Utility Belt

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/batmanbelt_6139.jpg
It's like a Wal-Mart you clip around your waist!

Robin: Where'd you get a live fish, Batman?
Batman: The true crimefighter always carries everything he needs in his utility belt, Robin.
Batman

Gadgets are a requisite for any Badass Normal Superhero, especially if he's Crazy-Prepared. But where does he keep all of his wonderful toys? Why, in his Utility Belt, of course!

Stuff that might be found in a Utility Belt:

Note that this is usually not the same as a Bag of Holding. A Bag of Holding is generally used to just pile in as much as you can when looting (ie removing stuff from the enemy base/dungeon) while a utility belt holds carefully chosen key items in specific, easy to access places to take them with you for use at the enemy base/dungeon.

Contrast with Too Many Belts, where the belts are fashion accessories which Do Nothing.

Not to be confused with Rob Liefeld's pouches, which are NEVER USED.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • Batman, natch. In every incarnation. There is even a Wikipedia article about it. In the Planetary crossover, in which it turns out that every universe has a version of Batman except the usual Planetary universe, the Batman who resembles the TV show from the Sixties pulls, from a normal-sized belt pouch, an aerosol can the size of a can of spray paint containing "Bat-Female-Villain-Repellent-Spray". It actually works, too.
    • The original Kathy Kane had a utility purse.
    • Nightwing shakes things up a bit by keeping his stuff in wristband/gauntlets and boot tops from time to time, since his costume does not always include a belt.
    • Red Hood kept most of his gadgets in simple jacket pockets for a while.
    • Tim Drake used compressed canisters in his first Robin costume and on bandoliers as Red Robin to streamline the look.
    • In one Silver Age comic book story ("The Joker's Utility Belt!", featured in Batman #73), The Joker devised his own utility belt to counter Batman's. It failed when Batman (stripped of his own utility belt) swiped items from the Joker's belt to use against him.
    • Batzarro wears his upside down with all of the pouches open giving you the sense that everything has fallen out.
    • Stephanie Brown tried to bring a bit of realism to the utility belt when she assumed the Batgirl identity in her series. She wore the traditional waist-belt, but also wore numerous other belts to give her enough pockets and pouches to actually carry all this equipment. She skirted the edges a bit, like all the Bats, but never outright broke the well-established real world physics of pockets.
      • And that mysterious utility belt that she wore on her thigh since her debut? It was empty. She wore it because she liked the way it made her look.
  • Spider-Man wears a utility belt to hold extra web cartridges, spider-tracers, his camera, and his "Spider-signal" flashlight buckle. He wears it under his shirt but since it leaves only a small bulge, and he is usually moving around so much, most people don't even realize he has one. Ben Reilly wears his on the outside with his Scarlet Spider costume.
  • Top Cow Productions comic book series Freshmen. The character Norrin has no abilities except for a fairly useless utility belt.
  • In Quantum and Woody, Quantum has a fully-laden utility belt.
  • Watchmen: As the above quote shows, Nite Owl had one.
  • Judge Dredd has the titular future lawman and his co-workers wearing these. Contents include spare ammo, handcuffs and other general police-work equipment, as well as more comic-booky gadgetry such as gas grenades and cling lines.
  • Captain America is sometimes depicted as wearing one post-2000, Depending on the Artist. It's usually shown carrying explosives, or other more specialized weapons for when Cap's shield isn't the best option.

    Film 
  • In Star Wars A New Hope, Luke swipes a utility belt from a Stormtrooper, and later uses a grapple and line to swing himself and Leia to safety.
    • In some of the later EU books, Luke still carries a grappling hook and rope around, despite being the most powerful Jedi out there.
    • Visual guides detail how Jedi carry specialized equipment and tools in their belts, including small food capsules, holo-proyectors, breathing apparatus, comlinks, and of course their lightsabers.
    • Later on, R2D2 turns into a walking, mostly not talking, self-aware utility belt.
  • In Toy Story 2, Buzz tries to take one from a newer Buzz Lightyear toy, whose box says "New Utility Belt!"
  • The combat robot Johnny Five from Short Circuit has a waist-mounted rotating multitool containing, among other things, wire cutters, lockpick, and a soldering iron. In the second movie, he replaces his shoulder-mounted laser with a utility pack with a magnetic grappling hook, hang-glider, camera, and metal cutter.
  • Spoofed in Battle Beyond the Stars, where Space Trucker 'Cowboy' has a belt that dispenses a belt — specifically Scotch, soda, and ice.
  • In Super Mario Bros., Mario and Luigi wear tool belts as plumbers. Special mention goes to Mario, who is very attached to his belt and treats it like his best friend.
  • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Quicksilver wears a second belt with two walkmans and pouches with batteries and extra cassette tapes. Useful to listen to music during bullet time.

    Literature 
  • Captain Underpants has a "waistband utility belt."
  • Doc Savage has a utility vest. May very well be the Trope Codifier, if not the Ur-Example.
  • Septimus Heap: Both Septimus Heap and Marcia Overstrand have such belts, that include things such as lenses.
  • Discworld:
    • Rincewind's Luggage follows him around, devours his enemies, and opens (if it likes you) with whatever item is needed found on top (smelling faintly of lavender in the case of clothes).
    • The trainee Assassin in Pyramids, who, for his final proficiency test, loads himself with so much equipment for every conceivable outcome that he takes a step forwards and falls over. He discards most of it and takes just a few carefully selected items he can access easily.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Batgirl, Batman & Robin from the Sixties tv show, the show that inspired research into real life "Bat-Shark-Repellent-Spray", will always win with the "dehydrated Bat costume", a pill taken from the utility belt that, when soaked, produce a new costume complete with a new utility belt.
  • Paladin has one in Have Gun Will Travel. Not the superhero style, but his belt carries bullets, and he keeps a derringer behind the belt buckle.
  • The Kamen Rider franchise famously uses belts that act as Transformation Trinkets. Some of them also have compartments to hold other gear.
  • Super Sentai and Power Rangers don't use transformation belts all that much - that's Kamen Rider's shtick - but in recent years the buckle has been used to store whatever the collectible little doodad of the year is (discs in Shinkenger/Samurai, cards in Goseiger/Megaforce, keys in Gokaiger, batteries in Kyoryuger...). Dekaranger/SPD also kept handcuffs in the buckle and cop badges in a compartment in back.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Heward's Handy Haversack, in Dungeons & Dragons, would normally be just a Bag of Holding. However, whatever you want at the moment is exactly on top, and it consists of multiple pouches as well as the main bag. This means it tends to get used as a Utility belt instead of a looting sack, and pre-loaded with all those things that might be useful, but are just too bulky or heavy to carry around, such as an iron bar, portable ram, etc.

    Toys 
  • Whenever there's a Batman film or animated series, you can be sure that there will be a utility belt to go along with it. Ideal began the trend with the first such belt (now a major collector's item), and companies such as Toy Biz and Mattel have continued the tradition.

    Video Games 
  • In Resident Evil 2, you can take a police utility belt from the RCPD locker which gives 2 extra inventory slots.
  • In the Dark Forces Saga series, Kyle Katarn.
  • Link starts wearing one across his chest in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
  • 7.62 High Caliber lets you purchase various utility belts for holding small items, especially ammunition (either magazines or boxes of loose ammo). Some of them also have a holster for fitting a handgun, and the simplest belt available is nothing but a holster and a single magazine pouch; all of them can also accept one or two separate pouches that differ in the size of the Grid Inventory slots added.
  • Persona 5: One of your party members, the Phantom Thief Morgana, has a leather belt with two large pouches on the hips that he uses to store various thievery tools, like smoke bombs and lockpicks.

    Web Original 
  • Justice Squad: The Batman Expy, Nightflyer, wears one.
  • New York Magician has Wibert's bandolier. Interestingly enough, it only has a few, precisely defined, very useful items in it. Strangely, Michel can apparently get away with openly wearing a bandolier in a major city in the 21st centur-oh, right, it's New York.
  • In Vaguely Recalling JoJo, Oingo uses a Kamen Rider-like belt buckle for his transformations.
  • Ayla/Phase of the Whateley Universe was the first character to buy one. The creator, "Mobius", had made a belt that had pockets that worked like Bags Of Holding. Phase paid Mobius several times the asking price, pointed out how much the uber-Utility Belt was really worth and offered to help market the device for a small percentage of the huge amounts of profit he would be making for Mobius.
    • Several other characters have various alternatives. They tend to be Bags Of Holding.
    • For instance, Hank/Lancer has a 0-range Telekinesis power that usually just makes him a Flying Brick, but he carries two sword shapes made of paper, that can roll up to fit in a normal pocket. When he applies his telekinetic forcefield to them, they work like regular swords but much sharper and much tougher.
  • In Worm, Skitter's costume includes an armor panel with an open space inside it for storing her smaller pieces of equipment.

    Western Animation 
  • In Dynomutt Dog Wonder, his master the Blue Falcon had a variety of tools in his utility belt.
  • Mookie from Atomic Puppet wears a utility belt. He usually uses its rockets to fly, but it contains a variety of other gadgets (although it doesn't always work as he wants to).
  • In the VeggieTales spinoff The Animated Adventures of Larry-Boy, the title character had a utility belt.
  • In The Simpsons episode "The Homer They Fall", Bart obtains a "Tactical Pants Retaining System" which contains a compass, matches, whistle, saw, panic button, squirrel snare, radon/lie detector, sphygmomanometer and cute turn signals. To Bart's detriment, the "Panic" button only consists of a recording which simply repeats the word help and shoots off a rocket with "Call Police".
  • In Team Umizoomi Geo has a shape belt that only carries you know what, but with his powers, he can still make whatever a utility belt carries with the shapes he has.

    Real Life 
  • Swiss Army Knives / Gerbers / Leathermans fit this trope.
  • Somewhat disappearing due to the integration of multiple devices into cell phones, but geeks of yore used to carry a wide variety of electronics and tools on their belts, and in geek parlance, they were often referred to as "Bat-Belts."
  • Many people in Real Life find a need for having a variety of tools or equipment readily accessible, though usually going by a variety of names. What handyman would be complete without his handy tool belt? Cops wouldn't have enough pockets to keep their badge, holster, handcuffs, etc. if they didn't have a belt to hang it all off of.
    • American soldiers call the heavy nylon belts they wear in the field "Web Belts", and many accessories (including canteens, flashlights, and a wide variety of pouches) are specially designed to attach to it. The belt can be attached to a shoulder harness to help support the weight, or it can be replaced with a utility vest. Nowadays, most soldiers just carry their gear in pouches attached to their Bulletproof Vest.
  • Photographer's vests.
  • Trenchcoats were originally developed with this principle in mind. The deep pockets allowed soldiers to carry extra ammo and maps and other objects, and the detachable belt allowed them to strap grenades and things to it.

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