Telescoping Staff

This Weapon of Choice is an expandable Staff (stick fighting weapon), able to change its length and/or girth (paging Dr. Freud!); possibly extending into Telephone Polearm proportions. The ability of the staff to become smaller is more often used for portability's sake, though it can still have practical purposes.

There is often not a clear mechanism for this, so some can be magical, controllable by the user's mind, or manipulated by some other technology.

Some may likely be an Expy or reference to Son Wukong's Expanding Bo-Staff from Journey to the West, especially in Eastern works.

Subtrope to Retractable Weapon, Morph Weapon and Simple Staff. Note that the default state is still a staff or polearm, not a baton or other size-changing weapon.


Anime and Manga
  • In Saiyuki, Son Goku uses an extendable staff known as the Nyoi-Bo, which can also morph into a three-section staff. As should be expected of his name, he's one of the various media interpretations of Sun Wukong (Son Goku) from Journey to the West.
  • Dragon Ball: Goku's Nyoi-bo (dub-translated as Power Pole) is his principal weapon for most of Dragon Ball but largely disappears in Dragon Ball Z. The Dragon Ball saga at this point was loosely based on Journey to the West, hence Son Goku's adventures.
  • Tuxedo Mask has a cane that can do this. Sometimes it also has a sword in it too.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!: Ku Fei's pactio artifact, Shintetsu Jizaikon, is a replica of the one used in Journey to the West. It even supposedly shares the same name. Notably, its width can increase in proportion to its length, meaning that it can be used as a artillery because being stuck by the end of it when it's expanding is comparable to being hit by a train.
  • Love Hina: When Naru played Son Goku in the play of Journey to the West, she made the staff extend in an Omake, however when Keitaro played the part and uses the staff it does not do this for him.
  • Naruto: The Third Hokage's monkey summon Enma can transform into one of these made out of Adamantine.
  • Read or Die: A clone of Tripataka uses Son Wukong's staff.

Comic Books
  • Robin uses one across media, especially in the Teen Titans animated series and the Batman: Arkham City video game. In the comics proper, it was given to him by Lady Shiva.
  • Gambit from X-Men uses one, often made out of Adamantium, which he can channel his explosive power through as it will survive the blasts.
  • A telescoping staff was one of the original weapons of Captain Britain.


  • Journey to the West has the Lancer Son Wukong, who possesses an expandable staff made out of Adamantine.
    • Another less-known example from Journey to the West: Even if it is not brought up as often, Sha Wujing's weapon in the novel is a special club made of mahogany wood and gold. According to him, it can stretch and enlarge at will just like Sun Wukong's "As You Will" Cudgel, but since he doesn't fight as much as him, this fact is often overlooked.
  • Ged's staff in A Wizard of Earthsea: He picks a blade of grass, he speaks to it to expand it into a full-sized wooden staff, and to suit this trope, it is able to skrink/grow it again.
  • A technological, rather than magical, telescoping staff appears as a weapon in Grand Central Arena. It's explicitly mentioned that the designer was inspired by Sun Wukong's staff.
  • The neo-Zulu in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age wear telescoping spears.
  • In the third book of ''Rune Breaker}, Pele gets a Steam Punk version of this. In the final book, she jams it into a monster's mouth an activates it.

Live-Action TV

Tabletop RPG
  • Early editions of Dungeons & Dragons had the Rod of Lordly Might. One of its functions turned it into a spear up to 15 feet long.
    • The magic quarterstaff in Unearthed Arcana (1985). Normally 6 feet long, could be expanded up to 12 feet long.
    • Although not a weapon, the third edition had a collapseable pole in a sourcebook that could be extended to a ten-foot pole.

Video Games
  • Nanase from Street Fighter EX uses a bō staff of this nature. Her Meteor Combo involves her using the weapon to launch out of orbit, then utilizing her gain in speed and momentum to pummel her foe during atmospheric re-entry.
  • Hualin, a bonus character in Soulcalibur III, fights using the Create-A-Soul staff discipline. Some of her moves (namely her unblockables) involve it growing to mammoth proportions, using changes to throw the opponent from a range.
  • Dynasty Warriors 6: the staff weapon will expand as you up your renbu meter.
    • Warriors Orochi 2 actually puts Son Goku in the cast with this staff.
    • Also, Hideyoshi's staff can extend as well as bend to pummel his enemies. He IS nicknamed Monkey after all...
  • Jade in Mortal Kombat has this as a part of her arsenal.
    • In 'Mortal Kombat X' Kitana uses Jade's staff as one of her variant fighting styles.
  • In Castlevania: Curse of Darkness you can build the Nyoi-Bo staff using Orichalcum, five bamboo spears and five bamboo swords. It's quite weak, but has the greatest reach and is perfect againsy multiple, weak opponents.
  • In Megaman Zero, Zero has access to the Triple rod, basically a spear that can be extended up to three times or can be used to bounce over enemies.
  • Raijin, a recurring enemy from Final Fantasy VIII, wields one of those.
  • Wukong and his weapon from League of Legends - appropriate, being a largely inspired by Son Wukong.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • Cheetara in both ThunderCats (1985) series uses one.
  • Prince Pyrus from Shadow Raiders uses one in combat situations.
  • In the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon, Diana has one of these as her magic item. Another ability it has is an easy way to repair it if it breaks - she can do so simply by holding the pieces together, as she did in one episode.
  • The Serpent of Detentionaire uses one with dual blades.
  • Robin on Teen Titans has a telescoping bo staff in his tool belt.

Real Life
  • A common prop for many a Stage Magician is a the appearing cane, which expands to a full-size walking stick from the size of a roll of change.