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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/RobinHoodMenInTights http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/robinhoodmanintights_7999.png]]]]

->''"Simple wooden staff''\\
''Made from life, protecting life,''\\
''Stronger than cold steel."''
-->-- '''Flavor Text''' from the ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' card [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=22320 Silkenfist Fighter]]

Behold, the staff. Essentially nothing more than a long, wooden club, it is one of the simplest weapons known to man, yet frequently referred to as the deadliest melee weapon ever created. (In other words, it's the king of BoringButPractical.) It can be easily improvised from a number of ordinary farming and cleaning tools -- such as plows, rakes, or mops -- that are readily found anywhere. [[TechnicalPacifist Those who frown upon spilling blood]] can confiscate various polearms and snap off the pointy end(s) to suit their tastes. Even convenient tree branches can serve in a pinch.

However, not all staves need be so simple. A few war-staves are shod with blunt metal caps for harder strikes, and bound with iron rings to better parry swords. The violent potential of especially these iron-shod staves cannot be overstated, as when wielded properly are quite capable of shattering bone, denting and deforming armor and completely removing vulnerable areas such as the jaw.

Many double as [[StaffOfAuthority symbols of status]] and thus feature elaborate headpieces -- of which the wisest choices are sturdy and heavy enough to serve in a fight. Some clever individuals have made staves out of hollow metal pieces that can collapse into a concealable weapon.

In the West, a full-length fighting staff is called a quarterstaff. Contrary to [[DanBrowned general opinion]] or [[HollywoodHistory many movies]], in the medieval age a staff was not held in the middle, but wielded in a similar way to a spear or two handed sword.[[note]]With one hand half way up, the other a few feet further back to provide more leverage and the rest of the staff ahead of them. One should note that it is hard to find a consensus for the length of the quarterstaff, which ranges in description from six feet to more than double that.[[/note]] In Japan, it is called a ''bo'', with a smaller version called a ''jo''. The Japanese also have ''hanbo'' -- short staves that Westerners would call rods. A Filipino fighting art called ''Eskrima'' (or ''Arnis'' or ''Kali'', depending on which island you're from) also makes use of these short rods.[[note]]An interesting side-note is that eskrima teaches its practitioners to strike with one particular surface of the stick rather than just any part of it -- because eskrima is intended to allow the user to switch his relatively non-lethal sticks for ''blades'' if necessary.[[/note]]

Staves tend to be the WeaponOfChoice among monks and others who, for moral, religious and/or ethical reasons, refuse to take a life, but for various reasons find themselves requiring a method of defence. Anyone else interested in practising combat skills is more interested in lethality, and so affix various pointy ends to their poles, making these implements a [[BladeOnAStick different kind of weapon entirely]]. Of course, some people take a middle path and conceal various nasty surprises in their staves.

Staves also tend to be the favorite of particularly old and weary characters in need of a walking stick -- or those who wish to appear older and wearier than they really are. As such, it is a favorite among {{Old Master}}s and certain kinds of wizard. In the latter case, the "simple" staff probably also doubles as a MagicWand, thus becoming the hybrid melee and magical weapon, the MagicStaff. Staves work great for teachers because a) they don't look impressive, and thus when they kick your ass it's a demonstration of the user's skill, and b) staves provide ample opportunity for hard whacks to the shins or head -- painful, but not fatal, blows -- thus perfect for discipline.

These connections to the monastic, the mystic, the elderly, the traveled, and the sorcerous have lent the staff itself, and those who use it, a certain image of being intellectual, knowledgeable and wise. Whether this is any more real than the image of frailty is another matter, but more staves in fantasy are Magic Wands than Magic Wands are staves. If the MagicWand aspect of the staff is limited to only shooting people (or, if said shooting from a staff is not even magical in nature at all), then you have a BoomStick, rather than a MagicStaff.

In Eastern media, the staff is often a Kung Fu weapon, used with much grace and skill (and choreography). Combined with the distance afforded by its long reach, martial artist monks have long been able to smack around roomfuls of {{Mook}}s completely untouched. As Western audiences rightly recognize [[RuleOfCool the awesomeness of this]], it's spreading to Western media as well. The most famous user of the staff in Eastern media is Sun Wukong from the seminal ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'', and thus most staff-users reference Wukong in some way, especially through his not-so-simple staff, the TelescopingStaff, a related trope.

When the fighters don't actually care as much about the injuries they inflict, or actively try to cause lots of injuries, perhaps the staff really ''is'' just a [[CarryABigStick long club]], or a [[BladeOnAStick spear]] without a spearhead.

If the wielder is a martial artist, expect to see a [[SpinToDeflectStuff particular special defensive trick]]. The same trope [[UpToEleven applied to ridiculous extents]] is WoodenKatanasAreEvenBetter.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Staves in the world of ''Franchise/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' don't tend to count, but Raising Heart's staff form is Nanoha's melee weapon of choice -- unless she's reached the point of using its final form, which can produce a [[BladeOnAStick spear-head]].
* ''Anime/RoninWarriors'': The Ancient One wields a staff to do his priestly magic in contrast to the Ronins themselves who stick with BladeOnAStick.
* Gold in the ''Manga/PokemonAdventures'' manga had a pool cue that he uses for calling out his {{mons}}.
* In ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'', Freya uses a staff as her weapon, it being the tool of choice for her family's style of jojutsu. Her staff is modified by shortening, and she can. quickly screw it together to make a longer staff.
* In the ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' manga, Gackto's rod, decorated with [[SuckMyRose roses]] and jewels, is used like the mermaids' E-Pitches for the Dark Lovers' song. [[spoiler:Rihito]] inherits one just like it, but never actually uses it as a weapon.
* Shu from ''Anime/NowAndThenHereAndThere'' utilizes a long stick as a staff of sorts; the weapon is mainly used as a contrast against the other characters' weapons, where all of the other ''children'' are wielding knives and guns. Although he isn't very skilled per se (he mainly just recklessly uses the same [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_(kendo) move]] over and over), it is meant to highlight his pacifism.
* Fasalina from ''Anime/GunXSword'' wields... uh... a very long pole-dancer stick. Either to beat the crap out of her opponents, or to control her mecha. And even her mecha comes with it.
* When [[spoiler: Kuu Fei]] makes a Pactio with Negi in the ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' manga, her artifact is a replica of the [[Literature/JourneyToTheWest Ruyi Jingu Bang]].
** And Negi's staff, which he received [[AncestralWeapon from his father]].
* Husky in Manga/PlusAnima. He occasionally fights with it (he's good), but it's used more as a "Cooro punishing stick".
* As mentioned in the ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'' example below, Son Goku of DragonBall wields the Nyoi Bou (or "Ruyi Bang" for Chinese speakers/savants). A magical staff that grows and shrinks as the user's will. (Known as the "Power Pole" in the dub.) However, it fades from use in ''Anime/DragonBallZ''. Also, Kamesennin (Master Roshi) has a staff of his own, he never seems to really use it for anything though.
* Nami from ''Manga/OnePiece'' uses a simple staff at the beginning, but later replaces it with the [[MagicStaff Clima-Tact]] in Alabasta, which got several upgrades further down the line.
** Sabo during his youth with both Ace and Luffy, where the three of them used [[PipePain pipes]] as bo-staves; Sabo himself was much more notable when it came to using such weaponry in that fashion, [[spoiler:even towards his adulthood]].
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** Chouza Akimichi uses a staff in combat, and it changes size with him whenever he goes into AttackOfThe50FootWhatever mode. [[ChineseGirl Tenten]] is also a staff fighter, albeit mainly in filler and video games.
** The Third Hokage does this, with his personal summon being a monkey king who can transform into adamantine staff.
* In ''LightNovel/SaiunkokuMonogatari'', [[BadassBureaucrat Ensei]] uses a staff when everyone else walks around with a sword. His [[RedBaron nickname]] is "Little Staff King".
* In ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'', Sakura's MagicWand is a pink staff with a bird's head that is used to seal and summon Clow Cards. [[spoiler: Later, the bird's head changes to a circle with a star in the middle, when Sakura is ''officially'' made the Mistress of the Cards.]]
* In ''Anime/{{K}}'' Yata switches to using a pipe as a staff from the movie onwards, replacing his previous [[BatterUp baseball bat]]. It even gets ''modified'' during the climax [[spoiler: when Anna becomes the Red King]] to look more like a proper bo staff.
* Diamond, one of the villains in ''Anime/FistOfTheNorthStar'', had a really big staff. Not that this helped him agaisnt Kenshiro.
* In ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'', Angemon wields a staff, but he rarely ever uses it.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ComicBook/{{Gambit}} of ''Comicbook/XMen'' used an [[{{Unobtainium}} adamantium]] staff, often collapsible.
* Also regarding the X-Men, the criminal Black Tom Cassidy uses an Irish shillelagh, because he has to focus his mutant power through wood for it to be effective.
* Post-Crisis ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} is in fact a very competent staff-wielder. When archenemy Reactron nullifies her powers in ''Who Is Superwoman?'', [[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/jHhSoGXJ6a1xKxfWtEAdgUIWUUMyU6IdT4FNp8_fTUzjaVcK9tuEoDWDLk7-cMIYjnrv9iXa3jhn=s1600 she grabs a metallic rod, drives him back]] and points out how stupid is thinking someone who has been mentored by Batman and Wonder Woman is incapable of fighting without her powers.
* In ''Comicbook/TeenTitans'' Tim Drake often used a bo staff, usually collapsible. The original one Drake used was modified with a bit of carving to create a whistling sound when he swung it to distract his enemies.
** In fact, [[ComicBook/RobinSeries Tim Drake]], when offered training in any weapon of his choosing by arguably the DCU's greatest martial artist and assassin, Lady Shiva, goes with the bo staff specifically for its non-lethal attributes. He's grown so proficient with it he's been declared the best staff fighter in the DCU.
** ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'' version of Dick Grayson uses it as well in place of his signature escrima sticks.
* Agent 355 wields an expandable baton as a (somewhat) non-lethal alternative to her pistol in ''ComicBook/YTheLastMan''.
* ''ComicBook/TheAuthority'': Midnighter tends to use a collapsible metal staff when he isn't using his bare hands. Far from being a TechnicalPacifist though, he's used it to ''decapitate'' people.
* ''ComicBook/TheMightyThor'': Volstagg used a staff in the older stories, before eventually switching to a [[AnAxeToGrind axe]].
* ''ComicBook/{{Batgirl 2009}}'': Stephanie Brown's collapsible "boomstick".
* ComicBook/{{Nightwing}}'s Escrima sticks.
* Donatello of the Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles uses one as his WeaponOfChoice. So did Splinter, in some versions.
* ComicBook/{{Mockingbird}} of ''ComicBook/TheAvengers'' uses two batons (referred to as 'battle staves') that connect to form a telescopic staff, sometimes depicted with hidden extras, notably a hidden blade for stabbing into objects for support and leverage, or at people for intimidation. Her ex-husband, ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}} also used one, that split into nunchucks, during his time under the identity of Ronin...but got his ass utterly handed to him when the two fought.
* [[SwissArmyWeapon As well as doubling as]] Nunchucks, batons, a grappling hook, and a [[MundaneUtility blind man's cane]], ComicBook/{{Daredevil}}'s [[WeaponOfChoice billy club]] serves as one of these when needed.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Commander Primary Xerox in ''FanFic/TheMadScientistWars'' uses a high-tech version of these, in favor of guns, and second to his huge Net. Seeing as how it's collapsible, made of unknown material, and can be adjusted to weigh up to 100 kilo, It's about as violent as a non-violent weapon can be.
* This is Timmy Turner's weapon of choice in ''FanFic/BurningBlack'', due to his aversion to taking life. If it hadn't been destroyed, he'd still be using the wooden quarterstaff/training bo that Caleb gave him when he was ten. It pulled double duty as his MagicStaff for helping to direct his spells. Steps are being taken to return it to him.
* In Fanfic/TeenageJinchurikiShinobi:
** Sakura learns how to use one to perfection from Donatello as she was surprisingly a natural with one.
** Naruto used one as well on certain occasions due to this version being a WalkingArmory.
* In ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'', a long, steel-reinforced staff is Shinji's favorite weapon.
%% * Artie from ''FanFic/MyLittleUnicorn''.
* Due to losing his ability to transform, Lightstorm now uses a staff as his primary melee weapon in ''Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm''. In his case, the staff enhances kinetic energy to boost its impact damage, can collapse to the size of a pepper spray can to clip on his utility belt, and appears to be virtually unbreakable.
* Monster X [[note]]in human form[[/note]] in ''Fanfic/TheBridge'' uses a broken fence pipe as a staff to disable to Siren's van when they tried to flee the mall he ambushed them in.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Another Leafmen weapon of choice in ''WesternAnimation/{{Epic}}''.
* In ''Disney/RobinHood'', both Little John and [[BadassPreacher Friar Tuck]] are shown to be proficient in combat with a quarterstaff.
* ''WesternAnimation/StrangeMagic'': Even though his staff is magic enough to act as a microphone and guitar, this is how the Bog King uses it.
* Master Oogway's staff in ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'', which was passed onto Master Shifu after his death.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Prince Akeem from ''Film/ComingToAmerica'' (played by Eddie Murphy) is seen [[ChekhovsSkill training in staff-fighting]] in the beginning of the film. So, later when he's working in Queens at a fast-food restaurant and [[Creator/SamuelLJackson a thug]] tries to rob the place with a shotgun while he's mopping, he unscrews the handle and beats him down.
* In the original ''Film/TheBeastmaster'' movie Seth and Tal use these while posing as simple travelers.
* Used in ''Film/RobinHoodMenInTights'' as Little John's preferred weapon. He duels Robin with them, but the staffs are so cheaply made that they keep breaking, eventually resorting to just hitting each other on the knuckles.
* In ''Film/ChittyChittyBangBang'', Dick Van Dyke's character waxes lyrical about "Me Old Bamboo", though the song itself contrasts the old bamboo with other similar implements, including (by name) walking sticks, poles, and quarterstaves. It's not entirely clear how the bamboo is different, though it is apparently capable of making people applaud, cheer, and/or go daft.
* ''Film/ConanTheDestroyer'': Zula (Grace Jones) wields one.
* Becoming greatly outnumbered by several dozen rogue agent Smiths, Neo improvises a staff from a steel pole pulled from its concrete anchor in ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'', walloping Smiths like baseballs and keeping those Smiths at bay until twice as many arrive to pull the fight to a weak stalemate.
* Rey's weapon of choice for much of ''Film/TheForceAwakens''. Likewise with [[BlindWeaponmaster Chirrut]] in ''Film/RogueOne''
* Jaylah wields one in ''Film/StarTrekBeyond'', though it can also be converted into a sniper rifle.

* Many [=LARPers=] consider the staff to be one of the most effective weapons, due to the simple fact that a hit can be scored with any part of the weapon.
** There's much more to it than that, a staff also has reach, size and leverage on its side. The staff is a stupendously effective LARP weapon.

* Ever since his appearance in the original ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'', Sun Wukong (also known in the Japanese translation as Son Goku) has used a magical collapsible staff called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruyi_Jingu_Bang Ruyi Jingu Bang]] (or "Nyoi Kinko Bou" to most Japanese speakers/anime fans). It appeared as via the Japanese "Nyoi Bou" reading in some adaptations like ''{{Dragonball}}'', which the dub called a "Power Pole".
* This trope appears in Robert A. Heinlein's ''Literature/SixthColumn'', written back in the early 1940s. In that novel, the "priest's staves" were in reality AppliedPhlebotinum, both weapons and tools. They took the form of a ornately carved and gilded staff (that hid the controls in its gilding) surmounted by a cube of six colors (that concealed the generators/projectors) A backpack hidden under their clothing hid the power source.
* There was a Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Jedi Master who used a SimpleStaff (somewhat like Yoda) with which he could ''block [[LaserBlade Light Sabers]]'' (admittedly, by using [[FunctionalMagic The Force]]).
* In ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'',
** Wizards use magic staffs. Some of them are very old, handed down through generations, and may be made of different materials. Ridcully the Brown has one and it's the reason he doesn't use magic too often, because he's found that if something isn't intimidated by being walloped by six feet of solid oak, it probably won't be troubled too much by magic either. This proves useful on his second visit to magic-free [[Discworld/TheScienceOfDiscworld Roundworld]], where we actually see him trounce a native in a quarterstaff brawl.
** As the popular song reminds us, ''A Wizard's Staff Has a Knob on the End''. So they're not quite "simple" staves.
** Morris dancing in Lancre is - when steel toecapped boots are not employed - essentially quarterstaff fighting set to a musical beat. As the elves (touches iron) find out to their cost. Malicious Morris Dancing is taught as a martial art in Ankh-Morpork and involves the sfe - well, to the wielder - use of large thick sticks.
* Apropos in ''Literature/SirAproposOfNothing'' uses a number of weapons, but none so often as his staff, which he has because of a lame leg.
* Mat Cauthon from ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' books uses a staff as his favourite weapon, and is good enough with it that early in the series, he beat down two expert swordsmen in a demonstration bout. At once. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome While convalescing from a serious curse/illness]]. (The instructor of those swordsmen then reminded the class that the greatest swordsman in history was only ever beaten once... by a farmer with a quarterstaff.) Interestingly, Ishamael also wields a staff during his fight with Rand at the end of the second book. Rand stabs him in the chest, but he gives Rand his first WoundThatWillNotHeal in the process.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', Arstan Whitebeard demonstrates his BadassGrandpa nature by defeating an experienced sword-armed mercenary, using only his quarterstaff.
* ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'': "Oh me liddle stick o' wood, me liddle stick o' wood/ Whacks here'n'there'n'everywhere, no weapon's half so good ..."
* In Neal Stephenson's ''Literature/TheBaroqueCycle'', an Irish Partisan defeats an English Noble in a duel, armed only with a staff. Afterwards, he advises his friend to "...get a bloody great piece of wood, and hit him over and over until he dies."
* Prince Svyatoslav from the Literature/NorthlandSeries has one. [[HuskyRusskie It's forty pounds of solid iron.]]
* Neatly subverted in Literature/{{Spellsinger}}: Jon-Tom's weapon appears to be a simple staff until he presses a button on the top, at which point a foot-long blade shoots out of the other end.
* In the ''Literature/BelisariusSeries'' a new order of warrior monks is formed that uses quarterstaffs as their weapons. The reasons are mainly political. The order is to be used to fight in the streets of Alexandria against street gangs and religious fanatics. If they use swords then it will look like soldiers slaughtering unarmed civilians. However, if they use staffs then it is just another street brawl between club wielding religious factions which is a daily occurrence in Alexandria. When the riots begin, the street mobs are massacred by ranks of highly disciplined and highly trained staff wielders.
* In ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'', the Staff of Magius is one.
* Harry from ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' carries one of these. The magical community views it as something akin to walking in with an M249. The nonmagical community views it as walking in a club. It's a great, versatile focus ... and when someone needs a thwacking, a staff does the job. If memory serves, he also used it to motorcycle-joust against a Limo. It was at least as awesome as you think it sounds.
** The Blackstaff carries one of these. It has a bunch of magic imbued in it, though, and appears from hammerspace.
** For a while, like lots of wizard tropes, it seemed that wizard staffs was played effectively straight, though not for the usual reasons. Then [[spoiler: Elaine]] makes fun of Harry for having old-fashioned and phallic foci.
*** Harry receives proper martial arts training in the use of a staff, specifically so that he can invoke this trope when his magic isn't a viable option.
* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. Royal guards tell Gandalf that he must leave behind all weapons if he wishes to meet the king, but Gandalf counters, "You wouldn't deny an old man his walking stick, would you?". Of course, his walking stick is actually a MagicStaff, which he uses to break Grí­ma Wormtongue's spell over the king. Though what he actually appears to do with it is to magically darken the room and simply knock Wormtongue out, so he can speak to the King directly. In the book, Théoden isn't under an actual magical spell, but simply under the thumb of a twisted advisor who exploits his fears and uses subtle poisons to make him feel weak and powerless.
* For order-mages in the [[Literature/SagaOfRecluce Recluce Saga]], staves aren't simply the weapon of choice, they're the only possible weapon. Bladed implements like swords, knives and the like (basically, anything designed with death and destruction in mind) causes pain and discomfort in an order mage, since these things are linked with chaos magic. The staff is inherently non-lethal in nature, and can be used defensively more or less indefinitely. For this reason most order-mages wind up carrying a staff (or in one case, a truncheon). While the staff can be used to injure or kill as well (and does have the noted pain-inducing effects in the order-mage wielding it), it is not specifically designed for this purpose, and is thus comparatively safe to use, whereas some order-mages feel ill just ''holding'' a sword.
* Tegan from ''Literature/RazorlandTrilogy'' eventually takes this as her signature weapon, since she isn't permitted to travel in Company D without knowing how to fight.
* Dueling canes in ''Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy'' are in essence staves about the length of an arming sword, often with a crossguard thrown in. Since Allomancy makes metal weapons impractical among they nobility, this is a fairly popular weapon.
* ''Literature/JourneyToChaos'':
** The quarterstaff is likely the most popular weapon in the Dragon's Lair company. Two of its squads use them for magical combat, one for physical combat , and then a fourth does both.
** Annala Enaz adds a quarterstaff to her arsenal after [[spoiler: becoming a chaos priestess.]]
* ''Literature/{{Edgedancer}}'' (a novella of ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''): Lift's Shardweapon first [[MorphWeapon manifests]] as a metal rod, since she's never used a blade in her life, she only needs it to [[spoiler:parry another shardblade]], and the Spren that manifests it really doesn't want to be used to stab people.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'''s sidekick, Gabrielle, fought with a quarterstaff.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** The Rangers had the Minbari fighting pike for a primary melee weapon, which is essentially a [[TelescopingStaff collapsible staff]] that can extend so fast that one could be knocked out just by having an end of it hit you when telescoping.
** In one first-season episode, a wandering monk in search of Holy Grail carries a staff and takes down a pair of muggers.
* Ben from ''Series/{{Lost}}'' prefers a telescopic baton (a homage to ''ComicBook/YTheLastMan'', whose writer also writes for Lost), but he's not above using a gun if it's handy.
* In the ''Beastmaster'' series this is Dar's preferred weapon.
* Andromeda featured the Force Lance. Among its ''[[SwissArmyWeapon many]]'' features, was the ability to expand into a full length staff.
* Ryouga Hakua/[=AbaRed=] from ''Series/BakuryuuSentaiAbaranger'' has a staff with a Tyrannosaurus head, which not only functions as a staff, but the head can munch and eat his enemies. He's still a good guy though.
* Auggie's walking staff in ''Series/{{Covert Affairs}}''.
* Averted in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. Giles wants to train Buffy on the quarterstaff. Buffy is not impressed: "Giles, 20th Century? I'm not going to be fighting Friar Tuck." Giles insists, claiming that it will take "countless hours of rigorous training" to master. They face off and Buffy makes short work of Giles, knocking him flat on the ground.
-->'''Giles:''' [croaks] Good. Let's move on to the crossbow.
** Not PlayedForLaughs in Season 5's "Into the Woods", where Buffy uses a wooden staff to kill [[CurbStompBattle seven vampires in as many seconds]].
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': Sara Lance, The Canary, uses a staff that can disconnect to form batons as her primary weapon (though was shown to be skilled with other weapons as well). She also twice uses an improvised staff, firstly taking the wooden door frame and later a metal pipe, to fight someone who'd attacked her and Oliver when they were out of costume. Slade Wilson, while preferring swords, also showed a fondness for the escrima sticks variant to use while training on the island, and taught Oliver how to fight using them, though Oliver himself mostly sticks to archery or using his bow as a club.
** When Laurel becomes the Black Canary she also uses a staff, specifically to honor her sister...and learns she sucks at it. So she switches to DualTonfas, which she is quite good at instead.

[[folder:Myth And Legend]]
* OlderThanPrint: If RobinHood isn't shooting you, Little John is probably swinging one of these at you... In the very oldest RobinHood ballads Robin and his men usually fight with swords. However, they do take up quarterstaffs before print. Robin himself is said to be pretty handy with a quarterstaff, but his weapon of choice is of course [[ArcherArchetype a bow and arrows]] and his men have been known to get the better of him in staff-fights.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** Monks in the 3rd (and 3.5) Edition were able to use their faster unarmed attack bonus with certain weapons like the quarterstaff.
** Subverted in ''Basic Dungeons and Dragons'', where the Magic-User is only permitted to use the dagger. This is only adjusted by HouseRules or ''Rules Cyclopedia'', where the magic user may use the staff - but since it is a two-handed weapon, they will lose initiative when casting spells (where taking damage causes the spell to fizzle.)
** Druids like staffs, because they're useful to use as focuses for powerful spells like ''Shillelagh'' and ''Changestaff''.
* Just about every RPG, be it tabletop or online, have staffs as one of the most common weapons carried by spellcasters. In some games they count as {{Magic Wand}}s, while in others they just give stat and damage boosts. Either way, staffs aren't usually very good melee weapons, although exceptions do exist.
* In ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'', the Children of Gaia had perfected a style of combat with a simple wooden staff that could knock out even a werewolf in a single strike. For the record, they are werewolves themselves.
* The default WeaponOfChoice for the default Protestant Blessed in ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' is a simple stick, ''always'' referred to as being made of hickory. For a game where customizing the PlayerCharacter with realistic equipment, strengths, and weaknesses was such a big draw, the repeated reference to whackin' the walkin' dead in the head with a SimpleStaff got tiresome.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' has Wrackstaffs, the {{BFS}} equivalent of the SimpleStaff. They also have the regular kind, for when you cannot afford a Wrackstaff... or make it clear to everyone that you're an Exalted, as most Artifact weapons are too heavy for normal humans to use properly.
* They are present in LosAngeles2035 and are one of the best melee weapons due to the fact that they grant you one extra defense action for every two actions you get on a round.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'', the basic quarterstaff is among the lightest of the two-handed weapons, is dirt cheap, has good Reach, deals good Swing damage/decent Thrust damage, and automatically parries at +2. The Martial Arts supplement suggests that staff wielders should suffer reduced penalties to defend against multiple attacks.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Kilik from ''VideoGame/SoulCalibur''. He, along with his replacement Xiba and Maxi, is the only character in the series [[GuestFighter (besides Heihachi and custom characters)]] to use a blunt weapon. Seong Mi-na's default weapon has a bladed edge, but a variation is blunt.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'', Elyham "Elly" van Houten used a pair of collapsible fighting rods in addition to various [[KickChick kicks]] and Ether attack spells.
* Prier of ''VideoGame/LaPucelle Tactics'' also wields a baton as her weapon, and is more than privy to kicking the crap out of her enemies with her powerful legs as well.
** Kicking indeed. [[SpecialAttack Coup]] [[GroinAttack de]] [[CrowningMomentofFunny Grâce!]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'': As befitting his high-corporate street-thug image, [[EvilRedheads Reno]] of the Turks fought with a collapsible metal rod with a built-in electric shocker.
** The same game also gives us [[WhiteMagicianGirl Aerith]], with a far more traditional, shock-free staff (and magic).
* Venom from ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' is an assassin who kills people with a ''pool cue''. Not so much a SimpleStaff as an unconventional spear.
** SpiritualSuccessor ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' has ChineseGirl Litchi Faye Ling using a much simpler staff, but not-so-very-simple, since the staff can levitate and smack people around on something of ''telekinesis''.
* The main character from ''VideoGame/SuikodenI'' used a bo staff as his primary weapon. Jowy, the ChildhoodFriend of TheHero in ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'', uses a simple blue staff as his weapon of choice, whilst TheHero himself uses DualTonfas. Prince Freyjadour Falenas from ''VideoGame/SuikodenV'' used a collapsible tri-sectioned staff.
* ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireII'' has [[CatGirl Katt]], a staff-wielding CuteBruiser who also ended up playing the BlackMagicianGirl -- despite starting as a fighter, she expressed interest in learning magic... and towards the end of the game, she suddenly got some of the most powerful attack spells in the game and enough MP to use them.
* Jade from ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil'' uses a staff as her primary weapon, in kung-fu style. Naturally, taking out enormous guards in PoweredArmor with [[DropTheHammer Hammers With]] FrickinLaserBeams is [[RockBeatsLaser no problem for her]].
* The Mystic/Oracle Job in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' mainly wields staffs, which are one of only three weapons providing a two square attack range, alongside the Dragoon's Polearms, and the Dancer's Carpet.
** Poles show up in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'', but calculate damage as the difference between the target's Magic Defense and the attacker's physical attack. As such, they are best used against enemies that are vulnerable to magic but resistant to physical attacks.
** Poles are also a type of weapon in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'', equipped by Master Monks and Geomancers.
** Lezaford has this in his ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'' artwork, while Montblanc has a more planty-decorated staff in his artwork.
* The Dark Primary in ''VideoGame/CondemnedCriminalOrigins'' favors one long staff used as a sword, and Dark Servitors prefer escrima sticks.
* The later ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}'' games oddly feature both the bo and the quarterstaff-both have similar if not identical combat performance, but the bo can only be used by a very few classes such as the monk, while the quarterstaff is usable by pretty much anyone.
* In the Doom-based game ''VideoGame/{{Heretic}}'', the players Melee/Emergency weapon is a wooden staff.
* ''VideoGame/FatalFury'': Billy Kane and his three-sectioned cudgel-on-a-chain.
** His sister, LethalJokeCharacter Lilly uses an ancient staff weapon known as a "laundry pole" to fight. ...Or an actual laundry pole. Probably the latter.
* The Warriors of the Order and the Mages in ''VideoGame/{{Risen}}'' use staffs as weapon, but Mages use them for defensive purpose only. Also, note that in this game spears are considered as staves.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'', some of the Honor Guards are seen with staves, and in a cutscene they use them to beat down some Grunts that got too excited. Unfortunately, they're not used as weapons in actual gameplay.
* Eagle from ''StreetFighter'' uses escrima sticks in battle, and got an expanded moveset for them once he migrated into VideoGame/CapcomVsWhatever territory. Rolento also uses a stick, although it is more of a command baton rather than a weapon.
* Ryu Hayabusa from ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' gets the Lunar staff in Black. Although less damaging than the Dragon Sword it is still reasonable powerful and has a large attack range and high speed making it one of the more potent weapons.
* ''VideoGame/DarkAgeofCamelot'' has the Friar, a hybrid healer-tank which specializes in the use of the quarterstaff. They also wear armored monastic robes, leading them to usually be mistaken for a SquishyWizard in PVP. HilarityEnsues whenever a stealther tries to backstab one.
* Quarterstaves are Jaheira's weapon of choice in ''VideoGame/BaldursGate''. Due to the restrictions of her Fighter/Druid build, they are also some of the ''only'' weapons she can wield. Fortunately there are powerful staves in ''Shadows of Amn'' and an {{Infinity Plus One S|word}}taff in ''Throne of Baal''.
* The go-to weapon for mages in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''. They never miss.
** Though it isn't until ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' that they get used for melee attacks.
* ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'' features the staff as one of the weapon styles, though the "staff" style covers a wide variety of polearms.
** OldSoldier Sagacious Zu wields a steel-shod, weighted staff which has more in common with a polehammer than a common staff, and is easily the most lethal-looking piece of hardware in the game.
* Predating the aforementioned Jade would be the Edenian warrior Jade from MortalKombat, who utilized a staff in a few of her attacks starting with ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and later became her weapon fighting style in Deception.
* Koei's [[VideoGame/DynastyWarriors various Warriors games]] have a number of characters that use staves as their weapon of choice. Of special note are Dynasty Warriors' Pang Tong who can momentarily surf on his staff through the air, and [[VideoGame/WarriorsOrochi Warriors Orochi 2's]] Sun Wukong, who can annihilate anything within seconds with his at max level.
** Zhou Yu switches to a bo staff in ''6'', followed by Yue Ying in ''7''. However, Yue Ying later switches back to her small scythe, while Zhou Yu gets to keep the bo.
* A late-game boss in ''VideoGame/BadDudes'' fights using a pole. He is the epitome of BoringYetPractical and WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer in the game, as all other bosses have impressive, showy weapons, but he is the only one to use his weapon to keep distance from the player characters, among other techniques. As a result, he is surprisingly difficult to defeat even for his point in the game.
* ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' has Old Glory, a flagpole tipped with a golden eagle. It's the signature weapon of [[{{Foil}} Ulysses]] and is gained at the end of the Lonesome Road DLC.
** In both ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' and ''Vegas'', pool cues can be used as staff weapons.
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'' DLC characters Robin and Nightwing use a collapsible bo staff and Escrima sticks, true to their comic book counterparts.
* ''Franchise/MortalKombat'':
** Jade always uses a staff, usually collapsible.
** Raiden uses one for his Weapon style in ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombatDeadlyAlliance Deadly Alliance]]''
** Bo' Rai Cho uses the ''jō'', or short staff. His backstory claims he [[BeenThereShapedHistory helped the Samurai Musō Katsuyoshi]] invent the fighting style associated with it.
* The weapon of choice for sorcerors and necromancers in ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic VI-VIII'', and by the end-game of ''VII'' for monks (monks primarily specialize in [[AllMonksKnowKungFu unarmed combat]], but the final level of the staff skill, unique to monks, makes staves count as unarmed for the purposes of the unarmed skill...). Often magical, but not necessarily a MagicStaff (they have the exact same enchantments available as ''any'' weapon, though unique staves do tend to give boosts to magical power).
* Leia from ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia'' and ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'' uses as a staff as her weapon of choice and possesses a multitude of flashy artes that make good use of it.
* One of the weapons you can use in ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'' is the quarterstaff.
* Kusuha Mizuha from ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha 2'' at first used the dragon-mecha [=RyuJinKi=], who possesses a humongous staff called ''Kintoubou'' which she uses to smack around evildoers that threatened those that she cared. However, after she gets her upgrade, [=RyuKoOh=], the staff got ditched for [[CoolSword the Ryuu-Oh Hazan-Ken]].
* The aforementioned Wukong appear also in several MOBA games like ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' and ''VideoGame/{{Smite}}''. And yes, both cases, he comes with his staff as his main repertoire. His staff is also referenced in ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients'', while Wukong himself doesn't appear in the game, there's an item called 'Monkey King Bar', which is obviously a reference to his staff. Eventually, this Wukong becomes PromotedToPlayable in ''VideoGame/{{Dota 2}}'' and he's still carrying the staff, which becomes doubly ironic that he has his Monkey King Bar already, but still can buy a new one.
* Appears every so often in ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'', specifically ''Super Double Dragon''. While the Lee brothers usually end up FightingWithChucks, they are no slouch with the staff--it's slow but packs a wallop.
* VideoGame/TheMatrixPathOfNeo when a staff weapon appears it's either a Bo staff, a Quarter staff or a [[MundaneMadeAwesome flag-pole.]]
* Quarterstaves in ''Videogame/PillarsOfEternity''. The Weapon Focus talent (+6 accuracy) associated with them also supports Unarmed attacks, making quarterstaves the perfect secondary long-ranged melee option for Monks. The Greenstone Staff, one of the Soulbound items introduced in the first expansion, grants so many special powers in addition to great combat stats that it blurs the line between this and MagicStaff. The first expansion also introduces a new Monk companion Zahua who can make good use of it.
* Staves in ''VideoGame/GuildWars2'' are usually used for magical attacks, but the ''Heart of Thorns'' expansion introduced the Revenant class and Daredevil specialisation for the Thief class. Both of these classes use staves as melee weapons. Revenants can use them for effective support, but Daredevils gain access to a lot of agility-based attacks by using staves.
* VideoGame/{{Furi}}: The Chain, the first boss, wields a plain iron staff as his weapon.
* Jabberjab offers Kirby the Staff ability in ''VideoGame/KirbyStarAllies''. Gameplay-wise, it's very similar to the Spear ability featured in ''[[VideoGame/KirbysReturnToDreamland Return to Dreamland]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/KirbyTripleDeluxe Triple Deluxe]]'', only Staff lacks Spear's throwing technique, and comes with a pole-vaulting technique.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/MysterySkullsAnimated'': Vivi's paternal grandmother carries a shakujo as part of her {{miko}} imagery.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[http://www.goldcoincomics.com/ Theo]] from ''Webcomic/GoldCoinComics'' always carries his trusty staff.
* [[MagicKnight Duane]] from ''Webcomic/{{Unsounded}}'' fights with one of these when not using pymary.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Admiral Harper of ''Roleplay/OpenBlue'' keeps a [[SwordCane sword]] in his walking stick, but his ImplausibleFencingPowers allow him to use it just fine in a fight without drawing the sword.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The Air Nomad monks of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' invented staves with collapsable glider-wings, designed to enhance the power of their [[ElementalPowers airbending attacks and defenses]], and allow them to fly by manipulating air currents.
* Cheetara of ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' and ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' uses a [[RetractableWeapon collapsible]] staff.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012'', Donatello still uses a ''bo'', although he can convert it to a ''[[BladeOnAStick naginata]]''.
* [[WesternAnimation/RobinHoodDaffy Robin Hood Daffy]] used a ''buck and a quarter'' staff, but keep it to yourself.
-->[[WhatTheFuAreYouDoing Ho! Ha ha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! Ha! Thrust!]]
* [[BadassNormal Robin]] from the animated ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' often uses a collapsible bo-staff, when he's not fighting with his bare hands or throwing bird-a-rangs.
* WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack is shown on several occasions to be skilled with a bo staff (along with [[MultiMeleeMaster just about every other melee weapon on the face of the earth,]] but a staff is probably the second-most-common weapon he's seen using, next to his signature magic katana).
* The new Robin, Tim Drake, uses a collapsible, sometimes electrified bo staff in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice.''
* Mysto from ''WesternAnimation/{{Mixels}}'' uses a bo staff as his weapon, in contrast to the bladed weapons his students wield.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Richard Peeke, an English sailor captured by the Spaniards in the 17th century, was forced to fight 3 swordsmen with a quarterstaff. He killed one with his first blow and disarmed the other two.
* Most martial artists will tell you that if they could only ever learn two weapons, those would be the knife and the common stick. While [[BoringButPractical it may be unimpressive, it's effective]] and remains one of few things that might actually come to hand if you ever needed it in real life. (A broomstick, cane, curtain rod....) Good luck finding your pretty {{katana|sAreJustBetter}} in a bar fight.
* Traditionally, there is no difference between [[WoodenKatanasAreEvenBetter bokken]] techniques and quarterstaff techniques in principle- both are attempts to emulate a sword with a length of wood. The quarterstaff is wielded like a Zweihander. The difference between a walking cane (or a snapped-off broomstick) and a hanbo is effectively nil. Hanbo are 35.4 inches in length (90 cm) in the modern tradition, about the distance from a man's ankle to hip. That being said, [[GrievousHarmWithABody you cannot wield a human leg as a staff.]] [[ComicallyMissingThePoint It'd bend at the knee.]]
* Several fencing authors of the Early Modern era, including George Silver, considered the quarterstaff the most effective of all hand weapons.
* The Irish have the [[http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AEmblem/Shillelagh.html shillelagh]]. No, not the silly stubby cudgel that gets passed off as such to tourists, an actual stick. Ostensibly used for a walking stick, at least where British nationals could hear it given the British ban on Irish having weapons in the earlier history of UsefulNotes/TheTroubles, but there were several fighting styles developed using it as a weapon, with the "handle" end serving as an impromptu [[DropTheHammer hammer]] if need be.
* A standard-issue weapon for the Zulu Imperial Army was a staff with a wooden or metal head far smaller than that of a typical club, known to Westerners as a "knobkierie" (old Afrikaans for "walking stick with a knob on it"). It could be used as anything from a fighting staff to a light club and was famously effective as a secondary weapon to the assegai (stabbing spear). It is still used in Zulu cultural ceremonies, and to this day is a common melee weapon for home defense throughout almost all communities in South Africa. It is featured in the South African coat-of-arms.
** A single kierie is good, but two are better: [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nguni_stick_fighting Nguni stick-fighting]] uses a defense- and an attack-stick. The amaXhosa go for wrapping the hand with the defense-stick in material to protect the knuckles clutching it in the middle; the amaZulu go for a small knuckle-shield/buckler based on their more famous larger shields. The attack-stick is held pretty much like a short sword. If you see a couple of boys of from about the age of ten carefully sizing up and selecting branches, they're probably about to practice this footwork-intense martial art. Used in everything from rough-housing to driving cattle to killing pests to waterfowl hunting (there are throwing moves you don't use in moderated fights).
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mus%C5%8D_Gonnosuke#Seclusion.2C_Jojutsu_and_the_second_duel Muso Gonnosuke ]] has the only recorded claim of a victory over UsefulNotes/MiyamotoMusashi, using a ''bo''.
* This trope's association with TechnicalPacifist types came about (at least in the Europe) from their use as [[StaffOfAuthority Staves of Authority]] for doctors during the Medieval period, especially [[PlagueDoctor plague doctors]] during the era of TheBlackDeath; the doctor could use the staff to manipulate diseased patients without having to touch them directly, and it proved handy for [[ImprovisedWeapon defending the doctor from bandits on the roads]], since they had to travel between plague-stricken towns a lot.