Created By: LosingStreak on May 8, 2011 Last Edited By: LosingStreak on May 11, 2011
Troped

Two Shots From Behind The Bar

If there is a bar, it will always have a gun hidden inside it.

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When he said "last call for shots", he wasn't kidding.

So the hero wanders into a seedy bar. Maybe he brushes against a less-than-reputable goon. Maybe the goon is just looking to pick a fight. Maybe the hero can't afford to pay the tab. Whatever the case, this scenario can only end in bloodshed.

The bartender quickly dives behind the bar. A cowardly move... but then he emerges, shotgun in tow and ready to quell any disturbances to his business.

This action is not necessarily limited to bartenders, although it is a common occurrence. Similarly, while the shotgun is a common firearm used, other firearms such as rifles or pistols may be used. The key point is that the firearm is retrieved specifically from the bar.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In Black Lagoon, the owner of the Yellowflag keeps a shotgun behind the bar handy for inevitable shootouts. It doesn't hurt that the bar itself is fully armored to withstand shots.

Film
  • In most Western films where there's a gunfight in a saloon, the bartender will produce a gun from behind the bar and join in. The trope probably originated in that genre.
  • The Winchester in Shaun of the Dead has the gun hidden in plain sight, but Shaun and the others initially think it's just a prop.
  • The shotgun-wielding bartender is among the victims of the bar Blast Out in Inglourious Basterds.
  • After the T-800 in Terminator 2 beats up several bikers in a bar, the bartender confronts him outside with a shotgun to prevent him from stealing one of their motorbikes.
  • In Dirty Harry it was a liquor store and this was how the villain, an ex-con, was able to get a gun to battle with Dirty Harry.
  • The opening shootout from Desperado ends with the bartender pulling a shotgun to try to take out the Mariachi as he was walking away. As for how it turned out...
    Buscemi: ...No, man. The bartender got it worse than anybody.
  • The opening shootout from The Killer featured a bartender with a shotgun. Needless to say, it didn't end well for him.

Live-Action TV
  • Happens several times in Supernatural.
  • In an episode of The Mentalist, Rigsby's father (an ex-con) is "helping" on a case, and goes into a Bad-Guy Bar. Moments later several people run out. Rigsby enters and finds his father with a shiv pointed at some guy's throat and the bartender with a shotgun pointed at Rigsby Sr.

Video Games
  • After Bond crashes the Kiss Kiss Club in Everything or Nothing, he automatically takes cover behind the bar and acquires a shotgun.
  • During Mafia's mid-mission stages, Luigi the bartender packs a shotgun behind the bar and will not hesitate to gun Tommy down if he attacks any of his allies.
  • Bartenders in Mafia II will pull a shotgun on Vito if he tries to rob them.
  • After Jenny in Gun is taken hostage at the Alhambra Saloon, the bartender unlocks a cabinet behind the bar and pulls out what appears to be a rifle. However, after the cutscene ends he actually uses a pistol instead.
  • In the "Massacre at Cheung Chau Fish Restaurant" level of Hitman, if 47 pulls a weapon on the bartender, he will duck behind the bar and unload a sawed-off shotgun on him.

Western Animation
  • Moe Szyslak keeps a sawed-off shotgun handy in case of cheapskate customers or when he loses his temper, which happens all the time.


Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • May 9, 2011
    Arivne
    Film
    • Terminator 2. After the T-800 beats up several bikers in a bar, the bartender confronts him outside with a shotgun to prevent him from stealing one of their motorbikes.
  • May 9, 2011
    captainbrass2
    • In most Western films where there's a gunfight in a saloon, the bartender will produce a gun from behind the bar and join in. The trope probably originated in that genre.
  • May 9, 2011
    ElaineRose
    • In Dirty Harry, it was a liquor store, and this trope was how the villain, an ex-con, was able to get a gun to battle it out with Dirty Harry.

    [[AC: Television
  • May 9, 2011
    jaytee
    Could use a better title maybe... The current one just isn't very indicative.
  • May 9, 2011
    LosingStreak
    It's supposed to be a double entendre - shots referring to both beer shots and shots from a gun.

    That said, I'm open to any suggestions for a snappier title.
  • May 9, 2011
    jaytee
    No, I get the pun and I actually really like it! The problem is that Two Shots Til Last Call, despite the double meaning, doesn't really have much to do with the bartender having a gun behind the counter... It sounds more like something to do with gunfights happening as the bar closes or something.

    Maybe Two Shots From Behind The Bar? ...Or something. I know we can do better.
  • May 9, 2011
    LosingStreak
    Okay, that one does sound better.
  • May 9, 2011
    randomsurfer
    The Mentalist: Riggs's father (an ex-con) is "helping" on a case, and goes into a Bad Guy Bar - moments later several people run out. Riggs goes in and finds his father with a shiv at some guy's throat and the bartender with a shotgun pointed at Riggs Sr.
  • May 9, 2011
    TwoGunAngel
    • The opening shootout from Desperado ends with the bartender pulling a shotgun to try to take out the Mariachi as he was walking away. As for how it turned out...
      Buscemi: ...no, man. The bartender got it worse than anybody.
    • The opening shootout from The Killer also featured a bartender with a shotgun, and like the previous example, it didn't end well for him.
  • May 10, 2011
    randomsurfer
    @my Mentalist example: the name is "Rigsby," sorry. I'd just edit it myself but the update already rolled over it.
  • May 11, 2011
    LosingStreak
    I know three days have passed and there are more than three examples, but I'm going to wait for consensus from at least three tropers before I launch this trope.
  • May 11, 2011
    jaytee
    I'm gonna go ahead and add a thumbs up, since this is definitely capable of being launched as-is...

    But I gotta say, this is a page just begging for an image.This is the best I could find after a quick google search (from Inglorious Basterds). Really not bad, if a little dark. Would be even better if someone would crop out the big negative space on either side of the bartender.

    I figured The Simpsons examples would be an easy find, but the only one I found didn't include the bar as a background, so it only works if everyone knows Moe is the bartender.
  • May 11, 2011
    LosingStreak
    Okay, added an image and caption. I guess it's time to launch this trope.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=4gmz3nbnuh6871alu77zh9p0