Improvised Cross

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/improvised_cross.jpg

A combination of Holy Burns Evil and Improvised Weapon. A character is being cornered by a vampire. Desperate, she grabs two sticks from the ground and puts them together on form of a cross on front of her. The vampire instantly starts hissing and covering its face with its cape, as if the thing was just plied from the church wall.

Can be applied to various objects, from pictures on the wall to (if the character is truly desperate) putting two fingers together. If the vampires are adverse to perpendicular lines in general and not crosses specifically, it raises the question of how they survived the invention of architecture.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comedy 
  • One of Eddie Izzard's early stand-up routines has him discussing whether or not a finger-cross would ward off a vampire, which would essentially make Dracula more of an annoyance that a terrifying monster. Also, if your crucifix has been broken and looks more like a T-sign, can you still use it to ward a vampire by holding it with your thumb stuck above it?

    Comic Books 
  • In one issue of Dracula Lives, a character prevents Dracula from restoring his freshly staked brides by arranging their corpses on the floor to form a cross.
  • Uncanny X-Men
    • In one eighties issue, Nightcrawler and Wolverine are fighting Dracula. Wolverine crosses his claws to make a cross and Dracula tells him that in order for that to work on him you have to believe. Nightcrawler holds up two pieces of wood in a cross-shape and tells Dracula "I believe!" and Dracula recoils. Look at it here.
    • In Uncanny X-Men Annual #6, which is a continuation to the events above, Rachel Van Helsing keeps Dracula at bay with two candlesticks forming a cross. Since she has been recently turned into a vampire, it burns her as well.
  • The cover of Cartoon Cartoons #4 shows Courage the Cowardly Dog trying to ward off a feline vampire with a cross-shaped tire iron, though, in the actual story, Courage never uses any such thing to vanquish the beast.
  • Two ninjas in Dungeon: The Early Years form a cross with their katanas and gloatingly ask the vampire if he can see it. He says he can't, as he lost his glasses, and quickly defeats them.
  • Fiends of the Eastern Front: Hans uses two pieces of wood to make a makeshift cross to prevent the vampires from killing a Russian soldier.

    Comic Strips 
  • Get Fuzzy: In a story arc from 2002, Bucky crawls into the air conditioning vent and can't get himself out, so he starts demanding Satchel to help him out; at first, Satchel assumes the voice he's hearing is God, since it came from above, but when Bucky says it's not God, Satchel then assumes it's Satan, then tries to rebuke him by holding two pencils in the shape of a cross.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the Astérix film Operation Getafix, there is a scene where the Soothsayer goes into a house where the Gauls are gathered. Not knowing who he is, Unhygenix the fishmonger makes a cross using two fish.
  • In The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, during the were-rabbit's first rampage, he takes vegetables from the vicar's garden. The vicar tries to fend it off by forming a cross with two cucumbers, but the were-rabbit just eats them. Amusingly, the vicar is shown reaching past an actual cross in order to grab the cucumbers.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Hammer Horror films:
  • From Dusk Till Dawn:
    • In the first From Dusk Till Dawn film, Jacob fights vampires with a pump-action shotgun that he cocks with a baseball bat on its loop-grip, forming a cross. Other characters carve crosses into the tips of their bullets. The wide usage of this Trope on Hammer Horror films ("Peter Cushing did it all the time!") gets a Lampshade Hanging on a previous scene, setting up the Chekhov's Gun.
    • In From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money, a vampire displays an aversion to the perpendicular lines of a vault door's hand wheel and later on a vampire attack is halted by closing the backdoors of an ambulance, which have the standard hospital red cross on them.
  • In one scene of Swedish vampire flick Frostbite, a character puts two sticks together to repel a vampire. This is subverted when the vampire is unimpressed and points out that the sticks actually form an "X." This is double subverted when the character rectifies their mistake and the vampire immediately recoils.
  • In Modern Problems (1981), Max starts using his telekinetic powers at the beach house dinner table. The voodoo-practicing maid, Dorita, enters the dining room at this point with a dish of corn. When she becomes aware of what's happening, she quickly fashions a cross out of two ears of corn and gets out of there.

    Literature 
  • Exaggerated, justified, and deconstructed in Blindsight. Vampires have the vertical and horizontal crosswired in their visual cortex, which causes them to suffer fatal seizures upon seeing perpendicular lines. As would be expected, they went extinct when humans invented architecture.
  • Actually invoked in Carpe Jugulum, where the vampires have built up an immunity to all the traditional vampire repellents including garlic and holy symbols (crosses are not mentioned, but there are so many religions on the Disc there's probably one or two). This backfires spectacularly when Granny gets in their heads and makes their acquired immunities fail. As it happens, the Magpyr castle is deliberately full of thin metal ornaments that can be easily twisted into the holy symbol of the victim's choice, because the old count knew that letting someone defeat him every once in a while would satisfy them to not seek a more permanent form of death. So the Magpyr family suddenly find themselves surrounded by images that make them recoil in horror.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The X-Files episode "Bad Blood", Mulder tries to arrest Ronnie, a teenage vampire who tries to resist and fights quite hard. There is also a whole community of vampires coming to help Ronnie. Mulder spots some garlic bread sticks, grabs two of them and shapes them into a cross. It doesn't work, so he throws them at the people. That doesn't work either.
  • In the season two premiere of Forever Knight, Nick puts two planks of wood together to ward off his former master LaCroix.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • During a WWECW house show close after both of their debuts, CM Punk held Kevin Thorne at bay during their match with his two index fingers held in the shape of a cross. Thorne had to beg the referee to get Punk to stop it.

    Theater 
  • A variation in Hernani. The conspirators look for a cross to swear secrecy on. One of them pulls out his sword, holds it up by the point, and says "Let us swear on this cross!".
  • In Tanz der Vampire, after Alfred fails to scare off Count von Krolock with a huge candlestick, Abronsius quickly grabs a second one to form a cross with the first. It effectively scares off the vampires to the point that one of them is usually fainting.

    Video Games 
  • In the intro of Brütal Legend, Kabbage Boy's drummer attempts to ward off Ormagöden by crossing his drum sticks in front of him. Needless to say, it doesn't work, and the Fire Beast promptly crushes him with its fist.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ImprovisedCross