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Handbag of Hurt
Turtles: Turtles fight with honour!
Irma: And women fight with handbags!

The use of a purse or a briefcase/suitcase as an Improvised Weapon. The former may be related to When Elders Attack, while the latter to Briefcase Blaster.

Often occurs in the Cat Fight and Wimp Fight. (Little note - fights in football in Britain are often mere slap fights, and the commentators occasionally describe such a fight as "handbags", a shortened version of Handbags At Dawn.) One reason people should Never Mess with Granny

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Seto Kaiba uses a briefcase when he is attacked by Pegasus' goons. His little brother tries to pull off the same moves later on, but fails miserably.
  • Attempted in the fight between a Russian assassin and a serial killer (revealed to be Hijiribe Ruri) in the 4th volume of Durarara!!. Unfortunately for them that briefcase belonged to a certain man in a bartender suit.
  • In Fairy Tail, Levy McGarden smacks Gajeel Redfox with her purse and floors him with pain, even though she's a Squishy Wizard and he's literally Made of Iron.
  • Kill la Kill: Ryuko Matoi sometimes uses her weapon case offensively and defensively (though it is made of metal).

Comic Books
  • Stuck Rubber Baby is a comic depicting civil rights demonstrations in the south. One character learns to defend herself with a brick - in her handbag.
  • Ms Tree carries her pistol in her handbag, which makes it handy to swing at a enemy with unexpected force.

Fan Works
  • First John Gage, then Chet Kelly in the Emergency! fic "You Make Me Feel Like Dancin'" get this. John and Roy get injured hilariously at the station and Chet has to drive them to Rampart. John is dressed as a clown after a fire dept. carnival. He has to make Chet stop so he can throw up and a woman starts hitting him with her bag, thinking he's a drunk clown. Chet gets out of the squad, and is naked except for Roy's turnout coat (It Makes Sense in Context). The old lady turns her bag on Chet, thinking he's a pervert. And John, wanting to annoy Chet, directs her how to hit so Chet will feel it more.

Film
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
  • In the live-action 101 Dalmatians movie, when Roger mistakes Perdita for Pongo and attempts to take her away, Anita puts a stop to it with this.
    Roger: What do you have in that purse of yours, rocks?
    Anita: Oh, no; bricks.
    • She really was carrying bricks. She was collecting bricks one or two at a time as she saw them; she was paving her garden and there were leftovers.
  • In Madagascar, an old lady attacks Alex with her purse.
  • The Sting: after Hooker yanks a woman out of a phone booth, the woman hits both Hooker and his partner with her purse.
  • Mrs. Marcus from It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World will very often hit other people with her purse when she's really angry. The following characters she's hit with her purse are; Melville Crump, J. Russell Finch, Col. Hawthorne, Otto Meyer, and a random pedestrian.
  • The heroine of The Gods Must Be Crazy's sequel keeps the two soldiers in line with her handbag. When they see her pull out a half-brick one worries about what else she's got in there.

Literature
  • Harry Potter: Mrs. Figg hits Mundungus Fletcher with her handbag, which, from the clanking, appeared to be filled with cans of cat food.
  • In Discworld, Agony Aunt Dotsie's unnaturally heavy purse provides a quick removal of any threat
  • In the first book of the Alcatraz Series, Bastille mostly used her handbag to store her sword, but she also used it to whack Alcatraz.

Live-Action TV
  • A staple of Ruth Buzzi's old lady character on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer once improvised a weapon from a handbag and a couple of bricks. On the commentary, Joss Whedon refers to it as "Bag fu."
  • The Big Bang Theory had one where Amy went to hit Bernadette with her purse, but she ducked and Amy accidentally hit Penny instead, breaking her nose in the process.
    Penny: What have you got in there?
    Amy: Just my wallet, keys and a coffee can full of change I was taking to the bank.
  • The Golden Girls: Sophia would sometimes indulge in this, using the beaded purse she carried with her everywhere. One episode of note is when her sister, Angela, moves to Miami and moves in with Sophia's current boyfriend. Sophia automatically assumes that the two are having an affair and goes to confront them. Angela pleads her innocence...only for Sophia's boyfriend to walk out of his bedroom with another woman. Sophia and Angela gang up on him.
    Angela: You've insulted my sister's honor!
    Tony: I don't know what to say.
    Sophia: I'll tell you what you can say! Say "ouch"! {whacks him with her purse}
    Angela: Say, "That hurts!" {whacks him with her purse}
  • Discussed in the final episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures. The villain asks if she's going to hit him with her handbag. She doesn't, unfortunately.
  • In Malcolm in the Middle, Dewey starts to carry a handbag with him as a backpack. Reese knowing that his brother would get picked on for this, tries to get him to use a backpack again. Despite spending the entire episode and still not changing Dewey's mind Reese finally sees Dewey getting picked on for using a handbag. Dewey then proceeds to beat the crud out of his hecklers using his handbag. After they run away Dewey reveals he was carrying a brick inside the handbag as he expected this too.
  • Used several times on Three's Company—including in the very first episode by a potential roommate for the girls, after Mr. Roper pokes her in the breasts to prove that they aren't real.
  • In the opening sequence for The Odd Couple, Felix is shown trying to help an old lady cross the street. The lady hits him with her handbag and a Boy Scout punches him. It's just not Felix's day.

New Media
  • There is an (obviously faked) YouTube video of a little old lady in a crosswalk responding to the impatient honking of a motorist by whacking his front bumper with her handbag hard enough to set off his airbags.

Professional Wrestling
  • When she was with Randy Savage in the late-1980's, Sherri Martel regularly came to the ring with a loaded purse. It backfired on her at SummerSlam 1989 when Hulk Hogan got a hold of it.
  • At New Year's Revolution 2006, Shelton Benjamin defeated Viscera after Shelton's mother clocked Viscera with her purse when the referee wasn't looking. After the match, she opened her purse and showed the audience there was a brick inside it.

Satire

Stand-Up Comedy
  • Eddie Izzard once suggested that the Queen should be attacked by dogs (long story) and that she could defend herself with a handbag with a brick in it.

Tabletop Games
  • In 4th edition Champions, the combat example was a bank robbery. At one point, a little old lady customer thwacks one of the goons with her purse. He goes down.

Video Games
  • Killer7: Garcian Smith's down attack involves hitting an enemy with his large suitcase.
  • MapleStory: a briefcase is a usable weapon for players.
  • Handbags were available as weapons in Final Fantasy Tactics - but only for female characters of a few classes. Some of them actually packed a rather impressive punch.
  • Chat in Tales of Eternia uses these as weapons, though sometimes she just pulls hammers out of them.
    • Karol from Tales of Vesperia smacks foes over the head with his large handbag for his various debuffing artes. He uses these as his secondary weapon and can be seen storing his main weapon in them outside of battle. The one he's currently using has his Bodhi Blastianote  attached to it.
  • Handbags are a possible weapon (albeit a very weak one) for players to find in Dead Rising.
    • It's definitely in the sequel as shown here.
  • In The Sims 1 & 2, the ambiguously wedded Mrs./Miss Crumplebottom carries a handbag that, while not murderous, is quite humiliating.
  • Kisarah Westfield from SNK's Neo Geo Battle Coliseum is a schoolgirl who fights with her bookbag, which is a callback to the fighting game she originally comes from (Aggressors of Dark Kombat) where various weapons can be picked up and temporarily used.
  • A handbag is the first weapon you can give to Eileen in the Escort Mission section of Silent Hill 4. (Protip: Don't do it! Her AI will flip from "cower-and-hide" to "reckless enthusiasm" and she'll take damage. If you need the help, give her one of the better weapons you find later.)

WebAnimation

Webcomics
  • Laura Gates of Beyond Reality has a lead weight sewn to the bottom of her purse for this exact purpose.
  • In Lackadaisy Cats, Mitzi slams one into Mordecai's face in shock when he hid in her backseat to have a word with her.
    Mordecai: I'd like a word with you... if you can refrain from assaulting me with a bakelite for a moment.

Western Animation
  • Irma, the dorky friend of April O'Neill, utters the battle cry in the page quote in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987, while facing off against an unstoppable robot.
  • In the Looney Tunes shorts:
    • Boston Quackie, Quackie's girlfriend Mary clobbers the man in the green hat with her handbag. Of course, she is carrying an anvil in it...
    • Ballot Box Bunny, Bugs pretends to be a baby and accuses mayoral candidate Yosemite Sam of biting him on the nose during a "kissing babies" PR stunt. A crowd of angry mothers immediately swarm Sam and beat him with their handbags
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "The Mysterious Mare Do Well", Rainbow Dash gives Granny Smith an unwanted helping hoof and gets bonked with Granny's purse for her troubles.
  • In one episode of The Spectacular Spider Man, an old lady on the subway saves Spider-Man's life by employing this technique ... against the Lizard!
  • Aunt Bogunda from Mr. Bogus will very often use her purse to beat up those who dare to oppress her, sometimes even bonking Bogus on the head. It especially doesn't help matters that Bogunda is an Expy of Mrs. Marcus.
  • In the Mega Man cartoon, Ms. Lapierre swats at a shrunken Mega Man with her purse.
  • In The Flintstones Betty and Wilma can knock anyone out with their purses. Enough so that they look like more badass fighters than their husbands.
  • Goodfeathers flock together, Slappy whacks 'em with her purse.

Real Life
Grievous Harm with a BodyImprovised IndexHooks and Crooks
Grumpy Old ManEldersHelping Granny Cross the Street
Grievous Harm with a BodyWeapons and Wielding TropesHorn Attack
Hammy HeraldAdded Alliterative AppealHappy Harlequin Hat

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