It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
For hard core combers!
'"Have you heard of the Kunoichi?"
I said I hadn't.
"It's the deadly sisterhood of the Ninja, originally Japanese. Like the geishas, they were trained in singing and entertaining so they could get access into the household of an enemy warlord, and just when he'd gotten her nice and cosy in his arms he'd end up with an icepick through the ear into the brain — one of their favourite tricks, in my language the
ssu chieh wen — the kiss of death."
Women get all the best Hidden Weapons
. A woman with a Combat Haircomb has an ornamental comb or pin to fasten her hair that is also a dagger or other sharp implement. It may be inside a sheath, or the hair itself may serve to hide the blade. It's very popular for spies and assassins as well as undercover warriors who need to blend in to high society functions.
In a pinch, chopstick-style plain wood hair pins can be used this way. Another variant is to use a big brush comb and use the handle to hide a weapon or as a blade. In rare cases, it's an actual
comb, albeit with poison tips.
See also Slipknot Ponytail
and Victoria's Secret Compartment
Anime & Manga
- The seeresses in Immortals had one used to break out of captivity.
- A character in Leprechaun: In the Hood is killed by an afro pick to the throat.
- The Three Musketeers (1973). While fighting Constance Bonacieux over the diamond-studded necklace, Milady pulls a ornamental hairpin out of her hair and uses it as a weapon.
- A male example is the title character of Undercover Brother, who uses his afro picks as throwing knives.
- Sherlock Holmes. Irene Adler, at least in the trailer (the scenes never made it into the movie).
- Conina the barbarian hairdresser, in Terry Pratchett's Sourcery. She is the daughter of Cohen the Barbarian ("wholesale slaughter") so has no choice than to accept destiny as a barbarian warrior. But what she really wants is to own a hairdressing salon. In between bouts of sickening violence, she keeps her hand in by doing hairdos. Sometimes combs and scissors become lethal weapons in her hands...
- Anyone who sees Granny Weatherwax remove her hat pins had better start running...
- In The Gardella Vampire Chronicles, Victoria's hairdresser hides her stakes within her hairdos, for easy access.
- In Kushiel's Avatar, Phèdre uses a sharpened hairpin to assassinate the Mahrkagir.
- Shada D'ukal's Establishing Character Moment in The Last Command is her instant transformation from decorative escort to incredibly lethal bodyguard by pulling out her hair needles and using them as throwing daggers.
- In the Dresden Files novel Cold Days, Sarissa, Harry's personal trainer, is invited to a fae party and taken hostage. She breaks out by using her hair needles — while they're just ordinary glass decorations, inside they are supported by steel rods, which burn fae.
- In the Heralds of Valdemar, Talia's formal Whites include two long pins in her hair that could, in a pinch, be used as stillettos. (She also has throwing-knives on her wrists (concealed by long sleeves) and a long dagger—almost a short sword—strapped to her thigh, accessible through an invisible slit in her skirt.
- In the Kate Daniels series, specifically Magic Strikes, this is first averted - with Kate telling her companion that her hair ornaments aren't knives, as this is a good way to lose a chunk of hair when you pull them - and then played straight, with Kate killing an attacker with them and explaining that, technically, the sharpened wooden sticks are spikes, not knives.
- J-Pop group Brown Eyed Girls has the kunoichi version in their Kill Bill video, among the various other assassinations.
- The Erlking's Daughter in Roommates has a hair pin as part of her human disguise that came handy in many situations. Including as stabbing weapon to threaten a magical mercenary with it. And Glinda had magic sleeping spell poppies amongst the Flower in Her Hair at least once.
- From Dubious Company, we have Tiren's hair...chopstick...things.
Ha! They never take the hairsticks!
- The Tangle Web Comb on Xiaolin Showdown turns into a bunch of strings that can be used to bind the enemies.
- The Johnny Bravo episode "Bravo, James Bravo" (a James Bond parody) had several spy gadgets, including the bomb haircomb — one wave would arm it, another would disarm it. After getting it, Johnny immediately proceeds to rapidly comb his hair, sending his higher-ups into a panic. It doesn't explode though, because he's just that good at combing.
- Real-life geisha Iwasaki Mineko wrote in her autobiography Geisha: a Life/Geisha of Gion that geisha occasionally used their kanzashi (hair ornaments) to defend themselves or their clients from assault.
- In feudal Japan, the poisoned hairpin was a standard weapon for kunoichi (female assassins).
- Cold Steel makes the Honeycomb, a hairbrush that conceals a dagger in the handle.
- Steel combs were and are a favored weapon among greasers around the world.