[[quoteright:320:[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyType0 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Plenty_3498.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:320:That makes for: [[HeroesPreferSwords longsword,]] [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana,]] [[GunsAkimbo handguns,]] [[SawnOffShotgun shotgun,]] [[CarryABigStick mace,]] [[TheArcher bow and arrow,]] [[BladeOnAStick spear,]] [[SinisterScythe scythe,]] [[EpicFlail extending flail,]] [[BareFistedMonk martial arts,]] [[MusicalAssassin flute,]] [[DeathDealer deck of Tarot cards]] and [[TeamPet a moogle]]. At least [[NonUniformUniform the uniform matches. Mostly.]]]]-]

In certain kinds of stories, you want characters to have weapons. It's important: They need weapons to fight, their [[WeaponOfChoice choice of weapon may reflect their personality]], and it makes them look cooler.

The problem comes when you give TheHero a rapier, TheLancer a scimitar and TheBigGuy a broadsword.

In real history, the development of swords in particular meant that each kind of sword had different uses. Arming swords and katanas, for instance, were primarily used for unarmoured civilian combat or as sidearms on the battlefield, generally not as primary battlefield weapons. Cavalry sabres (longer than the version used by infantry officers) were used by mounted troops against infantry and cavalry. Rapiers and small swords became popular as both civilian self-defense and dueling weapons, and were rarely seen on the battlefield at all. Some swords, such as the estoc and various late medieval longswords had narrow points designed for exploiting gaps in plate armour and thereby defeating fully armoured opponents, who were generally immune to simple cuts with a blade. Firearms and armor co-existed for a while (approximately three centuries), but eventually firearms made metal armor obsolete (with some exceptions) until the first practical bulletproof vests were created in the early 20th century.

In fiction, however, that goes right out the window. It's almost a given that both combatants will be [[ArmorIsUseless unarmored]] or [[HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic lacking the most vital parts of their panoply]]. A character in battle with a heavily armored combatant won't use a mace, warhammer or poleaxe to break the armor or cause indirect trauma or even use a straight sword to stab him between armor plates; the fighter without armor will probably dispatch the armored fighter with straightforward slashes with the edge of the blade, with the armor having zero effect on fighting technique. And of course, a MedievalEuropeanFantasy might have the odd [[KatanasAreJustBetter Katana]] show up in the hands of a ''really'' cool warrior.

A kind of AnachronismStew. Justified by RuleOfCool. Some may try to HandWave it by having the weapons be more representative of a culture or nation rather than personality type, despite the clear impracticality of such a thing. Not to be confused with SwissArmyWeapon, which includes everything ''but'' the kitchen sink.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/GaReiZero'': [[ExaggeratedTrope Used to great effect]]; the RedShirt uses machine guns that can shoot the supernaturals, the two main characters use [[KatanasAreJustBetter katanas]] (and the titular {{Mons}}), and the other squad members use [[ImprobableWeaponUser improbable weapons]] such as a gatling gun briefcase and a motorbike that engraves sacred runes on the street.
* Invoked by the Muhou Ryu members in ''Manga/{{Gamaran}}'': While all the other ryuu (schools of martial arts) are focused around one type of weapon, the Muhou Ryu includes many types of different fighting styles, hence different types of weapons, ranging from katana to spears to rapiers and weird swords to western halbeards. A notable example is given by the [[DrugsAreBad 47th Division]]: Their leader wields a huge spiked club, while the members wield lots of weapons including huge swords, hammers, polearms and gauntlets.

* ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'', when Neo fought The Merovingian's agents. Considering that everyone literally grabbed weapons off the wall, and that they were fighting in the Matrix, it [[JustifiedTrope makes sense]].
** And there might have been a hole in his defense - using every available type of attack made sense.

* Christopher Paolini's ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'' is a downplayed example. A rapier is used by a civilian for self-defense, whose friend tells him it wouldn't be of much use against heavier weapons. Broadswords are also mentioned in passing, but not elaborated on.
* ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'': Where do we start? Everything from rapiers to tree-trunks, slings to ballistas, cutlasses to teeth-and-claws makes an appearance. And of course, the hero gets the blade of Martin the Warrior, a straight bladed double-edged sword in accordance with the usual rules. Everyone else gets whatever their species usually uses.
* Justified in ''Literature/TheBaroqueCycle''. A very wide range of weapons come into the hands of various characters throughout the story, but everyone has a very specific reason to be carrying that type of weapon. When weapons are used, their appropriateness to the situation is almost always examined in detail. No one can ever accuse Creator/NealStephenson of not [[ShownTheirWork showing his work]].
* In the ''Hawk & Fisher'' series, Hawk uses an ax instead of the standard-issue police sword. Justified because he'd lost an eye and lacks the depth perception for refined swordplay.
* In ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' each member of the Fellowship has slightly different weapons; justified by the fact that they come from different cultures and backgrounds (and have very different heights). Legolas, has a bow and a long knife, Boromir uses a sword+shield, Aragon uses a Bow and long sword, the Hobbits also have long double-bladed knifes, Gimli has a few different axes, and Gandalf uses a staff and/or long sword.
* Inevitable in ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', given the fact that the Capitol just spreads them around in the Arena and hopes for a sloppy death scenario to increase the "entertainment" value. There's a [[CrossesTheLineTwice blackly-comic]] aside in Book 1 where Katniss mentions how one year the only weapons provided were horribly awkward maces.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The {{tabletop RPG}} ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' is one of the biggest offenders in this particular category. Many worlds have lightly-armored characters wielding rapiers and scimitars alongside heavily armored guys with big whacking great swords and great axes. But then again, D&D's armor system makes heavily-armored fighters harder to ''hit'' rather than reducing damage (something that you can also do with light armor and a high enough Dexterity score), and the threat range on scimitars and rapiers make it easier to score a critical hit. The first edition rules did have "weapons effective against armor type" charts, but this was phased out in second and subsequent editions.
** When it's relevant to note that a blow simply made contact that was/might have been blunted by armor, 3rd Edition made use of the "touch AC" stat. It was mostly used for certain spells or attacks that involve grabbing the target rather than striking it.
** This is also noticeable with canon characters in the various game worlds. For example, in the ForgottenRealms, Drizzt Do'Urden [[DualWielding fights with two]] ''[[DualWielding scimitars]]''. Artemis Entreri fought, for a long time, with a ''saber'' and dagger (he eventually got a straight-bladed sword that was more heavily enchanted). And so on.
*** In their defense, the oddness of these choices was noted. A lot of Drow are ambidextrous and Drizzt is supposed to be an epitome of this. Entreri was, through extensive training, just about on par with Drizzt, and at least he was wielding a light weapon in his off-hand.
* Certain modern era action games and cyberpunk games will feature a more modernized version of this, where anachronistic melee weapons, small personal defense firearms, and military hardware suited to bringing down a corrupt third world regime will all be given equal time and consideration on the weapons list.
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}: Dungeon Fantasy'' doesn't even bother with pretending that this doesn't happen, players are given access to ''all'' weapons from [[TechnologyLevels TL 0 to 4]] because that's how the genre works. Also flamethrowers...
** Slightly deconstructed by the fact that GURPS uses reasonably realistic stats for all weapons - thus, using a weapon wrongly or against the wrong opponent will make the fight harder for you. The character templates and loadouts often try to match a fighting style (I.e. your choice of combat skills) with the appropriate weapon.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Eon}}'' has everything from humungous two-handed swords, all the way down to thin little rapiers. Granted, you rarely see them in the same geographical area; you're more probable to encounter light weapons where people don't wear as much armour, such as on the high seas, or with isolated cultures that haven't had the need to develop heavier weaponry. When it comes to the players themselves, the unforgiving and detailed combat system keeps them in check, with light weapons being almost completely forsaken in place of spears (!) or broadswords, as any hostile encounter is a potential death-trap if you're not completely sure of what you're doing, and heavier equipment helps even the score.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' games include [[KatanasAreJustBetter Katanas]], [[EveryJapaneseSwordIsAKatana wakizashi, tantos]] and [[strike:Orcish]] Samurai armor along with early Medieval armor, claymores, longswords and sabres. Rapiers are absent however. According to the backstory, what we would call the Asian weaponry -- tantos, wakizashis, katanas, and dai-katanas -- are from the Akavir continent and exclusive to the Tsaesci (one of the four races of Akaviri known). The explanation of the Samurai suits is trickier: the Orc country Orsinium was allowed to exist during the rule of an Akaviri Potentate which may indicate inspiration. Blades armor and weaponry are based on Akaviri designs. The armor resembles Roman Lorica Segmentata, while the swords consist of Katanas.
** More recent games have phased this out a bit - after ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', you'll only see katanas with the Blades (and no other Asian weaponry anywhere), and the Orcs wear armour that has more of a Mongolian look.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'', especially ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', is pretty guilty of this. For the most part, it doesn't even really matter which kind of weapon you are using, although a few classes can specialize in weapon types (and Rogues need daggers for BackStab moves). But there is no inherent difference between an axe and a sword, other than the fact that not all classes can use both.
* Most games in the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series basically select weaponry choices based on personality or an abstract battlefield role within their battle system, at best simplifying the attributes of a particular weapon style to fit. Somewhat averted in VideoGame/FinalFantasyX, which generally takes into account the need for different kinds of weapons for different kinds of enemies, but in a pinch, anything will usually work, just not as well.
** GameplayAndStorySegregation occurs in that respect in an unusual way in Final Fantasy X. The plot implies that Wakka's Blitzball, a thrown weapon, is best for use against aerial targets. In actuality, Wakka just starts with higher accuracy; ANY character with the same accuracy (and luck) stat would have the same chance of hitting a given target, whether they're using a blitzball, a sword, or even a doll. This is also the case for Auron's swords and armored enemies- His swords almost always have piercing by default, but once you get to item crafting, the piercing attribute can be given to anything. In a nutshell, you could theorically run any character through another character's path in the Sphere Grid and have them behave exactly the same, except for Overdrives.
** Zig Zagged later- when fighting distant enemies/objects, Waka is the ONLY melee character capable of hitting them, and your only other option is magic.
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' and ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors'' brings new meaning to the Kitchen Sink part of this. It has a ridiculous number of weapons that have no right coexisting the way they do, varying from [[ImprobableWeaponUser the improbable]] (flutes, fans, and children's toys), to ones that shouldn't be present given the setting (boomerangs), to the misused (chakrams being used primarily as melee weapons; Chinese dagger-axes being dual-wielded or ''thrown''). [[RuleOfCool But it's cool, so who cares?]]
** To prevent misunderstanding, they aren't chakrams, it's misnamed. They are fire and wind rings, large balded rings designed for melee and NOT meant to be thrown, their increased size is what makes the main difference. Another habit of the games is to name some weapons inaccurately, but using the name most people would call the weapon, such as calling [[PaperMaster seals made for magic focus]] a [[DeathDealer cursed deck]], or the above mix up with the rings. Sometimes it's easier to spot than at other times.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'': Lampshaded somewhat where another character wields a [[ImprobableWeaponUser ball and cup game]]. At one point, Kratos points out that Lloyd's weapon choice and fighting style -- dual-wielded sabres -- is wasteful and inefficient. Lloyd's response (paraphrased) was that he uses two swords to get [[BreakingTheFourthWall twice the attack power bonus.]]
--> '''Lloyd''': I thought if one sword had an attack of 100 then two swords would have an attack of 200 right?
* In ''VideoGame/PhantomBrave'', anything you can pick up can be used as a weapon, from sunflowers to starfish to werewolves. ...And then fused with everything else to combine skills, so you can end up with a sword that slaps like a fish or a pumpkin that stabs like a spear.
* ''VideoGame/MakaiKingdom'', the SpiritualSuccessor to ''PhantomBrave'' has its own eclectic mix, including [[HealingShiv pies & syringes]], [[BlowYouAway paper fans]], [[ThunderDrum drums]], [[JokeWeapon balloons]], [[VideoGameStealing UFOs]], magnets, boxes, [[ThisIsADrill drills]], [[ShovelStrike shovels]], flamethrowers, and [[LaserBlade beam swords]].
* This was the ''point'' of ''VideoGame/DeadRising''. And, well, zombies.
* Wanna play some ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown''? Then get ready to watch the LadyOfWar use her rapier to parry a huge stone pillar. Or perhaps you'd like to watch UsefulNotes/AndrewJackson block a shot from a sledgehammer with his rifle? Or maybe a CatGirl using a boomerang to block a polearm is more your flavour.
* The ''VideoGame/SoulSeries'' features a number of characters from different cultures of the 16th Century, and all fighting with different historical weapons and even a few fictional ones.
* ''FireEmblem'': These games go back and forth on this one. The trope is played straight in the notion that there are many, many kinds of weapons from swords, axes, lances and bows, many of which are nonsensical (one of Eliwood's better weapons throughout FE 7 is a rapier that does bonus damage against calvary and heavily armored units). This trope is subverted in the sense that most weapons have a bonus for attacking a certain type of unit or a certain weapon style in a [[TacticalRockPaperScissors weapon triangle]].
* ''VideoGame/UnwrittenLegends'' is a particularly egregious example, in that just about every pre-internal-primer cartridge weapon you can think of probably has at least one example in game.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', apart from the elvish curved blades most every sword or dagger is a medieval European straight blade, and if you are going to be fighting heavily armored foes you probably are going to be using a [[DropTheHammer mace or warhammer]], though the game uses rather oversized versions of the latter.
* [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters All 75 potential recruits]] in ''VideoGame/ExitFate'' have a unique weapon, often [[NamedWeapons named]], and while they usually fit a more specific trope than ImprobableWeaponUser, the tropes in question vary wildly. What other game allows practitioners of ChainPain and ThrowTheBookAtThem to fight in the same party as a DeathDealer? Then again, most of the really ridiculous weapons are used by characters who have a low attack power...
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' originally mostly used unique variations of StandardFPSGuns and this trope only applied to the melee weapons, which included things from knives to bottles to bats to bare fists. The unlockable items have since plunged headlong into this trope, with things like bows, crossbows, [[PowerupFood cans of soda, sandviches,]] flags carried around with a bugle, shields, boots, tranquilizer guns, flare guns, remote controls, lasers scavenged from crashed alien delivery ships, and jars of piss.
* In ''VideoGame/RuneFactory3'', various townsfolk who accompany you to battle will carry a cutlass, a katana, a double-headed battleaxe, twin shortswords, a two-handed broadsword and a war hammer, respectively. And this isn't even including the magic users or or the {{Improbable Weapon User}}s.
* In ''VideoGame/BetrayalAtKrondor'', any sword-using party member can use any kind of sword imaginable, be it rapier, cutlass, broadsword, or something the programmers clearly made up. However, swords meant for thrusting will be more accurate and powerful when used to thrust rather than swing and vice versa.
* ''VideoGame/{{Anachronox}}'' has seven protagonists, each with their own category of weapons. Noir-esque gumshoe with (futuristic) guns? Check. Sexy assassin with knives? Okay. Intrepid scientist with weaponized SCIENCE!? Um, okay... miniaturized planet with orbital weapons platforms and a comic-book superhero who uses his own limited edition comics to remember his fighting moves? ''What.''
* While pretty much everything in ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'' is plausible as a weapon, there's still a wide variety of options that probably shouldn't be available together. It's possible to encounter a player wielding a bow, twin laser pistols, and a pair of wrist-mounted chainsaw "claws". And chances are [[RockBeatsLaser the bow is the strongest of the three]]. There is some justification for this one, though. The various factions in-game have differing technological capabilities, leading them to specialize in different kinds of weapons. Meanwhile, the ''really'' outdated stuff is still in use because the Tenno and [[{{Precursors}} Orokin]] were worried the [[AIIsACrapshoot Sentients]] would be able to subvert anything more advanced during the [[GreatOffscreenWar Old War]].
* Used in ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'' [[TropesAreNotBad to positive effect]]. The diverse range of weapons available means that each of the five (later six in ''Warband'') kingdoms has their own 'feel.' Rhodok units, for instance, favor crossbows and polearms, while Nords like their axes and javelins.
* Taken to some rather ridiculous levels (like everything else) in ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara.'' The basic katana is there, but its presence is expected, as is the naginata's. The rest of the lineup goes off the rails and includes dual cross-spears, six katanas carried simultaneously, a giant hammer, a drill spear, a bladed hula hoop, an axe the size of a coffee table, twin scythes, a shotgun/machine gun/rocket launcher combination, a whipsword, cannon-tonfa, and a rocket anchor. [[RuleOfCool It's that kind of game]].

* In ''Webcomic/ABeginnersGuideToTheEndOfTheUniverse'', the [[spoiler:army of the future people]] use completely random weaponry (from shotguns to halberds). Justified in that they get all their weaponry from the [[GrowsOnTrees miscellanopod trees]], which give them entirely random stuff. Meanwhile, the [[spoiler:members of the evil cult that opposes them are able to use RealityWarper powers to spontaneously manifest any weapons or equipment they want.]]
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'': During the "Oceans Unmoving" arc, the SpacePirates use swords, throwing hatchets, flintlock guns, grenades, switchblades, and even laser weapons. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] since the residents of Timeless Space are ''literally'' from different points in history, some coming from the present, others the far future, and others the distant past. Also justified when it's found that most of the 'pirates' are [[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=050417 geeks of one sort of another]], who took the opportunity of being stranded in timeless space to play pirates, and so picked whatever weapon they [[RuleOfCool felt was cool]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/ChaosFighters'' are this as a whole, with modern and medieval weapons appearing simultaneously. It gets egregious when bronze coin daggers, scimitars and katana are added. This is not counting the double weapons and mix and match weapons.
* Comes into play at points of ''Literature/TalesOfMU'' in Callahan's class, Mixed Melee, in which the main character, variously armed with a dagger, a pitchfork, and a quarterstaff, has to spar against [[TheFundamentalist Gloria]], a KnightTemplar with a sword. The lack of parity is at times [[LampshadeHanging remarked upon]] as well.
* The ''WhateleyUniverse''. Some of everything in this package. Fey now has a magical mithril scimitar. Bladedancer has a magical jian made of jade. Tennyo has an ''antimatter lightsaber''. Lancer is a flying brick and can extend his super-strong field over small things, so he has paper swords... which can cut through concrete. And then Winter Term courses include a 'special topics' class, so this gets really gets crazy. Phase is working with a tactical baton, Chaka is learning the meteor hammer, Aquerna gets a pair of ''kama'', Shroud is working with a dozen knives (simultaneously), ...
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' plays this incredibly straight, with literally every single character wielding some kind of unique weapon. These can range from conventional (various swords, a sniper rifle) to completely bizarre (a weaponized coffee thermos).

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Rollbots}}'', most people who are onvolved in fights have some kind of special weaponry; Botch has a HardLight grappling hook, Manx has [[EnergyBall Energy]] [[CastingAShadow Balls]], Macro has a giant Wrecking Ball, the Kei'zatsu have HardLight handcuffs which coat the entire body... and Spin has a collapsible sword.