Created By: TropeEater on May 30, 2012 Last Edited By: TropeEater on June 10, 2012
Troped

The Pin is Mightier Than the Sword.

Decorative badges or pins that have special powers.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
For some reason, it's common for badges to be depicted as either giving special abilities to or augmenting the special abilities of the wearer. This could be rooted in the fact that military officers and the like wear them as symbol of authority. However, it seems that users of these badges don't usually have much authority.

This trope is common in RPGs, where they will be collected as equipment.

Subtrope of Clothes Make the Superman.

Has nothing to do with using sewing needles, tacks, pushpins, or the like as weapons.

Examples:

Anime
  • In Bleach, Ichigo has badge that can, among other things, detach his soul from his body.
  • In Sailor Moon the main character has a brooch which serves as both a Transformation Trinket and a holder for her Power Crystal. Chibi-Chibi also gets one later on.

Literature
  • E.E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman series. The Lens, which is the badge of the Lensmen of the Galactic Patrol, gives the wearer a variety of useful mental powers, including language translation. It will also kill anyone who touches it other than its owner.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms. In 2nd Edition, Harper pins give their wearer a bonus to defending against Mind Control attacks and immunity to any kind of detection spells/psionics, Magic Missiles and electricity/lightning attacks.
  • In Voltron, the keys to the lions hide themselves as pins.

Video Games
  • In EarthBound (and the other MOTHER games), one of the earliest really useful special items you get is the Franklin Badge, which reflects electrical attacks.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, certain characters wear a ribbon (the military style, with a badge) that makes them exempt from all laws.
  • In the Mario RPGs, badges affect stats and sometimes have more interesting effects.
  • This is a major theme in The World Ends with You.
  • In Pokémon, badges obtained by defeating gym leaders have special effects.
  • Many of the trinkets in World of Warcraft fall into this category, although it's hard to tell with some of them because their names are so vague.

Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • May 30, 2012
    Dacilriel
    In Sailor Moon the main character has a brooch which serves as both a Transformation Trinket and a holder for her Power Crystal. Sailor Chibi Moon also gets one later on.
  • May 31, 2012
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons
      • Forgotten Realms. In 2nd Edition, Harper pins give their wearer a bonus to defending against Mind Control attacks and immunity to any kind of detection spells/psionics, Magic Missiles and electricity/lightning attacks.
  • May 31, 2012
    Shrikesnest
    Haha, love the title.

    • In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, certain characters wear a ribbon (the military style, with a badge) that makes them exempt from all laws.
    • In Earthbound, one of the earliest really useful special items you get is the Franklin Badge, which reflects electrical attacks.
    • Many of the trinkets in World Of Warcraft fall into this category, although it's hard to tell with some of them because their names are so nonspecific.
  • May 31, 2012
    captainsandwich
    Bleach Ichigo has a badge that allows him to take his soul at of his body. Apparently it does other stuff to but i'll let someone who is more familiar with the series elaborate.
  • May 31, 2012
    Beacon80
    Much title love, and an example:
    • In Voltron, the keys to the lions hide themselves as pins.
  • June 1, 2012
    Arivne
    Literature
    • E.E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman series. The Lens, which is the badge of the Lensmen of the Galactic Patrol, gives the wearer a variety of useful mental powers, including language translation. It will also kill anyone who touches it other than its owner.
  • June 3, 2012
    TBeholder
    ^^^^^ same in 3ed (Magic of Faerun) with greater Harper pin (lesser pin is equivalent to ring of mind shielding)
  • June 5, 2012
    Fretter
    Played with in the entire Green Lantern universe. The powers come from the emotion, but are materialized through the rings.
  • June 6, 2012
    TropeEater
    ^ Nah, this trope is specifically about badges. The type you wear on your front. The Lensman is a special case because it's used like a military badge, and it's sort of like a badge on the back of his hand anyway.
  • June 6, 2012
    captainsandwich
    wait the badges have to be decorative? in bleach i think its more like the badge that a policeman pulls out of his pocket to show he is legit, not the badge that goes over his heart that is up all the time.
  • June 9, 2012
    TropeEater
    ^ Tropes Are Flexible. And anyway, a police badge is still decorative, even if it has a meaning.
  • June 9, 2012
    TropeEater
    Do you think this is ready for launch? It fits the Three Rules Of Three.
  • June 9, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    Hmm. In the Earth Bound example, it should be pointed out that the Franklin Badge extends throughout the entire Mother series.

    (It's also named after Benjamin Franklin, which may be a nice fun fact to add in there.)
  • June 10, 2012
    TropeEater
    ^Already taken care of.
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