->''"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''', ''Series/{{Firefly}}''

Sometimes the chain is all you need for a weapon, without the weight at the end. It's used much the same way as a {{whip|ItGood}}, and in less realistic works, skilled users can make InstantKnots with it. [[VariableLengthChain The length may vary as appropriate]].

A BadassBiker will often do this in a rumble. Also very common in 80s movies with street gangs and among fictional Japanese delinquents. ChainedByFashion is when a character wears the chains as an accessory. See also EpicFlail and FightingWithChucks for other weapons that have chains as an important component.

SubTrope of ImprovisedWeapon.

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/HunterXHunter'', Kurapika fights using {{Variable Length Chain}}s made of [[FunctionalMagic Nen]]. He can conjure several such chains with various powers.
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'': Venus [[VariableLengthChain Love-Me Chain!]]
* Shun of ''Manga/SaintSeiya'' use these as his WeaponOfChoice.
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha''
** The Chain Bind spell, which creates energy chains primarily used by Yuuno and Arf to restrain their opponent. ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable: The Gears of Destiny'' shows Yuuno using them as an attack as well, quickly shooting them out of the magic circle for quick melee strikes,
** Caro has her Alchemic Chain spell, which summons physical chains whose movements she can control to chase down and capture enemies. Unlike the Chain Bind spell and their variations, these aren't affected by AntiMagic.
** ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaVivid'' introduces [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Harry/Hallie]] [[JapaneseDelinquents Tribeca]] and her Device, Red Hawk. It's active form is a chain that's normally wrapped around her fist to add more oomph to her punches, [[VariableLengthChain which she could lengthen]] to attack and/or restrain her opponents for a severe beat down. She could also channel her [[PlayingWithFire fire magic]] through it to [[ElementalPunch further enhance her attacks]].
* ''Manga/GaRei'': Byakuei's chains make for excellent defensive weapons, since both the summoner's hands are occupied.
* Nate Mitotsudaira from ''LightNovel/HorizonInTheMiddleOfNowhere'' fights with {{Variable Length Chain}}s.
* In ''Anime/{{MazinKaiser}}'', [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass Boss Borot]] uses a chain to [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome beat the crap out of Count Brocken]] in TheMovie. This carries over into most of the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' games where the Mazinkaiser OVA is used.
* ''Franchise/OnePiece'':
** In the Anime, a filler character named Puzzle uses a chain as his WeaponOfChoice.
** In the special ''Heart of Gold'', the BigBad, the treasure hunter Mad Treasure, has the powers of the ''Jara Jara no Mi'' (Jangle-Jangle Fruit), which enables him to produce unlimited amounts of chain from his body.
* In ''LightNovel/AbsoluteDuo'', Tomoe's Blaze manifests as a ball and chain.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the original ''Comicbook/GhostRider'' comics, a magical flaming chain manifests when Johnny Blaze or Dan Ketch transform into Ghost Rider.
* ComicBook/{{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 ''[[Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet Paranoid]]''.
* A memorably bloody sequence in ''{{ComicBook/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.
* Hardcore, one of ComicBook/LukeCage's enemies from the nineties, wielded manrikisas - chains with weights on the ends.

* Dim's favourite weapon in ''Film/AClockworkOrange''.
* Happens in the ''Film/GhostRider'' movie, with emphasis on 'improvised' as this was the same chain one of the demons tried to kill him with at first.
* In ''Film/MysteryMen'', 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 SlasherMovie ''Film/ChainLetter'' uses chains to kill people.
* A witch and alleged serial killer is beaten to death with chains by an angry mob in ''Film/DontTortureADuckling''.
* ''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 ''Film/{{Halloween 2007}}'' remake.
* Leia uses the chain of her SlaveCollar to strangle Jabba the Hutt to death in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''.
* ''Franchise/FridayThe13th''
** Ali in ''Film/FridayThe13thPartIII'' uses a chain that hangs around his neck as a weapon.
** ''Film/JasonX'' has Jason use chains to hang one guard, and snap the neck of another.
* ''Franchise/{{Hellraiser}}'' has a variation of this, prehensile chains with [[HooksAndCrooks barbed hooks]] come out of the Lament Configuration and snag people.
* The conductor in ''Train'' is hung with a chain.
* In the [[spoiler: Gods vs Titans]] fight in ''Film/{{Immortals}}'', [[spoiler: 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 ''Film/LethalWeapon4'' after trying to kill him with a forklift. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
* In ''Film/OngBak2,'' 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 ''Film/TheExpendables2'', 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 ''Film/CutthroatIsland'', one of Dawg's men has a chain in the place of his hand. [[HoistByHisOwnPetard 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 ''Film/{{Breakdown}}'', the villain tries to use a length of chain as a weapon. It almost works, but ultimately [[HoistByHisOwnPetard backfires on him.]]
* Alice uses a bike chain with heavy padlock to good effect against Japanese zombies in ''Film/ResidentEvilRetribution''.
* ''Film/MadMax''. 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 ''Film/ThinkBig'', 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 ''Film/DieHardWithAVengeance''.
* A chain is one of Shack's weapons of choice in ''[[Film/EmperorOfTheNorth Emperor of the North Pole]]''. He mostly uses it offensively like a flail, but at one point uses it defensively to stop a blow from an ax.
* In ''Film/{{Moonraker}}'', Holly Goodhead wraps a chain around her fist and punches Jaws in the gut. He {{No Sell}}s it.
* ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'' has Colonel Vogel use chains against Indy during the tank fight.

* In the book of ''Literature/AClockworkOrange'', [[TheBrute 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 ''[[Franchise/FridayThe13th Friday the 13th: Hell Lake]]''.
* A character gets his arm ripped off by a chain in ''Literature/FinalDestination: End of the Line''.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Elaine uses a couple of fine chains as foci for her magic.
* In the ''Literature/DredChronicles'', chains are the protagonist's signature weapon. When she's not fighting with them, she has them wrapped around her arms, treating them almost as a sort of fashion statement. It's thematically appropriate for a gang boss on a PrisonShip.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Mentioned in ''Series/{{Firefly}}''. See the quote up above.
* The leader of a cult-like group of homeless children in an episode of ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' used a chain to murder several people he stated had "disrespected" him.
* On an episode of ''{{Series/CSI}}'', a chain was one of the weapons used to kill an undercover cop who had infiltrated a biker gang.
* Occurs throughout ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', though there chains are usually just used for choking and/or neck breaking.
* Series/KamenRiderWizard's Bind spell usually takes the form of chains appearing out of magic portals. In TheMovie, Haruto gets knocked off a building and saves himself by casting Bind and using the chains to catch him in mid-air.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Jorah and Tyrion have been MadeASlave, and are collared and chained accordingly. As Jorah is sold on the auction block for the GladiatorGames, Tyrion appeals to his buyer to take him as well, claiming to be a great fighter also. As Tyrion is a dwarf, everyone just laughs, so Tyrion yanks the slaver holding his chain off his feet, then beats him with his own chain until he's pleading for mercy. The buyer decides that's ActuallyPrettyFunny and buys Tryion as well.
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': After Oliver escapes from being imprisoned in the Season One finale, he uses the chains (which are still cuffed to his wrists) to take out two guards.
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' has minor Season 3 antagonist James AKA Hellfire, who has the ability to [[PlayingWithFire make anything he touches combustible]], take up a chain as his WeaponOfChoice, in a MythologyGag to ComicBook/GhostRider. Unfortunately for James, when he returns in Season 4, Ghost Rider himself has joined the cast, and he takes the chain from James, apparently impressed enough with the technique to pick it up himself.
** In the episode [[Recap/AgentsOfSHIELDS2E6FracturedHouse "Fractured House"]], VillainOfTheWeek Marcus Scarlotti uses a chain attached to a combat knife to fight Agent May. It's a MythologyGag, as the comic's Marcus Scarlotti is the Comicbook/IronMan villain [[WhipItGood Whiplash]].
* Improvised by John Reese in the ''Series/PersonOfInterest'' [[Recap/PersonOfInterestS05E01 Season 5 premiere]]. Injured and on the run from [[AIIsACrapshoot Samaritan]] with [[spoiler:The Machine]] in tow, Reese runs out of ammo shortly after [[ShootOutTheLock shooting out a padlock]] and chain holding a gate closed. Two Samaritan agents confront him, and he uses the chain to strangle one and deliver a beatdown on the other.

[[folder:Other Sites]]
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'''s [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-070 SCP-070 ("Iron Wings")]]. SCP-070's wings have chains hanging from them that act as weapons.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Many wrestlers were known to bring chains to the ring with them.
** Wrestling/{{Ivan Koloff}} and Wrestling/NikitaKoloff
** Wrestling/JunkyardDog
** Hercules Hernandez
** Wrestling/TheOneManGang
** Wrestling/JohnCena, during his "Doctor of Thuganomics" white-boy rapper days.
** Smith "Big Game" James or Bull Dempsey to WWE fans.
** Bully Ray in TNA (formerly [[Wrestling/TheDudleyBoys Bubba Ray Dudley]] in WWE).
* 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.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The spiked chain is a weapon option in ''Tabletopgame/DungeonsAndDragons'' and derived games (including ''Tabletopgame/{{Pathfinder}}''). Because of the way the tripping and attack of opportunity rules worked, and because the chain could threaten every square it reached, a properly-built spiked chain fighter was often a GameBreaker (unless you [[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick tricked them into backing off a cliff]]).
* There is also a fighting chain, and its artifact version the dire chain, in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}''.
* Occasionally seen in ''Tabletopgame/MagicTheGathering''. [[http://magiccards.info/od/en/181.html Chainflinger]] is a good example.
* ''Mech-sized'' "chain whips" exist in ''TabletopGame/{{BattleTech}}''. As dedicated [[HumongousMecha [=BattleMech=]]] melee weapons go, they do relatively little damage, but have the fairly unique ability to momentarily entangle another 'Mech's limbs if they hit them, potentially tripping the target or keeping it from moving away from the attacker for a turn or two. They're acknowledged as AwesomeButImpractical in-universe, since like most melee weapons they were designed for use in gladiator games where wowing the crowd with flashy moves to generate ticket sales is more important than efficiency.

* Some productions of ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'', particularly the Alan Menken musical version, have Jacob Marley and the other chained souls tie Scrooge up, strangle him with the chains, or let him see firsthand how heavy they are to emphasize their points.

* ''Toys/{{BIONICLE}}'':
** Hewkii's Climbing Chains and [[ShockAndAwe Electrified]] Chains, as well as Karzahni's [[PlayingWithFire Flaming]] Chains.
** ''{{Toys/BIONICLE 2015}}'' has Skull Slicer's Mask Grabber, which is a combination of a claw and chain.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* One can make a reasonable assumption that any game where the hero mainly fights [[WhipItGood with a whip]] (such as ''VideoGame/LaMulana'' or any ''VideoGame/{{Castlevania}}'' starring a Belmont) will inevitably have an upgraded version of the whip made of chain. And sometimes ''that'' can be upgraded even further into an EpicFlail.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'': the General class in the GBA games have chains attached to their [[BladeOnAStick lances]] and [[AnAxeToGrind axes]].
* Igniz in ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters 2001'' uses this as a weapon. ''[[ThatOneAttack And it hurts]]''.
* Of the many [[WeaponsKitchenSink ridiculous weapons]] in ''VideoGame/ExitFate'', this is one of the few that can actually do serious damage. It's wielded by Outsider, a mercenary who's essentially a DiscOneNuke if you can afford his asking price.
* One of the biker gangs in ''VideoGame/FullThrottle'' uses chains as their signature weapon. Ben can acquire one after defeating them.
* Chains are a staple weapon in the ''VideoGame/KunioKun'' series (especially ''VideoGame/RiverCityRansom'', 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 KarmaMeter.
* In ''VideoGame/MitsumeteKnight'', [[GiantMook Jack Burston]], one of the game's three punks, fights with a big chain in one-on-one duels.
* The ''VideoGame/RoadRash'' games have the top AI bikers wielding chains as weapons. The player can steal a chain and wield it himself.
* In ''VideoGame/LiberalCrimeSquad'', bikers use chains as their main weapons, as do non-union workers.
* [[RunningGag Ghost Rider]] again. This time in ''[[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3 Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3]]''.
* The Ninjakari guild in ''{{VideoGame/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 ''VideoGame/SilentHill4''. It's her second most powerful melee weapon, and the best overall.
* In ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' 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 ''VideoGame/{{Mega Man X}}2'' uses the Strike Chain as his weapon. He also [[SpinToDeflectStuff spins it to deflect stuff]]. When ''X'' obtains his weapon, he can use it as an improvised grappling hook.
* As said above, in the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' games that utilize the ''Anime/{{Mazinkaiser}}'' OVA (games like [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsW W]] and [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsJudgment Judgment]], that is.), [[LethalJokeCharacter Boss Borot]] has a chain weapon.
* [[LondonGangster Birdie]] from ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha'' uses a long chain attacked to his handcuff-like bracelets to wrap around his enemies' necks and slam them all over the place.
* Delsin Rowe of ''Videogame/InfamousSecondSon'' 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 LaserBlade.
* One of Scharlachrot's primary weapons in ''[[VideoGame/ArcanaHeart Arcana Heart 3]]''.
* The Biker [=DLC=] for ''VideoGame/PAYDAY2'' includes a chain whip.
* The Abomination, a hero in ''VideoGame/DarkestDungeon'', whips the long and heavy chains he's been shackled with around as his main attack when he's in human form. It deals decent damage and is liable to stun the target.
* Gun from ''VideoGame/VerdictGuilty'' breaks out of prison with manacles attached to his arms, and can use them as weapons.
* Death in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'' will use chains to ensnare the characters while he performs a OneHitKill if you can't escape quickly.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'':
** Rider uses a chain with a pair of nails attached at the ends.
** One of Gilgamesh's many weapons is Enkidu, the Chain of Heaven, a chain used to capture and restrain enemies. Notably, it grows stronger when used against divine beings, so while it's just a chain to normal enemies it's nigh-unbreakable when restraining a demigod-type Servant. Rather than hold it and use it like a lasso as Rider does, Gilgamesh prefers to simply launch segments of it out of the portals of his HyperspaceArsenal.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/DSBTInsaniT'': Killdra uses chains to fight, combined with VariableLengthChain.
** Cody can create crystal chains.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In his original appearances, Hedge of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' 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.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* An escaped SerialKiller uses a chain as a weapon in the ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' HalloweenEpisode.
* When the power plant's donuts are being replaced by healthy snacks in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', the vendor fends off the angered employees with a chain.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Iroh is shown to be very proficient with chains. Also [[BadassNormal Blue Spirit]] uses them to restrain firebenders in Zhao's fortress. [[spoiler: Zuko clearly took lessons from his Uncle]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'':
** In Book 3, [[spoiler:Korra drags down Zaheer with a heavy chain attached around her arm, slamming him down into the ground.]]
** [[EnemyWithin Dark Korra]] from Book 4 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 ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers''.
* ''WesternAnimation/SonicBoom'': In "Planes, Trains, and Dude-mobiles", the Bike Chain Bandit is a HostileHitchhiker who uses a bike chain to strangle drivers who pick him up, as he attempts on Knuckles before Sonic manages to boot him out of their truck. Ironically, the Bandit is later defeated when he steals a bike and tries to escape. Sonic throws a bike chain into the wheel, jamming it and causing him to crash.

[[folder: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".
* Chain-shot, a type of AbnormalAmmo from the age of WoodenShipsAndIronMen, consisted of a yard or so of heavy chain with a small cannonball at each end. They were fired like a ''bolas'' to tear up rigging and damage masts, which made them one of the few ammunition types capable of reliably disabling a ship of that era without running the risk of sinking her outright, but their accuracy left a lot to be desired.
* In Japan this trope may go by the name "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kusari-fundo kusari-fundo]]". It's believed to be a {{Ninja}} weapon used when said ninja is disguised as a peasant, since lengths of chain aren't illegal in and of themselves.