[[quoteright:353:[[Anime/ReadOrDie http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/yomiko2.jpg]]]]

Paper doesn't seem like it would make too great a weapon. Yeah, a paper cut might sting for a while, and a rolled-up newspaper could possibly slay seven flies with one blow, and it could certainly [[RockPaperScissors cover a rock]], but nobody kids themselves that a sheet of paper is going to be useful in a real fight. Even the dreaded PaperFanOfDoom has much more bang than bite.

[[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway Sounds like a pretty lame power]], right? [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower Not quite.]]

There are actually a fair number of characters in fiction that use paper in battle very effectively. These characters have near-ElementalPowers to control or even transform into paper, and usually can create a vast number of weapons only limited by their imagination and paper folding skills. Often when this happens, the paper itself seems to take on the qualities of said weapon (i.e. a paper spear piercing someone like a normal spear would, instead of crumpling up). These characters are often weak to [[KillItWithWater water]] and [[KillItWithFire fire]] (or anything that will soak or burn their paper).

Be very careful, dear reader, when confronting these characters in offices, libraries, bookstores, newspaper printers, [[ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman or banknote mints]].

Popular in anime as origami (the art of paper folding) is a big tradition in Japan.

See also TheGambler, who is basically a DeathDealer, only his paper has plastic laminated on it. Compare FeatherFlechettes and PaperPeople. Closely related to PaperTalisman. Not to be confused with PaperCutting or BlackBeltInOrigami.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' and ''Anime/RodTheTV'', the trope-namer and the source of the picture above: Yomiko Readman and the Paper Sisters, are examples of what apparently is the most common type of superhero in their universe.
* Saicho of ''Manga/FlameOfRecca'', a fighter who can manipulate papers to act like weapons much like the ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' characters that he predates by a few years. For example, he can make a paper sword that's harder than steel.
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter'':
** Kalluto, the youngest sibling of lead character Killua. He uses a paper fan as a ''bladed'' weapon, administers the DeathOfAThousandCuts with confetti, and eavesdrops on people using paper dolls of them once they've got a bit of his paper on them. And [[LittleMissBadass he's a lethal assassin]].
** One of abilities of Nen is the ability to strengthen objects, including paper. At one point Wing tears a page out of a book, strengthens it with Nen, and hurls it at a wall, neatly slicing a metal soda can that was in the way. Also, at various points in the anime, Hisoka tends to do the same with playing cards.
* In ''Manga/InuYasha'', Byakuya uses an origami crane as his mode of flight transport. He also uses origami lotus flowers as a focus for his [[MasterOfIllusion illusions]]. These illusions are so good they can fight on his behalf. However, if they receive what would be a killing blow, they revert back to an origami lotus flower thereby revealing the illusion and also the real location of the real Byakuya.
* {{Onmyodo}}, via Shikigami or [[PaperTalisman [=Ofuda=]]], is very powerful in the ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' universe. Setsuna is a notable heroic user.
* Konan from ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', the lone female member of Akatsuki. She's made it into such things as wings, fake tree camouflage from papier-mache, and is capable of both ''turning into'' paper and making a copy of herself out of paper which she can control from a remote location (though she/it can apparently be prevented from moving if something sticks to it, like oil). This also includes the [[VancianMagic paper]] ''explosives'' that are a mainstay of the series. Her ultimate attack involves controlling '''[[NoKillLikeOverkill 600 billion]]''' of those paper explosives to create 10 minutes of nonstop explosions.
* Sailor Mars from ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' uses an AsianRuneChant and {{ofuda}}-throwing with "Akuryō Taisan!" (literally Evil Spirits, Begone!") to kill monsters. This is taken UpToEleven in ''Anime/SailorMoon R: TheMovie'', with an enormous spiral of ofuda used as a weapon (which, concidentally, is what the same attack does in [[Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon the live-action version]]).
* Keisei in ''Manga/CorpsePrincess'' has displayed the ability to turn a scroll of Buddhist scripture into a magical staff.
* Aono in ''Anime/{{Sola}}'' can control paper.
* [[spoiler:Curren Huckebein]] of ''Manga/MagicalRecordLyricalNanohaForce'' has this as her WeaponOfChoice. She introduces herself by having the tome she carries create a paper storm that slices up and critically injures [[spoiler:Vita and Erio]].
* In ''[[NatsumesBookOfFriends Natsume Yuujinchou]]'', the Natori's often commonly uses them for his exorcism as the Natori clan specializes in this.
* ''JoJosBizarreAdventure'' Part 8 ''[=Jojolion=]'' has recently revealed that [[spoiler:Tsurugi Higashikata]] has a Stand that uses origami in the delivery of its power [[spoiler:to completely steal his victim's ability to discern different faces, giving everyone, even mannequins the same distorted face, and words, turning all signage and labeling into whatever they originally were planning to look for]]. [[spoiler:He]] also seems to be able to control the origami creations to an extent, sending them off flying at other people, and can turn non-paper objects into origami creations, if only temporarily.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* StalkerWithACrush [=Paperdoll=]: compressed the bodies of those she envelops and administers lethal papercuts strong enough to slice through {{Spider-Man}}'s webbing.
* MarvelComics' Thin Man has the ability to flatten himself razor thin, in addition to RubberMan powers. Again, ''razor'' thin. And he's a sadistic, bitter old man. And a good guy.
* [[Comicbook/{{Gambit}} Gambit's]] real power is his ability to force small objects to explode by "charging" them, converting their potential energy into kinetic energy. His favorite tool is playing cards and the impossible things he can do with them sometimes evoke this trope
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[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/CastADeadlySpell''. Tugwell uses a spell to slice a man to death with a whirlwind of cut-up pieces of newspaper.
* In ''Anime/SpiritedAway'', Haku the dragon is attacked and hurt by what appear to be enchanted paper people.
* At one point in ''Film/WeAreTheNight'', Charlotte slices a man's throat with a page torn from a book.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* The main character of the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin appropriately titled]] book ''Paper Mage'' is...well...a paper mage; a young Chinese woman who has the ability to summon guardians by using origami.
* In one of the books of "Literature/TheAdventuresOfSamuraiCat," Tomokato (the eponymous samurai cat) faces off against another cat named "Origami Ito" (a pun on the name of the protagonist of "Lone Wolf and Cub.") Origami Ito has a huge roll of paper which he can fold into weapons, walls, soldiers, and tanks, which come to life to attack his enemy.
* In Harry Connolly's ''Twenty Palaces'' book series, the main character uses a spell to create a "ghost knife" which is basically a laminated piece of notebook paper with some magical symbols written on it in marker. It is supposed to be able to cut "ghosts, magic, and dead things," but the definition of "dead things" is broad enough to include any inanimate object, and in this universe, every living thing has a soul or spirit that qualifies as a kind of ghost. Add in the ability of the ghost knife to respond to its owner's will by flying wherever the creator mentally directs it, and you have a weapon that cuts through doors and bullets, leaves any living opponent exhausted and weak by injuring its soul, and destroys your enemies' magic, giving you a perfect all-purpose (mostly)nonlethal weapon that fits in your pocket. Even when someone else grabs it, the creator can will it to fly ''through'' the opponent's hand and back to the creator, leaving the enemy soul-drained in the process. The protagonist can even use it to [[MundaneUtility slice up meat]], and it's safe to rinse, as it's laminated.
* Lazy Dragon, a character from the ''Literature/WildCards'' universe, can create and then "possess" animals. He needs some kind of symbolic image of the animal to do it, and usually finds it most practical to make little origami tigers or snakes or birds or whatever, since he has easy access to paper and origami needs no tools.
* Though not strictly a version of this trope ''[[http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/lee_01_11/ Ghostweight]]'' by Yoon Ha Lee is worth mentioning here, set in an interstellar empire with strong Asiatic influences. The protagonist steals a mercenary 'kite' spacecraft, a DroneDeployer whose drones take the form of origami shapes that unfold into the required weaponry.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* There was a villain of sorts in ''Series/TheAdventuresOfPeteAndPete'' appropriately named "Paper Cut".
* The ''Series/MythBusters'' made working crossbows out of newspaper. DEADLY crossbows.
** Granted, they were only good for 1, maybe 2 shots before being worthless, but still...
* Tsuruhime (the White Ranger) in ''Series/NinjaSentaiKakuranger''. One of her attacks is a storm of paper cranes. This attack is occasionally replicated at a larger scale by the first HumongousMecha of the series, Muteki Shogun (Invincible General).
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[[folder:Tabletop RPG]]
* ''{{Runescape}}'' has Lexicus Runewright, who summons magical books that attack with all three types of combat, and summons books that explode for incredibly heavy damage (enough to oneshot people under 500HP).
* In ''{{Exalted}}'', the Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style has a technique that allows you to turn [[PaperFanOfDoom paper fans]] into sharp and deadly weapons.
* In ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'', the Kitsune werefoxes have a set of Gifts that utilize ''Ju-fu'', or paper magic, using a combination of origami and calligraphy to make single-use magical items out of (preferably) natural paper.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''{{RuneScape}}'', [[BadassBookworm Lexicus Runewright]] shoots magical pages out of his SpellBook to attack players.
* ''ShinMegamiTensei'' games have ''two'' actual mythological examples: Shikigami and Shiki-Ouji, demons conjured into paper slips.
* Sketch Turner, the comic book artist [[TrappedInTVLand sucked into his own creation]] in ''ComixZone'', can tear a chunk out of the comic page he's fighting on and turn it into a lethal projectile by folding it into a paper airplane. His pet rat, Roadkill, scratches at panel borders to reveal weapons and power-ups. The villain of Sketch's comic, Mortus, draws monsters to attack him.
* ''Franchise/OnePiece'' had a video game where the villain ate a Logia-type Devil Fruit that granted him power over paper and fabric.
* In ''VideoGame/PaperMario'', [[SpritePolygonMix the characters are absolutely flat]], and as a result almost every power-up Mario gets includes origami-ing ''himself''.
* Melody, one of the Portrait Ghosts from ''LuigisMansion'', attacks with sheet music.
* ''[[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3 Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3]]'' has [[VisualNovel/AceAttorney Phoenix Wright]]. Most of his attacks involve paper and documents. His "Break the Witness" attack (an upgraded version of "Press the Witness" and only available in [[SuperMode Turnabout Mode]]), where he walks forward while emphatically smacking some papers, can do ''insane'' amounts of damage, and if used as an assist it becomes an InvulnerableAttack.
* In the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' series, the paper fan is one of the most dangerous items because it can be [[DeathOfAThousandCuts used rapid-fire on the opponent without giving them a chance to break away]], along with having a [[ArmorPiercingAttack shield-breaking attack]] and absurd effectiveness when thrown.
* ''VideoGame/InFamousSecondSon'' gives us Celia, a conduit who has the power to control paper and is the driving force behind the paper trail DLC.
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}'' had Karn be one of these as a one-time gag, leading to [[MundaneMadeAwesome a shot of Karn standing on a flaming pile of monster corpses, holding a rolled up newspaper]]. Which still does more damage than Ardam.
* ''{{Archipelago}}'': The Listing of Names is a book. It has nothing but pages at its disposal. Lots of pages. And unless you are its designated reader, it is unsafe to approach the book without ''a flamethrower.''
* ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'': Gabe's alter ego, the Cardboard Tube Samurai, wields (guess what?) a cardboard tube.
* ''Webcomic/{{Paranatural}}'': [[http://www.paranatural.net/index.php?id=55 Isabel fights by manipulating paper]].
* Dino, from ''CincoElementos''.
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* From YoutubePoop, the most unusual thief, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yaj8SYXMLA8 the infamous Paper Doll Man]].
* ''GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'':
** Mister Origami, a [[TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] villain, was an expert origami artist, and could mentaly transform his folded creations into giant examples of the real thing that would attack his enemies. (For example, he would make an origami bear, then animate it into a fifteen foot tall angry bear that would attack at his command).
** Hallmark is a mutant criminal with telekinetic control over paper. For the most part he was considered a joke in the supervillain community of the ''GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'', until he took down half the Global Guardians team singlehandedly using the contents of an office supply store.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Origami from ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', a shape-shifting thief who could fold his body like paper.
* The sole shtick of ''[[WesternAnimation/TheTick Paul the Samurai]]'' villain Papercut.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', Doofenshmirtz's latest -inator is one that takes paper and compacts it into extremely sharp and durable bullets and shoot it at people and give them... [[FelonyMisdemeanor PAPERCUTS]]!
* One ''[[WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory Justice Friends]]'' short featured SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker-esque [[GoingPostal Disgruntled Postman]], who wielded razor sharp letters.
--> '''Major Glory''' (after having his face cut) "Ah! ''Bills!''
* The [[MeaningfulName Wood Forgers]] of the new ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Thundercats 2011}} [=ThunderCats (2011)=]]]''. One made monsters, one made weapons, and the leader made a very weird variety of things from wings to a MacrossMissileMassacre.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millwall_brick Millwall brick]], a club made out of newspaper.
* Discovery Channel had a convict mentioning the combat potential of newspapers folded and/or rolled up tightly enough... Spears... Hammers... keep in mind that paper used to be wood, and only its thinness and flexibility separates it from that mechanically. High density cardboard (which tightly enough rolled newspaper could approximate) doesn't hold a candle to steel for ability to apply bludgeoning force, but it is a lot better than bare hands for reach.
* Policemen have been been caught using phone books to [[PoliceBrutality beat confessions out of suspects]]. Not only is it seriously painful, but it's also likely to not cause injury or leave marks which makes it difficult to prove.
* TheHistoryChannel had an episode of ''Ancient Discoveries'' that tested the validity of paper armor from ancient China. The paper armor they created was able to completely stop a crossbow bolt from 20 meters.
* ''Series/MythBusters'' found that pykrete made from newspaper pulp actually performed significantly ''better'' than the "classic" recipe made from sawdust. There was also an episode examining prison weaponry where a newspaper crossbow was made -- not much penetrating power, but [[DifficultButAwesome could be fired accurately enough to kill anyway]].
* If you work in a paper mill, paper cuts can get ''serious''. A ten metre square of freshly cut card has both a serious cutting edge, and enough weight behind it, to take of somebody's ''arm'' if it drops edge-on.

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