- The battle is so fierce they knock each other's weapons off their hands and have to use the other's weapon to continue fighting.
- To make a challenge of using each other's weapons, especially if they're not familiar with each other's weapons.
- Because one is in a situation which the other's weapon is better suited for. May be part of Confusion Fu, especially if they're not particularly skilled with each other's weapons, their opponents aren't skilled at fighting against a different weapon type, or their opponents completely don't expect them to use such a weapon. This is especially important against enemies that No Sell against a character's signature weapon fighting style.
- It may be part of their fighting style.
- There are more people than available weapons, so they pass what they have back and forth as needed.
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Anime and Manga
- The final battle in Cowboy Bebop ends when Spike and Vicious end up dropping their signature weapons — Spike's pistol and Vicious's katana — and end up with their opponents' favorite sidearm. They hand them back just before deliberately launching final, suicidal strikes against one another.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Heero and Zechs fight each other in mechas with the Zero System (a sophisticated computer designed to give the pilot Combat Clairvoyance), Gundam Epyon and Wing Gundam Zero respectively. After both systems crash from trying to take each other into account, the pilots get out and after some consideration, switch their mechas.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: In the battle between Wrath and old man Fu in front of central headquarters, Wrath ends up taking control of Fu's sword and Fu is forced to use one of Wrath's discarded knives.
- In Shakugan no Shana, Sorath steals Shana's Nietono no Shana and callously discards his Blutsauger. Shana then picks up Blutsauger and continues the fight. They end up switching swords back.
- In Noir, while Mireille is fighting Silvana, aka "the Intoccabile", Kirika shoots off the tip of Silvana's knife just as she's about to stab Mireille, who drops her own gun in shock before either realize what actually happened. They then both scramble to pick up something, with Mireille winding up with the broken end of the knife, and Silvana winding up with the gun. Notably, while Silvana has Mireille dead to rights, she hesitates — either out of genuine surprise at how quickly the situation reversed on her, inexperience since she usually uses knives, or some combination. It's just long enough that Mireille is able to close in for the kill and stab her.
- In an issue of Frank Miller's Daredevil, the hero and his Arch-Enemy Bullseye end up switching weapons briefly, with Bullseye using the hero's billy club to good effect while Daredevil quickly discards the villain's gun.
- In the The Avengers / Ultraforce crossover series, Loki forces Iron Man and Prototype to battle one another after maneuvering them into accidentally switching their Powered Armor suits.
- After being lured into a death-trap by some villains, Captain America briefly ended up wielding Hawkeye's bow and arrow while Hawkeye tossed around Cap's shield. Luckily, those villains were the Death-Throws, a troupe of criminal jugglers.
- An old issue of Marvel Team-Up from the 1970s had Doctor Strange and Spider-Man use a spell to give Spider-Man's web-shooters to Strange and Strange's magical abilities to Spider-Man just long enough to confuse and defeat a sorcerer armed with a powerful mystical talisman.
- Happens in some of the sword fights in The Mask of Zorro.
- One of these occurs in Big Trouble in Little China but to a less friendly degree. The main hero and his two allies take out a group of gangsters, then grab their weapons. The Supporting Protagonist quickly swaps guns with the Decoy Protagonist a moment later. Seeing that he now has a much smaller gun, he swaps it with another hero who bemoans the fact he now has the smallest weapon.
- During the climactic battle of A Better Tomorrow II, Ken Gor and his opponent do this at the very end of their duel, which may have inspired the Cowboy Bebop example.
- Jet Li's character and his samurai opponent in Fearless (2006) end up swapping their weapons, a three section staff and a katana respectively, in the last fight of the movie. They pause the fight to switch back when it becomes clear that neither is nearly as proficient with their opponent's weapon as with their own.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Elizabeth and the two comic relief pirates, Pintel and Ragetti, are fleeing a gang of Davy Jones's henchmen with the chest and two swords between them. They end up throwing the swords back and forth to each other as needed to defeat the mooks, despite none of them having shown that level of swordsmanship or coordination before. note
- A drawn out example features in the climax of Freddy vs. Jason. Jason gets the upper hand on Freddy, but Freddy manages to turn the tables by slicing off Jason's fingers, making him lose grip on his machete which Freddy uses along with his claw to beat Jason to a pulp. While grappling, Jason rams his severed stump into Freddy's torso, who retaliates by slowly driving Jason's machete into him. The heroine and her boyfriend manage to blow up a gas tank which sends both of them hurling into Crystal Lake. Just when they think it's over, they're approached by Freddy who's still wielding Jason's machete. Before he can kill them, he's run through with his own severed claw arm by Jason, who then topples back into the water. Lori then uses Jason's machete to finish off Freddy by decapitating him.
Live Action TV
- Highlander: Duncan vs Xavier St. Cloud's final battle has this. Duncan disarms Xavier who promptly returns the favour with his metal hook hand. After some hand to hand combat both end up near each other's weapon and continue the fight with each other's sword. This is likely reason for Xavier losing the fight, as Duncan's katana was designed for two handed use making it awkward for Xavier to fight with one-handed.
- Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena once fights a one-on-one fight against a giant barbarian with an axe and near the end of the fight, they switch weapons. Xena adapts much better than the barbarian, who's never held a sword in his life.
- Done with fighting styles rather than weapons in Seijuu Sentai Gingaman/Power Rangers Lost Galaxy; Copis/Chameliac, a Monster of the Week that is able to copy and counter the rangers' fighting style gets outsmarted when the rangers switch fighting styles with each other, confusing the monster. Then, in the Megazord fight, he copies the Megazords' powers as well. When the Stratoforce Megazord shows up, he copies it ... only for it to play this trope by pulling out the Centaurus Megazord's gun and shooting him.
- Each team member in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger starts with Sword and Gun, but they tend to swap around to suit their specialties (Joe and Luka prefer Dual Wielding, Don and Ahim go Guns Akimbo, while Marvelous sticks with sword and gun).
- Used in a cutscene in Devil May Cry 3, when Dante and Vergil are forced into an Enemy Mine battle against Arkham. Usually Vergil's weapon of choice is a Katana, and Dante fights with a Zweihander, but they switch weapons briefly during the fight and are just as capable of fighting with the other's sword as their own.
- Cave Story: after you defeat and befriend Curly Brace, she offers to trade her Machine Gun for your Polar Star (the first weapon you acquired in the game). You can decline or take the offer, and if you do the latter, the swap is permanent. Slightly later in the game, you end up fighting side-by-side through a few levels.
- In Secret of Mana, one party member equipping another party member's equipped weapon triggers a short cutscene of the two flinging their weapons to each other.
- In The Last Stand: Union City, you can do this with your AI partners. Most often, players use this to exploit their infinite reserve ammo by giving them automatic weapons, a valid tactic as long as you don't care about XP, as you don't get any when the AI kills the zombie.
- In this Stick Fight animation, Hyun (blue) and FLLFFL ("Alfa", green) knock away and catch each other's weapons. They both just hurt themselves trying to use each other's weapons, so they quickly switch them back.
- Used in Goblins when the protagonists are doing battle with the Yellow Musk Creeper and the Thornback Orc clan it has enslaved. Big Ears ends up holding off the orcs with Complains' magical shortsword and Thaco's Sword Cane after throwing his handaxe, while Thaco takes Complains' katana and attacks the creeper's heart.
- Used at least twice in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003 series):
- In one episode, one of the fight scenes reaches a climax when Leo arms himself with the Sword of Tengu, which was forged specially for the Shredder, while the Shredder ends up wielding Leo's dual katanas. This leads to a Single-Stroke Battle.
- In another, the brothers are facing a combat robot invented by Baxter Stockman which has been specifically programmed to counter their fighting styles; they decide to swap weapons with each other in order to confuse it, though with some difficulty early on.
- The episode "Jack and the Spartans" of Samurai Jack has Jack throw his sword to an ally after the ally's weapon breaks. The ally gives his shield in return and they finish off their opponent, Jack with two shields and the Spartan with Jack's sword.
- WW2 saw lot of examples of this. Equipment captured by one side was frequently reconditioned and used against its original owners. After the shattering Italian defeat in North Africa, for instance, two full regiments of Australian armour were equipped with captured Italian tanks. On the Axis side, Rommel employed captured British tanks to make up his own shortages. Things could get confusing in the desert. The Russians captured so many German Pnz III tanks that they considered it worthwhile to rebuild the booty German chassis to carry a far more potent anti-tank gun. Bizarrely, several of these were recaptured by the Germans and things came full circle - a German tank equipped with a Russian gun now fighting again for its original owners. The British Guards Armoured Division employed at least one captured Panther as a main battle tank. The Japanese captured so many M3 Stuarts in the Phillipines that they fitted a tank regiment with them. These American tanks fought against their original owners during the 1945 reconquest. Second echelon German units employed tanks and armoured cars captured from a dozen different countries...