Created By: Youmustbelost on November 7, 2009
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Static Stun Gun

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Note: We are go for launch.

As we know all too well, Lightning Can Do Anything.

Concurrently, electricity has many uses; one of these manifold uses is a natural taser.

This trope refers to the tendency for electricity (most especially in Video Games) to serve as a stunning mechanism. If a person can summon/harness lightning or electricity, chances are someone hit with it with be stunned, with arcs flowing across their body. Water is basically a giant taser trap waiting to be sprung by the proper application of an electric shock. Additionally, victims of said tasing with often cry out spasmodically before falling in a heap, in order to properly convey the force of the incapacitating blast.

Related to Shock and Awe, as most of the Electric weaponry related therein would carry this effect.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Hei in Darker Than Black uses his electricity power like this at times. In one case he actually pretended to have a taser, because he wasn't disguised at the time.

Film

Literature
  • "Tom Swift And His Ultrasonic Cycloplane" (1957). The villain had a weapon that generated electromagnetic waves which shocked the target into stunned submission.

Tabletop Games
  • The Dark Conspiracy supplement Darktek had the "E.T. Stun Gun". It fired a laser to ionize the air, then discharged an electric current that followed the ionization path.
  • GURPS has electrolasers. However these are merely stunguns that don't need a wire.

Video Games
  • Eddie Riggs can stun the various animals in Brütal Legend, and then ride them, by calling down lightning with his guitar.
  • Most Electric Pokémon's lightning attacks come with a paralysis side-effect. It doesn't pop up often, though.
    • Thunder Wave, is a move designed specifically to paralyse the enemy.
  • The infamous "One-Two Punch" in Bioshock involves first stunning an enemy with one's FISTFULLALOIGHTNIN' and then whackin' 'em upside the head with your wrench.
  • Custom Robo has the Stun and Thunderbolt guns, electrical weapons that stagger the opponent for an extended time if they hit.
  • Metroid Prime's electricity-based Wave Beam may disable the target if charged.
  • Players could control Mumbo Jumbo as a playable character in the sequel to Banjo-Kazooie. His weapon, the Zap Stick, shot a continuous stream of sparks that would immobilize the victim and cause them to babble incoherently until they die. It was wonderful.
  • The Thunder branch of spells in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles may inflict the "Stunned" status condition, preventing the victim from moving until it wears off.
  • Zero Suit Samus' pistol in Super Smash Bros. Brawl fires a bolt of what is presumably electricity which stops foes in their tracks, complete with the coursing arcs.
  • In Borderlands, electric elemental damage can stun enemies.
  • Golden Sun represents stunning as two bolts of lightning alongside the afflicted character.
  • Warcraft 3 has Purge (hits target with lightning), which removes buffs but slows the target a great deal, as well as Storm Bolt, an electrically-charged hammer that stuns the target. Used by name without involving electricity, Thunder Clap also slows enemies by slamming the ground.
  • XCOM has stun rods, which are basically electric cattle prods used to stun aliens for capture (and stun your own soldiers when they get mind-controlled).

Real Life
  • Tasers obviously actually do use electricity to incapacitate people by delivering a powerful electric charge into a person's nervous system, inciting muscle spasms as well as an extremely painful sensation.

Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • November 2, 2009
    fzzr_miller
    This is a sub-trope of Shock and Awe, methinks.

    • Hei in Darker Than Black uses his electricity power like this at times. In one case he actually pretended to have a taser, because he wasn't disguised at the time.
  • November 2, 2009
    superfroggy
    I was going to make this one, but you beat me to it.
    • Custom Robo has the Stun and Thunderbolt guns, electrical weapons that stagger the opponent for an extended time if they hit.
    • Metroid Prime's electricity-based Wave Beam may disable the target if charged.
    • Players could control Mumbo Jumbo as a playable character in the sequel to Banjo Kazooie. His weapon, the Zap Stick, shot a continuous stream of sparks that would immobilize the victim and cause them to babble incoherently until they die. It was wonderful.
    • The Thunder branch of spells in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles may inflict the "Stunned" status condition, preventing the victim from moving until it wears off.
    • Zero Suit Samus' pistol in Super Smash Bros Brawl fires a bolt of what is presumably electricity which stops foes in their tracks.

    Whew, that's all the examples I can think of. As for the title, I suggest Static Stun Gun or... uh... um.
  • November 2, 2009
    fzzr_miller
    • In Borderlands, electric elemental damage can stun enemies.
  • November 3, 2009
    Youmustbelost
    @superfroggy I like Static Stun Gun better then my original, so I changed it. As an aside, if anyone thinks of a title even better don't hesitate to shout it out.
  • November 3, 2009
    Arivne
    Literature
    • "Tom Swift And His Ultrasonic Cycloplane" (1957). The villain had a weapon that generated electromagnetic waves which shocked the target into stunned submission.

    From Lightning Gun:

    Tabletop RPG
    • The Dark Conspiracy supplement Darktek had the "E.T. Stun Gun". It fired a laser to ionize the air, then discharged an electric current that followed the ionization path.
    • GURPS has electrolasers. However these are merely stunguns that don't need a wire.

    To distinguish this from Lightning Gun, the description should say that it can only stun the target or render it unconscious, not kill or permanently harm it.

    Some of the examples in X Ray Sparks may fit here if they cause stunning/unconsciousness in addition to the X-Ray effect.
  • November 3, 2009
    fzzr_miller
    Arivne: I disagree. Its just fine for the static stun gun to be an attempted kill as well as stunning. See thundershock in in Pokemon, or shock weapons in Borderlands, or electricity powers in Bioshock...

    Of course, if the target DOES just die, then it is not an example of this trope.

    Oh, and Truth In Television: People who, for example, touch an electric fence, experience muscle spasms. Also, tasers.
  • November 3, 2009
    Youmustbelost
    @Arivne and Miller This should already be separate from Lightning Gun and the others because it's not about Electricity as a weapon, its about Electricity (very often just plain electricity) being used as a stunner. If that wasn't clear, I'll retool the intro later.
  • November 6, 2009
    Deboss
    I know this is caused by the electricity causing the muscles to cease which is quite painful.
  • November 6, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    • Golden Sun represents stunning as two bolts of lightning alongside the afflicted character.
    • Pokemon has Thunder Cage, which serves to paralyse the enemy.
    • Warcraft3 has Purge (hits target with lightning), which removes buffs but slows the target a great deal, as well as Storm Bolt, an electrically-charged hammer that stuns the target. Used by name without involving electricity, Thunder Clap also slows enemies by slamming the ground.
  • November 6, 2009
    superfroggy
    Thunder Cage? Are you sure you don't mean Thunder Wave? If there's a "Thunder Cage", I haven't heard of it...
  • November 6, 2009
    Deboss
    Electric attacks in pokemon also have a chance to paralyze but it doesn't pop up often.
  • November 6, 2009
    KirkSkywalker
    • "Dynamo" in The Running Man.
  • November 6, 2009
    Martin The Mess
    XCOM has stun rods, which are basically electric cattle prods used to stun aliens for capture (and stun your own soldiers when they get mind-controlled).
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