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Kukris Are Kool
Good for chopping.

"A little of the ol' chop-chop!"
The Sniper, Team Fortress 2

A Kukri (or khukuri) is a heavy Nepalese knife used both as a tool and as a weapon. The most distinctive feature of this weapon is that the blade has a deflected angle with a thick spine and a single sharp cutting edge; this causes the end section of the blade to strike square on, greatly increasing chopping effectiveness. It is most famously known as a part of the regimental weaponry and heraldry of Gurkha fighters. Forming part of the survival equipment carried by airmen during the early 1940s conflict in Burma, the Kukri is an essential item equally effective at hacking through jungle brush as it is through limbs.

For a relatively obscure weapon from Nepal, they feature quite frequently in the media, easily spotted because of their distinctive (and threatening) shape. As an interesting aside, note that it possibly wasn't actually invented in Nepal, but in Greece of all places. The current consensus is that kukri is a (somewhat shrunken) descendant of a Greek cavalry saber, machaira. Machaira itself was a modification of a previous infantry sword called kopis (literally, "chopper"), just one of the large family of recurved sabers used throughout the Mediterranean. The troops of Alexander the Great brought it to India during his expedition there, and the locals loved the design.

As with katana, there is a persistent myth that the blade must 'taste blood' before it is sheathed. This is untrue, as a Kukri is useful for far more than just violence. However there have been instances of Gurkhas slicing their fingers with it as a practical joke to impress outsiders with their ferocity. It's also been theorized that the "must taste blood" was something that annoyed Gurkhas started telling tourists, to make them stop asking to see the kukris.

See also Machete Mayhem and Knife Nut. Also National Weapon and Nepali With Nasty Knives.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Aging from Baccano uses an extra large Kukri as one of her weapons of choice. (Dual-wielded opposite to a modified Mini-gun).
  • Shenhua from Black Lagoon fights with a much more practical version of a Whip Sword: twin whip kukri. She's good enough to behead people with them from 30 feet away.
  • The One Piece character Helmeppo fights with two kukris.
    • Bellamy's first mate "Big Knife" Sarquiss uses one. It's where he gets his nickname.
  • In Ghost in the Shell: 2nd Gig, in the episode where Pazu's ex decides to become exactly like him (down to the DNA of his cybernetic body). The real and fake Pazus then duel with folding, forward swept kukris.
  • Two appear in Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid albeit as upscaled monomolecular cutters shaped to look like kukris; one is the standard melee weapon for Belfaghn's M9D Falke, the other is a massive one used by Gates for his Codarl I in the last episode, which he promptly uses to kill Yui Lan by slicing her Codarl's limbs off and then impaling her through the Codarl's torso.
    • Sosuke also brings one out in an episode of Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, where he tries to show a young man (who is armed with a nail-bat) what a real weapon looks like.

     Comic Books 

    Fanfiction 
  • In the Ah! My Goddess story Ah Archfall, Jago uses a khukuri as his primary weapon, with all others (including a claymore!) being optional extras for use as the situation dictates.

    Film 
  • In Waterworld, Kevin Costner's character is briefly seen using a kukri.
  • In Resident Evil: Extinction, Alice wields two kukri blades.
  • Major Payne used one to scratch his noggin while reading a self-help book.
  • Used by the Three Storms in the beginning of Big Trouble in Little China, as throwing weapons. Whether or not they're any good for this is debatable.
  • In Troma's War, Oliver Stone expy Parker carries a kukri, which he uses to cut off his enemies' ears, and make a necklace out of them. Yeah.
  • The Hero from Cyborg was a major Knife Nut, having at least a dozen hidden on his body. This included several kukris.
  • Austin Powers: KUKRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII! Powers was not fazed in the slightest.
  • The thrown knives in House of Flying Daggers resemble kukris.
  • The killer in the early '80s slasher Night School wields a kukri.
  • In the 1849 segment of Cloud Atlas Autua has one has one in the scene where he asks Adam to kill him, rather than turn him over to the Captain.
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula: Abraham Van Helsing wields one, which he uses to slay Dracula's brides.

    Literature 
  • Jonathan Harker wielded a kukri in Dracula. And attacked with enough ferocity to force Dracula to retreat. Then decapitated the Count with it after Quincey Morris stabbed him in the heart with a Bowie knife.
  • White Court Vampire Thomas Raith in The Dresden Files uses a kukri in battle in White Night and Changes. In the former, Harry refers to it in narration as "some kind of curved knife" for most of the book, before finally just calling it a kukri, and pausing his narration to add that he knew he'd remember the name eventually.
  • The Drow Ranger Valas Hune dual wields them in War of the Spider Queen.
  • In Sten, the Gurkha mercenaries who guard the Emperor carry these. In later books, Sten carries one as a memento from his time as their commander.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Heroes, Edgar wields two kukri blades.
  • In Angel, Wesley is killed with one of these.
    • Gunn got one as a cursed gift in one of the novels. It grew wires of a sort that embedded themselves into his arm and were tough to get loose.
  • For a while Spike had one on Buffy. If memory serves, he kept it tucked into the back of his pants under the Badass Longcoat.
  • In Kindred: The Embraced Julian Luna, the Venture Prince of San Francisco, uses a kukri in battle.
  • Auggie had a Kukri in his bag in Covert Affairs.
  • In Game of Thrones, Bronn has one strapped to his back that he occasionally whips out as a off-hand weapon.

    Manhwa 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Leva Bates as, Indiana Jones, carries a kukri. Usually as a prop, though she's threatened to use it on some miscreants who have tried to steal it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Kingdom Of Champions supplement for the Champions roleplaying game, one of the members of the United Kingdom's national superhero team 'The New Knights' is called Gurkha and wields kukris.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition and 3.5, Kukris are martial melee weapons; although they don't do much damage, they're one of the few non-exotic weapons to threaten a critical hit on a roll of 18. However, this becomes less impressive when you remember that many monster types are immune to criticals.
    • Of course, many more aren't immune to criticals. As a melee weapon, the kukri is strictly better than a dagger and is a good choice for an off-hand weapon.
      • A number of special abilities also trigger any time a weapon "threatens" a critical hit whether or not it actually lands, and so work very well with the kukri.
      • Made even nastier by the fact that the Improved Criticals feat or the Keen special weapon property doubles the threat range. A character that has applied this to a kukri threatens on a 15-20.
      • And if you have Improved Critical and gain 7th level of Weapon Master prestige class (weapon of choice being kukri), you get +2 to threat range getting it to 13-20.
      • And if you have greater two weapon fighting (which gives three attacks per round) and Improved Criticals and duel wield vorpal kukris (which behead on a critical hit), you will kill an enemy about half the time (assuming you can make all the attack rolls, and they're not immune to beheading). Though you are better off replacing one of the kukris with a rapier or scimitar, which has the same threat range and does more damage, but can't be wielded in your off-hand under normal circumstances.
    • In 4th Edition, they're one of a small selection of weapons with the "Brutal 1" trait, meaning that they always do at least two points of damage on a hit.
    • Everything that applies to D&D 3.5 applies to Pathfinder...except a lot of monsters are no longer immune to crits.
      • Kukris are even the favored weapon of certain deities... most prominently, however, the Chaotic Evil Queen of Demons, Lamashtu, a divinely ascended Demon Prince whose portfolio covers stillbirths, nightmares, miscegenation, miscarriage, mutation, madness and monsters.
  • GURPS: Fantasy Tech has the "ethnic cool" version of a kukri. It does damage on par with a broadsword.
    • Martial Arts has the realistic version. It's still a very effective knife. It is also possible to have a sword-size kukri.

    Video Games 
  • In RAGE, several melee focused enemies, especially Ghosts, use kukri. Just before the self-revival tutorial, you get a very close look at one.
  • Warrant Officer Emile-A239, one of the SPARTAN-III teammates in Halo: Reach, is often seen sharpening the kukri he keeps sheathed on his shoulder. He finally gets to use it on the Elite Zealot that just impaled him on an energy sword.
    • A player of sufficiently high rank can purchase Emile's right shoulder piece, which carries a kukri, for his/her custom Noble Six. The player can't use it, though, sticking to the combat knife mounted on his/her chest armor.
  • The melee weapon of the Sniper class in Team Fortress 2.
    • He later received the Tribalman's Shiv, which is an even nastier looking kukri made entirely out of wood. It only does half the immediate damage of the kukri, but causes bleeding, lowering health over time and preventing Spies from cloaking properly.
  • An exotic melee weapon in Neverwinter Nights, based on the rules of Dungeons and Dragons.
    • The kukri is the main melee weapon of Tomi Undergallows, the rogue hireling in the main campaign.
  • The 'Boa Kukri' is one of the melee weapons players in Alliance Of Valiant Arms can purchase from the in-game store.
  • Kukris are available for your use in Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard, although they are quickly outclassed. One NPC in the same game has one attached to the end of her staff.
  • Seen in Soul Nomad & the World Eaters.
  • In Resident Evil 5, Sheva uses a Kukri.
  • Kukris are used by Ellia and Dr. Lindsey from Eternal Darkness.
  • In Uncharted 2 Among Thieves, the character Tenzin carries a kukri.
  • A melee weapon in Combat Arms.
  • The Wretcher's Blade in Fable II is a very large version of a kukri.
  • In Mortal Kombat 4, Kai uses the "Gurkha Knife" or kukri as his weapon of choice.
  • In Jumper: Griffin's Story, Griffin can use a kukri.
  • Castlevania
  • In the official art of Warcraft III, trolls shadow hunters use kukris. In the game, they seem to be using a Double Weapon version.
  • In The Last Remnant, Kukris are wielded by Qsiti (small frog-rabbit people) warriors as swords.
  • The Kukri appears as a knife-class weapon in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2. Somehow, they teach Jugglers how to throw Molotov cocktails.
    • They are also common dagger-type weapons in Final Fantasy XI, and many kukri tend to be Dancer's better early to mid-game weapons.
  • Bill of The Last of Us carries a Kukri as his melee weapon. He's fairly proficient in gutting and decapitating Infected with it.
  • This is Ajay's melee weapon in Far Cry 4.

    Web Original 

    Real Life 
  • Famously used by the Gurkha soldiers of Nepal, who traditionally serve in the British Army. The knives are often called "Gurkha knives" for this reason. George Mac Donald Fraser claimed that during WWII, Gurkha soldiers had a habit of dropping their rifles and charging at nearby enemies with their knives. After each battle, they had to go back and find their rifles.
  • Kukris are used by British Special Forces for jungle warfare, and standard issue in the Australian Army.
  • George Mac Donald Fraser, the noted author, carried one through the Burma campaign. He said he preferred it to a machete.
  • The kukri is in fact the only surviving member of an entire sword family: the recurve sabres, single-edged hacking weapons that curve away from the wielder. The concept has been around since the ancient Egyptians, whose khopesh was essentially a militarised farming sickle. The Greek kopis or machaira (the first name meaning "chopper") was a common sidearm for Greek infantry and a standard weapon for Persian cavalry. It was used across the entire Mediterranean and became a bane of the Roman legions when wielded by Iberian infantry, and it's big, two handed, brother, the falx, made them upgrade their Armour when wielded by the Dacians. The Medieval Turkish yatagan is a late example of a recurve sabre. All of the examples mentioned here are significantly bigger than the kukri.
  • Most, if not all, Traditional Filipino Weapons with a blade have a forward curve with the blade on the inside of the curve. This also applies to neighbouring Indonesian Swords and some Malaysian. The Ginunting is the official bladed sidearm of the Filipino Marine Corp.
  • Farmers and individuals living in rural Thailand use a kukri-inspired knife called an e-nep, which depending on the maker, ranges from extremely similar to outright identical to the shape of the kukri. They use their e-neps for the same sort of outdoors tasks the kukri is used for.
  • Modern Kukris are made rather shorter then old time ones because folk in The Government are less enthusiastic about the idea of decapitation and limb-lopping then their predecessors. Longer kukri are sometimes marketed as "kukri machetes".

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