TelescopingStaff Telescoping Staff YKTTW Discussion

Telescoping Staff
A staff that is expandable to unusual ranges.
(permanent link) added: 2011-11-01 15:12:52 sponsor: Raso edited by: wanderlustwarrior (last reply: 2012-12-09 13:42:43)

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Indexes: Weapons and Wielding Tropes, Bigger Is Better

Alternate titles: Expanding Staff, Extending Staff

This Weapon of Choice is an expandable (Bo) Staff, able to change its length and/or girth (paging Dr. Freud!); often they extend so far into Telephone Polearm proportions. The ability of the staff to become smaller is more often used for portability's sake, though it can still have practical purposes.

There is often not a clear mechanism for this, so some can be magical, controllable by the user's mind, or manipulated by some other technology.

Some may likely be an Expy or reference to Son Wukong's Expanding Bo-Staff from Journey to the West, especially in Eastern works.

Subtrope to Retractable Weapon, Morph Weapon and Simple Staff. Note that the default state is still a staff or polearm, not a baton or other size changing weapon.


Anime and Manga
  • In Saiyuki, Son Goku uses an extendable staff known as the Nyoi-Bo, which can also morph into a three-section staff. As should be expected of his name, he's one of the various media interpretations of Sun Wukong (Son Goku) from Journey To The West.
  • Dragon Ball: Goku's Nyoi-bo (Dub translated as Power Pole.) is his principal weapon for most of Dragon Ball but largely disappears in Dragon Ball Z. The Dragon Ball saga at this point was loosely based on Journey to the West, hence Son Goku's adventures.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!: Ku Fei's item, Shinchintetsu Jizaikon, is a replica of the one used in Journey to the West called Shinchintetsu Jizaikon.
  • Love Hina: When Naru played Son Goku in the play of Journey to the West she made the staff extend in an Omake, however when Keitaro played the part and uses the staff it does not do this for him.
  • Naruto: The Third Hokage's monkey summon Enma can transform into one of these made out of Adamantine.

  • Robin uses one across media, especially in the Teen Titans animated series and the Arkham City video game. In the comics proper it was given to him by Lady Shiva.
  • Gambit from X-Men uses one, often made out of Adamantium, which he can channel his explosive power through as it will survive the blasts.
  • A telescoping staff was one of the original weapons of Captain Britain.


  • Journey to the West has the Lancer Son Goku/Wukong, who possesses an expandable bo-staff.
    • Another less-known example from Journey to the West: Even if is not brought up as often, Sha Wujing's weapon in the novel is a special club made of mohogany wood and gold. According to him, it can stretch and enlarge at will just like Sun Wukong's "As You Will" Cudgel, but since he doesn't fight as much as him, this fact is often overlooked.
  • Ged's staff in A Wizard Of Earthsea: he picks a blade of grass, speaks to it to expand it into a full sized wooden staff, and to suit this trope, it is able to skrink/grow it again.

Live-Action TV
  • Babylon 5: The Rangers use a form of these although they go from the size of your palm to standard length.
  • In the TV series Andromeda, Dylan Hunt's Force Lance would expand from a small hand-held cylinder to a full staff when given a good hard shake. It would also fire "smart" projectiles or plasma bursts, making it also a Boom Stick.

Tabletop RPG
  • Early editions of Dungeons & Dragons had the Rod of Lordly Might. One of its functions turned it into a spear up to 15 feet long.
    • The magic quarterstaff in Unearthed Arcana (1985). Normally 6 feet long, could be expanded up to 12 feet long.
    • Although not a weapon, the third edition had a collapseable pole in a sourcebook that could be extended to a ten-foot pole.

Video Games
  • Nanase from Street Fighter EX 2 uses a bo staff of this nature. Her Meteor Combo involves her using the weapon to launch out of orbit, then utilizing her gain in speed and momentum to pummel her foe during atmospheric re-entry.
  • Hualin, a bonus character in Soulcalibur III, fights using the Create-A-Soul staff discipline. Some of her moves (namely her unblockables) involve it growing to mammoth proportions, using changes to throw the opponent from a range.
  • Dynasty Warriors 6: the staff weapon will expand as you up your renbu meter.
  • Jade in Mortal Kombat has this as a part of her arsenal.
  • In Castlevania: Curse of Darkness you can build the Nyoi-Bo staff using Orichalcum, five bamboo spears and five bamboo swords. It's quite weak, but has the greatest reach and is perfect againsy multiple, weak opponents.
  • In Megaman Zero, Zero has access to the Triple rod, basically a spear that can be extended up to three times or can be used to bounce over enemies.
  • Raijin, a recurring enemy from Final Fantasy VIII, wields one of those.
  • Wukong and his weapon from League of Legends - appropriate, being a largely sun-wukong inspired character.

Web Comics

Western Animation

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