they don't state it outright like in 3, the heroes of Persona 4 use weapons that reflect their personality. The Hero uses broadswords, Kung-Fu loving Action Girl Chie has leg greaves, Yamato Nadeshiko Yukiko uses fans, delinquent Kanji just hits monsters with a heavy blunt object, be it a shield or a school desk, Teddie the 'bear' has claws, and Naoto has a gun since he or rather, she, is a detective. Yosuke's dual knives are the only odd man out, but then again knowing him he might be Dual-Wielding just for Rule of Cool.
    • Actually, one gets the feeling that the characters just sort of grabbed whatever they thought they could use. It's implied that no one in the party (possibly save for Naoto and the protagonist) has had any weapon/fighting training and are either self taught, or learning as they go along.
  • Dragon Quest characters typically have different usable weapons that depend on their fighting style (staves are pretty much universal among magic-using characters and swords among knights and typically the protagonist as well). An unusual example from the fourth game is Torneko Taloon's use of abacuses (though he can use other weapons, such as swords).
    • An abacus on a stick, mind you, but given we're talking about a merchant here, such a device fits Taloon.
  • The Legend of Zelda Link generally picks up all kinds of weapons and equipment that he can use to fight his enemies, but his default armament is almost always a sword and shield, both of which get upgraded over the game (usually getting the Master Sword somewhere along the line). His ranged weapons include a bow, boomerang, and bombs, and he's recently trained with a crossbow...
  • Team Fortress 2 combines with trope with Standard FPS Guns and An Adventurer Is You, giving each class weapons that suit their playstyle and character. Each class will eventually be updated to have three alternate weapons.
    • The Heavy has Sasha, a huge minigun as his iconic weapon, with a shotgun and his bare fists for backup. His alternate weapons are Natascha, a minigun that slows enemies, the Sandvich and Dalokohs brand chocolate bar which heal damage, and the Killing Gloves of Boxing.
    • The Scout uses a scattergun, a pistol and a metal baseball bat. His alternate weapons include a double-barrelled shotgun with massive kickback, 'Bonk' energy drink for brief invincibility, another soft drink that turns all damage taken and given up by 35% and a bat used to hit stunning baseballs. In another update he got a Fish, a bottle of milk, and another pepperbox pistol.
    • The Soldier's main weapon is a rocket launcher, which can be used to Rocket Jump, a shotgun and an entrenching tool (a shovel). His alternative weapons are a more accurate but less explosive rocket launcher, a bugle, flag and banner that makes everyone else on the team stronger or boots that prevent rocket jump damage instead of the shotgun, and a pickaxe that makes you stronger and faster the less health you have or a makeshift club made out of an axe handle and a large railway nail. He also gets a large, black boxy rocket launcher and a backpack radio that works like the buff banner.
    • The Pyro obviously has a flamethrower, a shotgun and a fire axe, with the alternate weapons being a flamethrower that does more damage from behind, a flare gun and an axe that does double against burning foes but half otherwise. S/he also gets a car battery combined with a powerjack and a flamer made out of gas station equipment, in addition to a sledgehammer which is more effective against enemy buildings and can remove sappers from allied ones.
    • The Engineer uses one of two shotguns, a pistol or laser pointer for his sentry and one of three wrenches or mechanical fist.
    • The Demoman uses a grenade launcher, a remotely detonated sticky bomb launcher, and a bottle of rum that breaks on a critical hit. Alternative weapons include a sticky launcher which can lay more bombs at once, a shield that grants less explosive damage, and a massive sword or axe used for cleaving skulls as well as sharing the Soldier's axe-handle-railway-spike.
    • The Medic has a nailgun-like Syringe Gun, the Healing Gun and a bone saw. The alternate weapons are basically the same with special abilities.
    • The Sniper has, obviously, a Sniper Rifle, a Mauser-style machine gun and a kukri. The alternates are a bow and arrow for the rifle, and either a jar full of piss or a shield that protects against a backstab in place of the machine gun, as well as another kukri made of wood that cuts up his enemies so they bleed. Other items include a tranquilizing rifle, an even bigger knife, and a shield worn on the back that resembles a croc.
    • The Spy has a Revolvers Are Just Better, a Butterfly Knife that does One-Hit Kill Back Stabs, and a watch that doubles as a cloaking device. His alternates are a second revolver than can score a headshot (making him the only class other than the sniper that can), and two more watches: One will cloak the user and leave behind a fake corpse when you take damage, and another that allows you to stay cloaked indefinitely as long as you stop moving every so often. He also gets a pearl-handled revolver which restores cloak when it hits enemies, and another knife which disallows normal disguising in favor of instantly disguising as the person you backstab with it.
  • The protagonist of Avalon Code uses the Book of Prophecy as the core device; all weapons come from within it, from swords and hammers to bombs and guns. There's always the option to fight unarmed if the player so chooses or during Chapter 6, after you LOSE the book.
  • In general, the protagonists of any given Resident Evil game will start with a knife and pistol and end the game by shooting the boss with a rocket launcher.
  • Zero from Mega Man X uses a katana and a wide array of weapons in X8 to demonstrate his Person of Mass Destruction legacy, and the cocky, sneaky Axl gets a pair of pistols. There are two notable subversions, with the pacifist X being equipped with a powerful buster cannon and a massive array of weapons and armour, and the Big Bad Sigma using a sword in many of his boss fights - which makes sense he used to be a good guy.
    • There is also the minor villain Ferham, whose whip fits very well with her kinky overtones.
  • All members of Castlevania's Belmont family use a whip.
  • The Smith Syndicate, also known as the Killer7:
  • For No More Heroes, Travis Touchdown's weapon of choice is his Beam Katana. The various bosses he faces have a variety of weapons, most of them improbable:
  • In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Travis now has four types of Beam Katana to choose from: his basic weapon, a lighter but faster one, a longer but slower one, and Dual-Wielding. His enemies, meanwhile...
    • Skelter Helter uses a revolver with multiple cylinders put together.
    • Nathan Copeland uses a boombox that turns into Power Armor. His arena is also covered in machine guns.
    • Charlie MacDonald and his cheerleaders form into a giant robot.
    • Matt Helms, who died in a fire set by his parents, uses a flamethrower/axe and Molotov Cocktails.
    • Cloe Walsh spits acid, breathes poison and has a sonic scream.
    • Kimmy Howell uses Darth Maul's double lightsaber, and blows explosive bubbles from a recorder.
    • Dr. Letz Shake uses Letz Shake's earthquake machine to much better effect than previous.
    • Million Gunman shoots money from a gold pistol.
    • New Destroyman uses lasers and electric blasts as previously.
    • Ryuji uses a katana and a dragon summon.
    • Mimmy is effectively a miniature Gundum and fights appropriately.
    • Margaret uses twin anti-material rifles.
    • Captain Vladimir fires Frickin' Laser Beams from his spacesuit and calls on a Kill Sat.
    • Alice Twilight/Moonlight has eight Beam Katanas attached to a set of waldoes.
    • Jasper Batt, Jr. fights with a rocket car, and when it's destroyed, doses himself with Psycho Serum and fights with his bare hands. He then overdoses and becomes a giant, shooting energy blasts from his mouth.
  • Sakura Wars Each one of the girls (and the main character) has their own weapon, and Mecham Color Coded for Your Convenience.
  • Mobius One from Ace Combat is identified mainly with the F-22A Raptor, which is odd as said plane only is available in the penultimate mission of Shattered Skies, not enough time to establish it as his signature plane (though the arcade mode of the fifth game makes up for it - initially the F-22A is its only available plane). There are other pilots who use exclusively one plane type, like Pixy's F-15C or PJ's F-16C.
    • Many of the player characters and their allies are identified with the plane shown on the box-art of their respective game - Su-35 for Scarface One (Ace Combat 2), F-14 for Blaze and his team (Ace Combat 5 The Unsung War), F-15C for Cipher and Pixy (Ace Combat Zero), and so on.
  • Airforce Delta Strike features Jamie, the oldest pilot in Delta Squadron. He only flies prop-fighters.
  • The Final Fantasy series loves this:
    • Though Final Fantasy II's characters could use every weapon, they were best with certain kinds:
      • Firion uses swords.
        • However, as of Dissidia, he has been established as a weapon master, using all eight possible weapons (swords, axes, daggers, spears, shields, maces, bows and his bare hands), sometimes all at the same time. He also knows magic, though it's less powerful than most everyone else who does.
      • Maria uses bows.
      • Guy uses axes.
      • Minwu uses staves.
      • Ricard uses lances.
      • Leila uses knives.
      • Josef uses bare fists.
      • Gordon uses spears.
    • Final Fantasy VII:
      • Cloud uses broadswords.
      • Aerith uses staves.
      • Tifa uses gloves/gauntlets.
      • Barret uses a gatling gun grafted into his arm.
      • Red XIII uses his claws, but his weapons are listed as headdresses.
      • Cid uses polearms.
      • Caith Sith uses megaphones.
      • Yuffie uses giant shurikens.
      • Vincent uses guns.
    • Final Fantasy VIII:
    • Final Fantasy IX:
    • Final Fantasy X:
    • Final Fantasy XII, characters can wield any weapon depending on your choices in the licensing system, but at the beginning of the game every character uses a different weapon
    • Revenant Wings (the sequel) is mostly the same, except characters only have one type of weapon.
    • Final Fantasy XIII:
      • Lightning uses a gunblade
      • Sazh wields dual-pistols
      • Snow is a fist fighter
      • Vanille uses a fishing rod-like thing
      • Hope uses a hi-tech boomerang
      • Fang uses a double-ended spear that can segment into Sword Chucks.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2
      • Serah uses a bow-blade.
      • Noel uses a pair of swords that can combine into a spear.
    • Final Fantasy Type-0
      • Ace wields Tarot Cards
      • Deuce uses a Flute
      • Trey wields a bow and arrow
      • Cater uses a magic gun
      • Cinque wields a mace
      • Sice uses a scythe.
      • Seven uses a whip
      • Eight uses martial arts
      • Nine uses a spear
      • Jack uses a Katana
      • Queen uses a sword
      • King uses dual handguns
      • Rem uses dual daggers
      • Machina uses screw like swords
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Sora uses a Keyblade
    • Donald uses a Magic Wand
    • Goofy uses a Shield
    • Organization XIII:
      • Xemnas uses "Ethereal Blades", as well as many of the weapons listed below during the final battle
      • Xigbar uses "Arrowguns"
      • Xaldin uses six spears
      • Vexen uses a shield
      • Lexeaus uses an "Axesword"
      • Zexion uses a "Lexicon"
      • Saïx uses a "Claymore". Though it's more like a giant mace, rather than a sword.
      • Axel uses chakrams
      • Demyx uses a sitar
      • Luxord uses a deck of playing cards
      • Marluxia uses a scythe.
      • Larxene uses knives that she either throws or uses like claws.
      • Roxas uses two Keyblades
  • In Red Faction Guerrilla, the Alec Mason is never seen without his trusty sledgehammer. Ever. It's practically the game's Companion Cube.
  • World of Warcraft: Druids, due to their shapeshifting, usually fight with fists (paws) regardless of what weapon they have equipped. It's usually a twohanded weapon however. Rogues on the other hand tend to prefer daggers, depending on their chosen combat style. Hunters are the only class that focuses on ranged weapons, but the exact type is largely irrelevant.
    • On a more defensive aspect, both Shamans and Paladins almost always use shields outside of their melee specialisation.
  • Gordon Freeman and his trusty crowbar. Same applies to Adrian Shephard and his pipe wrench.
    • From the second game, Gordon's Gravity Gun and Father Grigori with his trusty double-barreled shotgun, Annabelle.
  • Actually subverted in Last Scenario. With the exceptions of the White Mage and the Cool Sword-wielding Lady of War, no one's personality matches their weapon. In order:
  • Aya from the Parasite Eve series can use any kind of gun, but in official media and cut scenes, she's always holding a pistol.
  • Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider series uses shotguns, uzis, grenade launchers, rifles, and revolvers, but she's always rendered as using dual pistols, including in the movies.
  • An in-universe example from Mass Effect. Zaeed Massani has a rather unhealthy relationship with his M8 Avenger assault rifle, Jessie.
  • In Resident Evil, Barry Burton's signature weapon is the Colt Python. Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine and Albert Wesker prefer Beretta handguns. Wesker still carries his Beretta from his S.T.A.R.S. days, as seen in Resident Evil 5. Jill, while under Wesker's control, switches to the Czech-made Vz.21 Skorpion sub-machine guns.


Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • The Servants of Fate Stay Night generally use the weapons according to their Class (Saber, Archer, Lancer, Rider, Caster, Assassin, Berserker) but there are occasional exceptions; Rider generally fights without her mount, only revealing it as an Eleventh-Hour Superpower. Archer uses twin dao (Chinese falchions) despite having a literal endless Field of Blades at his disposal.
    • It might be argued that they are symbolic of his deep inner conflict over (and bitter acceptance of) the gap between ideal and reality, though...
    • Archer says flat out that he isn't one. He just happens to be good at it.
  • When push comes to shove, the Higurashi gang almost always uses their iconic weapons. Keiichi has his (Satoshi's?) metal bat, Shion has a taser, Rika uses a broom, Satoko relies on her traps, and of course Cleaver Girl. Mion generally uses hand-to-hand combat when push comes to shove. Oh, and she has a water (or airsoft) gun.
  • Given that Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai is a game about martial artist girls attending a School of Hard Knocks:


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Exterminatus Now has each characters' Weapon of Choice on the surprisingly-still-relevant cast page.
    • Eastwood: "A Vladston & Norvstock .44 Magnum Revolvers Are Just Better, with cylinder customised to feature seven chambers rather than the standard six." Yeah, he thinks he's Dirty Harry.
    • Virus: "Bouchard Industries 9mm semiautomatic pistol, hollow point rounds filled with silver nitrate solution." He's the least trigger-happy with it.
    • Lothar: "80mm plasma blaster, 3000 RPM circular saw, both incorporated into the bionic arm." Both used with enthusiasm.
    • Rogue: "A beam sword with blue colouration." What, no fancy description? "Ancient Tachyglossian Technology Void-Core Beam Weapon; Type-K Sword Model, Blue."
  • RPG World has the main party's preferences
  • Being based on Dungeons & Dragons, Order of the Stick has each character wield an appropriate weapon for their class.
    • Roy the Fighter uses a Greatsword, though he has used a greatclub for a time after his sword was broken.
    • Haley the Rogue uses a longbow.
    • Durkon the Cleric, being a dwarf, of course uses a small hammer, along with a shield.
    • Belkar the Ranger (and later Barbarian too) uses a pair of daggers.
    • Vaarsivus the Wizard doesn't use a weapon, being pathetic in melee, instead using magic to fight.
      • In the board game, Vaarsivus has a staff, but in the flavor text comments "I do not recall this prop ever appearing in the comic."
      • In the comic itself, the "Explosive Runes" are his signature spell and a Running Gag.
    • Elan the Bard uses a rapier.
      • Rich Burlew, the author, may have a fondness for this trope. There's a self-created class on the site based entirely around empowering a specific Weapon of Choice with powers that greatly surpass the abilities of the character itself.
  • In Homestuck, each of the main characters can allocate their STRIFE SPECIBUS, essentially selecting the type of weapon they can use.
  • Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire. As can be guessed if you're not too slow, the title character's weapon of choice is a zap gun -- nicknamed "Junior".
  • The Axe Cop prefers to use a heavyset blade mounted on a polished wooden club. Pretty much everyone with the name "_______ Cop" has the blank filled in with the weapon - Flute Cop, Book Cop, Telescope Gun Cop...
  • The title character in Schlock Mercenary uses a (increasingly archaic) Plasma Cannon far more than any other weapon (except possibly himself, since he's "a bundle of Assassination-Made-Easy") - it is effective as both a weapon and a form of transport, and because it can be used to threaten as well as kill (a half-pressed trigger results in a humming sound and a glow emanating from the barrel).
    • Surprisingly, old good Alexia Murtaugh on an exploratory mission turned out to have similar preferences, minus hauling excessive mass. Later she proposes to shoot an atmospheric phenomenon at about 8 km range... for speeding up the mission, but in part also because it will look cool.
  • In Harkovast a lot of the characters fit into this trope, such as the (usually) peaceful Chen-Chen fighting unarmed and the giant nameless wielding two long chains.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Ruby Quest; One of the fanarts featured Ace with some sort of MacGyver'd cane/hook/spear thing, which actually made it into the game. The main characters have weapons of choice themselves: Ruby has a mean left hook, while Tom prefers a crowbar, which was later swapped for a BLUDGEONY CANESHOVEL.
  • Linkara and his magical gun. And on a semi-related note, The Nostalgia Critic and his handgun (which has a tendency to show up at unusual times).
  • Red vs. Blue has Church with the sniper rifle (which he can't hit the broadside of a barn with), Tucker and his energy sword, Caboose and his SAW, Sarge and his shotgun, Donut and his grenades, Simmons and his rocket launcher, and Grif with the ever-trusty traffic cone.
    • Then theres the Meta with its bruteshot and Wash with his pistol.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Aang, the twelve-year-old peace loving monk, has his trademark staff/glider.
    • Zuko, both the noble Determinator and selfish, troubled Anti-Villain, gets not one but two broadswords, indicative of his two sides.
    • Sokka, The Smart Guy, has a Precision-Guided Boomerang (indicating he's odd, but effective).
    • The creators have also admitted that they got the idea for giving the Emo Teen Mai a Bottomless Magazine of stillettos by picturing her sulking in her room, throwing things at the walls in boredom.
    • Jet has hook swords, which in retrospect may well have been a hint towards the whole Well-Intentioned Extremist role and Zuko's Worthy Opponent.
      • To illustrate their Character Development, some characters have come to lose their weapons. For example, early on, when he was just the thick-headed male figure, Sokka retained a war club. Then of course, there's the symbolic ending of the season three premiere episode, in which Aang burns his staff. On the reverse, as a sure sign of his growing into a capable leader, Sokka has come to receive a straight sword.
      • Then the Grand Finale has Sokka losing both of his weapons, and Aang never using his staff. This indicates that, indeed, it's all finally over.
  • In Code Lyoko, the heroes' weapons are generated from their subconscious during their first virtualization.
  • From Thundercats:
  • The Mighty Ducks:
    • Wildwing, The Hero, has an 'explosive puck' launcher (effectively a grenade launcher) build into one of his gauntlets (the other has an energy shield generator).
    • Duke L'Orange, The Lancer, uses a short laser sword.
    • Tanya, The Smart Guy, has a number of gadgets build into her gauntlet, including a small chainsaw.
    • Grin and Mallory both prefer hand-to-hand combat.
    • Nosedive... doesn't really have a special weapon, though he makes the most use of the pistols that all the characters have.
  • All the knights and warlords have at least one King Arthur and the Knights of Justice, but most have more then one.
  • Transformers Animated has this more-so than most of the Transformers incarnations with most of the titular robots having some sort of unique Weapon of Choice or Stock Super Powers.
  • Kim Possible doesn't use weapons generally, but does get a lot of mileage out of her grappling gun. Ron at one point had his own signature weapon; the Lotus Blade, which could only be used by a master of the Mystic Monkey Power and had the ability to morph into other weapons (Ron used it as a sword, a staff and a shield during the episode). Ron-centric fanfics will generally have him reclaim the Lotus Blade at some point.
  1. as in: "tactical nuke"
  2. gear carried by each Guardsman, plus items given per squad
  3. as in, drop troops get carbine and grav-chute, scouts get a light vehicle per squad and magnoculars
  4. such as sniper rifle, meltagun for tank-cooking, or grenade launcher - the latter seems to be popular due to versatility and its high availability plus "Favoured" Logistics bonus making resupply fairly reliable
  5. technically, one extra of either can be added to "Favoured", but at the same point cost you could give a scanner or advanced medkit to each squad
  6. like multilaser or a "humble" mortar