"With an ass's jawbone I have made asses of them. With an ass's jawbone I have killed a thousand men."The use of bones as an Improvised Weapon. Similar to Grievous Harm with a Body, except that that involves using a whole body or at least a bodily limb that hasn't yet been reduced to bone. Bonus points if it involves a Stock Femur Bone or is used for Palate Propping. Dem Bones may be involved. Skeletons in the Coat Closet is what happens when you wear bones as armor regularly. See Ballistic Bone for bones launched as Abnormal Ammo. Not to be confused with Bad to the Bone.
— Samson, Judges 15:16, The Bible
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Kimimaro from Naruto was apparently the only member of his clan to fully activate their kekkai genkai, the Shikotsumyaku or "Dead Bone Pulse". Using it, he could manipulate his bones to act as armor against any attack or extract weapons formed of super-dense bone.
- His distant ancestor Kaguya Ōtsutsuki had a more deadly version capable of reducing the target to ash in one hit.
- Sango from Inuyasha. She and her village use the bones, skins, shells and other remains of youkai they killed to make them into weapons. Her giant boomerang is made from purified demon bones.
- In Digimon, Ogremon wields a bone as a club. Palette Swap Monster of the Week Fugamon does the same. (Another variation exists called Hyogamon, but he's got a big icicle instead.)
- Faust VIII from Shaman King uses skeletons as his spirit medium. If you get him REALLY angry, he'll sic a giant skeleton made of normal skeletons at you.
- Marrow from X-Men, whose power was to grow bones out of her body. Usually this meant outward jutting spines, claws, or knives - she wasn't too big on bludgeoning bones even though they do show up in her arsenal.
- A character in Final Destination: Spring Break dies when she falls into a medical display skeleton, the unusually pointy ribs of which impale her.
- Refugees from the Labyrinth in the Hellraiser Summer Special craft the bones of one of their dead members into weapons to battle the Legions of Hell, since only something "of Hell" can harm something else "of Hell".
- In the French comic book La Licorne ("The Unicorn"), Ambroise Paré is attacked by assassins sent by the Church. Thankfully, it happens in a laboratory with multiple dead bodies on study, which the surgeon promptly weaponizes - he stabs one to death with a rib, trips another into falling onto a ribcage (like the Final Destination example above) and smashes yet another by using a skull still attached to a spine as an improvised mace.
- The crazed actor Steven Rand in Werewolf by Night adopted a jawbone of an ass as his weapon of choice when he started his quest for revenge as Atlas.
- The first segment of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Luke Skywalker grabs a femur to fight the Rancor in Return of the Jedi and uses it to prop the beast's mouth open. Later he tosses a skull at the button for the heavy portcullis making it drop on the Rancor and kill it.
- In the Jean-Claude Van Damme film Sudden Death, a man was killed with a chicken bone.
- Abby stabs one of the villains in Hobo with a Shotgun with her exposed arm bone.
- In Red Sonja, Falkon (Prince Tarn's fat bodyguard) uses a big bone as a mace.
- A version of Spike fought Wolverine in the X-Men: The Last Stand and only fired long bone shafts out of his wrists.
- In The Six Sacred Stones, Zoe is hunted through a maze by hyenas and fights them off using crocodile bones. She turns them into stabbing weapons by holding them against the wall of the maze while running.
- Väinämöinen from The Kalevala built his first kantele (a stringed musical instrument) out of the jaw bone of a giant fish he has slain. Not exactly a weapon, but seeing how he was a master of Magic Music, he used his kantele later to disable Louhi's guards to make a clean getaway with The Sampo.
- A character briefly incapacitates Freddy by smashing his head in with a bone in A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Dealers.
- Secondary villain Norwood Thawn from Friday The13th Hate Kill Repeat creates a dagger out of dead wife's bones, with the intent of using it against Jason.
- In Mike Resnick's "Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge" the primitive night creatures (the surviving humans) use bones of their fellow tribesmen as weapons and in the end club Exobiologist to death with a shinbone.
Live Action TV
- An episode of CSI had a woman die after having a lamb chop thrown at her in an argument over a slimming competition, the bone of which pierced her neck (although it's explained she would have lived if her friends took her to a hospital instead of letting her bleed out trying to cover it up).
- Dean from Supernatural has the properly named First Blade (since it is, y'know, a bone shaped and used as a blade), which belonged to no other than Cain, yes, as in Biblical Cain, only he was the good brother. The blade is so powerful it can kill nearly anything, since reapers, Knights of Hell (the most powerful demons ever), angels that are powered up to God-like level, and even Cain himself, the Father of Murder and original Knight of Hell, decapitate people, and pretty much just about anything. It simply makes the Colt useless. And since it is indestructible, it the only way to get rid of it is by throwing it somewhere unreachable. However it has two drawbacks, the first being that it need to be used along with the Mark of Cain, as explained by him: "The mark and the blade work together. Without the mark, the blade is useless. It's just an old bone." The other downside of it, is that welding the blade while having the marks makes the wearier unstable and not-so-slowly a complete Ax-Crazy.
- Ransik, the Big Bad of Power Rangers Time Force, fights by pulling bones out of his body and transfiguring them into weapons. This appears to hurt. A lot.
Mythology and Religion
- Dungeons & Dragons.
- Adventure A4 In The Dungeons of The Slave Lords starts with the PCs in the title location, stripped of all weapons and equipment. If they search carefully they can find a human skull (usable as a thrown weapon) and a human thigh bone (usable as a club).
- The Dark Sun settings is a world that lacks (amongst other things) metals, and the majority of equipments are made of bone, carapace, etc. These are understandably inferior to the rare metal gears. Pre 4th Edition it was even more merciless, with those bone equipments have atrociously low durability.
- Pushing There Is No Such Thing as Notability to the limit, there was also an obscure Osteomancer prestige class which focused on exactly this subject.
- Archer skeletons from Ravenloft use bone arrows, which can grow into additional skeletal attackers if they miss their targets. Giant skeletons from the same setting (not skeletons of giants, but human ones enlarged before animation) use bone-tipped spears or scythes in combat.
- Warhammer has a number of primitive creatures that use bone weapons, most notably ghouls and savage orcs.
- In the Yu-Gi-Oh! game, Giant Orc uses the femur of... some other giant monster as a club.
- BIONICLE: tools on Bara Magna are either made of bone or claw.
- Just as a general videogame example; in any game where there are undead enemies (especially skeletons) expect to see bones being used as weapons in some manner or another. Throwing them seems to be popular in platformers.
- In AdventureQuest Worlds, your character can use bone based weapons like The Bone Sword and Bone Axe.
- The first "weapon" you get in Secret of Evermore is a large bone.
- Pokémon: Cubone and Marowak (pictured on the top of the page), which use bone attacks such as Bone Club, Bonemerang, and Bone Rush. All three used to be exclusive to them until Generation IV.
- And even in Generation IV and on, Bone Club and Bonemerang are still exclusive to the two; meanwhile, Lucario and Mandibuzz are the only other Pokémon with Bone Rush.
- To further this trope, the held item Thick Club (known as Thick Bone in Japanese versions), which has the icon of a bone, doubles the Attack stat of a Cubone or Marowak holding it. Marowak is especially notable in that its Attack stat can reach a maximum of 568, the highest Attack stat obtainable in the Pokémon games without the assistance of stat-enhancing moves, abilities, or berries.
- Halo: Skulls can be used as melee weapons.
- In Phantom Brave, you can use both leg bones and skulls as weapons.
- In MediEvil, your first weapon is your own arm.
- A number of weapons in World of Warcraft are leg bones. There are also several high quality weapons constructed of bone such as Bryntroll, in these cases losing any of the improvised aspect. Skulls are also a fairly frequent off-hand item spell casters hold to increase their abilities.
- Death Knights can create bone shields by surrounding themselves with a whirlwind of bones.
- This carries over from the earlier Diablo II, where there were wands, helmets, and shields made of bone plus socketable demon skulls. All particular favorites of the necromancer class.
- In Adventure Island IV, Master Higgins begins the game with an infinite supply of bones he can throw at enemies.
- In Metal Slug 3, yetis usually don't harm the player, but if you get caught by their freezing breath which turns you into a snowman, and don't shake off the snow in time, they will crush you using giant bones as clubs.
- Some mountain trolls in RuneScape wield bones as weapons. The player can also wield (fairly weak) Bone Daggers, Bone Clubs, Bone Spears, and Dorgeshuun Crossbows (which appear to be made of bones, complete with specialized Bone Bolts). Zanik's Crossbow is a modified and stronger Dorgeshuun Crossbow.
- In Final Fantasy VI, Umaro's weapon of choice (and in fact, his only weapon) is the Bone Club.
- Villagers in the first Age of Empires would use bones to attack before the Bronze Age.
- Stalfos in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker normally wield giant maces, but if you disarm one it will... disarm itself in a more literal fashion and start beating you with that.
- In Monster Hunter, many of the early weapons are made out of bone. In fact, one of your earliest Great Swords/long Swords (depends on the version) is, literally, a giant bone.
- Terraria has bones as a late-game thrown weapon. Given what sorts of enemies drops the bones you can ultimately end up killing skeletons with parts of other skeletons.
- The SoulCalibur series has the "Meat on the Bone" as an unlockable joke weapon for Lizardman.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption, you can find a Femur and beat the ever loving shit out of vamps as Pissed off Christoph.
- Baldur's Gate has a magical club made from a a human femur. The man who made it amputated his own leg, and and used it as a weapon to avenge his family. Why is unclear, but the description notes that it's unclear whether the item was conventionally enchanted or if he was just so mad that it gained magical powers anyway.
- In Stinkoman 20X6, one enemy is an obese, robotic chicken that constantly spits bones out of its mouth.
- Crossbow bolts can be carved out of animal bone in Dwarf Fortress, which is about half-way between this trope and Ballistic Bone. They're not much use against large wild animals or any humanoid wearing the most rudimentary armour, barring a lucky hit, but they're a cheap and readily available source of practice ammunition.
- And the crossbows themselves can be made from bone, falling under this trope when your marksdwarves run out of ammo. Unfortunately, bone is a bit too light to be an ideal choice for this.
- Persona 3: Koromaru can use a bone as a weapon.
- Luigi's Mansion: The "Mr. Bones" ghosts throw their bones as weapons.
- Ghostbusters: The Video Game has the Fiends, small humanoid Animators, who use this as their ranged attack. Sometimes it's not always bones per se (cf. the Book Fiends), but the effect's the same.
- In Arx Fatalis large bones (that look like femurs) are the first weapon you get.
- Team Fortress 2: The Bat Outta Hell weapon is a skull and spinal cord used by all classes except for Engineer and Spy.
- The Marvel character Marrow (see comic section) appearing in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes got her powers amped up to fit the visual style. Whereas in the comics she could only create small projectiles and knives, here she can create meter long spikes and clubs the length of her arms.
- In Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time, Sly's neanderthal ancestor "Bob" uses a giant bone club as his melee weapon.
- Villagers in the original Age of Empires attack with large elephant bones. This is not that odd when you are in the original Stone Age but becomes a rather weird sight when you have reached the Bronze Age and the same villagers are surrounded by finely crafted Greco-Roman buildings, though by the Iron Age they graduate to pitchforks. In Age of Empires II the villagers use metal knives.
- Although entirely cosmetic and it gives no boost, you can hold a bone while punching enemies in Minecraft.
- With the Dawnguard expansion for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, it is possible to create Dragonbone Weapons, which happen to be even more powerful than Daedric weapons. The dragonbone warhammer, which has the highest base damage of any weapon available in the game, is essentially a dragon's femur with a long decorative handle.
- In the Splatterhouse reboot, Rick's Berserk Mode has his bones protruding out of him to form giant bone blades.
- In Fable III one of the possible permutations your character can have includes bone decoration. You get if your character kills a lot of Hollow Men. Unfortunately, since Hollow Men make up something like 90% of the enemies you face in the game, you'll usually end up with bone decoration whether you like it or not.
- In Dark Cloud, one of the swords Toan can use is the Bone Rapier. Among the randomly generated loot, it is one of the weaker swords.
- Undertale: Being a proud skeleton, all of Papyrus' attacks are bone based. As are most of his brother Sans' attacks, though Sans adds his own unique twist to several of them.
Battle text: Papyrus prepares a non-bone attack, then spends a minute fixing his mistake.
- One of the dual kamas used by Pendles from Battleborn is made from the the reclaimed skull, femur, and ribs of a Kormiri Aviant that was a previous target of his.
- Marquis from Worm has the power to grow vast constructs of bone right through his flesh and shape it at will, and he can also manipulate other people's bones if they become exposed.
- Red vs. Blue Tex once killed Jimmy by ripping out his skull and beat him to death with it. This was noted to be physically impossible by Jimmy.
- In an episode of Max Steel involving a hidden cave of pirate treasure, Max apologizes to a pirate's skeleton before beaning a mook with his skull.
- There's evidence that early humans carved, among stone, animal bones into weapons or tools. Knife handles carved from bone or ivory remain popular to this day.
- In many wilderness survival guides, a suitable animal bone can be used to craft an effective field-expedient edged weapon
- The traditional warclub of many Inuit tribes is the penis-bone of a walrus, which can be the size of a baseball bat.
- Some Australian Aboriginal tribes use the "pointing of the bone" to lay curses.
- In 1993, after Aboriginal Australian Rules Football player Nicky Winmar had been the target of racial abuse in a game against Collingwood, and their president Allan McAllister had made comments condoning their fans' behaviour, a witch-doctor laid a curse on the club in this manner.
- In an example of parallel cultural evolution, Navajos and Apaches also believe a witch can curse someone by pointing bones at them. Since fingers are made of bones, Giving Someone the Pointer Finger is really rude in their cultures; they point by pursing their lips toward the indicated object, instead.