Created By: Palindromee on May 13, 2013 Last Edited By: Larkmarn on May 23, 2013
Troped

Gardening Variety Weapon

Weapon Of Choice not available? Why not a gardening tool to do the trick?

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Page Type:
Trope
Let's say you're not one for fancy weaponry. All these available weapons look hard to use...oh! A shovel! That's it!

Gardening-Variety Weapon is when a character (not necessarily incompetent with more traditional weapons) turns a mundane garden tool into a competent weapon.

Truth in Television: Many modern weapons are derived from garden tools.

A subtrope of Weapon of Choice and Improbable Weapon User. Supertrope of Shovel Strike, Machete Mayhem, and Sinister Scythe. See also Sai Guy, when an agricultural tool becomes widely known as a weapon.

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
  • Shinigamis (sans Undertakers) from Black Butler have gardening tools as weapons.
  • Suiseiseki and Souseiseki from Rozen Maiden use a watering can and a pair of giant shears respectively. Suiseiseki can use her watering can to make plants grow and manipulate them, while Souseiseki's shears are used like a melee weapon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
  • In a montage in V for Vendetta a Fingerman shoots a preteen girl dead for graffitiing V's symbol on a wall. He gets surrounded by angry townsfolk who could give a crap about his badge, and the scene does a Gory Discretion Shot as one of them swings a shovel at him.
  • Braindead AKA Dead Alive is most famous for the scene where the protagonist straps himself to a lawnmower to... erm... mow down the undead.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
  • In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Dennis and Dee are trying to get into the mind of a serial killer, so they decide to figure how they would go about committing a murder. They wind up getting a pair of gardening shears, content that they would cut through bone.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • In Journey to the West, the pig Zhu Bajie uses a gardening rake as his Weapon Of Choice.
  • In the beginning of The Wheel of Time: The Gathering Storm, an ex-soldier farmer tells his neighbor to rework his scythes into polearms or a sword in preparation for the upcoming Last Battle. Several peasant armies are seen throughout the series using such rudimentary weapons, but they tend not to do well, especially against trained soldiers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • In Ultima VII, a farmer near Britain complains that he brought his broken hoe to a mage to be repaired, but it got mixed up with a sword that was supposed to be enchanted, resulting in the Hoe of Destruction, which you can retrieve from his shed.
  • Mass Effect 2: according to the Shadow Broker's files, Mordin once killed a Krogan by stabbing him in the eye with a pitchfork.
  • Dead Rising emphasizes improvised weapons that you find in a mall. As such, this trope comes into play with mostly joke weapons like rakes or the like, but certain ones can be effective or turned into other weapons.
  • Jagged Alliance: The character "Unnecessarily Ruthless" Reuban got the "Ruthless" part of his name for wiping out his own family with a cordless hedge trimmer. The "Unnecessarily" bit was added because, during the process, he had to recharge the appliance twice. The hedge trimmer in question is actually in-game as a melee weapon, and Reuban gets some added lines when using it.
  • The Dark Souls expansion has living plant creatures that use gardening tools to maintain a massive garden and assault wandering adventurers.
  • Plants vs. Zombies allows you to purchase a rake which will kill the first zombie who steps on it. Additionally, each of your rows has a lawnmower which, as soon as one reaches the end of the row, will activate, clearing out all the zombies in the row.[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomic]]
  • In Rusty and Co., Madeline the Paladin is all about this. She first shows up wielding an alleged "holy avenger" which turns out to be a simple hoe. Then the gnome who originally sold her the hoe shows up offering a "+1 trident" which is actually a rake. When Madeline reappears in a later scene, she's armed with a spade.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • In Robot Chicken, one episode has Bob Barker become a vigilante pet spayer/neuterer. His weapon of choice? A pair of hedge clippers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
  • War scythes and Billhooks. The Billhook article also mentions that Finnish combat engineers are issued with billhooks rather than entrenching tools.
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 50
  • May 13, 2013
    DracMonster
    THIS PUN OF YOURS GLOWS WITH AN AWESOME POWER! But I suggest changing it to Gardening Variety Weapon to prevent confusion with Boring But Practical.

    • In Ultima VII, a farmer near Britain complains that he brought his broken hoe to a mage to be repaired, but it got mixed up with a sword that was supposed to be enchanted, resulting in the Hoe of Destruction, which you can retrieve from his shed.

    • In Journey To The West, the pig Zhu Bajie uses a gardening rake as his Weapon Of Choice.

    Sinister Scythe would be a Sub Trope. Torches And Pitchforks involves this of course.
  • May 13, 2013
    KTera
  • May 13, 2013
    Palindromee
    @ Drac Monster, thanks. Didn't think of that confusion.
  • May 13, 2013
    DracMonster
    Oh and it's more properly a Subtrope of Improbable Weapon User, it's only a Weapon Of Choice sometimes.
  • May 13, 2013
    Palindromee
    You're probably right. I'll note it's more common with Type 1.
  • May 13, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Sister trope to Broomstick Quarterstaff.
  • May 13, 2013
    StarSword
    Oh, that is a bad pun. I love it.

    Sister trope to Frying Pan Of Doom.

    Film:
    • In a montage in V For Vendetta a Fingerman shoots a preteen girl dead for graffitiing V's symbol on a wall. He gets surrounded by angry townsfolk who could give a crap about his badge, and the scene does a Gory Discretion Shot as one of them swings a shovel at him.
  • May 13, 2013
    KZN02
    See also Sinister Scythe and Sai Guy?
  • May 13, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Shovel Strike would probably be a subtrope.

    And a mention should be made that MANY weapons are, in fact, derived from common tools.
  • May 13, 2013
    Palindromee
    All added.
  • May 13, 2013
    DracMonster
    All of these "sister tropes" are subtropes of Improbable Weapon User, like this one. Don't really need to list every one, just farming related.
  • May 13, 2013
    Palindromee
    Alrighty...
  • May 13, 2013
    Palindromee
  • May 13, 2013
    Diask
    Removed type labels because Type Labels Are Not Examples.
  • May 13, 2013
    AgProv
    Real Life

    In the trenches of WW 1, and again in close combat in WW 2, German stormtroopers discovered their issue short-handled entrenching tool - ie, a spade - was an ideal weapon for silent close combat, especially when the blade was sharpened to a cutting edge.
  • May 14, 2013
    Palindromee
    @Diask, the page you directed me to was implying that I was using a Zero Context Example, however, I never said anything in the examples like Mac Gyver is a Type 2. I'm not going to re-add them, though, because I don't want to attract people using type labels as examples.
  • May 14, 2013
    Jess
    • Shinigamis (sans Undertaker) from Black Butler have gardening tools as weapon.
  • May 14, 2013
    Larkmarn
    ^^^ I don't think there's any need to add that since it's Shovel Strike. If we add every example from Shovel Strike then it kind of makes that trope redundant, doesn't it?
  • May 14, 2013
    aurora369
    The entrenching-tool-as-weapon is also very common in the Soviet/Russian army.
  • May 14, 2013
    MattStriker
    • Jagged Alliance: The character "Unnecessarily Ruthless" Reuban got the "Ruthless" part of his name for wiping out his own family with a cordless hedge trimmer. The "Unnecessarily" bit was added because, during the process, he had to recharge the appliance twice. The hedge trimmer in question is actually in-game as a melee weapon, and Reuban gets some added lines when using it.
  • May 14, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • Braindead AKA Dead Alive is most famous for the scene where the protagonist straps himself to a lawnmower to... erm... mow down the undead.

    • Dead Rising emphasizes improvised weapons that you find in a mall. As such, this trope comes into play with mostly joke weapons like rakes or the like, but certain ones can be effective or turned into other weapons.
  • May 14, 2013
    Palindromee
    All added.
  • May 14, 2013
    Generality
    Sinister Scythe would be a subtrope, since the scythe is designed as a farming implement, and would never be the weapon of choice for any competent warrior unless he wanted to be incognito. On that basis, several Ninja weapons such as the kusari-gama also count. Shovel Strike and Sai Guy would of course be subtropes, with Drop The Hammer, Frying Pan Of Doom and Powerful Pick being sister tropes. And maybe Torches And Pitchforks, though you rarely see the pitchforks used as actual weapons. Also, it's a subtrope of Improvised Weapon.

    • In the beginning of The Wheel Of Time: The Gathering Storm, an ex-soldier farmer tells his neighbor to rework his scythes into polearms or a sword in preparation for the upcoming Last Battle. Several peasant armies are seen throughout the series using such rudimentary weapons, but they tend not to do well, especially against trained soldiers.
  • May 14, 2013
    Palindromee
    Have most of those as subtropes, but I don't want to be redundant with Improbable Weapon User.
  • May 15, 2013
    Palindromee
  • May 15, 2013
    MattStriker
    More on the Truth In Television front: War scythes and Billhooks. The Billhook article also mentions that finnish combat engineers are issued with billhooks rather than entrenching tools.
  • May 16, 2013
    Palindromee
    Added.
  • May 16, 2013
    Palindromee
    YKTTW Bump. Does anybody think this is anywhere near launch-ready?
  • May 16, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Not yet.

    Description needs work, and its relationship to all those sister tropes (they're really subtropes) needs to be defined.

    Though I think Torches And Pitchforks is supposed to just be about an angry mob, and not really about the weapons itself. Most of the examples seem to be that way at least.

    Plus I think you could stand to keep it here to cull examples. There's a lot more out there.

    • Plants Vs Zombies allows you to purchase a rake which will kill the first zombie who steps on it. Additionally, each of your rows has a lawnmower which, as soon as one reaches the end of the row, will activate, clearing out all the zombies in the row.
  • May 16, 2013
    wolviepris
    The Dark Souls expansion has living plant creatures that use gardening tools to maintain a massive garden and assault wandering adventurers.
  • May 16, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    In Rusty And Co, Madeline the Paladin is all about this. She first shows up wielding an alleged "holy avenger" which turns out to be a simple hoe. Then the gnome who originally sold her the hoe shows up offering a "+1 trident" which is actually a rake. When Madeline reappears in a later scene, she's armed with a spade.
  • May 18, 2013
    Stratadrake
    The phrase is usually "garden variety", not "gardening variety".
  • May 18, 2013
    DracMonster
    ^That was his initial title, but it might cause confusion with being a weapon Sub Trope of Boring But Practical. This preserves the pun but makes it instantly clear what its really about.
  • May 18, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Okay, then.
  • May 20, 2013
    Palindromee
    All added. And @ DracMonster, *her. Sorry. That really bothers me.
  • May 20, 2013
    TrueShadow1
  • May 20, 2013
    xanderiskander
    related to Torches And Pitchforks, which is the standard equipment for an angry mob on a Witch Hunt
  • May 21, 2013
    Palindromee
    @xander, not really since in most examples the pitchforks are never explicitly used as a weapon.
  • May 21, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Fixed some formatting and added an example.

    Do we want to include one-off things, like a murder case where someone was killed by a rake or something?
  • May 21, 2013
    DracMonster
    @Palindrome: Whoops, sorry. I actually did stumble over that for a sec when I was typing it, but he/she/it didn't seem appropriate. :)
  • May 21, 2013
    Palindromee
    @Larkmarn, hmm. Maybe some, notable ones, but not every one you can think of.
  • May 21, 2013
    Larkmarn
    The one that comes to mind was Hot Fuzz, where one of the murder victims was killed with her trimming shears.

    In retrospect, it shouldn't count because it was used so that it could be claimed to be an accident, but I'm sure there are other examples as well.

    Oh, and it's a supertrope to Sinister Scythe and Shovel Strike, not subtrope. Oh, and Machete Mayhem as well.
  • May 22, 2013
    Palindromee
    All right, changed accordingly.
  • May 22, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Here's one I think would count:
    • In Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Dennis and Dee are trying to get into the mind of a serial killer, so they decide to figure how they would go about committing a murder. They wind up getting a pair of gardening shears, content that they would cut through bone.
  • May 22, 2013
    Palindromee
    Added.
  • May 22, 2013
    Palindromee
    Can anyone comb over this for spelling, grammar, and formatting mistakes I might have missed?
  • May 22, 2013
    Larkmarn
    I gave it a once over and namespaced everything. Added a hat; I think it's fine to launch but you may still want to keep it here to get more examples.
  • May 22, 2013
    Palindromee
    Just a few more I'd like. One from each category.
  • May 23, 2013
    Palindromee
    Hmm. This seems to be dying down, so I'll go ahead and launch.
  • May 23, 2013
    Palindromee
    Up at Gardening Variety Weapon. Thanks, guys.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=38qy2vm5nz3awyubgp4c03zg&trope=GardeningVarietyWeapon