Chain Pain

"You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here!"
Jayne, Firefly

Related to Whip It Good and Epic Flail, sometimes the chain link is all you need, without the weight at the end. In less realistic works, skilled users can make Instant Knots with it.

A Badass Biker will often do this in a rumble. Also very common in 80s movies with street gangs and among fictional Japanese delinquents. See also Fighting with Chucks, Variable-Length Chain, Chained by Fashion and Whip It Good. Sub-Trope of Improvised Weapon.

Examples:

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     Anime and Manga  

     Comic Books  
  • In the original Ghost Rider comics, a magical flaming chain manifests when Johnny Blaze or Dan Ketch transform into Ghost Rider.
  • Spawn has chains that pop out of his cloak and are under his control; most often seen in the HBO Animated Series.
  • Freddy gets whipped and choked with a chain in Paranoid.
  • A memorably bloody sequence in Dreadstar: after Vanth Dreadstar finally faces and defeats the enemy who was responsible for (among many other things) the murder of Vanth's wife and their entire community, he puts away his sword—too clean and painless—and instead beats the man to death with a length of chain.
  • Lobo's signature weapon is a hook on a chain.

     Film  
  • Dim's favourite weapon in A Clockwork Orange.
  • Happens in the Ghost Rider movie, with emphasis on 'improvised' as this was the same chain one of the demons tried to kill him with at first.
  • In Mystery Men, one of the disco gang has a chain for a weapon. Mr. Furious hangs a lampshade on this when he asks why it isn't at least a gold chain.
  • The killer in the Slasher Movie Chain Letter uses chains to kill people.
  • A witch and alleged serial killer is beaten to death with chains by an angry mob in Don't Torture a Duckling.
  • Speed Demon has a character be hanged by a telepathically controlled chain.
  • Michael bludgeons one of the guards escorting him with his shackles in the theatrical cut of the Halloween (2007) remake.
  • Leia uses the chain of her Slave Collar to strangle Jabba the Hutt to death in Return of the Jedi.
  • Friday the 13th
    • Ali in Friday the 13th Part III uses a chain that hangs around his neck as a weapon.
    • Jason X has Jason use chains to hang one guard, and snap the neck of another.
  • Hellraiser has a variation of this, prehensile chains with barbed hooks come out of the Lament Configuration and snag people.
  • The conductor in Train is hung with a chain.
  • In the Gods vs Titans fight in Immortals, Zeus beats the tar out of the Titans with a chain that he snagged from their cage.
  • Riggs tries to use one of these against Wah Sing Ku in Lethal Weapon 4 after trying to kill him with a forklift. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
  • In Ong Bak 2, after being held by chains between two mooks, Tien takes the chains away from them, whipping many more mooks in the process, then wrapping the chains about his fists and forearms to make pra jiad or forearm wraps out of them.
  • During the final battle in The Expendables 2, Vilain picks up a knife as the fight against Barney Ross escalates. Ross then picks up a chain and proceeds to kick Vilain's ass with it.
  • In Cutthroat Island, one of Dawg's men has a chain in the place of his hand. It proves to be his undoing, as he misses one of the heroes with it, and is taken to the depths with the anchor that it got tangled with.
  • Towards the end of Breakdown, the villain tries to use a length of chain as a weapon. It almost works, but ultimately backfires on him.
  • Alice uses a bike chain with heavy padlock to good effect against Japanese zombies in Resident Evil: Retribution.
  • Mad Max. A member of the biker gang tries to stop Jessie's car by smashing the window with a chain he's holding. Unfortunately the chain catches on the speeding vehicle and...
    Toecutter: That there is Cundalini, and Cundalini wants his hand back.
  • In Think Big, two mooks actually get into an argument on who gets to use a piece of chain against on one of the main characters.
  • John McClane does this on Targo in Die Hard with a Vengeance.

     Literature  
  • In the book of A Clockwork Orange, Dim, one of Alex's droogs has the "oozy" (from the Russian word for snake, no connection to Israeli submachine guns) as his weapon of choice. He uses it surprisingly effectively.
  • Jason garrotes a guy with a motorcycle chain in Friday the 13th: Hell Lake.
  • A character gets his arm ripped off by a chain in Final Destination: End of the Line.
  • In The Dresden Files, Elaine uses a couple of fine chains as foci for her magic.

     Live Action TV  
  • Mentioned in Firefly. See the quote up above.
  • The leader of a cult-like group of homeless children in an episode of Law & Order: SVU used a chain to murder several people he stated had "disrespected" him.
  • On an episode of CSI, a chain was one of the weapons used to kill an undercover cop who had infiltrated a biker gang.
  • Occurs throughout Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though there chains are usually just used for choking and/or neck breaking.
  • Kamen Rider Wizard's Bind spell usually takes the form of chains appearing out of magic portals. In The Movie, Haruto gets knocked off a building and saves himself by casting Bind and using the chains to catch him in mid-air.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Many wrestlers were known to bring chains to the ring with them.
  • One of the many specialty matches in wrestling is the Russian chain matches, where the two combatants are connected at the wrist by a 10-foot chain. When the chain is attached to their necks, it's called a Dog Collar match.

    Tabletop Games 

    Toys 

     Video Games 
  • Of the many ridiculous weapons in Exit Fate, this is one of the few that can actually do serious damage. It's wielded by Outsider, a mercenary who's essentially a Disc One Nuke if you can afford his asking price.
  • One of the biker gangs in Full Throttle uses chains as their signature weapon. Ben can acquire one after defeating them.
  • Chains are a staple weapon in the Kunio-kun series (especially River City Ransom, which lets you and the mooks use bicycle chains as whip-like weapons). The GBA remake added a double-length chain that was so unfair using it actually hurt your Karma Meter.
  • In Mitsumete Knight, Jack Burston, one of the game's three punks, fights with a big chain in one-on-one duels.
  • The Road Rash games have the top AI bikers wielding chains as weapons. The player can steal a chain and wield it himself.
  • In Liberal Crime Squad, bikers use chains as their main weapons, as do non-union workers.
  • Ghost Rider again. This time in Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3.
  • The Ninjakari guild in Lusternia: stealthy, potentially psionic assassins... whose weapon of choice is enormous bladed chains.
  • Though she has absolutely nothing to do with biking of any kind, Eileen can use a length of chain in Silent Hill 4. It's her second most powerful melee weapon, and the best overall.
  • In League of Legends the wraith Thresh the Chain Warden has two sets: one with a sickle attached he uses to bind and beat enemies, and one with a lantern he uses to protect allies. And steal souls.
  • Wire Sponge from Mega Man X2 uses the Strike Chain as his weapon. He also spins it to deflect stuff. When X obtains his weapon, he can use it as an improvised grappling hook.
  • As said above, in the Super Robot Wars games that utilize the Mazinkaiser OVA (games like W and Judgment, that is.), Boss Borot has a chain weapon.
  • Birdie from Street Fighter Alpha uses a long chain attacked to his handcuff-like bracelets to wrap around his enemies' necks and literally slam them all over the place.
  • Delsin Rowe of inFAMOUS: Second Son uses a chain wrapped around his wrist as his melee weapon. Depending on what power he's currently using, it can either manifest as a whip or even a Laser Blade.
  • One of Scharlachrot's primary weapons in Arcana Heart 3.

     Visual Novels  
  • Fate/stay night: Rider uses a chain with a pair of nails attached at the ends.
    • One of Gilgamesh's many weapons is Enkidu, a chain used to capture and restrain enemies. Notably, it grows stronger when used against divine beings.
  • One of Gilgamesh's fighting styles in Fate/unlimited codes.

     Web Comics  
  • In his original appearances, Hedge of El Goonish Shive wielded a chain as a weapon - specifically, the very chain that had once bound him in captivity in the laboratory that created him. Very symbolic. Very quickly forgotten, too. Only really appeared in one scene, if memory serves, though Grace references it again later.

     Western Animation  
  • An escaped Serial Killer uses a chain as a weapon in the American Dad! Halloween Episode.
  • When the power plant's donuts are being replaced by healthy snacks in an episode of The Simpsons, the vendor fends off the angered employees with a chain.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Iroh is shown to be very proficient with chains. Also Blue Spirit uses them to restrain firebenders in Zhao's fortress. Zuko clearly took lessons from his Uncle.
  • Dark Korra from Season 4 of The Legend of Korra fights with a chain on account of being a reflection of Korra during her battle with Zaheer in the previous season. She uses it to drag Korra into a hallucination of a puddle of the poison Zaheer used against her.
  • Wheeler interrupts a fight with a chain when he gets his ring in Captain Planet and the Planeteers.

     Real Life  
  • Some gang members use bicycle chains as melee weapons. Quite likely began among outlaw bikers, who had excess chain on hand from motorcycle repairs.
  • Convicted mass murderer Perry Smith once claimed to have beaten a man to death with a bicycle chain "for fun".