Weapon of Choice
aka: Weapons Of Choice


"Don't be shocked by the tone of my voice
Check out my new weapon – my Weapon of Choice."
Bootsy Collins' vocal from Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice"

This is similar to Personality Powers, but with weapons. Basically, in various works of fiction, characters tend to possess weapons that are either a direct reflection of their personality or the traits commonly deemed to their character type.

This is why you don't see ogres with rapiers or ninjas with clubs. The martial arts allow this trope to survive as Pastimes Prove Personality.
  • Anchors: A favored weapon for sailors and pirates. These come in two flavors: either swung from a chain, or used as a heavy bludgeoning weapon with a cool shape.
  • Animals and Monsters: Used by The Beastmaster and the Nature Hero, this includes both real and fictional animals as well as other beings with similar intelligence that can't really be classified as animals (like a Blob Monster or an Elemental). Dogs, cats, birds, snakes and monkeys seem to be the most common animals used as weapons. The user's personality might also be reflected on their animal of choice. Good guys tend to train their animals through traditional, non-violent methods whereas bad guys usually use some sort of Mind-Control Device, spell or just plain ol' abuse. Scary animals and monsters are generally used by villains, who may also sport whips. In some cases, brutes and madmen would club the others with animals.
  • Axes: Proud Warrior Race Guys tend to get axes. This probably is due to the fact that Tolkien's dwarves, one of the most prominent examples of the proud warrior race, favored axes. A favorite of the Ax-Crazy alongside with knives. Also a favourite of the big guy who doesn't have a club or hammer (see below), in which case it will be a simple, enormous, two-handed, double-bitted affair. The Berserker (who could be seen as the intersection between the preceding tropes) often favors an axe. Also favored by woodsmen due to having to chop wood constantly, and living in log cabins. Or policemen.
  • Baseball Bats/Lead Pipes — The preferred weapons of street fighters and urban brawlers from bad neighborhoods, especially in the US. (Cricket bats may also be used, but this is more likely to be played for laughs or be ineffectual, unless of course the setting is the UK or Australia). Is often something of a throwback to the image of a big angry guy with a club coming towards you. Also tends to be the weapon of choice when someone is caught in a surprise emergency (such as an armed burglary or a Zombie Apocalypse) and has to grab the closest thing to them they can use as a weapon. Thus it can suggest either brutal, simple, unsophisticated violence or the desperation of someone clutching one in a time of crises.
  • Blowguns: Usually a weapon of choice of tribesmen, though ninjas have also been known to use them.
  • Boomerangs: This iconic Australian weapon seems to be favored by primitive characters, probably because of its aboriginal origins and the fact that Australia is often seen as an overall wild place. Characters that use boomerangs also tend to be tricky, taking advantage of the boomerang's trademark ability to return after being thrown in order to hit someone from behind. Some particularly skilled boomerang users can even pull off some impossibly complex trajectories. For this reason, boomerangs also have a slight association with Mind over Matter - a telekinetic user justifies the ability to perform impossible trick shots.
  • Bows: Characters with composed personalities are archers. This again has roots in Tolkien, where the elves typically were depicted as being able to stay composed even in extreme duress. If the archer is a Nature Hero, they're more likely to be a Forest Ranger. The Chick is just as likely to get a bow since archery has been a popular feminine sport since the Middle Ages. This lets girls fight without getting too close to the action. The Sniper Rifle and other firearms can be modern day equivalents although Bows can still be seen.
    • Crossbows: A favored weapon of The Hunter, particularly vampire and demon hunters. As opposed to their more classical counterparts, crossbows are not as strongly associated with elves and composed personalities and they exude a kind of professional air that ordinary bows don't; this might have something to do with the way they're used, being the closest you'll get to guns in most medieval settings, and how they're much easier to conceal due to the smaller size. In addition, unlike bows, they tend to free up a hand, for some sort of melee weapon. Regardless, anyone who totes one of these babies around is most likely going to be some variety of badass.
  • Chainsaws: Chainsaws are a very intimidating weapon usually only wielded by those who are truly Ax-Crazy. But certain heroes have also made use of them, particularly those who fight zombies, demons and other nasties - if you're fighting something frightful, sometimes you need a weapon that roars and bites back.
  • Clubs/Hammers: Big and brash characters, like a giant Smash Mook or The Big Guy, just need the bluntest weapon they can muster: A giant club, mallet, or mace. Dwarves tend to like hammers, too; probably because they like forging so much. Size for size, hammers are heavier, slower, and harder hitting than axes. Smaller, more manageable versions are sometimes favored by paladins and priests; Dungeons and Dragons popularized this to the point where virtually all fantasy clergy are depicted with blunt weapons. Very large, possibly comically oversized warhammers are also favored by a number of Cute Bruiser types in roleplaying video games. If a hammer is a mundane utility hammer, then the wielder is almost always Ax-Crazy.
  • Curved Weapons: Hooks, sickles and other such things tend to belong to psychos for hire and similar characters. The same is true for weapons that are notably serrated.
  • Drills: Similar to the above, though with some different connotations. A drill's ability to bore through obstacles may reflect its wielder's determination, or may be something altogether more Freudian. Also makes an effective terror weapon for the same reasons, or due to invoking memories of the dentist's chair. There are two types of them. Triangular drill is often used by strong brutes while utility drills are used by Ax-Crazy people. A staple of the Super Robot Genre, in which it is often the domain of Hot-Blooded or Boisterous Bruiser heroes. The mechs may sometimes have a drill as an appendage, or convert an appendage between a drill and a hand.
  • Elemental Weapons: Combines this with Elemental Powers. A Flaming Sword, for example, will normally be wielded by a Hot-Blooded, heroic character.
  • Fists: Any person, sometimes the hero, who carries no weapon when everybody around him is carrying one is either cocky enough to believe that he doesn't need a weapon, or highly-skilled enough to know that he doesn't need a weapon. The two are generally completely opposite in characterization, with the cocky version generally being a braggart and a bit of an ass, and the other being contemplative and spiritual to the point of being a Martial Pacifist or a Warrior Therapist. Or they're just a Technical Pacifist, this might even include superheroes with a no-kill policy. Bonus points if they have Super Strength. Be warned, however, that the latter level of expertise may also contain the Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy, who really is as good as he brags about. However, some others...
    • Gauntlets and Such ...compromise with practicality. Though some have little choice in the matter.
    • Claws: Those refer to gloves equiped with sharp, metal claws. This one appears to be a favorite of Fragile Speedsters of all kinds as well as more pragmatic martial artists.
    • Greaves: These are fighters from a martial tradition (almost exclusively Asian) who are nonetheless using "greaves," the metal shin guards worn by European knights. Such fighters use their feet as their primary attack options: what would be the point of wearing metal boots if you intended to punch someone? Technically, gauntlets and greaves are armor, not weapons... But since when has that stopped anyone?
    • Natural Weapons: Some characters have something better than fists. Claws, tails, talons, and so forth. These weapons imply a character is feral and savage, almost more animal than man... after all, if they weren't, they'd pick up a weapon and kill each other like civilized people.
  • Flails and other chain weapons: Halfway between a whip and a bludgeon, a big spiked ball on a chain can make for an intimidating weapon. As such, they tend to be wielded by equally intimidating brutes and other scary characters. Many more varieties of chain weapons exist in the east; nunchaku, kusari-gama, multi-sectional staves and the like. These are wielded by showy martial artists demonstrating their prowess, evil martial artists hoping to confuse the nice guy with a scary foreign weapon, or by Highly Visible Ninja who should know better.
    • Yo-yos: The quirkier and often more accurate/precise cousin to the Flail, created by adding a spin to the weapon, bonus points if the yoyo deploys a saw blade or other cutting device mid-trajectory. Yo-yos frequently have the benefit in fiction of always returning to the user, regardless of the trajectory it took. Yo-yos are often wielded as a more unique alternative to the traditional Flail, or as an Improvised Weapon in the hands of a child (i.e. Ness from Earthbound).
  • Fundamentally Absurd Weapons: Often a game will have a weapon that makes the aforementioned anchors look simple and logical. These objects almost always appeal to the Rule of Cool, and are ridiculously overpowered. Napalm Chainsaw-Nunchuck-Missile-shooting Double Gunswords, anyone?
  • Gadgets: Often the domain of the Gadgeteer Genius, The Smart Guy, and the Science Hero. Characters who rely on gizmos and technology tend to be smart and are usually young, rarely exceeding middle aged. Bonus points if these gadgets are Homemade Inventions. May manifest as a Shoe Phone if in the hands of spies.
  • Guns: In a setting where guns are rare, they will be mostly the province of The Smart Guy. In settings where they are more common, they take the place of swords, with the largest going to the hero and the most distinctive going to the badass. In any case, the protagonists are invariably impossibly good shots, while the Mooks suck. When guns aren't so rare, the type of gun often is a shorthand for the type of user, leading to Good Guns, Bad Guns in the West. The big list of Guns and Gunplay Tropes details more ways how the heat a character packs tells the audience who they are.
  • Knives: Ninjas and assassins go for the lightest and smallest tools. Even most Ax-Crazy characters prefer using knives — though their knives will usually be broader and longer, such as chef knives, machetes, or kukris. A knife wielder is usually swift, fierce and pragmatic, going for a quick kill instead of a lengthy battle. Many knife-users like attaching them to their hands like animal claws. Due to being often light and easy to handle, knives, daggers and such are often the favourite defense weapon for sexy-yet-deadly women like the Femme Fatale.
    • Kukris: Despite being fundamentally similar to machetes in many ways, they're more often seen in the hands of more straightforwardly heroic characters like the Adventurer Archaeologist or modern incarnations of the Forest Ranger. Also Gurkhas, obviously, and characters in the Australian Army, who issue them as standard for jungle warfare.
    • Machetes: The machete and related blades are used by characters who live wild, or have wild, untamed natures, calling back to its use in the wilderness. Usually used by an Anti-Hero, or an Ax-Crazy psycho killer. However, they can be used by anyone in a jungle setting, when used as a tool.
    • Sai: Used by ninja or characters who are ninja-like. Often treated like exotic daggers despite being more of a disarming tool. They do look very cool though, which is why characters that wield them tend to be badass.
    • Throwing Knives: If a character specializes in throwing knives, he's probably either very flashy (a la the circus knife thrower) or extremely subtle, with weapons hidden all over his body.
  • Magic Wands: Not so much a weapon for "beating them over the head" but rather "blow them up with a bigger fireball." More of a favorite with wizards, witches and such than staff, but they often combine them for the best of both worlds. Not necessarily always a wand, this covers any object used for spellcasting.
    • Spell Books: Wizards who carry spell books tend to look intellectual and scholarly. They can range from dorky apprentices who are still getting used to basic spells to older, wise wizards who probably write their own books (usually, the larger and thicker the book is, the better). Also, a common Big Bad tool. Throw the Book at Them is a rare tactic, but can still show up if the Rule of Funny is in play.
  • Pitchforks: The official weapon of the unruly mob, this is normally used by a farmer or small-town folk defending his home. Shotguns and hunting rifles can also fill this niche in a modern setting. You may also see some traditionalist infernals wielding pitchforks to prod the damned with.
  • Polearms: Usually, a polearm - such as a poleaxe, spear, halberd, or any other weapon that's a long stick with something sharp and metal on one end - is the province of hapless Mooks: city guardsman, honor guard, and so on. Anyone who needs something long to cross over a portal to prevent someone from entering will use a polearm. When not in the hands of mooks, they are the weapon of choice for calm collected individuals. Occasionally an RPG will have a powerful weapon that happens to be a halberd (probably the best polearm design ever conceived, as it is an axe, a spear, and a staff all in one weapon) or spear (the most basic and thus most well known polearm), but you're damned if you're gonna find any ancestral bec-de-corbins in any medieval-flavored fantasy novel anywhere.
    • Trident: The weapon of sea gods like Poseidon, Proteus and Nereus and merpeople is now the weapon of anyone associated with the sea or water. Not entirely contrived, as the trident was originally a fishing spear, hence its pairing with a fishing net in the hands of a retiarius (a type of Roman gladiator).
    • Knight's lances are often given to characters with such a theme. Since most people who see lances undoubtedly think of its use in jousting as a knightly sport weapon, the lance might be used to indicate a chivalric personality or aristocratic position. Since the lance was a cavalry weapon, and cavalry tended historically to be something of an elite, trained fighting class in every army, you will rarely see it in the hands of the common man.
    • Naginatas are used primarily by elegant Ladies of War, given their historical use by the wives of samurai.
  • Police Batons: For guards and policemen.
  • Scissors: If a pair of scissors is being used as a weapon, then expect it to be of the big, gardening variety. Anything smaller won't be taken seriously unless the user is a tailor or hairdresser, in which case they will demonstrate the scissors equivalent of Implausible Fencing Powers. Also super-effective against Paper People, but not so much against Rock Monsters.
  • Scythes: Especially for villains and goths despite being very impractical to actually fight with. Associated with death, or those who command it. It should be noted that a scythes can be made into an effective weapon by reattaching the blade so it extends upright from the pole. Alternatively the Chinese had a workable version even before that. These more effective designs are rarely seen in fiction. Oddly enough, rarely if ever used by farmers, who prefer Slings and Pitchforks.
  • Shields: Surprisingly rare for major fictional characters. Usually meant to be used alongside another one-handed weapon (such as the good ol' sword and board), but many characters will use only a shield, usually as a Technical Pacifist or matching their personality as either defensive and fragile, or protective of others. Or simply as an Improbable Weapon. Shields are almost always near-indestructible, magical or made of Unobtainium. Some characters (like Captain America) can actually throw them.
  • Slings: They're usually associated with peasants, children, halflings and primitive tribesman. Rarely an effective weapon in fiction, they are more likely to distract than cause real damage, David and Goliath aside. Historically, however, slings were very powerful weapons, more devestating and long-ranged than the bow, which was not well developed in some areas of the Ancient World. Some mothers in the ancient Balkans would not let their children eat bread until the child could sling their daily peice of bread off of the top of a stick, thus some slingers could not only hurl fist-sized rocks and thumb sized lead bullets at an enemy's face from hundreds of feet away, but could deliberately aim for specific parts of an enemies face and not miss.
  • Slingshots: Seen as a kid's toy (and for good reason, since slingshots are generally weak and difficult to aim, making them impractical for battle), these are generally in the hands of a mischievous child who wants to annoy rather than harm. If used by adults, it's because they're either improvising or something of an oddball.
  • Staves: Wizards and other wise characters that rely on talents other than brute force to deal with conflict still sensibly bring at least a staff for protection. This covers the White Magician Girl and the Black Magician Girl, both of whom typically use them. In the former's case, they'll typically be called Staves, while in the latter's case, they'll be Rods/Wands. It's a less lethal but still effective weapon often used by the Technical Pacifist, who needs to fight but doesn't want to use deadly force. Those trying for historical accuracy may have them appear in the hands of Robin Hood and his merry men, or other persons legally or practically barred from possession of edged weapons for their close-range fighting needs.
    • GunStaffs, for when you need the ability to beat things over the head and shoot people in a single package. Wizard's staves count here but it can also be a technological gizmo that shoots electricity, for defensive characters who DO want to use deadly force.
  • Strange weapons: If a character is just improvising and ordinarily goes unarmed, he's probably the Unlucky Everydude who just got caught in a fight (like most of the characters Jackie Chan plays). If someone regularly goes around with a weapon like this, they're not totally connected to reality — either The Ditz or the Cloudcuckoolander, or they're so badass they can kill people without needing "regular" weapons. Or they have a need to go armed in portions of society that do not take kindly to the presence of actual weapons, and have adapted accordingly.
    • Dead Bodies: As long as they can be lifted, dead bodies can be used as makeshift clubs, or a personal army.
    • Frying Pans: Favored by traditional wives and chefs, this one is a staple of Slapstick. Also a common Joke Weapon in Video Games, and thus gets to be wielded by Cloudcuckoolanders.
    • Rolling Pin: Essentially the same as the frying pan above. The Apron Matron will use this to hit her Henpecked Husband on the head to keep him in line.
    • Food: Completing the holy trifecta of kitchen-based weaponry, we have food itself. Common wielders are usually the same as the ones that use frying pans and the rolling pins mentioned above plus hungry Fat Bastards who may eat their own weapon after bludgeoning you to death with it. A food fight will definitely include this. Food that is commonly used as weapons include baguettes (in which case, expect the user to be a frenchman), pies (clowns), fish, frozen meat and fruit.
    • Bottles: The official weapon of drunk Bar Brawlers. Usually, the bottle will be broken in half so that the wielder may use the upper half of the bottle as a stabbing weapon, but the entire bottle being used as a kind of glass club also works.
    • Chairs: The other official weapon of drunk Bar Brawlers. This one is also commonly used by thugs and Heel wrestlers.
    • Shovels: May be used by farmers, construction workers, knights and the creepy graveyard keeper at the local cemetery. Also useful for psychopathic murderers as shovels can be used for beating people into unconsciousness before burying their bodies somewhere (alive or not).
  • Swords: The heroic lead usually winds up wielding the iconic broadsword in the west. The katana often takes its place in the east. Meanwhile, the big two-handed blades, if they're not in the hands of the hero, usually go to The Big Guy.
    • Rapier: Rapiers and short-swords typically go to swashbucklers and foppish men. Also quite common for women, being commonly perceived as light, easily maneuverable blades.
    • Katanas: If both katanas and broadswords are present, the katana will invariably be in the hands of the badass, because Katanas Are Just Better
    • Scimitars, Sabers and other curved swords: In Arabian or Pirate settings, this kind of sword is considered the "default" weapon and may be used by good and bad guys alike. Outside of those settings however, it's almost always used by scary, intimidating characters or armies, following the logic of curved weapons detailed above.
    • Big Freaking Sword: Typically found in the hands of large intimidating characters, like giants or brutish types. A common subversion is to have them appear in the hands of someone who doesn't look like they could even pick it up as a hint that this person is much stronger than they look.
    • Dual Wielding: Almost always appears in the hands of roguish characters.
    • Sword Cane: Used by the Cultured Badass and any older swordsman who wishes to lull enemies into a false sense of superiority.
  • Thrown Explosives and Incendiaries: Grenades and the like are usually associated with those with poor impulse control (in plain English, people who really like explosions). They may or may not also be Mad Bombers. They may also be associated with controlled and logical people, as a juxtaposition. This weapon most often occurs in more technologically advanced settings like Urban Fantasy or Science Fiction.
  • Whips: Whips tend to be found in the hands of cowboys, swashbuckling characters, certain vampire slayers, archaeologists, female villains with a thing for tight leather and a dominatrix streak, brutal slave drivers, torturers... and prosecutors.
    • Whip Swords: For when regular whips just don't cut it anymore. Mostly used by particularly commanding Action Girls, combining the cool factor of the sword with the dominatrix aspect of the whip.

For non-weapon examples, see Tell Me How You Fight. Contrast Choice of Two Weapons. See also Good Weapon, Evil Weapon. See Weapon Jr. for when someone's shown with a weapon of choice before they've chosen it. For an entire culture's Weapon Of Choice, see National Weapon.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Black Butler, the shinigami have a fondness for peculiar weapons that would fit in better in a garden instead of on the battlefield. There are 5 named shinigami whose weapons have been show; there's William T. Spears who wields Pruning Shears, Grell Sutcliff wields a chainsaw, Ronald Knox has a lawnmower, Eric Slingby has a normal saw, and Alan Humphries who has a Japanese Style Garden Slasher.
  • Blame!'s Anti-Hero Killy has the Gravitational Beam Emitter, which he uses in response to pretty much any kind of problem.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has this with each of the main characters having a specific "device".
    • Nanoha has her magic staff, Raising Heart. (Still called Raging Heart by many. For good reason.) As the power of Nanoha's weapon improves, it increasingly comes to resemble a spear — which coincides with her increasingly sneaky and tactical note  fighting style.
  • The Wolkenritter align to this trope perfectly. Leader Signum wields a longsword, the wizardly Shamal thinks with portals using magic rings (wand-equivalents), and Cute Bruiser Vita has a hammer. That also turns into a rocket. And has a giant hammer/drill mode.
  • Madan Senki Ryukendo shows this trope in both showing the Madan Warriors' personalities through the weapons, and by giving the weapons themselves personalities. Kenji/Ryukendo, the title Idiot Hero, uses a sword. The sword itself, GekiRyuKen is equally heroic, but a Trickster Mentor. Fudou/Ryugunou and his blaster, GouRyuGun, calculate their strategies, making Fudou the intelligent balance to Kenji's Determinator. Koichi/Ryujinou is an interesting case. His ZanRyuJin becomes an axe and a bow. Koichi himself is powerful and dangerous, but does know how to fight controlled. ZanRyuJin itself is a wiseguy, only on good terms with his partner.
  • In Yoroiden Samurai Troopers, (Ronin Warriors in US), this trope partially applies to the heroes. The main hero has dual wield katanas that also connect into a single double-sided sword, The Smart Guy is an archer, and the one whose powers come from water has a trident. The other two of the Five-Man Band are anomalies: the weapon of the quiet, mature Sage is a huge greatsword, while big eating, hot tempered Big Guy Kento uses a sectioned staff.
  • Urusei Yatsura: Shinobu the super-strong lesser yandere is known for her use of heavy school desks as bludgeons and projectile weapons. Even in environments where there are no school desks such as Mendou's yard.
  • Tsukihime's protagonist Tohno Shiki only ever uses his knife, which has the symbols for '7 Nights' carved into it (the actual meaning of the characters is 'Nanaya,' it is an heirloom from his true family of demon-slaying assassins that was passed down to him.).
  • In the Mai-HiME/Mai-Otome universe, this is quite evident on the elements used by the main characters. The stoic loner Natsuki uses pistols or other guns, elegant Shizuru uses a naginata or a similar polearm, somewhat crazy Nao uses claws or wires, the Determinator Haruka uses a mace or a ball and chain if she has an element of her own but the original lead Mai has odd bangles/anklets with magatama beads. This is solved in Mai-Otome where new lead Arika has a double-bladed sword.
  • From Berserk:
    • Guts, as The Hero, wields a greatsword, which he later upgrades to a BFS that is often compared to a "heap of raw iron," which is actually a subversion, since that implies a lack of subtlety and skill, whereas Guts is actually a master swordsman. At one point he refuses an enchanted axe, saying that his BFS is what he's used to.
    • Griffith, who is Wicked Cultured and Bishōnen as you like, wields an elegant rapier.
    • Casca wields a smallish longsword whose size (if not style) bears a resemblance to Griffith's rapier; she has a serious case of hero-worship for Griffith. The weapon's light weight makes it perfect for her She-Fu fighting style.
    • Judeau, the Smart Guy and sneaky one, favors throwing knives and a shortsword.
    • Pippin, the Big Guy, wields a warhammer.
    • Serpico, the bastard son of a nobleman and nearly as Bishōnen as Griffith, wields first a rapier and then an enchanted fan/sword.
    • Isidro, the small, sneaky Tagalong Kid, dual-wields first two knives and then a knife and an enchanted dagger with the power of fire.
    • Schierke, the group's caster, focuses her magic through a Simple Staff.
  • Shu from Now and Then, Here and There favors a simple wooden stick, reflecting his generally peaceable mindset. He doesn't want anyone to die and rejects knives and guns when they're offered to him or forced on him.
  • In Ghost in the Shell, Togusa, the only member of Section 9 who does not have any cybernetic implants and prefers to rely on good old-fashioned police work, carries a Mateba autorevolver (incorrectly transliterated as Matever) which the rest of the unit thinks is somewhat of an anachronism, much like he is in the franchise's setting.
  • The powers and weapons of a Magical Girl in Puella Magi Madoka Magica tend to be extensions of their personalities and aspirations:
    • Madoka uses a bow and arrow. Of the five magical girls in the series she is The Chick, the most reluctant to take up the Magical Girl mantle as well as the smallest physically. She still uses the bow and arrow in earlier timelines before Homura's wish and subsequent timelines made her more timid, though more as a fantasy-equivalent Friendly Sniper.
    • Sayaka uses a cutlass for close-quarters hack-and-slash, befitting of both The Cape and the Swashbuckler archtypes she seeks to emulate as an "Ally of Justice".
    • Mami chiefly uses single-use flintlock muskets, each elegantly adorned and etched in their woodwork. Her ultimate Tiro Finale is essentially a huge gun about five times her size that delivers a world of pain to its target. She really likes to be the cool sempai to those she takes under her care (she is the oldest of the five), and is definitely The Big Girl of the group (if her chest wasn't a giveaway).
    • Kyouko uses a spear twice as tall as she is which can be broken into segments attached by chains. A very practical weapon to use for large masses of enemies, for a very practical outlook held by the wielder when it comes to one's wish. The manga further characterizes her spear with a cross-guard at the head - an intentional detail to her background.
    • Homura's magically granted "weapon" is non combative, a small buckler shield that grants her unlimited storage space and controls her special ability. Therefore, she must rely on non-magical weapons from outside sources, like homemade pipe bombs, pistols and shotguns stolen from the Yakuza, up to heavy machine guns and rocket launchers and actual rocket artillery stolen from the JSDF. It works quite well as a reflection of her very stoic, no-frills, no-nonsense attitude as well as her singular drive to accomplish her goal of defeating Walpurgistnacht and stopping Madoka from contracting and becoming a world-destroying Witch by any means necessary.

  • Subverted in Greg Rucka's Queen and Country. Secret agent Tara Chace is issued a gun for a mission; her contact comments, "Your file says you're a P99 girl," to which she replies, "I'm more of a stay-at-home-and-fancy-a-cuppa girl." As the series handles guns and gunplay very realistically, weapons are rarely issued, and when they are, it's usually a sign that Something Bad will happen.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • Leonardo, the heroic leader, uses swords (a ninja-to style katana)
    • Raphael, the pragmatic Loose Cannon who's just a little bit crazy at times, uses sais.
    • Donatello, the intellectual, uses a (bo) staff.
    • And Michaelangelo, being the cool party guy, uses the coolest ninja weapon of the '80s: nunchaku. A flashback has him practicing with a manriki-gusari and complaining that he'd prefer using his "'chucks".
    • The supporting cast gives another example: Casey Jones, the badass street-fighting vigilante armed with a variety of sports equipment: baseball bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks... he even produced a cricket bat in the first movie, prompting Raphael to mock him.
      Raphael: Cricket? Nobody understands cricket! You gotta know what a crumpet is to understand cricket!
      Casey: I'll teach you! (wham) See? Six runs.
      • The role of the weapons also becomes clear in the 2012 series episode "Pulverizer Returns!" when Splinter orders the turtles to switch weapons. Michelangelo lampshades the trope when Leonardo is making a plan of attack:
      Leonardo: All right. We’ll follow up on his lead and then bust the poor guy out of the Foot.
      Michelangelo: Excuse me! I’m the sword guy. I make the decisions here.
      • Later, whilst preparing for battle, it's discussed again:
      Michelangelo: As the one with the swords, I say RETREAT!
      Leonardo Having the swords doesn’t make you leader.

  • When Captain America throws his mighty shield, all those who chose to oppose the shield must yield! (Although he used an M1911A1 from time to time.) His use of a defensive item as a weapon is appropriate for a character who takes up arms to defend freedom.
  • Damian Wayne, the fifth Robin, has a thing for katanas, befitting his past as an assassin and that he's more of a Blood Knight than other Robins.
  • The Huntress uses a crossbow as her signature weapon, although she has also been known to use knives, staves, boomerangs, guns, brass knuckles, etc. Not incidentally, at least with the Helena Bertinelli version of the character, the crossbow allows for sniping from concealment while also being extremely quiet, making it an ideal choice for an assassin.

    Fan Works 
  • Taken to extreme lengths in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fic, I Am What I Am. Prior to the climactic battle, Xander forges custom magic weapons for every member of the group except Willow (at her request). Each weapon's name, type, and special powers are explicitly designed to complement their personality and fighting style, particularly because the weapons' powers will only function for their intended wielder.
    • Buffy gets a short sword named "Companion" that enhances her secondary Slayer powers (prophetic dreams, sensing vampires, etc.), and provides a mental link to Faith.
    • The free-spirited Faith gets a pair of tomahawks — "Tommy" and "Tammy" — that come back to her when thrown, and provide a mental link to Buffy.
    • Cordelia gets a greatsword named "Subtlety" that grants her minor healing powers, doubles as a lie detector, and is actually very light when in her hands.
    • The straitlaced Kendra gets a katana named "Honor's Grace" that allows her to stop time for a few seconds every time she draws it.
    • Angel gets a short sword, "Solitude", similar to Buffy's that can burst into flame, and will burn him up if he loses his soul.
    • Giles receives a rapier, "Wisdom" that enhances his casting abilities.
    • The Dungeons & Dragons-loving, spellcasting Jonathan gets a staff, "Backbone", that enhances his spells and can heal others.
    • Jenny gets a pair of daggers — "Twilight" and "Dusk" — that enable her to turn invisible.
    • Oz's weapon was originally a bastard sword named "Cool Sword" with frost powers. However, it spontaneously transformed into a pair of Wolverine-esque claws that gave him some measure of control over his werewolf.
  • Thousand Shinji: Asuka -the blood-thirsty proud warrior- wields an chain-axe and Rei -the mentally unstable anti-hero- uses a giant machete. Subverting the trope, Shinji uses a staff, despite of being The Leader and an Anti-Hero.

    Films — Live Action 
  • An amusing example in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure: When Genghis Khan finds himself in a shopping mall, his first stop is the sporting goods store where he swaps his signature club for a baseball bat. (He also dons the armor of the modern brute, a football helmet and shoulder pads.)

  • C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:
    • Peter, leader by virtue of being the first-born and therefore The Hero, is given a sword.
    • Susan, the mature, no-nonsense type, is given a bow and arrows.
    • Lucy, the youngest and not yet old enough to fight, is entrusted with the universal Magic Antidote and given a small dagger — just in case.
    • Edmund wasn't there at the time, so he didn't get a present from Father Christmasnote . A traitor and non-combatant at the time, he doesn't merit one.
      • The films show Edmund as very much a Combat Pragmatist when he steals a Telmarine crossbow and proceeds to kick all kinds of ass.
  • The Dark Tower:
    • Badass Roland uses a pair of finely-wrought six-shooters, passed down from father to son for generations and said to have been made from the melted-down metal of Excalibur. Appears to be the in-universe equivalent of Heroes Prefer Swords.
    • In the back story, Roland's constantly joking best friend Cuthbert prefers a slingshot to a gun. In a possible subversion, the quiet, intelligent, and psychic Alain gets to use a machine gun at one point, and enjoys it very much.
    • Earlier in the backstory, young Roland gains the edge of surprise when he earns his ascent to gunslinger status in a Curb-Stomp Battle against his sensei Cort, by choosing David the hawk as his weapon. He compares himself to David— a mindless killing machine, "God's gunslinger," but the creative choice of weapon also shows that despite Roland's straightforward nature, he has the ability to be a Guile Hero when necessary.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Hero Rand, being The Hero, uses a crystal sword that conveniently jacks up his magic powers to an insane degree — sometimes literally, for which reason he generally prefers more modest swords made from unbreakable steel or summoned fire.
  • Former blacksmith Perrin uses a is torn between his symbolically-potent axe and hammer, eventually abandoning the former so as to use a tool from his more innocent past to kill people in more disfiguring ways.
  • Kull the Conqueror: Proud barbarian warrior Kull uses a battle axe as his main weapon. After he becomes king, his advisors make several attempts to civilize him, including training him in swordsmanship. He never quite takes to it, and goes back to his axe, showing he's truly a barbarian at heart.
  • Kel in Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small Quartet is an exception to this trope: while she is the Hero, she uses a naginata (though she usually calls it a glaive for convenience) instead of the hero's traditional sword.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship's signature weapons are as follows:
    • Gandalf: A wizard, he wields a Staff, natch, but pairs it with a broadsword (Glamdring), establishing him as a more down-to-earth wizard-of-the-people than Saruman in his ivory tower.
    • Aragorn: Broadsword (first the unnamed ranger's sword, and then Andúril post-Rivendell), fittingly for a heroic archetype (although not The Hero; he's the former Trope Namer for Supporting Leader).
    • Legolas: A longbow, fittingly as he's the calm, stoic, "zen" one.
    • Gimli: An axe - the most boisterous, fight-happy one. Something of a template for fantasy dwarves.
    • Frodo: The short sword "Sting" which was passed down to him weapon. Lacking any real training, he avoids fighting if possible - one of Sting's main uses is that it glows blue when orcs are near.
  • Tiecelin, being an Archer Archetype, uses a bow, one of the only unnamed weapons of the protagonists in the series.
  • Bruin, the team's Big Guy, wields an axe named Mauler.
  • Rukenaw fights with a morning star called The Fairlimb, a nickname she shares with her weapon because of her shapely legs.
  • In Star Trek: Klingon Empire, of the various Klingon weapons established in canon, Davok uses the qutluch, the signature dagger of an assassin. He throws it with fantastic accuracy even in close-quarters combat. He claims that he took it off an assassin who tried to use it on him. His leader Wol finds this claim to be dubious, but has no trouble believing that Davok would piss someone off enough to have them put a hit on him.
  • In Mark Hodder's Burton and Swinburne stories, Sir Richard Burton favours a sword cane as befitting a weapon for someone who's a master swordsman and of at least upper middle class status. Burton especially likes using one sword cane in particular. This is a cane with a panther head top, which has a custom-made blade to give it unusually good balance. Besides its high quality, Burton favours it as a trophy from a defeated foe (as an explorer and scholar, he is a devoted Collector of the Strange).
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • King Robert Baratheon's signature weapon is a giant two-handed warhammer, befitting his status as the Big Guy.
    • Arya wields Needle, a light fencing blade suitable to her small stature and stealthy nature.
    • Two of the most straightforwardly-heroic characters, Ned Stark and Jon Snow, wield swords named Ice and Longclaw respectively. Jon's is even a bastard sword.
    • Brienne of Tarth, another heroic character, also receives her a signature sword, called Oathkeeper to reflect her loyal and steadfast nature, from Jaime Lannister, who is reputed to lack these traits.
    • Ser Barristan Selmy discards his sword in favor of an epic staff, befitting his transition from general badass to Badass Grandpa.
    • Tyrion favors an axe in battle, a subtle gag as he otherwise has very little in common with Tolkienesque dwarves.
    • King Joffrey of the Houses Baratheon and Lannister, the First of His Name, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, long may he reign, favors a crossbow, which is maligned in-universe as the weapon of weaklings and cowards.
  • In The Stormlight Archive, swords are considered upper-class weapons, meaning that Kaladin, who is lower-class, uses a spear as his Weapon Of Choice (toying in a minor but noticable ways with genre conventions). Heroic and villainous aristocratic characters use swords all the time as a status symbol, with the magical shardblades being the most prized. Anti-Villain assassin Szeth also has a shardblade, which both makes him even more badass than he would be otherwise and, since he comes from an extremely pacifist society, using the most deadly weapon of all marks him as a disgraced outcast.
  • Death to the French: The Baker Rifle. The Rifle along with the green uniform is a highly visibile weapon and symbol that seperates a Rifleman from the common soldier armed with muskets.

    Live Action TV 
  • Angus, the Knight of Earth, uses a mace, probably just because it's round, and they had to show boulders shooting out of it.
  • Firefly follows the trope with Western-inspired (of course) weapons. Mal, The Hero has a gun based on a six-shooter and an old-fashioned mentality to go with it. Zoe carries a custom 1892 Winchester rifle (and, unusually, a bulletproof vest, befitting a consummate professional who's ready for trouble). Jayne, the other badass, has an assortment but favours an assault rifle and a BIG knife. Inara, the mysterious woman, uses a futuristic bow (she also holds a stolen laser pistol, but it doesn't work). The rest of the crew make do with pistols and shotguns of varying accuracy. Though notably Wash uses a Mateba auto-revolver which considering their scarcity and quirky design fits his character quite well.
  • Many of the cast of The Walking Dead wield weapons that tell a lot about them.
    • Rick uses a very large, nickel-plated Colt Python, showing that he's an idealist (nickel-plated = shining armor) field leader (pistols demonstrate leader, but the size implies he actually uses it. Very much contrasted to Shane's Mossberg 590. He stops using it when he starts going crazy, but uses it again when he starts getting his act back together.
    • Dale always has a scoped Remington 700 VLS in his hands, fitting since he is both the lookout, and the one who spends his time watching the others.
    • Daryl uses a crossbow, representing his simple, country-folk nature.
    • Michonne uses a katana, demonstrating her foreign nature.
    • Merle’s bayonet hand symbolizes the fact that he himself has become little more than a tool for the Governor. Notably, he loses the bayonet at the same time he is betrayed by the Governor and reunited with his Morality Pet Daryl.
    • Morally-conflicted Gentle Giant Tyreese uses a hammer, which can be used both to destroy and to create.
    • Carol’s snub-nosed pistol is small, unassuming, and easily concealed, much like its owner. Also, it’s a revolver, just like Rick’s gun, but in a tinier package that is no less deadly.
    • After the deaths of those closest to her, Sasha begins using a silenced sniper rifle, which is fitting for a person who has become detached, cold and quiet.
    • Morgan Jones wields a Simple Staff, which reflects his newfound sturdiness and opposition to spilling blood.
    • The Wolves use various primitive weapons: knives, machetes, axes, spears, and sickles. This highlights their primal savagery and brings to mind a composite of various barbarian archetypes such as Horny Vikings, The Hashshashin, and Pirates.
  • In the TV version as well as others, The Lone Ranger always shoots silver bullets. Though it's really too soft for bullets, it symbolized justice by law and his vow to shoot to wound, not kill.
  • Blue Bloods: In keeping with his Cowboy Cop attitude, Danny Reagan carries a noticeably different, silver pistol rather than the black Glocks used by the rest of the NYPD cast (other than Frank's ancient Fitz Special). IMFDB identifies it as a Smith & Wesson 5946, a pragmatic choice by the props department considering that the weapon, though not standard issue, is still allowed by NYPD regs in real life.
  • Despite living in a universe with Frickin' Laser Beams, Klingon warriors prefer the ancient bat'leth (a curved, two-handed sword) as a true test of combat prowess.

     Professional Wrestling 
  • Stan Hansen and other cowboy wrestlers used to bring a bullrope to the ring, often with a cowbell attached to it.
  • Larry Zbyszko had a set of nunchucks during his martial arts phase in the 1980's.
  • Jimmy Hart would clobber opponents from behind with his bullhorn - when he wasn't verbally taunting them through it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The various armies of Warhammer utilise different types and styles of weaponry in accordance with their culture and personalities. Even the designs of the same types of weapon vary in this way (for example, the spears used by High Elves are thin, elegant, leaf-bladed things with gentle, flowing curves, while their Dark Elf cousins use equally slender but jagged and spiked spears. Human spears tend to be a lot thicker and cruder, and Orc spears thicker and cruder still).
    • The iconic weapon of the Empire, which the majority of its footsoldiers use, is the versatile halberd, which fits with the Empire army being the most versatile in the game (interestingly most other armies only give halberds to elite units). They also use spearmen and swordsmen, especially from more rural provinces, and missile support comes from a mix of archers, crossbowmen and handgunners. Plus the Empire has large train of gunpowder artillery. There are also small numbers of young noblemen fighting on horseback with a brace of pistols, smaller numbers of engineers with experimental repeating handguns and plenty of classic armoured knights with couched lances or cavalry hammers. Their elite infantry use Zweihander-style greatswords, just like the German Landesknechts who form their major inspiration. Basically the Empire is defined by its use of a wide variety of real-world early modern European weaponry.
    • Orcs and Goblins tend to use crude hacking swords and cleavers (called Choppas) that are little more than a sharp lump of metal on a stick, a well as equally crude spears and daggers. For missile fire they rely on crude bows, cobbled-together trebuchets and small bolt throwers. Savage Orc weapons are just as crude, but knapped out of flint and bone, rather than pig iron. Orcs are basically low-tech barbarians with little time for art or craftsmanship, and their weapons reflect this.
    • Dwarfs, as peerless metalworkers, craftsmen and engineers, use sturdy, reliable and superlatively forged axes and hammers to fight with, paired with intricately carved round metal shields. They eschew swords, bows and wooden-hafted weapons as feeble, their preference for solid metal axes and hammers fitting with their blunt, no-nonsense demeanour. They also craft rifled handguns (or crossbows) and more technologically advanced war machines than the humans of the Empire, but being far more naturally conservative don't tend to go in for the same levels of steampunk insanity that Imperial engineers do. Their miners, as would be expected, use pickaxes.
    • The High Elves, as a graceful, skilled and artistic race, use slender spears, longbows and elegant dueling swords as their primary weapons - all with leaf-shaped blades, intricate artistic flourishes and curved, flowing lines. Most are encrusted with carved gemstones, and many hung with ribbons. For war machines they use similarly elegant bolt throwers, the bow-piece shaped to resemble the outstretched wings of an eagle and with a repeating mechanism to fire a hail of small darts. Their elites fight with larger, two-handed weapons - greatswords for the Swordmasters of Hoeth, halberds for the Phoenix Guard and woodsman's axes for the White Lions - but these are also very slender examples of their kind, relying on perfect balance and swing rather than brute force for their effect (and the elves that use them are trained so superlatively that they can use them as dextrously as a human might use a regular sword). The Sisters of Avelorn use magical bows that fire arrows of searing blue flame, demonstrating that High Elves are the most magical of the races.
    • The Dark Elves are a twisted, corrupted mirror of the High Elves, and use similar weapons but styled with ripping spikes and blades and jagged, discordant edges. Instead of bows they use repeating crossbows that fire a hail of barbed darts, and they supplement their armoury with vicious harpoons, hooked blades, whips and razor nets.
    • The Wood Elves favor the longbow, and fight with it almost exclusively, though they do have some spearmen and sword-dancers as well. Wood Elf weapons are made from the wood of living trees, and just as intricately carved and crafted as those of their High Elf cousins, and in the same style - albeit with virtually no metal components, blades being made from obsidian, flint or at best beaten copper. Wood Elves are intimately connected to nature, and thus prefer simpler, less industrially-produced weaponry.
    • The men of Bretonnia fight primarily as armoured knights, wearing a panoply of armor and using weapons drawn from the armouries of European knights from the 12th to 16th centuries - mainly lances and shields. Bretonnia, being a land of Arthurian chivalry and heroic adventure, could hardly be otherwise. Questing Knights, however, use greatswords instead of the lance, which they symbolically set aside to denote giving up their lands and duties in order to quest for the grail. The peasant men-at-arms in Bretonnia are a sorry lot, however, and use badly-kept spears, billhooks and halberds or wooden longbows, like much medieval peasant militia. The contrast with the wide range of weaponry used by the other human army in the game - the Empire - is quite deliberate, and emphasises the distinct cultures of the two nations - chivalric and knightly on the one hand, pragmatic and technological on the other.
    • The Lizardmen use stone, gold and obsidian clubs and spears in Mayan, Aztec and Inca style, with javelins and blowpipes for missile support. Their gear is well-crafted and intricately detailed though, in contrast to the crude weapons of Orcs or Beastmen. They also have access to ancient techno-magical devices that shoot laser beams or break open reality - the schizo tech juxtaposition of the lost technologies of the old ones and the barbarous state their lost children have descended into being a big part of the Lizardmen character and aesthetic.
    • Ogres use crude clubs, hefty iron-banded bludgeons and pit-fighting fist spike gauntlets made of beaten iron. They also sometimes steal and re-purpose small cannons to fire a spray of debris (and larger cannons stolen from giants to spray cannonballs!). Ogres live in harsh, mountainous terrain, and know the value of self-sufficiency and scavenging (they're not too technologically capable either, but know a good idea when they see it). Pretty much everything they own is taken violently from others and repurposed.
    • The Tomb Kings of Khemri use bronze spears, wooden bows and bronze Kopesh swords of various sizes and ride chariots, in keeping with their Bronze Age aesthetic. They also use sinister trebuchet catapults lashed together from bones, because when you're undead it's just something you have to do...
    • The Vampire Counts themselves tend to use baroque medieval and early modern swords and daggers (when they're not fighting with bare claws and fangs), and their skeletal servants wield rusty, notched versions of the same, occasionally spears. Most zombies and ghouls fight with their bare hands, though zombies sometimes have the odd rusty knife or battered farm tool. Wraiths, however, wield gigantic reaping scythes, in keeping with their grim reaper imagery. The Vampire Counts army is more a magical force of nature than a proper military force, and decent equipment is rarely on their agenda - it's what you were buried with or nothing. They have no missile weapons at all.
    • The Skaven, as chaotic scavenging rat-men, use thin, nasty-looking blades, spears and cleavers for the most part, usually notched and rusty and dull. They also have a variety of warpstone-powered mad science weapons such as warpfire throwers, ratling guns and glass globes of poisonous gas used as grenades. Clan Eshin, the oriental clan who fight as ninjas, use traditional ninja weapons, such as throwing stars, fighting claws and flat-bladed ninja swords. Clan Pestilens, the Plague Monks, use poison gas censers as makeshift flails!
    • Warriors of Chaos generally use hefty axes, swords and hammers, as well as chain flails and large two-handed weapons. A fair number, especially those devoted to Khorne, use two weapons and eschew shields. They are no-nonsense born warriors and boisterous vikings, so close combat is what they're all about. They also have no traditional missile weapons beyond the odd throwing axe or throwing spear. Most of the weapons used by the Warriors of Chaos are forged by Chaos Dwarf smiths, and thus tend to be of high quality, and occasionally intricately detailed. Some of their heroes wield sentient weapons possessed by daemons.
    • Beastmen tend to use the same kinds of hefty axes, cleavers and bludgeons as their Chaos Warrior fellows, though the scrawny, feeble Ungors use crude spears and shortbows instead to emphasise their sneakiness and lack of prowess.
    • Most Daemons of Chaos, being otherworldly spirit-entities, do not use weapons beyond their natural claws, teeth and hooked appendages, but some use eldritch versions of swords and axes - classic weapons that inspire myths and archetypes, because daemons assume forms derived from myth and archetype when they manifest. The martial daemons of Khorne, in particular, use nasty-looking blood-dripping Hellblades, while the sensuous, seductive daemons of slaanesh sometimes use barbed whips and lashes.

    Video Games 
  • Metal Gear:
    • Meryl Silverburgh in Metal Gear Solid demonstrates how she's a Hot-Blooded youngster who wants to be a hero by picking up a .50AE Desert Eagle, contrasting with the remorseful veteran Snake who was left with the SOCOM pistol in .45. By Metal Gear Solid 4 she's kept that Desert Eagle and uses it alongside a second one with a long barrel and a scope, using them to demonstrate when trouble comes knocking that, no matter what trauma she went through on Shadow Moses, she's ended up every bit as badass as she wanted to be.
    • Vulcan Raven had the M61 Vulcan he ripped from a downed F-16 to show he's an effin' giant.
    • Revolver Ocelot favours revolvers as he styles himself as a modern cowboy, he even enjoys the dangerous process of reloading a revolver in the middle of a fight. The player knows something is up when he ditches his signature guns in the 4th game.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Raiden receives the same SOCOM Snake had in the first game, some subtle foreshadowing as to how not only is Raiden deliberately trying to be just like Snake, but the entire Plant chapter is a simulated exercise to make Raiden into a super soldier as capable as Snake. By the end when everything is going completely off the rails, he takes up a high-frequency blade to symbolically distance himself from Snake, and keeps on using that all throughout MGS4 and Metal Gear Rising.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater goes the foreshadowing route again. EVA uses a Chinese copy of the Mauser C96 pistol, and uses a traditional Chinese technique to sweep an entire area; it turns out near the end she's not actually support sent to assist Snake, but a Chinese agent sent in to steal the same thing Snake came for.
    • Additionally, The Boss was formerly America's greatest hero and fittingly she carries the Patriot which was a heavily modified M-16.
  • Dynasty Warriors. Simple one-handed swords are generally popular with the leaders of major factions and calm individuals while large polearms are fairly common with the tougher but not necessarily nuts enforcers. Women tend to get weapons that most men wouldn't dare carry. Lu Bu, the game's most feared character, tended to wield a halberd as if it were a one-handed sword. Dynasty Warriors 6 however changed things up a bit, as before that everyone had more or less always used the same weapon.
  • Earthbound has a variation where Ness, the hero, uses a baseball bat (which could be excused by his wearing a baseball cap) or a Killer Yoyo. However, Paula, the White Mage, wields a frying pan, Jeff, the smart guy, uses guns, and Poo, the martial artist, uses either nothing or a sword. In general, the series gives baseball bats (or regular staves, in Lucas's case) to the character that would get a sword in most other games of its type, and frying pans to the character that would get a staff.
  • Chrono Trigger has this as well. The hero, Crono, has his trusty katana (and starts, like all good swordsmen, with a bokken/wooden sword). Marle, instead of a staff, finds herself with a crossbow. Lucca, the mad genius, gets the guns of the game. The knightly Frog takes to Western weapons (oddly, the game's Masamune is this style and not a katana). Ayla, the primitive woman, gets her bare fists (cutscenes show her with a club). Robo uses robot parts. Finally, gothic and anti-hero Magus gets... yes, the scythe.
  • Despite having four (or five to six depending on the game) types of melee weapons, Fire Emblem manages to do this; most axe fighters are obsessed with fighting in one way or another (and Keiran in Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn, who takes "Proud Warrior" to an extreme is an Axe Knight), all but four (all but one of whom play second fiddle) of the lead characters use swords, and ALL thieves and assassins in the series use knives (at least in battle sprites). On the flip side only two archers in the series qualify for the listed personality and spear wielding units are just as competent as the other ones. It also subverts this slightly with weapons effective on certain types of foes (such as a large mallet being good on armored units) though.
    • Also of note that there are two different classes that wield swords. First is Mercenary/Hero (the sprites in the GBA games were broadswords regardless of sword used), the other being Myrmidon/Swordmaster (the sprites here used Eastern-style katanas). Swordmasters also generally get a specialized sword late game called the Wo Dao (which in the later games just is a Katana). Heroes are generally more manly and romantic-male-lead-ish when it comes to looks. While the majority of Swordmasters are females, or males that are very pretty, the animations for the Swordmaster attacks seem very graceful compared to the straight power of the Hero (graceful is badass). The rapier weapon (appears in most games) is usually usable only by the games leading character (who is always royal, giving them a proper societal weapon). The exceptions are Lyndis (Blazing Sword) and Ike (Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn). Lyndis has her own legendary katana, and Ike isn't actual royalty (and all his animations would fit way more with a Broadsword than a rapier).
  • Wild ARMs 3: sunny heroine gets pistols akimbo (with flowery holsters). Wise, composed, always suggests best course of action science guy has the sniper rifle. Impulsive ditz gets the sawed-off shotgun. Badass amnesiac loner gets machine gun and ammo bandoliers.
  • The characters in Persona 3 openly state the reasons for their specific weapons, whenever it isn't obvious. The Hero can use anything, though he unsurprisingly defaults to a one-handed sword. Junpei uses a two-handed sword that he holds like a baseball bat (which is to say, improperly). Yukari, a member of the Archery Club, uses a bow. Mitsuru, the rich girl, uses an "elegant" one-handed sword. Akihiko, star boxer of the school and a bit of a Blood Knight, uses his fists. Aigis, a Robot Girl, uses attached guns of various types. Koromaru, the team pet, uses a small knife held in his teeth, presumably to avoid actually biting the monsters. Ken, a Wise Beyond His Years ten-year-old, uses a spear to even the playing field between him and larger enemies. Shinjiro, the tough dude with issues, uses an axe or mace. In FES, Metis, Miss Exposition, also uses an axe, due to its power.
  • Although they don't state it outright like in 3, the heroes of Persona 4 use weapons that reflect their personality. The Hero uses broadswords, Kung-Fu loving Action Girl Chie has leg greaves, Yamato Nadeshiko Yukiko uses fans, delinquent Kanji just hits monsters with a heavy blunt object, be it a shield or a school desk, Teddie the 'bear' has claws, and Naoto has a gun since he or rather, she, is a detective. Yosuke's dual knives are the only odd man out, but then again knowing him he might be Dual Wielding just for Rule of Cool.
  • Several characters in Persona 2 are also mixing Wish Fulfillment with the desperate situation.
    • In Innocent Sin: Tatsuya goes with swords because they're there (okay because he's a silent protagonist but still). Eikichi is the kind of person to think an assault rifle disguised as a guitar case is ridiculously cool (and a practical disguise since he's a musician). Maya is not-so-secretly a huge dork who just loves how flashy she looks with dual pistols. Meanwhile, Lisa already practices martial arts thanks to her father, and Yukino had used razors and thrown blades once upon a time as a former delinquent. Jun throws flowers that are somehow as damaging as bullets and blades, possibly as a magical leftover of his time as the Joker.
  • The Legend of Zelda Link generally picks up all kinds of weapons and equipment that he can use to fight his enemies, but his default armament is almost always a sword and shield for close-in fighting and a bow for range, fitting as he tends to sit somewhere between the European knight and elven archer archetypes.
    • In Ocarina of Time, Link uses a slingshot during the child portion of the game to symbolize his inexperience. As an adult it's swapped out for the bow.
  • Zero uses a katana and a wide array of weapons in Mega Man X8 to demonstrate his Person of Mass Destruction legacy, and the cocky, sneaky Axl gets a pair of pistols. There are two notable subversions, with the pacifist X being equipped with a powerful buster cannon and a massive array of weapons and armor, and the Big Bad Sigma using a sword in many of his boss fights - which makes sense he used to be a good guy.
  • In Sakura Wars, most of the girls (and the main characters) specialize in a specific weapon (which are often mirrored by their mecha):
    • The Tokyo team:
      • Main protagonist Ogami Dual Wields katanas, as befitting a dutiful member of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
      • Franchise poster girl Sakura is a Country Mouse from a samurai family who uses (what else) a katana.
      • Sumire, the Tsundere rich girl, is skilled in her family's Naginata school.
      • Maria, the Russian Revolutionary/ex-New York Mobster, carries a 6 shot pistol.
      • Kohran, the inventor, uses missiles and mini-attack robots.
      • Gentle Giant Kanna simply uses karate.
      • Reni, the German wünderkinden, uses a lance.
      • The exceptions are European aristocrats Iris and Orihime, neither of whom carry weapons on their person (Iris being far too gentle to, anyways).
    • The theme continues to the Paris team:
      • Erica the clumsy nun uses an antique machine gun shaped like a cross.
      • Hanabi, the widowed Yamato Nadeshiko, is an archer.
      • Glycine is a proud noble of Viking origin who uses a halberd.
      • While infamous (and rather violent) criminal Lobelia prefers to just use fire, her mecha comes with a set of Wolverine Claws.
      • Upbeat and mature-for-her-age circus girl Coquelicot has a magic wand similar to what she uses on stage.
    • The New York Team:
      • Oogami's nephew and new player character, Shinjiro Taiga, is another dutiful IJN cadet who dual wields katanas.
      • Retired Badass Ratchet may be fairly mellow for someone who specializes in throwing knives, but Sakura Wars: The Movie shows that she used to be quite ruthless.
      • Texas Samurai Cowgirl Gemini (and her vengeful alter ego Geminine) wields a katana (taking her samurai master's teachings quite seriously) and carries a revolver on her hip (but never actually uses it).
      • Famed lawyer (and former biker gang leader) Sagitta Weinberg(Cheiron Archer) uses a chain (of justice).
      • The elegant and wealthy perfectionist Subaru uses Japanese war fans.
      • Diana, the Friend to All Living Things, uses robot birds.
      • Mexican bounty hunter Rika/Rosita has two revolvers.
  • Air Force Delta Strike features Jamie, the oldest pilot in Delta Squadron. He only flies prop-fighters.
  • The Final Fantasy series loves this:
  • Barret, The Big Guy with a chip on his shoulder, uses a gatling gun grafted into his arm.
  • Dota 2's heroes use many types of weapons based on their main attributes. Strength heroes are melee weapon-users, Agility heroes are either bow or gun-users (some are melee), and Intelligence heroes use their staves. Weapons are also very popular as cosmetic items. Some examples:
  • Crime boss Mr. X of Streets of Rage 1 & 2 uses a tommy-gun, which not only signifies his lack of fair play(he's the only one with a gun), but carries a certain connotation of organized crime, thanks to its popularity in gangster films.
  • In weapon-based missions in the 3D brawler Urban Reign, both the enemy mooks and your helper character get weapons suited to their themes/personalities, so urban warriors tend to carry baseball bats and tire irons, the Yakuza-like gangsters use katanas, ex-military types use combat knives, and the corrupt mayor uses a handgun, etc. While every character can use every weapon, they have different movesets depending on their proficiency with it(only the soldiers get a throat-slit move with the knife, for example).
  • In Fallout 4, the weapon of choice for the Commonwealth Minutemen is, fittingly enough given their historical inspiration, the Laser Musket, a jury-rigged laser assembly from a standard Laser Rifle mounted on a wooden musket frame and "loaded" with a hand-crank. Despite the weapon's appearance eliciting "What a Piece of Junk" remarks, it's deceptively powerful as it can be charged multiple times to produce a single very powerful shot.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 
  • In The Green Eyed Sniper, both main characters have a weapon of choice. Shanti shoots a highly-precise sniper rifle, whereas Sekhmet prefers a powerful shotgun.
  • Exterminatus Now has each characters' Weapon Of Choice on the surprisingly-still-relevant cast page.
    • Eastwood: "A Vladston & Norvstock .44 Magnum revolver, with cylinder customised to feature seven chambers rather than the standard six." Yeah, he thinks he's Dirty Harry.
  • In Homestuck, each of the main characters can allocate their STRIFE SPECIBUS, essentially selecting the type of weapon they can use.
    • John Egbert, a computer geek and aspiring magician, uses the hammerKind Abstractus, which gives him access to such awesome implements as the Pogo Hammer, Telescopic Sassacrusher, the WRINKLEFUCKER, Fear No Anvil, and Warhammer of Zillyhoo. Much like his personality, his hammers start out clumsy and impractical but quickly become ridiculously powerful.
      • He also uses Bunnykind, but that was only to keep the bunny in a safer place than his Sylladex, too prone to ejecting its contents.
    • Rose Lalonde, a sarcastic writer, uses needleKind. (The hollow, aluminum knitting kind.) After some Item Crafting, they now function as dual-wielded Magic Wands that are essentially BFGs powered by Eldritch Abominations and are regarded as an Artifact of Doom.
    • Dave Strider, a badass rapper and sword collector, uses bladeKind, personally favouring his collection of katanas.
      • However, when Dave's katana breaks thanks to his trouncing at the hands of Bro, his Specibus was automatically changed to 1/2bladeKind, which now only allows him to use broken swords. That is, until he decides to Screw Destiny and build a Morph Weapon that he keeps as a broken sword in storage.
    • Jade Harley, the series' resident semi-prophetic, weird girl has the Riflekind Abtractus, reflecting her distance from the rest of humanity.
    • The Trolls also use this system.
      • Nepeta Leijon: Wolverine Claws, referencing her love of cats and catlike mannerisms.
      • Gamzee Makara: Juggling clubs, fitting his status as a clown and Juggalo. Later whatever he wants with the Jokerkind specibus, fitting a member of the Bard class, who are known to be highly unpredictable in SBURB.
      • Equius Zahhak: Good Old Fisticuffs, befitting someone of immense STRENGTH, and half-bows (which are completely useless), referencing his desire to use more sophisticated tools but being too strong and accidentally breaking them when he tries.
      • Feferi Peixes: A Dual-Headed Trident, referencing her home under the ocean.
    • The Cherubim use the system as well:
      • Calliope uses a magic wand which can turn into a revolver pistol, the wand referencing her joyful fantasizing personality, while the revolver is a highly precise weapon with limited ammo, fitting someone who recognizes the occasional need for killing but will do so only when necessary.
      • Caliborn uses a pimp cane that turns into an assault rifle, the cane form referencing his predilection for sheer brute force (and the "pimp" aspect referencing his misogyny), while an assault rifle is a highly destructive weapon that is likely to kill things other than the intended target, fitting Caliborn's bloodthirst and complete lack of concern for others' well-being.
  • The title character in Schlock Mercenary uses a (lately archaic, but still highly effective) Strohl Munitions BH-250 Plasma Cannon far more than any other weapon (except possibly himself, since he's nigh-unkillable), since it is effective as both a weapon and a form of transport, and because it can be used to threaten as well as kill (a half-pressed trigger results in an "ominous hum" sound and a glow emanating from the barrel). As one person so threatened put it, "I can see a glow at the end of the barrel, and I'm not feeling ready to walk towards the light."
  • In Harkovast a lot of the characters fit into this trope, such as the (usually) peaceful Chen-Chen fighting unarmed and the giant nameless wielding two long chains.

    Web Original 
  • RWBY: Since everyone has a Impossibly Cool Weapon that's an Ace Custom, each character's weapon reflects their personality.
    • Ruby uses a "High Velocity Sniper-Scythe" called Crescent Rose. It's about as over the top as you'd expect a weapon designed by a 15 year old and reflects her emphasis on weapons.
    • Weiss uses a "Multi Action Dust Rapier" called Myrtenaster. The rapier uses expensive Dust to power it's magic abilities which Weiss can afford being the heiress to a massive Dust company.
    • Blake uses "Variant Ballistic Chain Scythe" called Gambol Shroud. The weapon is complicated but the parts appear mismatched, reflecting the scrounging she did in poverty.
    • Yang uses "Dual-Ranged Shot Gauntlets" called Ember Celica. The gauntlets mean combat is up close and personal, just how the thrill seeking Yang likes it.
    • Jaune uses a simple sword and shield combo called Crocea Mors. They're simplicity is useful since Jaune doesn't actually have any combat training.
    • Nora uses a multi-shot grenade launcher capable of converting into a large war hammer called Magnhild. It's a loud and aggressive weapon, much like Nora.
    • Pryhha uses a shield and a sword/spear/gun combo called Miló and Akoúo̱. Pyrrha's skill at using Milo's complexity and versatility show her status as combat prodigy.
    • Lie Ren uses a pair of green guns with collapsible curved blades under the barrels called StormFlower. The relatively simple and understated design (for RWBY at least) reflect his reliable personality.
    • Sun uses Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang which are shotgun-nunchaku that form a Simple Staff, which reflects both his wild personality and ability to get serious when the chips are down.
    • Neptune uses a railgun that transforms into a guandao and a trident and is as sleek and refined as the personal style he strives for.
    • Ozpin uses his cane mostly for mobility, but it has a knuckle guard and he uses it in battle as a bludgeoning weapon, signifying his pragmatism.
    • Glynda Goodwitch uses a collapsible thin black riding crop, reflecting her no-nonsense personality. She wields it much like a wand, as she's more of a caster, but its use as a striking weapon shows her willingness to get down to the nitty-gritty.
    • Qrow, who trained Ruby in how to use Crescent Rose, uses a scythe similar to hers but with the addition of a shotgun form, and a greatword as an example of his possessing much greater expierience and skill than his still-in-training niece.
    • Winter Shcnee, Weiss's older sister uses a saber very similar to Myrtenaster, but without the added feature of expensive Dust, something she makes up for with greater skill in close combat and control of her Semblance, a sign that she has learned to survive without the aid of their wealthy father, or his company. This is a milestone Weiss is still working towards.
    • General James Ironwood, leader of the Atlas Military is perhaps the only character to use a non-descript (but very powerful) handgun, with no apparent bells or whistles, reflecting the practical, no-nonsense attitude expected of a highly ranked military officer.
    • Crimelord Roman Torchwick wields Melodic Cudgel, a pimp-cane with a hidden gun in the neck. It fits with the stylish and flamboyant image he seems to prefer, but it's use as a hidden weapon goes hand in hand with his underhanded and cheating nature.
    • Roman's right-hand woman, Neo, uses a similarly concealed weapon to show her own underhandedness. However, hers is a delicate needle-like weapon hidden inside a lacy parasol, befitting her stature and fighting style.
    • Even minor characters aren't exempt, as Flynt Coal from Team FNKI uses a jazz trumpet as his weapon, matching his huckster jazz musician personality.
    • In the same team, Neon Katt is a hyperactive cat faunus who uses roller blades as a means of mobility paired with a set of raver glow stick nunchaku.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Aang, the twelve-year-old peace loving monk, has his trademark staff/glider.
    • Zuko, both the noble Determinator and selfish, troubled Anti-Villain, gets not one but two broadswords, indicative of his two sides.
    • Sokka, The Smart Guy, has a Precision-Guided Boomerang (indicating he's odd, but effective).
    • The creators have also admitted that they got the idea for giving the Gothy Mai a Bottomless Magazine of stillettos by picturing her sulking in her room, throwing things at the walls in boredom.
    • Jet has hook swords, which in retrospect may well have been a hint towards the whole Well-Intentioned Extremist role and Zuko's Worthy Opponent.
      • To illustrate their Character Development, some characters have come to lose their weapons. For example, early on, when he was just the thick-headed male figure, Sokka retained a war club. Then of course, there's the symbolic ending of the season three premiere episode, in which Aang burns his staff. On the reverse, as a sure sign of his growing into a capable leader, Sokka has come to receive a straight sword.
      • Then the Grand Finale has Sokka losing both of his weapons, and Aang never using his staff. This indicates that, indeed, it's all finally over.
    • The Legend of Korra has Asami Sato, Team Avatar's only non-bender member, who uses an Equalist shock glove to deliver One Hit KOs.
  • All of the crystal gems in Steven Universe have a different magical weapon that they summon through their gems.

Alternative Title(s): Weapons Of Choice