What happens when your Natural Weapon
is an Absurdly Sharp Blade
In Real Life
, animals use their claws for various purposes (hunting, climbing, grooming, defense, etc.). However, over time, these claws grow dull from continuous use and must be sharpened to maintain their usefulness.
Not so in the world of fiction. In many fictional cases, animal claws remain insanely sharp even after constant use. Moreover, these claws are so sharp that they can slice through things that few (if any) real life animals could ever scratch. Often, this is just Played for Laughs
, but more dramatic variations exist as well.
See Absurdly Sharp Blade
for when metallic blades (i.e. knives, swords, axes) are sharper than what one would expect in reality. May have Audible Sharpness
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Anime and Manga
- Happens as a gag in Cattivik when the titular character is cut to ribbons by a lion.
- Wolverine has shown he still has tremendous cutting power even when he just has his natural claws, which are noted to be made of dense bone rather than keratin. By extension, this also applies to Daken and X-23, although the former's natural claws are actually of some kind of metallic composition, and the latter had hers coated with adamantium before they ever saw any real use. Sabertooth is another example, with smaller, more cat-like retractable claws in his fingers that have been known to cut steel.
- In Van Helsing, werewolf Gabriel leaves claw-marks on a stone statue during his brawl with Dracula.
- In John Carpenter's Vampires, the Big Bad vampire cuts a human cleanly in two with just his claws.
- Split Second, the 1992 Rutger Hauer movie, is a great example for this trope. The creature uses its huge claw to shred through the roof of a subway train like a hot knife through butter. It has to be seen to be believed.
- The monsters from Feast are described as having 'claws like Ginsu Knives'. and they can easily tear apart humans.
- Andalite tail-blades in the Animorphs-verse are demonstrably sharp enough to cut metal and lop off limbs.
- In Dragonback, K'da claws are sharp enough to cut through metal. And not just slash through it either; at one point Draycos uses this ability to carve a precise hole in a shuttle's hull as sabotage.
- The Macra from the Doctor Who episode "Gridlock". The Macra can be found at the bottom of the motorway in New New York (on New Earth). In the "fast lane" you can reach speeds of up to thirty miles per hour! (Usually taking six years to get to Brooklyn from Queens!) However, this comes with a risk: the potential of being sliced and mauled by the Macra. What's even scarier is that you only really get to see these claws above the fumes.
- Star Trek: Voyager: The main mode of attack of Species 8472 (the Undine to Star Trek Online players). One swipe can decapitate a helmeted Hirogen.
- In the Supernatural episode "Heart" (S02, Ep17), we find that werewolves have thick gray claws that leave scratch marks in the side of a concrete building.
- As mentioned in the page quote, in Warhammer 40,000, any tyranid strain from the Genestealers and up can rip open Powered Armor, and the larger monsters open tanks like cans.
This forms the basis of a minor Running Gag/Noodle Incident in the Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF—*las shot*) series, where the first time in any book the 'nids are mentioned, Cain recalls a time he saw genestealers tear apart Space Marine Terminators as if their armor wasn't there. We finally get to see it in the seventh book.
- In Pokémon, the move Cut allows the player's Pokemon to cut down small trees with a single slicing movement. Flavor Text for various Pokémon species describes how their claw/pincer/etc. weapons are sharp enough to inflict significant property damage. Also repeatedly demonstrated in the anime, with Scyther* (shown above) in particular repeatedly seen chopping down trees in a single swipe.
- In Evolva, the Genohunters are able to get claws able to slice rock walls to pass through them.
- Fallout features the aptly named 'Deathclaws', genetically engineered killing machines with claws the size of knifes. In each game they are one of the toughest commonly occurring enemies, and their claws can even be Macgyvered into one of the more deadly unarmed weapons in the game.
- Prototype has this as one of the first upgrades, which is a Disc One Nuke for crowd clearing.
- In StarCraft, fluff describes the zerg ultralisk, their equivalent to a tank (think an elephant with scythes instead of tusks), as having blades with a monomolecular edge.
- Arx Fatalis features the Black Beast, the monster from the bowels of the earth possessing foot-long, One-Hit Kill claws. Seconds before you meet it, you have to crawl through the tunnel that is apparrently burrowed in solid rock, with Wolverine-like claw marks all over the floor and walls.
- A Wile E. Coyote short in The Looney Tunes Show has Wile E. being sliced to ribbons by the Roadrunner's talons in a ninja-style battle.
- The titular species in Gargoyles have claws that are strong and sharp enough leave deep scratches in solid concrete and even solid steel. This is actually how they climb buildings and cliffs.
- Puss in Boots from the Shrekverse is often seen cutting glass with one claw, very quickly.note Puss generally picks his fights using his sword. In Shrek 3, Donkey attempted to duplicate the trick after being body-swapped with Puss, but due to lack of skill, it didn't quite work.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "Stare Master": Rarity's cat Opal cuts off a lock of Sweetie Belle's mane with a swipe of her claws.