Sword Plant

A character stabs the ground (or a wall) with a sword (or any other weapon, for that matter) as an attack, to help stand up, as an anchor, or just to look cool.

As an attack, it can be performed from as a more-pointy version of a Ground Pound and/or Shockwave Stomp, depending on whether the user is executing it from above.

In the tiresome world of Real Life, this is not advised — mistreat a sword this way and you are likely to chip, dull, bend, or even break the blade. In fiction, of course, anything is possible if it looks cool enough. So go ahead and drive your Absurdly Sharp Blade into six inches of reinforced concrete: it'll be fine. That said, this trope has a little backing in reality: sand or soft soil can be used to clean a blood-covered blade if nothing else is around, preventing rust.

Contrast Stab the Sky and Sword Pointing. A plant which happens to be a sword comes under Living Weapon. See also The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In, which is about when swords are thrown or dropped and land point downward, Stepping-Stone Sword, when a sword thrown or driven into a surface is used to climb or stand on, Weapon Tombstone when a sword is used as a tombstone marker, Ground Punch when a weapon is not used, and Left Stuck After Attack if a weapon is unintentionally made stuck.

Nothing at all to do with plants that grow swords ... sadly.


Examples:

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     Anime and Manga  
  • Bleach:
    • One of Rukia's shikai attacks involves her stabbing the ground four times.
    • Ichigo tends to stab the ground and lean on his sword when he needs a prop to help him stay standing.
    • Ichigo also does this purposefully during the Bount Filler arc, to release a Getsuga Tenshou in multiple directions. He also plants it in the ground in order to take out several of Soul Society's lieutenants bare-handed.
    • Aizen plants his sword in a piece of fallen building while he removes the power-sealing cuffs put on him by Urahara in the fake Karakura.
  • Saber from Fate/stay night does this in flashbacks.
  • In Mai-HiME, Mikoto does this when she uses her sword's (very destructive) ultimate attack.
  • The Claymores from Claymore often plant their swords in the ground to have something to lean against when they are sitting or sleeping.
  • Naruto. Occurs during the Sasuke vs Deidara fight. Sasuke uses his sword as a Stepping-Stone Sword, and it is later revealed that Sasuke did it for another purpose, as well.
  • In Corsair, Canale finishes his battle with Shirokko by stabbing his blade into one of the masts just shy of Shirokko's ear.
  • Saya of Blood+ does this frequently for various reasons.
  • Major Olivia Armstrong in Fullmetal Alchemist carries a saber everywhere she goes, and she's usually seen holding it in this position when she's standing and talking to anyone.
  • Whenever Inuyasha is too injured to stand, he usually plants the tetsusaiga in the ground to support himself.
  • Kill la Kill. This is Satsuki Kiryūin's signature pose, albeit with the sword still in its sheath.

     Film - Live Action  
  • The Princess Bride: The Dread Pirate Roberts throws his sword into a plant, so he can use both hands to impressively swing down, during his fight with Inigo Montoya.
  • In The Matrix Reloaded, Morpheus stabs his katana into the side of the semi truck he's riding, in order to give him a platform to snag the Keymaster (who is passing by on a motorcycle).
  • Shows up in Highlander: Endgame, with Duncan planting it as a memorial on Connor's grave.
    • Connor also did it in the original film after Heather's death, in the scene with the burning croft in the background.
  • In the Conan the Barbarian (2011) film reboot, young Conan, while training with his father, refuses to admit defeat prompting his father to yell, "Enough" and stab the tip of his sword into the frozen lake they were sparring on. This act shatters the ice in such a way that it leaves Corin standing but dumps young Conan into the drink.
  • Villard does this in By The Sword after a scene of showing his fencing skills to prove to himself that he's better than Suba.
  • In Pacific Rim, a damaged Gipsy Danger does this during the Final Battle to avoid being knocked over by the shockwave of Striker Eureka's nuke detonating.
  • Excalibur. Devastated but unwilling to kill his wife and best friend, King Arthur slams Excalibur into the ground between Guinevere and Lancelot so that when they wake up in the morning they both know they've just royally screwed up the kingdom.
    Lancelot: The king without a sword! The land without a King!
  • In a Japanese movie about a Born in the Wrong Century samurai, the police insist on confiscating his sword as evidence after he kills several mooks on a train. He drives his katana into the floor of the train, snaps it sideways to break it in half, then storms off. Then he has to wait several months while his swordmaster makes another one.

     Literature  
  • This is how, in many versions/adaptions of the Arthurian Legend, the Sword in the Stone got into the stone.
  • Rand plants Callandor in the floor of the Stone of Tear in book 4 of the Wheel of Time, and leaves it to remind the Tairen nobles that he will return. Justified in this case, since Callandor is easily sharp and durable enough to cut into the stone floor.
  • Subverted in the Norwegian novel Kristin Lavransdatter. Simon is sitting on a wooden bench, talking to his fiancé and fiddling with his dagger. He stabs the bench with the dagger and only winds up bending the point so badly it won’t go back in its sheath.
  • Different weapon, same principle: The golem Dorfl drives an axe into a table where the Patrician and several other civic dignitaries are sitting near the end of Feet of Clay to, ahem... make a point. (Though technically it's not actually a point per se, but... Oh, never mind.) Lord Vetinari decides to leave it there as a conversation piece.

     Live Action TV  
  • The new opening to The Colbert Report features Stephen doing this with a flagpole. With as many epic trimmings as you can pack into one intro.
  • One episode 1.07 of Camelot has a group of female dancers planting swords into a table in front of surprised diners.
  • Kamen Rider Blade tends to stick his sword into the ground when he performs his Lightning Blast/Sonic. Sometimes he'll jump off of the sword to get extra height for the kick.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Ironclaw calendar swords lack pointed tips so that paladins can do this while kneeling before an altar.

     Toys  
  • BIONICLE: in The Legend Reborn, Mata Nui does this with his sword to cut a part of a cliff to fall on a Skopio.

     Video Games  
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Link's swordplanting is first seen in the NES game Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link. Hilariously, it allowed link to "bounce" on enemies, quasi-Mario-style.
    • A Link To The Past has Link doing this with the Quake medallion.
    • Also used in The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, the first to kill Ganon and the second to gain entrance to the Temple of Time , as well as killing Ganondorf.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has Link doing this to enter the Silent Realms.
    • Link uses one as a combo-finisher in Hyrule Warriors.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • One of Ganondorf's victory animations in Melee has him do this with a BFS.
    • Link's down aerial. Toon Link's down aerial in Brawl mimics this.
    • Ike's taunt in Brawl. His "Eruption" special attack in the game also involves stabbing the ground and making fire shoot out. Ike's full-screen applause has his sword, Ragnell, planted next to him. He also plants his sword in one of his victory animations.
  • Frog has a move like this called "Spire" in Chrono Trigger, only cooler: he jams the sword into an enemy, not the ground, whereupon Crono strikes the weapon with a lighting bolt, eletrocuting the impaled opponent.
  • Zero frequently uses techniques like this in Mega Man X and Mega Man Zero.
  • Dragon's Lair: a knight in black armor with a BFS stabbed the floor tiles to electrify the alternating squares.
  • Runescape: the Dragon 2h Sword's special attack
  • Illusion of Gaia: Will's knightly alter ego Freedan could create paralysis-inducing earthquakes by leaping from high places and stabbing his sword into the ground as he fell.
  • Sephiroth uses this attack very dramatic fashion in Final Fantasy VII. It becomes a usable attack in Dissidia: Final Fantasy.
    • Final Fantasy X: The final part of Tidus' Blitz Ace has him plant his sword in the ground, use it as a stepping stone to leap high above the battlefield; an ally throws him a blitzball, which he then slams into the enemy.
    • Jecht has this as his Victory Pose in Dissidia, where he manages to imbed his BFS halfway into the ground and use it as a stepping stone.
    • Final Fantasy XII: Vaan's tosses his sword into the ground in his victory animation. Even if that ground is the solid stone floor of a building.
    • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn uses the Shockwave Stomp variation for the level 50 Paladin ability Circle of Scorn, which damages all enemies in melee range.
  • Cloud in Kingdom Hearts tends to use this kind of attack as a finisher for his Sonic Blade combo. No matter if he hit anything with the attacks before it or not. In Dissidia, when he uses the Braver attack and the opponent is hit into the ground (which is most of the time), Cloud's sword will end up fully a foot into the ground. Likewise, when he uses MeteoRain, he spins his sword over his head and then stabs it into the ground.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, Sora finds the Lingering Will - the Animated Armor of a previous Keyblade hero - crouching over its enormous Keyblade, head bowed. In Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, we see how it came to be there.
  • Duran from Seiken Densetsu 3 does this when he casts a spell.
  • The Thunderstrike ability in The Spirit Engine 2, which creates an earthquake (or something).
  • Part of Mitsurugi and Yoshimitsu's kata in the Soul Series.
  • Used in numerous artes like Guardian Field and Rending Quake throughout the Tales Series.
  • Duke of Battle Arena Toshinden has his "Helm Crush" attack, where he swings his BFS such that it points straight down (hence the name), planting it deep into the ground (and whoever's unfortunate enough to be between the two).
  • The introductory illustrations of Battle for Wesnoth's Heir to the Throne campaign show Delfador making the point that even a hotshot princely swordsman shouldn't mess around with a Simple Staff, as their duel concludes with Delfador leaving said staff behind rammed through the prince's body into the ground.
  • Not an attack precisely, but the opening cinematic to World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King features Arthas stabbing the runeblade Frostmourne into a glacier as part of a spell to reanimate the massive blue dragon Sindragosa, as seen here. He later uses the same method to shatter the ground beneath the Argent Coliseum during the Trial of the Crusader, dropping characters into the Nerubian underworld to face Anub'arak. It's also one of Arthas' idle animations— he stabs Frostmourne into the ground so he can use both hands to adjust his gauntlets. Apparently they're a little too big for him.
  • Jin Kisaragi of BlazBlue has a Magic Knight variation as his Astral Heat "Arctic Dungeon": he stabs the ground with his magical ice katana, causing ice crystals to erupt across the ground. If his opponent is touching the ground when this happens, they are frozen and, when the ice shatters, instant-killed.
  • In Guilty Gear, this is Sol Badguy's iconic win pose.
  • The Final Boss of Return to Castle Wolfenstein uses this to compensate for his lack of ranged attacks: he jams his sword into the ground, causing the rain of rocks from the construction above and sending Blazkovitz flying towards him, into his reach.
  • The Shogun Executioner of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 has a special ability that slams three Laser Blades into the ground at once, producing a massive shockwave of power that destroys anything around it. Not that the Shogun Executioner has much trouble on that front...
  • In Guild Wars 2, Mesmers and Guardians can stab the ground with their greatswords, the former to attack the enemy with a ghostly sword blade erupting from the ground, the latter to magically burn a protective symbol into the ground.
  • Used in Ghetsis' sprite animation in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, to show his anger and slipping sanity.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha As Portable: The Battle of Aces, Signum's profile art has her striking this pose.
  • This trope serves as a central gameplay mechanic for Warrior Monk Donovan of the Darkstalkers series. He can plant his sword in the ground, where it will remain until he commands it to attack the opponent, which it does by flying out from its planted position then turning and returning to him like a boomerang. While this grants him good control of the playfield and a tricky way to apply pressure on the opponent, it also acts as a trade off in that while his sword is planted his normal attacks lose range and strength, and he is unable to perform his other special moves.
  • One of Rastan's signature attacks in his eponymous Taito game.
  • The Exile in Knights of the Old Republic II did this when told to surrender her lightsaber.
  • The Legend of the Mystical Ninja has enemy ninja who try to stab downward at you after taking a running jump. When they miss, they get their swords stuck in the floor.
  • This is Chrom's Victory Pose as a Lord or Great Lord in Fire Emblem Awakening. If he initiates battle, it begins with him pulling his sword out of the ground.
  • Some of the finishing moves in Eternal Darkness involve planting one's sword into a fallen enemy.
  • This is one of the most powerful attacks that can be made in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. Against enemies who were knocked down, Kyle could leap forward and stab their downed opponent in (and probably through) the chest for an instant kill. Jaden could do the same, or stab them with two lightsabers if Dual Wielding in Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.

     Web Original 
  • In Chaos Fighters, this is a regular move and activates shockwaves or magical skills when charged with aura.

     Western Animation  
  • Samurai Jack
  • In Danny Phantom, the Fright Night's sword is buried in the ground to stake a claim on Amity Park in the name of Pariah Dark. Removing it is the sign of surrender.
  • In WordGirl, the villain Nocan the Contrarian does this at times. He's so strong that doing this triggers earthquakes.


Alternative Title(s):

Ground Stab Attack