There are two things about knives that make them special in movies and television. First, they are badass, since there is nothing more humiliating than being beaten with a blade shorter than your palm. Second, they are scary, as a single glimmer from its profile in Ax-Crazy hands has been known to provoke screeches of horror (that and the possibility that they're more painful than any gunshot will ever be). And sometimes, it is both.
Finally, they're generally easier to obtain and own legally than guns.
Throwing knives are also a very popular ranged weapon in fiction, despite not being very well suited for combat in real life. (It's very hard to get them to hit point-first when aiming at a moving target.)
Subtrope of Weapon of Choice. Contrast with Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight. May lead to a Knife Fight. Related to Kukris Are Kool, Machete Mayhem.
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Anime and Manga
Tenten in Naruto carries thousands of knives and knife variants in her scroll which she summons and throws at high speed from midair.
Maes Hughes uses push knives, of course adding to his status as Ensemble Dark Horse. His skill makes him the fastest to kill a homunculus, and he even did it twice. Of course Death Is Cheap... for them at least. He can throw his knives, which are not in any way suited toward throwing, to impale skulls. They're called push knives for a reason.
Barry the Chopper likes to cut up helpless people for fun.
Lan Fan and Fu are both adept in their use of knives, particularly kunai.
Fully justified for Mei Chang, because kunai are necessary for alkahestry.
Alexander Anderson from Hellsing could be considered a Knife Nut, if you just replace knife with holy socket bayonets. Much like Akabane, he can shoot countless amounts of these blades with deadly accuracy and slice entire subway cars in half with them easily. In one author's note section, Hirano goes so far as to say that the reason Anderson can produce so many out of Hammer Space is because he's actually fourth-dimensional.
Shiki Tohno is the prime example: early in the story, he uses a fruit knife to cut someone into 17 pieces over the course of... one second. This isn't even touching the main ability of Shiki; he can see the "concept of death" on anything under Gaia. Cutting the lines causes irreversible (and often dismembering) damage; striking the very center of something's "meaning of existence" ends its lifespan, destroying it so completely only memory remains. He could actually cut the lines or points with anything from a pencil to a corkscrew, because it's just a matter of tracing lines with something sharp for him. But since Shiki prefers his knife over everything else, and because of certain sides of himselfhe's not initially aware of, he's the ultimate Knife Nut. Despite being a carefree, somewhat-irresponsible goof.
The Big Bad, Roa, also fights with a knife... mainly because his host wants to. Roa, having gone through reincarnation so many times, can actually see the "life" in living things, similar to how Shiki sees "the end" in anything.
Shiki even mentions that, for him, there can no other weapon than the knife. Fortunately, the knife suits his fighting style very well and his ability to erase anything with a single precise stab.
Ryogi Shiki, despite her main ability being with swords, favours knives for the convenience of being able to carry them around unnoticed in public. The sixth movie pokes fun at this trope when Shiki steals a school dining hall knife only to be discovered by Azaka, who immediately takes it away from her. Shiki looked pretty sullen after losing it.
In the novel, she then subverts this by pulling out the other knife she stole, once Azaka locks up the first one in her cabinet. She then reveals that the real reason she was sullen was that she wanted one to use, and one for a souvenir... not that a mere lock would have kept her away from it if she really wanted it, but still.
While doing an Homage to John Woo, Haruko of FLCL suddenly gains the ability to deflect dozens of bullets at once using a razor, which Amarao finds both shocking and absolutely ridiculous. Contributing to this ridiculousness, the bullets were not simply deflected, but are shown on the ground cut in half lengthwise.
Despite the fact that nearly everyone else uses machine guns and other firearms, Chane Laforet of Baccano! uses small throwing knives as her weapon of choice. She's skilled enough to deflect bullets and throw them with pinpoint accuracy.
Throwing knives are also Ken's specialty in The Daughter of Twenty Faces. It's worth noting he isn't very "nutty" about it, however, just very good with throwable sharp objects.
Dio Brando of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is famous for his use of throwing knives. He can also stop time to make sure that they hit their target. He actually only used the knives during one fight, after just sort of finding them lying around, but they eventually became a symbol of the character. This screen◊ visually sums up this trope so well, particularly the "nut" part.
Full Metal Panic!. Xia Yu Lan likes machetes, at one stage battling Melissa Mao with one in each hand. Even though Mao was armed with a rifle she was lucky to escape with her life.
And this skill of hers can be traced back to its origins: Gauron. After all, he was the one that took Yu Lan in, and trained and raised her. It's revealed in the novels that Gauron's Weapon of Choice and specialty is with knives. Sousuke learned this the hard way during his first fight with him.
Hei from Darker Than Black mostly uses knives and a retractable steel wire (used sort of like a cross between a whip and a Grappling-Hook Pistol). The knives are usually attached to said wire so even if a thrown knife doesn't kill someone (which is usually the case), he can still use it to zap them.
Colice from Gun Blaze West has throwing knives as her weapon of choice.
Tomonori Komori from Naru Taru not only carries a knife of his own, but his shadow dragon, aptly named Push Dagger, is also shaped like a giant knife.
The Strike Gundams' and Impulse Gundam's standard armaments include a pair of anti-armor combat knives stored in the hip portions of their armor. A pair of rocket-propelled ballistic knives (The "Stiletto") can be found in the same place on the Earth Alliance's mass-produced Dagger-L's and Windams, and a trio of those can be found on the shoulders of the Blu Duel. As the Strike Gundam's pilot, Kira makes use of the knives numerous times, while Mu La Flaga, as the Brainwashed and Crazy Neo Roanoake, uses a Stiletto to destroy the shield of Kira's Freedom Gundam a few years later.
Godchild's Cassian is a fan of throwing knives. He's actually a rather calm person, though.
Valmet from Jormungand, while not gun shy in the slightest, seems to enjoy opportunities to do some knife work. In fact, her solution to taking out a bullet-proof van chasing her car in the first chapter was to draw her blade and tell her driver to get closer.
The Nightmare Fetishist narrator in Goth becomes one of these over the course of the series. He gets his first set of knives from a collection left behind in a home that a Serial Killer had abandoned and quickly becomes proficient with them, his own homicidal urges being a strong source of motivation.
Izaya from Durarara!! is quite fond of using a switchblade (hidden under his sleeve) as his main weapon of choice. He even uses it to shave a man half bald at one point! Also, Haruna Niekawa, while possessed by Saika, uses one to stab people with in order to spread Saika's "children" before she snaps out of it.
After being blackmailed and broken by her teacher, Chizuru Honda of Bokurano started to carry a knife with her at all times. She threatens Kako with it when he was about to rape her in her house, and in the manga, she stabs him in the neck and slits his jugular with it when he freaks out during his battle. And before dying, she passes it down to Kirie, who later uses it to injure Hatagai.
Mack "Clownface" Delgado in Body Bags doesn't need a gun, because he's "learned how to throw a knife at a velocity that makes its impact like a mortar round." In addition to that trick, he's been shown to perform a Diagonal Cut on two guys in one swipe and cut a gun in half.
X-Men character Warpath currently dual-wields knives made of vibranium as his signature weapons in X-Force. Noteworthy in that he is notAx-Crazy at all.
Short time X-Man and heroic sociopath Marrow, also from the X-Men comics, almost always uses bone knives which grow from her own body as weapons. She is drawn with them on nearly each cover she appears on.
Here's some obscure ones from DC Comics: The assassins Hellhound, Brutale, and Lady Vic all make use of a variety of knives, as does the serial killer Murmur. Wonder Woman occasionally ran into a mercenary who called herself Moot, who favored a stiletto she called "The Moot Point". On the heroes' side, Nightblade and Black Condor II are both noted as skilled knife throwers.
Many members of the G.I. Joe team (as well as Cobra) are skilled with knives, but Snake-Eyes has collections of them. His spike-knuckled trench knives get mentioned more than a few times during the Marvel Comics run alone, and his third costume (assembled from parts taken from his Cobra interrogators) has a pair of knives mounted right on his chest.
A non-villainous example is Vitaly the tiger from Madagascar 3, who also uses throwing knives, although he is skilled with any sharp, pointy object. He uses them to threaten the main characters early in the movie and later throws them as stepping stones to help another circus animal escape Captain DuBois.
Films — Live-Action
Kick-Ass has a scene where Mindy (aka Hit-Girl) when asked what she wants for her birthday, replies (after first worrying her father by pretending to want a puppy and a doll) that she'd love "a Benchmade Model-42 Butterfly Knife". On the day in question, she receives a matching set of them and is overjoyed. She even proceeds to demonstrate just how good she is with them in a display of twirling.
Soap from Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels reveals that he has a collection of large knives ("big fuck-off shiny ones"), and delivers a speech about how they're more practical than guns because they're quiet, concluding, "Guns for show, knives for a pro." The rest of the gang is creeped out. As the sole member of the group with an honest trade, this is both ironic and fitting. His job as a cook would presumably make him comfortable with knives and butchering.
Kyra and Riddick use a lot of knives throughout The Chronicles of Riddick , though they're not above using guns if necessary.
Roque of TheLosers is their resident knife man, first confirmed when, while the others are betting their various souvenir weapons, he continues to bet bigger and bigger knives. It reaches a rather ridiculous zenith when they even task him with cutting loose tied up people he'd rather not merely because he's "the knife guy".
Leon explicitly postulates that the better you are, the closer you can get to your victim: sniper rifles are for beginners, and only a real pro uses a knife.
In The Dark Knight the Joker carries a number of knives on him. He states that they're his preferred weapon because he can savor his victims' subtle changes in expression as they die. He even carries a potato peeler.
The eponymous character of Crocodile Dundee always carries a gigantic hunting knife around with him as a trademark. When a New York mugger tries to menace him with a switchblade, Dundee is famously unimpressed and presents his own, saying, "That's not a knife! That's a knife!" in his Broad Strine.
Luigi Largo. He's known to have sex with the stab wounds he's inflicted, among other delightful things.
The Repo Man himself, though his "companion" technically makes him a Scalpel Nut.
Detective Somerset in Se7en is a completely sane heroic example, always carrying a switch blade wherever he goes and practicing throwing it at night.
Bill "The Butcher" Cutting from Gangs of New York, who is a gang leader and a professional butcher who practices knife-fighting on meat. The character was based on a real gang leader/butcher called Bill "The Butcher" Poole.
Alfred the Battle Butler from Hudson Hawk has spring-loaded knives hidden under his sleeves, which eventually lead to his death.
The Hunted could be more appropriately titled "Ode to Knife Nuts." For the final fight, the two fighters subconsciously agree to stop the chase just long enough to chip/sharpen their own. Then they rip each other to freaking shreds.
A rather unusual example is Guiron from Gamera Vs Guiron. His own head is a giant knife which he uses to slice his enemies to pieces.
Britt (James Coburn) in The Magnificent Seven. His weapon of choice is a throwing knife. His introduction to the audience is him being being forced into a face-off against a guy who fancies himself a gunslinger: his gun against Britt's throwing knife. Britt wins. This isn't to say that he's not also a very good marksman with a gun.
The Butcher in Wanted is the knife instructor for the Fraternity, pointing out that knives don't jam or run out of ammo. His words are backed up beyond all expectation when he shows his ability to deflect bullets by slicing them in midair.
In Kill Bill, Vivica A. Fox's character "Copperhead" is apparently a knife nut. The Bride seems to know this about her and chooses to face her in a knife fight rather than bring along her Cool Sword. Once they reach an impasse, they make plans to square off in a second knife fight. Although Copperhead ultimately tries to shoot the Bride with a hidden gun, she's apparently a terrible shot and misses her at point blank range. Shoulda stuck with the knives.
In Pulp Fiction, Mia Wallace describes her character from Fox Force Five as the knife nut of the group.
Jack, the psychotic Triad assassin played by Wu Jing in Sha Po Lang, does most of his killings with his tanto knife.
Inglourious Basterds: Lt. Aldo Raine and Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz love their knives. Stiglitz's knife even has the phrase "My Honor is Loyalty" engraved on it, which is ironic since he is a German traitor who killed thirteen Nazi officers. Presumably it's an SS-issue dagger.
Christmas from The Expendables, who would get into occasional discussions with Stallone's character over the age-old "guns vs. knives" debate. Gunnar also uses a huge bowie knife, but it doesn't get much usage until the end.
Mississippi (James Caan) in El Dorado. He is brilliant with throwing knives (in his first scene he goes face to face with a gunman across a table and kills him before can bring his gun up).
Colt Hawker in Visiting Hours prefers using his trusty switchblade to kill his female victims.
The killer in Intruder is fond of using huge kitchen knives.
Elysium: Asside from being a fan of katanas, Kruger has a big combat knife strapped across his chest, plus explosive shurikens. He also uses a shard of broken glass to kill Delacourt.
In Clive Barker's Nightbreed, the serial killer Dr. Decker prefers to use huge carving blades to kill his victims, often appearing with one in each hand. He's briefly seen in his apartment with an entire collection of knives and blades laid out in front of him on a conference-style table.
The Fremen of Arrakis from the Dune series are a society of knife nuts. Every man, woman, and adolescent wields a curved crysknife made from the tooth of a 400 meter-long sandworm, and they train their lives to become impossibly deadly with it. They practically worship their knives. For instance, their knives are never allowed to leave the planet, anyone who owns one cannot leave the planet without their permission, and any outsider who sees the blade of a crysknife must either be cleansed or killed. Their obsession comes in surprisingly handy given that shields have made melee combat the standard for infantry soldiers.
Carcer Dun is a knife-wielding, psychopathic Serial Killer who always has an extra one.
Pteppic is a certified assassin and Pharaoh of Djelibebyi. When he finds of that his "companion" feels naked without her many bracelets, he has to admit that he feels naked without his knives.
Assassins in general are known to conceal so many knives on their person that they could qualify as a live-in kitchen.
In Jingo, Carrot runs across a knife nut boy. After a brief interview, Carrot discovers that the boy does not have enough gum to share with his playmates, but has more than enough knives for everyone.
Lord Vetinari keeps a drawer full of sharp, pointy greetings for rude callers.
In Snow Crash, Raven, named by Hiro Protagonist as "the baddest motherfucker in the world," is an Aleut from a tribe that perfected the art of making glass knives with monomolecular edges that cut right through kevlar. Raven carries an arsenal of them, using them for throwing and fighting. Before the story begins, he steals a nuclear warhead from a submarine after slaughtering the entire crew with his knives. Uncle Enzo, the leader of the Mafia as well as an ex-commando, always carries a straight razor in his pocket. In the end, the two have themselves a knife fight. Enzo manages to shatter Raven's knives, but gets the worst of the exchange.
Chisel of Illegal Aliens who carries hundreds of them at any given point in time. He survives being stomped by a giant robot due to the sheer number of knives providing impromptu armor.
In the Fingerprints series, one villain says the memorable lines, "I wonder how many cuts it will take you to die? I bet thousands and thousands..."
Sonia Steiglitz, the beautiful and sadistic daughter of the ex-CIA chief/archaeologist villain of The Takers, a modern Two Fisted Tale homage by Jerry Ahern. She uses guns when necessary, but prefers a knife.
In Malazan Book of the Fallen, Kalam Mekhar, Rallick Nom, Crokus, and Apsalar all use daggers and throwing knives to impressive effect against better-armed enemies. Most of the assassin characters in the series, especially the Malazan Claws, are armed with pairs of knives.
In The Edge, Declan is quick with his blades and has a canvas roll of knives he cleans regularly. The little boy Jack is awed by the display. Later Declan baits a trap for Jack with a particular knife he'd been eyeing, and then bribes him into cooperating with the knife.
Almost everyone in the titular unit of the Warhammer 40,000Gaunt's Ghosts books is able to use a knife well. In particular, Rawne's skill with them is demonstrated through the conspicuous aversion of There Will Be Toilet Paper when using his straight silver to shave in Ghostmaker.
In Andrew Vachss's Burke books, Michelle is said to be very fast with a straight razor.
In The Belgariad, Silk, Liselle, Sadi, Relg and Beldin all have a fondness for knives in combat. Silk usually carries at least three or four, Sadi poisons his, and Relg's has all sorts of sticky-out bits note That's a technical term. that do all kind of nasty things both on the way in and on the way out again. Beldin's has hooks. Liselle is straightforward and discreet about hers, at least compared to the others. She only carries a couple of small simple daggers.
In The Princess Series Talia is skilled in hand to hand combat and can use many weapons well but knives tend to be her primary weapon of choice.
Ferahgo in the Redwall book Salamandastron is notorious for his knife collection and skill with using them. He even has different knives assigned to different tasks, such as "the killer" and "the skinner". It varies on which order he uses them.
Rasconza in Pearls of Lutra is never seen without at least ten knives on his person.
There's also Oilback in Martin the Warrior, Tazzin in Triss, Sawney Rath in Taggerung... Really, there's about one every other book.
Clove's preferred weapons in The Hunger Games are a jacket full of knives. And she never misses.
Vittorio Malvora also uses them. Harry points out that when you've had centuries to practice and can launch them at a hundred miles per hour,you make up for the fact that thrown knives aren't particularly good weapons.Hell even when one missed the hit from handle caused Harry's hand to go numb.
In Dragaera, the knife is often the preferred weapon of Jhereg assassins, such as Vlad Taltos, who keeps a small arsenal of them hidden about his person. He uses quite a bit of throwing knives, but they're mostly useful as distractions: they hit hilt first, make the other guy flinch, or just make a minor wound. His wife Cawti is a fellow assassin who is known as "The Dagger of the Jhereg."
All Tomorrows Parties features the Taoist assassin Konrad, who takes meticulous care of his tanto, practices an Argentine school of knife fighting considered mythical within the setting, and is ridiculously deadly with his blade. While not knife nuts per se, Rydell and Chevette wind up carrying a ceramic switchblade and a knife with a pattern-welded blade made from the drive chain of a 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, respectively. Both are used at crucial points in the plot.
The Nightside books have Razor Eddie, Punk God of the Straight Razor, who unsurprisingly wields an absurdly sharp straight razor. It's mystically bonded to his very being. Bad Penny also carries a brace of silver daggers, one blessed, the other cursed. When she uses both simultaneously, it's noted that some gods would die from such a blow.
Alex from A Clockwork Orange carries a straight razor, or as he terms it, his "fine starry horrorshow cut-throat britva".
Tarzan is defined by his hunting knife, to the point that those who only know the character from adaptations can be forgiven for not knowing that he's also a gifted marksman.
David Gemmell's Waylander is best known for his trademark two-shot crossbow, but carries a crapload of knives for use when he's fired both bolts. He's specifically described as a capable swordsman, but a brilliant knife-fighter.
The Ysabel Kid from J.T. Edson's Floating Outfit series is an expert with the Bowie knife.
In Dracula, Quincy Morris carries around a large bowie knife as part of his characterization as an American cowboy. Later he's upstaged by Arthur Holmwood, who busts out a kukri from his days in the military.
In A Brother's Price, it's said of the Whistlers going to court that Summer carries one six-shooter and three knives, Corelle carries no knives but two six-shooters and a derringer, and Eldest matches Summer with knives, Corelle with guns, and also carries two pairs of brass knuckles and a wire garrote. Even Jerin has a knife.
Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book plays this trope, ahem, to the hilt in its very first line, using it to draw the reader in and establish a frightening mood.
The Apprentice Rogue: Black Knights prefer short weapons like daggers and short swords to a BFS because it would conflict with their fighting style.
Simon Templar prefers knives to guns; his ability with his favorite throwing dagger, "Anna," saves his and others' lives numerous times.
Locke is something of one in LOST. He boarded the plane for a survivalist adventure in spite of his handicap and brought a bag filled to bursting with various knives. When Locke shows off his collection, the other survivors are creeped out, which goes along with the way the first few episodes tease Locke as some sort of psycho-killer. He later proves adept at hunting and butchering wild boar with only his knives.
Cameron in The Sarah Connor Chronicles, despite being an emotionless cyborg seems to have a thing for large hunting knives. She also carries what looks like an Exacto knife on her for when she suddenly has the need for cutting things, as opposed to punching them through walls.
Sarah Walker in Chuck embodies this trope as well. In the pilot episode alone, she manages to take down three NSA agents in a crowded nightclub while dancing, and follows this up by stopping an NSA SUV by throwing a knife into a one-and-a-half-inch button from twenty feet away. A later episode reveals that this is a skill she already had before the CIA recruited her.
In another episode, she hurls a knife through her beeping alarm clock instead of simply pressing the snooze button. So clearly she really likes knives.
And the Greta played by Summer Glau has a tendency to get out her switchblade for everything.
Firefly's Jayne Cobb has a number of large, heavy, nasty-looking hunting knives in addition to his collection of guns.
The cast of NCIS follows Gibbs' Rule No. 9: "Never go anywhere without a knife." Ziva David is especially enthusiastic, with an extensive selection, and she holds a knife-throwing class for the team, naturally hitting the target over the heart in her demonstration. Tony hits the stomach, McGee doesn't even get the knife to the target, and Lee lets the knife slip out of her hand, almost hitting Gibbs in the face.
Mostly averted, they simply use their knives as tools
On Top Gear's Bolivia special in 2009, the normally even-tempered James May seems quite pleased to get his hands on a machete.
"I'll cut your ***ing head off; you will need to beep that, BBC 2."
Heroes: Season 4 character Edgar mainly uses knives with his Super Speed combat skills.
Ronon has as many knives on him as you need. He has a hell of a time getting through airports.
Al Swearengen in Deadwood is a skilled knife-fighter who cuts a number of throats through the series. He is a self-confessed terrible shot with a gun, and at one point curses himself for sticking with knives rather than learning to shoot properly.
In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Trini Kwan wields twin daggers called the Power Daggers. And of course there's Tommy's Dragon Dagger, which is also a flute.
In Power Rangers Wild Force, Jindrax wields an apparently endless supply of small wavy throwing knives, which he can turn into longer swords at will. He also qualifies for the 'nut' part early in the series before his voice actor is changed, and he goes from "what if The Joker were a Power Rangers character?" to, well, what you think he always sounded like if you haven't watched the series recently.
Eliot from Leverage can edge up on this sometimes. Justified as he's also a chef when he's not killing people.
Hold a knife like this (normally), cuts through an onion. Hold a knife like this (switches to a backhand grip), cuts through, like, eight yakuza in four seconds. Screams, blood, carnage. People are like knives. Everything's in context.
The Wicked Witch of the West is this in Lost In Oz, even wearing knives over her hands.
Morgana in series four of Merlin carries a knife with her at all times.
Joe Harvelle in Supernatural likes to play with a knife that used to be her father's.
Sometimes lost in translation, but Mack the Knife uses a knife. Some versions are more explicit than others.
Lemon Demon wrote a song that fits the trope, 'Knife Fight'.
While the Insane Clown Posse are more associated with hatchets, Violent J had a solo track on The Amazing Jeckel Brothers titled "I Stab People". He followed up with a song called "Still Stabbin' " on the later album Bizaar.
Fun With Knives by Velvet Acid Christ
Based on what Slim does to Big Jim in Jim Croce's "You Don't Mess Around With Jim", I think he qualifies. To clarify "And when the cuttin' was done the only part that wasn't bloody was the soles of the big man's feet. Yeah he was cut in about a hundred places..."
Billy Bigelow in Carousel uses a knife in the robbery-gone-wrong that results in his suicide.
After she is rescued from the Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods is rarely if ever seen without her knife. It's implied that she becomes rather obsessed with hunting down wolves for her fur cloak, with which she replaces her red cloak (taken by the Baker).
Saxon Kenchu in Candorville collects knives, and at one point gave a speech about how they were the first weapons ever developed and they allowed humanity to triumph over a world full of hostile predators. He initially seems Axe Crazy, but this is partially subverted—having to survive as a Dhampyr has left him Properly Paranoid and somewhat hardened, but he's a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire and is trying to keep the main character alive.
Willie Garvin in Modesty Blaise, who is a horrible shot with a handgun but a dead aim with thrown knives.
Lelith Hesperax, just to put some specifics out there. Most Dark Elves in Fantasy use swords more than knives, though.
To elaborate on just how much of a knife-nut Lillith is; she carries two very sharp, pointy knives as her main weapon of choice, her fingernails have knifeblades surgically attached to the underside of them (and for good measure she keeps the natural part filed to a point), with the same deal for her toes. She also carries razorblades between her toes, to add a little extra kick. Lastly, her very long, very thick hair is filled with razorblades and wire. Sh can effortlessly and gracefully kill you with any of these whilst making the battle look like pornography (helped by her Stripperiffic outfit (which is practically made out of knives).
The Soul Knife is a Psionic Class in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. Their mind is a weapon, and that weapon is a knife.
There are also the prestige classes Daggerspell Mage and Daggerspell Shaper, arcane caster/rogue and druid/rogue hybrids, repectively, that gain special abilities when wielding daggers.
The Whisperknife is a halfling only prestige class that specializes in light thrown weapons, usually daggers.
Many rogues in Fourth Edition Dungeons & Dragons use daggers as their Weapon of Choice. One Paragon Path, Daggermaster, even allows the rogue to specialize in using them to deadly effect.
Knives are part of standard Al Amarjan dress in Over the Edge. They're mostly used to open up chip packets and the like.
In the old Warhammer Battle skirmish-based spin-off, Mordheim, there's a special mercenary character called Johann The Knife... and he has a special rule called Knife Fighter Extraordinare that allows him to bypass the limit of three knives thrown during his turn, allowing him to throw six knives per turn if he doesn't move. He's so good with knives that they count for swords during battle.
Dark Hunter Lariska in BIONICLE uses poison tipped throwing knives.
There's a reason Edge from Rival Schools chose his nickname. He loves to play with knives and uses them frequently in his arsenal of dirty tricks.
Although Lucas Kane in Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy) never uses a knife outside the opening sequence, he is depicted holding a bloody blade on every box art to underline the psychosis surrounding him throughout the game.
In Rise Of The Kasai, while Tati does have access to other weapons including a huge axe, a deadly spear, and a supply of exploding toxic mushrooms, her favorite weapon is a pair of twin knifes that she especially uses to maul Kasai warriors.
Kevin Smith in Killer7 uses throwing knives as his primary weapon and a larger knife for close quarters combat.
Sakuya Izayoi from the Touhou series fights by throwing a seemingly infinite number of knives that she actually recovers between volleys by stopping time.
In Resident Evil 4, the protagonist Leon is a knife fighting expert who uses his knife for everything from breaking locks to taking down giant mutants, but his Axe CrazyWorthy Opponent Krauser cements his status as the game's Knife Nut by having a much bigger, nastier knife.
Actually they use the same model of knife. Krauser's has a design on it, and a little notch so he can twirl it, but that's it.
One of the funnest parts of Assassin's Creed is to kill as many people as possible with your hidden blade. This is particularly fun with the beggars, who constantly harass you for coins, or the lepers, who are apparently well enough to push you two metres back whenever you get remotely near them.
Hawkeye of Seiken Densetsu 3 demonstrates Dual Wielding with knives. One of his techs, the "Flying Swallow Toss," involves tossing a barrage of knives at every target on the screen. One wonders where he keeps it all...
Yōsuke Hanamura in Persona 4 uses knives in battle.
You can make a custom Knife Nut character in Jagged Alliance 2. Stealth and night ops specialties plus throwing knifes equals one-hit death for everyone on the opposing team. One recruitable mercenary, Bill "Razor" Lamont, is also crazy about knives, and talks about cutting throats or how knives "never run out of ammo" with disturbing regularity.
Fire Emblem: Thief/Assassin/Rogue characters. In the early games, these are just swords animated as knives (particularly cool for the assassins). As of Path of Radiance, knives became their own weapon type, which thieving characters used exclusively and Sages could also use (though they'd have to forgo staves to do so), although this latter feature was no longer in effect in Radiant Dawn.
Peketo from The Black Heart; all his specials and some of his normal attacks involves the use of knives.
The Spy in Team Fortress 2 wields a butterfly knife that can be used for a one-shot kill backstab. This is awesomely subverted in the Sniper's introductory video, as like Crocodile Dundee above, the Sniper is an Aussie with a bigger knife (that does not have the backstab in-game).
Almost all of the Spy's unlockables follow this as well. Your Eternal Reward cloaks the victim's body while giving you their disguise at the cost of losing the disguise kit, and the Big Earner gives back some cloaking charge upon a kill with a slight health handicap. The Sniper got another big knife called the Bushwhacka, which crits when it would normally mini-crit in exchange for some fire vulnerability.
Players are encouraged to use the knife in Battlefield 2142, as it is always a one-shot kill.
Although lag will sometimes require you to make a second swipe, despite the "stab" noise.
The Rogue class in World of Warcraft is a good example of this trope, as some of their strongest moves require daggers while others are adjusted when wielding a dagger to compensate for the weapon's low damage per hit. The dagger's fast speed makes it good for triggering certain effects like poisons as well.
Combat rogues who take the Close Quarters Combat (dagger and fist weapon spec) talent get a bonus while using daggers and fist weapons that they won't if they use other weapon types.
Subverted and played straight with Mitadake High. The knife is the weakest weapon in the game except for the dead taser and the empty can of paint, but that doesn't stop people from enjoying them.
This may have something to do with the fact that, besides the Hammer and the weaker Nanatsu Yoru, the Knife is one of the only weapons that can kill without draining all of your energy.
Sherudo Garo, the Stage 2 boss and Big Bad of Time Crisis. Given how annoying knives are in the Time Crisis series, this also has the effect of making him into That One Boss.
Sarah Kerrigan in StarCraft, before and after her transformation. Before her transformation she likes killing with knives (no in-game ability, but in the novel Liberty's Crusade she takes out a room of guards on Antiga Prime), and after her transformation, she not only has knives on the end of each fingertip, but has wing-like appendages growing out of her back which end in...you guessed it... more knives.
* ahem* Queen of Blades.
Starcraft II presents Gabriel Tosh, who flips around an oversized butterfly knife. And also uses it on Voodoo dolls.
Kyrie of World Destruction: Michibikareshi Ishi uses knives for his basic attack. All his attack spells involve either knives or throwing several knives. His Limit Break can throw up to sixteen knives that, due to lazy programming, hit every enemy.
The Green Beret character from the Commandos series is something of a knife nut, even quipping that they should help an isolated group of Allied soldiers by "offering a hand. Or a knife." Plus, the Diver can throw knives from the second game on.
Hazama in BlazBlue uses twin butterfly knives in combat, and has several more hidden within his pockets.
Konstantin Brayko in Alpha Protocol is a both a nutter and a knife fanatic. A Knife Nutjob, if you will. Michael himself uses a knife for stealth kills.
Seether from Wing Commander IV uses a double-bladed knife, first threatening Blair with it, then slitting Captain Paulson's throat.
In the original Goldeneye 007 for the N64, one level opens up with James Bond in a jail cell within a Russian satellite facility. Naturally he has no guns, but he can use the electromagnet in his watch to get some throwing knives from a drain(?). Said knives can be used to great effect, and re-used if retrieved. There's also a "hunting knife" available as a melee weapon via a cheat code.
Aht in Radiant Historia dual wields daggers as her weapon of choice. Most of her non-trap special abilities involve her throwing them, as well.
The main character from Rush'n Attack squares off against an army of soldiers, all clearly holding rifles (although few of them actually use them), but other than the occasional bazooka, fights solely with his knife. The HD remake most of the enemies also fight with knives or punch knives.
Warrant Officer Emile-A239 from Halo: Reach is never seen without his signature kukri, and is introduced while sharpening it on his armour. Ironically, he only uses it once.
The expanded universe establishes that Fred-104 is the best knife-user among the SPARTAN-IIs.
In Deception, he also kills the most powerful biotic in the galaxy (basically an individual with a bunch of very powerful psychokinetic powers, and the ability to summon miniature black holes and energy balls at will) with... a sharpened toothbrush.
Also, Mileena uses paired sais. (Although again, they would be called daggers or stilettos by true martial artists.)
The Assassin class from Guild Wars. Even though the dagger is the lowest-damage weapon in the game, Assassins use them to great effect, often drawing out huge amounts of bonus damage from their skills.
They also have a few skills that allow them to throw knives for different effects.
Archduke Maximilian Von Reginrave, Big Bad of the first Valkyria Chronicles, has a collection of thousands of knives, and often carries several hidden on his person. He can use them very well. This is yet another manifestation of his raging paranoia, the result of him growing up as the hated bastard child of the Imperial royal family who's brothers constantly tried to get rid of.
Madotsuki from Yume Nikki is frequently depicted as one because of a widespread Player Tic which involves killing everyone, with the knife being the only weapon available.
Dragon Age II has many characters who wield knives, but three named characters shine above the others. The first is Hawke, who can be turned into one if played as a rogue and specced in Dual Wielding. The second is Isabela, whose specialty is fighting battles of attrition against multiple enemies. But the most notable example of this trope in the game is DLC-only Tallis, who not only has two daggers that cannot be un-equipped for use in hand-to-hand combat, but also has a seemingly infinite supply of throwing knives, making her the only party member in the game who uses thrown weapons outside of cutscenes.
Fallen London has Jack-of-Smiles an Expy of Jack The Ripper Actually Jack-of-Smiles is his knives.
Guild Wars 2 features two classes that can dual-wield knives: elementalists and thieves. However, only thieves make actual use of the knives themselves. Aside from a super-fast attack rate, Dagger Thieves can throw daggers to damage and cripple a target, leap at an enemy with a quick strike, stack copious amounts of bleeding on enemy groups, and even turn invisible — which sets up a devastating Backstab move for at least double damage. Heck, even their normal auto-attacks will poison enemies continuously.
Thieves can also use daggers in their offhand with a sword, and can dual-wield a dagger/pistol combo in either hand for different results. A favorite trick among players is to use the pistol skill Black Powder Shot and leap through the cloud with the dagger skill Heartseeker. This renders the player instantly invisible and sets up a backstab. Suffice it to say, knives are at the heart of any good thief's offense.
As of a class revamp in October 2013, Disco Bandits in Kingdom of Loathing have a number of skills involving stabbing their foes with knives, as artfully represented in the skill description of Disco Shank: "There are very few problems that cannot be solved with the judicious application of a very, very sharp knife."
In the MarathonscenarioCourier 11, the Hunting Knife replaces the bare knuckles as the player's melee weapon. One level has hostile BOB's with Deflector Shields who only be killed with the knife.
In Hotline Miami, choosing Dennis the Wolf as your mask lets you start off with a knife. Also, the Biker's primary weapons are a butcher's cleaver and three throwing knives.
The th Man of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors threatens Clover with a knife at the start of the Game. Ace later takes a knife (either his or finds his own) and kills Clover in the "Safe" ending, and the rest of the cast in the "Knife" and "Submarine" endings.
The mysterious killer in the Yarudora game Double Cast primary uses a knife, giving much tension in the scenes where he assaults the protagonist and/or his friends.
Guilio The Knife/Knifer from Lucky Dog 1 is extremely skilled with a knife, citing that it's his favourite weapon - Ivan comments that he's practically useless without one. It becomes very useful when he needs to do knife tricks so the team can pretend to be performers after escaping prison.
Souji in Suika always carries a silver knife in his pocket, but isn't actually a murderer or anything. But he does consider using it at several points and appears to have a fairly violent side that he suppresses. It's finally justifiably used near the end, but he doesn't kill anyone.
In The Anime of the Game, it's even worse. Sekai fatally snaps on Makoto via stabbing him repeatedly in the chest with a kitchen knife, then Kotonoha stabs and cuts Sekai's stomach open few afterwards with another HUGE knife... after revealing that she beheaded Makoto's corpse. And then she carries the head with her.
In The Gamers Alliance, several assassins and thieves like using knives and daggers in their line of work. Sinlarine shamans have ceremonial daggers which are mostly for show but with which they can focus their innate powers to travel between the Void and the Land of the Living by shifting from one plane of reality to another.
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series has Bakura, who once states, "I like knives. They make me feel all tingly inside." He has also proposed to kill Yugi multiple times with knives.
Rhianna von Adolph from Open Blue uses a diamond-coated combat knife, which she tends to playfully toss into the air and catch whenever she's talking to somebody. She can either chuck this at people with alarming accuracy, or cut them up seven times before they hit the ground.
Sock Baby: Though initially he might seem to be a wacky ninny, Davis The Grey is still deadly with a switchblade. He uses one to murder Burger in the car and steal Sock Baby while Ronny is distracted, and very nearly defeats Ronny with it.
Evan of Everyman HYBRID is an absolute fiend for knives, switchblades, cleavers, daggers, and knife gloves a la Freddy Krueger. He's rarely seen without some kind of cutlery in his hand, which is getting increasingly worrisome, as he seems to be on a greased slide toAx Craziness. Oh, and he's occassionaly possessed by a disembodied homicidal maniac.
An Anti-Hero example is Razer from Green Lantern: The Animated Series, who seems to keep an unsettlingly large number of knives on his person at all times. Considering he has a Red Lantern ring on his finger, one wonders why he does so.
A Philippine Urban Legend warns that people of the Batangueños province all carry a balisong and will use it to settle matters of honor.
A knife is the only civilian item [besides eyeglasses] the Finnish conscripts may carry while in uniform. Most Finnish conscripts bring their own knives with them from home when entering the service.
Getting one's first puukko is a ritual of coming to an age in Finland. For both boys and girls. The knife doubles as a handy tool, a dining utensil and a close combat weapon in the Finnish Army.
Spanish people of Renaissance times developed straightforward—and often dirty—swordfighting techniques for street brawls, which developed into knifefighting techniques as the decades passed. This produced a strong knife culture throughout Spain, with the Andalusian navaja becoming ubiquitous. Latin American countries seem to have developed strong knife cultures in the past as well, likely from both Iberian and native influences; the gauchos of the South American grasslands are commonly identified as both good horsemen and deft hands with knives.
Likewise, in Medieval Finland. The symbols of the lady of the house was knife and keys on belt.
Jim Bowie is the namesake of a particular type of large hunting knife that he carried and used in several knife fights.
The NaziSA were famous for their use of knives in street conflicts during The Weimar Republic, as opposed to the Communists, who preferred beer bottles, bats and chair legs, and other clubs. It was said at the time said that if you went to the hospital you could tell who won the latest street brawl just by the type of injuries: crushed skulls and blunt-force trauma meant that it had been the Communists, while mostly stab wounds meant that it had been the Nazis.
The Sicarii. You don't get a name that means "dagger-men" without trying.
Hong Kong Triad gangs most commonly wield knives and machetes due to the difficulty of obtaining firearms in the city.
There are a fair number of self titled "Knife knuts" scattered around the internet on various forums and the like. In a distinct subversion of this trope, they tend to be well spoken, gentle, and good humored individuals that just happen to collect knives and enjoy talking about them. They have their own magazines, conventions, and are generally a friendly sort like any other group of hobbyists.