Shear Menace

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Weapons come in all different shapes and forms. From swords to spears. Then there are scissors. Believe it or not, these everyday household tools are considered to be dangerous by the TSA.

Typically, characters who use these as their Weapon of Choice are gardeners/groundskeepers (using shears) or tailors (using scissors). However, those associated with death may also use them; Atropos was known for using scissors to cut the threads of life. Morticians and taxidermists also use scissors when they perform autopsies or prepare bodies for their final, possibly mounted, resting place.

Subtrope of Improbable Weapon User and Improvised Weapon. See also Power Pincers. Can overlap with Martial Arts and Crafts.

Has absolutely nothing to do with Rock–Paper–Scissors, or Scissors Cuts Rock. Scissors that are capable of cutting rock and other hard materials is something completely different. When a Shear Menace is running, they're probably Running With Scissors.

Examples

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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Grant Morrison's run on Doom Patrol introduced The Scissormen, word-salad-spouting menaces with enormous scissors for hands who can snip their victims out of existence, from the nonexistent alternate world of Orqwith.

    Comic Strips 
  • One strip of The Far Side, completed but never submitted for publication "for some reason" until The PreHistory of the Far Side, showed The Grim Reaper as a child terrorizing playground youngsters with a pair of scissors.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Dial M for Murder Margot kills the man hired to murder her by grabbing a pair of scissors and stabbing him in the back while he is strangling her.
  • Cropsy commits murders in The Burning with garden shears, which he were fond of even before his disfiguring accident.
  • Edward Scissorhands has scissors for hands which he later uses to kill the sort of Big Bad.
  • One of the murders in Hot Fuzz is committed via a pair of garden shears to the throat.
  • In the horror anthology film Body Bags, in "The Eye" segment, Brent tries to murder his own wife with a garden shear when the late John Randall's visions turn him into a murderous lunatic as well.
  • In the "People Can Lick Too" segment from Campfire Tales (1997), the guy stalking Amanda picks up a pair of old garden shears from the backyard bushes before entering her house. He kills the family dog with them, and pretends to be it under Amanda's bed.
  • Not in the movie itself, but the poster for Child's Play 2 had Chucky using a pair of scissors to cut off the head of a jack-in-the-box.
  • In the opening case in Minority Report, we see premonitions of a husband catching his wife and her lover in bed. He goes berserk and grabs a pair of scissors laying around to kill them both.
  • In Lost River Bully carries around a pair of hand scissors. He's fond of cutting peoples' lips off with them.
  • During The Dude's unconscious fever dream in The Big Lebowski, he's chased by Karl Hungus and his nihilist cronies, all carrying massive shears (a call back to when they threatened to "cut off [his] johnson"), which promptly sends him running and brings him back to reality, running down a Malibu street with cops approaching.
  • In Don't Breathe, the Blind Man goes to stab Alex with a pair of garden shears during the fight in the laundry. He winds up stabbing Money's dead body instead.
  • In Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, Jason uses a pair of garden shears to gouge out the eyes of [[Tina]].
  • The serial killer in 22 kills his victims one every 22nd day of a month with a pair of scissors. After his death, his partner continues to do so in order to avenge him.
  • One of the female zombies in the horror-comedy Doghouse has a pair of scissors in each of her hands, and she constantly tries to have a snip on the male protagonists.
  • Emma Thompson is killed with scissors in a past life in Dead Again. In the present, the villain who killed her when he was a child is first stabbed in the back with scissors, then impaled on a giant scissors sculpture.
  • In Uncle Sam, Sam kills Willie with a pair of garden shears (implicitly by decapitation).
  • In Sisters of Death, Francie is stabbed in the back with a pair of scissors.

    Live-Action TV 

    Literature 

    Music 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Brutus Beefcake: How many of the heels regarded "the Barber," especially Bobby Heenan (on color commentary), Beefcake's ex-manager, "Luscious" Johnny Valiant and Beefcake's ex-tag team partner Greg Valentine. Jimmy Hart and the Honky Tonk Man have also had similar unkind words (at least in kayfabe) for Beefcake's love of cutting hair.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ork Power Klaws in Warhammer 40,000 are massive hydraulic combat shears that can go through tanks. Commissar Yarrick wears one he took from an Ork Nob's corpse, to replace the arm he lost to the same Nob.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Mega Man:
    • Cut Man from Mega Man (Classic), sometimes he throws them.
    • Crush Crawfish (Japanese name: Scissors Shrimper) from Mega Man X3 has pincers used like scissors.
    • Hornet Man's stage in Mega Man 9 has animate gardening shears as enemies.
  • In Bioshock Infinite, Elizabeth kills Daisy Fitzroy by stabbing her in the back with a pair of scissors.
  • The Sin Scissors and Death Scissors in Devil May Cry fight using a pair of over-sized scissors. In fact, they use them as a medium to appear in the human world.
  • The Oolacile Scarecrows from Dark Souls I have shears for cutting down intruders. Unfortunately, the shears are unobtainable.
  • In the video game Dark Fall: Lost Souls, the Inspector uses scissors to stab some hideous grub-creatures to death, and other times as a makeshift crowbar to pry things apart. These can break, but stashes exist in certain areas to replace them.
  • Vector, one of the bosses of Zenebatos in The Legend of Dragoon fights with a pair of scissors.
  • Kutaro of Puppeteer fights with a pair of magical scissors called Calipers.
  • In Twisted Metal (2012), Marcus Kane's daughter Sophie Kane stabbed Sweet Tooth in the eye with a pair when he was trying to kill her, leaving that distinctive eye-hole in his mask.
  • Sundowner from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Dual Wields a pair of machetes that can be linked together to form a giant pair of scissors. You can buy and use them yourself after you kill him.
  • The appropriately named Scissorsman/woman/twins from Clock Tower.
  • Yuri from Million Knights Vermillion, wields scissors as large as she is. She separates the blades for some attacks.
  • No. 7 in Mighty No. 9 uses a huge pair of scissor blades, though he prefers to detach them and use the blades like a pair of swords.
  • The Pokémon Scizor has claws that function like scissors as well as, of course, being named after scissors. Naturally, it learns the move X-Scissor, and it's one of the best moves it can have since it gets same-type attack bonus from Scizor's Bug typing and takes advantage of its massive Attack stat.
  • Castlevania
    • The Sega Saturn version of Symphony of the Night features an extra area called Underground Garden, which has gardeners wielding huge shears as enemies.
    • Order of Ecclesia features a character named "Anna Molly" (get it? Anomaly?), who seems to warp into existence just to try and snip Shanoa's head off with a giant pair of scissors.
  • Faria has the Scissors Monster, a boss which spawns flying scissors. Gold beats scissors.
  • Voldo's unlockable "Tofana Scissors" in the SoulCalibur series are a pair of scissor-shaped poisoned blades.
  • Nerscylla from Monster Hunter possesses a huge pair of scissor-like mandibles drenched in deadly poison. Interestingly, when not in use, these mandibles are able to be concealed within Nerscylla's body.
  • It is unclear if these are actually Richard Trager's Weapon of Choice in Outlast, but he does use them prominently, such as when he cuts off two of Miles Upshur's fingers with a pair and later stabs an executive to death with them before chasing Miles around the Male Ward. It's more of a situational element he uses than an explicit case of it being what he always uses, though given he is only in one chapter, it's hard to tell the difference.
  • Ethan's father in The Vanishing of Ethan Carter uses a pair of scissors to commit a Heroic Suicide in order to weaken the evil spirit that has befallen his family.
  • In Salt and Sanctuary, two of the Greatswords in the game are classified as Greatscissors, both of which share a unique two-handed strong attack that has you clip with the scissors instead of the thrusting attack regular greatswords have. The Jaws of Death was conceived by an Askarian inventor who joined two recycled greatswords together on a hinge, and was subsequently approved for use in the Askarian army after successful field testing. The Northern Cross was Markdor's attempt to outdo their rival nation and create a superior version. They both succeeded and failed in that the weapon is indeed superior to the Jaws of Death, dealing magic damage in addition to physical with S-rank scaling in both Strength and Magic, however unlike the Jaws of Death it was impossible to mass produce due to the rarity of its materials. Both weapons are extreme Game Breakers, primarily because greatswords in general are overpowered already, and the scissor attack is both extremely powerful and can be spammed very quickly, cutting even the toughest bosses to ribbons in no time.
  • In Resident Evil 7: biohazard, you will end up fighting Jack Baker, who is armed with a pair of shears made out of two chainsaws.

    Visual Novels 

    Webcomics 

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • In Gravity Falls, Li'l Gideon once tried to kill Dipper Pines with a pair of lamb shears, or at least cut his tongue out.
    Dipper: [Mabel]'s never gonna date you, man!
    Gideon: That's a lie. And I'm gonna make sure you never lie to me again.
  • In Toxic Crusaders, the incident that turned Mowerman into a mutant with gardening powers gave his right hand a pair of permanent garden shears. This leads to show's heroes calling him a mutant of "shear size and strength".
  • The Flintstones: In "A Haunted House is Not a Home", Fred and Barney have to spend a night in Fred's uncle's mansion in order to inherit his fortune. Also in the house are three servants who will inherit if Fred fails to do so. All of them are carrying weapons, with the gardener carrying a huge pair of hedge clippers that he wields with ghoulish abandon.

    Real Life 


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