[[quoteright:350:[[Franchise/StarCraft http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/C-14GaussRifle_SC2_Art1.jpeg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: [[MemeticMutation XBOX HUEG.]]]]

Welcome to the future. It may come [[UsedFuture used]] or perhaps come standard with [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas shiny towers and crystals]], but when it come to warfare, there's one very good indication that your [[SpaceMarine Space Marines]] aren't just [[SuperSoldier Super Soldiers]] with assault rifles. They will instead wield something not unlike a large metallic brick.

Put simply, Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future is the tendency for more "advanced" weapons in near-future and SciFi to be [[HandWave Handwaved]] as "more advanced" or made of exotic, lightweight materials and yet be large, clumsy, rectangular, boxy things much larger than modern-day arms. This is probably based on the fact that many modern weapons use molded plastics with rounded rectangular shapes and smooth curves. At the most exaggerated extent in fiction, guns resemble rectangular prisms and melee weapons tend towards square profiles and right angles.

The most recognizable of modern compact weapons (Steyr [=AUG=], FN P90, H&K G11) were given final form during TheEighties, when boxy, plasticky shapes and textures were the norm in industrial design, so they may look a bit [[{{Zeerust}} Zeerusty]] by the present day.

Often used in videogames, since boxy shapes are particularly easy to render.

On the SlidingScaleOfShinyVersusGritty, OurWeaponsWillBeBoxyInTheFuture tends towards the latter, but not always. [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas "Enlightened"]] civilizations may still keep their boxy arms around as a symbol of older times or as a realist answer of how they keep the peace. If the Enlightened civilization has an active military, expect these [[InSpace Space]] [[OurElvesAreBetter Elves]] to use [[EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture vaguely iPod-shaped weapons]].

Depending on how effective these weapons are in their respective setting, they may also be CoolGuns.

Production design note: a lot of the futuristic weapon props that are actually fired on-screen are by necessity real world guns put in plastic shells. This might go a long way to explain the origins of the trope.

See also KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter and HighTechHexagons. When you apply this trope to spacecraft, the result is the ISOStandardHumanSpaceship.

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime ]]

* While most (non-mecha) guns in Anime/MacrossFrontier look more or less similar to modern weapons, the heavy rifles carried by [[PowerArmor EX-Gear]] troops definitely play this trope straight.
* MobileSuitGundam00 plays with this trope, occasionally playing it straight, with the likes of the Seravee's GN Bazookas, and even [[http://gundam.wikia.com/wiki/GN-008_Seravee_Gundam the mecha itself]] (being that mecha are weaponry, and all), but also completely averts this with the likes of the [[http://gundam.wikia.com/wiki/GNX-704T_Ahead Ahead]] and [[http://gundam.wikia.com/wiki/GNMS-XCVII_Alvaaron Alvaaron]], and falls somewhere in-between with the [[http://gundam.wikia.com/wiki/GN-0000%2BGNR-010_00_Raiser 00 Raiser]], which has a mixture of square weaponry (GN Sword III's gun part) and sleek, [[BuffySpeak pointy things]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Initially averted in ''JudgeDredd''. The original lawgiver looks like a typically {{Zeerust}}y seventies sci-fi pistol. The Mark II variant and the Widowmaker shotgun amongst other weapons play it straight.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' and ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', both directed by James Cameron, have [[http://www.imfdb.org/index.php?title=Aliens#M41A_Pulse_Rifle some seriously]] [[http://www.imfdb.org/index.php?title=Avatar#Carb_Base_Unit boxy guns]].
* ''Film/StarshipTroopers.''The Verhoeven movie gives us these [[http://www.imfdb.org/index.php?title=Starship_Troopers wonderful gems]].
** The third movie, ''Marauder'', exaggerated the hell out of this. The guns handed out to the survivors of the shuttle crash are wider than the actors' arms, and from top to bottom are wider than their heads.
* ''Film/{{District 9}}'' has a [[http://www.tgdaily.com/sites/default/files/stock/article_images/games/d9assaultrifle.jpg good example]].
* In ''[[Film/{{Oblivion2013}} Oblivion]]'' Jack Harper uses a bullpup rifle with a [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-irzFS1mz600/UWph7ElJCtI/AAAAAAAAEo0/eZ_47bBfO2E/s1600/oblivion+2013+movie+poster.jpg shiny white plastic casing]], the double turrets on the drones have similar casings. Scav weapons are more stripped down and minimalistic.
* In ''Film/IronMan3'' the "Iron Patriot" weapons platform exchanged a recognizable mini-gun for a big boxy stuff shooter in a TwentyMinutesInTheFuture setting.
* ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' has most of Rocket's equipment be boxy. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] as he often builds things himself from spare parts.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Several of the phaser designs that TheFederation uses on ''Franchise/StarTrek'' (especially from TNG onward) fit this mold, most noticeably the [[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/en/images/5/56/Phaser_rifle.jpg phaser rifle]].
* A modern-day example in ''Series/SpecialUnit2''. The weapons used by the titular agency's operatives are [[http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g277/dransifl/SpecialUnitTwoPistol1.jpg big blocky pistols]] with interchangeable ammunition (from regular bullets to shots capable of blowing up a building). In the pilot, Kate tries to arrest Nick and takes his weapon. Nick warns her of the weapon's "infrared hairline trigger" and, predictably, it goes off a split-second later, [[EveryCarIsAPinto blowing up a car]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Manga ]]

* Averted by the Seburo Arms line of fictional guns used in the shared universe (including ''Franchise/GhostInTheShell'') made by Creator/ShirowMasamune. Most of the guns actually look quite curvy, and some plain looks like a fictional version of FN P90.
** The Seburo C-25a is rather on the boxy side though.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Game ]]

* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': Even the lasgun used by the standard human soldiers of the Imperial Guard ranges, depending on depiction, from [[http://1d4chan.org/images/2/24/Glory.jpg fairly bulky]] to [[http://www.coolminiornot.com/pics/pics11/img4542c91f4e221.jpg hugely cumbersome]]. Notables include:
** The Imperium's [[{{BFG}} Bolters]], [[http://images.wikia.com/warhammer40k/images/1/15/Standard_Bolter.png boxy,]] huge weapons firing rocket-assisted armor-piercing explosive rounds. The [[http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Shotgun shotgun]] is even more rectangular. [[SmashMook Ogryn]] Ripper Guns ''need'' to be big and metallic, as they are designed to withstand [[PistolWhipping their users wielding them as clubs]].
** Extends to Imperial tanks too. Just look at [[http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m1252439_99120101017_SMRhinomain_873x627.jpg the Rhino APC]], which fans of the franchise have dubbed "[[MemeticMutation Metal Bawkeses]]" in honor of [[VideoGame/DawnOfWar Chaos Lord Carron]].
** The Tau's Pulse Weaponry. [[http://media.moddb.com/images/mods/1/6/5152/57622.jpg About as boxy as it gets.]] Definitely overlaps with CoolGuns, though. Tau weaponry is awesome.
** Averted with the [[OurElvesAreBetter Eldar]]. Most, if not all of their weapons have [[TheAestheticsOfTechnology sleek, organic appearances]] in comparison to the other races.
** Ork weapons and vehicles tend to be boxy, since most of them are scavenged from Imperial weapons, and are ramshackled to what ever they can find and piece together.
** Gets averted in the tabletop {{RPG}}s, however. As ''TabletopGame/DarkHeresy'' and ''TabletopGame/RogueTrader'' were designed around semi-civilian characters first, the "mass produced by the billions daily" Imperial Guard and Astartes weapons were higher-tier equipment while starting guns were [[AKA47 somewhat more familiar looking]] and using simple ammunition, most of which existed in lore but was rarely if ever depicted in artwork or miniatures previously.
* Several weapons in ''{{Rifts}}'', where the boxy barrel coverings are stated to contain heavy-duty cooling systems for laser and plasma weapons. ''{{Rifts}}'' tends to cover the whole spectrum; some examples, like most Wilks guns, look more like Nintendo Zappers and are quite sleek. Coalition weaponry, for the most part, also tends to resemble modern firearms.
* Some of the advanced weapons in TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}, especially the various Ares laser weapons. This can also depend on the artist, since the drawings of the guns are inconsistent from edition to edition and even different sourcebooks in the same edition.
* {{Traveller}} features a blend of modern and futuristic-looking (the latter occasionally boxy) slug-throwers. And many laser weapons are even bulkier than 40K weapons, of course, weight is one of the balance factors for energy weapons in the game (laser rifles weigh twice as much as modern assault rifles).
* In ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'', a fair number of weapons a 'Mech uses are boxy, and many 'Mechs themselves are also box shaped. Probably taken to its extreme in the ''[[http://www.sarna.net/wiki/File:Yeoman.jpg Yeoman]]'', a 'Mech resembling three boxes on legs. There are some aversions, such as the pleasantly human-shaped ''[[http://www.sarna.net/wiki/File:CCG_Unlimited_Firestarter_S.jpg Firestarter]]'' and the vaguely velociraptor-like ''[[http://www.sarna.net/wiki/File:CCG_Crusade_Black_Python.jpg Black Python]]''.
* Boxy and square is the design motif of small arms in the oppressive totalitarian future that is TabletopGame/FengShui's 2056 A.D.. They're also more concealable than modern weapons. Go figure.
* ''TabletopGame/MobileFrameZero'': A lot of the human guns in the corebook are chunky pieces of kit...as are a lot of the human mechs, especially the Solar Union's workhorse Chub. Of course, those devices are usually either directly BuiltWithLEGO, or are artist's impressions of what the LEGO represents, but either way, they're very rectangular devices. Averted with the Ijad, however, whose {{Spider Tank}}s use a lot of curved components.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* As seen above, ''Franchise/StarCraft''. The Gauss Rifle used by the [[SpaceMarine marines]] is somewhat of a {{BFG}}, but especially in its updated incarnation, is almost a perfect rectangle. It makes sense since Terran PowerArmor is equally huge and isn't good at delicate hand movements. Oddly, however, the gauss rifle can be effectively wielded without wearing PoweredArmor. Somewhat averted, however, with Ghost gauss rifles, which are much smaller and resemble much more large-bore modern assault rifles.
** The Thor is a walking cluster of boxes. The Siege Tank and the Battlecruiser are also boxier in the second installment, which is a bit baffling as the faction ''can'' produce streamlined designs like the Hellion, the Banshee, and the Diamondback.
* ''SaintsRow2'' has the AR-50 assault rifle, and while technically the game isn't set in the future, the weapon itself is a prototype developed by the [[RedFaction Ultor Corporation]].
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Battlefield}} Battlefield 2142]]:'' Despite being made of "[[HandWave advanced polymers]]", some of the weapons are outrageously boxy and larger than their modern-day counterparts. Examples: [[http://images.wiki.wegame.com/i/cWtml3t7.gif]] [[http://images.wiki.wegame.com/i/OQ5EObc5.gif]] [[http://images.wiki.wegame.com/i/HOGst4hj.gif]] [[http://www.arctura.net/bianchi.jpg]]. Interestingly, the unlocked weapons which are often more popular tend to more closely resemble real guns.
* VideoGame/{{Doom}}'s {{BFG}}9000 is bulky, boxy, and ''very'' BIG with many smaller boxy parts on it. There's also the Plasma Rifle, basically a boxy assault rifle-like weapon with an accordion barrel.
* ''PerfectDark''. Some of the game's "modern" weapons fall under this trope. Extra credit to the Laptop Gun, which looks exactly like you'd expect it to.
* ''VideoGame/{{Dystopia}}'' Inverts this by making the least advanced weapon, the Assault Rifle, look like a long box with a handle. However, it's played straight with the Bolt Gun.
* ''[[RedFaction Red Faction: Guerrilla]]'' does a good boxy gun. It does several good boxy guns. Boxiest would be the assault rifle, which looks like it hasn't been unpacked from the box it came in. [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/RFG_assaultrifle.jpg]]
* Most of the weapons in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' follow this trope, particularly the krogan Claymore shotgun, the design of which resembles a cinder block with a trigger.
** Though averted in VideoGame/MassEffect3 with weapons from other alien cultures: the [[http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Arc_Pistol Quarian Arc Pistol]], the [[http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Scorpion Salarian Scorpion]], the [[http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Disciple Asari Disciple shotgun]], the [[http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Geth_Pulse_Rifle geth pulse rifle]], [[http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Javelin sniper rifle]] and [[http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Geth_Plasma_Shotgun plasma shotgun]] are all fairly sleek. Some human weapons are sleek too: the [[http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/M-8_Avenger M-8 Avenger]] and [[http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/N7_Valkyrie N7 Valkyrie]] being prominent exceptions.
* ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'': your held weapon and the weapons held by the enemies are all some form of black box. The ten different weapons you can pick up on the ground (which get "downloaded" into your black boxy gun) zig-zag and downplay the trope, especially the slender and filigree Cyclic Fusion Ignition System.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' and ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''. The laser pistol and rifles in both games are basically rectangular boxes with a handle and trigger attached to the bottom. They don't even come with sights, by default. Compare a conventional minigun to the futuristic [[BeamSpam "Gatling Laser,"]] and judge for yourself which is the boxiest.
** Fallout 3 had a very clear [[ZigZaggingTrope aesthetic dichotomy]] between laser and plasma weapons, laser weapons were wholly this trope while plasma weapons were [[RaygunGothic just the opposite]], being cylindrical "needles" with wires and glowing diodes jutting out everywhere. New Vegas broke this pattern by reintroducing more conservative plasma weapons from older games, and also adding the strange-looking "recharger" laser weapons.
* {{Baroque}} has very boxy weapons, including a gun where the only round part would be the space between the shaft and the rest.
* Due to an error in the update for ''TowerMadness'' (version 1.4), the graphic rendering for [[KillItWithFire level 2 flamethrower]] turned into a ''giant box'' ''[[DoomyDoomsOfDoom of doom]]''.
* Averted with ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'''s Combine [[http://sgthk.deviantart.com/art/Overwatch-Pulse-Rifle-Textured-98196601 Overwatch Standard Issue Pulse Rife]], aka the [=AR2=]. It looks high tech and futuristic, but isn't boxy. Despite its shiny appearance, it's used by the Bad Guys.
* ''[[VideoGame/SiN SiN Episodes: Emergence]]'' gives us [[http://www.ritualistic.com/screens/sineps/render_050827_03.jpg the Magnum]], Blade's default weapon. The front is so heavy and square that Blade even uses it as a melee weapon.
* ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'' feature the boxy Sanction Flechette assault rifle, Widowmaker combat shotgun and Eraser sniper rifle. While the only boxy part of the standard Diamondback revolver is its cylinder, the LaserSight and explosive round upgrades make the top and bottom of the barrel somewhat more boxy.
** ''Human Revolution's'' Widowmaker, Eraser, and Diamondback revolver make a cameo in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' (the sniper rifle renamed the "Machina"). Since ''Team Fortress 2'' (late 60s-70s) takes place 60 years before ''Human Revolution'' (2027), these weapons are easily the most futuristic in the former game, and are also unquestionably the most boxy when compared to the starting weapons.
** The pistol from the original ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' falls under this. The rest of the weapons avert this.
* Speaking of which, the most chronologically modern weapon available to the Soldier in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' is actually the Black Box which, true to its name, is a huge black cuboid with grips; it's based on the M202 FLASH napalm rocket launcher, which was produced in 1978. His '[[{{Zeerust}} futuristic]]' Cow Mangler energy cannon is pleasantly curved and not the least bit gritty.
* Played straight and inverted ''and'' double subverted in ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' games. Human weapons and ships, which are primarily kinetic, are boxy and practical. Covenant plasma weapons are curved, colorful, ornate, and some what inefficient. Forerunner laser weapons are once again boxy, though also ornate.
* ''{{VideoGame/Borderlands 2}}'' has Tediore weapons, which look like square, grey lumps of plastic. Justified, since they are designed to be extremely cheap, disposable guns, making embellishments counterproductive. Bandit guns are also very boxy; they are literally jury-rigged guns held together by duct tape and wire, so the lack of complex construction would also make sense. Certain Dahl guns can be boxy (mostly the [=SMGs=]). Hyperion weapons are more trapezoidal than boxy, but they have notably flat surfaces for most of the bodies and scopes of their guns.
** This is also subverted. Guns are made up of sets of parts, and while each individual part follows the aesthetics of its manufacturer, guns can have many different combinations of brands (affecting the weapon's stats in the process). Maliwan parts are very round, but there's nothing stopping a Maliwan gun from having a Tediore barrel or vice-versa.
* The [[MegaCorp New Conglomerate]] in both ''PlanetSide'' games do not believe in curves. The only curve found on any of their equipment are on their helmets, and on the banana magazines on some of their weapons. Their [[MightyGlacier Vanguard tank]], in particular, looks like it was designed using only a straight edge. The [[TheEmpire Terran Republic]] on the other hand uses a large amount of [[EverythingIsAnIpodInTheFuture swooping lines]] on all their equipment (despite using less advanced weaponry than the NC's [[MagneticWeapon gauss technology]]), and the [[MachineCult Vanu Sovereignty]] aesthetic is best described as insect-like, with complicated overlapping armor segments.
* It's probably no surprise that ''VideoGame/{{Titanfall}}'' has its share of boxy weapons in a futuristic setting. Anti-personnel guns-in game are only slightly boxier than real life, though the Hemlok BF-R rifle seems to be a deliberate homage to '80s sci-fi such as Aliens, [[HumongousMecha Titans]] themselves are fairly boxy, and many of the Anti-Titan type weapons (especially the Charge Rifle) are extremely polygonal.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRenegade'' has several boxy weapons, and not just because of its somewhat primitive 3D modeling system. The visual lines of most of its weapons are extremely linear and squared-off. Basic guns such as the [[http://cnc.wikia.com/wiki/Falcon_pistol silenced pistol]] and the [[http://cnc.wikia.com/wiki/Raptor_automatic_rifle assault rifle]] are fairly square, but even the [[http://cnc.wikia.com/wiki/Hair-Trigger_remote_C4 C4]] is a big brick of explosives. The winner for sheer size and boxiness, however, is probably the [[http://cnc.wikia.com/wiki/Merlin_personal_ion_cannon infantry-portable ion cannon]], which is comprised of half a dozen chunky boxes, a muzzle bore the size of commercial plumbing, and little else.
* Justified in the ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'' remake with the weapons reverse-engineered by the titular organization, since there's a war on, and aesthetic considerations are second to functionality. The plasma weapons carried by the aliens are a little more aesthetic, but they usually wouldn't be able to be carried by human soldiers without some major re-engineering (which is why weapons dropped by stunned aliens can't be used in the same battle; only after the XCOM engineers get their hands on them and adapt the design). Strangely averted in the ''Enemy Within'' DLC by [[EvilCounterpart EXALT]] laser weapons. Unlike XCOM designs, the EXALT versions look more like modern-day weapons but have the exact same stats as the XCOM versions. However, it's specifically mentioned when [[StormingTheCastle storming the EXALT HQ]] that the organization prefers form over function.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* Nearly every gun in ''Webcomic/{{Terra}}'' uses this: for example, the assault rifles used [[http://www.terra-comic.com/wordpress/archives/1112 here]] and [[http://www.terra-comic.com/wordpress/archives/1179 here]], and [[http://www.terra-comic.com/wordpress/archives/1146 this pistol]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life[=/=]Truth In Television ]]

* The [[http://world.guns.ru/shotgun/usa/atchisson-aa-12-e.html AA-12]], more specifically the 2005 version.
* The [[http://www.enemyforces.net/firearms/kriss_super_v.htm Kriss .45]] is an experimental submachine gun that uses an innovative recoil system and unusual stock to make it a wonderful accurate and controllable weapon that is mostly square.
* And its pistol brother the [[http://cdn1.thefirearmsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/kriss_kard_01-tfb.jpg Kard]] which looks like it was pulled from the pages of JudgeDredd.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAC-10 MAC-10]] machine pistol.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HK_G11 HK G11]]. It also uses caseless ammunition, making it rather futuristic. It didn't catch on (too damn pricey) and is no longer in production.
** The [[http://www.hkpro.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=25:the-g11 G11 PDW]] takes this and puts in pistol format.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_P90 P90]] is basically a rectangle with holes and curves in the bottom to form the grip.
* And, of course, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PHASR PHASR]]. It's a less-lethal laser weapon.
* Then there's the [[http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg70-e.htm Ares FMG]], a boxy submachinegun that ''folds'' into an innocent looking metal box, and it's Russian counterpart the [[http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg10-e.htm PP-90]].
* Cascade gun prototype developed by Metal Storm Limited is actually a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEu9LLQpOF8 box on a tripod]].
* The [[http://world.guns.ru/shotgun/tr/shotgun-utas-uts-15-e.html UTS-15 tactical shotgun]]
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_I Tiger I]] tank is pretty much a box with treads and a turret.
** It goes further. Many early and pre-World War II tanks were steel boxes. Germany simply retained the "steel box" design longer than everyone else, giving them the occasional joking name of "Fascist Boxes".
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steyr_AUG Steyr AUG]] averts this with a sleek, rounded shape. It is especially worth mentioning that contrary to this trope, it is often used on film when going for a futuristic-looking weapon.
* The new [[http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2013/01/09/5-56-caliber-mac-10-upper-approved/ SABRE]] 5.56mm upper for the MAC-10 (already literally a box with a smaller box on the bottom) makes it legitimately look like a gritty sci-fi box rifle.
* Defense Distributed's 3-d printed handgun the [[http://youtu.be/drPz6n6UXQY "Liberator"]] is a plastic box on a pistol grip.
* The U.S. Army's shelved [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objective_Individual_Combat_Weapon_program Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW) project]] produced a gun that looks bulky and boxy enough for any future SpaceMarine.
* Several pistols, such as the Glock or the H&K USP are boxy, if compact.
* Infantry weapons in the United States seems to be beginning down this trend, with the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM25_Individual_Airburst_Weapon_System XM25 grenade launcher]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_SCAR FN SCAR battle rifle]].
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