"I threaten you with an umbrella with a poison tip."
— The House Detective by Fionn Regan
A good fighter can take anything and be able to use it as a weapon
, and even...an umbrella?
Yes, despite their standard use as protectors from rain, snow and sunlight, a parasol can be a deadly weapon in the hands of any fictional character, if used the right way. In this case, they're mainly used for clubbing people to death, but some varieties of umbrellas can shoot things - from bullets to gas to laser beams
. Don't be fooled if you see an old lady wielding an umbrella. Get on her bad side, and she'll whack you good
The carrier isn't Always Female
, though: another likely candidate is a Quintessential British Gentleman
, given that the umbrella-and-bowler-hat combo was for many years the unofficial uniform of a British businessman.
It's a pretty versatile "weapon", too. For starters, you've got a long stick with a hard spike at one end and (depending on design) a crook
at the other. Opening the parasol often lets it serve as a shield
against attacks (some works get around the impracticality of this by Handwaving
that it's somehow reinforced). It can even, in a pinch, serve as a parachute
. Running Razor Floss
along the rim of the canopy turns the parasol into a razor-edged shield. And if all else fails, you can always just hide a sword in it.
Compare Silk Hiding Steel
, Kicking Ass in All Her Finery
. Contrast Parasol of Prettiness
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Anime & Manga
- Guido from Samurai Pizza Cats is surely the king of this trope. His Samurai Sunspot Umbrella can do pretty much anything.
- The Yato from Gintama use their metal umbrellas as protection from the sun, batons, shields and… guns. While there is no normal bullet that can pierce them, a Yato's punch is very well capable of that.
- Hon Arkraptor from Tower Of God uses an umbrella that can fire and shield against Shinsoo. And he uses it to pierce hands, too.
- Kenshin used an umbrella as a weapon in one episode of Rurouni Kenshin. He even claimed to have a special style for it. Pretty unsurprisingly. Traditional Japanese umbrellas are made of wood, with rather thick bamboo ribs and stretchers, so when folded they make for excellent clubs.
- Tot from Weiss Kreuz, just like Setsuka, has an umbrella with a hidden blade.
- Christopher Shouldered from Baccano! is a Battle Butler with an umbrella as the personal choice weapon. It has a supposedly bulletproof canvas and with it, Christopher not only kicks ass, but he kicks Ax Crazy Graham Spector's ass.
- Ryouga of Ranma ½ easily wields an umbrella far too heavy for a normal human to carry, it can also float in water.
- In addition to the typical combat uses, Ryoga will also open the umbrella and throw it with a spin, turning it into a razor sharp boomerang style attack. Interestingly, it's not laser guided. Also the main reason he uses it is to protect himself from his water-induced curse.
- Roberta's umbrella in Black Lagoon is actually built around a shotgun with Bottomless Magazines, while the canvas between the spokes is actually kevlar. Whilst she could theoretically use it as a club, it's mainly used to form a shotgun/shield combo.
- Some bodyguard (not Sousuke) used one in Full Metal Panic.
- A minor character in Naruto named Shigure uses this as a weapon, which shoots seemingly endless amounts of deadly needles. Unfortunately, that tactic only gets said character killed by Gaara, who quite easily blocked them with his sand. Judging by others we see, the umbrella is the preferred weapon of the Hidden Rain Village.
- Played dead serious in Perfect Blue. *shudder* It's used to stab the main character, Mima, after the previous weapon of the villian was lost, a screwdriver. She was stabbed trough the side of her chest. It's worst than you would think. *shudder*
- Oyuki from Lady Snowblood (both manga and films) used a sword cane built into an umbrella to carry out her Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Feitang, one of the extremely murderous thieves of the Spider from Hunter × Hunter, fights using an umbrella. If angered enough, he pulls a sword out of the handle. If further provoked, he spontaneously combusts and all his colleagues take cover. But mostly he just kicks ass with the umbrella.
- Mei from Ga-Rei -Zero- has one of these which is also a Parasol of Prettiness.
- Yukari Sakuragi's umbrella in Another causes her death. More exactly, Yukari slipped and fell down the stairs of her school; the umbrella reached the bottom first, then opened as she was still tumbling down, and ended up piercing her neck with the metal end.
- In the Pandora Hearts anime, after he is cast into the Abyss, Oz is attacked by a resident Creepy Doll and fends it off with an umbrella he finds. He also uses said umbrella as a shield against the rocks the doll later proceeds to throw at him.
- This is Rikka's Weapon of Choice in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai when she's under the delusion as "The Wicked Eye." It's stored in a gun holster strapped on her left thigh.
- Batman villain The Penguin has an arsenal of deadly umbrellas which he uses to commit crimes.
- In his first appearance, he toted around three varieties: one that shot bullets, one that shot "paralyzing gas", and one that shot Hollywood Acid. Since then, he's used umbrellas that functioned as helicopters, jetpacks, stun guns, missile launchers...
- The graphic novel Penguin Triumphant shows that Penguin's usage of these dates back to childhood, when he used the sharpened tip of an umbrella to cut a bully's face. Thirty years later, said bully still bears the scar on his cheek.
- Percival Pinkerton, a member of the original Howling Commandos, is fond of carrying an umbrella to the field.
- Turner D. Century had a flamethrower umbrella.
- And White Rabbit one that shot carrots. Deadly carrots.
- Subverted in the Don Rosa story "The Three Caballeros Ride Again", in which it turns out that José Carioca's umbrella is no match for an actual machete.
- Some Jackie Chan fight scenes incorporate umbrellas, most notably a fight in his breakout film Police Story. He also had a memorable umbrella fight in Shanghai Knights, complete with an homage to Singin' in the Rain.
- Both young Wong Fei Hong and his father Wong Kai-Ying use an umbrella to dish out some beatdown to some scruffy street thieves in Iron Monkey. Mildly subverted in that their use of an umbrella was an expression of contempt for martially insignificant opponents. When confronted with genuine opposition, they stopped playing around with the umbrella and fought seriously.
- Interestingly, the association of the umbrella and Wong Fei Hong is seen in other movies with him, including the notable Once Upon a Time in China series starring Jet Li.
- In the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when the Doctors Jones are being chased by a Nazi fighter plane after an escape, the senior Dr Jones uses his umbrella to scare a flock of birds on the beach into flight, which causes the fighter that was chasing them to crash.
- In the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only we see a booby-trapped umbrella demonstrated by Q. When it rains, the umbrella closes and sticks spikes into the victim's neck. In another scene Bond and the girl jump off a wall using a large beach umbrella to slow their fall, as well as temporarily block them from the view of a mook shooting at them.
- In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in WALL-E, a robotic umbrella opens up and blocks the stasis lasers fired by the security robots.
- In Scream 1996, Sidney uses an umbrella as a spear to defend herself from the killer in the climax.
- In The Umbrella Coup, Pierre Richard plays an unemployed comic actor, who is invited to play an assassin, but enters a wrong office and gets confused for a Professional Killer by The Mafia. He receives an umbrella with a retractable poisoned needle in the tip to assassinate a target with. And Hilarity Ensues.
- He doesn't find out what's going on until the very end of the film. Even when the real killer assassinates the target and gets shot by police, the actor thinks it's all a game.
- The movie has been inspired by Markov murder, see Real Life section. Its working title was The Bulgarian Umbrella Coup and the weapon is called "Bulgarian umbrella" several times. But the movie uses a fast-acting poison instead of ricin.
- John Steed in The Avengers (1998) used his umbrella for beating up mooks and deflecting the Big Bad's staff attacks.
- Lord Southmere has one in One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing.
- The opening scene in Tokyo Raiders portrays an immigrant PI dealing with some unwanted tails with a combination of whacks, hook grabbing and some sort of martial arts.
- Miss Heliotrope uses one in The Secret Of Moonacre. Subverted slightly in that it's only shown to be a minor distraction (albeit one that helps greatly, as the movie's already over by this point and all that's needed is for the villain to see sense)
- A loan shark is impaled with an umbrella in Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2. Directly afterward, it pops open, and it starts to rain.
- At the end of Johnny English Reborn, the eponymous spy is facing the Big Bad, who is shooting at him. Thinking that the umbrella he has is a bulletproof one, he opens it. It does nothing. It turns out to be a missile-launcher that fires when you close the umbrella.
- A man has an umbrella opened inside him in Le bagman - Profession: Meurtrier.
- Hagrid from Harry Potter keeps his broken wand inside his pink umbrella. He's not allowed to cast big spells with it, since he isn't a full-blown wizard as he didn't finish Hogwarts.
- Amelia Peabody Emerson, from the series of books by Elizabeth Peters, has made an art out of using her parasol in battle, to the point that some superstitious 19th-century Egyptians believe it to be a magical weapon. By the time she's in her 50s, Amelia actually has custom parasols made with extra-strong shafts so they aren't destroyed by the damage she deals with them, and at least one is built along the lines of a sword cane—this latter is a special present from her husband, which delights her even though she doesn't actually know how to fence. Not that that stops her. Very little stops Amelia.
- Discworld's Agony Aunts can do terrifying things with a parrot-head-handled umbrella.
- In The Lord of the Rings, elderly hobbit Lobelia Sackville-Baggins is jailed after wielding her umbrella against a bunch of thugs twice her size.
- In Stephen King's novel The Tommyknockers, Jim Gardener gets into an argument with a guy at a party about the safety of nuclear power. Eventually, it deteriorates into Gardener beating the guy up with an umbrella. He notes to himself that this is the only part people will remember.
- In Brian Daley's Requiem for a Ruler of Worlds and its sequels, a well-equipped "breakabout" (spacer) will often carry a "gamp" or "brolly" that can double-in-brass as a weapon, emergency shelter, and other things.
- In The Parasol Protectorate series, one of these is Alexia Maccon nee Tarabotti's weapon of choice. It has all sorts of surprises built into it.
- Alexia actually goes through three versions. The first is weighted with brass shot and tipped with silver in case of werewolf attacks, the second contains a number of hidden features such as numbing darts, acid mist and a magnetic disruptor, and the third adds a grappling hook to the mix while retaining all the functions of the previous version.
- One of the Southern Sisters Mysteries opens with the eponymous sisters getting arrested because Mary Alice hit a bank president over the head with Patricia Anne's umbrella.
Live Action TV
- John Steed from The Avengers. His had a sword inside, but he didn't always feel the need to draw it.
- In an episode of Boy Meets World, Cory keeps having nightmares where he kills all the people he loves. He describes how in one of them, he shoved an umbrella down his best friend's throat and then opened it. "Shawn... I Mary Poppinsed ya."
- Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor used his umbrella as a make-shift weapon on occasion.
- The preview trailer for the Korean drama series Runaway: Plan B (도망자 / Do Mang Ja) shows a female character using a purple parasol to fend off attackers in a busy street.
- In The Americans, a poison tipped umbrella is used to subtly poison a young man, to blackmail his mother.
- In the Lemon Demon song "Samuel and Rosella", the eponymous character, annoyed by a young person in Hot Topic, "didn't like the way he dressed, so they closed their umbrella and they rammed it through his chest."
- In the play "The Turn of the Worm", two teenage thieves break into an apartment where two old ladies live. Pina, the feistier of the old ladies, stabs the male thief in the foot with an umbrella (it was revealed earlier in the show that she sharpens the point specifically for this purpose).
- Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, see entry in Literature section above, is a hero character in Lord of the Rings wargame by Games Workshop, armed with an umbrella. However, she has a special "Umbrella is not mightier than Sword" rule, which negates any wounds she could have inflicted.
- In Munchkin Cthulhu, one of the classes is Monster Whacker, and one of the illustrations for it is a woman beating up a small monster with her umbrella.
- In the New World of Darkness Core Rulebook, there is a piece of fluff where a character fights off an attacker with an umbrella (and stabs him in the eye for his trouble).
- Exalted has Princess Magnificent with Lips of Coral and Robes of Black Feathers, one of the Deathlords. Her weapon of choice is the Umbrella of Discord, a dreadful thing stitched together from the flesh and bone of five Solars killed in the First Age.
- Josephine from Suikoden V.
- P.B. Winterbottom's umbrella.
- One cutscene in Time Splitters 2 has Ghost using one to protect himself from his adversaries (who had claws)
- In Siren, the character Risa Onda can get an umbrella as her weapon. It's pretty ineffective. A character in the sequel, Akiko Kiyota, can get one as well, but as there are better weapons she can wield it isn't really worth picking up unless your caught without one.
- Setsuka from Soul Calibur III, as a Lady Snowblood Expy, keeps a short sword concealed in her umbrella. Her fighting style is battajutsu, the art of rapidly drawing, attacking with and then sheathing the sword. Of course, she has at least one or two attacks that have her smacking her opponent with the umbrella itself.
- Okuni from Samurai Warriors. Then again, she also inhabits The Theme Park Version of 16th-century Japan, where characters duel it out with fans, cannon spears, and even kendama (a children's toy that resembles a ball-and-cup).
- Azai Nagamasa's joke weapon from Sengoku Basara 2.
- Polka from Eternal Sonata embodies this. Not only does she open it up to shield herself with, but she can dish out quite a lot of damage once she gets Gold Moon (the best weapon for her by far-the most powerful, and it heals the whole party 10% per turn in battle, with a nice 5% experience gain bonus for all at the end of battle).
- Lucia from Lunar Dragon Song.
- Rosalyn from Okage: Shadow King is an interesting variant. She only uses a parasol to disguise her curse - she casts a pink shadow when hit by direct light. She actually attacks with a sword. She does, however, use it to cast magic.
- In Dead Rising, the Parasols you can pick up around the mall are actually ridiculously effective. They allow you to perform a Foe Tossing Charge that sends zombies flying in all directions, despite the fact that the flimsy wood-and-fabric construction really ought to buckle with a single hit.
- Kirby has, at different times, had umbrella-toting enemies he could absorb. While the Parasol isn't the strongest power he can gain, it does slow his falls. And it even naturally protects him from attacks from above.
- Aerith's joke weapon in Final Fantasy VII is a parasol, though she's still the White Magician Girl so it isn't exactly badass.
- There are three of these in Kingdom Of Loathing. The Titanium Assault Umbrella, is listed as a one-handed weapon, as is the Goatskin Umbrella (whose real advantage as a weapon is that it stinks of rotting goatskin).
- The last is a little drink umbrella, which as you might imagine, is pretty useless, except to those with advanced-enough Cocktailcrafting skills to use them in making potent drinks.
- In No One Lives Forever, chemically tipped umbrellas are used for terrorist attacks.
- In the Touhou series, a few characters have parasols or umbrellas as part of their outfit, and two of the most powerful qualify here:
- Yukari Yakumo always carries a parasol, which she uses as a weapon in Immaterial and Missing Power and Scarlet Weather Rhapsody.
- Yuuka Kazami also carries a nice parasol, made out of a flower that never withers. This parasol is also used to cut loose with the original Master Spark, as well as the more recent Dual Spark and other huge magical laser spells.
- This, and drops of water picked up with it, was your weapon in Parasol Stars.
- Phantasy Star Online had two types of parasols, both usable only by women. They're among the best melee weapons for the non-melee classes.
- In the Game Boy version of Kid Dracula, the main character eventually receives an umbrella that can block projectiles. Death says it belongs to his father. Does anyone recall Dracula ever walking around with one of these?
- Lieselotte of Arcana Heart, who uses her umbrella as a Magic Wand to cast the spells of her Arcana.
- Trilby in The Art Of Theft sports a trademark multi-purpose umbrella, with a grappling hook at the handle end and a taser at the pointy one.
- In the RPG/dating sim Thousand Arms one of the recurring boss fights is Bandiger, a lanky man in a white disco suit who uses an umbrella for a weapon, and his magic. He is actually far more powerful than the rest of the bad guys you fight through the game, and way more annoying.
- In the Speccy game Mystery of the Nile, one of the player characters uses an umbrella as a One-Hit Kill weapon.
- Lan uses a high-tech parasol defensively in Mega Man Battle Network 3, to block a brainwashing beam.
- The Civilian in the original Team Fortress. Later reused for the famous They Hunger Half-Life mod.
- Momo in Breath Of Fire III uses an umbrella (with a concealed cannon) as her main weapon.
- In BlazBlue Rachel is prone to using Nago as one. And also prone to using him as everything else.
- One of Bang Shishigami's distortion drives has him toss an umbrella... which then rains dozens of nails on the opponent.
- Luna from Arc Rise Fantasia wields one as her Weapon of Choice.
- In Immortal Souls, the female members of the Black Martyr vampire gang wield Parasols of Prettiness as these by way of being Elegant Gothic Lolitas.
- Radiata Stories has one of these as a unique weapon. It has a base damage of 1.
- In They Hunger, the first weapon you pick up is a umbrella. It is still powerful, capable of breaking many much harder objects found in the game.
- Parasoul in Skullgirls uses a western style umbrella that is also a Living Weapon as her main fighting tool. Her sister, Umbrella, who is slated for DLC, also uses her own umbrella as a weapon.
- There are enemies in Maximum Carnage who use umbrellas as both weapons and shields.
- Japanese indie game Unblade has the main characeter use a parasol as a weapon. It doubles as a Parasol Parachute, in addition to being an indestructible shield that blocks a Wave Motion Gun.
- In Little Busters, one of Mio's unique weapons is her Parasol of Prettiness. It's pretty useless in battle, though, and in a fighting system where all the weapons are improvised and other weapons include things like bars of soap, origami, and eel pie, that's saying something.
- Aerynn from Electric Wonderland gives a laser-shooting umbrella to Shroomy after Shroomy realizes her boyfriend Parker didn't give her anything for Christmas.
- In Homestuck, John obtains the umbrellakind strife specibus and alchemizes the Barber's Best Friend, an umbrella made of razors. He never uses either, though, in favour of hammers.
- In a Samurai Jack episode with the arguing bounty hunter ex-couple, the wife wielded one of these.
- In the "Ballpoint, Penn., or Bust!" episode of Wacky Races, Penelope Pitstop hit the Gruesome Twosome's dragon with the parasol from her car.
- The use of the Western umbrella became an integral part of the Hung Gar family of Martial Arts, when Doctor Wong Fei Hung saw their prevalence as China became increasingly westernized in the latter part of the 19th century. It also became the Weapon of Choice that came to define Wong Fei Hung in cinema, notably those in which he is portrayed by Jet Li.
- The Umbrella Murder: On September 10, 1978 the Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov died of ricin poisoning. It was later determined that he had been killed by a poison capsule that was injected into his leg by the tip of an umbrella.
- Bartitsu is an entire style of martial arts that revolves around using walking sticks and, yes, umbrellas. Pierre Vigny, a particularly renowned practitioner of one such technique, had (by his own account) once fought off several Apaches (Parisian street gangsters, not Native Americans) with a light umbrella. Incidentally, this now somewhat forgotten martial art may be responsible for a fair amount of the examples used here.
- In another example of bizarre Truth in Television, people have actually made combat umbrellas, which have been used by the Phillipine Secret Service. Combat umbrellas that can split watermelons.
- As with nearly everything else, the MythBusters have covered this one.
- Britney Spears allegedly beat some paparazzi with an umbrella.
- Prinz Ernst August von Hannover did attack a newspaper reporter with an umbrella. A computer game was even made based on this incident and what led to it.
- And now, a gun/sword/umbrella.
- During the Battle of Arnhem British paratrooper Major Allison Digby Tatham-Warter armed himself with a pistol in one hand and his signature combat umbrella in the other. Devised as a way to mark himself as an Englishman due to his chronic inability to remember passwords, the umbrella came in handy for more military purposes when on one occasion he used it to disable a German armoured car by thrusting the rolled up umbrella through an observation slit in the vehicle and incapacitating the driver.
- "Classic" umbrellas (cane-like, non-telescopic) are perfectly able to turn into vicious stabbing weapons due to the 5-inch metal spike on top, which is naturally sharp and can be further sharpened if needed. A military man trained in bayonet combat also knows how to hold it with both hands to avoid bending the shaft.
- In a rather funny way, while folding or normal knives "of significant size" (more than a 3 inch blade) are forbidden to carry in public places, umbrellas are thought harmless by most people including law enforcement.