You know that "Heart" tends to be a sucky power, right? Well, that's pretty hefty compared to bubbles! In video games, bubble-based weapons tend to be a Joke Item - slow, inaccurate and laughably non-lethal. But sometimes they manage to be a useful Nerf Arm. Enemies hit by a bubble weapon sometimes find themselves Floating in a Bubble. Sometimes this trope will be Bubble Subverted.
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Anime and Manga
- Nagisa Momoe wields a trumpet that can fire a stream of bubbles. The lethality of these bubbles is clear from the effect it has on Homura's barrier, and by wearing her Bebe face, she can exhale a literal storm of them with incredible force.
- The Bubble card in Card Captor Sakura, which turned out to have been created only so Clow could, uhh... give Kero's big form a bath.
- Bubbles in Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z uses a huge bubble rod as her main weapon. When Him got his hands on the girls' weapons in one episode, he proceeded to use them much more efficiently...
- Not to say Bubbles herself didn't use it efficiently. While it did have a basic spray attack (useful for covering a wide area), it also had capture bubbles,rescue bubbles, missile reflection bubbles, constricting bubbles, electro-bubbles, 100 ton bubbles, and healing bubbles. The sheer variety of moves and the power and area spread behind a lot of them made her arguably the most powerful of the PPGZ.
- Caesar Zeppeli from Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure has an attack where he infuses soap bubbles with Hamon and launches them at his enemy.
- The stand Soft & Wet from Part 8 also utilizes bubbles. It can use soap bubbles to "steal" small objects or properties of a target temporarily until the bubble pops and whatever was inside is returned.
- The Hunting Grounds in Kimba the White Lion has stationary turrets that shoot out small bubbles that trap their target inside a giant bubble. Why bubbles instead of bullets? So the animals in the Hunting Grounds won't be killed by the turrets when they're supposed to be killed by paying hunters.
- In Naruto, Utakata, jinchuuriki of the six-tailed beast, uses bubble-related jutsus. They're relatively potent, particularly in his filler arc, but they can't save him from Pain.
- Sailor Moon: Since Sailor Mercury's Shabon/Bubble Spray was nothing more than a blast of mildly annoying bubbles (filled with fog!), she preferred to be Mission Control until she got a power upgrade.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, this is Bubbleman's power-up.
- In the Digimon franchise, Baby and In-Training Digimon usually have the fairly useless Bubble Blow technique. (Usually; there are a few exceptions.) However, if you get an entire city's In-Training population to do it at once, you can do some (hilarious) damage, as seen once in Digimon Frontier.
- The Marvel Comics villain Madcap uses a gun that shoots bubbles. People think this is how he is able to induce madness in people, but in reality, it is only to attract attention to himself in general and the gun in particular, so he can use his innate power of making you as loony as him.
- The indie comic book The Jam had a peculiar weapon made from a trumpet by a Mad Scientist—when you blew into it, it created a big bubble around the target. Scarier than it sounds, as the bubble was harder than steel and airtight.
- An issue of Gold Digger had Gina using a force field bubble gun as a new non-lethal weapon. It traps its target inside a floating bubble.
- Marvin's weapon in the climax of Looney Tunes: Back in Action.
- In The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water, Spongebob/Invincibubble shoots, well, bubbles.
- Yellow Submarine - the Blue Meanies' opening volley in their attack of Pepperland lands a huge dark impenetrable bubble over the band playing on the bandstand.
- To be fair, it not only works, but is kind of menacing.
- One of Michael Moorcock's Hawkmoon novels had the Granbretanian bad guys using a bubble cannon. The bubbles were so corrosive they would dissolve anything they landed on. Fortunately for the good guys, the machine blew up after only a short time, killing one of the villains in the process.
- Paul Gallico (better known as the author of The Poseidon Adventure) wrote a novel titled The Boy Who Invented The Bubble Gun.
Live Action TV
- A 1997 pilot called Things That Go Bump, which concerned a paranormal division of the New Orleans Police Department, featured such a weapon. It worked like a rocket-propelled grenade launcher; when the shell exploded, it could contain a ghost. In its first appearance, it misfired, and the shell gave a nearby car a bright yellow paint-job!
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, there is an equip card exclusive to Bubbleman called Bubble Blaster.
- Warhammer 40,000 s Orks have the Bubble Chukka Speedster among their many crazy cobbled-together super weapons, although it has so far only appeared in the Epic 40,000 spin-off game. The weapon on the speedster fires giant self-contained force-field bubbles at enemy troops, trapping them inside for a time and causing any shots fired from within the bubble to bounce round inside it and probably hit the firer on the rebound.
- In The Golden Ticket, the opera adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Television-Chocolate setup is replaced with "Bubblevision", in which colored beams of light are used to create and send giant bubbles that can surround and transport objects to television screens — albeit at a reduced, "demagnified" size. Mike Teavee is intrigued by the prospect of not just floating, but living in one of these bubbles, and wackiness ensues.
- This is the main "weapon" in Milons Secret Castle. For more annoyances, they shoot at an angle and don't have that long a range!
"Why not a sword or magic lightning bolts or fireballs or a gun or undefined pixelized pieces of shit? FUCKING ANYTHING BUT BUBBLES!!!"
- In its Japan-only sequel Do Re Mi Fantasy, Milon's bubble weapon shot in a straight line from the player and traps any enemy in a bubble upon contact, which fly up and off the screen when the player touches them. This is especially useful during certain boss battles where the boss stays on the upper side of the screen and throws projectiles at you, which you can trap in the bubbles and bounce back at him.
- Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly makes the main goal of the game to catch dragonflies with bubble breath. Awkward, short-ranged bubble breath. And you know what else? The dragonflies are running away from you! And flying pretty darn fast, I may add.
- Bubble Bobble!
- In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, the first ranged attack you can get is one where you (in Deku Scrub form) shoot bubbles out of your mouth/nose/whatever. Incredibly weak and able to stun none but the weakest of enemies, it's primarily used to pop balloons before you get arrows.
- In Lego Star Wars 2 in the Game Boy Advance version, you could buy a version of the blaster that shot bubbles instead of lasers. Of course, you could also buy ones that threw eggs and chickens.
- One Power-Up Letdown in Earthworm Jim is a gun that only "shoots" bubbles. Emphasis on the quotes, as the bubbles don't even go forward. Because the Genesis version didn't allow weapon switching, picking up the bubble gun in the final stage will completely screw you sideways.
- When playing with a three-button controller, at least.
- Mega Man 2 has the Bubble Lead, which seems like one of the more useless weapons you get, until you realize you need it to beat the last boss.
- Bob and George hypothesizes that the Bubble Lead actually does its damage because it induces lead poisoning.
- For those wondering, the "Lead" in Bubble Lead has nothing to do with the heavy metal, but with the "lead" that rhymes with "feed"; a phonetic translation from Japanese to English reads "BABURU RIIDO". Literally translated, "Bubble Reeds" or "Bubble Leash". If it were named after the metal, the phonetic translation would have been "BABURU REEDO".
- Mega Man X2 had the Bubble Splash, which fires a stream of little bubbles that arc upwards, and its Charged Attack is the series' standard "orbiting shield", which allows X to jump even higher underwater than he can normally.
- Mega Man Battle Network features this weapon and it is largely laughable... up until the point you get hit. The attack is normally unimpressive, slow, easily dissipated and low in damage. However, when it DOES hit, it traps the target, allowing a follow up attack on the hapless target. To top it off, it DOUBLES the damage of electric attacks so you can intentionally set up a bubble starfish so that you can follow up with an Elecpulse.
- It also features a series of water-elemental gun chips that use bubbles (Bubbler, BubCross, etc) which despite their frothy appearance are no less effective than their more conventional counterparts.
- Bubble Lead is also useful to get those pesky sproingy things (who are immune to most other types of weapons) out of the way.
- And, since it hugs the floor, it can be used to scope out the invisible pitfalls in Wily's Castle.
- Mega Man 7 features the Danger Wrap, an attack that encases enemies in bubbles that have bombs in them, which then explode, damaging the victim. Holding down will skip the bubble part entirely, just dropping bomb.
- Similarly, Mega Man V for the Game Boy has the Bubble Bomb, which sends an exploding bubble drifting upward, similar to the Danger Wrap; it's actually a handy anti-aerial weapon that's quite powerful and has a wide explosion radius.
- Mega Man Megamix rationalizes the weapon as electromagnetically-strengthened bubbles infused with sulfuric acid, which further strengthens it both in damage potential and tensile strength (meaning they would persist until it hit a target).
- Bob and George hypothesizes that the Bubble Lead actually does its damage because it induces lead poisoning.
- The Bubbler in Cave Story. At level 1, it's a useless pistol. At level 2 it earns automatic fire and double damage, which is fairly okay. But at level 3 it can come in handy if you know what you're doing with it: it spews out a protective bubble "cloud", and when the bubbles pop they turn into "shrapnel" and fly forward ("forward" meaning the direction you're aiming). Holding the fire button lets each bubble pop on its own, but releasing the fire button causes your whole "cloud" to pop immediately; a full barrage of this deals considerable damage. It's balanced out by having regenerating ammo.
- Weapons in Kingdom of Loathing can be crafted from Bubblewrap ore, among other things.
- The bubblewrap crossbow subverts this: "It shoots individual bubbles, which will make your enemies' fingers sore. Eventually. It also shoots regular bolts, in case you want to use it as a regular crossbow. It's probably more effective that way."
- There is a small case of this in Yoshis Island with Crazee Dayzees that attack you with bubbles which do no damage, though you can bounce quite high if you jump off of them.
- The Pokémon series has the Water-type Bubble and Bubblebeam attacks, both of which have a chance of reducing Speed. Even though the latter's around three times as powerful as the former, it's still a middling attack at best (and the former's pretty much useless after the first Gym).
- In Kirby Squeak Squad, Kirby can gain the Bubble Kirby ability that lets him shoot a constant stream of bubbles, or one large bubble if you charge it. It can turn enemies into ability bubbles that can be stored for later use and is surprisingly effective for boss fights due to the range and power of the charged bubbles.
- La Tale has this with the very first water spell, named Bubble Bubble.
- The World Ends with You's frog Noise use this attack. Certain versions include poison bubbles in each cloud, which deal greater damage. While a simple slash is enough to destroy the bubbles, it's very easy to get decked by them. Not to mention that you're usually fighting more than one at a time, and those bubbles linger.
- In Ninja Spirit, maxing out the katana's power turns it into a bubble-lightsaber.
- In Star Control, the Androsynth spaceships uses acid bubbles as their main weapon. Bubbles have little damage, but are slowly homing at the enemy while bouncing around chaotically, which makes them effectively bigger for the purpose of hitting a ship than for being shot at. Good at making defensive clouds, slowly whittling down pursuers or softening up a foe before using the ship's other ability.
- The SEGA Genesis Ghostbusters game also featured a Bubble Projectile, which carted unruly ghosts off to wherever they came from. Sometimes it didn't work...
- In Tales of Legendia, Norma's sole physical attack is blowing bubbles at enemies through her straw. Needless to say, it's best to keep her casting spells at all times.
- Custom Robo has one of these. Its bubbles move slowly and are not particularly powerful, but it has respectable homing abilities. Its main benefit is producing good-sized projectiles at a decent rate of fire, meaning it can quickly clutter up smaller arenas and keep the pressure on an opponent.
- Resistance: Fall of Man has one of these. It kinda fires bubbles...organic bubbles. That explode.
- The Unreal Tournament mod Unreal4Ever has a Bubble Gun.
- In Tail Concerto, Waffle Ryebread pilots a small mecha that shoots bubbles... to capture little kitten bandits. In the final stage, The Police Robo absorbs energy from the stage itself and shoots Laser Beams.
- Bubble Tanks. Everything is made of bubbles in this game- your character, the Mooks, the Experience Points, and of course, your tank shoots out harmful bubbles to damage the enemy!
- Several of Patchouli's Water Sign spells in the Touhou fighting games utilize bubbles. Some are large projectiles which doubles as shields that can soak up a lot of the enemy's projectiles, while others can trap enemies in a giant bubble if they connect.
- Kimmy Howell, an optional boss in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, wields a double-sided beam katana that emits a flood of pretty bubbles when she spins it. Unlike most examples, however, they explode with surprising force and cannot be blocked. The best defense is simply to get out of Dodge.
- In Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, Aqua's starting Shotlock, Bubble Blaster, is her only water based attack.
- In Kingdom Hearts 3D, the entirety of the Tatsu Steed dream eater's arsenal consists of bubbles. It has a bubble spray, bubble bullets, bubble mortar, bubble shield and bubble mines, all of which pack a punch (Though especially the mortar and mines). The Tatsu Blaze has FIRE Bubbles! Tatsu Steed also has Aqua's Bubble Blaster attack, with the Tatsu Blaze having a variation called Fire Blaster. To preform it, Sora rides on their back and bonks their heads, causing the bubbles to pop out.
- In Zombies Ate My Neighbors, the Martian bubble gun simply traps most enemies in a bubble for a few seconds. However, it's one of the few weapons that will kill giant ants in one hit.
- Just Cause 2 has the bubble gun, found in a lighthouse in the middle of nowhere. does absolutely no damage to enemies but on the plus side it doubles the machine gun ammo you can carry. On the down side, using it is just as much against the law as any other actually lethal gun
- Donald Duck in Quackshot uses a revolver that fires plungers, popcorn or bubblegum ammunition. The bubblegum, when fired, results in a slow-moving projectile that oscillates when in flight. Marginally useful since it can travel through walls, and in the case of the Transylvania level, delete false bricks that the bubbles pass through. Also, it may be the game's first lethal weapon, capable of taking out bad guys instead of merely incapacitating them.
- Angry Birds makes this of great use to and against you: Stella can put anything Floating in a Bubble, and what goes up must come down! Meanwhile, bubble blowers are obstacles that will leave your bird Floating in a Bubble instead of hitting the target if you time your shot wrong.
- The Bubble Gun is an endgame magic weapon in Terraria, and it fires out very powerful bubbles at a very fast rate with low mana cost.
- In Rivals Of Aether, Orcane uses streams of bubbles in his down special and forward aerial. They aren't that powerful and deal almost no knockback, but they can trap opponents in hitstun with their large numbers and wide spread, leaving them wide open to attacks.
- Mermaids in the Shantae series uses surprisingly damaging bubbles for their long-range attack. Shantae herself gets the ability to shoot these rapid-fire while fighting underwater in Mermaid form. Nega-Shantae one-ups her in this department as she could fire these in Mermaid form at an even faster rate in every direction while out of water for That One Attack.
- Neopets has the Bubble Blower ability and the Bubble Gun.
- Spongebob Squarepants - The Dirty Bubble IS a bubble - who can laugh menacingly, he talks like Paul Lynde and...well, he IS dangerous, really!
- Well, he does have awesome surface tension. And is very good at paddleball.
- Filmations Ghostbusters was fond of this, as variations appeared throughout the series. If I may?
- The Bubble Blaster, a seldom-seen weapon, could trap ghosts in bubbles.
- Sleepytime Bubbles could engulf people a la Rover and put them to sleep.
- The Superhero Episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes had Heloise become Trouble Bubble Girl. Jimmy and Beezy laugh at this until Heloise shows how effective they can be.
- The Wartmongers had this type of weapon in The Smurfs.
- In My Little Pony And Friends, Fizzy's power as a unicorn is limited to bubbles. However, it turns out Heart Is an Awesome Power: she can give you an air bubble for underwater travel, or levitate things Floating in a Bubble. It came in much handier than it should have.
- In an non-ironic usage, Pistol Shrimp have been know to use cavitation bubbles to blind, stun, kill, and cook prey (UNDERWATER!), as well as break aquarium glass.