Created By: LordGriffin on April 12, 2011

This trope is obviously a weapon

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If your hero finds a long long ultimate artifact, there's a chance that there's somebody else around that will claim that that thing is obviously a weapon. This guy will usually be militarily minded and often, not very bright.

Despite the name, the unknown thing could also obviously be anything else. Greedy people will assume "treasure worth millions", while somebody who's tech savvy might assume "ultimate decryption code" or something similar.

Whichever form it takes, there are two main components: 1) The person making the claim had almost zero actual information about the object in question, and 2) The person claims to "know" what said thing MUST be.

Please note: Being correct does not invalidate this trope. Sometimes ancient artifacts ARE weapons, after all.


  • Mass Effect has an alien beacon which "probably" contains instructions for building a weapon.
  • In Outlaw Star, Aisha Clanclan assumes that the Galactic Leyline has to be made out of Dragonite, or otherwise affiliated with the substance.
  • Jinnai from El Hazard assumes that pretty much anything mysterious is a weapon. Eye of God? Weapon. Ancient demon? Weapon. That fancy stick over there? Ultimate weapon. The problem is that most of the time, he's right.
  • GTO's Onizuka goes on a treasure hunt and finds what is obviously an ancient treasure worth millions. Unfortunately, this one WAS a weapon (a bomb).
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • April 12, 2011
  • April 12, 2011
    Isn't stargate also used to wipe bad guys that happened to be standing near it too?
  • April 13, 2011
    It's not a weapon though, it just happens to cause some limited destruction directly in front of it. The earthquakes are another side effect.
  • April 13, 2011
    It was assumed to be weapon BEFORE someone managed to activate it. That's the point of the trope. Later they somehow figured out it is supposed to be transporter.
  • April 13, 2011
    An episode of Star Trek TNG has the crew racing some Klingons and Cardassians for what's believed (by the Klingons at least) to be an unstoppable superweapon hidden in the genetic material of various worlds. To the last two groups' disgust it turns out to be a message explaining that every sapient being in the universe comes from the same common ancestor. Especially Klingons and Cardassians.
  • April 15, 2011
    Implied in the Backstory to Doctor Who, "Dalek." The Doctor goes through a pile of stuff the rich guy has collected (thinking that they are alien weapons) in order to find something that'll stop a Dalek. "Broken...broken...broken...hairdryer...AND broken..."
  • April 15, 2011
    Also, we don't use trope as a place holder anymore, X is a popular replacement.
  • April 23, 2011
    The Spelljammer? It's a weapon. Something that large, that fast, that powerful? Of course, it's a weapon. What else could it be?
    -- H'Carth, The Legend of Spelljammer

    • In the Foundation cycle one merchant had troubles with customs thinking he has the holdful of weaponry. Their suspicions were triggered by a power tool of "dices rails like cheese" level (which one of them managed to use on himself), so it wasn't that much far off.
  • April 23, 2011
    "Obviously A Weapon" would probably be a better - since catchier, shorter etc. - title.
  • June 2, 2011
    To put an entry above in standard format:

    Tabletop RPG
    Of course it's a weapon! Something that large, that fast, that powerful! What else could it be? Why would anyone build something that big if it wasn't a weapon?
    Testimony of H'Carth, the Mad Beholder of Greyhawk
  • June 5, 2011
    I think we need a better title, something that alludes to its ability to be confused for different things by different characters.

    Subjective Macguffin?
  • June 30, 2011
    • Art and Pip in Sequential Art grabbed the most powerful ray guns of Denizens... or what they expected to be these.
  • January 23, 2012
    • In later Book Of Amber, the Ghostwheel -- everyone instantly sees that it's a potential superweapon... except its creator.
  • January 23, 2012
    There's an archaeologist's joke that if you can't figure out what something was for you call it a religious object.

    Obviously An Ancient X?