[[quoteright:185:[[Series/TopGear http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/clarksonhammer_7186.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:185: [[{{Catchphrase}} "Has anybody got a hammer?"]]]]

->''"Of course you should fight fire with fire. You should fight '''everything''' with fire."''
-->-- '''[[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=45358 Sizzle's]]''' FlavorText, ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering''

WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer [[JustForFun/XMeetsY meets]] RunningGag.

Some people, when facing a problem, any problem, will suggest X, without even trying to consider some of the other, probably better, and usually more rational solutions. Why? Maybe they [[FreudianExcuse had a difficult past]], maybe they were [[TrainingFromHell trained that way]], or maybe they just [[TheDitz can't think of anything else]]. The fact is, they have one and only one answer for everything, and it's not like it usually works.

This is a SuperTrope of SpotOfTea, KillItWithFire, MurderIsTheBestSolution, DuctTapeForEverything, MoreDakka, NukeEm, YourAnswerToEverything and others. If examples fit better on one of those pages, please list it there rather than here. Sometimes used in conjunction with PercussiveMaintenance.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The title character in ''Manga/SamuraiHaremAsuNoYoichi'', when facing a problem that can't be solved with a SwordFight, will resort to seppuku. Since the story needs a hero, [[InterruptedSuicide he never succeeds]].
* ''Anime/OnePiece'': Zoro has a troubling habit of suggesting cutting off body parts as the solution to a number of problems. Sometimes, this is a case of a LifeOrLimbDecision, but he is also inclined to suggest this before it becomes a matter of life or death. Including one time when Luffy's finger was stuck in a bottle, and another time when he was handcuffed to Usopp.
* ''Anime/CowboyBebop'': Spike isn't the most technical-minded of hotshot bounty hunters. If something mechanical is broken, he'll [[PercussiveMaintenance kick it until it works]]. Even if it's a hundred-year-old Betamax player that may or may not be the last functional one in existence. Even when someone over his shoulder is yelling at him to stop.
* [[LovableSexManiac Yuria]] from ''Manga/Yuria100Shiki'', as a [[IJustWantToBeNormal runaway]] SexBot, has a rather [[{{Understatement}} one-track mind]]. As a result, all her plans for dealing with whatever problems comes her way, essentially boils down to having sex with [[ChasteHero Shunsuke]] in some way, shape or form. [[HilarityEnsues This works about as well as one might expect.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLEGOMovie''; Benny's answer to pretty much any problem is "build a [[CoolShip spaceship]]". Most of the time he doesn't get the chance, as the other Master Builders shoot down his idea before he can get very far. Once they let him build his spaceship...

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/MyBigFatGreekWedding'', the main character's father's response to any ailment is to put some Windex on it. At the end, we find out that the groom was inspired by his father-in-law to treat some acne with Windex. ''It worked''. The groom may have simply been making a joke, too.
* Magneto accuses Wolverine of this mentality in ''Film/X2XMenUnited'' when discussing how to work the spillway mechanism.
-->'''Magneto''': What do you intend to do? Scratch it with your claws?
** Ironically, this is exactly what Wolverine does later to seal the floodgate shut, ''and it works''.

* In ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'', Rincewind notes the Ecksian term "no worries" can fix just about any problem.
-->It was an amazing phrase. It was practically magical all by itself. It just ...made things better. A shark's got your leg? No worries. You've been stung by a jellyfish? No worries! You're dead? She'll be right! No worries!
* In ''Literature/DaveBarrySleptHere'', President Truman's first idea for dealing with Stalin's blockade of West Berlin is dropping an atom bomb on Japan. Fortunately, he reconsiders.
* ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' has towels. They're good for just about everything (and their diverse uses are really ramped up in ''Literature/MostlyHarmless'').

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TopGear'':
** You may be assured that whenever an episode has a car with some mechanical work to be done, Jeremy Clarkson will be reaching for his hammer. By series 19, he has manged to acquire a drawer full of them in the ''Top Gear'' workshop, simply labeled "The Drawer of Jeremy."
** Subverted during the ''Ground Force'' crossover. His co-presenters assumed he'd use one for gardening as well. To their alarm, he instead reached for his handy, all-solving shotgun.
-->"See these weeds?" '''*BOOM*''' "They have ''ceased to be!'' Observe the genius of my gardening!"
* ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'': Colin Mochrie's answer for everything in the Improbable Mission games is an All-Solving ''Cat''. It's a towel! It's fabric softener! It's a vase... or at least it would've been if they had a cat that time.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', in an alternate reality episode.
-->'''Buffy:''' Why don't I just put a stake through her heart?\\
'''Giles:''' She's not a vampire.\\
'''Buffy:''' Yeah, well, you'd be surprised how many things that'll kill.
* On ''Series/TheRedGreenShow'', while Red himself relied on duct tape to deal with any situation, Edgar Montrose inevitably tried explosives.
* ''Series/MythBusters'':
** All of the Mythbusters have a fondness for StuffBlowingUp, and often suggest using explosives to deal with a given myth. [[RuleOfCool They usually go through with it, too.]] As it's been summed up: "When in doubt, C4."
** Grant Imahara often suggests building a robot for a myth. Usually it's viable, but sometimes the suggestion is clearly there as a gag.
** Two standbys for almost every build: [[DuctTapeForEverything Duct tape]] and motorcycle chain.
* For ''Series/BurnNotice'''s Fiona, the only problems that can't be solved with C4 are the ones that require shooting someone. Even those probably ''could'' be solved with C4, it just wouldn't be cost-effective.
* In the second instalment of ''Characters/HoratioHornblower'' mini-series, Dr Clive's prescription to everything is a good dosage of laudanum. Captain is mentally unstable and harasses the crew? Laudanum! A midshipman was beaten to unconsciousness and his arse hurts like hell? Laudanum! Captain is utterly crazy and threatens the ship's mission? Laudanum! A cannonball tore off a sailor's leg? Lauda... Oh, wait, sometimes he ''does'' do surgeries as well. Interestingly, in all those cases laudanum might actually be useful since it is an analgesiac and has sedative properties. Given the state of medical science back then, laudanum (alcohol laced with opium) was considered a "miracle drug". A large enough dose and you *will* feel better.
* In the ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' TV movie, during the [[spoiler:challenge to become the family wizard]], Alex continuously relies on a spell that turns the ground under the target's feet into a swamp.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The reason the Doctor refuses to carry a weapon most of the time is based on this idea; if you always have the option of just shooting and killing your enemy, it's tempting to default to that and ignore possible better options.
** Some writers use the Sonic Screwdriver as a magic wand capable of solving all problems, which is why in the Fifth Doctor's tenure it was destroyed (and why in the New Series it [[WeaksauceWeakness doesn't do wood]] and is powerless against deadlock seals).
* ''Series/HomeImprovement'' Tim Taylor's typical suggested answer to every issue is it needs "More Power! Hrah hrah hrah hrah hrah hrah..!"

* In ''Pinball/StarWarsDataEast'', the ramp shot becomes this for some players, as it's possible to build it up to yield '''99 million''' points per shot, and then simply keep shooting it for high scores.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Yozis and Primordials in general from ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' tend to pull this, due to the nature of their existence as cosmic embodiments of certain phenomena. At any strategy meeting, the Ebon Dragon will suggest a sneaky course of action, Autochthon (like Grant Imahara from the Live-Action TV section above) will recommend building a tool or robot, and Malfeas will recommend [[MurderIsTheBestSolution killing or breaking something]].
* Players in general. Whatever the nature of the problem, many of them will try to use whatever their character is good at to solve it. Often, this means MurderIsTheBestSolution.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has this in many ways. Asides from the obvious bent of the Imperium using holy-techno hammers to smite the enemies of man, they are a theocracy so ultra orthodox it allowed next to no innovation in the last 10,000 years. They've basically been using the same tactics (and sometimes gear) for that long.
* [[TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering "Of course you should fight fire with fire.]] [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=45358 You should fight EVERYTHING with fire."]] [[PyroManiac -- Jaya Ballard, Task Mage]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', [[HeroicComedicSociopath Wrex's]] first suggestion for solving any conflict or situation: "Eat them." In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' a quarian admiral fighting against a fellow admiral who's itching for war can say "Once you build the galaxy's biggest hammer, someone will always start looking for nails."
** Javik, your DLC Prothean squadmate in ''3'' and in many ways Wrex's successor, will suggest violence for any difficult negotiation, with ThrownOutTheAirlock as his standard solution to any personnel difficulties. In the ''Citadel'' DLC, you get Renegade interrupts in which you threaten to cut off the villains' heads and throw them out of an airlock, and Javik will say "Finally!"
** Another one out of Creator/BioWare ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic's'' HK-47 will usually suggest firearms or grenades.
*** HK, Wrex, ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'''s Minsc[[note]]"You point, I punch."[[/note]], and ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire's'' Black Whirlwind -- don't let 'em near anything breakable...
* In ''VideoGame/{{Overlord}}'', you can count problems that ''can't'' be solved with minions in one hand. Pretty much everything is fixed through creative use of minions or just swarming the problem with the minions until it goes away. The other problems, well, you take the one hand you're counting them on, wrap it around your preferred melee weapon and start swinging.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSims'', pretty much any broken thing in your house can be fixed with a wrench.
* In the ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' community, it is commonly agreed upon that [[KillItWithFire magma]] can solve any problem. Invaders at your door? [[LavaPit Magma]]. Troublesome [[UpperClassTwit nobles]]? [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential Magma]]. !!Dwarf!! ''on [[ManOnFire fire]]''? [[MurderIsTheBestSolution Not for long]] if you use enough magma.
* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': Got a problem? Use a gun. That didn't fix it? Use [[MoreDakka more gun]].
** And how do you build and fix guns, dispensers, enemies or just about anything else? With a wrench. It's in the official, in-universe instruction manual, no less.
*** Played literally with the Pyro and his [[http://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Homewrecker weapon of choice]] for enemy buildings (and the occasional enemy Spy). A troublesome Spy trying to ruin your little nest? Whack 'im. A sapper destroying your Engie's sentry? Whack it. An Engineer on the other team has a nicer dispenser than your Engie's? WHACK IT AND HIM!
* Link's sword in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening Link's Awakening]]'', and the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames Oracle games]]. Aside from using it as a weapon or hedge trimmer, its uses include: deflecting a ball into breakable blocks in a minigame in Ages (even the Biggoron sword is used for this), poking at walls to figure out if they're hollow, grabbing items from a distance, hitting switches, harvesting seeds from trees, and of course, posing.
* In ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'' during the Sith Inquisitor's storyline there is no problem that cannot be solved with a good dose of force lightning. Angry Jedi? Shock him. Interrogation subject? Shock him. Uppity party members? Shock them. Sith artefact refusing to open? [[RunningGag Shock it]]. That last one is actually the ''first'' case, and as it also happens to be the only thing that works then might be the inspiration for a later fondness.
* ''VideoGame/{{inFAMOUS}}'' is pretty much the same, with all of your powers being lightning based. In a fight, [[ShockAndAwe shoot lightning]]. If you're hurt, [[ElementalAbsorption eat lightning]]. Need to get somewhere? RideTheLightning. Need to heal someone else? [[HealingShiv Use lightning]]. [[spoiler: Need to change history to prevent the end of the world? LIGHTNING.]] Essentially, LightningCanDoAnything.
* Baby Mario takes this approach in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime'' from whacking the Star Gate with his hammer to whacking [[ButtMonkey poor Luigi]] on the head with it. Really, in many Mario [=RPGs=], hammering stuff either helps uncover coins and neat items or reveal secrets in the landscape.
* [[VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink IF ALL ELSE FAILS USE FIRE]]
* ''VideoGame/Fallout4'': [[DumbMuscle Strong only need hammer!]]
* ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'': [[DownplayedTrope Although there are some in which she shines better than others]], Kayle is the only character with the potential to be played in any and every role on Summoner's Rift.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''WebComic/EightBitTheater'': The Light Warriors' (''especially'' Black Mage) approach to ''anything'': try to kill everything in sight. Including each other. If they don't do the first, then they stand around arguing until their enemies' stupidity makes them self-destruct. It's usually one or the other.
** And Red Mage will usually try to solve a problem with animal husbandry.
** Fighter is probably the closest of the cast to fitting the exact wording of this trope, his solution to all problems is to [[CoolSword hit anything and everything with swords]] until whatever it is goes away.
* ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'': "I cast SummonBiggerFish", although even though Jim keeps mentioning it, it never really gets used - aside from the small bonus comic that was done once. Bonus points for him not even ''having'' this ability.
* Vaarsuvius from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' has been known to engage in this line of thinking regarding his/her arcane powers. He/she even had to go through some major angst and character development to get over it (debatably crossing the MoralEventHorizon in the process), but still struggles with it sometimes like in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0696.html this]] strip.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Script/AHDotComTheSeries'', Thande will always suggest "Daring Commando Raid([[TradeSnark TM]])?" as a plan to solve any crisis the crew find themselves in; this is almost invariably treated by the others as though it is a complex and tailor-made plan for the specific situation, and always works.
* [[http://www.computerandvideogames.com/198344/blog/galactic-civilizations-diary-final-entry/ This]] LetsPlay-style article on ''VideoGame/GalacticCivilizations II''...well...
-->God, look at me. This was supposed to be my quest for peace, and I've become addicted to ''destroying suns''. How did I try to mend relations with the Terrans? I blew up a sun. How did I vanquish the Dread Lords? I destroyed their sun. How did I tackle the volatile Drengin? Destroyed all their suns. Drath relations dodgy? Gear up to destroy some suns. [[TheTetrisEffect It was spreading to real life, too]]. Deputy Editor Tim called just now to ask how this diary was coming along, and all I could say was "It's taking a while. Couldn't we just destroy the sun?"
* ''WebVideo/{{Kickassia}}'' shows Doctor Smith exhibiting this, even though "Nobody likes the plan with the spiders."
** Hell, just about any Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses sketch Dr. Smith appears in involves him suggesting an army of spiders for ''something''.
* An inversion: Essentially any time the Wiki/SCPFoundation finds anything at all, ''someone'' will suggest using it to try to kill [[OmnicidalManiac SCP]]-[[NighInvulnerable 682]]. And if it's actually deadly, they really will try it on 682. [[spoiler: Except an atomic bomb. The last thing they need is 682 developing an invulnerability to ''that''.]]
* In WebSite/SFDebris' imaginings, [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Ben Sisko]] solves all problems by punching them, even when said problems can't really be solved that way.
** In keeping with his AlternateCharacterInterpretation of the characters, we see this played out during confabs between Sisko and the other ''Trek'' captains: Picard gives technobabble solutions, Kirk suggests giving a KirkSummation followed by hitting someone, Janeway votes to kill everything in sight, and a paranoid Archer rants that Vulcans are to blame somehow.
** He also notes that Janeway responds to everything with overwhelming force, and has on multiple occasions managed to resolve space-time anomalies she has no understanding of by blasting the hell out of them. In ''Equinox'' he suggests that this has become Star Fleet standard practice: on seeing a rift in space-time, whip out your phaser and start firing. He also at one point starts listing the past times Janeway has solved a problem by shooting it, only to realise that he was listing every episode from "Caretaker" ''in order''.
** Janeway's other solution to any problem is to have Tom Paris solve it. [[TheAce Since he's a whiz at every single subject]], this works occasionally.
** Worf, presumably the originator of this policy, uses phasers and photon torpedoes to solve Borg problems, Cardassian problems, Romulan problems, and erectile dysfunction.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill''
** When Kahn and family moved in, after they came over for dinner Minh suggested some improvements to Peggy's recipies, all of which were "add nutmeg."
** In another episode, Hank gets his old football coach to coach Bobby's team. His solution for anything is "take a salt tablet".
* On ''WesternAnimation/BobbysWorld'', Uncle Ted was coaching Bobby's T-Ball team; one of them got hit with a ball and Ted said "Walk it off." This leads to an ImagineSpot where Bobby imagines Uncle Ted confronted with various other medical conditions:
-->Broken leg? Walk it off.\\
Heart attack? Walk it off.\\
Pregnant? Walk it off.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "My Future Self 'n' Me," Cartman runs a Parental Revenge Center and claims to come up with plans tailored to each child's parents, but all his plans just involve smearing poop on the walls of their house. The "tailoring" is what ''kind'' of poop is used.
* In a later episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
--> '''Betsy:''' It's all about little substitutions. If you want to eat something, eat a bell pepper. Crave something sweet? Eat a bell pepper. Want a beer? Bell pepper.\\
'''Homer:''' It tastes good like pepper, but crunchy like a bell!\\
'''Betsy:''' Bell pepper!
** Another episode has the new gym teacher respond to anything with a dodgeball to the face. "Bombardment!"
** In "Treehouse of Horror IX" when asked for suggestions for what to do about Maggie becoming an alien.
--> '''Dr Hibbert''': [[KillItWithFire Fire, and lots of it!]]
--> '''Marge''': That's your cure for ''everything''.
** From "Homer Bad Man":
--> '''Marge''': That's your solution to everything: to move under the sea.
** [[PoorPredictableRock Poor, predictable Bart... always takes rock]].
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' features a cleaning lady at the White House who prescribes club soda for cleaning up anything. She tries it on an indestructable forcefield and it works.
* This is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in ''WebVideo/AvatarTheAbridgedSeries'' Episode 4.
--> '''Katara:''' Have this magical plot-solving acorn. It has the power to resolve the plot of [[BreakingTheFourthWall any episode]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', the Neptunian master chef Elzar augments every dish he touches with a blast from a spice weasel. BAM!
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' Pinkie Pie's solution to a given situation seems to involve either throwing a party or bursting into song. Sometimes she does both.
** Fluttershy's solution to anything, lampshaded in dialogue, is to panic.
** When things are going wrong for Starlight Glimmer, she tends to default to using her magic to solve the problem. Unfortunately, this includes ''social'' problems. A major part of her CharacterDevelopment is realizing that her hammer ''isn't'' as All-Solving as she thought it was.
* ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' ''Invasion'' The Scarabs default reaction to every problem is to blast it with the plasma cannon, to which its host Jaime objects.
* Corey's answer to EVERYTHING in ''WesternAnimation/{{Grojband}}'' is Music.
* In the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes special ''Bugs Bunny's Thanksgiving Diet'', Bugs Bunny is working as a dietitian and he just tells all his clients to eat nothing but [[TrademarkFavoriteFood carrots]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'', Ben gains an alien named Rath. Rate is an Appoplexian, and according to Kevin, not only are they not that bright, they think that any problem can be solved by hitting it.
--> '''Rath:''' Not true! Sometimes you gotta hit it a lot!

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* There's an Irish saying along these lines;
** "Advice for Builders.
## Always use the right tool for the job.
## The right tool for the job is always a Hammer.
## Anything can be used as a Hammer."
* The advice "If you can't fix it by hitting it with a hammer then it must be an electrical problem." And the corollary, "If hitting it with a hammer doesn't work, hit it with a bigger hammer."
* A true handyman only needs two tools: Duct tape for things that move when they shouldn't and WD-40 for things that don't move when they should.
* There is a theory popular with Aberdeen University Engineers: There is no problem anywhere that cannot be solved through creative application of: Duct tape, WD-40, ice-cream, and a brick.
* Engineering Solution 1: Hit it with a hammer. Solution 2: Hit it with a bigger hammer.
* Millwright joke: What does a millwright call his hammer? Wrench. What does a millwright call all the other tools in the box? Hammers.
* Damage Controlmen (essentially plumbers/general repairmen) in the US Navy and Coast Guard have a nickname for a mallet: The make-fit. Guess why. Also a wrench is referred to as a "Bosun's Hammer"
* FromACertainPointOfView, when in the proper quantity and with the proper application, PlayingWithFire fixes everything. Need to cook some eggs? Use fire to heat them. al-Qaeda attacking? KillItWithFire. Nothing cannot be solved by it!
* In the same sense, a recurring joke in some fan circles states that all problems can be solved with sufficient application of [[Series/DoctorWho Dalek.]]
* A common English slang term for a hammer? "[[UsefulNotes/TheMidlands Birmingham]] Screwdriver".
* As anybody who's ever worked in the theatre around stage building will tell you, there is no problem that can't be solved by using wood. Wood has been used to keep cushions plump.
** The movie ''Film/ThoseLipsThoseEyes'' has a scene in which an experienced stagehand explains to the newcomer that they have to reinforce all the furniture that will be used on stage because "Actors are ''pieces'' of ''meat''." Stagehands know this to be TruthInTelevision, since a couch that would give twenty years of faithful service in a home with four rambunctious kids and a large dog will be an upholstered pile of brokenness in a week if used as a stage prop without being reinforced, sooner if the script calls for the actors to do anything with it other than sit on it quietly.
* [[ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}} Charles M. Schulz]] believed that the introduction of the magical creature Eugene the Jeep to the ''ComicStrip/{{Popeye}}'' comics, while an interesting idea in theory, was to the comic's detriment because Popeye solved all his problems by punching things; until Eugene came along, there weren't any problems he ''couldn't'' solve that way, and to introduce more complex problems so that Eugene could solve them took power away from Popeye.
* In higher math and science, particularly in physics, there are multiple correct ways of arriving at an answer. So the people using the math tend to stick with what they're most comfortable with... which is generally the exact same set of math techniques. At a high enough level it gets to the point where people can be identified by the math they use because they will always use the same set of techniques every single time.
* From Vodkastan: "There are no bad days, only not enough vodka. There are no bad friends, only not enough vodka. There is no bad food, only not enough vodka. There are no ugly women, only not enough vodka. There is nothing wrong, only not enough vodka."
* A man's guide to thought: "If the answers aren't beer and women, you're asking the wrong questions."
* Military saying: When in doubt, empty the magazine.
* "There is no problem that cannot be solved by the proper application of high explosives".
* Tough guys know "Violence is not the answer. Violence is the question. The answer is yes."
* The age-old question; Assault Rifle, or shotgun? [[MathematiciansAnswer Yes.]]