->''"It's not unlike a long-range kebab."''
-->-- '''Javelin description''', ''Videogame/DungeonsOfDredmor''

One of the oldest weapons of all humanity, along with the [[CarryABigStick wooden clubs]], is the javelin. Short, light spears that can also be simple sharp sticks, Javelins differs from BladeOnAStick for many things: usually, while spears and lances are melee weapons associated to guards, soldiers, armies and-or cool-headed, calm individuals, javelins are different. They're weapons associated with speed, as its much lighter to carry than the spear.

Javelins are favored by [[BornInTheSaddle horse riders]] who can use it instead of bows and arrows (javelins are much more economic to build and easier to use). Is also a very old weapon, so it's usually seen in the hands of wild, primitive looking cultures. If the work takes place in a sea setting then you'll probably see its water cousin, the harpoon. Another advantage is that a javelin is more likely to penetrate armor than an arrow thanks to its heavier weight.

Sometimes certain powerful characters won't be satisfied with mere short spears and will show off by tossing [[BiggerIsBetter very large spears]] around to fight. In VideoGames, there'll often be the trick of javelins returning to the thrower or magically respawning/reappearing in his or her hand.

Often associated with the [[ShockAndAwe Lightning element]] (with thunder gods generally throwing lightning bolts around like javelins). In some cases they'll be [[PoisonedWeapons coated in venom]].

There is a weapon itself known as the javelin-thrower, spear-thrower or atlatl which used leverage to increase the power and range of a thrown spear; users of these are also examples of this trope.

See also BladeOnAStick, ProngsOfPoseidon and HarpoonGun for the technological version.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* Dabura the Demon King from ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' can summon and shoot spears at his enemies.
* Crocus from ''Manga/OnePiece'' is seen using harpoons with great skill.
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'' Erza's Giant Armor is made for boosting her throwing skills and equipped with an evil-banishing spear, which she throws at Galuna's moon in order to end the curse.
* One EliteMook in ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' uses javelins, though given his size they're more like harpoons. In a lightless tunnel, he's lethal... unfortunately, he's up against Guts.

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* The Creator/DCComics villain Javelin, an Olympic javelin thrower who decided to turn to crime one day.

[[folder: Film ]]
* ''Film/WonderWoman1974'': The renegade Amazon Ahnjayla uses her javelin throwing skills to trick George into losing a couple of sucker bets. When Wonder Woman shows up riding the burro Ahnjayla tries to skewer her with a javelin but Wonder Woman [[CatchAndReturn catches it and throws it back]].
* One of the favored competitors in ''Film/TheHungerGames'' is Marvel, whose WeaponOfChoice is the javelin, with which he scores one of the film's relatively few on-screen kills of a named character.
* The '80s SlasherMovie ''Fatal Games'' features a javelin-wielding murderer killing athletes.
* ''Film/SlaughterHigh'', another '80s SlasherMovie, also features deadly javelin usage.
* ''Film/OBrotherWhereArtThou'': The one-eyed Klansman is nearly killed by a metal pole flying at him, but he catches it midair. The giant burning cross that falls on him, however, is not so easily stopped.

[[folder: Literature ]]
* In ''Literature/TheElenium'', [[BornInTheSaddle the Peloi]], especially those from Daresia, use javelins in battle.
* The MacGuffin from the first book of ''Literature/ThePrismPentad'' is the Heartwood Spear, a magical spear that can even kill a [[SorcerousOverlord Sorcerer King]]. Judging from its description it's supposed to be a javelin.
* Sranul from ''Literature/{{Shadowkeep}}'' is a javelin user. Being a Kangaroo Man, he can throw his spears from great heights.
* In the ''Literature/{{Nibelungenlied}}'' One of the tests necessary to won over Brunild's hand is a spear throwing contest between her and a Siegfried-aided Gunther. Said spear is [[{{BFS}} so big that several men are required to carry it around]], while Brunild herself can [[OneHandedZweihander use it with only one hand]].
* ''Literature/MobyDick'' has Captain Ahab and most of the Peqod's crew. Justified by the setting.
* In ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'', a Nazgûl uses a javelin to almost-mortally wound Faramir.
* Javelins are iconic weapons of otters and hares in ''{{Literature/Redwall}}'' (as are slings) and are deadly when hurled in volleys.
* Javelins are often used by horsemen in the ''Literature/{{Deverry}}'' series, although the author's notes point out that they're very short javelins (three feet) and an alternate [[TranslationConvention translation of the Deverrian word]] might be "war dart".

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In ''Series/GameOfThrones'', the Night King hurls a very deadly ice javelin [[spoiler: which is used to OneHitKill Viserion, one of Daenerys' beloved dragons. He ''almost'' succeeds in killing Drogon as well]].
* ''Series/KungFu''
** The opening sequence includes Kwai Chang Caine dodging and striking aside spears being thrown at him by other monks.
** The pilot episode. After the Royal Nephew shoots and mortally wounds Master Po, he hides behind his chair to reload. Kwai Chang Caine kills him by throwing a guard's spear through the chair.
* In the 2008 ''Series/{{Poirot}}'' adaptation of ''Literature/CatAmongThePigeons'', [[spoiler:Ann Shapland]] is discovered trying to steal Prince Ali Yusef's crown jewels by [[AssholeVictim Miss Grace Springer]], a games teacher, so [[spoiler:Ann]] has to silence her by tossing a sports javelin [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice through her chest]].
* ''Series/MidsomerMurders'': In "Written in the Stars", the second VictimOfTheWeek is done in with a thrown spear using a stolen Bronze Age spearhead; which is unusual even for Midsomer.

[[folder: Mythology and Religion ]]
* Cu Chulain's spear Gae Bulg. It was also said to spread a thousand of shards inside the enemy wound.
* In ''Myth/NorseMythology'' Baldr was finally slain by a javelin (or arrow) made of [[KryptoniteFactor mistletoe]]. Odin's spear Gungnir was also known for [[AlwaysAccurateAttack never missing what you threw it at]]. There's also a myth of Odin throwing a spear into the enemy army in the Aesir-Vanir War, which the Norse would do likewise before starting a battle. To explain the use of the term "spear" despite the trope name, it's believed the Norse used technically-only-intended-to-be-thrown javelins infrequently and a "spear" intended for both was much more common.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* In ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII'' Skirmishers are javelin-wielding ranged infantry strong against other archers, [[GameplayAndStorySegregation despite the informational text clearly stating that actual skirmishers were used to harry heavier infantry]]. Oddly enough, they have a minimum range and thus are unable to strike enemies who are too close to them, unlike how actual skirmishers would doubtlessly just stab at the enemy with their javelins if forced to.
* In ''VideoGame/AgeOfMythology'' Peltast soldiers are javelineers strong against archers, while the heroine Regenlief use her long spear as a throwing weapon. The expansion has the Turma, Atlantean horsemen who attack by throwing spears. Satyrs can throw ''multiple'' javelins as a special attack ([[TierInducedScrappy but are also notoriously weak]]).
* Some units from ''VideoGame/TheBattleForWesnoth'' can use javelins, the most noticeable being the Javelineer.
* Kratos in ''VideoGame/GodOfWar Ghost of Sparta'' can use the spear from the Arms of Sparta as a javelin. Said spear can magically respawn in his hand after being tossed.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Avernum}}'' series has Javelins as one of the possible weapons. They look like Roman Pila.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'', [[FaceHeelTurn rogue knight]] [[BlowYouAway Greham]] can [[ShapingYourAttacks make javelins out of light]].
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' has the Javelin, Spear and Short Spear weapons. Along with magic and Hand Axes, they are the only weapons to have the benefit of having a 1-2 attack range, meaning that they can attack ''both'' up close and at a distance. However, aside from this fact, these weapons (save for magic) are some of the least efficient weapons in the series, combining [[ScratchDamage scrappy damage]], scrappy accuracy and overweight.
* In ''VideoGame/DiabloII'' the Amazon can specialize in javelins. Said character would return ''much'' later in ''VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm''
* The Qunari from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' use javelins.
* In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', [[HordesFromTheEast Caesar's Legion]] uses small throwing spears similar to javelins, mimicking the historical Roman pilum. The Gun Runners' Arsenal DLC adds a challenge known as "[[Film/ThreeHundred Even A God-King Can Bleed]]" that rewards you if you kill Caesar with a throwing spear to the head. Spears used by the player can also have [[PoisonedWeapons poison applied]].
* {{Lizard|Folk}}men in ''VideoGame/MasterOfMagic'' got Javelineers with ranged attack strength 3 like Longbowmen, but not long-range. They also move fast and are tough in melee.
* In ''VideoGame/AgeOfWonders'', the Wizard's Throne and Shadow Magic "Throw Spear" ability allows a single rather strong ranged attack. Nomads basic infantry unit Spearman has it, as well as some heroes.
* The Bandana Waddle Dee from ''VideoGame/KirbysReturnToDreamLand'' wields a spear that he uses for this purpose, and Kirby can, as well. Both just pull new spears [[HammerSpace out of nowhere]] when throwing them.
* Arthur from ''VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins''does this with his {{Jousting Lance}}s.
* In ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'', throwing spears and axes are a common weapon type.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia'', this is the weapon of choice for Moses. Like some other examples, he generates new javelins to throw out of nowhere.
* ''VideoGame/AgeOfChivalry'', a medieval combat-themed ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' GameMod, features the javelineer as one of the three ranged classes, along with the longbow-wielding archer and the crossbowman. Of some note is the fact that he's the only ranged class with any notable close combat abilities, using a longspear and shield as his melee weapons
** Its SpiritualSuccessor ''Videogame/ChivalryMedievalWarfare'' combines the three classes, giving the Archer class the option to wield a javelin -- and adding the ability to throw it while sprinting, increasing its damage dramatically. A javelineer can also now use his javelin in melee combat, doing away with the need to change weapons to defend yourself in close quarters.
* ''VideoGame/DungeonFighterOnline'' has the {{C|hurchMilitant}}rusader subclass, who can use his [[HolyHandGrenade Spear of Victory]] skill to throw a spear of light.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'' Noel can [[MorphWeapon combine]] his swords into a javelin to attack unreachable enemies. His LimitBreak lets him throw a rapid barrage of javelins from the air.
* Despite the weapon class being named Spear, this is what any character armed with one will do in ''VideoGame/GuildWars''.
* Wardens in ''VideoGame/LordOfTheRingsOnline'' specialize in spears, shields and javelins, and are very good at tanking.
* Nordein Hunters in ''VideoGame/{{Shaiya}}'' use the javelin in place of the Crossbow wielded by Elven Archers of the Light side.
* Wen Yang in ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' uses a javelin, and likes to both throw and strike with it.
* ''VideoGame/RyseSonOfRome'' has Roman pila being used as the primary ranged weapon for Marius.
* In the ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' series, javelinmen are a core component of most early armies; a cheap, short-distance but high piercing unit that won't last long in any direct melee combat.
** In ''VideoGame/TotalWarRomeII'', most melee units in the game carry javelins as well as their normal weapons which they'll throw just before charging the enemy or being charged. This is in addition to other specialized javelinmen and cavalry javelinmen units. ''VideoGame/TotalWarAttila'' has the javelin be very powerful in damage output, ensuring they'll quickly tear apart even the most armored units if thrown from an unshielded side but are low in range and total ammunition. They are much more uncommon in ''VideoGame/TotalWarWarhammer'', limited to being in the hands a few Chaos and Norsca ranged units. In the ''Shogun'' series and ''VideoGame/EmpireTotalWar'', javelins are entirely absent.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Medievil}}'' one of the weapons you can obtain in the Hall of Heroes is a throwing spear given to you by an amazon queen. It has only 30 projectiles, but it's far more powerful than the longbow and the crossbow.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Broforce}}'', one of the characters (based on certain [[Franchise/{{Predator}} alien hunter]]) uses throwing spears as his primary weapon.
* ''VideoGame/EmpireEarth'' has javelin throwers (and later pilum throwers and Persian cavalry ) as a shorter-ranged, higher-damage alternative to the archer and is useful for reversing the TacticalRockPaperScissors. In the expansion's Roman campaign, the Legionary can throw two pila at full charge, making them remarkably good at turning enemies into pincushions.
* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'': Troll Headhunters (and, rather uniquely, their upgraded version Troll {{Berserker}}s) throw spears and have the least range of all the factions' basic ranged units, while human bandits use poisoned spears.
* ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII'': This is the weapon art of the Follower Javelin, one of the weapons introduced in the ''Ashes of Ariandel'' [[DownloadableContent DLC]]. The [[FlavorText description]] states that you're not throwing the spear itself, but rather an illusion of a spear that assumes temporary form.

[[folder: Web Animation ]]
* Pyrrha Nikos wielded a weapon that acted as a javelin, or at least it did part of the time, with this being ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'', it transformed into a short sword and rifle.

[[folder: Webcomics ]]
* Chief's weapon of choice in ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'' is a magical javelin that splits into multiple projectiles when thrown and teleports back into his hand once it finds its target.
* ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'': The entire point of the Spear Bearers. Special notice goes to Rak who wields a 5 meter long spear, which he also uses in hand-to-hand combat.

[[folder: WesternAnimation ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/GIJoe'': The character Lady Jaye used them, and they had multi-purpose heads, which got her and her friends out of numerous problems.

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* Roman soldiers went to battle armed with ''pila'' (singular ''pilum''): each was a heavy wood shaft joined to a pyramidal iron point by a fairly thin shank of softer iron. At least for some weapons at some times, the shanks would bend at impact, making it difficult for the enemy to pick them up and throw them back. (For others, the whole thing was of hardened iron.) Pila were dangerous in great part because they could penetrate a shield to strike the holder; failing that, a shield impaled with a pilum was hard to continue using as a shield.
* ''Peltasts'' were the javelin-throwers of the classical era. Light troops used to pester the enemy, slowly bleeding it off while rapidly retreating from danger. So effective they were, being armed for maximum speed only with their javelins and light shields called ''pelta'', after which they were named, that they smashed entire corps of powerful, heavily armed hoplites without as much as a scratch, removing them from their pedestal of battlefield dominance in the Mediterranean.
* The Persian ''Palta'', short and heavy cornel-wood spears, made to be hard and durable so they fared equally well as ranged or melee weapons. The most basic weapon of Persian horsemen were two of these, one for throwing and one for hand-to-hand, and was often the weapon of duels amongst mounted Persian noblemen. When engaging the Greeks, this gave the cavalry an edge, as the longer, more fragile Greek spears were more difficult to handle and tended to break first.
* The African ''Assegai''.
* Most ancient cultures west of India made heavy use of javelins because it's easier to produce than the bow, the javelin's greater weight made it more effective against men wearing armor than most of the bows available, and doesn't require nearly as much skill to use effectively, specially at short ranges.
* An ubiquitous weapon in the hands of native Americans in the form of the spear-thrower: A simple, effective device which at its most basic is a stick with a hook or cup at the back that holds a projectile usually as long as a short spear, and multiplies the strength of the user's throw by increased leverage, much like slings.
** Common in Mesoamerica, The ''Atlatl'', Náhuatl name for the spear-thrower, was a weapon very difficult to master, and so was a symbol of distinction and skill, the Aztec gods very commonly depicted wielding one. Also it was apparently able to punch through any armor, be it quilted, leather or chainmail. The only thing it couldn't pierce was the Spanish steel plate of the invasion period.
** Also common in South America. The Muisca of the central highlands of Colombia held the ''Kysky'', as it was called, in very high regard. It was a standard warrior weapon, their main tactic consisting on using the kysky while the enemy approached and then finishing it off in a clash of melee, apparently disregarding bows altogether. The army archers were prisoners from other peoples mostly of Carib stock, such as their arch-enemies the Panche, leaving the core Muisca army their hands free to throw the deadly projectiles, said by the Spaniards to be able to go through an unarmoured man entirely, and through any shield or armour the native peoples had. As symbol of prestige and warrior pride, the kysky is usually seen in the hands of their iconic gold figures of ''El Dorado'' fame, making clear the represented are men of battle and power.
*** It's known in Australia by the aboriginal word ''woomera'', a prominent weapon in native combat, along with almost every throwing weapon ever conceived.