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"Bang!" Flag Gun
A notorious joke weapon responsible for the failure of countless murder and suicide attempts. When the trigger is pulled, the gun barrel emits a large flag saying "BANG!"

If the person holding the gun assumed the gun was real, expect an Oh Crap moment.

The title is a take on BFG.

Examples:

Advertising

Comic Books
  • Used often by The Joker. You can never be sure what kind of gun The Joker is pointing at you until he pulls the trigger. And even if it's a BANG Flag Gun, you can't be sure if he's not going to kill you with it anyway.
    • One comic had him using the BANG Flag Gun to kill a henchman. First the flag popped out, causing the henchman to think the Joker was playing a prank on him. Then the flag got fired like a speargun, killing the henchman.
    • He does the same thing in the Batman Beyond movie, Return of the Joker.
    • Variation in The Killing Joke: The Joker finds he is out of bullets when his gun produces a flag saying "CLICK CLICK CLICK".
    • At the end of Andrew Helfer's prose story "On the Wire" from The Further Adventures of the Joker anthology, the Joker, despondent over having failed to drive a lonely woman on a chat line to suicide, glumly decides there's only one thing to do. He points a gun at his head and pulls the trigger, releasing a BANG flag. That cheers him up.
    • He also uses it as a weapon in an issue of Birds of Prey, where he shows it off to an unruly henchman, holds it right up to their eye and says "Wanna see?" before pulling the trigger.
    • He uses one for his Fatality Move in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. He whips out the gun and fires it at his victim, causing them to jump and then act exasperated. He then pulls a real gun while the victim is reacting and shoots them with it.
  • When MAD did a parody of Joseph Wambaugh's cop novel The New Centurions, one of the cops shot himself just before his scheduled retirement. Another cop said it must be because he felt he'd have nothing to live for after retiring, but it turned out he'd just mistakenly used a real pistol instead of the flag gun.
    • Another one from MAD had a world where these guns were used instead of real guns. Highlights include a silenced version (the flag says "thwip" in really small letters) and an aircraft-mounted version (multiple bang flags)
  • On a Deadpool cover by Dave Johnson, Deadpool points an autoloader at the reader with a Bang flag coming out of it. In the background, a number of Faceless Goons lie on the floor, Bang flags embedded in their heads.
  • New Warriors. A BANG Flag Gun was used by the prosecutor to send the telekinetic Vance Astrovik to prison. His grabbing the smoke -of- the gun with his mind was used to prove he didn't have to be fatally damaging in defense from his father's abuse. The fact the prosecuter made everyone think she was trying to kill Vance didn't seem to actually matter to the judge. Prison ensued.
  • The Invisibles: Used to kill one of the Big Bads in a variant of Your Mind Makes It Real.

Fan Works

Film
  • The Joker uses this on Vicki Vale in the 1989 Batman film, naturally. Which elicited one of Kim Basinger's zillion screams in that film.
  • The Mask scares off some mooks with two handfuls of guns (all of which turn out to be of these type), while doing a Dirty Harry impersonation to boot.
  • Diamonds Are Forever: In a deleted scene available on the CD, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd kill Shady Tree with a BANG Flag Gun that also shoots a real bullet.
    Mr. Wint: Shady Tree... Shady, we just adored your act.
    Mr. Kidd: What taste... style.
    Mr. Wint: And we have a few suggestions.
    Shady Tree: Critics and material I don't need; I haven't changed my act in 40 years!
    [Mr. Kidd pulls out a water gun flower]
    Mr. Kidd: Ah, but this one's surefire...
    Shady Tree: That's the oldest Godda--
    Mr. Wint: And this one... will kill you.
    [Mr. Wint puts a gun to Tree's head; the BANG Flag Gun pops out reading BANG! You're Dead!]
    Shady Tree: Come on, fellas. The popping gun and the squirting flower routine? You gotta be kidding m--
    [Mr. Wint empties a live bullet into Tree's brain]
    Mr. Kidd: Two's company, Mr. Wint...
    Mr. Wint: And Tree's a crowd, Mr. Kidd.
    [James Bond continues toward Tree's dressing room as Albert R. Saxby intercepts Wint and Kidd on departure]
    Albert R. Saxby: Hold it! Don't go in there. We didn't get the real diamonds, so we need Tree... alive.
    Mr. Kidd: That's most annoying...
  • In Cannonball Run, Roger Moore's character pulls one (that looks like a Walther PPK) on his mother.
  • Sleeper. Woody Allen's character threatens the Leader's nose with such a gun.
  • Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey has a futuristic energy weapon that turns out to be one.
  • Who's Afraid Of Virginia Wolfe has a scene where a disgruntled husband pulls a shotgun on his wife and fires...an umbrella.

Literature
  • This appears in an illustration in the second of Arthur Bloch's three Murphy's Law books, as the "Academiology" chapter head.

Live-Action TV
  • A BANG flag shotgun appears in a music video made by Rachel in Glee.
  • An invention exchange in Mystery Science Theater 3000 has this trope combined with Bigger Stick. The BANG gun leads to the BANG uzi, BANG knife, BANG harpoon gun, BANG nun-chucks, and finally BANG dynamite.
  • During one 1990 Tournament of Champs episode of the Game Show Classic Concentration a bang flag appeared in a puzzle being fired by a clown through his ears in order to get the solution 'Bangor, Maine'.
  • It appears in at least one episode of The Monkees.
  • Turns up in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: In the episode "Wild West Part 1", Bulk and Skull's ancestors attempt to rob a stagecoach, even firing on the "White Stranger" when he arrives to assist... only for their revolvers to turn out to be trick ones.
  • I Love Lucy features one in its fourth episode, "Lucy Thinks Ricky Is Trying to Murder Her". Ricky is preparing stuff for one of his shows and one of the items is a "Bang" flag gun that Lucy thinks is a real gun, finally culminating in Ricky "shooting" Lucy, showing her that it is a prop.
  • One episode of Hogan's Heroes had the guys sabotage a flak battery and topped it off with BANG flags when the Nazis tried to bring down the Allied planes.
  • In The Drew Carey Show Mr. Wick decides to get an extra laugh out of firing Johnson. He hands him a crossbow and says that he's fired unless Johnson can shoot an apple off of his head. When Johnson pulls the trigger, a flag that says "You're Fired" drops down from the arrow. When Johnson shifts the the crossbow in his hand to be able to read the flag better he hits the trigger again firing the arrow and hitting Mr. Wick in the um... goodybag.
  • Hawkeye and Trapper secretly replace Frank's gun with one of these in "Five O'Clock Charlie". Good thing too, because when it was dicharged it was pointing at Colonel Blake's head.

Music
  • Used in the music video for Tears For Fears' "Head Over Heels."
  • Lady Gaga does this in the video clip Judas, with a lipstick instead of the flag.

Toys
  • As a tie-in to the 2000 movie The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, CVS sold plushes of the main characters. Boris Badenov was depicted as shooting one of these, while his significant other Natasha Fatelle held a Cartoon Bomb.

Other
  • How about a Gunbrella? (Sadly, it may be out of production now.)

Professional Wrestling

Theatre
  • In the musical Celebration, Mr. Rich tries to kill himself by shooting himself in the head with a pistol, which produces a "BANG" flag when he pulls the trigger. Not one easily deterred by failure, Mr. Rich next tries to stab himself with a rubber knife and then tries to hang himself with a frayed noose.

Video Games
  • The Sheriff Mecha in MechQuest has a pistol that fires real bullets but sometimes shoots a flag out instead.
  • The flag gun is even used as the Joker's fatality move in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe...except it's subverted when he then drops it and pulls out a real gun.
  • Used in Day Of The Tentacle by a suicidal hotel guest who puts it to his head and pulls the trigger (the flag comes shooting harmlessly out his ear). Could be horrific under the right circumstances, but it's all Played for Laughs.
  • Joker again: In the final cutscene of Lego Batman, Joker's thrown into jail again and looks ready to shoot himself in despair before we find it's one of these joke guns. (You read that right: Joker put a gun to his head in a Lego game.)
  • Skullgirls: Peacock's revolver is used in three attacks. Bang! (sticks out a flag), BANG! (replaces the flag with a sword), and BANG! BANG! BANG! (shoots out a random object as a projectile).
  • In Marvel's Super Hero Squad Online, multiple characters use these for their hero emotes, including War Machine, Deadpool, and Hawkeye, who does this with a bow and a trick arrow which produces a "Twang!" flag.
  • Plok gets one in his game in the form of the cowboy powerup outfit, found exactly once. As could be expected, it's largely useless, having a pitifully short range and a very slow firing rate. The primary reason the powerup is where it is in the first place is virtue of the fact that collecting any powerup outfit restores Plok's limbs if they're currently on a hanger somewhere else.
  • One type of enemy uses these in one of the stages in World of Illusion. They do, however, cause real damage.
  • If you fail Wonder-Green's intro quick-time event in The Wonderful 101, his rifle pops a flag decorated with a film clapper board with "CUT!" scrawled on it before he unceremoniously falls like a rock.

Webcomics

Western Animation
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Hare Conditioned", Bugs Bunny fires a rifle at a store manager, but all that comes out is three "Bang" signs in succesion. The manager then produces three "Ouch" flags out of his mouth.
  • Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century has a variation: Dodgers fires an Ultimatum Gun at Marvin, and the bullet stops short and out comes a flag reading, "Surrender, or be blown into 17,670,002 micro-cells." Marvin fires an Ultimatum Responder Gun, and the bullet stops in front of Dodgers and fires... a second bullet. Dodgers then fires another bullet with the rebuttal "Ouch!"
  • An episode of Teen Titans has Cyborg turned into a bear. He thought his sonic cannon was usable, but it turns out to be this.
    Cyborg: "'Bang'? (Looks up and sees he's about to be crushed) Oh dang..."
  • In the "Monte Zooma's Treasure" Story Arc of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Boris tries to shoot the heroes with a "squirrel gun" pistol to keep them from stopping the dam from blowing up, but it just produced a "BANG" flag. Natasha realizes that this is due to a reduction of violence on television.
  • An episode of The Simpsons featured Mr. Burns trying to amuse himself by shooting Smithers. The bang flag pops out to Burns' dismay, shouting, "Curses! It's jammed!" he smacks it on the side and the flag shoots out and sticks in Smithers. Burns declares it to be "hi-larious".
    • Another episode showed Moe, during a montage of suicide attempts, putting a gun to his head and pulling the trigger. A flag that says BANG! comes out of his ear on the other side.
  • Batman: The Animated Series
    • In "Harlequinade", Harley Quinn, finally fed up with the Joker, pulls a tommy gun on him; Batman elects not to intervene. The Joker tells her she doesn't have the guts to pull the trigger. She does: "Ratta Tat Tat." She cringes with anticipated retribution, but the Joker, after a moment of cynical calculation, genuine surprise or both, decides to forgive her, and all is well.
    • In ''Harley and Ivy", The Joker asks for the gun to fire at the cops pursuing them. Harley hands it to him while she drives, he pulls the trigger..."Bang!"
      Harley: You never said which gun...
    • The gun is so iconic that when Joker comes back for Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, so does the gun: in the uncut film, the spear version described under "Comics" is used to kill Bonk, and is laced with Joker Venom, and "later" it turns out to be how Joker himself was killed. The first time, anyway.
      In the censored version, a second pull of the trigger results in a cloud of Joker gas while the later use is replaced with Joker being pushed into an experimental lab, slipping on the water and glass, and electrocuting himself to get up. Because apparently that's "better".
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory, episode "The Laughing", Dexter uses one when he turns into a were-clown.
  • In the Donald Duck cartoon Duck Pimples, a man fires a gun at Donald, but all that comes out is a red, white and blue flag. Don is so wound up that he still acts as if he's been shot.
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Now Hear This!", a character fires a rifle in the air, and out comes an umbrella.

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