Created By: sturmovik on April 25, 2013 Last Edited By: tcarter1102 on May 20, 2013
Troped

Hey It's That Gun

When a recognizable firearm is playing the role of a fictional firearm.

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Page Type:
Trope
You're watching a popular Science Fiction film when suddenly the argument you were about to launch over whether or not Han shot first is derailed by the realization that you saw the same weapon the night before being used by a German officer in the trenches, only then it wasn't a Frickin' Laser.

The firearm equivalent of Hey, It's That Guy!, Hey, It's That Gun! is where the viewer recognizes a firearm playing a role in a world one would not expect to find it. This most frequently arises in fictional, fantastic or alien settings where prop designers are looking for something realistic, functional or available off the shelf.

Is not to be confused with A.K.A.-47 where Real Life weapons are simply renamed in their proper context or Improperly Placed Firearms where they are used in an inaccurate context. This describes where a viewer is able to recognize a firearm that itself is playing a role that is accurate within the context of the work.

Just like human actors, firearms may be visually modified or simply left as is. The latter is frequently the case with Cool Guns or Rare Guns, but using something that is too common/recognizable may break the viewer's Willing Suspension of Disbelief.

Does not apply when an existing firearm is sufficiently modified as to be unrecognizable to anyone not using the IMFDB. Will re-apply if sufficiently modified weapons are in turn used in other works where they can be recognized from their other appearances.


Examples

Film

Live-Action TV

Video Games
  • In Halo, set about five hundred or so years in the future, the UNSC apparently still uses twentieth-century South African 14.5mm anti-materiel rifles (albeit converted to semiautomatic fire and with the magazine in the bottom rather than the side of the rifle).

Web Original

Real Life
  • In 2012 after the Free Syrian Army captured 70 year-old World War 2 surplus stocks of German Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifles they started turning up in various rebel videos.
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • April 25, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Added an example.

    I'm assuming this is going to be Trivia since it's snowcloned off of one?
  • April 25, 2013
    sturmovik
    Probably, but an argument can be made that it is a style trope...using real things as fictional things. I am hoping that people more steeped in previous debates would be able to help with a ruling.
  • April 25, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In the 1968 Planet Of The Apes film the gorilla soldiers carry Lugers, which could be this or a clue that it's Earth All Along.
  • April 25, 2013
    sturmovik
    I don't remember the Lugers, but I do remember the almost intentionally generic long arms the apes used, possibly to avert this tropia.
  • April 25, 2013
    sturmovik
    So upon further review I believe that this should be trivia if it is simply a listing of all works where real guns play fictional rules, but it should be a trope if it is where such substitutions break/shake the Willing Suspension Of Disbelief.

    Granted the trope version might be a bit subjective as people who know about firearms would be the only ones effected, but all manner of tropes rely on only experts being able to notice certain things.

    In the case of a trope angle I might remove the Total Recall example as the LWS works quite well with the context, but add the Planet of the Apes example, with a caveat that it could be an intentional clue.
  • April 25, 2013
    StarSword
    • In Halo, set about five hundred or so years in the future, the UNSC apparently still uses twentieth-century South African 14.5mm anti-materiel rifles (albeit converted to semiautomatic fire and with the magazine in the bottom rather than the side of the rifle).

  • April 26, 2013
    sturmovik
    Improperly Placed Firearms seems to cover issues of modern guns placed into Sci Fi settings as well as modern guns places into historic or other improper settings, so I am going to keep this as a more Trivia type entry where the user is able to recognize a gun either from normal popular culture or other series. Hey Its That Gun covers instances, like the Star Wars blaster, where they've tried to modify it, or where the same modded or rare weapon appears in different universes.

    This actually seems to be sitting on the YMMV fence as well if one takes the tack of where a weapon's recognizably can pull one out of the story. As a trope this would probably be limited to only situations where the weapon is playing a role (like an actor), but fails to be sufficiently believable and of course as trivia the list would have no connection with how such placement affects the viewing experience.
  • April 28, 2013
    MrRuano
    Transformers Generation One had Megatron originally transform into a Walther P-38. The original version of his toy were even based on the gun from The Man From UNCLE. Later versions and toys changed the gun further to adhere to toy safety laws to make it more obvious that it is a toy.
  • April 29, 2013
    sturmovik
    How do I tag something as a trivia only entry?
  • April 29, 2013
    Larkmarn
  • April 29, 2013
    sturmovik
    Totally, but which works were those used in?
  • April 29, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Terra Nova and Hunter Prey, according to the article.
  • April 29, 2013
    StarSword
    @sturmovik: The Trivia banner is added to a page by putting it in the Trivia index. Closest thing you can do here is add a note to the draft.

    Film:
    • The Starship Troopers films used a number of real-life guns with bits added on for the Mobile Infantry's rifles. The full-auto version of the Morita Assault Rifle was a Ruger AC556k assault rifle with an Ithaca M37 combat shotgun underneath, the semi-auto version had a Ruger Mini-14 rifle and Ithaca M37, while the carbine variant used by Fleet Troopers and MI officers just had the Mini-14. The Morita III rifle that appeared in ST3: Marauder was built out of the Vektor R4/R5 series assault rifles, a South African version of the Kalashnikov-derived Galil ARM series.

    TV:
    • In Firefly Jayne's beloved Vera was modified from a Saiga-12 combat shotgun.
  • April 29, 2013
    sturmovik
    Regarding Starship Troopers (and Aliens for that matter), I couldn't recognize the original weapons the prop guns were based on due to the high level of modification. Is that a fair assessment? The reason I was reluctant to drop this into Trivia because it might turn into an IMFDB analogue instead of situations where viewers can actually spot the gun behind the disguise. I am not sure how anyone could spot the Mini-14 underlying the Morita.

    Firefly reference works however.
  • April 29, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Zoe's Mare's Leg gun from Firefly would probably count as well. It's the classic Steve Mc Queen Mare's Leg from Wanted Dead Or Alive, with a couple vaguely Space Western modifications.

    Actually, the gun has its own wikipedia page that may count for other examples: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mare%27s_Leg
  • April 29, 2013
    XFllo
    I think we have this Trivia already. Prop Recycling.
  • April 29, 2013
    StarSword
    ^^^Ok, forget Starship Troopers. I think I misunderstood the definition.
  • April 30, 2013
    sturmovik
    This is related to Prop Recycling, but not 100% covered by Prop Recycling. Would have links back and forth.
  • April 30, 2013
    XFllo
    My answer would: then add example to Prop Recycling and/or slightly extend its definition. Also consider The Same But More Specific and Tropes Are Flexible.

    But if the others think this would be cool and useful... well, let's see.
  • April 30, 2013
    sturmovik
    Almost all the of the examples are not Prop Recycling. Star Wars didn't recycle anything, but one can still recognize the E-11 blaster as something from an episode of Dr Who (UNIT used Sterlings occasionally) because they are the same real life gun. Some examples could be covered by Prop Recycling, but why be picky.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=s8zsbcj0u8e7r9jjaxop1nu8&trope=HeyItsThatGun