Sinister Scythe

You reap what you sow.

Although the scythe isn't pre-eminent among the weapons of war, anyone who has been on the wrong end of, say, a peasants' revolt will know that in skilled hands it is fearsome.

The scythe is just one of the weapons an Improbable Weapon User is likely to use. Likely to mark the special or dangerous enemy, as well as the macabre touch brought on by evoking The Grim Reaper.

Scythes have been used as polearms before, though this usually involved reforging, re-angling and/or reinforcing the blade into something more like a large Blade on a Stick. Most modern day depictions of scythes have double edges or angle the blade further upward so that the scythes can be swung in the same manner as an axe, with the added bonus of being able to cut an opponent in half after you've impaled them. Scythes with energy blades, though almost certainly only designed for aesthetics, are actually somewhat more viable, since an energy blade theoretically should be able to cut along any edge.

Generally speaking, actual farmers are rarely depicted using scythes (perhaps because the death connotations have overidden the long-obsolete agricultural ones), so pitchforks are their melee weapon of choice in most armed-serf situations. Indeed, scythes, because of the aforementioned impracticality have rarely been weaponized in the real world, unlike most other farming tools. (But see Real Life examples below.)

Slaying Mantis will often be portrayed with a pair of these.

A sub-trope of Weapon of Choice.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • Shuhei Hisagi's Zanpakuto Kazeshini, which is a pair of chained together sickle-like weapons. He specifically states that he actually dislikes the weapon for its Sinister Scythe connotations. It's activation command is "Reap".
    • There is also Nnoitra. His original weapon isn't really a scythe so much as a pair of opposite-facing crescent blade stuck to the end of a long pole. It's a truly impractical weapon. However, after powering up he grows six arms and his own strange scythe-like weapons becomes six double-bladed scythes, that he wields all at once. That can be regrown and shot out of his arm. Rule of Cool obviously applies. His resurrection activation command is "Pray, Santa Teresa" and refers to praying mantis — probably the scariest and most badass insect.
    • In the third movie the younger sibling Shizuku wield one of these that was later passed on to Rukia after the siblings fused with her.
  • The Digimon Phantomon (Digimon Adventure) and MetalPhantomon (Digimon Savers) wielded scythes.
  • Tsutomu Nihei (The creator of Blame) made a one-shot manga called Digimortal. The protagonist was a merc in a super-powered black armor with a toothy grin and skeleton-like features. Weapon of choice? A Scythe.
  • In Durarara!!, Celty can manipulate the darkness flowing from her neck to form a scythe. As expected from something based on the Grim Reaper. Or a CYBORG Grim Reaper...
  • Mazinger Z:
    • Several Mechanical Beasts were armed with scythes: Garada K7 (two scythe blade were mounted on its skull and they could be used like boomerangs or like weapons in hand-to-hand combat), Brutus M3 (one sctyhe replaced its right arm), Karma K5 (he was armed with a more normal-looking)...
    • Great Mazinger: One of the Co-Dragons -Hardias, general of Evil Spirits Army of the Mykene Empire- was armed with a vicious-looking scythe.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: The Weapon of Choice of the title Humongous Mecha is Double Harken, a double-bladed scythe.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing:
      • The Gundam Deathscythe (*cough*) wields a Beam Scythe. Its pilot, Duo Maxwell, even refers to himself as the Shinigami, or God of Death. When his mecha is upgraded in the TV series, it gets a double beam scythe; The Movie's version gets a scythe with a bigger blade.
      • In Frozen Teardrop, the Deathscythe's successor, Warlock Gundam, dual-wields beam scythes.
      • Duo has a personal beam scythe he pulls out ONCE in the series to use as a helicoptor after breaking Heero out of a really tall building.
      • The Kunio Okawara designed incarnations actually avert many of the potential problems with using a scythe as a weapon by having the beam emitter mounted on a pivot, allowing its angle to be adjusted, though this only comes up in the show once.
    • Other Gundam scythe-users include the Abigor from V Gundam and Ghirarga from Gundam AGE (two beam scythes which combine into a double-ender), and the Forbidden Gundam from Gundam SEED (metal scythe).
  • Zorin Blitz from Hellsing. An evil (female) Nazi with a scythe.
  • Kohaku's weapon of choice in InuYasha is a kusarigama made of demon bones; its blade is closer to the crescent curve of a western scythe.
  • ReiQ from the third Rebuild of Evangelion movie wields a mecha-sized one, probably for the Death implications.
  • Fate's Bardiche from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has an energy scythe form.
    • The Scythe Form is later replaced by another scythe-looking form: the Haken Form in the main continuity, and the Crescent Form in the movie continuity.
  • Both of Fumi's incarnations in Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome use a scythe as their primary weapon.
  • Dominikov in Murder Princess. He is a Shinigami, too.
  • Naruto:
    • Hidan: Three. Bladed. Scythe. On the end of a retractable cord that lets him swing it around in an incredibly unpredictable manner to attack and deflect projectiles. Justified in that its purpose is merely to draw blood for his ritual; he even admits that it is not very good for inflicting fatal injuries.
    • Also, Temari's summon wields a scythe, it being a kamaitachi (a "sickle-weasel").
    • Hanzo wields a traditional Kusarigama.
  • Kamatari of Rurouni Kenshin is a scythe wielder. Notably, he usually uses it not to cut, but rather to smash enemies, and the sheer weight of the weapon is actually used effectively in battle. FYI, this is actually a subtle pun. He calls his weapon an ogama, and a common Japanese word for a gay man is okama. (Kamatari is a very feminine transsexual in love with a man.) Also, most of the smashing was done with a large ball and chain on the other end of the pole, making it kind of a giant, mutant kusuri-gama.
  • Umanosuke, leader of the three brothers trailing Mugen in Samurai Champloo had a kusarigama with an Absurdly Sharp Blade. Mugen actually beats him by getting in really close and manipulating the chain into cutting the guy's head of.
  • Soul Eater:
    • The eponymous character is a white-haired, red-eyed human who can turn into a Sinister Scythe.
    • And one cannot forget the wielder of said eponymous character and main protagonist of the series, Maka Albarn. Although the scythe is supposed an impractical weapon to use, Maka is able to swing, spin and slice all things possible with apparent ease and agility (this also being a contributing factor to the fact that Soul Eater is very popular for its fight scenes). Incidentally, "Maka" is also an anagram of "kama", which is a kind of sickle-like weapon. Not to mention in the anime, because of her parentage she can also turn into a scythe.
    • Another example is Maka's father, Spirit Albarn, who is also a scythe and, appropriately enough, the personal Weapon of the Shinigami. Stein is horrifyingly effective as Spirit's meister.
  • Gilmer in Transformers Super God Masterforce is armed with a small, double-bladed scythe.
  • Abel Nightroad, also known as Crusnik 02 from Trinity Blood wields an especially wicked, multi-bladed scythe. Made of his own blood.
  • Yuki eventually gains one in Vampire Knight. Somewhat subverted in the fact that she only uses it to help people.
  • Sizer from Violinist of Hameln wields a giant scythe with her name engraved on the blade and a flute embedded in the handle.
  • In Yaiba there are some scythe users, including Kotaro Fuuma who used a kusarigama, Basho Matsuo who wielded a large scythe with some kanji written on the handle and last but not least Diamond. In her case is justified since her scythe was an Energy Weapon and thus able to cut almost everything.
  • Elise from Dai Mahou Touge wields a huge, menacing-looking scythe. Strangely, she hardly uses it for actual combat, which is very unwise against the protagonist of the show.
  • The Grim Reaper (natch) in Hell Teacher Nube. It even has "Death" engraved in lovely cursive letters on the blade.
  • The title characters of 07-Ghost each carry a BFS (Big Fucking Scythe).
  • Ikuto from Shugo Chara! turns his violin into a big scythe when transformed into Death Rebel
  • At least one incarnation of Getter Robo carries as its main weapon a curious type of double-edged poleaxe with one blade that extends into a scythe-like shape with a more conventional axe-head behind it.
  • Once Aoi House gets around to parodying action/horror, Elle Mathers gets a scythe...and immediately makes an extremely corny pun.
  • Alice from Pandora Hearts, when in B-Rabbit form. Later on, Oz learns to summon the scythe and instinctively knows how to use it. In both cases, you probably want to stay well back.
  • A scythe gets major use as a murder weapon in Ookamikakushi.
  • Doc Q of the Blackbeard Pirates in One Piece wields a scythe. A double-bladed scythe. Appropriate, as his epithet is "Shinigami".
  • Dead Master wields the black Dead Scythe in Black★Rock Shooter.
  • In the Katekyo Hitman Reborn! manga, this is Daemon Spade's weapon of choice-as opposed to the anime only episodes, where he used a gentleman's cane-like Simple Staff.
  • The cover art of the Death Note manga show Light Yagami wielding a scythe. Also several minor Shinigami characters, though one of them might BE Light.
  • Kneesocks of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt transforms her socks into a pair of large golden scythes for combat.
  • The World God Only Knows has the so-called "Scythe of Testament", which has a black-on-red color scheme and three spikes at the back of the head. Awarded to top graduates of New Hell's Runaway Spirit Squad, so far only Haqua and Akari have been seen with one; the latter has one of its spikes broken due to wear and tear.
  • In the first of many unstoppable rages, Ivan Isaacs of Priest decimates a horde of zombies with an ordinary farm scythe.
  • Chikuma Koshirou from Basilisk dual wields two kama scythes that return to his hands when thrown.
  • Zwei from Hiiro No Kakera wields one in addition to eating people's souls.
  • The leader of the Loyard clan in Noblesse wields a scythe. In-universe, this scythe is the inspiration of the Grim Reaper myth.
  • Gamaran has the Kasanemanji School, whose weapon is the kusari gama. However, they use it only as a melee, last resort weapon while swinging the weight around. Sasuke's spear Beninuki resembles a scythe thanks to the curved blade jutting from the side, which he can use to behead his opponents when required.
  • Among the supposed members of the Shinigami Dispatch Association in Black Butler, only one has an actual scythe in possession — a rogue shinigami named Undertaker.
  • In Senki Zesshou Symphogear G, Kirika Akatsuki's Armed Gear is a scythe with a green blade, fitting Kirika's Shinigami theme. Her Armed Gear can also change its appearance, but it's always a scythe.
  • Kirika Kure, of Puella Magi Oriko Magica, uses Wolverine Claws shaped like sickles.
  • In Campione!, Athena and her mother Metis wield scythes as in this verse, they are also death goddesses.

    Comic Books 
  • The Hooded One from Bone.
  • Isaac of Reaper 7 wields a scythe, and is even called "Grim Reaper" by mooks for doing so. Later battle sequences seem to indicate that the scythe has an inward and outward blade.
  • Reaper of Marvel Comics has always used one. Even after losing both of his hands.
  • Nekron, the Big Bad of the Blackest Night, wields a scythe that has a Power Battery built in.
  • The Brazilian Comic Book Holy Avenger had a troglodyte character who wielded a scythe... but called it an Axe. Interestingly enough, it was later revealed the scythe had the advantages of both an Axe and a Scythe by D&D rules (as the Comic Book took place in a world that worked under the Rules of Dungeons & Dragons... and Defenders of Tokyo... don't ask). Also intriguingly the character's name was Tork, a reference to Torque, stated below as one of the Scythe's main actual advantages.
  • The weapon of choice for the Reaper, the Big Bad of Batman: Year Two.
  • The Mosaic Man from Hack/Slash used a scythe constructed from the bones of his early victims.
  • The demonic wheat scarecrow wields one in the Wynonna Earp story "Blood is the Harvest".

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Discworld:
    • Commented about in Mort: "Although the scythe isn't pre-eminent among the weapons of war, anyone who has been on the wrong end of, say, a peasant's revolt will know that in skilled hands it is fearsome." In this instance, those hands belong to the Grim Reaper who, as you might imagine, has some practice with it.
    • On a possibly related note, the novel Reaper Man is one of the few, if not only, fictional portrayal of scythes which notes that the traditional Grim Reaper scythe is slightly different from the standard agricultural scythe. It also shows how Death makes his scythe. It's made of iron, sharpened on a whetstone, then an oilstone, then a steel, then hessian, then calico, linen, satin, silk, cobweb, a breeze, and finally daylight. At this point it's so sharp that it can cut sound and the edge glows faintly from the plasma created by random air molecules bumping against it and getting sliced in half. That wasn't the "official" scythe, though, just an improvised scythe. His actual scythe is even sharper.
    • Although in Carpe Jugulum, a vampire lord's Shaming the Mob strategy involves criticising the angry mob's choice of weapons "Pitchforks, yes, good mob weapon — but scythes? The way you're waving them about you'll do more harm to each other. May I recomend sickles if you want to go down that route — much more manageable."
  • Eclipse Hunter: Dark Sun uses this in the end of book one.
  • Andalites in Animorphs have scythe-like blades built into their tail anatomy.
  • Unsurprisingly, it is the weapon of choice for Zane, the incarnation of Death, in Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series. His scythe is a switchblade model, with the blade (magically?) concealed in the shaft. It even comes with built-in snorkel.
  • Kronos in Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
  • In one of the Dark Sun books, one of the wraiths of Boris' warriors wielded a dual bladed scythe. Wether is a Double Weapon or a scythe with two blades on the same side is not cleared.
  • In the Tunnels series, the Styx villains use scythes as their primary weapons.
  • In The Bartimaeus Trilogy, the eponymous character is confronted by an afrit wielding a scythe who uses it to deflect Bartimaeus's magical attacks.
  • In the fantasy novel A Gathering of Heroes from Paul Edwing Zimmer, one of the heroes uses a "battle scythe" to literally mow down rows and rows of attacking Goblins. Before the battle, he carefully takes notes of the range and politely asks his companions to stay away from him, as he "doesn't like to cut down his friends too".
  • In Expedition Z, The Hero Adam equips himself with a scythe for the titular expedition despite its impracticality as he assumes that he's not going to be under constant threat by zombies.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Although frequently referred to as such, the mystical "Scythe" in the last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is technically a combination of axe, spear, and mace.
  • The demonic warrior Wolfram and Hart summoned in Angel possessed the ability to pull scythes out of Hammerspace. Eventually Angel killed him using one of the scythes he'd discarded.
  • Blackadder:
    • Loosely parodied with Nursie believing lots of ideas make one's foot fall off. This is due to a friend who had the "good idea" to cut his toenails with a scythe, causing his foot to fall off.
    • In the same season Blackadder is imprisoned by some inquisitors who threaten to castrate him with a farming implement that's name none of them can recall. It turns out to be a scythe, of course.
  • Subverted in Supernatural when Dean gets his hands on Death's scythe — it's a rusty hand tool like you'd use for gardening. But then it soon becomes obvious that The Grim Reaper does not need props to be scary.
  • The Reapers in Grimm, use Sinister Scythes to murder Grimms.

    Myths & Religion 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Scythes are pretty effective weapons in Dungeons & Dragons as well, although they are specifically stated to be redesigned.
    • Their effectivness has been rather reduced by the changes in critical damage rules in 4th edition.
    • But they have become awesome in Pathfinder where they have a x4 Critical. Most common weapons just deal double damage on a critical hit. Some weapons, like a bow, deal triple damage. But a petty farmer with a Scythe (and they indeed depicted the farmer with one in the core rulebook) can cut almost anyone in half with a critical hit.
  • A number of champions of the Chaos God Nurgle in Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 wield scythes.
    • Notably the special character Typhus, who swings a nasty weapon called a Manreaper. Mortarion, Daemon Prince of Nurlge and Primarch of the Death Guard, also wields a massive scythe named "Silence."
    • Lord Bale in Dawn of War wields one as well.
    • The Nightbringer also tends to carry a scythe, although his is purely ornamental.
    • Many of his Necron minions, however, are armed with Warscythes, which are very powerful close-combat weapons. Technically, though, the warscythe is a glaive, not a military scythe. That's more due to their blades phasing in and out of existence as needed. They are however shaped like the above mentioned kosa bojowa rather than normal scythes... did we mention kosa bojowa translates to battlescythe or, oh, warscythe?
    • Wizards of the amethyst order in Warhammer often carry scythes. In this case they are purely for show, functioning like magic staffs instead of melee weapons (the wizards of the order specialize in death magic, and the scythe has the usual connotations with the grim reaper).
    • The Spyrer Matriarch in Necromunda uses a Chainscythe. Yes, as in a scythe with a chainsaw blade. She also wields it one-handed, carrying a monomolecular sword in the other hand.
    • The Tyranids are particularly fond of adding scythes to their biologically-constructed arsenal. So much so that most Tyranids carry a pair! Or two pairs!
  • Of course Exalted brings us the scythe version of the BFS, creatively called Grand Grimscythe.
  • In Scion Japanese Shinigami are shown to wield massive scythes whose blades are nearly the three-quarters the length of the actual handle, and are mentioned to cut not with actual blade-edges, but with the literal supernatural essence of death— Making the act of hitting one with his own weapon entirely pointless, as they are already dead.
  • SLA Industries gives us the 'Dynamic Precision Blades' company's product, the 'flick scythe' - a staff with an extendable scythe blade that oscillates for extra damage
  • The Skeleton monsters in the board game Hero Quest wield scythes in combat. Possibly justified by the fact that Skeletons are mindless warriors who don't need more sophisticated weapons.
  • Scythes in GURPS are equally lethal and ridiculously unwieldy.
  • The warlock Moshar the Desertwalker from Hordes has himself a nasty-looking scythe.
  • In Demon The Fallen (from the classic World of Darkness), Lucifer fends off Michael with a scythe because it's what's on hand when Michael comes down to break up the fallen's agriculture lesson to the humans. Yes, Michael the Archangel, with a sword, was beaten by Lucifer, with a scythe. Part of that is the symbolism — angels are very big on that sort of thing, and a scythe freely given to defend oneself from oppression carries a lot of weight. The scythe in question appears again in the sourcebook Houses of the Fallen, where it's gotten significantly stronger because Lucifer touched it.

  • In LEGO's BIONICLE series, Nidhiki wielded a big scythe during his days as a Toa of Air. It was destroyed when he was mutated by Roodaka.

    Video Games 
  • In Darksiders, War can obtain a scythe said to be used by his brother Death. However, in Darksiders II, Death's scythes (it's a standard weapon type he acquires many examples of) are different in appearance and functionality. While it can still be a two-handed scythe, it also has the ability to split into two smaller scythes for extra badassery. It's likely the wielder rather than the weapon — he won't separate it or never learned to. War's fighting style emphasizes power moves for every attack, hard blocks, and practiced-but-still-limited Flash Step usage. Death is more versatile overall with weapons, as reinforced by their respective performances with their brother Strife's guns.
  • The Tall Man in the Chzo Mythos series by Ben Croshaw carries around a sinister spike with four very wide scythe blades. He uses it more like a club than anything else. That, or he just stabs things with the other end (which basically acts like a spear)
  • The Pokémon Scyther and Kabutops have scythes for hands. Naturally, they're considered to be two of the more badass Pokémon. Absol has one on its head.
  • Diablo:
    • Lots of demons in Diablo II use scythes as primary weapons and scythes are available as equippable weapons, powerful but not that effective.
    • Also, some of the Uniques aimed for the Necromancer were Scythes adorned with skulls. And the lack of effectiveness from the scythes come more from the fact that slow weapons with heavy damage are largely useless in the game, due to the fact it means you take a long time to recover and thus are incapable of effectively dodging insta-kill attacks (like some creatures' ability to cast an uber powered version of the Sorceress inferno, and some bosses' attacks). Still, it is said a Concentration specced Barbarian would be able to pull it off...
    • Scythes (particularly War Scythes) are effective weapons for Druids since they get a Fast (or Very Fast) attack speed. They work especially well with the Shapeshifting skill tree.
    • Median XL's Necromancers are quite fond of using scythes as their Weapon of Choice, and have some nice attacks such as Angel of Death that do nasty damage.
    • While Malthael, the Big Bad of the Diablo III expansion Reaper of Souls, is the Angel of Death, his Weapon of Choice are two wickedly-sharp sickle-like swords known as shotels rather than a scythe.
  • Also in Blizzard's Starcraft II, it is fitting to see on the macabre-sounding Protoss Dark Templar unit a particularly wicked double-scythe as the weapon of choice.
  • Magus from Chrono Trigger.
  • Lynx from Chrono Cross. Although when you switch bodies with him, outside of one battle, you use your swallow.
  • Testament from Guilty Gear; his has an unusual look to it and may actually be part of him. The blade is his blood.
  • Zasalamel and Abyss of Soul Calibur. Astaroth's ultimate weapon in SC 2 was also a scythe (appropriately named Thanatos), although all his other weapons were axes and the occasional hammer.
  • .hack//G.U. Games
    • Haseo has a scythe as his special weapon. "Ticking Death". Subtle, eh? His badass AI alter ego, Skeith, uses one too.
    • Despite so, in-game, scythe-wielders are just a job-class. In this game, scythes are actually defensive weapons, with a respectable range (behind spears and guns) and can take on multiple enemies to boot. A player would swing it in a circular arc, thereby affecting any enemies caught in its swipe. Charged attacks would throw enemies away before they can get too close, hence the class's name, Flick Reapers.
  • A scythe customized for military use is one of the wieldable weapons in Pandora's Tower. Its main use is for hitting multiple Mooks at once.
  • Castlevania:
    • Although somewhat expected of Death in the series, his main unique method is to make mini-scythes appear from nowhere and rain down on you. In some games he does use the scythe for melee attacks, or even turns it into a spinning buzzsaw that he sends after you.
    • Castlevania: Chronicles of Sorrow allow you to equip Death's Scythe. It's insanely powerful but very, very awkward to use, and often difficult to score a hit with.
    • Shanoa, via the Falcis series of glyphs, can use sickles as a weapon in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. By magically combining two of them, she creates a large enough scythe to make Death envious.
    • You get to use one in Curse of Darkness, but you have to create it yourself.
    • Another hatchet-type weapon is Zaghnol, which is described as a war pick, but looks like a small scythe.
  • Thanks to relatively realist approach concerning weapons in Demons Souls, the scythe-weapon in this game is aptly named "War Scythe". The weapon is an exact reproduction of the Polish Kosa Bojowa, being treated more like a polearm than anything. See Real Life entry below.
  • The Kosa Bojowa returns simply as "Scythe" in Dark Souls. The game also plays this trope entirely straight with the Great and Lifehunt Scythes. In a good bit of the game imitating the Reality Is Unrealistic aspects of scythe combat, whether intentionally or not, true scythes are more than capable of performing a certain strike called a Dead Angle. Basically an attack done by the weapon when swung at such an angle that the target interprets the attack as coming from behind, usually as a result from a wide swing arc. Since the target receives the attack from an angle where the shield does not cover it, Dead Angle attacks are unblockable. Naturally this is difficult to pull off, but holding the scythe with two hands and performing the strong attack swings it in a wide arc, and thanks to the blade's angle with the pole, it does the dead angle really well. This ties to the scythe's supposed edge of being unpredictable, if cumbersome in combat; holding it one-handed is ineffective at best and its regular attacks are situational and hard to hit enemies with.
  • Specter Knight of Shovel Knight has a Grim Reaper motif, wielding a scythe just as one would expect.
  • Marluxia from Kingdom Hearts. It's worth it to mention that his scythe is not only huge and sinister-looking, but also the blade is PEPTO-BISMOL PINK. Marluxia also backed this with some serious pink thumb flower magic. Originally it was specifically Cherry Blossoms, which also angled his power towards death, fitting of his weapon. Later versions changed this to Roses.
  • Magic Rampage: The Player can purchase the Death Scythe, appropriately named.
  • Lady Harken from Wild ARMs 1 and its remake.
  • The Dis Astranagant from Super Robot Wars Alpha 3. Naturally, the Gundam Deathscythe also makes a number of appearances throughout the series.
  • In Lunar Knights Lucian is able to get the scythe Hel, which can split into four blades forming a claw that he can use in a spin attack.
  • Like the Gundam Deathscythe and Dis Astragant, most of the Specineff-class Humongous Mecha in the Virtual-ON series wield scythes that can release energy-based Razor Wind attacks.
  • Serene from Riviera: The Promised Land is best with scythes. Some other characters can use them, too, but they're not quite as proficient.
  • Mega Man:
    • Prometheus of the Mega Man ZX series uses the energy scythe variant.
    • He was preceded by Sigma in Mega Man X 4, while disguised as a Grim Reaper, and Red of X7, who had a double-ended scythe.
  • Noob Saibot used a scythe in Mortal Kombat 4. Moronically, he was given a hammer when he returned in Armageddon. It was a Troll Hammer. Oh, Midway.
  • Gig from Soul Nomad & the World Eaters. Being the master of death, he has the ability to morph his arms into scythes as well, should he wish to.
  • There are a few scythe weapons in Phantasy Star Online, notably Soul Eater and Soul Banish. Naturally, they're sinister, cursed weapons that drain the user's health over time, but possess powerful special attacks such as a ranged one-hit-kill spell, in the case of Soul Banish.
  • Aunas' Clone from Romancing SaGa 3 has a one-hit-kill move: Deathgod Stove, Naturally there is an Evade skill that can be learned for it; Death Sickle Evade.
  • Piastol from Skies of Arcadia Legends.
  • Present in Resident Evil 4. While the villagers wield small sickles, many monks in the castle have scythes as their weapon of choice. Unusually for this trope, they aren't really very good with them, as their attacks (even more than the other Ganados) are quite easy to predict. Although if you get hit by one at that's been thrown at shoulder height, well, hope you weren't too far from a save point.
  • Scythes are the weapon of choice for the Dervish class in Guild Wars Nightfall.
  • Ryu Hayabusa in the Xbox remake of Ninja Gaiden can use a pair of kama chained together nunchaku-style and known as the "Vigoorian Flails". Probably the only reason why he isn't cutting himself up with them by accident, given their actually high usefulness, is because he is a Charles Atlas Superpower-ed Highly-Visible Ninja Badass. Ninja Gaiden II, the 360 one that is, sees a proper Big F-ing Scythe in Ryu's hands, as well as a kusarigama.
  • Menardi and her sister Karst both use scythes in the Golden Sun games: this may be standard practice among female Fire Clan warriors. These scythes even have their own Unleash powers, although the player can't obtain enemy weapons.
  • Touhou:
    • Komachi Onozuka, the resident shinigami. However, she usually attacks by firing coin danmaku at you. In the second fighting game, however, Komachi DOES use her scythe occasionally, especially when forced into physical combat. Komachi is in fact so good with her scythe that she can do Razor Wind attacks with it. Which is clearly impossible to do with that kind of weapon.
    • In the PC-98 era, Elly from Lotus Land Story, who actually threw the scythe at you like a boomerang. Worth mentioning that Elly's scythe is curved around herself and that it's one of the few things in the series that can destroy your bullets.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Dark Knights in Final Fantasy XI have this as one of their best rated weapons (the other, also rated A+, is Great Swords). A running joke in the Final Fantasy community about Dark Knight accuracy is largely because Scythes have high damage but very high delay, so a single miss means it takes a long time to get a hit in, compared to other classes using faster weapons: a one-hand sword can hit four times in the time it takes a Scythe to hit twice, with the advantage that missing one of those four attacks reduces damage output by 25% instead of 50% for the Scythe.
    • Ark Angel TT gets a special mention for wielding a scythe that's bigger than he is. Bonus points for materializing it in the boss fight cutscene.
    • Sice from Final Fantasy Type-0 wields a scythe and has abilities reminiscent of a Dark Knight.
  • In Grim Fandango Manny Calavera, being a Grim Reaper carries a retractable scythe throughout the game. However for the most part he's not all that great at using it in combat, using it mostly as a tool to solve puzzles instead.
  • Dead Rising:
    • In Dead Rising you can find a scythe as one of your various Breakable Weapons. It is a favored melee weapon due to its high durability and its ability to one shot zombies (you hook their neck on the blade and then pull, cutting their head off and earning bonus PP) and do crowd control. However, it's less useful against cultists and soldiers due being unable to one-shot them.
    • Makes its return in Case West and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record with its instant kill and crowd control capabilities still intact. But with the added bonus of combining with the katana to make one of the deadliest combination weapons in the game. Aptly named: Reaper.
  • Dynasty Warriors includes the Dagger Axe, the Real Life "ge" in the game.
  • The Joker species from Monster Rancher uses scythes. However, their scythes tend not to resemble actual scythes so much as enormous, hooked axes, since they're bladed on all sides and are considerably thicker than real scythes.
  • Vanessa, the Witch of Immolation, uses scythes in Luminous Arc.
  • Some enemies in the Zelda series wield scythes, including the miniboss Gomess in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and the Poes in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic:
    • In Heroes of Might and Magic V, wights and wraiths wield scythes.
    • Also, in Heroes of Might and Magic 3, the Devils and Archdevils wield scythes.
  • The final boss of Metal Slug 5 wields a scythe so large, its edge is as wide as your character.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Devil May Cry 3 features a large number of enemies with scythes, including one Laserblade and one made of fire.
    • The original Devil May Cry also featured these guys; first their was the sin scythe, a ghost wielding one scythe. Its bigger brother is the Death Scythe, who usually uses one but will often quadruple wield scythes.
    • There's also Nevan, an electric guitar scythe that shoots bats and lightning.
    • Also, the Sparda sword transformed into a scythe when you threw it.
    • Dante has this as one of his main weapons in the reboot. Interestingly enough, is an angelic holy weapon called "Osiris".
  • The Horned Reaper from Dungeon Keeper wields one. In the intro to the second game, it's revealed to be a switchblade scythe. Badass.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • A class quest allows one to gain a Scythe. Different then most in that it's a class quest for Warlocks and it functions as a magic staff.
    • Other classes can get a frost-themed scythe from the seasonal bonus boss Ahune. Like the warlock scythe, it's also classified as a staff.
    • Also, there is a polearm version of the Warlock scythe/staff, wieldable by the Hunter, Death Knight, Warrior, Druid, and Paladin classes.
    • A druidic artifact known as the Scythe of Elune is referred to several times throughout the game. Most of the references to the Scythe were before any expansions; due to Cataclysm, many of these references are lost. A blink-and-you-miss-it reference to the Scythe was made in Northrend, but the Scythe seems to have finally come to a resting place of sorts in Gilneas, AKA the worgen starting zone. Which makes sense, as the Scythe of Elune only pops up in storylines involving worgen.
  • In Patapon the Zigoton boss Gong wields a powerful scythe, which can be retrieved when he is defeated. In Patapon 3, Ravenous uses a very ornate and oversized magical scythe.
  • Gaspard in Dark Cloud 2 used to wield a blood-red sword, but after being defeated by Monica he took the blade and attached it to a pole, giving him even greater range. The skull at the base only adds to the menace.
  • Dragon Quest VIII:
    • Scythes are one of the weapon types Yangus can use. Building his skill with them lets him learn stealing techniques, for some reason.
    • Also the Dark Druids enemies can summon a red scythe made of energy to attack.
  • Being the Arcana of Death in Arcana Heart, Dieu Mort naturally has one that he uses for his Arcana Blaze.
  • Shining Force III:
    • Basanda one of the powerful leaders of the antagonists, has an oversized red scythe but with a short handle making it no longer than a sword in artwork, she's a magic user through so rarely will she attempt to hit you with it. In addition Lizard Men use scythes with enlarged blades much like an axe.
    • Also the Lizard-men wield come scary scythes.
  • Shining the Holy Ark features wraiths that carry scythes, they look a lot like Death.
  • Shining Soul has many enemies that carry around scythes notably in the Glaybull Temple.
  • In the Sengoku Basara series, Akechi Mitsuhide wields two of them. He's a pretty damn creepy character in this series, possibly reflecting his status as betrayer of Nobunaga.
  • If we're letting kusari-gama in, then Earthquake's rig from the Samurai Shodown games belongs here. Of course, a sickle for him is about scythe-sized for the rest of the cast. Even doubly odd, his seems to be sharpened on the outside of the curve, given the animation of his heavy slashes.
  • BlazBlue's Ragna the Bloodedge, aka The Grim Reaper, has a BFS called Blood Scythe that unfolds into a scythe with a red energy blade for a couple of his attacks (most notably his Finishing Move).
  • Hiro from Spectral Souls particularly stands out because of that fact that, perhaps in homage to the fact that they're so impractical, she's the only character in a cast of 45 playable characters that can actually use them. It's explained in other Neverland games that scythes are weapons made of material native of the demon realm, which is why only demon units can use them, and not even all of them. Humans will literally die if they use one of those, and they deal damage because of their alien, demonic nature rather than because they are effective weapons. Hiro's trademark scythe in particular, Gate of Hell, can rip an opponent's soul out instantly and send it straight to Hell when used on someone with an evil heart.
  • Dynasty Warriors:
    • Yue Ying wields a fairly viable-looking scythe in Dynasty Warriors 4 and 5, as (at lower levels) it's simply a short staff with a small perpendicular blade at the end. Higher level weapons fall towards the trope, as the blades get progressively larger and more, well, scythe-like.
    • In Samurai Warriors, the Ninja Hanzo Hattori wields a kusarigama, which combines sinister scythe and Epic Flail.
    • In the crossover series Warriors Orochi, Orochi (and Orochi X) wields a massive scythe.
    • And now There is Kiyomasa Kato, whose weapon is called "steel halbeard" but it's clearly a scythe with a straight handle and a spear tip.
  • In Painkiller, both the Devil Monk and Psycho Nun monsters use scythes.
  • One of these becomes a vital weapon in Clive Barker's Undying, both for plot reasons and as an emergency healing source (it's a vampiric weapon). You probably won't use it unless you have to, though.
  • In the Deadly Rooms of Death series, the second game introduces Slayers who use these (called "hooks" because of graphical constraints on the area they can occupy). The first Slayer you encounter is the second boss-class enemy in the series, and the very first enemy that's actually a serious threat one-on-one. Despite being (like you) a One-Hit-Point Wonder, Slayers are the puzzle game's version of a Perfect-Play A.I..
  • In Dantes Inferno, Dante defeats Death and takes his scythe as his personal weapon. Or so he thinks.
  • Yeager in Tales of Vesperia uses a scythe where the handle is also a gun. It can also collapse into a crossbow.
  • In King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, Alexander makes use of a scythe for its intended purpose: to cut down foliage — in his case, a regenerating bush.
  • Yggdra Union makes scythes incredibly powerful—they're strong against all other melee weapons. Two characters use them, of whom one's the Big Bad, Gulcasa, and the other is Nerfed with a mere garden scythe. She's a housewife.
  • Anesha from Cross Edge favors this kind of weapon.
  • Margaret (Is greek, you geek / it means "a pearl"...) Moonlight from No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle has two anti-tank rifle scythes.
  • Paula from Arc Rise Fantasia wields a rather awesome one.
  • Dark Age Of Camelot has the Valewalker, a fighter-mage who specializes in the use of the war scythe.
  • Kureha Yamisaka from the game Daemon Bride.
  • Mad Monarch Dryst from Brigandine
  • The Executioner from Alice: Madness Returns chase the eponymous heroine with a gargantuan scythe, swinging it at a ludicrous speed and chopping even his own minions in the path.
  • Vivi of Brain Dead 13 uses this freaking sickle as a barber's razor to try to kill Lance in a Dangerously Close Shave.
  • Angela from Rusty Hearts can choose to specialize in these once you hit lvl 10 with her. It also seems to be her signature weapon given that most of the art depicts her with one.
  • In Video Game/Drakensang 2: The River of Time and its expansion you can find two examples: the Marus War Scythe (which looks more like a real world Polish war scythe and is used as a polearm) and Kazak's weapon of choice. In the latter's case, the scythe itself looks more like a traditional farming tool (curved shaft and handle included), has a smaller blade on the other end and mostly use it like a sort of pickaxe to skewer your characters.
  • One of Kingdom of Loathing's most powerful weapons, the Villainous Scythe, is crafted from a shovel, for two Improvised Weapon tropes in one.
  • Mount & Blade features five such weapons, but does so with its trademark realism for the genre. The sickle and military sickle are one-handed weapons, the former being the traditional harvesting tool and latter resembling a kusarigama sans chain. Peasants will often carry a traditional field scythe, with an inward-curving blade mounted parallel to the shaft of the weapon. The military scythe is essentially a basic Blade on a Stick with a straight blade, whereas the shortened military scythe is the same weapon with its haft cut down to become a two-handed weapon, resembling a sword with a long wooden grip. With Fire And Sword actually has a unit type dedicated to the use of scythes, known as Scythe Wielders. Unfortunately, they are using agricultural scythes and are thus the weakest Polish conscripts available.
  • The MMORPG Ragnarok Online has the Crescent Scythe, a MVP drop.
  • A class of weapons in Warframe. The Ether Reaper uses a blade made of plasma, though it the blade is straight and perpendicular to the handle, making it look more like a massively stretched tomahawk. The Reaper Prime is slightly more orthodox in appearance, looking like a regular scythe, albeit with a smaller secondary blade beneath the primary and small reverse-face blades. The Hate, the calling card of the Stalker, has a relatively normal scythe blade with what appears to be a bottle opener in it. The Kamas are miniature hatchet-like scythes, which can be dual-wielded. The "Reaping Spiral" melee stance allows you to throw scythes as a Precision-Guided Boomerang.

    Visual Novels 
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni has Erika Furudo, who wields a scythe of Truth. As in, literally made out of Truth. Her master has a similar one herself, with the ability to reap miracles. This is potentially a major clue about her true origins. Erika also uses this weapon in the Ougon Musou fighting games.
  • In the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni fighting game, Daybreak, Rika Furude's standard weapon is a standard hoe. However, in the expansion, she can switch to a scythe, which gives her a number of magical attacks as well as being very quick.

    Web Animation 
  • Main character Ruby from RWBY wields a scythe-cannon hybrid (officially called an HCSS; High Caliber Sniper Scythe) called Crescent Rose. It's actually not as impractical as it sounds; the recoil of the cannon is so huge that Ruby can use it as a rocket boost by firing it in mid-swing.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Scythe blades mounted on a straight pole like a spear or glaive have been used as weapons and have been made specifically for warfare as far back as 400 BC by the Thracians north of Greece under the name of Rhomphaia. Blades that curve inward were quite common in antiquity and very effective against armor of the day. They can still be found in Kukris, various forms of machetes, and even some knives such as hawkbills and karambits.
  • Actual combat-training for regular scythe was invented. A fellow by the name Paulus Hector Mair preserved mysteries of this art for us in his fencing manual. It also contains techniques for sickles (though, unfortunately, no hammer). That guide pretty much takes advantage on how a scythe can screw enemies hard simply due to its shape which makes it unpredictable. You can parry a sword and an axe, but since the scythe's blade is away, getting pierced and hooked by a scythe is a very real possibility.
  • As for the halberd comment above, some halberd heads actually do look like shortened version of scythe blades. Then again, those blade heads look like Swiss Army Blade on a Stick; one for any kind of battle situation on the battlefield. Very appropriate too: the halberd was popularized by the Swiss (mercenaries, mostly), and remains closely associated with the ceremonial Papal Guard. (Well, with ceremonial Papal Guards. The actual Guard is a serious military force despite the outfits.)
  • The museum in Dumfries, Scotland has a couple of war scythes dating from 1715. When you needed to arm a bunch of troops that were also farmers quickly it was a cheap and pretty effective away. Plus they were scary. See The Other Wiki for marginally more.
  • The Polish kosa bojowa (meaning just "combat scythe"), was used as a weapon in several Polish uprisings. It involved modifying the blade so that it extends upright and outward from the pole, making it an improvised glaive. Nowadays "setting the scythe upright" is an expression used metaphorically to symbolise militancy.
  • The Chinese used a weapon in the bronze age that was effectively a scythe for the foot soldier. It was called a ge (戈) and consisted of a bronze blade attached to a pole at 100°. It allowed for axe like slashing attacks and hooking moves to an enemy's weapon. National Geographic had a demonstration here. Every dynasty in Chinese history has been overthrown by rebels recruited from among farmers; the people most oppressed. Because of the utility of the scythe, many farmers had a familiar feel for it, reducing the need for training. Early in the life of a dynasty, scythes were a symbol of strength and pride. They fell in status as a dynasty slid toward decadence and corruption, not just for their association with rural poverty, but as an implement of regime change.
  • The Japanese scythe which is a tiny, one-handed scythe sickle, and was used to harvest rice, and later adapted by peasants during a revolt; the fighting style used with these weapons use a "hook, reap, and impale" take, using the weapon's unusual design to catch, entangle, and sweep limbs and weaponry (most fiction depict scythe fighting in much the same way). In fiction, it's often seen in the hands of ninja. A kusarigama is a scythe with a long weighted chain attached. It still looks quite inconspicious but the combination allows to swing the chain with both hands without taking your hand off the kama.