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Anime & Manga
- In the Sands of Destruction manga, Rhi'a ends up with a bucket on her head soon after meeting the World Destruction Committee. She isn't doing it for protection, though; she's just looking for Kyrie and thought perhaps he'd be in there, making it sort of a cross of this and Lampshade Wearing (though she isn't drunk; just cuckoo).
- Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space. Lethal Chef Gneelicks wears a kevlar cooking pot on his head during a cyborg uprising.
- Johnny Appleseed is often depicted with a saucepan on his head. Somewhat subverted in that Johnny isn't usually described as doing so for protection—it was simply a convenient way to carry a cookpot on his travels.
- At one point in one of the Pippi Longstocking books, Pippi puts a bucket over her head as a helmet. It covers her eyes. She proceeds to trip over something and says it's a good thing she was wearing the bucket or she'd have hurt herself — to which Tommy and Annika comment that if she hadn't been wearing the bucket she wouldn't have tripped in the first place.
- In Through the Looking-Glass when Tweedledum and Tweedledee put on makeshift armor in order to fight, they use saucepans for helmets.
- Early in The Belgariad, Garion and his friend play-fight using, among other kitchen implements, a pot helmet and pot-lid shields. This does not go down well with his overprotective aunt, who is also the mistress of the kitchen. As a bit of an Ironic Echo, many years later in The Malloreon, the same aunt provides Belgarion with a lidded pot, which are converted into an actual helm and shield via the use of a little scrap steel from a broken knife, a fair amount of river clay, and no small amount of sorcerous transmutation by Durnik.
- Older Than Steam: Don Quixote: Don Quixote had a proper helmet, but he threw it away for the traveling barber's bronze shaving basin, which the barber simply wore as a hat while traveling (à la Johnny Appleseed); Quixote in his dementia believed that the basin was a magical golden helmet that would give him courage, and so he liberated it from the barber, thinking him a thief of great treasures.
- The Shel Silverstein poem "Man in the Iron Pail Mask".
- Pikel Bouldershoulder of The Cleric Quintet wears a cooking pot as his standard helmet (and only piece of armor).
- They don't wear actual buckets, but the Mandalorians of the Star Wars Expanded Universe are often called 'bucketheads' by their enemies and the people who find them unpleasant in general.
- The mad jester Patchface wears one of these in A Song of Ice and Fire. They have antlers with jinglebells attached to them, in imitation to the habit by his lieges to put deer horns on their helms.
- The Muddler of The Moomins wears one.
Live Action TV
- In the Top Gear: Vietnam Special, Hammond was the only one whose head was small enough to fit inside a locally-bought helmet, so May resorted to using a colander for head protection and Clarkson used a metal bucket at first.
- During a MythBusters test regarding how easily one could get lost in the wilderness in certain conditions, Adam and Jamie wore buckets on their heads to limit visibility to just a few feet. The technique was effective; Adam got lost, while Jamie only kept a straight path because of his wilderness survival training.
- Buckethead, of course, wears a KFC bucket as part of his costume.
- Some of the zombies in Plants vs. Zombies Pinball wear buckets on their heads, and they require more hits to destroy.
- One of the kids from Brave Fencer Musashi does this. His playmate's "helmet" is a woven basket — he uses this to convince her that his obviously superior bucket is a legendary artifact.
- Plants vs. Zombies: some zombies wear bucket helmets, which give them quite a defense compared to normal ones.
- Crazy Dave wears a pot over his head, presumably to protect his brains from being eaten.
- The bucket helmet is available as a hat in Team Fortress 2 for Soldier.
- Speaking of Team Fortress 2, a craftable hat for the Soldier is a saucepan, worn in the expected fashion. Given both his violent Cloud Cuckoolander tendencies and his implied crushing poverty, it's oddly fitting.
- One of the male Lilty designs in Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is called "Bucket Head", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Donnel in Fire Emblem: Awakening always wears a metal pot as a helmet, even after he promotes from a villager to a proper soldier.
- Adult male villagers wear pots on their heads as well, most likely to indicate humbleness.
- Boktai: Trinity wears one of these
- The main character of Heart of Darkness wears a metal colander as a helmet.
- You'll need a bucket helm to complete the Bonus Dungeon in Dungeon Siege II.
- Corporal Paraplonk in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story wears a plastic red bucket on his head — though it's a little big for him, making his eyes peek out under the space between the handle and bucket itself.
- In The Secret of Monkey Island, Guybrush has to wear a pot on his head whenever he gets shot out of a cannon to avoid injuring himself.
- A bucket and a traffic cone are both cheap, if somewhat underwhelming, helmet options in Dungeons of Dredmor (in addition to finding them randomly, Item Crafting allows the player to make the latter, while the former can be upgraded to an actual, useful helmet).
- X-Men: Mutant Academy 2, on the PS1, featured a pool party stage where all the characters had their costumes replaced by swimwear. Juggernaut wears a plastic sand bucket in placement of his helmet.
- In Terraria you can craft a bucket out of iron, which, among other functions, can be equipped as a helmet that grants you a whopping 1 defense.
- The description for the "Power Helmet" item in Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean says that it used to be a cooking pot and can still be used as such. And it can be—using this item on an offensive turn does nothing but is necessary for one of the recipes that is instrumental in crafting numerous other recipes.
- NetHack has the Dented Pot. Provides the same head protection as a plain helmet or orcish helm, at less cost and only one-third of the weight!
- The Lufia series often has Pots that can be equipped as headgear, which are exactly as effective as one would imagine.
- A user-created joke helmet for PlanetSide 2's New Conglomerate - a faction infamous for teamkilling and overall high levels of incompetence - was submitted for approval but sadly denied to avoid the slippery slope of silliness. It was a standard metal bucket with a pair of eye holes cut out via bullet holes, and with a yellow star sloppily painted on the side. The bucket's handle acted like a chin strap.
- "Cow-la-nell" Homestar Runner wears an orange mixing bowl on his head.
- In one of The Simpsons shorts from the Tracy Ullman Show days, Lisa and Maggie put cooking pots on their heads to play Space Patrol; Bart puts a vase on his head and it promptly slides down, blocking his vision.
- Another episode has Homer and Bart putting pots on their heads and then charging at each other head first.
- Johnny Pompalope (the Lake Hoohaw equivalent of Johnny Appleseed) in the PB&J Otter episode "The Johnny Pompalope Story".
- A common Fan Nickname for many incarnations of Megatron from Transformers is "Buckethead", due to his distinctive head design. Generation One Megatron's Start of Darkness established that it really was a helmet, a keepsake from his days as a lowly miner.
- In an episode of The Tick, Die Fledermaus and Sewer Urchin had to infiltrate a group of supervillains by improvising evil costumes from a gardening shed. Sewer Urchin had a metal bucket with an angry face drawn on it over his head.
- Codename: Kids Next Door: Numbahs 86 and 362 wear colanders, tying in with KND 2x4 technology.
- Ultimate Spider-Man: Done by Peter Parker when he was secretly mocking Nova.
- Piglet occasionally wears a cooking pot as a helmet in the Winnie-the-Pooh videos, when the gang is going on an adventure.
- Bucket of Dragons: Riders of Berk wears a bucket on his head instead of the obligatory helmet. It's a sign that he's a bit 'out there'. It also makes for a good storm-predicting device.
- One of the urchins in The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack wears a saucepan with eyeholes cut in it as a helmet. He also wears an eyepatch over the helmet.
- In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode: "Welcome to the Chum Bucket", Spongebob has to wear a "Chum Bucket Bucket Helmet" while working at the titular restaurant. The "helmet" however is really just a bucket-shaped hat and is just a uniform instead of armor.
- Greg from Over the Garden Wall wears an upside-down teapot as a hat. It's part of his elephant Halloween costume.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy has an episode where Eddy, jealous of Jimmy getting all the attention, creates a set of Improvised Armor in a bid to trump Jimmy's bubble-like safe suit. The headgear is one of these.
- Very often Truth in Television in history: the conical jingasa of the Japanese ashigaru doubled as a rice-cooking pot.
- Inversion: the German name for the Medieval great helm is Topfhelm or "pot helm".
- Another name for the Medieval rimmed chapel-de-fer infantry "steel hat" is kettle helm.
- Subversion: the usual German nickname for the WWI and WWII British Brodie helmet was Salatschüssel (salad bowl)
- Ned Kelly's helmet was a real functional bulletproof helmet shaped like a bucket.
- The 2011 "Day of Rage" in Yemen had numerous protestors wearing improvised helmets such as buckets, pots, slabs of rocks, and in one notable case — breadsticks.