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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/TheAvengers2012 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/5690734_2478880173_xufny.jpg]]]]

In some modern-day settings, the normal human members of either side will use guns, and often with [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy less than stellar accuracy]], regardless of allegiance. Combined with the idea that guns are easy point-and-click weapons, how do you set apart your ranged combat hero with no cool-looking superpowers? Why, give them a bow and arrow, of course! Not only will it prove that they're a much better shot than everyone else, but are cool under pressure as well. Crossbows can fit this trope as well, though they're not ''quite'' as cool.

Usually, the coolness factor will be ramped up by giving them all sorts of [[TrickArrow neat arrows that'll come in handy for any situation]] they might encounter. And of course, their arrows will [[GunsAreWorthless always be more effective than bullets]]. [[BottomlessMagazines Unlimited supply of arrows]] often included, despite the fact that arrows are pretty large ammunition and not many can be carried in an ordinary quiver compared to bullets.

This trope also lets you replace the [[TriggerHappy negative]] [[CrazySurvivalist violent]] [[GunNut connotations]] that guns bring with them and replace them with the [[ArchaicWeaponForAnAdvancedAge positive]] [[KnightErrant violent]] connotations of the bow and arrow. It's also more believable ([[AnnoyingArrows if not necessarily more true]]) to invoke ThouShallNotKill with a bow and arrow than with a gun.

Before the widespread adoption of revolvers and repeating rifles, bows and crossbows really did have some advantages over guns. A skilled archer with a powerful bow could shoot deadly arrows at an impressive rate, while the crossbow sacrificed shooting speed in exchange for a weapon that could be learned more easily, allowed an archer to span a bow he wouldn't be strong enough to draw manually (with the help of a spanning device), and could hold a bolt at full draw without fatiguing the user. The challenges of military archery were raising (or hiring from elsewhere) enough people who had trained since childhood to draw and shoot powerful bows accurately, stockpiling enough arrows for a campaign ('cause arrows weren't cheap!), and importing the materials needed to manufacture bows and arrows if they couldn't be gotten locally.

The appeal of early handgonnes was that they were incredibly powerful and just about anyone could be taught to use one. The arquebus was good enough to replace the crossbow in warfare by the 16th century, since it did the same thing but better. However, the bow could still shoot faster than these single-shot muzzle-loaders, and the English didn't give up on keeping archers as well as arquebusiers until it was clear there weren't enough skilled archers left in the country. Warriors in Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe would often use the bow and musket together for their different advantages. Even in the early 19th century, white settlers on the American Great Plains were at a disadvantage against [[HorseArcher mounted, bow-using]] Indians such as the Commanches who could out-pace their single-shot pistols and rifles. Samuel Colt's revolver turned the tide in favor of guns by being the first to really practically challenge the bow's shooting rate, and the subsequent spread of breech-loading and repeating rifles rendered the bow unable to compete.

Of course, that applies to mass deployment, where the disadvantages of guns aren't a constantly glaring flaw. Take noise as an example: HollywoodSilencer, put simply, doesn't exist ''any'' gun will make a distinct, very audible noise when fired. The only question is how much and whether or not you can pinpoint where the shot came from. Bows and crossbows have no muzzle flash to reveal the shooter's position. They aren't actually silent, and in fact crossbows make a pretty loud "thwack!" when shot, but at least they aren't as deafeningly loud as guns. In a situation where that matters, such as stealthy military operations or just plain ol' hunting, the "archaic" arrow/bolt-throwers are much more preferable.

Close relative of the ArcherArchetype, sometimes overlapping it, though one can exist without the other. This trope regards situations where someone manages to make a bow and arrows a better choice than other, more modern weapons like guns. Often, a hero (or villain) who follows the Straight and Arrow Path can be pretty dangerous with his fists as well; it's all that muscle to pull the draw string.

Subtrope of ArchaicWeaponForAnAdvancedAge. Also related to GunsAreWorthless. Name not to be confused with NoArcInArchery.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Signum of ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha''. In a world where others use blasters, guns, rifles, and {{Wave Motion Gun}}s, she, as an [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld old knight]], prefers to use a bow and arrow that packs enough explosive whallop to destroy a HumongousMecha's DeflectorShields when going long-range. Although, it is merely a (rarely used) form of her CoolSword.
* Played with in ''Manga/OnePiece''. In a world where every pirate seems to carry a pistol and the Marines use muskets, the marksman of the Straw Hat Crew is a [[ImprobableAimingSkills deadeye]] with a slingshot. Which, the particular weapon apart, keeps him within the trope: with the modifications (magic seashells to increase the speed and power of his projectiles and a variety of [[GreenThumb weaponized plants]] as AbnormalAmmo), his slingshot is better than most firearms, and he has the training.
* Angewomon of ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' can shoot arrows of light from a bow attached to one of her gloves and first appears in the human world. ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' has [[OurCentaursAreDifferent Pajiramon]], a VillainOfTheWeek who wields a crossbow in a setting where guns can't hurt Digimon. ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'' has Zamielmon, a bow-wielding SizeShifter elf who [[HuntingTheMostDangerousGame hunts other Digimon for his own amusement]] while Revolmon, a living gun, is on the heroes' side and doesn't get to fight very often.
* Guts of ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' is an interesting case, in that he has both a gun and a crossbow. While gunpowder weapons are limited to bombards (that we can see), his artificial arm carries a small cannon inside it, and has an AutomaticCrossbow that can be attached on it.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
Where to begin? As mentioned above, this is a common trope in comics, though that's really putting it lightly. There's an entire sub-class of heroes known as archers.
* DC's ComicBook/GreenArrow and his former sidekicks and associated characters. The second Green Arrow (the first's son Connor Hawke) was a variant in which the archer is also good in close combat. Connor is one of the six best martial artists in the DC Universe. The first Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy (first Roy Harper, who has since operated as Red Arrow and Arsenal, and then his [[LegacyCharacter replacement]] Mia Dearden) also qualify, as do his enemies Shado and Merlyn as well as ''ComicBook/YoungJustice'''s Arrowette, whose mother Miss Arrowette was Ollie Queen's StalkerWithACrush.
* The ComicBook/{{Huntress}}, whether the Post-Crisis Helena Bertinelli or the Pre-Crisis (and ComicBook/New52) Helena Wayne. The former is a Gotham vigilante and a prominent member of ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey, and the latter is Batman and Catwoman's daughter and a member of the ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica.
* Marvel has ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}}, who trained under fellow trope-qualifier Trickshot and performed in the circus before turning to crime and then heroics. He later took up the identity of Ronin, a close-combat fighter.
** In a subversion of this trope, the Ultimate version of Hawkeye ditched the bow and arrows for guns, and manages to be just as accurate with them.
** Kate Bishop also currently uses the name Hawkeye. Notably she first took the alias when Clint Barton was dead, but later he gave her permission to use the codename as well.
%%* Yondu of the ComicBook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy
* Celestial Archer of the Great Ten, who was probably intended to fill the traditional superteam role established by Green Arrow and Hawkeye.
* [[ComicBook/TheIncredibleHercules Hercules]] is known to be a master archer, but because the bow serves as a reminder of Nessus' treachery and Deianira's suicide, he rarely uses one.
* A villainous example: the Spider, formerly of Quality Comics, who replaced Green Arrow in the post-Crisis version of the original Seven Soldiers of Victory and only fought crime to eliminate competition. His sons, the second Spider and Spyder, are another villain and an anti-hero, respectively.
* [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] hero the Arrow was the first superhero to use archery as his primary gimmick. First appearing in 1938, he was actually one of the first superheroes. Now in the public domain he currently appears in the ''ComicBook/ProjectSuperpowers'' series from Dynamite Entertainment.
* Another early example is Fawcett's Golden Archer. The name being the same as the GA CaptainErsatz from ''Squadron Supreme'' is likely a coincidence.
* Even Creator/RobLiefeld had to get in on the act--his series ''ComicBook/{{Youngblood}}'' had [[MeaningfulName Shaft]], who used a high-tech gravity-catapult longbow because he thought it [[RuleOfCool looked cooler]] than a gun. In later series, he's not above using guns depending on the situation, but still strongly prefers the bow because he considers it to be irrevocably his "thing".
* ''Franchise/GIJoe'':
** Storm Shadow is shown to have carried a bow into Vietnam, which he uses because it happens to be quieter than even a silenced gun. He's considered the best archer in the world in the Marvel ''[[ComicBook/GIJoeARealAmericanHeroMarvel G.I. Joe]]'' comic. The second-best is Zartan, who uses technological aids to achieve high accuracy.
** Scarlett, the intelligence officer of the Joes, uses a crossbow as her main weapon. She gets by thru not being a primary combatant amongst the team.
* Sonya Savage in the later series of ''ComicBook/DangerGirl''. She manages to make a bow seem like a sensible choice in a setting where most of your foes are toting automatic weapons (or worse).

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The professor in ''Film/DiaryOfTheDead'' was killing zombies at 50 feet and farther with bow and arrow.
* ''Film/BladeTrinity'' has Abby Whistler using a bow and arrow as her weapon of choice against vampires.
* ''Franchise/{{Rambo}}'', definitely. Including high-explosive arrowheads.
* Likewise, Arnie's powder-headed arrows from ''Film/{{Predator}}''.
* Melina Havelock, from Film/JamesBond ''Film/ForYourEyesOnly'' uses a crossbow as a way of demonstrating just how badass she is.
* Inara, in the final fight sequence of ''Film/{{Serenity}}'' was to have used a bow and arrow, but it didn't look right in the final cut, so was digitally replaced with a sort of bolt gun. Which explains the apparently weird firing mechanism of that gun. They only did the replacement on the close-ups, though, so she's still got the bow in long shots.
* In ''Film/ThePunisher2004'', the Punisher uses a bow and arrow at one point. Surprisingly justified for an action movie as he makes two silent kills against body armor, since the armor is not arrow proof, and ditches the bow once the building's alarms trip.
* ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse:
** In ''Film/{{Thor}}'', a S.H.I.E.L.D. sniper passes over a [[WallOfWeapons Wall oOf Guns]] in favor of a bow, revealing himself to be ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}} pulling a cameo.
** Justified in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''. Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, uses a bow because his variety of [[TrickArrow arrow heads]] come with secondary functions that a bullet could never have, such as explosive, second stage projectile, and grappling. Barton is also an impeccable shot with his bow, as shown by him casually hitting a moving target [[OffhandBackhand while looking the other way]]. He does use a sidearm in the beginning of the film however, and eventually runs out of arrows during the assault on New York.
* Brenda from the 1984 vigilante film ''Film/SavageStreets'' uses a crossbow and some bear traps to deadly effect against three of the members of the vicious street gang responsible for raping her sister and murdering her best friend.
* Rudy of ''Film/TheMonsterSquad'' similarly uses a crossbow loaded with wooden stakes against the female vampires during the final battle.
* ''Film/AssassinsCreed2016'': Abstergo Rehabilitation Center guards use crossbows against the Assassins during the prison break. Callum uses a bow meanwhile. The in-universe reason is that Callum's training comes from his 15th century ancestor and the bow was much easier to get his hands on than another long-range weapon but doesn't he look heroic with Connor's bow?

* Mack of Louis Lamour's ''Last of the Breed'' very capably uses his bow to defeat any number of armed Russian soldiers. He was a perfectly capable gun user when he got his hands on one. His use of the bow was a combination of its increased stealth, the fact that it could be made on the fly (Mack being on the run from a Russian gulag and crossing Siberia), and that it brought him closer to his [[UsefulNotes/NativeAmericans Native American]] heritage.
* Yeoman from the ''Literature/WildCards'' universe is the setting's premier BadassNormal, capable of taking on super-powered opponents wielding nothing more than a bow. Or less- he's a master martial artist and has killed with just a bowstring.
* ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'':
** The children of Apollo and Artemis's hunters will both use bows and arrows with far more efficiency than guns.
** Frank Zhang, to characterize him as a more cerebral child of Mars rather than a brutish child of Ares, is not only talented at archery but also strong enough to use TrickArrows.
* Wahrwoorde from ''Literature/{{Malevil}}''. An EvilPoacher, he preferred to use a bow to commit his crimes in secret and he was a champion archer to boot.
* In ''Literature/TheMouseThatRoared'', the Grand Fenwick expeditionary force invades New York City with just a handful of longbowmen.
-->'''Count of Mountjoy:''' Our national weapon, the longbow, has been out of date for so long that it has become, in many ways, a super weapon. It can kill at a range of five hundred yards. It is completely accurate in skilled hands. It is silent. It requires a low expenditure for ammunition, and lends itself excellently to mass fire.
* In ''Literature/{{Neuromancer}}'' 3Jane's vat-grown ninja bodyguard uses a bow and arrow, with enough accuracy to [[BlastingItOutOfTheirHands shoot a gun out of someone's hand]] and only slice the gunman's thumb a little, and even then the cut thumb was an accident caused by the coriolis forces of CentrifugalGravity. [[spoiler: Then he's blinded and is still able to shoot them thanks to a Zen archery trick.]]
* In ''Literature/TheGirlFromTheMiraclesDistrict'', Robin uses a crossbow despite guns being readily available, likely because it's quieter [[spoiler:and as an immortal creature, he likely has more proficiency with it than he would with a gun]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Buffy has used a crossbow on occasion, though [[JustifiedTrope justified]] in that her vampires are ImmuneToBullets, as well as the fact that wooden crossbow bolts qualify as a "stake through the heart".
** Faith used a modern compound bow in season 3 of the series, contrasting her with the relatively medieval weaponry that the rest of the Scooby Gang used.
* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'': Justified in that Bo and Luke are on probation and can't have guns.
* The second Yellow Four of ''Series/ChoudenshiBioman''. Oh sure, she could use the standard issue blaster that everyone has, but perforating MechaMooks with arrows looks cooler.
* In ''Series/TheWalkingDead'', resident redneck Daryl is usually seen preferring his crossbow to firearms. This makes sense as ammunition for guns is becoming scarce and the crossbow has less chance of alerting other walkers. That and crossbow bolts can be easily retrieved after being fired.
* Oliver Queen, The Hood, in ''Series/{{Arrow}}''. He justifies it later, explaining that the bow represents self-control, over the chaotic nature of a gun, though the ''real'' reason he uses a bow is that's the weapon he learned to use while trapped on an island for five years. Because of his signature color and MO, this is combined to make people believe he's a modern-day Robin Hood.
* And before ''Arrow'', ''Series/{{Smallville}}'s'' Ollie didn't shy away from his trademark bow. As his live-action debut and as it was going for a more fancy, Batman-esque take on him, instead of his usual longbows, Green Arrow makes use of Compound Bows (which have the advantage of being easier to fire with) and handheld crossbows, which includes such features as grappling gun mechanisms for him to get about. He tends to use the bow for surprise attacks, stronger threats, or for non-attacking purposes, and use the crossbow when shooting at people, due to the fact he can use non-lethal boltheads with this one that the bow won't allow.
* In ''Series/{{Haven}}'', Dwight Hendrickson wields a crossbow, which weirds the others out. This is out of necessity because his Trouble makes it so [[BlessedWithSuck bullets are attracted to him]], so he can't use a gun.
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "[[Recap/SupernaturalS09E02DevilMayCare Devil May Care]]", Kevin uses a crossbow to defend himself.
* The Power Bow is the signature weapon of the Pink Ranger in ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'', although Kimberly uses it far more often than Kat does. (And in far more memorable occasions; the time she uses it [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome to slay the Terror Toad]] is one that stands out. Kim with that bow is a rare instance of a non-red, non-sixth Ranger who can take out the MonsterOfTheWeek solo - it wasn't just that once.)
** ''Turbo'' will see Kat upgrade to the Turbo Wind Fire, which fires dual energy arrows.
* Oddly enough, Kelly proves a natural at archery trick-shooting in a late-season episode of ''Series/MarriedWithChildren''.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' gives us [[HighClassCallGirl Inara Serra]], who, in keeping with her graceful pedigree, prefers using a bow and arrow over the combustible firearms that the rest of the crew uses, although she's not bad with guns or unarmed combat when she needs to be.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/HcSvntDracones'' a compound bow deals more damage than handguns, is perfectly silent, doesn't require an action to reload, and arrows maintain a stable flight path further than bullets and can be [[PoisonedWeapons poisoned]]. Though it requires a minimum of two dots in the Ranged Combat proficiency to use and arrows cost half a credit apiece while 3 clips of ammo cost 5 credits. [[note]]Though that's more cost-effective than a handgun or SMG-sized clip which is depleted after two uses, not bullets mind, but uses.[[/note]]
* Bows in ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' have experienced something of a renaissance, both because many of the native american [[DividedStatesOfAmerica successor states of the US]] have elevated them to the status of a cultural icon and because with trolls, strength-boosting adept magic and cyberware added into the mix, it is possible to use bows that deal damage comparable to modern sniper rifles while also remaining silent and impervious to hacking. Poisoned, explosive and {{Trick Arrow}}s are also popular on the streets.
* Although most people who use bows find themselves seriously outclassed in ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' Martian Chanari tribesmen who use the Bone Bow are generally far more dangerous, due to the sheer power of the weapon in the hands of a strong archer.
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'', one variation of [[BifurcatedWeapon Combi-weapon]] is a [[{{BFG}} Bolter]] with a crossbow attachment. It sounds ridiculous, but the crossbow shoots [[HolyHandGrenade consecrated stakes]] built to [[YourHeadAsplode violently disrupt]] a psychic's power, making the crossbow part a good, if situational, specialist weapon.

[[folder:Video Games]]
%%* ''Every {{VideoGame/Turok}} game ever''.
* Following the Archer character type, ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' has the powersets Archery and Trick Arrows, both used by Manticore. It's at least on par with the Assault Rifle powerset. The TrickArrow powerset stacks its powers into the most powerful debuffing set in the game, making it highly desired against Giant Monsters and Arch Villains.
* When placed in a FirstPersonShooter, the bow or crossbow can be counted on to be as powerful as a sniper rifle, such as the scoped crossbow in the ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' series, which uses tranquilizer darts meant for large animals (in the first game) or red-hot lengths of iron rebar (in ''2'' and on) for bolts. Both are extremely deadly against mostly anything Gordon Freeman comes to face.
* In the ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheLastHope'', Reimi uses a bow. Unusually for the trope, the game takes steps to justify[=/=]HandWave it: she took classes in both eastern and western archery as a curiosity [[spoiler: and to distract herself from her DarkAndTroubledPast]], and was initially on the ship as a BridgeBunny, not for her weapon skills. It's only after it's discovered that the alien wildlife is immune to the standard-issue railguns[[note]]They sense the electromagnetic energy of the firing sequence and brace, older weapons have no such systems[[/note]] that she starts backing Edge up in the field.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''
** Instead of his SniperRifle, the Sniper can use the Huntsman, a bow and arrow. The bow has slightly lower maximum damage, but [[ChargedAttack charges to maximum damage]] much faster than the rifle. It fires in an arc and there's a definite delay between the arrow leaving the bow and landing on the target, so using it successfully is seen as a matter of luck rather than skill. The "arrows from nowhere" bit is averted, as he can only carry about half as many arrows as sniper rifle rounds.
** The Medic can equip the Crusader's Crossbow (with [[HealingShiv healing bolts]]). There's only one shot per clip but its reload is quick and its accuracy.
* Connor of ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'' uses one, though he mainly uses it for hunting. He can use [[HandCannon flintlock pistols]], but they end up damaging his quarry's pelt, reducing the value.
* In ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', Marle uses a crossbow[[note]]mistranslated as a "bow"[[/note]] in combat. It makes sense, as real Japanese princesses were often trained in archery for both self-defense and character-building reasons. She's not afraid of [[PistolWhipping using it as a blunt weapon]] against any enemy that's too close to shoot at.
* In ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'', Ryu's main ranged weapons are either shurikens or a bow and yet he can still kill mooks armed with machine guns as well as helicopters, though it's better trying to use your speed to close the distance and attack them in close quarters than it is to try and shoot them with your bow.
* The advertising campaign for ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}} 3'', a game set in 2047, puts quite a lot of emphasis on the new bow weapon and its arsenal of {{Trick Arrow}}s. Justified, in this case, as it's the one weapon that Prophet can use while cloaked.
* ''VideoGame/IAmAlive'' and ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs'' use bows as stealthy weapons with retrievable arrows (in the latter game, the arrows might [[BreakableWeapons break]]). They help emphasise the [[ScavengerWorld scavenger world]] where every bullet and weapon counts.
* In the 2013 reboot of ''[[VideoGame/TombRaider2013 Tomb Raider]]'', Lara Croft's most iconic weapon in the game is her hunting bow, which begins as a makeshift longbow and ends as a professional sports bow. She has access to a nice assortment of guns as well, but for most of the game the bow is preferable due to its relatively high damage output and the fact that it's completely silent (stealth greatly helps in keeping Lara alive), whereas her other weapons make quite some noise.
** Turned UpToEleven in [[VideoGame/RiseOfTheTombRaider the sequel]], where centuries-old ancient bows beat out modern compound bows. Although the modern bows do huge amounts of damage per shot, this is functionally useless since one headshot with ''any'' weapon is a OneHitKill on human enemies (unless they are wearing a helmet, then the first headshot will knock the helmet off and a second one will kill them). The ancient bows can be drawn and fired far more quickly, making them preferable. While some guns in this game now have silencers making them suitable for stealth, bows still win out since arrows can be crafted on the fly, but bullets must be found in ammo boxes or looted from enemies.
* ''Videogame/{{Warframe}}''
** The Tenno are avid users of bows, albeit ones often [[EnhancedArchaicWeapon equipped with fancy tech]] to make the arrows deadlier or fly faster than normally possible. Their usage is justified in that the Tenno fought against enemies that could corrupt most high-tech weaponry, which bows and low-tech percussion rifles were immune or highly resistant to. Bows are completely silent, deal monstrous amounts of damage, can use a variety of {{Trick Arrow}}s, and often come with innate [[OneHitPolykill punch-through power]].
** Played even straighter by The Stalker, a special enemy who hunts down players if they kill a lot of bosses. While the Tenno can use any weapon they choose, the Stalker is always armed with a bow and kunai as his ranged weapon.
* Despite looking like AutomaticCrossbows, Bowguns in ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' behave just like regular guns, muzzle flash included. You still have the option of using regular Bows though, and they're just as effective as every other weapon.
* ''Franchise/ResidentEvil''
** Claire can find and make good use of a crossbow (Bowgun) in both ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' and ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilCodeVeronica''.
*** In ''2'' it behaves kind of like Leon's shotgun, firing three bolts in a lateral spread and loading six shots total, and is silent enough to confuse a Licker (it'll home in on any gunfire it hears).
*** In ''Code: Veronica'' it behaves differently, [[BottomlessMagazines fitting all the ammo in it at once]] and [[AutomaticCrossbows behaving like a semi-automatic handgun]] [[AnnoyingArrows with weak damage per shot]], though it fires them so fast, plus the need for only one inventory slot, make it a worthy weapon to have. You can combine arrows with gunpowder as well for considerably more damage.
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' has a few. [[NoArcInArchery In none of them do the arrows arc at any distance]].
*** Regular ranged {{Mooks}} carry two-shot crossbows, loaded with ArrowsOnFire. It sort of makes sense, as the first two parts of the game take place in an isolated village and a centuries-old castle, though in the military-like island base comprising the final third of the game that also features [[GatlingGood rotary autocannons and miniguns]] and [[StaticStunGuns electrical stun rods]], [[SchizoTech it gets kind of strange]]. The "on fire" part seems to be only to [[RuleOfPerception make them and the arrows themselves visible at a distance]].
*** Ada gets access to a bowgun for herself, operated as slowly you'd expect a normal crossbow. The main advantage of it is that [[TrickArrow the bolts are explosive]], with about the same power as a hand grenade.
*** In Mercenaries mode, you can play as Krauser. His only ranged weapon is a compound bow as powerful as a SniperRifle.
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5''
*** The crossbows with [[ArrowsOnFire flaming arrows]] make a comeback in the opening parts of the game in a dilapidated shanty town.
*** The wetlands tribesmen in the second part of the game use regular bows fitted with explosive arrowheads.
*** Sheva can herself get into the archery business with the unlockable Longbow bonus weapon, that behaves just like Krauser's bow except the arrows arc at range and there's no aiming reticle of any kind, so drawing a bead is quite difficult. In Mercenaries mode, if she's in the Tribal costume, she plays a lot like Krauser.
* The hunter Simon in ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}'' DoesntLikeGuns, so he had a special bow crafted for him by the workshop which also doubles as a sword. While said weapon's description suggests he was scoffed at by most for trying to fight horrific (and sometimes gigantic) beasts with a bow, the mere fact you can meet him at all suggests he made it work at least as well as the guns he hated.
* ''VideoGame/{{Contagion}}'' has both a scoped crossbow and a compound bow. Reusable ammo, powerful shots[[note]]zombies take more than 15 bullets to the body to die in higher difficulties; three arrows to the body kill them[[/note]] and almost totally silent operation are ''very'' useful in a ZombieApocalypse, and indeed [[DifficultButAwesome they are excellent weapons once you get past the initial difficulty of aiming compared to guns]]. A skilled user is ''deadly'' against zombie and human opponent alike, able to clear out vast expanses of the map without attracting any attention, and indeed only really has to switch out in the finales of a map when the hordes come, as the slow operation and low ammo capacity of the archery weapons make them impractical and their inherent stealth is worthless because [[TheAllSeeingAI the walkers know exactly where you are at any given moment]].
* ''VideoGame/SevenDaysToDie'' has three archery weapons: the wooden bow, the crossbow, and the compound bow. All three operate in total silence, not alerting nearby zombies and being hard to hear by players, and do decent-to-devastating damage per shot depending on what ammo you load them with. The wooden bow is the first ranged weapon you're likely to get for yourself (the tutorial missions tell you how to craft it) and it's piss-easy to craft, but isn't particularly powerful even with high-tier ammunition; the crossbow uses a different ammo type (bolts instead of arrows) and requires a schematic to be made, but it's easier to handle, has way more stopping power and can be loaded with explosive ammunition; and finally, the compound bow, the late-game option, is divided in parts like all firearms, needs the schematic to be put together ''and'' can only accept steel or flaming arrows, but it's the most potent of the three and the easiest to aim, as it has an actual sight.
* Hanzo Shimada in ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' brings a bow to an arena full of modern weapons and futuristic {{Ray Gun}}s. He rounds out the repertoire with {{Trick Arrow}}s, [[ImprobableAimingSkills ricocheting shots]], and occasionally using dragon magic to chase the arrow with a KamehameHadoken.
* Bows and arrows are regularly seen alongside guns and grenades in ''[[VideoGame/NexusWar Nexus Clash]]'' owing to the UrbanFantasy of the setting and the fact that some of the [[AnotherDimension Planes of Existence]] visited in the series aren't part of the modern world. The [[AscendedDemon Redeemed]] in particular has supernaturally good skill with a bow that allow them to match all but the most capable users of firearms.
* ''VideoGame/{{Metro 2033}}'' and ''VideoGame/MetroLastLight'' feature the [[Film/VanHelsing Helsing]], a pneumatically-driven revolver arrowgun. It is quiet to HollywoodSilencer levels, powerful in the proper pressure level (one-shots an armored human on a bodyshot) and absurdly so when overpressurized (on harder difficulties it can kill a [[BossInMooksClothing Black Librarian]] in little more than a full reload if it's overpressurized at the start), and the arrows can be retrieved for later use. The downsides are that its pressure gauge is hard to read at a glance, it's very slow to fire, and unlike most of the trope's examples, it's pretty inaccurate at longer ranges, so much so that a scope is next-to-useless on it.
* ''{{VideoGame/Decision}}'':
** A bow is one of the last unlockable weapons (by which point the player is likely carrying around a rocket launcher, sniper rifle, and minigun). While it has its uses, the most entertaining one is using it to fire shock collars that turn the affected unit to your side.
** Mutant brutes carry bows, and are in some ways more dangerous than the captains, who carry rocket launchers. Rockets leave a visible that alerts you to the mutant's presence and lets you dodge, arrows don't.
* ''VideoGame/FarCry4:'' The Recurve Bow is one of the most powerful weapons in the early game, with better range, damage and accuracy than most sniper rifles. It can kill most human enemies with one shot anywhere on the body, no headshots required. The only thing that stops it being completely ridiculous is that you can not attach a telescopic sight, and have to make do with a red dot sight.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''WebComic/MagickChicks'': {{Justified}} in the case of Callista Archer, who's the captain of Artemis Academy's Archery Club. As such, she has the distinction of being [[http://www.magickchicks.com/strips-mc/deadeye the best shot at the school]] and she [[http://www.magickchicks.com/strips-mc/confusing_my_hormones has the trophies to prove it]].
* There is an archer among the Regulars of the second test in ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod''. He manages to kill a few enemies, but in turn is taken out by Levin and his sniper rifle. So this trope gets subverted pretty quickly.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Riley from ''AudioPlay/WereAlive'' was trained as a pro archer and prefers to use a bow since it's quiet and doesn't alert the [[ZombieApocalypse zombies]].
* ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' has two superheroes who are known for their crossbows:
** Shadow Stalker, who has [[DualWielding one in each hand]].
** Flechette, who has a single, extra-large one.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'':
** Despite living in the 22nd Century in a city that's the heart of the robotic revolution, the Angry Archer still uses a bow and trick arrows (albeit with some sort of robotic gauntlet on one hand). While he's hardly the most competent of supervillains, he does manage to put them to good use.
** Rodimus Prime as well, though he uses an EnergyBow.
* As with their comic counterparts, Green Arrow and Speedy/Red Arrow in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'', ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' (though only for Speedy), and ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice''. ''Young Justice'' also has, as a main character, Artemis Crock, who in the comics usually uses a crossbow, but is an Olympic level archer. In the series the longbow is her primary weapon, as Green Arrow's second sidekick.
* As does Hawkeye in ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersUnitedTheyStand'', ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'', and ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble'', as well as in ''WesternAnimation/IronManArmoredAdventures'' and ''WesternAnimation/{{Ultimate Spider-Man}}''. And Francis Barton, his son, in ''WesternAnimation/NextAvengersHeroesOfTomorrow''.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* "[[http://www.wwiihistorymagazine.com/2005/july/col-profiles.html Fighting Jack]]" Churchill fought with [[BowAndSwordInAccord a bow and a claymore]] in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. He's thus the only person to have made a confirmed kill with a bow in said war.
* Modern crossbows are gaining some currency among police and special forces for a number of reasons.
** Because of the way many fabric-based ballistic vests work, sharp-edged projectiles like crossbow bolts or arrows can pierce them.
** They're not nearly as loud as most service weapons, and can make for a more-or-less silent kill if need be.
** They have more nonlethal [[TrickArrow ammo options]].
** They can be fired at a target with a bomb strapped to them with much less risk of detonation, a real concern with suicide bombers today.[[note]]Although the validity of this claim is suspect as there is little difference between a bullet and an arrowhead in terms of velocity when striking a bomb. In 2015, [[UsefulNotes/{{Cameroon}} Cameroonian]] security forces [[https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nigeria-violence-cameroon/forces-armed-with-guns-and-arrows-kill-girl-bombers-in-cameroon-sources-idUSKBN0TX1FI20151214 killed a female suicide bomber with an arrow but her explosive still detonated.]][[/note]]
** When assaulting places with flammable or explosive materials like oil terminals, chemical factories, ammo dumps, etc., there's no muzzle flash to ignite fumes or vapors, and the risk of a [[BulletSparks projectile spark]] that can do the same is zero instead of very small.
** The high weight and low velocity of the arrows make them less likely to ricochet than bullets, and also manages to play BulletproofHumanShield straight all the time, unlike bullets (especially rifle bullets) which always have a chance of shooting through the intended target: not a good thing when there are innocent civilians present in the area.
* Modern archery is a ''very'' popular pastime in UsefulNotes/SouthKorea, whose team has won 34 medals (19 of them gold) in the event at the Olympics since 1972.