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->''"Yes, this lad'd seen the idea in a book, and he swung across into the other ship's rigging with his cutlass clenched, as you say, between his teeth. ... 'Topless Harry', we wrote on his coffin. ... I don't know if you've ever seen a soft-boiled egg after you've picked up your knife and sliced?"''
-->-- ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'', '''Creator/TerryPratchett'''

Taking disregard for the old saying "[[RunsWithScissors Don't run with scissors]]" to a whole new level, the Cutlass Between the Teeth is the tendency for particularly {{Badass}} characters to run around with the handle (or blade, if they're feeling really tough) of a sword or knife clenched between their teeth. Can have its uses, at most earning a free hand, but its true purpose is to make the character doing it [[RuleOfCool look even cooler]]. One would think you'd only attempt this on something with a blade with an edge on just ''one'' side...

A frequent tactic of {{Pirates}}, who often need their hands free for swimming or climbing the rigging.

Rarely a TruthInTelevision as it takes much discipline and exercise to fight the gagging reflex down which inevitably comes into play when you've got something between your teeth, still breathe through your mouth and don't swallow the damn thing. (And considering how big sword hilts are your whole face would hurt too soon enough.)

Compare NowThatsUsingYourTeeth.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Kyuzo does this twice in ''Anime/SamuraiSeven''. With two swords, it's easy to run out of hands.
* The pirate-themed anime ''Manga/OnePiece'' takes this to extremes. Roronoa Zoro, a bounty hunter who eventually becomes Luffy's swordsman, utilizes the powerful techniques of Santôryű, a fictional fighting style that involves wielding three swords, one in each hand and one ''[[ImprobableUseOfAWeapon in the mouth]]''. Somehow, [[TalkingIsAFreeAction he can even talk while doing this]]: the creator said that [[ItRunsOnNonsensoleum it is his heart that allows him to speak]].
** Although in the FUNimation dub, his voice ''is'' muffled (albeit still quite coherent) when using it.
*** However in the original Japanese voice over he amusingly rolls his r's like a yankee with sword clenched in teeth. Now that's talent.
* Psychotic priest [[KnightTemplar Alexander Anderson]] does this in ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' though not by choice, as he had [[spoiler:previously gotten his arms blown off by Alucard]].
* Just about every other promotional image for ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' features the title character posing with a kunai in his mouth. Laughed at in [[http://risachantag.deviantart.com/art/Naruto-Occupational-Hazards-12026964 this]] fanart.
** A more extreme example takes place in the series' Land of Waves arc climax. Deprived of the use of his arms, a [[UnstoppableRage really pissed off]] Zabuza is able to [[FoeTossingCharge plow through]] a bridge full of armed criminals to get at the BigBad who tried to double cross him while armed with just a single kunai held in his mouth, whipping it around with his ''tongue'' whenever he needed to change direction. In the manga he even cut his target's head off.
** Similarly, the mouth is just ''one'' of the improbably places Killer Bee [[http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/File:Seven_Swords_Dance_Technique.PNG holds his 7 swords]]. Note that none of the seven are actually in his ''hands''.
* ''Lightnovel/FullMetalPanic'' has the protagonist's HumongousMecha Arbalest, which has a spare dagger stored on its "mouth", specifically designed to be evocative of a ninja holding a scroll between his teeth. Rather than a sheathe, however, the dagger is held by a pair of clamps which pop open when Sosuke needs it.
* Kotarou of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' does this with [[spoiler:Asuna's ''{{BFS}}'']] in the Magic World tournament. Not that he had much of a choice since [[spoiler:he had transformed into his monster wolf form]].
* Roberta from ''Manga/BlackLagoon''. What makes it so awesome is that she ''caught someone ELSE'S thrown knife'' between her teeth, then ''bit it in two''.
** Similarly, in ''Anime/TekkenTheMotionPicture'', Heihachi Mishima catches an ''axe'' flung at his face by Michelle Chang by ''biting onto the blade with such force it shatters''. He then leaps down from the balcony to confront her, spits out a shard of metal, and tells her that if she wants revenge on him, she'll have to fight her way successfully through his tournament.
* ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo'': Mugen puts his samurai sword between his teeth when climbing a cliff in Episode 16.
* In the manga of ''Manga/YuGiOh'', Jounouchi challenged in a fight with a bully with knives in both of their mouths in a narrow alley after the bully beat up Yugi and took his puzzle after losing to an arcade game against him.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', Wrath gets his hands cut off and his sword broken into pieces, but still manages to catch the weapon's blade between his teeth and stab his enemy in the stomach with it before collapsing.
** Ling also does this while picking up the injured Lan Fan
* The five lions of ''Anime/GoLion'' (aka the Lion Anime/{{Voltron}}) all carried their swords in their mouth since, well, where else is a lion gonna carry a sword?
* [[VideoGame/DevilMayCry Dante]] in the first episode of ''Anime/DevilMayCryTheAnimatedSeries'' has Ivory, one of his ''guns'', in his mouth. Justified, as one hand was shooting with Ebony (his other gun), the other hand was filleting with his sword, and he's [[HalfHumanHybrid half-devil]].
* Guts from ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' is not only big on using his teeth to stop enemy attacks, but he also uses them so that he may use his own weapons when his own two hands are incapable of doing so.
* ''Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam'' combines this with BarehandedBladeBlock and HumongousMecha. The final duel between Kincaid and Zabine starts with their [[LaserBlade beam zanbers]] and, as they damage each others' weapons ends up with their [[HotBlade heat daggers]]. In the final clash, Kincaid catches Zabine's knife in the X-1's "mouth"[[note]]Actually a heat vent in its faceplate[[/note]], while his own knife goes right into the X-2's cockpit. Bonus points, of course, for being a pirate-themed series.
* In ''Manga/MaidenRose'', Klaus does this with his knife during the nighttime training exercise, presumably to free up his hands for something else.
* In the 70s series of ''Anime/CuteyHoney'', Honey does this from time to time when she needs her hands free. Naturally, she does it in the one episode where she takes on the form of a pirate.
* Fushimi Saruhiko of ''Anime/{{K}}'' does this in the opening with his actual sword while [[LeParkour jumping from street light to street light]]. It is ''only'' in the opening though and he never does it in the Anime proper.

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Parodied in ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'': Franchise/{{Tarzan}} swings in to save Jane from a crocodile, with a knife in his teeth. Later we see him in a doctor's office, with the knife [[BodyHorror embedded in]] [[GlasgowGrin his cheeks]].
* A similar joke was used in the Italian comic ''{{Sturmtruppen}}'' with a paratrooper ending up with the knife like that.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* In the climax of Tod Browning's ''Film/{{Freaks}}'', the limbless Randian is seen wiggling through the mud after the antagonist with a knife in his teeth.
* Jack Burton does this a few times in ''Film/BigTroubleInLittleChina''.
* Will Turner duly sticks his knife between his teeth while climbing the rigging of a ship in ''[[Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest]]''.
* In ''Disney/PeterPan'', one of the pirates does this more or less all the time. After receiving a cannonball to the head during the battle aboard the ship courtesy of Michael and his teddy bear, he ''bites through it''.
* ''SinbadLegendOfTheSevenSeas'' has the rare occurance of it being someone ''else's'' sword. During the opening fight, a soldier attacks Sinbad's first mate, who catches the blade in his teeth, then uses it to fling the man overboard.
* In ''Film/LethalWeapon 4'', Riggs climbs up ropes onto a smugglers' ship with his ''pistol'' held between his teeth.
* In ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' [[CoolHorse Maximus]] takes this to the next level by fighting Flynn with a sword held thusly (given that he [[JustifiedTrope had nothing resembling thumbs]] he could not hold it otherwise) and giving a better account than all of the human guards put together.
* ''MuppetTreasureIsland'': Arrow when delivering Smollett's sword, because his hands are occupied by his own weapon and the rope he's swinging out with.
* Buck from ''WesternAnimation/IceAge 3'' carries his carnosaur-tooth knife in his mouth occasionally. Granted, weasels are probably more used to carrying things by mouth than humans are.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* Parodied in ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'', in Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series, when Commander Vimes suggests this trope for boarding an enemy vessel, the captain responds with the page quote above.
* There's a famous magazine cover by Kelly Freas for Creator/MurrayLeinster's story "The Pirates of Ersatz" depicting a SpacePirate climbing aboard a rocket with a ''[[{{Zeerust}} slide rule]]'' in his teeth. [[http://michaelmay.us/09blog/06/0605_piratesersatz390.jpg See it here.]]
* Referenced in ''FearAndLoathingInLasVegas'' when Raoul Duke describes a particularly bad trip in which you might see your grandmother climbing up your pantleg with a knife between her teeth.
* Jesus in ''[[Literature/TheBible Revelation]]'' is described as having a sword coming out of his mouth. It's likely the most mundane part of John's description. One interpretation of the passage as that the returning Christ will merely [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath speak the Word]] [[BrownNote to kill his foes]], since another passage says "The Word of God is sharper than any double-edged sword."
* Discussed in one of the later AmeliaPeabody stories. Despite her skepticism, Amelia later expressed regret that she ''couldn't'' have a cutlass between her teeth when she boarded a hostile vessel ... but, "Ah, well, one cannot have everything."
-->"That has always struck me as an impractical procedure," I said. "One would have to have extremely hard teeth and strong jaw muscles, and even then an involuntary movement might easily result in the loss of teeth and jaw."
* Referred to in ''CheaperByTheDozen'' in the chapter about what it was like when a baby was born into the Gilbreth household.
-->So when Anne was born, in New York, Dad was not the least bit disappointed, because he'd known all along she would be a girl. It is doubtful if any father was ever more insane about an offspring. It was just as well that Anne was a girl. If she had been a boy, Dad might have toppled completely off the deep end, and run amok with a kris in his teeth.
* Shows up in ''Literature/ThePyrates'', of course. Most of the characters are too GenreSavvy to actually try it, except for [[TheBrute Firebeard]]. Fortunately for him, he gets distracted trying to remember whether the sharp edge is supposed to face in or out.
* Averted with a background Viking named Sven Swordeater in ''{{Everworld}}''. He got the matching scars on his cheeks when someone pushed a sword through them, not because he was holding it there.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In the ''Series/{{Lost}}'' episode "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues", Kate climbs a tree with a knife between her teeth in order to cut Charlie down.
* ''Series/KamenRiderKiva'' features a particularly extreme example, with the eponymous hero's [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent werewolf-themed]] FragileSpeedster form uses a [[PlayingWithFire fire-elemental]] CutlassBetweenTheTeeth slash as its FinishingMove. If that doesn't sound too extreme, you should also know that Kamen Rider costumes consist of [[http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/kiva/rider/garuluform.html full helmets]], meaning Kiva's mask has to ''sprout a mouth'' just to perform its finisher.
* Will Ferrell teaming up with Bear Grylls in ''ManVsWild'' puts his knife between his teeth for showing off while "watching the perimeter".

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[[folder: Pinball ]]

* ''Pinball/BlackRose'' shows a crewmate doing this on the backglass.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* From 1976-96, the helmet logo of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was a red-and-orange pirate with a dagger between his teeth. (Not to mention a ''really fabulous'' [[TheCavalierYears cavalier's]] hat with a [[FluffyFashionFeathers big feather]], a dashing [[PornStache pencil mustache]] and a big gold earring. What was their win-loss record during those years again?)

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has a weapon property called Mouthpick. It allows a creature with a bite attack to wield the weapon in its jaws instead of with its (possibly nonexistent) hands. As if beholders and dragons weren't bad enough, now they can ''stab you with their tongue''.
* An earlier edition of ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' had a separate skill for "Fast-Draw Knife from Teeth".
* The ''[[ConnanTheBarbarian Conan]] d20 Role Playing Game'' gives this as a class ability to the Barbarian and - naturally - the Pirate.
* Given that they attempt to exhibit every single Pirate trope under the sun, it is not at all surprising that one of the miniatures for ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'''s Long Drong's Slayer Pirates regiment is doing this with a dagger, while brandishing two pistols with his hands.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theatre ]]

* A [[EightiesHair 1980s]] Broadway production of ''Theatre/ThePiratesOfPenzance'', available on DVD (and Website/YouTube), parodies this: During his excellent IAmSong, the Pirate King (Kevin Kline) steals the conductor's baton and carries it onstage between his teeth. Other flashy-if-dangerously-stupid tricks are mocked by having the King implicitly cut his hand on his own blade...or maybe that's just to show he's [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything not a very good pirate]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Koromaru in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' does this. Of course, he is a dog.
* Repede in ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' does this too. He is also a dog.
* [[http://cdn.overclock.net/5/54/500x1000px-LL-5470c362_211420_2013-09-26_00004.png Great Gray Wolf Sif]] in ''DarkSouls'' does this as well. She is a wolf.
* Pikachu does this in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' when picking up a beam sword (or anything else, for that matter), since he runs on all fours (walking is done upright).
** ''Brawl'' changes things a bit. The forepaws have use as a grip for held weapons; swinging with the Homerun Bat and firing with the Super Scope, for example. Pikachu is even forced to carry the Cracker Launcher outside of its jaws, it's that damn big.
** Ditto with Ivysaur and Squirtle in ''Brawl''.
** Even '''Wario''' uses his mouth with the Homerun Bat.
* Raiden's CrowningMomentOfAwesome near the end of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4''.
* In ''{{Tsukihime}}'', Shiki does it during Ciel's route. The writer probably didn't do this to try to be cool; Shiki probably realizes that doing that is completely impractical and just plain dumb. However, [[spoiler: since he lost both his arms and the situation really called for him to do something, it was do it or die.]]
* Sora in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' carries his keyblade in his mouth while in his Lion form in the [[Disney/TheLionKing Pridelands]].
* The [[http://www.azeemalim.co.uk/portfolio/big/foxhound.png FOXHOUND logo]] from ''Franchise/MetalGear'' incorporated this design, having a fox hold a combat dagger in its mouth.
* Also used in ''{{Shinobi}}'' (the PS2 remake); one variety of enemy is essentially an [[GoddamnedBats armored ninja dog]] that holds a two-bladed sword in its mouth.
* In ''PhantomBrave'', four-legged phantoms (called beasts) use this in a non-badass way because they have no arms to hold items with.
* ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara 3'' character Mitsunari actually shows the more practical side of this. He holds his '''sheathed''' sword in his mouth while traveling by zipline, and the sheath alone when using his Basara Attack, presumably to keep his arms free. He also does this while using his third Super Skill "Reverence", in which he abandons the use of his sword altogether.
* Asura from ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'' does this [[spoiler: with his Master Augus's blade, Wailing Dark. [[MomentOfAwesome and then proceeds to use it to fight a Gohma with an impurity level of '''47,000!''' As for why he didn't use his hands instead, he didn't have any at the moment.]]]]
* Shinogi from Tenchu: Fatal Shadows; An assassin for the Kuroya, Shinogi fights with three swords, one of which is in his mouth.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', Cracklemaw, a large wolf, wields a two-handed sword this way.
* Franchise/SlyCooper holds his cane between his teeth when he's climbing a rope or pipe, presumably because Thiefnet doesn't sell a SticksToTheBack upgrade.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* In an early ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'' [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff400/fv00306.htm strip]], Florence shows us her flashlight with a side-mounted handle, so that she can hold it in her mouth to keep her hands free.
** There's an accessory for mini Mag-lites called a "Lite Bite" that serves the same purpose.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Similarly, in the first appearance of the Freedom Fighters on ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Smellerbee is seen with one stolen sword in each hand and her own kuhkri in her [[http://www.piandao.org/screencaps/ep10/ep10-277.png mouth]].
* In a ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' episode featuring a group of kids collectively making up their own story about how Jack would beat Aku, this is attributed to him as he climbs Aku's tower. The RuleOfCool is all but explicitly invoked.

[[/folder]]

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