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Ballistic Bone

"When are you going to run out and fall apart?"
Egoraptor, commenting on the bone throwing skeletons, Sequelitis - Castlevania 1 vs. Castlevania 2

Bones flung as projectiles. Bone projectiles are extremely commonly thrown by skeletons. In most cases the launchers never run out of bones. This brings up the question whether the creature uses its own bones, the bones of others, or just bone-like things it somehow creates or summons. Usually Stock Femur Bones.

A subtrope of Abnormal Ammo. Compare Bad with the Bone, Throwing Your Sword Always Works, and Improvised Weapon.

Examples:

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     Anime and Manga  

  • Kimimaro from Naruto can use the bones in his body as weapons, including his fingertips as bullet-like projectiles. Justified in his case, since he can grow new bones with chakra
  • Horrorman from Anpanman, being a living skeleton, has a "Bone Boomerang" attack. It has varied from being one of his own bones, the crossbones on his shirt, and an endless pile of bones he carries with him. Despite being a boomerang, it doesn't always return like it should to him.
  • Fate/Zero has a literal case of this. Emiya Kiritsugu put pieces of bone extracted from his body into bullets.

     Comic Books  

  • Marrow is typically more of a Bad with the Bone fighter, but she throws them from time to time as well.
    • A very minor X-Men villain named Spyne also had the power to hurl regenerating bones from his skeleton.
    • The Spike from X-Force has powers similar to Marrow, and sometimes grew large bone spears that he would then toss at enemies. Incidentally, he's black, and didn't much appreciate it when a teammate called him a "spearchucker" (even though that teammate was also black).

     Literature  

  • Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica: In Inspector Black, Managa and Matia figure out that the book's victim was killed by a bullet made of bone. Skull bone, to be exact, to blend in with the resulting fragments from the headshot. And the perpetrator, after spilling his secret in a bar, is nailed by the scar on his scalp where the bone was harvested. Pretty ingenious, actually.

     Live-Action Film  

     Live Action TV  

  • On one episode of Bones, Gormogon packed a bomb with his master's teeth.
  • MythBusters tested teeth and bone bulletsnote , both whether they would work at all and whether they would leave a pathologist wondering how the guy on the slab died. Busted: unshaped teeth are too inaccurate to hit the target, carving teeth to a bullet shape weakens them, and the pathologist had no trouble picking out the bone and teeth fragments.

     Tabletop RPG  

  • Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer #7 article "Villains Finish First!". One of the sample villains, Horror, could rip off one of his bony fingers and hurl it like a dart.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has several examples:
    • Early editions had a couple of magical bones usable as ranged weapons.
      • When thrown at an opponent, the Bone of Bruising continuously attacked, doing minor damage and distracting the opponent.
      • If the Bone of Turning was thrown at and hit an undead, it acted as a a turning attempt by a 15th level cleric/priest.
      • The "red box" edition's Dungeon Master's guide mentioned a skeleton that shoots its fingers at you as an example of a customized monster.
    • Module A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords: The PCs could find a skull which could be thrown at opponents.
    • Archer skeletons from Ravenloft fire bone arrows, which can transform into additional skeletons if they miss their targets.
    • The Original D&D Supplement I Greyhawk had skeletons that could hurl their finger joints as if they were magic arrows.
  • Stormbringer supplement Demon Magic, adventure "Sorcerer's Isle": More than 2,000 wraiths guard the pile of treasure in the cave. If the PCs use one of their hybzee demons to try to steal the treasure, the wraiths will throw bones at the demon to drive it away.
  • Some Abyssal charms in Exalted do pleasant things like hurling slivers of the Abyssal's finger bones at his enemies.
  • In Warhammer the Tomb Kings army has access to Screaming Skull Catapults (affectionately terms "Skull Chuckers" until around the turn of the millennium) - large trebuchets made from the bones of desert animals that fire flaming skulls at the foe. In the large-scale Warmaster spin-off game they also have Bone Throwers - gigantic bolt throwers of similar manufacture whose ammunition is the sharpened femur-bones of giants.

     Video Games  

  • Dry Bones from the Mario series do this in some games since Super Mario World, most notably in the Paper Mario series. You can do this with the Bone sticker in Paper Mario: Sticker Star!
  • This is a standard to the skeleton enemies in Castlevania games.
    • In Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, one of the Bird-Type Innocent Devils can cast a gatling gun-like flow of sharp bones bullets at the enemies, dealing damage as the enemy is showered with them.
  • The more advanced skeleton enemies of La-Mulana can throw these.
  • Some skull-type enemies of Cave Story shoot them. As well, you fight the True Final Boss of the game on a floor made of bones. In the first two parts of the fight, he frequently performs a Ground Pound which sends out a shock wave of bones capable of hurting you. In the third part of the fight, he drops flaming skulls on you.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Some Stalfos throw bones.
  • Egoboo has Bone Thrower Ulnas.
  • In the Clonk pack 'Metal and Magic', the mystic can launch these using power drawn from an animal skull.
  • Eternal Daughter skeletons.
  • Battle for Wesnoth's advanced skeleton archers shoot arrows made of their victims' bones.
  • Hydra Castle Labyrinth skeletons.
  • Pokémon: Cubone's and Marowak's signature move, Bonemerang, combines this trope with Precision-Guided Boomerang.
  • Crossbow bolts can be carved out of animal bone in Dwarf Fortress, which is about half-way between this trope and Abnormal Ammo. They're not much use against large wild animals or any humanoid wearing even the most rudimentary armour, barring a lucky hit, but they're a cheap and readily available source of practice ammunition.
  • Some necromancers in World of Warcraft have spells with a projectile that looks like a bone. Several of the more threatening skeletal opponents also have bone projectiles.
  • In Baroque, you can find many items; bones that you can throw is one of them.
  • The roguelike Dungeon Crawl used to have a spell called Bone Shards that turned wielded skeletons into blasts of bone fragments. It's been removed now because the damage wasn't worth the trouble of getting and wielding a skeleton.
  • Gargoyles in Blood throw sharp bones when they aren't raking you with talons.
  • The Diablo II Necromancer class can shoot Bone Spears and Teeth.
    • In the Demon Hunter trailer for Diablo III, the Demon Hunter uses the tooth of a slain demon as an arrowhead for one of her bolts, which is the first to get loosed against the demonic horde that is after the only survivor of a village massacre.
  • The skeletons in Nitemare 3D, presumably.
  • Shadows Of The Damned uses three types of ammo: skulls, teeth, and bones. Bones are used as ammo in a gun that Garcia colloquially calls "The Boner."
  • The Gabon enemies in Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards do this.
  • In The Simpsons: Virtual Bart, the cavewoman version of Marge throws bone hairpieces. A nameless baby also throws bones, until you kill him.
  • It's probably just some sort of energy-field hologram thing, but Mega Man 4 features Skull Man, whose weapon is flying skulls.
  • Clive Barker's Undying has a spell (the game's equivalent of a rocket launcher) that pulls skulls out of the ground, charges them with magic and fires them when you release the button. The ammo is justified by the island having been a battleground for pretty much forever, "Not an inch of this ground where someone hasn't died." Doesn't explain how you can use it up on the roof of the mansion, though...
  • The Flamerus Rex boss in Final Fantasy Mystic Quest has a bone missile attack.
  • Bone arrows are one way to get into the Shivering Isles in the eponymous Elder Scrolls IV expansion.
  • In the MediEvil series, the first weapon that the protagonist, Sir Daniel Fortesque, has at his disposal is his own arm. It is pathetically weak, and should only be used in emergency situations (read: when you have absolutely nothing else), but he can use it as a bludgeon or, fitting this trope, as a boomerang.
  • Derek Simmons, the big boss of Leon's campaign in Resident Evil 6, has a form where it launches a machine-gun style barrage of bone shards at you as a projectile attack.
  • In Terraria there are dungeon skeletons that drop bones which you can throw at enemies. They do a surprising amount of damage, far more than even shuriken.

     Web Original  

     Western Animation  

  • Ultimate Humongosaur from Ben 10: Ultimate Alien uses its knuckle bones as machine gun rounds.
  • In the Inspector Gadget episode "Old Man of the Mountain", a tribal warrior woman uses bones as arrows for a bow; she uses one to pop Inspector Gadget's inflatable coat.

     Real life  

  • A certain tribe of Pacific Islanders uses arrow points made out of human bones. Preferably coming from a relative, mind.
    • Shark tooth arrows are far more common and reliable in Oceania and South America. After all, they don't need additional sharpening.
  • This is one of the reasons cannonballs were effective. If a cannonball hit somebody dead center in the chest, their torso would pretty much explode, and bits of their ribs and other bones would fly out as shrapnel, killing or injuring nearby soldiers..


Abnormal AmmoBullet IndexBullet Seed
Back StabVideo Game Effects and SpellsBeat the Curse Out of Him
Bad with the BoneSkeletal TropesCrystal Skull
Abnormal AmmoImprovised IndexEdible Ammunition
Abnormal AmmoGuns and Gunplay TropesEdible Ammunition
Arrow CatchJustForFun/Tropes Examined by the Myth BustersBanana in the Tailpipe
Baguette BeatdownAdded Alliterative AppealBalloon Belly

alternative title(s): Bone Projectile
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