[[quoteright:335:[[Film/FridayThe13thPart2 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/miningcorpsesheighho_5403.jpg]]]]
->"''A downward swing of the Pickaxe can crush stone; a human head would be an afterthought.''"
-->--''VideoGame/DarkSouls'', Fire Pickaxe description

A SubTrope of ImprovisedWeapon and closely related to ShovelStrike, pickaxes are commonly used to break up rocks and earth but also can immediately be used as a weapon. While usually not as sharp as a conventional melee weapon, the narrow spike and heavy head of the pick make it [[AntiArmor effective against armor]]. Because of their original purpose, they're also exceptionally sturdy and not as likely to break as other improvised weapons. Ice picks, used as a climbing aid in icy regions, are also covered by this trope. Though smaller than mining picks, their blades will tend to have a sharper edge and the weapon will be easier to both control and conceal.

In real life and fiction, some [[DropTheHammer warhammers]] and traditional axes also have a big spike on one side of their heads for punching through armor (and, on occasion, ribcages, heads and other things).


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Iemitsu Sawada from ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'' uses one as a weapon.
* Tuhl uses a huge pickaxe as his main weapon in ''Manga/BIchi''.
* In ''Manga/MadeInAbyss'' [[TheAce Lyza]] wields a huge pick named [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Blaze]] [[GrimReaper Reap]][[note]]Though despite the dark connotations, she's basically the ''nicest'' among all the White Whistles.[[/note]] as a weapon of choice, which she later passes to her daughter Rico. It's a [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum Class 1 Abyss Artifact]] (which she was entitled as a [[TheAce White Whistle]]), designated as an Everlasting Pick, and it allowed her incredible feats of destruction while she was still active as a Cave Raider.


[[folder: Film ]]

* Both the original ''Film/MyBloodyValentine'' and [[Film/MyBloodyValentine3D its remake]] had killers with pickaxes as their WeaponOfChoice.
* In ''Film/FridayThe13thPart2'', Jason's very first kill is the FinalGirl of [[Film/FridayThe13th1980 the original]], who he kills with an ice pick to the head. Later, he hunts Ginny down with a pickaxe.
* Shit gets worse in ''Film/TheDescent'' when [[spoiler:Juno accidentally puts a climbing pick through her buddy's neck after a protracted fight with monsters. After said friend is found by another of Juno's friends [[YourCheatingHeart (who are now rivals because Juno slept with her husband)]] she gets hunted down in revenge.]]
* The demon-possessed killer priest of ''Film/HappyHellNight'' starts using a ice axe as his weapon of choice when he finds it on a wall.
* The killer in ''Film/DeathOnDemand'' uses an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_axe ice axe]].
%%* ''Curse of the Forty-Niner'', aka ''Miner's Massacre''.
* Alissa eliminates most of the remaining characters with a pickaxe she picks up in ''Film/BloodNightTheLegendOfMaryHatchet''.
* The villain of ''Film/SimonSays'' has a severe pickaxe fetish, to the point of actually constructing a machine gun-like contraption that fires them.
* The Phantom Killer in ''Film/TheTownThatDreadedSundown'' takes a pickaxe to chase a woman with through a cornfield.
* ''Film/CliffHanger'' sees Creator/SylvesterStallone use ice-picks and various other mountaineering tools as improvised weapons whilst he battles terrorists on a snowy mountain.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* [[Literature/AdventuresOfADemonHuntingSoccerMom Kate Connor]] got a bunch of ice picks on sale because they make good weapons and having them around the house wouldn't be looked at askance.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'''s dwarfs use special axes: one side is a pickaxe, for prospecting; the other is a traditional axe, so you can stake your claim.
* The Dwarves of the Iron Hills under future King Under the Mountain Dáin II Ironfoot in ''Literature/{{The Hobbit}}'' wielded [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattock Mattocks]] in the Battle of the Five Armies.
* In ''Literature/ThePrincessAndTheGoblin'', Curdie's weapon of choice is his miner's mattock.
* The Russian Tolkien parody ''The Zwirmarillion'' references this with AWorldwidePunomenon. This particular pun is that the Quenya name of a constellation "Valacirca" sounds in Russian like "a Vala's pick", and the constellation is Varda's threat to beat Melkor up with a pick.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In an episode of ''Series/{{CSINY}}'', someone was killed with an ice pick to the neck. As it turns out [[spoiler:he was dying of cancer and he requested that he be killed this way]].
* There was an episode of ''Series/{{Bones}}'' where a woman was murdered with a pick used for rock-climbing in caverns.
* The ''Series/CriminalMindsSuspectBehavior'' episode ''See No Evil'' depicted a woman getting an ice pick [[EarAche rammed into her ear]].
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': In "The Underground Job", Eliot gets in a fight with the {{mook}} who was attempting to bomb the mine where both of them are wielding picks.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/ModestyBlaise'': In "Tribute for the Pharaoh", Modesty and Willie are ambushed by a pair of crooks who were looting a tomb. The one who attacks Modesty is wielding a pick, and actually gets the best the best of her before an intervention from Willie tips the balance in her favour.

[[folder: Table Top Games ]]
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', picks are popular weapons among those of the [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame dwarven]] persuasion, an outgrowth of their traditional profession of mining. They are known for low damage but very powerful {{Critical Hit}}s (comparable to a [[SinisterScythe scythe]]). Ironically, picks' low damage means they're unable to damage stone without extraordinary strength, making them useless to use as actual picks. One would assume that they ignore the hardness of stone, like axes do with wood, but it's never specifically stated.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'', picks are very powerful because they have high basic damage and a high damage multiplier. Their major limitation is that they can get stuck in a target, but even then they automatically do damage when you pull them out.
* In the official board game of ''ComicBook/TheWalkingDead'', picks are very powerful if you use nothing but picks in a single combat.

[[folder: Toys ]]
* ''Toys/{{BIONICLE}}'': Nuju's Ice Pick and Avak's Seismic Pickaxe.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'': pickaxes can be looted from Boulder Giants as weapons, it does moderate damage and is difficult to use, however it does decent poise damage akin to straight swords.
* ''VideoGame/DeadIsland'': pickaxes are two handed weapon made for crushing skulls of the zombies. The strongest one being The Pick of Destiny.
* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'': picks deal piercing damage, which is one of the best ways to damage internal organs (and thus, potentially kill a victim in a single blow depending on where you hit.) They also use the Mining skill in combat, unlike the axe. Convincing your militia to use them in battle is a bit trickier than it used to be, but they still make a pretty good EmergencyWeapon.
* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' has the Rusty Pick item, which adds a little damage and has a chance to stun an enemy. Peasants and Peons [[PercussiveMaintenance use them as tools]] and weapons, if you order them to attack.
* ''VideoGame/RuneScape'': partially averted; pickaxes can be wielded as a weapon, but they are less effective than weapons made of the same metal. That being said, players frequently wield their pickaxes while mining, rather than simply wield another weapon, because it saves an inventory space that could be used to carry more ore. Also, some bosses have armor than needs to be broken with a pickaxe before you can actually start hacking away at it's HP with another weapon (though you can still use the pickaxe if you wish).
* The Soldier class in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' has two picks as unlockable melee weapons.
** The Equalizer turns him into the ultimate GlassCannon by raising in damage output based on how low his health level is. At 1 {{hit point}}, he can hit for 113 points of damage.
** The Escape Plan increases the Soldier's running speed the less health he has, and [[DamageIncreasingDebuff marks him for death]].
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyModernWarfare2'': one level has you using ice picks as melee weapons.
** Well, you get to see [=MacTavish=] using ice picks as weapons. To dismount a guy on a snowmobile, no less. It's ''beyond'' awesome.
* An ordinary icepick is the closest thing ''VideoGame/FerazelsWand'' has to an InfinityPlusOneSword, doing ''many'' times the damage of a dagger or a fireball spell.
* The Imperial Pick from ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline'' is a very good Partisan weapon, despite being, essentially, a very large and ornate pickaxe.
* A pickaxe is also the best weapon in ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}: Overture''--or more accurately, [[ImprovisedWeapon every other weapon is worse]]. You'll still have to hit {{Hellhound}}s a dozen times to kill them, but two hits can handle a GiantSpider.
* Grayback from ''VideoGame/BattleRealms'' wields one; justified as he and most of the Wolf Clan pre-revolt were miners.
* One of the first weapons in ''VideoGame/{{Drakensang}} 2: The River of Time'' is a pick, classified as a "Two-Handed Axe" type weapon.
* The Emergency Hammer in ''VideoGame/SilentHill1'' is basically a gigantic Horseman's pick with a small flat peen on one end and and a huge spiked one on the other; you guess which end Harry prefers to strike with. It's easily the most devastating melee weapon in the game.
* The Pickaxe of Despair is by far the most damaging-per-swing weapon you can find in ''VideoGame/SilentHill4: The Room'', and its ChargeAttack is a 720 degree SpinAttack that will [[PunchedAcrossTheRoom kick anything close to you away by a good 7 feet]]. [[AwesomeButImpractical The drawback is that the thing is so slow that you'll often get hurt while trying to use it, taking around 4 seconds for a single attack and over 20 to charge a spin.]] Interestingly, with it, your [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown stomp attack]] is replaced by Henry thrusting the shovel against the enemy when it's down.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'' has mining picks that can be equipped as weapons, but they're pretty useless in combat.
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' includes picks, which are required to mine ore. They can make a decent weapon if enchanted. Two unique versions can be found: the [[VideoGame/MineCraft Notched]] [[ShoutOut Pickaxe]], which raises the Dragonborn's Smithing skill when equipped and deals minor shock damage to enemies, and Hoarfrost, which deals frost damage and has a chance to [[HarmlessFreezing freeze enemies solid]].
* Some enemies in ''VideoGame/RedDeadRevolver'' wield mining picks in melee combat.
* You ''can'' use your pick this way in ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'', but usually it's better to stick to swords or bows, as using your pick as a weapon deals less damage than either of those weapons and you cannot sweep with it like you can a sword.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' has the Esthar Soldiers, who wield a pickaxe with some sort of triple barreled gun on the handle just above the handgrip. It looks about as silly as it sounds.
* In the ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' series, the [[MascotMook Metools]] get these as weapons to go along with their mining hard hats. They hit the ground with them to produce shockwaves that travel straight down their row at speeds that vary from slow to barely visible depending on the type of Metool. Mega Man can also use them with the battle chips won from said enemies (For the first three games, at least).
* Picks are available as weapons in ''VideoGame/NetHack'', with the two-handed dwarvish mattock being one of the most damaging non-artifact weapons in the game, but they are generally more useful for [[DungeonBypass digging shortcuts and bypasses through the dungeon]].
* In the ''[[VideoGame/TombRaider2013 Tomb Raider]]'' reboot, Lara can use her pick as a weapon after leveling up to a certain point.
** It's available as a weapon in the {{Crossover}} DLC pack for ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII''. While its raw stats are outclassed by later weapons, the Survivor's Axe has two passives that [[CriticalStatusBuff raise Lightning's attack power if her HP is low enough]].
* In ''VideoGame/TheWalkingDead'', Molly has a climbing pick she names "Hilda" that she lends to Lee for a while.
* In ''VIdeogame/RiskOfRain'', the miner dual wields these, using them in his basic attack. It manages to keep up with the mercenary's laser sword and Hand-E's hydraulic punch quite well, even outranging them. Still, in matters of more complex attacks, he moves on to this weapon's [[ThisIsADrill high-tech cousin]].
* ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'' has a pickaxe, a fighting pick, and a military pick [[SortingAlgorithmOfWeaponEffectiveness in increasing order of power]] as short-range one-handed weapons. They may not look so impressive at first, but they're fast, and they have an unnerving tendency to [[ArmorPiercingAttack go right through heavy armor]], and will still make a mess of lightly armored enemies besides. They are also surprisingly handy in close fighting and sieges for those same reasons, trading reach for superior armor penetration.
* ''VideoGame/CaptainToadTreasureTracker'' lets Captain Toad wield a pickaxe as a temporary weapon in a manner identical to the hammer from ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong''.
* In ''{{VideoGame/Unturned}}'', the pick axe is a decent weapon and the only tool that lets you break up boulders for crafting stone.
* The Grave Robber from ''VideoGame/DarkestDungeon'' usually prefers throwing knives and darts for weaponry but carries a pickaxe as well. Presumably it's for breaking into mausoleums and the like, but it's just as effective at smacking the local {{Eldritch Abomination}}s very hard in the face.
* One of the kamas of Pendles from ''VideoGame/{{Battleborn}}'' is a [=BlissTek=] ice-climbing axe modified into a scythe.
* One of the harvesting tools/melee weapons players can use in ''VideoGame/{{Fortnite}}'' and ''Fortnite: Battle Royale'' is a pickax... made out of lawn flamingo heads attached to a shovel handle with a garden hose. The Death Valley harvesting tool in the shape of a pick mattock with a [[DesertSkull cow skull on top]].

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Digger}}'' uses hers primarily for, well, digging, but it's also her WeaponOfChoice when things get hairy.

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* Leon Trotsky was assassinated with either an ice axe or an ice pick, depending on who you ask.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horseman%27s_pick horseman's pick]] and other warhammers often had large pick-ends for piercing armor.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karla_Faye_Tucker Karla Faye Tucker]] was executed in 1998 for killing someone with a pickaxe.
* Many of the people executed in [[TheKillingFields Pol Pot's killing fields]] were killed with pickaxes, rather than having a bullet wasted on them.