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Sword Cane
aka: Cane Sword
Wait till you see what he pulls out of his hat.

"He had thrown those thoughts as far to the side of his mind as he could manage, because holy shit sword-cane. Swooooooooooooooord-caaaaaaaaaaaaane!"
— About Jeremy Franco, The Only Way Is Up, Survival of the Fittest

A Sword Cane is a short sword or other bladed weapon that is concealed inside of a cane. The cane is opened by twisting the top or pressing a release button, then pulling on the handle to reveal a blade, often with a "Tzing" sound. This weapon is typically used by Cultured Badass characters or as a weapon of advantage by a character who walks with a limp (or pretends to). Also popular amongst blind swordsmen. Occasionally, this will be altered by the character having a gun or stun baton disguised as a cane, which are also real weapons (and arguably more practical), but relatively rare in fiction.

Connected to, and sometimes overlaps with, Parasol of Pain. Compare Combat Haircomb.

Sword Cane is a Sub-Trope of Arsenal Attire.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime & Manga  
  • Bleach: Kisuke Urahara's Zanpaku-to, Benihime.
    • Ryūjin Jakka, Captain Commander Yamamoto's Zanpaku-to/wooden staff, which literally dissolves to reveal a normal katana rather than being a fancy blade.
  • From Lupin III: Ishikawa Goemon XIII carries a katana with shirasaya style mounting. He has, however, disguised it as a cane on a few occasions.
    • The TV special Lupin III Angel Tactics has two examples. At the very beginning, when Goemon is disguised as a scientist, he hides his sword like this. Later, his opponent also disguises her katana as a cane. This is how Goemon realizes she's hostile: someone who genuinely needed a cane couldn't possibly have climbed the mountain he was meditating atop of.
  • Brook of One Piece.
    • Admiral Fujitora uses a cane sword that doubles as a weapon and a cane for his blindness.
  • Until Death Do Us Part: the main character is blind (he can "see" with the aid of his special sunglasses, but that's a different trope) and stores his katana in his white cane.
  • Xerxes Break in Pandora Hearts.
  • Last Exile. Alex Rowe has a gun-in-a-cane. Pretty powerful one at that.
  • Saito Hajime uses one in his first appearance in Rurouni Kenshin. It breaks the first time he uses it to perform a gatotsu, so he discards it and goes back to using a katana.
  • Sailor Moon has Tuxedo Mask's cane, which can function as both a sword or a staff depending on the type of ass-kicking he's in the mood for.
  • Mad Pierrot from the Cowboy Bebop episode "Pierrot Le Fou" uses a gun-cane in his first battle with Spike. Though Spike doesn't get shot, he still gets his ever-loving ass handed to him.
  • Mandala Gundam from Mobile Fighter G Gundam is one of the more absurd examples, being a Humongous Mecha styled after a Buddhist monk with a Laser Blade hidden inside its khakkhara.

     Comic Books  
  • In one of the older Mickey Mouse comic books, among the items Mickey inherits from a deceased uncle is a cane that supposedly "will help you in your time of need." The context makes it sound like it's in case he hurts himself, but in a critical moment he figures out that it can be bent and reconfigured into a long-barrelled rifle. (He uses it to shoot a coconut and knock it out of a tree so it lands on the villain's head. This is Disney, after all.)
  • The Sandman: Fiddler's Green has one which he carries with him when wandering around in human form. He uses it during The Doll's House arc.
  • Jedi Master Zao has a lightsaber cane. That is, a lightsaber built into a cane.
  • Used by one of the villains in Tintin in America.
  • DCU character The Shade has one, although it's really just a solid formation of his shadow powers.
  • When he first appeared, the Batman foe, Anarky, used a taser concealed in a walking stick.
  • The Fourth Foolkiller, Mike Trace, from the Marvel MAX series has one.
  • Daredevil: Matt Murdock's cane conceals a variety of weapons and tools, including a billy club, grappling hook and (originally) a small-caliber rifle.
  • In Grendel, Hunter Rose has a cane that expands into Grendel's trade mark "fork on a stick" weapon.
  • In The Punisher books, Full Moon Killer, Cane and Blind Joe Death had swords in their canes. The latter two even had guns in them.

    Film 

    Literature 
  • In a flashback in The Count of Monte Cristo, it was mentioned that Badass Grandpa Monsieur Noirtier carried one and was even able to defeat a seasoned military officer armed with a full-sized rapier with it.
  • Courfeyrac uses one in Les MisÚrables.
  • More or less subverted in the book A Dirty Job. Charlie Asher has one. Then, being an antique, it jams when he tries to draw it. He gets a newer one, then turns out to leave it at home when he just gets a friend to lend him a gun.
  • 'Ham' Brooks' preferred weapon in the Doc Savage novels. It's also coated with a drug that rapidly produces unconsciousness when he scratches someone with it.
  • Koudelka in the Vorkosigan Saga has a swordstick. It gains special historical notability when it is used (by Sergeant Bothari) to behead a pretender to the throne. It has an ejector mechanism that is so powerful that it turns the sheath into a projectile weapon, which is the subject of some comedy as Koudelka slowly masters its workings.
  • In Barthe DeClements's Double Trouble, villainous teacher Mr. Gessert has a gun version.
  • Discworld:
    • Secret Police leader Captain Swing in Night Watch carries a sword cane, which like other "covert weapons" (i.e. flick knives and palm daggers) is looked upon with disgust by Vimes. Swing surprises him by not Flynning but actually being a fairly competent swordsman
    • In both The Truth and Making Money, rumour has it that Vetinari's walking stick is a sword cane, possibly forged from the blood of his enemies. Vetinari's own view is that if people think your stick might be a sword, they forget that it's definitely a stick.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe: An older Lando Calrissian, as of the Legacy of the Force series, carries a cane with a small blaster and a voice-activated stunner. (Which stuns anyone touching the cane — in case it's taken from him. Lando's like that.)
  • In one of Agatha Christie's Tommy and Tuppence stories, Tommy (who is pretending to be blind to win a bet with his wife) has one concealed in his fake "white stick" in one of the tales in Partners in Crime.
  • In The Dresden Files, Harry Dresden has two of these. One is an authentic 19th-century sword cane that's been prepared to be a focus for magic, useful for moving around without drawing attention and as a backup magic-focusing tool. The other is one of the Swords (capital "S" there) wielded by the Knights of the Cross; the latter is actually a shirasaya, a type of Japanese sword that, when sheathed, looks just like a long, somewhat curved walking stick, and is otherwise known as Kusanagi
  • In The Wrecking Crew, Matt Helm fights a man wielding a Sword Cane.
  • Syme, the protagonist of The Man Who Was Thursday carries one, mostly because it fits with his sense of living a life of whimsy and adventure, although he actually does know how to fence. The author, G. K. Chesterton, also carried a Sword Cane (and quite frequently a revolver) for much the same reason.
  • In one of the Father Brown stories, the solution hinges upon the murderer using a sword cane.
  • Doctor Talos in Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun turns out to be armed with one of these.
  • The Eighth Doctor Adventure novel The Slow Empire has The Doctor discover that the question-mark umbrella he carried in his previous incarnation contained a sword which had never been used. Presumably because The Seventh Doctor was Crazy-Prepared enough not to have to resort to swordplay.
  • Peter S. Beagle's recurring character Lal carries a swordcane.
  • Granny Carry of the Liavek anthologies has a swordcane, although she never actually has to use it.
  • The victim in the Lord Darcy mystery Murder on the Napoli Express was killed by his own swordstick. This turns out to be a major clue: He was bludgeoned to death with the stick. Every member of the original list of suspects knew that it was a swordstick, and thus would presumably use the blade if they planned to kill someone with it.
  • In the Matthew Hawkwood novel Resurrectionist, Mad Doctor Colonel Titus Hyde carries a sword cane and very nearly does the hero in with it.
  • In the kid's horror novel The Nightmarys, the main character is afraid that the old man he and his friend are going to talk to has one.
  • In the Ravirn series, Ravirn stores his court weaponry (rapier and dagger a la a Renaissance nobleman) in his ski poles in the first book. They're actually useful, too, even though he also carries a gun (he doesn't have any silver bullets, but the silver inlay on the rapier proves very helpful when his werewolf cousin attacks him).
  • Steerpike of Gormenghast uses a swordcane.
  • Rehvenge in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series has a sword pimp-cane with a blood-red blade.
  • Artemis Fowl -- The Lost Colony, Billy Kong uses crutches modified as tranquilizer guns whilst attempting demon capturing.
  • Simon Templar, AKA The Saint, uses a sword cane in his early adventures, notably "The Man Who Was Clever."
  • The narrator in Umberto Eco's The Prague Cemetery carries one so nobody will notice he's armed. The first person he meets immediately congratulates him on carrying such a fine Cane Sword.
  • Manly Wade Wellman's Occult Detective Judge Pursuivant has a silver version of one of these, with the words "Sic pereant omnes inimici tui" (thus perish all your enemies) engraved on it. When he becomes too old to wield it, the Judge passes it on to his colleague John Thunstone.
  • In The First Law series, Inquisitor Glokta, a former soldier turned torturer who has extensive injuries because he was tortured himself, walks with a cane. It has a sword in it, and as the third book reveals he's still capable of inflicting quite a bit of damage with it.
  • After Keyoke is crippled in the second book of the Daughter of the Empire trilogy and has to retire from his life as a soldier, he is given a crutch with an retractable sword blade built into it. He dies while wielding it in the third book.
  • The main protagonist of Wolfgang Hohlbein's Hexer von Salem stories, Robert Craven, occasionally uses one of these that he's inherited from his father. He's never really described as a particularly exceptional fencer, but the weapon itself is magical and rather effective at killing shoggoths.
  • In the Lord Darcy story "The Napoli Express", a sword cane (and the fact that it wasn't used) provides a vital clue in solving the murder.

     Live Action TV  
  • In The Avengers TV series, Steed had a sword concealed within his umbrella.
  • Adam's trademark weapon in Adam Adamant Lives.
  • The private rail car in Wild Wild West included a sword concealed in a pool cue.
  • House carried not a sword, but an axe and a shotgun within his cane during a dream sequence.
    House: *Slice* Good thing I brought my Ax Cane.
    • In one episode, House has a cane confiscated by airport security — it was an antique cane made for a vintner that had a corkscrew concealed in the handle.
  • In Doctor Who episode "Let's Kill Hiter," the Doctor uses a Sonic Cane, a variation of the Sonic Screwdriver
  • In The City Hunter, Handicapped Badass Jin Pyo carries one.
  • In one episode of Leverage, old Archie Leach has at least two — one with a stun prod and one with a blade. When Chaos (Wil Wheaton) annoys him too much, he pulls his cane against his throat, then says he can't remember which one it is, because "after all, I'm very old". Turns out it was the stun. Which he did, in fact, use on Chaos.
  • Highlander had at least one immortal who carried one of these, in 'The Vampire'.
  • A sword umbrella was a murder weapon in an early episode of Murder, She Wrote (although it was used accidentally in self-defense by someone who didn't know there was a sword in it).

    Music 
  • Bob Dylan's On The Road Again from Bringing it all Back Home:
    Your grandpa's cane, it turns into a sword
    Your grandma prays to pictures that are pasted on a board
    Everything inside my pockets your uncle steals
    And you ask me why I don't live here — honey, I can't believe that you're for real!
  • Ronald Isley has one that he threatens to use on R. Kelly in the video for "Contagious"
  • The Vigilante Man in Abney Park's "Victorian Vigilante" comes after someone who has one of these.
  • The titular character in Lou Reed's "My Friend George" carries one.

     Newspaper Comics 

     Tabletop Games  
  • Sword canes show up in GURPS: High-Tech. They're expensive, low quality and bad for parrying. On the up side beating people with the cane is still a viable option. There's also a rifle cane.
  • 7th Sea includes a swordsman's school based around the use of a sword cane.
  • Dark Heresy has a power sword cane.
  • The New World of Darkness Sourcebook Armory has these listed. They deal bashing damage with the cane on and lethal with the blade out.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Adventure DA1 Adventures in Blackmoor. In the Comeback Inn, the Master Closet has five walking sticks, one of which is a sword cane.
    • Ravenloft campaign expansion Masque of the Red Death. These devices were available for purchase by adventurers.
  • R. Talsorian Games' Cyberpunk supplement Solo of Fortune II. An ad for Midnight Arms has the Kendachi Monosword Cane, an Absurdly Sharp Blade concealed in a mahogany-finished walking cane.
  • Call of Cthulhu boxed set Cthulhu By Gaslight. One of the new Victorian Age weapons in this supplement was the sword cane. The sword was the equivalent of a sharpened fencing foil. Some models extended the sword from the base of the cane when the handle was turned.
  • Shadowrun. The Neo-Anarchist's Guide to Real Life introduced the Barton Arms Gun Cane. It fired a single 8 mm bullet that did light damage to targets at close range.

    Theatre 

     Video Games  

    Web Animation 
  • In RWBY, Roman Torchwick's cane is a gun that fires explosive rounds. He is also impressively skilled at Cane Fu, holding his own in close combat with Blake.

     Web Comics  

     Web Original  
  • Jeremy Franco of Survival of the Fittest was given this as his assigned weapon. As seen by the page quote, he enjoyed it.

     Western Animation  

    Real Life 
  • The: Swordstick, Cane gun, Shikomizue.
  • These can be purchased from several respectable theater supply companies or swordsmiths.
  • In the fight that established Jim Bowie's reputation as a knife-fighter and a Badass, Norris Wright, his opponent, after exchanging gunfire with him, used a sword cane to impale him. When Wright tried to retrieve the sword, Bowie pulled him down and gutted him with his distinctively large knife.
  • In Israel, pre-1948, many of the elderly Jews of Jerusalem were armed with one-shot canes.
    • Additionally, it's important to note that the Jews had produced enough bullets, but couldn't smuggle in enough guns.
  • It might be a good idea to mention that these are illegal in most places.
    • Amusingly enough, considering that carrying a cane that isn't obviously medically prescribed is probably more noticeable and suspicious than actually carrying a sword, these days.


Staff of AuthorityIndex on a StickTelephone Polearm
Sword BeamSword TropesSword Drag
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alternative title(s): Cane Sword
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