So you have a rather long weapon
, and you don't have the Bag of Holding
or any sort of Hammerspace
to store and conceal it. What to do? Make it retractable, thus concealing it and possibly making it small enough to be stored without any problems.
of Impossibly Compact Folding
. Typically, any type of the Laser Blade
or Telescoping Staff
is this. Compare Shapeshifter Weapon
, where a character that can shapeshift can create many weapons from their body, Morph Weapon
which is a weapon that can take different forms and Person of Holding
. See also IKEA Weaponry
, Impossibly Compact Folding
, and Wolverine Claws
. Contrast with Collapsible Helmet
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Anime & Manga
- Bleach: Gin Ichimaru's Shikai and Bankai, though that's not its only or main feature.
- In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Paz is shown to carry around a folding kukri which is specific enough to him that a stalker who's imitated him to the last detail has one.
- The Guyver has blades that extend out of his arms.
- Trigun: Vash and his Concealed Alternate Retractable Weapon that doubles as his HAND.
- Goku's Power Pole from Dragon Ball.
- In Tokko, Kureha's daggers are shown to be retractable. In the manga version, Sakura's sword is shown doing this as well.
- In Yaiba, Kojiro's sword has the power to grow longer or shorter at will, though it's still a pretty long blade by itself.
- The Lyrical Nanoha franchise has Garyu, a humanoid insect Monster Knight who fights using several retractable blades that come out from his arms.
- Batman's Batarangs in some media like in The Batman and Batman: Arkham Asylum.
- Batgirl (the Stephanie Brown version, at least) carries around a retractable/extendable staff, as does Robin III (Tim Drake).
- Spoofed in Astérix in Corsica. The Weapon of Choice of every Corsican is a wristblade, which they're not shy to show for intimidation purposes. For the big battle at the end, they happen to have also retractable swords and even rectractable lances — doing exactly the same sound as the wristblades.
Films — Live-Action
- Larry Niven's Known Space: variable swords (Monofilament wire reinforced with a stasis field) extend from and retract into the handle, their state only obvious from the ball at the very tip of the blade to reduce accidents from not knowing where the blade actually is located.
- Babylon 5: the Minbari Fighting Pike aka Denn'Bok. Preferred weapon of the Rangers.
- Andromeda: the Force-lance, which can extend to a 2-meter-long quarterstaff.
- Unusually for this trope, force lances are also frequently used in their collapsed state as guns, and the fact that pointing them would be more difficult than a gun is explained by the use of guided bullets.
- Power Rangers: Several weapons, sometimes in an impossible manner.
- Doctor Who: In the 2005 reboot onwards, the Doctor's sonic screwdrivers usually have an extending/retracting feature. Eccleston/Tennant's is a sliding mechanism while Smith's has a spring loaded claw.
Myths & Religion
- In Norse Mythology, Thor could shrink down his hammer Mjöllnir so that he could fit it inside his clothes. For this reason, Mjöllnir-shaped pendants are common in that part of the world.
- Journey to the West: Sun Wukong's iron rod.
- In Shadowrun, retractable claws are available as cyberware and known by the nickname "wolverines". As well as a collapsible staff and the Victorinox memory blade which folds into a belt.
- Homestuck: Nepeta uses a pair of retractable claw-like weapons.
- Robin in Teen Titans has bo staffs that retract to fit in his utility belt. So does Slade.
- El Tigre has claws that he can use to grab/attack people from a distance, due to a Variable-Length Chain.
- Optimus' axe in Transformers Animated has an extendable shaft.
- Rubilax isn't so much retractable that size-shifting; its normal form is between the size of a short sword or dagger, but it can turn into a BFS (with Volcanic Veins in option) in a hitch.
- Some air pirates also have sword-lances that can change size.
- In ThunderCats and its 2011 reboot, the Sword of Omens' default size is a dagger/shortsword. When its wielder utters a battlecry to unleash the power of the Eye of Thundera (also known as the Warstone in the reboot), the Sword becomes a longsword. The 2011 reboot explains the Sword's small default size: Mumm-ra destroyed a star system to create the special metal capable of channeling the Warstone's power. When the blacksmith forged the Sword of Plundaar and its matching gauntlet out of it, a bunch of small shards fell in the process. The Sword of Omens and the Claw Gauntlet were forged from those shards.
- In Motorcity, Mike Chilton has Spark Staff, which emerges from a miniature skull of his. His partner Chuck has a wrist-mounted slingshot that is also this.
- Truth in Television: Expanding batons, switchblades, butterfly knives, swiss army knives, and firearms with folding/clasping stocks.
- Many predatory animals have retractable claws.