Willing Suspension of Disbelief when they look at the characters pulling the arrows on air, with no reasonable explanation. Can be a subtrope of Lazy Artist, unless justified. Can overlap with Energy Bows, which lack strings sometimes.
- Actually justified for Shaft from Youngblood. His bow is based upon alien anti-gravity technology, therefore nullifying the need for a string. Presumably the point of this is making it easier to store and maintain.
- In Clock Tower 3, Alyssa uses a bow without a string. Justified in that she is shooting energy arrows from an energy bow.
- Bows in Disgaea games don't have strings. This allows for cooler, more impractical designs, though. Especially with Magichange system.
- Dragon Age series:
- Gods: Lands of Infinity has this.
- Kid Icarus features a curious example: Pit's bows do have strings, but only when he is shooting an arrow. They disappear when not in use — they seem to be made of light or something like that. Of course, his bows can also be taken apart and used as swords, so the string would have to be done away with in that event anyway.
- The first Neverwinter Nights. Curiously enough, when a bow is enchanted, the magical glow outlines where the string should be.
- Shana and Miranda's bow in The Legend of Dragoon follows this trope, understandable for a PS1 game.
- Guild Wars plays this trope straight, while its sequel inverts it with visible bowstrings and invisible arrows (while aiming).
- Many Robin Hood, Green Arrow or Hawkeye figures suffer from either this or stiff plastic strings.
- Bow-wielding models from tabletop wargames, such has Warhammer typically don't have strings on their bows since the scale of the models would make sculpting them pretty much impossible.
- Also present in military miniatures, where the limitations of casting in metal, resin or plastic preclude providing strings on archer figures' bows. Some makers have tried, but the result, on a 25mm figure, is generally vastly over-scale◊.
- Hank the Ranger's bow in Dungeons & Dragons has no string — unless Hank readies an arrow, in which case a magical one appears. His arrows are the same, in that they only show up when he mimes notching one.