"I do believe you've killed my hat."Want to get a good idea how dangerous the situation got or was? Why not getting your hat cut into two, getting bullet holes in it, etc. This is also sometimes accompanied with: "I just got that hat!" Particularly savvy characters might even throw their hats to test for booby traps or stick it out from cover only to pull it back in, riddled with bullets. See also Wardrobe Wound, Could Have Been Messy, Close-Call Haircut, Dead Hat Shot, and Broken Faceplate. A non-Fanservice Sub-Trope of Clothing Damage. Depending on how attached the character is to the headgear, this damage can easily serve as a Berserk Button. To prevent this, see The Hard Hat.
— Urahara Kisuke, Bleach
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Anime and Manga
- Bleach: Urahara provides the page quote.
- Starrk slicing a bit out of Kyoraku's hat - cutting him in the process - would be an indication the fight's going somewhere, were it not for the fact they then continue to procrastinate for some time afterwards. One of Kyoraku's dirty tactics is to throw his hat at Starrk to block his view, and then attack by slicing the hat in two, and in theory cut Starrk. The Espada is too quick, but the hat is definitely 'killed'.
- One Piece: Happens to Luffy's straw hat, which was given to him by Shanks. Which was presumably given to Shanks by Gold Roger himself
- In Get Backers during his first fight with Kyoji Kagami, Akabane gets his massive fedora sliced at a small point in the front, though it doesn't anger him and only serves to convince him of Kagami's worth as an opponent. The slit stays there for the rest of the series.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie: Knuckles digs some tunnels to redirect a dangerous lava flow. He avoids getting burned, only for his hat to catch on fire.
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Vita gets her hat slightly shredded by Nanoha's Divine Buster. She does not react well.
- Soul Eater: Giriko cuts Mosquito's hat while slicing the roof off the limo they were in.
- Katekyo Hitman Reborn!: during the TYL arc, Reborn has been training Yamamoto in some swordplay. The final test is the former versus the latter using a Paintball pistol and his Katana respectively. After a few seconds of even-match sparring, the final blow is struck, and Reborn looks unharmed...until a rip appears on his hat.
- Ninja Scroll: Jubei's hat takes some damage early on, and it remains split for the rest of the movie.
- The "bullet through the hat" was sort of a trademark for Dalton brothers in Lucky Luke. This is also a plot point in one of the albums, although the Dalton brothers aren't involved.
- The "decoy hat on a stick" and the "Visited the Indians hat" are also prevalent.
- Happens in the Tintin book Tintin The Calculus Affair. Professor Calculus, coming back from his lab, had a bullet hole going straight through his hat, which he attributes to moths.
- If you shoot Scrooge McDuck's top hat, he'll make you pay... the repair costs.
- In The Walking Dead, Carl Grimes' trademark Sheriff's hat as well as its owner's head has a sizeable chunk taken from it by a stray bullet. Carl continues to wear it in this state.
Film - Animated
- Disney's Robin Hood opens with a chase that leaves an arrow stuck through Robin's hat (triggering the Stock Phrase "That one almost had my name on it!"). Later, after a climactic fall into a castle moat, the hat bobs up, with another arrow through it, but with no Robin. What, didn't you see the word "Disney's" back there?
- In Aladdin, when Prince Ali makes his dramatic entrance, an elephant opens the door onto Jafar. He's fine, except that his hat is knocked askew. (It's fine in the next shot though.)
- In the sequel, Jafar slahes the Sultan's turban and leaves it in Aladdin's room to act as evidence framing Aladdin for murder
Film - Live Action
- Back to the Future Part III: Buford Tannen holds Doc at gunpoint and Marty hits the gun with a thrown pie plate the moment he pulls the trigger. Doc's hat gets a neat bullethole right in the center and is knocked off his head, but he is uninjured. Played completely serious.
- In The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (better known as the movie where "We don't need no stinking badges!" comes from), the banditos have the protagonists surrounded, and the first warning shot goes right through their leader's huge sombrero.
- Happens twice in the 2009 Sherlock Holmes film version:
- Holmes finds himself on a Conveyor Belt-O-Doom and comes dangerously close to a rotating chainsaw. His hat doesn't survive the encounter.
- Irene Adler shoots Dredger clean through the bowler hat. It just misses the top of his head inside the hat, prompting the one-liner, "Did you... miss me?"
- In the sequel, Watson is taking cover behind a piece of heavy machinery to avoid Moran. There is a minute gap between two curtains; he holds out his hat to see just how sharp Moran's shot is, and gets a hole in it for his trouble.
- In almost every movie about the Alamo, Davy Crocket shoots off Santa Anna's hat. Though no historical evidence is provided for this, he probably just does this to be a smart ass.
- In The Three Musketeers (1973), during the opening encounter with the Cardinal's guards, Porthos's hat gets sliced in half while he isn't wearing it, leading to a scene in which Porthos, jubilant at the Musketeers' victory, puts his hat on, it falls off to either side of his head, and he throws a tantrum and takes four times the cost of the hat out of the guards' purses as a fine.
- At the start of The Quick and the Dead, "Dog" Kelly shoots the Lady through her hat while trying to kill her. Understandably pissed, the Lady knocks him out, steals his hat, and leaves him shackled to a wrecked wagon in the middle of the desert.
- The Man With No Name's hat has a repaired bullet hole in the dead center of the crown. We never learn the circumstances surrounding it, its just another mysterious element of the character.
- The Steel Helmet, a 1951 war movie by Sam Fuller. Sergeant Zack has a bullethole in his helmet, which saved him from a North Korean execution squad. He regards the helmet as good luck and refuses to exchange it for another one.
- My Name Is Nobody has a running gag about Nobody and Jack shooting one another's hats. At one point Nobody wastes his last bullet on a hat on the floor because Jack is ahead by one.
- Played straight and then subverted in Saving Private Ryan during the Normandy invasion. A soldier takes a round right in the forehead, leaving a big dent in his helmet. He takes it off, looks at it, and laughs just as another round hits him in his now-unprotected head.
- In Gunslinger, Cain's hat is shot off in the final confrontation as he's shot in the head, killing him, though, when shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000, we get this little gem:
Joel: [As Cain slumps over dead] Ohh, got him right in the hat.
- In The Good, the Bad, the Weird, Do-won gets a bullet through the brim of his hat during the gun battle with Japanese Army, and Chang-yi shoots Tae-goo's aviator cap off his head just before the final showdown.
- In, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pintel shoots Gillette's hat off and Jack slices the feathers on Barbossa's hat in half (which thoroughly infuriates him).
- In Bad Taste, Derek falls off from a cliff, fracturing his skull. To keep it together, he stumbles to his car and puts on a hat, which gets blown off later by a stray bullet, sending him into convulsions.
- In the first Crocodile Dundee sequel, the cartel members hold Dundee's friend Walter hostage to try to force him to surrender. Dundee responds by putting a bullet through Walter's hat. The cartel assumes he was going for a head shot, which gives Walter the appearance of a motive to track him down so that the cartel trusts him and keeps him alive long enough for Mick to come up with plan to thwart the cartel.
- High Plains Drifter. Clint Eastwood's character is Training the Peaceful Villagers by having a wagon with dummies driven around so the townspeople can shoot at it. Annoyed by their A-Team Firing, Clint draws and shoots the heads off all the dummies, then shoots the hat off the driver for good measure. Another man standing behind Clint who's contemplating stabbing him In the Back suddenly decides he has urgent business elsewhere.
- In The Diamond Age, when Hackworth gets mugged, his hat is horrendously damaged.
- Happens to Psmith during a shoot-out in Psmith, Journalist.
- In Peril at End House by Agatha Christie, a bullet hole in Nick's hat is one of the signs that someone is trying to kill her. Except that she's the one who shot her hat in the first place, in order to make it look as though that were the case.
- The Princess Ren is tackled in A Brother's Price and saved from a Booby Trap; her hat is less fortunate.
- The 1962 Polish book Piec przygod detektywa Konopki has an example of this trope invoked by a cowboy who wears multiple hats, stacked on top of one another. If someone would try to shoot him in the head, they'd instead only manage to shoot off one of his hats, eventually giving up on shooting a guy whose head, as far as they can tell, is all hats.
- Mark Delewen and the Space Pirates has Mark shooting the very large hat off the pirate captain.
- The "poke the hat up on a stick" version is subverted in Men at Arms: When the villain is firing the gonne into his office, Vimes moves to the corner of the room next to the window and uses a stick with a hook to poke his helmet out. Immediately a bullet hits the floor, where it would have severely inconvenienced anyone crouched under the window.
Live Action TV
- First episode of Blackadder Goes Fourth had Blackadder toss the Lieutenant's helmet over the trench wall. The German solders riddled it with bullet holes, before Blackadder caught it on its way back.
- Happens to Benton Fraser, RCMP, in an episode of Due South. Played straight to begin with: a gun goes off, Benton falls, Ray takes out the shooter and yells for Benton... then this happens.
Benton: She shot me in the hat, Ray.
Ray: She shot you in the hat?
Benton: Yes. I can feel air coming in through the hole. (Sighs) I'll have to get my second-best one.
- Sandra burned Russell's hat in the finale of Survivor: Heroes vs Villains, but he only found out when the episode aired.
- In a season one episode of NCIS, Kate and Tony are trying (and failing) at the target range - they keep accidentally shooting the "hostage." Gibbs decides to up the stakes a bit - he tapes Kate's PDA to her "hostage's" head, and Tony's hat to his. Next scene, Tony's complaining about the bullethole in the visor. Becomes a Brick Joke in season three, when he passes it off to Ziva.
Ziva: I'm wondering why there is a 9mm hole in my hat.
- Episodes of The Avengers often ended with Steed and Mrs Peel attempting to repair the latest damage done to Steed's bowler hat.
- In Mash, Major Winchester has a life or death experience after the camp survives a sniper attack; everything is fine until Charles puts his hat on a hook, and it goes right through the bullet hole.
- Played with on CSI, when the groom at an Alice-In-Wonderland-themed wedding is fired on at close range by a robber who's shooting blanks. The blast of escaping air would have merely knocked the "Mad Hatter" hat off his head, except that its energy struck a button on the hatband, propelling it straight into the unlucky groom's brain. For once, Hat Damage caused death rather than substituted for it!
- In Power Rangers Zeo's final battle, King Mondo's defeat is punctuated by his mechanical crown coming off and rolling away.
- One of the many Tropes Examined By The Myth Busters. They found that it was impossible to actually shoot a person's hat off without also causing a fatal head injury, and the only gun to reliably take a hat off was a shotgun.
Adam: He's definitely not going around going, 'And then he shot the hat right off my head!', because he'll also be like, 'And then he shot the top of my head right off my head!'
- In the episode in which they test if one can shoot an incoming hand grenade and what the effect of that would be, Jamie and Adam go learn to shoot skeet with a 12-gauge. At then end, Jamie tosses his beret like a frisbee for Adam to try to shoot. He hit it.
- In Doctor Who, this is a Running Gag during the Matt Smith era, with the Doctor putting on new hats and River shooting them.
- Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Inspector Jack Robinson has his hat shot off his head in "Death on the Vine".
- Xena: Warrior Princess: In "The Xena Scrolls", Dr Covington's hat is shot off her head during the opening shoot-out.
- Father Brown: In "The Lair of the Libertines'', the doctor shoots the fez off Cryus's head, which serves to show the viewers how heedless of others safety the doctor is. For the rest of the episode, Cyrus's fez has a neat bullet hole in it.
- Supernatural. Averted for the Cliffhanger ending of "How To Win Friends and Influence Monsters". Bobby Singer dives into a van pursued by a hail of bullets. Sam Winchester hands him his hat, then realises there's a bullet hole in it and Bobby isn't answering. The following episode starts with a zoom out from the matching hole in Bobby's skull, to show it isn't Only a Flesh Wound.
- From "Cool for Cats" by Squeeze:
And he wakes to find the fire's dead
And arrows in his hat,
And Davy Crockett rides around
And says it cool for cats.
- One The Far Side comic features a bunch of western bandits, remarking on the fact that one of them manages to get a bullet through his hat every single time they get in a shootout. The explanation: said bandit has a ridiculously tall hat.
- Another The Far Side comic takes the old arrow-through-the-hat example of this trope from Westerns and takes it to its illogical extreme: a panicked cowboy runs in, bringing a warning. "Indians!" Guess what's lodged in his hat.
- A very early Barney Google arc had the titular character getting regularly shot at by gangsters in this manner, leading to the Running Gag "Just look at 'at hat!"
- In Cactus Canyon, shooting one of the Bart Brothers causes his hat to fly off.
- In the Spaghetti Western card game Bang!, the "Miss!" symbol is a hat with a bullet passing through it.
- In Carmen, Don José, guarding the gypsy camp, aims his rifle at the approaching Escamillo and fires. The shot apparently passes through Escamillo's hat, which he carries in his hand as he enters.
- The online mode for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater actually uses this as a gameplay mechanic. If you play as Revolver Ocelot, a headshot will only knock off his beret, protecting him from death just once.
- Red Dead Redemption: it's possible to remove people's hats with well-placed shots. A slight error quickly turns the target's head into Pink Mist, but the hat comes off that way, too.
- Dizzy's hat can come off in Gears of War 2 multiplayer, but only from being struck by an enemy's munitions or downed. Rolling around won't.
- The Godfather game allows you to blow off enemies' hats with certain Execution Styles.
- It's possible to knock the hats/helmets right off of the Mooks in GoldenEye.
- The first two Soldier of Fortune games made it possible, if not difficult, to shoot off an enemies hat without harming them. An enemy that has that happen to them will often stop in their tracks from the surprise, giving you a chance to shoot the gun out of their hands and cause them to beg for mercy.
- Even more difficult but still possible is shooting someones sunglasses off without hurting them.
- In Time Crisis 2 Area 1 Stage 2, when chasing the first boss, you can shoot his head causing his hat to fall off. Do this each time he shows up will let you skip fighting the APC with a machine gun sequence. Instead, you will fight a number of bonus-point-awarding soldiers.
- Several enemies in Resonance of Fate wear hats as armor, which can be shot off with the right type of attack. For basic gangsters, a hat can survive sustained machinegun fire indefinitely, but a single handgun shot will remove it. In addition, destroying/removing hats and other pieces of clothing/armor is a key gameplay mechanic.
- Team Fortress 2: the description for Ritzy Rick's Hair Fixative on the Sniper's hat, which was shot by a bullet. Oddly enough, for a game that sells itself as a "War-Themed Hat Simulator", the trope is averted in gameplay.
- L.A. Noire has the hat's not only being shot down, but also knocked off by fistfights.
Cole Phelps: That was a $12 hat!
- Medal of Honor has done this since the first game.
- The epilogue of Halo: Reach shows helmet damage from first-person view to convey the hopelessness of the situation. After a certain amount of damage, Noble Six discards the helmet and the camera continues to run from there as the Elites deliver the death blow. Also occurs when Kat is killed with a headshot by the Elite Field Marshal.
- Happens in Brain Dead 13 when Lance is impaled by a pit of spikes in one death scene, as his own baseball cap, hair and all, is pierced by spikes.
- Somewhat averted in other death scenes, as no matter how many times he gets doused in acid or gets his skin and/or clothing torn off by thorns or some other means, his cap somehow survives intact, as if it's Made of Indestructium.
- In Grand Theft Auto IV it's not uncommon to blast policemen's hats away with headshots, explosives, fistfighting or driving into them; it possibly even works with other hat-wearing people.
- All of the player characters in Towerfall Ascension wear headgear of some kind; for instance, The Last of the Order wears a hood, the Vigilante Thief has a bandana, the Turncloak Soldier has a helmet, and so on. Additionally, any characters in the lead over a set will bear a crown instead of their normal headgear. If you shoot just over the head of another character in a match, their headgear will be knocked off, and they can even pick it back up if they crouch over it before the match ends. In the case of the Ancient Exile, her Slipknot Ponytail will be cut loose, thus letting her hair down.
- An important game mechanic in SteamWorld Heist. Shots that just miss the head can knock a character's hat off. This allows one of your characters to collect the hat and add it to your collection.
- In the cinematic trailer for World of Warcraft: Mists Of Pandaria, Chen Stormstout engages Alliance and Horde sailors. While he beats both of them with no effort they were only able to notch his hat.
- In El Goonish Shive, Mr. Raven cuts through Abraham's hat during their duel.
- Exterminatus Now: Two dragons fire off a burst of flame, reducing Lothar's hat to cinders. As the rest of the Inquisition runs for cover, Lothar heads for the two dragons, each of whom is now pointing at the other as being responsible for the loss of the hat. Death, pain and rage ensue.
- In 8-Bit Theater, Red Mage's hat is often stabbed by Black Mage, who leaves the daggers in because it looks silly.
- Samurai Jack: many times to Jack's straw hat, such as being split in two in Jack's first encounter with the Scotsman.
- Though, in that encounter, Jack did strike back. Those poor bagpipes.
- Happens on occasion in Looney Tunes, usually to Yosemite Sam.
- Daffy Duck gets his miner's cap chopped neatly in two by a scimitar in "Ali Baba Bunny."
- In "Bugsy and Mugsy", Rocky manages to cut Mugsy's hat in half as well as part of the couch he was sleeping on when Rocky thought Mugsy was going to axe him.
- In "Speedy Gonzales", Speedy is working as a living target in a shooting gallery when he gets a bullet through his hat.
- In an episode of the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, Leonardo manages to slice Karai's Shredder helmet into several pieces to get her attention.
- In Xiaolin Showdown, Clay has his Nice Hat shot at, leaving a hole in it.
Clay: That's the second hat this week! Now I'm mad!
- In the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Made in Manehattan", Applejack's hat falls off her head and she accidentally runs it over with a lawnmower. Then what remains is flattened by a falling statue.
- Gravity Falls: Subverted in "Weirdmageddon, Part 1." Ford shoots through Bill's hat... revealing it to be a part of his actual body, as the hole graphically shows some meaty innards before he regenerates.
- This man and his Rooster Teeth hat.
- This soldier loses his beret when a gun prematurely goes off behind him, blasting it off his head.
- Abraham Lincoln was fired at during an attempted assassination. His horse bolted and caused him to lose his iconic hat. When the hat was retrieved from the scene, a bullet hole was found in it.
- In many cultures throughout history, knocking off a man's Nice Hat was sure-fire way to start a fight.
- In post-war Germany due to lack of metal, Wehrmacht helmets were recycled as colanders.
- Baroque poet and Badass Bookworm Francisco de Quevedo fought a duel with the noted Master Swordsman Luis Pacheco de Narvaez and knocked off his hat in the first pass. Quevedo later lampooned the encounter in his novel El Buscon.