main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Grievous Bottley Harm
Not even Tintin is immune to having a bottle broken over his head!

"I think it's time I cracked open this bottle!"

As one of the standard Improvised Weapons for the Bar Brawl, it makes sense that bottles have a certain special place in the world of weapons. Getting hit with one is actually fairly damaging due to the way they are constructed, and it's fairly easy to inflict serious head injuries on people (if not actually kill someone) with them. The fact that they come with a ready-made grip at the neck doesn't hurt either.

Many of these end up falling under the Soft Glass rule and shatter easily when they likely wouldn't in real life (beer bottles in particular are actually rather hard to break without a lot of force and knowhow due to how thick the glass is; indeed, most beer bottles are tougher than most people's skulls.), though this aspect of them is occasionally subverted comically. Some people in Real Life expect bottles to break as easily as they do in movies and wind up with either a whole bottle or a handful of glass shards, showing that Reality Is Unrealistic.

In Comedy, they might attempt this with a plastic bottle; needless to say it doesn't break (or shatters like glass).note 

For all you beginning barbrawlers, you're generally better off hitting people with an intact bottle (if empty — we did mention some beer bottles are harder than people's skulls, right?), or, if they're full and you have a good arm, throwing them.

When you use the person instead of the bottle to attack, it's Grievous Harm with a Body.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Battle Angel Alita offers Alita kicking a beer bottle into someone's face (and beer mugs into several other peoples' mugs). Being cyborgs, however, it doesn't serve any purpose beyond making them wet and pissed off.
  • Darker Than Black: Due to a cast full of Combat Pragmatists, this trope is used several times. On one occasion, the protagonist is undercover in a Yakuza-run restaurant and an angry patron attacks him this way; While exactly what he did with it is off-screen, November 11 killed an entire room of people with a bottle he froze, but was killed in the process. In the second season, Hei teaches the character Suo how to fight and during their Training from Hell, picks up a jagged bottle to demonstrate that anything in your surroundings is a potential weapon. In a variation, Suo later remembers this lesson and grievously injuries someone who betrayed them by throwing shards of glass into her boomerang style.
  • Played for Drama in Angel Beats!. Iwasawa is hit in the head with a bottle while her parents are fighting. As a result, she loses her ability to sing (her only outlet) and eventually her life.
  • Speed Racer: In one episode, a thug tries to knock Pops Racer out by breaking a bottle over his head. It doesn't work. In a later episode, Spritle and Chim-Chim are able to pin down a spy long enough to tie him up by throwing empty bottles at him.
  • During a brawl in YuYu Hakusho, a mook smashes Yusuke over the head with a beer bottle. Not only does it have no effect whatsoever, he complains about the guy wasting quality brew.
  • This is used to commit a murder in Detective Academy Q. More exactly, the Boarding School's Jerk Ass of a Student Council President is kidnapped, tied up, and killed via this by a Malevolent Masked Man. The concept of stage glass bottles is a major clue in discovering who did it.
  • Episode 1 of Galilei Donna: A mysterious man in black is assaulting Hazuki in the womens' restroom! Then he takes a wine bottle to the head, courtesy of Anna. Probably should have waited for them to leave the restaurant...

    Comic Books 
  • Watchmen:
    • The Comedian gets scarred by one of these.
    • In the film, someone Rorschach wants to talk to tries to threaten him with a bottle. Which Rorschach breaks, and then squeezes the shards into the man's hand. In the comic, the person is holding a shot glass. Rorschach grabs the glass-holding hand and does the same thing. Ouch!
  • Fun With Milk & Cheese: Evan Dorkin's comic runs on this trope. They prefer gin bottles rather than beer bottles.
  • In the Sin City tale Just Another Saturday Night, Marv smashes a whiskey bottle and comes after a group of psychopaths torching a homeless man to death. He gets shot in the shoulder and never gets the chance to use his makeshift weapon, however.
  • In the first Death mini-series, "The High Cost of Living," Mad Hettie threatens Sexton with a broken bottle.
  • Tintin and Captain Haddock of Tintin frequently makes use of this trope, mainly because Haddock's status as The Alcoholic means that there's always a whiskey bottle nearby for them to use. The Secret of the Unicorn has him toss a bottle of three-star brandy at a gun-toting villain, then pretty much immediately bemoans its loss. The same also happens to Bobby Smiles in Tintin in America as he charges at Tintin.
  • In The Shadow Hero, Wun Too is a legit kung-fu master, but he'd much rather have a couple of broken bottles in his hands.


    Films — Animation 
  • Sheeta at the beginning of Castle in the Sky tries to escape by hitting her captor with a champagne bottle. Unusually for this trope, the bottle does not break (but it does knock the man out).
  • Justified in Batman: Under the Red Hood. The Joker does break a glass and use it as a slashing weapon against a mook, but it is only a glass, a crystal one, meaning it would be easier to shatter and doesn't have the weight of a bottle.
  • Parodied in The Simpsons Movie: When the mob breaks into the Simpsons' house, Maggie scares off Mister Teeny (the chimp) with a broken baby bottle.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Played surprisingly realistically in Chinese silent film The Goddess, in which a prostitute kills her pimp with one blow from a wine bottle, which remains intact.
  • Pan's Labyrinth: A particularly nasty example averted the whole "easily broken" bit in a horrific scene where a man's face is smashed in with a bottle that doesn't break. This was based on an experience the director actually had in Real Life, and he commented that he'd seen the breaking played straight a lot in Westerns.
  • The Avengers (1998) has The Dragon smashing two milk bottles together for twice the weaponry.
  • In The Golden Child, a biker is holding a bottle of beer. Before getting into a fight he casually breaks it to create a weapon.
  • In Dogma, Bartleby smashes a bottle and holds it to Bethany's neck, once he realizes who she is. Bartleby, however, is an angel; his exact level of intelligence/consciousness and strength would certainly be supernatural, allowing him to do it flawlessly on his first try.
  • In Serenity, during the big Maidenhead bar brawl, River is attacked by a man using a beer bottle, and she shatters it against the bartop when she deflects his attack. She then turns and kicks another bottle into another man's head, knocking him out cold.
  • I Went Down: In this Irish film, a bad guy smashes a bottle against a table. But he breaks it by swinging it up and against the edge of the table, which seems even more unlikely to succeed.
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember: Austin breaks a liquor bottle when fighting with Mini-Me. Mini-Me breaks a miniature bottle.
  • In In Bruges, the lead characters decide that someone coming at you with a bottle is reason enough to use force and fight back. This means the main character is excited when an irritating Canadian woman comes at him with a bottle.
  • In Enter the Dragon, Oharra is getting destroyed by Bruce Lee, and in frustration grabs a bottle from an on-looker and smashes it. In the scene where he actually breaks it, he ends up with a very tiny stem of the bottle in his hand, with very small jagged edges to act as a weapon. In the next scene cut, he is threatening Lee with a more visually appropriately broken bottle. Of course, it still doesn't do him any good...
  • Death in Brunswick: Averted along with soft glass in this Australian film. A man smashes an empty beer bottle on the bartop and gets a hand full of broken glass for his trouble.
  • In Stark Raving Mad, a guy gets a wine bottle over the head and is knocked out.
  • In Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives the alcoholic cemetery caretaker is killed when Jason grabs one of his discarded liquor bottles, breaks it, and stabs him in the throat with it.
  • The Slasher Movie Stepfather II features a particularly brutal scene where the title serial killer murders his current lover's former husband by smashing a bottle against his head, before maniacally stabbing him with it over and over again.
  • Urban Legends: Bloody Mary has a scene where the titular murderess kills a boy by breaking a bottle over his head before slashing his throat with it several times.
  • In The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) remake Sheriff Hoyt breaks a liquor bottle into Morgan's face, severely injuring him and leaving him partially blinded and unable to talk for the rest of the film.
  • In Scream (1996), Tatum Riley, one of the Ghostface's victims, manages to fight him off by flinging beer bottles at him. She would have escaped too, had she not made the rather dumb mistake of trying to use the doggy-door to get out of the garage.
  • The Big Bus: This spoof disaster movie parodies Grievous Bottley Harm. Disgraced bus driver Dan Torrance gets into a fight in a bar:
    Bar Customer: Look out! He's got a broken milk carton!
  • One of the characters in The Outsiders breaks a Coke bottle for use in a fight, but the fight doesn't end up happening.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean, Elizabeth Swan and the village Blacksmith use a bottle to knock out James Norrington and Jack Sparrow in the second and first films respectively.
  • Sorority Row has a girl get a bottle violently shoved down her throat, which is then slashed.
  • In It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, milquetoast gas station owners Arnold Stang and Marvin Kaplan knock out a raving Jonathan Winters with a bottle... they're not so lucky the next time when he comes to even madder.
  • In Help!, The Beatles hide from danger in a riverside pub, where a booby trap drops Ringo into the cellar. Clang, posing as a bartender, threatens the others with a broken bottle and they flee through the window.
  • In Kick-Ass, the female junkie (that's how she's listed in the credits) smashes a bottle to use as a weapon against Hit Girl. It doesn't help, and after immediately realizing what an incredibly bad idea that was she tries to run away. That doesn't help, either.
  • In The Long Good Friday, Bob Hoskins makes particularly graphic use of a bottle against one of his closest friends when his bad day finally explodes into a brief, furious frenzy; first he smashes the bottle over his victim's head, then he brutally stabs him in the neck with the jagged end. The sight of blood spraying out of his friend's throat soon calms him down.
  • In A Clockwork Orange, after the gang betrays Alex, one of them smashes a full milk bottle across his face. Played at least somewhat realistically, as Alex drops to the ground in agony.
  • Near the end of Death Wish V: The Face of Death, vigilante Paul Kersey finds a glass bottle and breaks it. When he finds mob boss Tommy O'Shea, Paul cuts Tommy's face with the broken end in retaliation for what O'Shea had done to Paul's girlfriend earlier in the movie.
  • In Happy Gilmore, Happy breaks a bottle at the golf course clubhouse when he thinks he's being threatened. When he realizes his error, he claims he was simply looking for the other pieces of his bottle.
  • During the final shootout of The Way of the Gun, one of the antiheroes jumps into a dry water fountain for cover, and then screams in agony. When we see inside, we realize that he's jumped into a pile of broken bottles, and has to pull a four-inch-long shard out from under his skin. Ouch.
  • Parodied in Airplane!, when the hero tries to break a milk carton against the bar.
  • In The Long Goodbye, gangster Marty Augustine threatens Marlowe by smashing a coke bottle against his own girlfriend's face.
    Marty Augustine: Now, that's someone I love! And you I don't even like!
  • Randall from Clerks II has been taught a particular racist term for this, from his lovely old granma.
  • The Boondock Saints: During the bar fight, Murphy smashes two full wine bottles on one guy's head.
  • In True Lies, Helen Tasker beats Juno Skinner senseless with a champagne bottle. It doesn't break!
  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective: A deleted scene shows Ace entering a bar looking for former kicker Ray Finkle only to start a fight. One patron threatens Ace with a broken bottle but Ace pulls out and breaks his contact lens to play with glass too.
    Ace: Come on! Fat boy!
  • In Shaolin Soccer, "Iron Head", the eldest of the Shaolin monks gets repeated bottle breaks over his head by his abusive boss to chastise his poor job performance, with no effect. Sing gets a bottle thrown over his head with effect from his poor band performance with Iron Head.
  • A character gets stabbed to death with a broken ketchup bottle in Cornered!
  • In Scary Movie 2, the cat attacks Cindy with this.
  • In Dinosaurus this trope is subverted. The villain attempts to break a bottle to be more threatening, but does it wrong and the bottle breaks in his hand, cutting him badly. Oops.
  • Somewhat related; in the urban slasher Holla If You Hear Me, a character is bludgeoned with a can of Pepsi, which is then pounded down his throat.
  • A guy has a beer can crushed into his head in Sleepover Nightmare.
  • Lifetime idiot Freddie from Layer Cake gets a ketchup bottle smashed into his face. And then it gets worse...
  • Attempted by a Yakuza in Outrage but he is stopped by his friends before he can do anything. Not that it helped.
  • During the Bar Brawl with machine guns in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, one of the mooks charges Quatermain, who smashes him in the face with a whiskey bottle and flips him.
    Quatermain: (glances at bottle label, then tosses it aside) Wicked waste.
  • In Once Were Warriors, Jake stabs one of his drinking buddies in the groin with a broken bottle after finding out he raped Jake's daughter, causing her to hang herself.
  • Henry Fonda's character in The Ox Bow Incident gets a whiskey bottle over his head which knocks him unconscious.
  • Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit does this to one of the weasels.
  • Leonard smashes Dodd over the head with a wine bottle he finds on the toilet in Memento, but it doesn't break. It does knock Dodd out, though.
  • TheWarriors: When our eponymous heroes are preparing to face down the Rogues, Mercy breaks a bottle against a girder to arm herself. She won't need it.
  • In Dead in Tombstone, Guerrero uses a succession of bottles to beat Darko to death in the saloon.

  • Discworld: A variant turns up in Night Watch — Vimes notes that unless you know how to break a bottle properly, instead of a weapon you get a hand full of glass shards and a lot of bleeding. He uses this to his advantage while attempting to avert a riot, making sure the crowd sees an "amateur bottle fighter" hurt himself while Vimes' hands are both occupied with innocent tasks (a cup of cocoa and a cigar), then offers medical assistance.

    He also mentions to the crowd, while helping the injured man, that he saw someone try this trick against a less generous opponent. The guy reached down and squeezed the afflicted hand. This gets a groan of morbid appreciation. Earlier in the series, broken bottles have also been referenced as "Morpork knives", barfighting practically being the "lower" city's civic sport.
  • Iron Fist: The more common unrealistic treatment is averted in the Star Wars Expanded Universe novel. At the beginning of the novel, agents of a rogue warlord stage a fight in order to get the Wraiths out in the open. To start it, a real bottle is used to hit one of the pilots over the head, and it does not break. (The victim survives without permanent injury, but Tap on the Head is averted; he spends about a week and a half on medical leave with concussion.) Later, when the Wraiths are using that trick on another world, one of them uses a stage-glass bottle against one of their own, which does break.
  • Callahans Crosstime Saloon: Mike Callahan has been known to throw a beer bottle at customers from time to time. Luckily, it's made of foam rubber.
  • Confess, Fletch, one of Gregory McDonald's eleven Fletch novels. The title character arrives in an apartment he's using as part of a housing swap to find a beautiful woman has been murdered there. With no evident murder weapon and the girl clearly dead, he pours himself a bottle of whiskey from the buffet nearby and calls the police. Unfortunately for Fletch, the whiskey bottle was the murder weapon, and was placed in the open so that he might incriminate himself. Police have a hard time figuring it out at first, as an open bottle would have made a much less effective murder weapon given that it might break. This is seen as more damning evidence that Fletch was trying to keep the murder weapon out of play by opening it for a drink.
  • In H. G. Wells' The History of Mr Polly, Polly breaks a wine bottle over the head of the villainous Uncle Jim, who comments, "Bolls? [sic] Fightin' with Bolls? I'll show 'im fightin' with bolls'!" He then breaks two bottles to use as daggers, a skill he had learned in a reformatory home.
  • In Up Periscope by Robb White, the hero is a frogman who is sneaking into a Japanese encampment during a drinking party. When a Japanese officer comes to close the hero uses a bottle of sake, that he found in the hands of an unconscious soldier as a mace. In this case the hero swung sideways rather than overhand, because that was the only way to hit a scar on the Japanese officers head, and the hero was actually trying to kill him lest his presence be revealed. In this variation it was war rather then a Bar Brawl.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch novels, the psychologically unstable Thriss has a mini-breakdown in Quark's Bar and attacks one of her companions with a broken bottle.
  • In the Indian novel The White Tiger: How Balram kills Ashok.

    Live-Action TV 
  • My Name Is Earl, Joy threatens Catalina:
    Joy: You're not the one holdin' a freshly broken bottle, now are you!
    * thunk*
    * thunk*
    (bottle remains whole)
    Joy: This would still hurt if I hit you with it!
  • MythBusters:
    • In a Shark Week episode, Kari tried to christen the new boat "Orca V" with a bottle. Unfortunately the bottle would not break despite her trying repeatedly until it finally broke and splashed Champagne all over her.
    • In the "Buster Special," when Adam tried to christen the new "Buster 2.0". It took several three tries for the bottle to break. Apparently whenever the Mythbusters try to christen something one should expect them to need several tries to make the bottle shatter.
    • They did an entire show about the effectiveness of the bottle as a weapon, and their tests showed that a full beer bottle does significantly more damage to the brain than an empty one. They were going to hit Adam (in a helmet) at first until they discovered that the force applied was enough to cause a concussion, so they used gelatin brains instead. After declaring the "empty bottle being more damaging" myth busted, Jamie and Adam broke sugar glass bottles over each other's heads. (As in the previous examples, they had trouble breaking the bottles against a football helmet early in the episode, and Adam pointed out that those types of bottles are meant to be shipped long distances, so they had to be relatively strong.)
  • The Stewart/Colbert/O'Brien Mle Trois includes a scene where all three smash Soft Glass beer bottles over each other's heads — this is where the Stewart-Colbert alliance breaks up and it becomes a true Mle Trois, as Jon accidentally breaks a bottle over Stephen. The blooper reel shows Conan going to hit Jon and hesitating at the last minute, disturbed by how real the sugar glass bottle looks.
  • True Blood averted the Soft Glass portion of this trope when Tara's mother hits her over the head with a tequila bottle. Bottle doesn't break at all, and Tara is left with a nasty gash.
  • Criminal Minds also averts the Soft Glass trope in the episode "Parasite", when a murder victim is repeatedly bludgeoned with a glass decanter without breaking.
  • The British sketch show Harry and Paul has a series of parody ads with Nelson Mandela selling stuff. In one ad he sells Nelson Mandela's Organic Fighting beer.
    Nelson Mandela: It contains no preservatives. It contains no additives. It is just 100% organic fighting beer. (smashes, then waves bottle) Do you want some?
  • In the Torchwood episode "Fragments", Jack's flashback starts with him reviving while having a broken bottle stuck in his gut. He then proceeds to pull it out and throw it away, and is killed again a minute later.
  • Subverted humorously twice in an episode of Happy Days — once when Ralph attempts to break a bottle against a bar, only to be left with an intact bottle and a hole in the bar; and later in that same episode when he attempts to pick up a soda bottle only to have it fall apart in his hand.
  • CSI: Miami: One of the Victim of the Week is killed by being bludgeoned by a bottle of champagne which did not break.
  • Titus: Tommy attempts this, but the bottle remains intact, so he just puts it back on the table.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: Parodied, where an old western saloon contains two racks of bottles, one marked as "real", and the other as "Fake, for barfights only". Max promptly breaks one of the fake bottles.
  • In an old episode of X-Play Johnny Extreme smashes several beer bottles on his crotch, and encourages Adam and Morgan to join in. Adam does so, and Morgan instead smashes her bottle over Adam's head.
  • In an episode of Laverne and Shirley, one of the gang brings in some prop-bottles from a movie set and everyone has fun smashing them over each other's head. Arriving late on the scene, Squiggy picks up a "real" wine bottle and bonks Lenny on the head with it. The bottle doesn't break and there's a rather grisly "clonk" sound effect, but Lenny acts like nothing happened.
  • Used as a buzz-in on the game show Distraction. A question was asked, a contestant would buzz in, and immediately have a bottle smashed over their head before being allowed to answer. Seemed to prove quite distracting, even with the bottles being of the sugar-glass variant.
  • In the Midsomer Murders episode "Not In My Back Yard", the first Victim of the Week is done in with a broken bottle.
  • Get Smart: Max pretends to go on the bottle so he'll be recruited by KAOS. To help sell the premise, CONTROL stocks the bar with breakaway bottles so Max can hit Da Chief over the head with one when Chief comes in to try to get Max to go on the wagon. They do it, but the KAOS agent doesn't notice. So they move closer to him and do it again, and the KAOS agent still doesn't notice. They're out of breakaway bottles so Max orders a big bottle of champagne: he plans to break the bottle on the bar and threaten the Chief with the shards. But slamming the bottle on the bar just makes a hole in the bar.
  • Played with in Sledge Hammer!. The crook Agent Doreau takes on in a Bar Brawl tries several times to break a bottle to fight her and fails like he would in real life. So she grabs the bottle, breaks it for him on the first try as though the bottle is Soft Glass, hands the broken bottle to him, then jump kicks him.
  • In the first episode of Wild Boys, Hogan smashes a bottle and uses to attack Jack in the pub.
  • On Republic Of Doyle Jake gets hit on the head with an empty wine bottle. The bottle does not break and he is knocked unconscious.
  • Danny gets one of these in CSI: NY 'Officer Involved'. The bottle breaks and he gets knocked out.
  • Married... with Children: Bud busts a bottle over a guy's head when Al takes him to the nudie bar for his 18th birthday.
  • In The League, Jenny accomplishes this with a ceramic Chinese figurine, and uses it to threaten bar patrons into changing the TV away from the Bears game.
  • On the Ellen DeGeneres Show, in an interview with Jackie Chan.
  • In the pilot of Firefly, Dobson blindsides Shepherd Book with a wine bottle to the head, averting Soft Glass in the process. Then he hits him over the head a couple more times to be sure.
  • In an episode of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, Trakeena attempts to break a bottle to use a weapon. However, she is unable to shatter it on the bar top.
  • In the The Mentalist episode "The Great Red Dragon", Gale Bertram smashes a bartender who recognizes his face from a news bulletin in the face with a whiskey bottle, then uses the broken edge to do something lethal and very gory to the back of the poor bastard's neck.
  • Played realistically in General Hospital, wherein the victim actually died from the blow.
  • CSI: Miami: In "Habeas Corpse", corrupt ASA Josh Avery is killed by a blow to his head with a wine bottle.

  • The entire premise of Ms. B'Havin's outrageous, must-be-heard-to-be-believed song "Bottle Action" is this trope.

    Music Videos 
  • The music video for MGK and Waka Flocka Flame's Wild Boy starts the music after Waka smashes a bottle on a dinner host's head.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In a Get Fuzzy comic, Bucky attempts to do the "break the bottle on the table" move from movies. Unfortunately, it's a plastic bottle, so it bounces off and smacks him in the face instead.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Lauren did this in a backstage segment on TNA to save Taylor Wilde from being thrown down the stairs by Daffney Unger.
  • Kurt Angle once hit Chris Benoit over the head with a beer bottle during a backstage brawl at a Halloween party. It was obviously stunt glass though.
  • Chris Jericho did this to CM Punk once on an episode of Raw, when forcing him to finally drink alcohol.
  • The beer bottle is the signature weapon of James Storm.
  • Mick Foley tells a story of a match with Sabu where Sabu attacked him with one. Expecting it to explode, he painfully learned how difficult the bottles are to break, and it took Sabu several tries to get the bottle to shatter against his head.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Deadlands: Given the setting's pastiche, it had to happen. A bottle is stated in one rule book or the other as a small club, which does the attacker's Strength plus 1d4 damage. If the bottle were to break, it would presumably become a small knife instead, doing... the attacker's Strength plus 1d4 damage.
  • An intact bottle is a weak club in GURPS and a broken one is the equivalent of a small knife.
  • New World of Darkness, in the book Armory, gives rules for attacking with a bottle. It breaks if you do more than two damage with it, changing it from Bashing to Lethal... and then that shatters if you do more than two damage with it, rendering it worthless. (It also takes a skill roll to break it intentionally, and if you fail, your hand is a mess.)
  • Dungeons & Dragons: The Drunken Master Prestige Class has a class feature that lets it use anything as a weapon. Frequently, the Drunken Master will be holding a bottle.

  • In A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche unsuccessfully attempts to defend herself against her brother-in-law Stanley with a broken bottle.

    Video Games 
  • In the original Streets of Rage fighting game you could pick up and break a bottle to use as a weapon.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, the drunken half-orc hobo has a bottle of Mad Train Wine as one of his weapons. It doesn't mention the bottle breaking on impact, but it may return a message about there being too much blood in your broken-glass-stream. If you're fighting a hobo found while dumpster-diving, he explicitly grabs a broken bottle. In the 2013 class revamps Disco Bandits learned a skill that lets them summon an improvised knife once per day, and one of the possible weapons you can get from this skill is a broken bottle.
  • In Team Fortress 2 the Demoman uses an intact bottle of cider as his melee weapon. When taunting with the bottle in hand, he drinks. If the bottle strikes something with a Critical Hit it breaks as per this trope, thought the effect is purely cosmetic. This doesn't make any difference to the taunt animation, and he drinks out of the broken bottle, presumably too sloshed to tell the difference. Due to the use of the same animations he can also appear to be drinking from a frying pan as well. Some of these were eventually fixed but others were kept around because they were funny.
  • The Punisher for the Xbox subverts this. Thrown beer bottles hurt... oddly just as much as a bullet to the chest (on easy mode).
  • Another example is the wine bottle weapon in Silent Hill 4. True to form, it eventually breaks and changes from a clubbing weapon to a stabbing weapon after repeated use.
  • Soft Glass is Averted in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army, when Raidou hits Rasputin, who's an android, over the head with a bottle. Rasputin ends up knocked out cold and the bottle doesn't break.
  • The Warriors: One of the many items that can be picked up and used as a weapon in the video game adaptation. The brutality of hitting someone with a bottle is usually accented, so the game partially subverts the Soft Glass trope.
  • Saints Row 2: In the second mission, the protagonist is sitting in a bar watching the news, when a gang member comes by and has the TV turned off. The protagonist says he/she was watching that, and the gang member replies "I guess you're not anymore, are ya bitch?" The main character sits quiet for a moment, then casually grabs a beer bottle and backhands it across the gang members face, knocking him out instantly. Note also that Boss takes the gang member's bottle, and then goes back to drinking their own.
  • In World of Warcraft the "Barman Shanker" is a broken bottle, looted from a bartender in one of the (at the time) higher level dungeons. It is easier to get than anything from raids, and its damage-over-time effect was situationally useful. Most importantly, it was cool to carry around a broken bottle as a dagger.
    • The seasonal boss Coren Direbrew also drops a shattered bottle that functions as a dagger.
    • On a less serious note, some drinks leave a bottle behind after their use. You can sell them for a copper to vendors... or chuck them at other players.
  • The most common weapon in the Doom-based first person Beat 'em Up Action Doom 2: Urban Brawl. In fact, the very first weapon you get in the game is a bottle of Jack Daniels the player character drinks to reduce his sensitivity to pain and then uses as a weapon.
  • EA's adaptation of The Godfather II actually uses a bottle thrown to the head as a required kill condition for a rival family's made man.
  • God of War has an alternate costume called The Dairy Bastard, which puts Kratos in a cow suit — and replaces his Chaos Blades with gallon milk jugs. Since the animations remain the same, Kratos can use them to fatally stab things.
  • Bubble Bobble has Drunks as enemies that throw bottles, and Willy Whistle throws entire waves of bottles.
  • Samurai Shodown: Haohmaru uses a sake jug as his version of a Hurricane Kick. It stuns enemies and doesn't break.
  • Bottles are one of the many weapons you can use in Scott Pilgrim. They don't break upon use, which means you can throw them and abuse the juggling properties thrown weapons have against mooks.
  • In the City Elf origin story for Dragon Age: Origins, a nobleman tries to interrupt the PC's wedding, leading to the PC's cousin driving him off by breaking a bottle on his head. He comes back later with armed mooks to kidnap a number of women from the wedding, including two bridesmaids, the cousin who knocked him out earlier, and either the PC or his bride, depending on which gender the player chose for the PC.
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • After the shipwreck at the beginning of Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir, you can salvage broken bottles from the wreckage of the Vigilant to use as weapons against the batiri that want to eat you. Mechanically they work like a basic, unenchanted dagger.
  • Some of the Majini in Resident Evil 5 wield bottles as melee weapons.
  • Hotline Miami: a empty bottle can be used by Jacket. Oddly enough, it's a throwing weapon only.
  • The original Nintendo Popeye video game had Brutus throw beer bottles (up to four at a time) and the Sea Hag throw wine bottles (she could appear on both ends of the row you were on and throw at the same time); you had to punch them to knock them out.
  • Win a duel against an Annoying Captain in a bar in Sid Meiers Pirates! 2004 and the barmaid is the one who will end the angrily walloping your opponent over the head with a bottle of wine.
  • Grand Theft Auto V added a broken bottle as a melee weapon in the Beach Bum Update.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney
    • In the second game's third case, a bottle is used as a weapon, but it's not the murder weapon and just leaves the victim with a concussion. It, however, broke. It was probably made from cheaper glass than Phoenix's favorite brand of grape juice.
    • Later on in the same case, it's possible to bait Maya into hitting Phoenix with a plastic bottle that, of course, does not break.
    • In the first case in the fourth game, the victim hits a waitress over the head with a glass grape juice bottle, and knocks her out. (Yes, despite what you're all thinking, it was really grape juice, even in the Japanese original.) Later, the victim is killed with a hit from another bottle, which does not break, and the unbroken bottle becomes evidence.
  • Sakura Oogami's death in Danganronpa involves her being subjected to this. Twice. With enough force to shatter said bottle each time. She still lives after this, and later commits suicide via drinking poison..

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons
    • Marge (playing Blanche Du Bois) uses a bottle in this manner against Ned (playing Stanley) in the A Streetcar Named Desire musical episode. Notably she has trouble breaking it at first, but after getting a bit too into the role and imagining Ned as Homer (whom she was mad at at the time) she successfully breaks it, tackles him, and judging from the bandage on his chest later apparently managed to hurt him.
    • The Comic Book Guy goes to Moe's Tavern and states that he dislikes beer: "Beer is the nectar of the nitwit." Lenny is incited, yells out "No one badmouths Duff!" and proceeds to attempt to break the bottom end of the Duff bottle he's holding for a weapon. The entire bottle shatters in his hands (though it doesn't harm him) and he says dejected "Aw, piece of crap."
    • Itchy does this to Scratchy in the I&S short "Foster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!". With a baby bottle.
    • In the movie, when a mob wants to lynch the Simpson family, Maggie breaks her baby bottle, and uses it to scare away Mr. Teeny (Krusty's monkey).
  • Futurama: Bender mentions this when the crew goes to a Blernesball game. They have really good seats, with Bender noting, "We're close enough that if you hit a player with a bottle, he stays down."
    • When they deliver the crate of game prizes to the lunar theme park, the park mascot tries to confiscate Bender's beverage. Instead of clubbing the guy with the bottle, he sticks it in the mascot's eye.
  • Family Guy: Meg interrupts a scene of Everybody Loves Raymond to tell Neil Goldman how much she hates him. It's followed by Ray angering Debra who then shatters a wine bottle threatening him with it.
  • The first episode of season 2 of The Spectacular Spider-Man has one of Mysterio's robotic doubles smashing a bottle over Spidey's head. In a Western Saloon prop house.
  • Parodied during an episode of Stroker and Hoop. When the duo smack a cameraman and sound guy with bottles, the bottles don't break. It's heavily implied it kills the cameraman, and the sound guy just pretends to be knocked out to avoid brain damage.

     Real Life 
  • In bar fights in Germany (including the Oktoberfest), sometimes beer steins are used instead of bottles. That's why the makers of those introduced predetermined breaking points - hit someone with a stein, and the grip will break off, reducing the chance for really bad injuries.
  • The "bottles" seen in the movies are in fact dedicated props that are typically made of hardened wax. This wax looks exactly like thick glass, can hold liquid, and breaks satisfyingly but doesn't hurt the actors as much as real glass. (Bottles can also be made of the same sugary stuff used for breakaway window-panes, but this is unusual because sugar-glass shatters and can cause injury.)

Bar BrawlNightlife IndexDrink Order
Sinister ScytheImprovised IndexGrievous Harm with a Body
Glass-Shattering SoundBreaking And Destruction TropesHat Damage
Good Old FisticuffsFight SceneGrievous Harm with a Body
Friendly, Playful DolphinTelevision Is Trying to Kill UsGun Twirling
Grappling-Hook PistolJustForFun/Tropes Examined by the Myth BustersHair-Trigger Avalanche
Gemstone AssaultWeapons and Wielding TropesGrievous Harm with a Body
Grey and Gray MoralityJust for PunGrievous Harm with a Body
EgopolisImageSource/Comic BooksComic Books

alternative title(s): Bottle Attack
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy