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Two Shots From Behind The Bar
When he said "last call for shots", he wasn't kidding.

So the hero wanders into a seedy bar. Maybe he brushes against a less-than-reputable goon. Maybe the goon is just looking to pick a fight. Maybe the hero can't afford to pay the tab. Whatever the case, this scenario can only end in bloodshed.

The bartender quickly dives behind the bar. A cowardly move... but then he emerges, shotgun in tow and ready to quell any disturbances to his business.

This action is not necessarily limited to bartenders, although it is a common occurrence. Similarly, while the shotgun is a common firearm used, other firearms such as rifles or pistols may be used. The key point is that the firearm is retrieved specifically from the bar.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In Black Lagoon, Bao, the owner of the Yellow Flag, keeps a shotgun behind the bar handy for inevitable shootouts. It doesn't hurt that the bar itself is fully armored to withstand gunfire.

Film
  • In most Western films where there's a gunfight in a saloon, the bartender will produce a gun from behind the bar and join in. The trope probably originated in that genre.
  • The Winchester in Shaun of the Dead has the gun hidden in plain sight, but Shaun and the others initially think it's just a prop.
  • The shotgun-wielding bartender is among the victims of the bar Blast Out in Inglourious Basterds.
  • After the T-800 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day beats up several bikers in a bar, the bartender confronts him outside with a shotgun to prevent him from stealing one of their motorbikes. The terminator proves his Bad to the Bone credentials by snatching the loaded shotgun off him, as well as a pair of Cool Shades.
  • In Dirty Harry it was a liquor store and this was how the villain, an ex-con, was able to get a gun to battle with Dirty Harry.
  • The opening shootout from Desperado ends with the bartender pulling a shotgun to try to take out the Mariachi as he was walking away. As for how it turned out...
    Buscemi: ...No, man. The bartender got it worse than anybody.
  • The opening shootout from The Killer featured a bartender with a shotgun. Needless to say, it didn't end well for him.
  • X-Men:
    • In X-Men, when Logan threatened a customer with his claws, the bartender quickly aimed a shotgun point blank at his head. Logan promptly sliced the shotgun in half, demonstrating why you should never bring a gun to a clawfight.
    • This trope came up again in X-Men: First Class, when Erik hunts down former Nazis. As he controls metal, it failed even worse than the above example.
  • Averted in The Last Detail: The bartender threatens this, but Jack Nicholson's character points out he knows there's only a baseball bat back there, because he once saw the bartender use it.
  • A variant happens in The Dark Knight Rises when Selina Kyle is attacked by henchmen in a bar. One of the henchmen is stationed behind the counter, and tries to draw a weapon when the attack begins, only for Selina to shoot him before he can fire it.
  • Featured in the vampire western Near Dark; unfortunately for the bartender, the vampires are Immune to Bullets.

Live-Action TV
  • Happens several times in Supernatural.
  • In an episode of The Mentalist, Rigsby's father (an ex-con) is "helping" on a case, and goes into a Bad-Guy Bar. Moments later several people run out. Rigsby enters and finds his father with a shiv pointed at some guy's throat and the bartender with a shotgun pointed at Rigsby Sr.
  • When a barfight erupted in Ten Forward, Guinan pulled a phaser rifle from behind the bar and fired a shot into the ceiling.
    Guinan: That was setting one. Anyone want to see setting two?

Literature
  • The Dresden Files: Artemis Bock, the bookstore owner, keeps a sawn-off 10-gauge wired underneath the counter. MacAnally the bartender has one as well as two M1911s, but they're only placed easily accessible when there's trouble brewing.
  • Middlesex:
    When a group of men came (into Lefty's bar), boasting of having beaten a Negro to death, my grandfather refused to serve them."Why don't you go back to your own country?" one of them shouted. "This is my country," Lefty said, and to prove it, he did a very American thing: he reached under the counter and produced a pistol.
  • The StarCraft novelization Liberty's Crusade had the protagonist kill a Zergling with a shotgun he found behind the bar in a ghost town.
  • The Brentford Trilogy: Neville, full-time part-time barman at The Flying Swan, keeps a knobkerrie for convincing punters of dubious manageability to leave. This being set in England, guns are far more rare than in the United States.

Video Games
  • The bartender in Deus Ex has a sawed-off shotgun behind the counter. However, she also carries her own.
  • After Bond crashes the Kiss Kiss Club in Everything or Nothing, he automatically takes cover behind the bar and acquires a shotgun.
  • Video Game/Fallout 3 has a sawed-off shotgun and its shells stored at the Statesman Hotel's restaurant, under the counter. The reference to the trope is ambiguous, as there's also an ammunition box and frag grenades behind the counter as well.
  • During Mafia's mid-mission stages, Luigi the bartender packs a sawed-off shotgun behind the bar and will not hesitate to gun Tommy down if he attacks any of his allies.
  • Bartenders in Mafia II will pull a shotgun on Vito if he tries to rob them.
  • After Jenny in Gun is taken hostage at the Alhambra Saloon, the bartender unlocks a cabinet behind the bar and pulls out what appears to be a rifle. However, after the cutscene ends he actually uses a pistol instead.
  • In the "Massacre at Cheung Chau Fish Restaurant" and "The Lee Hong assassination" levels of Hitman, if 47 pulls a weapon on the bartender, he will duck behind the bar and unload a sawed-off shotgun on him.
  • In Bioshock Infinite, after the player blunders into his bar, the bartender screams "WE'RE CLOSED!" and proceeds to shoot the crap out of you.
  • In Max Payne, there is a shotgun tucked behind the (unmanned) reception desk in one of Vinnie's apartments, near the laundromat.
  • In Dirge of Cerberus, Vincent can retrieve the Hydra rifle in Edge from behind a bar inside a deserted building.
  • The player can do this in Poke646: Vendetta. In Nation City, there is a empty bar the player has to pass through. Picking up the shotgun makes Aliens telepot in, as convenient target practise.

Western Animation
  • Bartender Moe Szyslak keeps a sawed-off shotgun handy in case of cheapskate customers or when he loses his temper, which happens all the time. Or when he just wants to rob people.


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