Straight line of the year: "Face me, Hulk," says Hercules in Hulk #404, "Without benefit of shrubbery!" There's only one correct response to THAT challenge: Ni!The use of extremely long and thick objects as blunt weaponry carried one-handed over the shoulder but swung two-handed in a devastating arc: think telephone poles, streetlamps, trees... See also Improbable Weapon User, Blade on a Stick, Carry a Big Stick, Drop the Hammer, and Epic Flail. Pretty much a combination of Batter Up and BFS; subtrope of the former. Some overlap with Improvised Weapon.
— Marvel Year In Review 1993
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Fate/Zero: Berserk's abilities allow him to use the midsection of a streetlight as a pole-arm, to devastating effect against Saber.
- Bleach: During Chad's first fight against a Hollow (which he can't even see at the time), he rips a telephone pole out of the ground and sweeps it around until it hits something. This is before he gains any powers whatsoever; he's just that Bad Ass.
- Thorkell in Vinland Saga uses tree-sized sharpened stakes as either melee or ship-sinking ranged weapons.
- Within the anime of Ranma ˝, Ryoga uproots a concrete utility pole and swings it at Ranma after Nabiki convinces him the pills she gave him grant super-strength.
- This is occasionally used by Durarara!!'s Shizuo Heiwajima — Sometimes with actual telephone poles, and other times with equally unwieldy objects like roadside guardrails.
- Including, memorably, the use of a large motorway signpost, complete with sign, that he used to slice the top off a van.
- Don't forget the tree he completely uprooted. The poor sap in the tree certainly didn't.
- Including, memorably, the use of a large motorway signpost, complete with sign, that he used to slice the top off a van.
- A Filler Arc in the Naruto anime included a boat trip for the protagonists. When, during an attack, their ship becomes unseaworthy, Sakura rips out its mainmast to use as a giant club. Especially notable in that, until this point in the series, Sakura had done very little in combat that had proven even mildly useful. It could also count as foreshadowing, since after the Time Skip Super Strength becomes her primary ability and her combat-effectiveness skyrockets.
- During the chariot race in the Part 2 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Joseph takes the first weapon available, a warhammer suspended from a pillar. Wham's response? "If you take the warhammer... I'LL TAKE THE PILLAR!" And he does so. (Later, since one of the race's gimmicks was that weapons would be hung from that pillar, Cars forces two vampires to fill in for it.)
- During Part 3, Dio Brando attempts to behead Jotaro using a traffic sign.
- One Piece character Urouge wields one of these. Word of God states that it is actually a pencil...and he's looking for a sharpener.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Ku Fei gets one of these as her signature weapon after her Pactio. It's explicitly based on the Ruyi Jingu Bang from Journey to the West, and consequently its most memorable appearance is when she uses it as artillery support.
- A common occurrence in Superhero comics due to the abundance of people with the strength to pull this off. The Thing will often employ this against stronger opponents, especially the the Hulk, to keep his distance while still doing some damage.
- Jason X Special features Jason killing a couple by ripping a tree out of the ground and crushing them with it. Later, he kills another pair of teenagers by beating them with a picnic table.
- In With Strings Attached, Paul batters his way up the steps to the Heart of Evil while swinging a six-foot length of fallen rock pillar. Does a nice job of clearing off the undead in the way... until he reaches the intangible wraiths.
- The Matrix Reloaded. During the Burly Brawl with the hundred Smiths, Neo tears a signpost out of the ground and uses it as a staff.
- In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Optimus smacks Megatron around with a couple of trees during the forest battle.
- Manfred the mammoth in Ice Age uses a tree trunk against the saber-tooths in the climax of the first film.
- In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie, giant-sized Ivan Ooze rips out a phone pole to duel the Ninja Megazord with.
- Planchett in the 1973 adaption of The Three Musketeers helps D'Artagnan out in a duel by hitting Rochefort with a tree.
- Done in several Discworld books, usually by Detritus or the Librarian, both of whom are strong enough to improvise clubs from all sorts of improbably large objects (enemy mooks are a favourite).
- In The Magician's Nephew, when Jadis visits London she rips the sticky-out pole thing provided for the lamplighter to lean his ladder against off a lamp-post and uses it as a club.
- GURPS Supers (4th edition) has rules for using such polearms, based on their length and how hard it is to hold them in hand.
- Prometheans in Promethean: The Created can learn a transmutation specializing in making the body stronger, allowing them to pick up objects as though their strength rating was twice what it actually is. A second transmutation lets them use such objects as melee or thrown weapons. (Two further transmutations increase this effect to triple strength — for those times when they really need to hit people with a minivan.)
- In Saints Row 2 the Boss can use various items of scenery as improvised weapons, including street signs.
- Taurens in Warcraft III use their totems (essentially enormous, decorated logs) like this.
- The Mountain Giant night elf units can uproot a tree and use it as a club, giving them siege damage and increased range until the tree eventually breaks.
- The Taunka in World of Warcraft use these totems as well. The Mountain Giants can also use trees as giant clubs. Jojo Ironbrow, after his mighty brow fails to break a jade pillar, starts wielding said pillar as a weapon.
- Crude Buster had this as standard. Larger poles were picked up and thrown while smaller ones were used as clubs. You could also throw cars.
- Hualin (one of the shopkeepers from Soul Calibur III and a bonus character) uses an enchanted staff that can shift length and thickness to fight, and often shifts it to telephone pole dimensions for stronger attacks. It's based on the staff from Journey to the West, which could change length and width. See also, Goku's Power Pole.
- 'El Gigante' in Resident Evil 4 can wield a tree at you. Roughly the same thing happens with the Ndesu in Resident Evil 5, only he uses an actual telephone pole this time.
- Joachim in Shadow Hearts: Covenant uses mailboxes and pillars as his weapons. He loves his Improvised Weapons.
- Some characters in Freedom Force could rip poles right out of the ground and swing them. You could bring down a building by throwing enough trash cans at it or pounding it with light poles.
- This is possible in the Hulk video games.
- The Minotaur enemies in Castlevania: Bloodlines will grab sections of a marble column to swing at you. They'll even break it over your character if the swing connects.
- Also possible in Transformers games.
- In Time Crisis 2 the second stage boss is a huge Scary Black Man who fights you by bear-hugging a nuclear missile by the business end and beating you over the head with it in the second stage of the fight.
- The Gargantuar from Plants vs. Zombies can use a telephone pole as one of its weapons to instantly smash one of your plants. The others weapons it uses are street signs and another zombie.
- In Fallout 3, the Super Mutant Behemoth enemies carry an improvised club consisting of a fire hydrant at the end of a water pipe. It's also larger than any other in-game fire hydrant by a factor of two, making it about as big as the player without the pipe...
- It's larger than in-game hydrants because the Behemoth was meant to be rather less big. It got changed late in the game by punching up the stats and increasing the size of the model, resulting in the huge hydrant, not to mention the shopping trolley it uses as a backpack being a lot larger than what you'd expect.
- Fallout: New Vegas also has the super mutant favorite Rebar Club, a trio of steel rebar beams, still attached to a large chunk of concrete. The player can also utilize it to full effect, through it takes a nearly maxed out strength score to make the most of it.
- Nexus War allows characters with the Cloak of Steel skill (or its upgraded variations) to do this with telephone poles, streetlamps, and uprooted trees. While it's possible to splatter a maximum-level character in three or four hits this way, such weapons are usually much less accurate than normal-size melee weapons.
- Karok in Vindictus wields a battle pillar. It isn't improvised, but it's certainly big enough.
- The larger characters in Power Stone are able to make use of street lights and telephone poles as weapons.
- Pokémon Black and White: Timburr fights by using a piece of wood that's enormous when compared to it, and it even juggles it on a regular basis. Its evolutions are also examples, but to a lesser extent, though only because they're bigger in comparison: Gurdurr and Conkeldurr, who swing around girders and concrete support beams, respectively.
- Flint gets to use Lighter's four-by-four in MOTHER 3. That same weapon is later used to knock Flint out. Ouch.
- Some large creatures in Disciples use ripped out tree trunks as weapons.
- Trolls in The Battle for Middle-Earth can rip out trees to use them as clubs.
- So has the RuneScape troll Dad, who fights with a tree trunk. Justified, as he's much larger than most other trolls - the average mountain troll is more human-sized and uses weapons like large hammers of bones.
- In Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires, Meng Huo wields a large stone pillar.
- One of the weapons in Dark Souls is a club fashioned out of a World Tree branch. Think of that what you will.
- From the same maker, Armored Core V features, as one of its so-called "Ultimate Weapon", a rocket-powered concrete pillar. As if that's not badass enough, one of the Story mode bosses fashions one out of rubble after being beaten. Befitting its name, getting hit once, and only once, is enough to destroy damn well anything slow enough to get hit.
- Many weapons available for the City of Heroes Titan Weapon powerset qualify, such as the "Concrete Mallet".
- Wan Fu's weapon of choice in Samurai Shodown 2 is a stone pillar about as tall as he is.
- One enemy in the arcade version of Ninja Gaiden wields a spiked log.
- Doable in the first Darksiders, breaking off the non-straight parts of the pole. Though as it turns out mortal steel can't hold up to the strain the protagonist puts on his weapons and his foes are really too tough to make improvised weapons practical, this isn't good for more than a bit of minor Sequence Breaking before you have a ranged weapon.
- In The Matrix: Path of Neo you play through The Matrix Reloaded example above.
- In Shadow the Hedgehog many stages let you break pieces of scenery (such as traffic signs) and use them as melee weapons.
- In Hyrule Warriors, one of Link's special attacks while using the Gauntlets is to pull a huge pillar note out of the ground, swing it around, then throw it onto the enemies.
- In the 3DS remake, King Daphnes's fighting style of choice is to bludgeon enemies with the mast and sail of his own boat form.
- In Undercover Cops, you can use steel beams and concrete columns as weapons.
- The Unclean Giant from Darkest Dungeon wields a small tree for a club. Its main attack, Treebranch Smackdown, is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and is easily one of the most damaging attacks from a non-boss. Woe betide thee if it crits, because even a fully healed tank-ish character like the Leper or the Crusader can be sent to Death's Door. Mortality clarified in a single strike, indeed.
- In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, Marneus Calgar (The Ultramarines' chapter master) once picked up a Necron Pylon (read: a crescent-shaped structure about 10 times his size usually used as an artillery piece) and used it to devastate hordes of Necrons that were swarming him.
- In Death Battle, Superman uses a street lamp on Goku. Needless to say, Goku is barely scratched and Superman is still nowhere near using his full strength at that point.
- Used against Tennyo in the Whateley Universe story "Boston Brawl" when the Arch-Fiend rips up a streetlight and lets her have it. On the other hand, smashing Tennyo into the pavement doesn't stop her.
- Justice League
- During the Thanagarian invasion, Wonder Woman rips out a street lamp and clubs down several foes after she has to blow cover to save civilians.
- In the Unlimited episode "Hawk and Dove", Hawk rips a tree out of the ground and uses it to smack the Annihilator around.
- A Looney Tunes short, 'Scaredy Cat', ends with Sylvester ripping a branch off a tree, ready to charge into battle ... before throwing it away, uprooting the tree, and charging.
- In "Baseball Bugs", a baseball player makes a bat out of a whole tree trunk.
- In Beast Wars, Rhinox uses a tree he knocked over earlier to swat Waspinator.
- Megamind uses a light pole as an impromptu sword during a fight with Titan (who is also using a light standard or telephone pole as a weapon).
- Caber tossing comes pretty close.
- Ever seen a real medieval pike? They're about twelve feet long and several inches thick.
- Rods from God, a conceptual weapon that consists of satellites orbiting earth, which can drop telephone pole sized tungsten rods like giant darts on any targets below. At falling speeds of up to Mach 10, an impact would have as much energy as more than 100 tonnes of TNT.