Only a Lighter

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dott_gun_lighter.jpg
Ready! Aim! . . . Fire?

A cigarette lighter designed to look like something else, such as a toy ... or a gun in which case it may become a Weapon for Intimidation.

There may be some actual toys or guns that look exactly like it, causing a character to mix the two up.In the latter case, this can easily be either Played for Laughs or Played for Drama, depending on the situation.

Compare Couldn't Find a Lighter, where the thing being used to light a cigarette or similar doesn't look like a lighter because it isn't.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime And Manga 
  • Detective Conan: The third episode involves a Statue of Liberty cigarette lighter that is not mistaken for something else, but is used to show (since she knows what it is) that one particular character has been secretly trespassing.
  • The Cowboy Bebop movie features a lighter shaped like a grenade at one point.
  • The third episode of Trigun is "Peace Maker", which sees an outlaw boss Dual Wielding long-barrel revolvers that are actually matching cigarette lighters. This Harmless Villain with a Slasher Smile plots a bank heist posing as The Hero, Vash The Stampede.

    Comic Books 
  • Towards the end of Transmetropolitan's run Spider Jerusalem develops a fast-progressing neurodegenerative disorder with very little chance of recovering. In the epilogue issue he has barely any manual dexterity left, his assistants leave him alone for a minute and he whips out what looks like a gun and slowly draws it towards his head, then lights a cigarette with it. Revealing that he is recovering after all.
  • In the Catwoman comic, Catwoman's fixer Zed had a pistol shaped cigarette lighter that nearly caused him to get shot on one occasion.
  • In Batman #171, the Riddler uses a pistol lighter to trick Batman into attacking him when he is not actually doing anything illegal.

    Film Live Action 
  • Return of The Pink Panther: Chief Inspector Dreyfus has a pistol cigarette lighter.It looks identical to his pistol. This results in a Running Gag where he mistakes his lighter for his pistol, or vice versa.When Francois sees it before Dreyfus lights himself a cigarette, after informing Dreyfus that Closseau is to be reinstated as a detective, we get this exchange:
    Francois: Sir?!
    Dreyfus: What?(looks at pistol-shaped lighter) oh, it's a birthday gift from my wife.
  • The 1997 George of the Jungle has an inversion: Lyle shoots at George with a pistol that he thought was a novelty lighter.
  • The kid from Jungle 2 Jungle is given a mission by his tribal elder to steal fire from the Statue Of Liberty, and is disappointed to learn that its torch isn't real. At the end of the film his American dad gives him a novelty lighter that looks like it.
  • In Woody Allen's Mockumentary Take the Money and Run, Virgil Starkwell is seen at one point stealing a gun from a pawn shop and get in a shootout with the police soon after only to realize that the "gun" that he just stole is a cigarette lighter.
  • An inversion In The Man with the Golden Gun, the titular gun is a working cigarette lighter as well as an actual gun when not being used to shoot.
  • In Innerspace, the hapless store clerk protagonist has to deal with a customer who pulls a "gun" out of her purse when she gets annoyed with him only for it to turn out to be a lighter.
  • Fairly early in Weird Science Someone pulls out a pistol and it turns out to be a lighter. Later on it somehow gets replaced ... with a pistol.

    Live Action Tv 
  • In Batman episode "Hi Diddle Riddle", the Riddler uses a pistol lighter to trick Batman into attacking him when he is not actually doing anything illegal.
  • Hogan's Heroes: In the very first episode, a Nazi is sent in disguised as a prisoner to infiltrate their operation. One of the tricks they use to discredit him with his higher ups is showing him the novelty replica-Luger cigarette lighters they're mass producing, so that later, when he sees a real Luger, he fires it, thinking it's a cigarette lighter.
  • The Pretender: In the episode "Scott Free" Nick threatens to shoot Jarod with a gun, but when he pulls the trigger it's revealed to be a lighter.
  • The first episode of Black Books has a subplot where Fran is going slowly mad trying to figure out what a bizarre object she's been given as a gift is. At the end of the episode, Manny wanders into her shop and immediately identifies it as a novelty cigarette lighter.
  • On a Christmas Episode of Just Shoot Me!, Nina scares some carolers by pulling out her pistol lighter. She later gives it to Jack as a present, and it gets him in trouble when he gets caught in an illegal immigration sting (long story).
  • In the Top Gear Middle East special, when the cast are passing through a tense border check, one of the guards finds a lighter in Richard Hammond's car that is shaped like a rifle round, and is understandably pissed off by the carelessness of bringing such a thing.
  • Sherlock: "A Study in Pink" ends with Sherlock confronting the cabbie who's been forcing people to play a deadly game of picking one of two pills to see which is poisoned or he'll just shoot them. Sherlock picks the gun, which turns out to be a lighter. He comments that he knows a real gun when he sees one.

    Music 
  • Orbital: In an awkwardly dated moment from "The Saint" music video, Paul and Phil whip out pistols as they're passing through an airport security checkpoint. The security officers pull out their own guns, and the situation looks like a Mexican Standoff—then Paul and Phil reveal that their "guns" are really just lighters. Then the security officers laugh and wave them through.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • Mr. Magoo has a gun lighter in the cartoon "Magoo's Express". He shows it to a lady who, unbeknownst to him, is an Eastern Bloc spy trying to get the MacGuffin he acquired by mistake.
  • Family Guy: During the musical number in the episode "420", a DEA agent uses a gun-shaped lighter to light a Jamacian's joint.
    • Apparently, Vladamir Putin has a lighter that looks like a AK-pattern rifle.

    Real Life 
  • Some cities and states have actually banned the marketing and sale of novelty lighters in their jurisdictions, because of their resemblance to ordinary toys, and may present a greater risk of fire or injury.
  • Tinder pistols from the 17-18th centuries were the first novelty lighters. They were essentially pistols of the time, but with no barrel, no bullet and an expanded flashpan. A waxy wick was put into the flashpan with all the gunpowder, and ignition set the waxy wick on fire. After that, the user lit his pipe from this fire.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OnlyALighter