When it comes to planning out the weaponry of a story, Good Weapon, Evil Weapon never fails to display itself. That said, the switchblade gets a particularly bad rep. The small size, concealability, and razor sharp edge make sit almost impossible for the poor weapon to be seen in a positive light. This is especially the case with "stiletto" switchblade, named for the similarly shaped dagger. Gangsters scare their targets with a single flick of their blades, and assassins slit the throats of unsuspecting victims who barely have time to hear the Click sound given off by the weapon. A Sub-Trope of Knife Nut. See also Sinister Scythe and Sinister Shiv, which are also bladed weapons associated with unsavory people.
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Films - Live-Action
- The murderous Swinburne's first appearance in Bedknobs and Broomsticks has him threaten the main characters with a switchblade. Later on, his boss the Bookman orders him to shoot someone, and Swinburne that he'd rather use his switchblade.
- The final confrontation in Blackboard Jungle involves a delinquent with a switchblade. It's deconstructed in that one of the protagonists takes advantage of the weapon's fragile lock to snap the blade off the handle.
- A Clockwork Orange has the gang leader Billy-boy pull a switchblade in response to Alex's challenge to a brawl.
- Most of the knives carried by the Joker in The Dark Knight are switchblades.
- The primary weapon of Henry Bowers in It (2017) is a switchblade. His fall to madness is punctuated by him killing his father with it.
- ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The Rocky Horror Picture Show has the song Eddie's Teddy invoking this.
Chorus: You knew he was a no-good kid, but when he threatened your life with a switchblade knife...
- "The Cross and the Switchblade" is David Wilkerson's account of his evangelism work among gang members.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
- Switchblades are very common among the gangs in The Outsiders.
- In the Sonja Blue series, antihero and part-time monster Sonja Blue has a silver switchblade as her favorite weapon. Silver to help fight other monsters, and a switchblade because she's just that brutal.
- Played with in Life is Strange. When Frank is introduced, he threatens Max and Chloe with one, but he quickly proves to be something of a Paper Tiger, and that he tends to Bring A Knife To A Gunfight means his switchblade marks him as a bit pathetic. Indeed, the worst that can happen is that Max and Chloe accidentally kill him in self defence in episode 4). In the prequel his much more dangerous friend Damon threatens Chloe and Rachel in a similar scene, but uses a much scarier looking combat knife to make it clear that he's much more of a threat.
- The Jon Tron video Love Is Like Drugs characterizes a drug dealer as evil nigh instantly by having him open a switchblade in front of our main characters, which sends them fumbling to find a magical analogy to get them out of the situation.
- Note that a lot of countries ban or severely restrict switchblades, flick knives and similar weapons such as butterfly knives. These weapons have such a bad reputation that even countries who allow more conventional knives to be carried without restriction have laws against them. The actual effects of the legislation range from prohibiting the use of switchblades to anyone outside the military (Hungary) to banning all switchblades with blades longer than a few centimeters (Japan) to banning the sale, use, or transport of the knives altogether (The Netherlands).
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