[[quoteright:350:[[Series/TheBigBangTheory http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Big_Bang_Theory_379.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:They play, it doesn't mean they're good at it]]

->''"I can't shoot my own mother. Not with paint, anyway."''
-->-- '''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'''

One difficulty for training solders is to try recreating the conditions of a battlefield, because you don't want people to go into shock once they hear things whizzing past their head. You also don't want to be using live ammo to get them used to that sensation. So playing paintball is one of the few ways to recreate a battlefield scenario without all the messy carnage involved.

In fiction this scenario is often used for those same purposes, creating a battlefield situation without the genuine worry of a character being killed. There are many different stories this situation can create:
* A paintball reveal, where UnwinnableTrainingSimulation is finally shown as merely a training exercise.
* The characters go expecting to be doing a training exercise but something happens as a TrainingAccident, maybe an unknown switch to live ammo.
* Several comedy scenarios including a recreation of battlefield chaos, a ShellShockedVeteran and someone falling down as though they were shot for real. Eventually someone might take it as SeriousBusiness and start laying down traps, taking hostages or doing an UnnecessaryCombatRoll.
* Characters deal with personal issues or live out fantasies by going up against rivals or bullies. Possibly, if the characters are usually BookDumb, they'll prove that they actually have the brains and acumen to fight in battle.
* A full-episode parody (or several pastiches, spoof scenes, and references) of war movies, particularly the ones about the Vietnam War, like ''The Deer Hunter'' or ''Apocalypse Now''.
* A situation where the bad guys attack and the characters lack access to their signature gear, forcing them to make do with only their wits and whatever they can scavenge from the field (including the paintball weaponry).

As with many things, those who are familiar with the game will likely be frustrated by the inaccuracies done, sometimes just in the name of RuleOfCool. Among these include:
* Characters taking their visors off, even assuming they are full face masks or even wearing anything to begin with, which is the number one piece of safety gear[[note]]Paintballs are nonlethal in principle, but that doesn't mean that they don't hit with a fair amount of impact - 45-90 pounds of force at 15 feet. There are reports of concussions even with a helmet, and a direct hit on your eye would blind you in that eye, and possibly even ''kill'', if it went straight through the eye into the brain[[/note]]. For the reasons why, compare InSpaceEveryoneCanSeeYourFace and HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic.
* The lack of any visible marshals or playing in public areas not properly partitioned off.
* Personal conduct rules are ignored, such as minimum distance between firing (no point-blank shots), viciously shooting people [[GroinAttack ten or more times in sensitive areas]] for comedic effect, and so on.

Mistakes are more excusable when it's not a regulation game (i.e. a bunch of dudes just throwing everything together for shits and giggles). While not as widely known in fiction much of the same format can be applied to UsefulNotes/{{airsoft}}, which is the use of small plastic BB's as ammo with both gun and ammunition being generally cheaper for an avid player. In even more extreme cases, typically played for laughs entirely, lasertag may also be used for the same purpose.

This is TruthInTelevision, as military and law enforcement use special "Simunition" rounds for training that are fired from an actual gun, while still being relatively safe to use. A number of paintball guns are designed to look, feel and have the same heft as a regular firearm. In any case, skills and tactics used in paintball (regardless of equipment including the gun and headgear) translate rather well to an actual combat engagement.

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'' has a brief sequence showing the Knight Sabers doing this in their off hours, presumably for tactical training. The usual "no masks on" rule applies, though the girls are otherwise wearing clothes that'd pass muster, especially considering they fight killer robots on a nightly basis. A welt or two'd probably not even be noticed. Of course, all inaccuracies were overshadowed by Sylia winning the match with a paint ''landmine'' (those are real; just expensive).
* ''Manga/SchoolRumble'' had its class 2-C engage in a massive multi-way paintball battle to determine what their activity would be for the SchoolFestival. [[MundaneMadeAwesome Played for the maximum in epic]].
* The paintballs switched with live ammo scenario kicks off the plot of the ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam''/''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' midquel ''Manga/MobileSuitGundamEcoleDuCiel''.
** The opening of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam0083StardustMemory'' shows the test pilots of Torrington Base staging a mock battle using paintball clips in their [[HumongousMecha mobile suits]]' machineguns.
* One episode of ''Manga/YoureUnderArrest'' featured a paintball match between Yoriko and some of the other Bokuto officers on one team and Chie Sagami-Ono leading the other team. [[spoiler:Sagami-Ono won the match, but Yoriko arrested some robbers who were hiding nearby and mistook the paintballs for real bullets.]] Another episode featured the Bokuto officers on their day off visiting an amusement park with a paintball arena and competing against the amusement park employees, who wear monster costumes (thereby triggering Miyuki's [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes phobia]]). (This latter storyline was adapted from a manga chapter; in the manga version, it was a laser tag arena instead.)
* In ''Anime/SoundOfTheSky'''s first DVD extra episode, the crew has a mock battle with water guns. Being UnsuspectinglySoused at the time, HilarityEnsues.
* Likewise a DVD extra episode for ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic: The Second Raid'' has Tessa and Melissa engage in a mock [[HumongousMecha Arm-slave]] battle using paintball ammunition.
* ''Anime/{{Macross}}'':
** During the evaluation trials in ''Anime/MacrossPlus'', Guld and Isamu do combat simulations using mech-scaled paintballs. Given their rivalry, it devolves into physical melee, and then the clip of live ammo gets loaded and fired.
** We also see mech-scaled paintballs used for training in ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'' and ''Anime/MacrossDelta''.
* Chapters 142-149 of ''Manga/AssassinationClassroom'' (Season 2 Episode 17-18 of the anime) has the entire class engage in a paintball civil war [[spoiler:to settle the dispute on whether they want to kill or save Koro-sensei]].

* The ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'' special "Last Man Standing" was completely devoted to a game using paintball guns. Hardly anyone wore face protection of any kind - and every character who wore glasses got hit at least once in them. (Even many of those who did not were glasses were hit in the face, but those were "off screen".) Not to mention "firefights" with participants being hit sometimes dozens of times (how do they even know who won?), called shots to the groin, and even one character fighting while carrying an unprotected baby!
* IDW's ''[[ComicBook/GIJoeIDW G.I. Joe]]'' series has the training exercise variation. A group of Joes armed only with paintball weapons have to attempt to infiltrate the Pit. A pair of Cobra commandos kill most of the team (who mistake them for their opponents), leaving three essentially unarmed Joes (Cover Girl, Downtown and Tripwire) to take on the Cobra soldiers.
* One of the stories in a ''ComicBook/{{Punisher}} Summer Special'' had Frank tracking down a gang of killers who disguised themselves as paintball players while equipping their weapons with live rounds.
* In one issue of ''ComicBook/Champions2016'', the team bonds/practices their battle strategies over a round of paintball. Vision even drives the team to a paintball arena in a van.

* In the ''BasaltCityChronicles'', a brother of one of the main characters is in the [=PaNoTer=] armed forces. He tells his family over a dinner about a time when he and his squad wish to have a practice battle on a paintball field. Several smilodonian youths are there for the same purpose, and the two sides decide to go against each other. The soldiers see no reason to go easy on the youths (all of whom have received some military instruction). [[CurbStompBattle Needless to say, the youths lose SPECTACULARLY.]]

* In the training exercise at the beginning of ''Film/TheLivingDaylights'', the guards shot the infiltrating spies with paintballs [[TrainingAccident (at least that was the intention)]] despite their lack of face protection. Partially justified because the guards were SAS troopers, so if they don't want to shoot you in the face you won't get shot in the face.
* During the gun battle exercise in the film version of ''Film/GetSmart'', the agents involved used military simunition instead of real bullets. While they wore protective body armor and goggles, none of them wore facemasks or helmets. Partially justified with the fact that since these were CONTROL field agents, they would have excellent marksmanship.
* ''Film/ManOfTheYear'' has Creator/RobinWilliams taking his staff paintballing for a team building exercise.
* TheFilmOfTheSeries ''Film/{{SWAT}}'' had them doing a training scenario using realistic paintball firing guns.
* The lovely but little-known film ''Prom Wars'' ends the titular wars with a paintball fight.
* ''Film/{{Jarhead}}'' uses it almost realistically during its characters' training time. One grunt asks the stupid question-"Them paintball bullets...they hurt?" Cut to the answer.
* In ''Film/FridayThe13thPartVIJasonLives'', Jason Voorhees stumbles upon a group office workers playing paintball. [[KillEmAll They weren't in the film very long.]]
%%* The {{Slasher Movie}}s ''Paintball'' and ''Stagknight''.
* The paintball match in ''Film/{{Severance}}'' ended prematurely due to a character getting caught in a BearTrap.
* The campers seemed properly equipped in ''Film/ReturnToSleepawayCamp'', except for Alan. Since everyone (including most of the counselors and other employees) hate him, all the players surrounded him and shoot him a bajillion times.
* Taken to ludicrous extremes in ''[[Film/IronEagle Aces: Iron Eagle III]]''. While performing in airshows, the heroes use paint rounds for mock '''dogfights'''. [[spoiler:Nearly results in a TrainingAccident when one pilot's guns are secretly loaded with live rounds.]]

[[folder: {{Literature}}]]
* The opening chapter of ''Discworld/TheScienceOfDiscworld II'' has Ridcully attempt a team building exercise by taking the wizards into the woods with their staffs set to paint spells. Unfortunately, wizards don't do team building:
-->'''Senior Wrangler''': I'm on ''your'' side!\\
'''Dean''': But you made such a good target!
* Bigmac in the ''Literature/JohnnyMaxwellTrilogy'' is banned from paintball. He reckons they're just jealous because no-one came up with the idea of a paintball grenade before.
-->'''Wobbler''': It was a ''tin of paint''. You might have loosened the lid, at least.
* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'', a group of corporate executives take part in a "team-building" paintball battle. Crowley the demon changes the weapons to real guns. HilarityEnsues.

* ''Series/{{Primeval}}'' Season 2 Full face masks, but they're removed by the minor characters and one guy, mask semi-removed, shoots the girls multiple times. He then takes his mask off again in an empty clearing. He is soon killed by a saber-tooth tiger.
* ''Series/{{Spaced}}'' used goggles instead of full face masks, and a total absence of marshals. This allows some acknowledged dangerous shots to occur, mostly Tim firing at Dwayne's crotch. Several times (admittedly causing a severe injury)
--> '''Tim:''' No hard feelings eh?
--> '''Duane:''' You shot me in the bollocks, Tim.
--> '''Tim:''' Yeah, well like I said... ''no hard feelings...''
** Mike's overzealous attitude towards paintball (he's a member of the Territorial Army and general military enthusiast) is stated to have gotten him a ban which lasted several years.
** Also features the obligatory War Movie Parody scene - Mike gets shot, Tim runs over to give a HowDareYouDieOnMe speech, and Mike coughs up yellow paint and goes limp. Cue {{Big NO}}OOOOO!
* There was an episode of ''Series/{{Jake20}}'' with a paintball match. Jake's enjoyment is ruined by someone trying to kill him [[spoiler:who turned out to be a hallucination]].
* ''Series/SouthOfNowhere'' has an episode where the Carlins and others go paintballing. Especially egregious in that Madison shows up in a ''Cheerleading outfit'', just so she can act like a psycho bitch (and get what has to be her [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome CMOA]]) when the cheer squad removes her from the lineup.
* ''Series/CoronationStreet''. Tony's stag party pulled most of the common mistakes with masks being lifted up willy-nilly and no sign of marshalls. They did have full-face masks though.
* ''Series/JustShootMe'' has an episode with paintballing.
* ''Series/{{CSI}}'' has an episode where a trio of the main cast visits a paintball course to bring in a suspect. The main members enter the field in the middle of an active game without any protective gear, and the suspect removes his mask while still on the field even though viewers can clearly see people still shooting each other in the background.
* ''Series/MythBusters'' will normally break out the full face masks when paintball guns are in use, but during one segment of the "Ultimate [=MythBuster=]" episode Adam and Jamie were firing at each other with no body armor other than groin cups and face masks. Of course, the point of that challenge was to see who had the greatest pain tolerance... (Huge surprise, Jamie won.)
** A later episode testing whether a "[[GetAHoldOfYourselfMan Slap in the Face]]" can get you out of a hysterical fit and back to dealing with a stressful situation had them testing cognitive awareness using simunition rounds at a gun range. They used paintball ammo largely because they had to simulate mental fatigue ''and'' give that person a gun.
* ''Series/ICarly'': In "iSaved Your Life", the trio and Spencer play a game called ''Assassin'' using only blow tube guns. Carly and Freddie were "eliminated" early on, leaving behind extreme mind games between Sam and Spencer. No safety equipment is used at all, although the relatively low speed nature of blow-guns reduces the risk of injury and it was meant to be played in a home.
* The pilot of ''Series/{{Glee}}'' had the other football players shooting Finn with paintball guns at point-blank range. Not on a paintball range. With ''nobody'' wearing any gear. And somehow it was all okay because they weren't aiming at his head. So much wrong with this scenario...
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'':
** One episode has the cast (minus Penny) walking into their complex, in full paintball uniforms, absolutely covered in blue spots, except for Sheldon, who has a noticeable orange blotch on his back protector (He kept yelling, "Get the kid in the yarmulke!" in a firefight against a Bar mitzvah party). This set up is quickly dumped by the wayside when they run into Penny on the way up, and she invites them to her Halloween party. As they were just walking up the stairs their masks were the proper kind to use, though later episodes showing them at the course with slightly smaller visors that didn't cover the chin.
** Another episode begins and ends with them hiding in a building on the course, apparently there are regular paintball games pitting different university teams against each other. This time it includes an UnnecessaryCombatRoll and some discussion on their mortality.
** The fifth season premiere had the group at the paintball range again, although personal issues flared up to where they were ready to call it quits. Sheldon decided he was a poor captain and thus [[DeathSeeker committed himself to death]] by walking out unarmed and insulting the geology department, being promptly shot over a dozen times and ending with an epic CrucifiedHeroShot. To their surprise, [[RedemptionEqualsDeath his sacrifice]] inspired his team to retake the battle and win the game for the first time. They make the mistake of taking their masks off on the field several times. And normally the sci-fi style body armor is a little unnecessary, but they ''shot each other at point blank range'' with their masks off!
* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'', Malcolm's friend Dabney was being shot repeatedly by a bunch of bullies at point blank range while he was on the floor. When he snapped, he not only returned the favor to one of them, he also was shoving paintballs up the guy's nose.
* ''Series/TheKingOfQueens'' had a paintball episode where all the characters had goggles but [[GogglesDoNothing wore them like headbands]], instead of over their eyes where, you know, they could actually do some good.
* Episode of ''Series/DangerBay'', in which two characters break the pre-established rules about, respectively, taking one's face mask off during the exercise and aiming for the face, with the result that the guy who took his mask off takes a paintball between the eyes and is effectively blinded for most of the rest of the episode.
* ''Series/SixFeetUnder'' has an episode where paintballing errors show up most egregiously. David and Keith go paintballing with a couple other gay guys. They don't wear protective clothing, they take their googles off and even close-range hits don't elicit any reaction from the characters. It mostly follows the RuleOfFunny and aims to illustrate the difference between Keith's HardGay friends and David's CampGay friends.
* An episode of ''Series/LALaw'' had some of the attorneys going on a weekend paintball excursion as the team of a client. Stuart Markowitz becomes very good and very ruthless at it. Even more remarkable since Markowitz was coming off a heart attack.
* ''Series/BykerGrove'' showed the dangers of this when PJ lost his sight after he removed his mask mid-game and got hit in the face by a paintball.
* ''Series/GregTheBunny'' featured a paintball team building trip. When Gil neglects to invite the women, they get irate and vow to crush him.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'' had an '''epic''' [[Recap/CommunityS1E23ModernWarfare paintball episode]] where the whole campus engages in a paintball war and the last one standing gets first choice of classes the next semester. The episode spoofed tons of action movies. The next season they had a two parter, [[Recap/CommunityS2E23AFistfulOfPaintballs half]] based on [[CowboyEpisode westerns]], [[Recap/CommunityS2E24ForAFewPaintballsMore half on Star Wars]]. The participants wore no protective gear at all (except for whatever they could [[ScavengedPunk scavenge]]). Those were ''surprise'' campus-wide games.
** Season 6 [[Recap/CommunityS6E11ModernEspionage has another]], which occurs when Paintball goes underground. It thus parodies the action Espionage genre a la ''Series/MissionImpossible''.
* Near the end of season 4 of ''Series/TheWire'', one episode starts with Michael running away from Chris and Snoop; all three of them armed. He hides, ambushes them, and then we realize that they're actually all using paintball guns.
* ''Series/MacGyver'' has Mac and Pete in a Phoenix versus other agencies Paintball match as one of the cold openings. Mac's "no guns" rule applies even to Paintball. And yet, Phoenix was winning, because of Mac.
* ''Series/AceOfCakes'' started an episode like this when the team was asked to make a cake for Splatter Mountain paintball and was invited to play. The first few minutes of the show are about the team sneaking up and assassinating each other before they get to cake-making.
* On ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOnDeck'', they had an episode where Cody and Bailey were taught to have fun by Mrs. Tutweiler ( they had come into to class on senior skip day and Mrs. T had had it with their interrupting her reading of a romance novel). Of course, this being the 3rd season, Cody and Bailey took it as an opportunity to hurt each, then their teacher, and finally after the game, they analyzed the science behind it.
* ''Series/DropTheDeadDonkey'' featured one episode where Dave and Helen got together during the game and ended up having sex, convincing Helen that she was, after all [[spoiler:a lesbian]]. The cast mostly behaved according to their characters - Sally had her photo taken and went back to the hotel, Damian wore a Rambo style ammunition belt and bandanna - but from what happened off-screen, George apparently had a HeroicBSOD moment - ending up pistol-whipping Gus and giving Henry a black eye, which meant he lost badly-needed money from not being in a fit state to make a TV series independently of Globelink.
* ''Series/LittleMosqueOnThePrairie'': Amaar's bachelor party involves a paintball game. Unfortunately, Amaar doesn't think the teams through ("everyone on this side of me on my team") and ends up unintentionally making the game Muslims versus (white) non-Muslims - which, besides the [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] UnfortunateImplications, means that he's saddled with a whole team who've never handled a gun in their lives, half of whom immediately shoot their own teammates by mistake.
* One episode of ''Series/TopShot'' allowed members of the two teams to finally shoot at members of the opposing team with paintball markers While the target marksmen were running from one protected firing point to the next.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' has the intar: a device developed by the Goa'uld for use in training Jaffa, that stuns people shot with it, instead of killing them. It is first seen being used by a group of Jaffa being trained to fight using human weapons, and tactics, and is later adopted by the SGC for use in training exercises for its recruits.
* A Season 3 episode of ''Series/HellsKitchen'' had Chef Ramsay reward the winning team with a trip to the paintball range, where Gordon took on all three by himself - [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome and he still won]]. Because this is also a RealLife example, all the proper rules were obeyed.
* One episode of ''Series/CSINewYork'' had two paintballers staging an illegal match in alley. One is murdered when he stumbles on to a drug deal, while the other is abducted by a mentally unstable woman who thinks he is an alien. The paintballers were, at least, wearing full protective gear. The gear, combined with the luminous paint she thought was blood, was why the woman mistook him for an alien.
* ''The Piglet Files'', a 1990's British sitcom, has the MI5 protagonists doing a paintball training exercise, including a parody of the TakingTheBullet cliche. The doofus of the group is praised for having no paintball marks on him, only to reveal as he walks away that he's been shot InTheBack numerous times. No-one wears protective equipment as we're [[DangerRoomColdOpen initially supposed to believe they're actually in combat]].
* While ''Series/{{House}}'' did not have an official paintball episode, the one-hour retrospective which aired before the series finale ended with Robert Sean Leonard and Hugh Laurie having a paintball match in the defunct set of the Princeton Plainsboro hospital.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' has Barney's utter devotion to lasertag from the very first episode, and is sometimes revisited throughout the series and playing up the "mock battlefield" scenario. In one episode he gets too aggressive against the kids that were playing and the manager had Barney [[TurnInYourBadge turn in his membership card in a style very similar]] to a CowboyCop being asked to resign.
* ''Series/PeepShow'': The second half of "The Love Bunker" takes place during a paintball match.
* ''Series/LasVegas'' has the owner, Casey, taking the gang over to do paintball. Most of them were not wearing the proper gear.
* In the ''Series/SpaceAboveAndBeyond'' episode "Ray Butts", the titular Lt. Col. Butts puts the squadron through a training exercise with paintball pistols. In the best traditions of this trope, no one is seen wearing any eye protection or other padding.
* One episode of ''Series/SledgeHammer'' had the titular detective investigate a murder on a paintball field. Near the end, he takes on the suspects in a paintball match.
* ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'':
** The show first gets one with the episode "Tactical Village". Fairly realistic in that it's a training scenario for a group of cops (they're using training rounds in what looks like real guns) but nobody seems to be wearing more protection than goggles. And they get shot in the chest at a couple of feet!
** Appears again in "Windbreaker City", in which the cops are invited to a terrorism training exercise for federal agencies only to be looked down on by everyone else present and discover that they're assigned to be the hostages. They eventually end up rebelling and freeing themselves, only to ''then'' decide to take revenge on the condescending feds by taking over the role of the terrorists.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' featured an example in the episode "Peak Performance". Commander Riker must take a hand-picked skeleton crew to hastily refit and man an obsolete starship to take part in a wargame against Captain Picard and the ''Enterprise''. This battle, naturally, features weapons running at low power to simulate live-fire. Also naturally, a third party arrives to cause trouble in the midst of the mock-fight while everyone's weapons systems are locked out. Riker, being outclassed in every practical way, resorts to a remarkable number of [[GuileHero unconventional tactics and outright cheating]] both in the wargame and the ensuing actual confrontation.

* In one ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' strip, the PointyHairedBoss signed the team up for a paintball course as a "team building exercise", but instead of them going out to a paintballing field, he interpreted it as hunting them in the office with a paintball gun, without them being aware of it. Obviously, they didn't have on any protective gear, and in the confines of office spaces it would've been difficult to avoid "point blank" shots, both of which are major no-nos.

* ''VideoGame/LittleBigPlanet'' has the ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' DLC level pack, which comes with the Paintinator, a paintball gun for shooting down ID-tagged weaponry and [[spoiler: [[HumongousMecha Metal Gear REX]]]].

* In the webcomic ''Webcomic/LifeOfRiley'' the [=BOBs=] are able to gain an early lead over the forces of darkness in their "Paintbrawl" specifically because the bad guys don't understand the rules.
* ''Webcomic/PvP'' did a paintball arc in early 2008 that was very careful about getting the details right, with proper masks and realistic paintball guns and terminology and rules. The one exception was Francis using a ''Franchise/{{HALO}}'' helmet instead of a regular paintball mask, though in this case the [[LampshadeHanging marshals at least discussed it]]. Up to the point where Brent got a dislocated ''nipple'' (maybe Scott Kurtz was afraid the strips weren't zany enough). Then the cast snuck onto the course at night with no marshal and did all the things they weren't supposed to do, but at least then it was [[JustifiedTrope justified]] (and they even pointed it out later).
** That sequence features a cameo from "Doc", who runs a paintball shop in Alaska and draws ''Webcomic/TheWhiteboard'', a paintball-themed WebComic, as well as a human version of the owner of the paintball field from that comic, "Red". This may have contributed to the accuracy.
** Also, Kurtz's commentary during the arc indicates he'd ''planned'' to go through the arc with the usual trappings (including the blind cast member Reggie participating) until readers more familiar with the sport called him out on it.
* As mentioned above, ''Webcomic/TheWhiteboard'' totally averts this, as the author makes markers for the game. Not to mention Doc can get a little annoyed by people disregarding the rules.
** Mandatory equipment for his referees include duct tape and mallets, and tazers for refs of smaller stature.
** An arc ending shortly before Christmas 2010 featured a field that tends to bend or even disregard all the rules, including mask regulations, chronographing[[note]]checking paintball speed, with 300 feet per second being a common upper limit[[/note]], and wiping off paint spots from hits.
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'''s [[http://www.sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/060724 "Sistine Shrapnel"]] arc, complete with Torg being a wuss about getting hit and Riff illegally modifying his marker.

* ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' had a particularly egregious episode where a teenage bully torments Bobby on the paintball field and Hank and his buddies end up sucked into a paintball match with him. Not only does no one ever wear face masks in this episode, but the bully frequently engages in activities that would get you immediately [[FictionIsntFair thrown off the range (such as lining up a losing team against a fence for a "firing squad" shot) and of course, nary a marshal or range master is seen.]] Hank and his friends then turn the tables, shooting at point blank range themselves, bringing outside unsanctioned equipment and changing clothes on the field.
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'' episode "The Daria Hunter" shows everyone in goggles but no face masks. Lampshaded in a scene where Quinn shoots Sandi because she doesn't recognize her with her goggles on; Sandi angrily points out that it's against the rules not to wear them, whereupon the Fashion Club says "Some rules are meant to be broken. Like wearing red lipstick with an orange sweater."
** Quinn retorts with "Besides, you [Sandi] shot at us after you were already hit, and that's against the rules, too."
** Also in this episode, Ms. Barch repeatedly shoots Mr. [=DeMartino=] after having taken him down, directing at him a rant really intended for her ex-husband, until Brittany intervenes.
** "Ms. Barch, stop! [[RunningGag Those paintball thingies hurt!"]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland'' had a paintball episode where the teens had to hunt each other with paintball guns. Other than the camera crew and the host, there are no marshals to keep an eye on the contestants. The contestants wear goggles but no facemasks, and otherwise wear no protective clothing at all, just their [[LimitedWardrobe normal street clothes]]. It doesn't help that some of the girls are pretty much half-naked. Finally, during the event briefing, the host literally shoots a contestant point blank for comedic effect. Of course, ''Total Drama Island'' is very big on AmusingInjuries, and the hosts make no effort to hide the fact they are complete [[JerkAss jerkasses]].
* Played straightly subverted on the episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' "Petarded". Spooner street game night includes a "paintball" fight in the Griffin house with goggles and body armour but no masks. Only Brian forgot the paintball guns so they use Joe's box-o-guns from work. RefugeInAudacity indeed.
* The ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' paintball episode must've been the first of its kind to use a ''brush'' in a parody of movies about UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar.
* A ''WesternAnimation/{{Dilbert}}'' episode had Alice use this as an ice breaker party game. INSIDE Dilbert's house! It gets worse from there.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' plays their paintball online, literally.
* The ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'' episode ''Dance Jimmy Dance'' has the three main characters playing "Savage Bunny Paintball", which has them firing paintball guns at rabbits.
* If it counts, ''WesternAnimation/TheSwanPrincess'' has a paintball ''segment''; Derek and Bromley practice archery by tipping their arrows with bags of paint.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' episode "The Fridge" is set off by Nicole winning a company paintball game off-screen ([[NoodleIncident every other contestant was hospitalized]]) and ends with the Watterson family having a free-for-all game of capture the flag. There is no supervision, people get shot at very close range or after already losing, players either take off their mask (Anais) or wearing only goggles (everyone else), and some extra equipment includes paint grenades and paint balloons dropped by trip-wire.\\
[[FreezeFrameBonus Humorously]], besides the forest course shown the [[http://theamazingworldofgumball.wikia.com/wiki/File:ElmorePaintball.png poster]] for the place claims it has one course in a junkyard and another ''in outer space.'' And are available for all kinds of parties, including stag parties (bachelor parties) and hen parties (bachelorette parties).

* Many military forces and law enforcement agencies use [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simunition Simunition]], effectively live ammo which fires paint balls instead of lead bullets; they are significantly smaller, harder, and faster than regular paint balls. They're basically a blue wax dye tip, with a plastic buffer and a small metal sabot on the base. This way soldiers and cops can get the feel of dealing with live ammo, complete with projectiles whizzing around. Since they're mostly used at ranges deep within a normal "safety kill" range in paintball, they can, will, and do break skin. On the flipside, users tend to be wearing Kevlar armor at the time and may hardly feel getting shot in the armor.
** It is also extremely inaccurate compared to bullets just as regular paint balls are due to the fact that the paint projectile is too small to take advantage of the rifling effect.