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.
Axes: Proud Warrior Race Guys tend to get axes. This probably is due to the fact that Tolkien'sdwarves, one of the most prominent examples of the proud warrior race, favored axes. A favorite of the Ax-Crazy. Also a favourite of the big guy who doesn't have a club (see below), in which case it will be a simple enormous, double-bitted job. 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.
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. The Chick is just as likely to get a bow since, after they stopped being effective weapons, archery became a popular feminine sport in the 1800s. 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. 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 trulyAx-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.
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...
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.
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 Bad Ass. In any case, the protagonists are invariably impossibly good shots, while the Mookssuck. 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.
Handguns: The trusty handgun is a favorite of Gunslingers of all stripes. If the setting is one in which everyone uses firearms, The Hero and the Big Bad are the most likely to use these. Any Bad Ass who uses a pistol will double up for some kickass Guns Akimbo. Unless it's a Western.
Automatics: If it's not a war movie, then any sort of automatic weapon will be carried by the Mooks, due to their ubiquitousness and lack of style. (Semi-automatics will be the standard if technology is up to it, and will usually have impossibly large magazines.) The exceptions are Uzis and other sub-machine guns, which may be given to the Bad Ass (especially if they're dual-wielded), and the...
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.
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.
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, Spear Carrier 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 can stab, slash, thump, and trip) or spear (as it has all sorts of cool connotations of being "ancient"), 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. Historically only used for sport, fictional versions are often sharpened, drastically enlarged, festooned with various types of spikes or cutting edges and reinforced to the point where they can parry as well as any other melee weapon.
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.
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. If they're trying way too hard to be cool, they'll use two swords, or a single really big one.
Rapier: Rapiers and short-swords typically go to swashbucklers and foppish characters.
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.
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 a Pruning Sheer, 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.
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 as in: "tactical nuke" fighting style.
Fate and her scythe/bardiche/bfs, named Bardiche.
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.
Teana and Vice's devices are firearms.
Haruko Haruhara of FLCL uses an unusual item as a club: a midnight blue, left-handed Rickenbacker bass guitar model 4001S with a pull-start engine.
Bleach is full of both this and Personality Powers. Every single weapon used in the series is supposed to be a reflection of the owner's personality. Granted, this doesn't follow the normal guidelines at all, but it's still there.
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.
Many late 1980s Anime involving female juvenile delinquents equipped them with toys as weapons. Notable examples include:
Kimagure Orange Road — Madoka used guitar picks as shuriken. A rival used a cup-and-ball game as a flail.
Princess Nine — Second Baseman Seira used thrown pool balls as her weapon of choice.
The characters in Soul Eater fight in partners, one as a weapon and one as a wielder. Maka uses a scythe, Kid uses two pistols, and Black* Star usually uses either a katana or a kusarigama.
Roronoa Zoro from One Piece always uses 3 katanas; Usopp has his slingshot and Nami her Clima Tact.
Yui Lan of Full Metal Panic! is nearly always seen dual-wielding what look like mecha-sized carbines with bayonets. And her little sister was introduced in a scene where she used two kukris and excessive amount of gorn.
From Berserk, both the original Band of the Hawk and Guts' post-Eclipse party have weapons of choice. In the Band of the Hawk, we had Guts with a greatsword, Griffith with a rapier, Casca with a short sword, Judeau with knives, Pippin with a hammer, Corkus with an ordinary sword and Rickert with a crossbow. In the post-eclipse team, we have Guts with the Dragon Slayer, Serpico with a rapier and then a fan/sword, Isidro with two knives, Schierke with a magic staff and Farnese with a small silver knife.
Golgo 13 generally uses an M-16. They're easy to find (so he can acquire one on site), easy to have modified, and cheap enough to dispose of if necessary (whereas specialized sniper rifles tend to be expensive and hard to get on short notice). In addition, this gives him a close-combat weapon if circumstances go sour. He has, however, used other guns as needed. Notably, Golgo tends to upgrade to the latest model of M-16 five to ten years after their release. Fans speculate he waits for their reliability to be proven before switching preferences.
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, protagonist Motoko Kusanagi is known for using a black carbine based on the FN-P90. 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.
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 rapiers 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).
Homura is the only one whose Time Stands Still powers do not automatically confer weapons of their own. 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 Witchby any means necessary.
Homura uses a bow and arrow at the very end of the series, something she inhereted from Madoka after the latter Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence and rewrote the universe. It still fits her personality, though, this time as a Cold Sniper in contrast to Madoka.
Among the Norse Pantheon, we have Odin with his magical spear that always kills and never misses, Thor's infamous hammer Mjölnir, and Tyr as the resident master swordsman among the Aesir. Freyr used to have a magical sword that fights by itself, but traded it for assistance in wooing his future wife Gerda, which comes to bite him in the ass during Ragnarök.
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.
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.
Tim Drake, formerly the third Robin and the current Red Robin, has been known to use a staff.
Damian Wayne, the fifth Robin, has a thing for katanas.
Hawkeye, who may or may not be Marvel's expy of DC'sGreen Arrow, is likewise a hotshot archer whose real weapon isn't the bow so much as the bag of tricks he fires from it. He's shown to have the same accuracy hand-throwing his arsenal of arrowheads or firing them from improvised launchers.
In the Ultimate Universe, he's even shown using his fingernails, but then that version of the character is borderline Ax-Crazy and a former black ops. As of Volume Three, he started showing a preference for guns.
Bullseye from Daredevil can use almost anything as a weapon, but his weapon of choice is usually an Ace of Spades playing card.
The Saint Of Killers, in Preacher, dual-wields a pair of Walker Colt revolvers. Never mind the fact that he's an unkillable One-Man Army in a duster coat, these things were forged by Satan himself from the sword of the world-weary Angel Of Death; their hammers will never fall on empty chambers, they never miss, and no wound they give will ever be less than fatal. Oh, and he's a supernatural quick-draw artist, too; "I saw a blur, and then shooting. I didn't see no draw." After surviving a nuke - in the midst of the inferno, he calmly spits and growls "Not enough Gun", he wraps up the series by killing God. I will call your Bad Ass and raise you to infinity.
Whiplash/Blacklash, an Iron Man foe best known as the partial basis for The Movie's Whiplash, engineered his own electric whips and used them to wreck things up... until he was accidentally killed by his old enemy. He could also turn his whips into nunchucks. Anyway, since his death, a BDSM-loving couple adopted both the Whiplash and Blacklash identities, then his daughter stepped into the role, a version inspired by the movie character debuted, and the original's been seen in action again, too.
Somewhat related are the Constrictor and Omega Red, who both have tendrils that come out of their arms. Constrictor's Serpent Society teammate Coachwhip explicitly themed herself around her signature weapon, as well.
In The Rocketeer, the Rocketeer's Weapon of Choice is a Mauser C96 Broomhandle pistol. It's normally seen as a "bad" gun, being used by the Nazis and all, but it got a new status as a "good gun" thanks to the Rocketeer.
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.
Although Agent Venom is good with a variety of guns, semi-automatic pistols are his favorite.
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 D&D-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.
Sophia: The Scythe from season 7 of Buffy and Fray
Skye: Sharpened Sai Daggers
Reiko: Bladed Fans
In the Kim Possible fanfic "Reunion", Ron Stoppable, during a temporary split from Kim, reclaimed the Lotus Blade and operated as a solo hero named Ronin. In the sequel, "Union'', it's revealed that the Lotus Blade is one of five powerful magic weapons, and the most powerful of the five, as it can take on the appearance and properties of the other four.
Also, he used a Walther P5 in Octopussy, but nothing was made of that.
Product Placement. Walther were trying to market the P5 to civilian agencies and asked for it to be used rather than the classic PPK, but the script wasn't changed to reflect the different gun.
Of course, in Moonraker the only time he uses his PPK is for the opening gunbarrel sequence, having swapped it (apparently) for a wrist dart gun.
And, in Live and Let Die his Walther is mangled by Tee Hee and he uses a magnum revolver for the final fight.
Some of Bond's villains have their own weapons. Oddjob used a bowler-hat with a steel brim that behaved like a chakram. Rosa Klebb had knives concealed in the toes of her shoes. Tee Hee Johnson (from Live and Let Die) had a metal pincer for a right hand. And of course, Francisco Scaramanga is The Man with the Golden Gun.
Repo! The Genetic Opera has a few. The Henchgirls wield shotguns, Rotti has an elegant antique pistol, Luigi has his very large knife, and the Repo Men have a whole bunch of upsized surgical instruments, including scalpels and bone saws.
28 Days Later. Selena has a machete, befitting her badass status, Jim has at first a plastic bag full of cans of soda and later a baseball bat and (on another occasion) a tire iron. The soldiers have rifles.
Han tends to go for his DL-44 heavy blaster pistol as his first choice.
Chewbaccas weapon is his bowcaster.
Equilibrium: Grammaton Clerics use a modified Beretta 92F in the course of their duties, the barrels producing a cross-shaped muzzle flash when fired.
The shotgun-like weapon used by some guards is likewise a modified Walther WA2000, which is odd since the weapon's a sniper rifle.
The scopeless WA2000 was only used in the dog killing scene. Most of the time the Mooks use either the Beretta AR-70 or the Heckler & Koch G36.
Iron Man 2 features Whiplash (a Composite Character of Whiplash/Blacklash and Crimson Dynamo from the comics) who dual wields energy whips that pack enough of a wallop to tear apart a racecar on the track.
For the record, Whiplash and Blacklash are the same guy - he changed his supervillain name and got a new costume at one point.
Ash from Evil Dead has his boomstick and chainsaw combo, although he kind of abandons the chainsaw for a metal hand in the middle of Army of Darkness.
Particularly prominent in G.I. Joe: Retaliation are Firefly's tiny robotic bombs, which fly and have glowing tails, just like actual fireflies.
An amusing example in Bill and 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.)
Highlander has Connor's dragonhead katana given to him by his mentor and the Kurgan's sword that could be taken apart.
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 Santa — which is a pretty good point to remember. A musical stage version gives Edmund a mace.
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.
In the back story, Roland's constantly joking best friend Cuthbert preferred a slingshot to a gun. Jamie used a bow and arrow, though he only appeared in one scene in the entire series and didn't really do anything. In a possible subversion, the quiet, intelligent, and psychic Alain got to use a machine gun at one point, and enjoyed it very much.
Hero Rand 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.
While Rand does use a sword throughout the series, he never uses the crystal sword Callandor in physical combat, instead keeping it surrounded by wards in the Stone of Tear when he isn't using it for wielding the Power. For the stabbity, he uses his father's sword, and later, after it is destroyed, he uses the sword that had belonged to the king of Cairhien. When he's caught unarmed, he generates a Flaming Sword with the Power. He does use a smaller angreal to increase his power, rather than Callandor. Callandor lacks any safeguards against the taint of the One Power, which made is dangerous to use before the cleansing of the One Power (the taint would be magnified as the power was).
Technically, he did use it as a sword once, when the Stone of Tear was attacked by Shadowspawn.
Mat started off with a bow as his Weapon Of Choice. This lasted for about half of the first book, before he switched to using a cursed dagger until it gets stolen at the beginning of book 2. He uses a staff for book three, then uses knives for book 4, and then switches to the naginata for the rest of the series (though he does still get plenty of mileage out of those knives...). He also acquires a good Two Rivers bow stave from an unsuspecting quarter staff salesman who didn't realise the quality of the wood or its purpose. He, like Perrin and Rand, also has skill with a bow and sling. All but Rand use their bows when the situation is best suited for it. Mat avoids combat the best he can, but is always drawn to it by fate which gives him a reputation of a great general (which he is) and unstoppable in battle, but that was not his choice.
Former blacksmith Perrin uses a somewhat symbolic 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. He also, like almost all Two Rivers males, is a good shot with a longbow. His skill impresses almost everyone except other Two Rivers bowmen.
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.
L. Ron Hubbard's Mission: Earth series had the protagonist Jettero Heller (distinct from the antagonist narrator, Soltan Gris). Mr. Heller was a champion "bullet-ball" player back home, and discovered that he could throw Earth "base-balls" with up to lethal speed. He also discovered that baseball cleats make for a deadly surprise against opponents, since no one in these parts expects a cleat-wearer to kick with them.
... proving that L. Ron either never played baseball as a kid, or managed to grow up around the damndest well-behaved kids in the country.
The three (one, currently) Knights of the Cross also have their own signature weapons, each carrying one of the nails from the Crucifixion: Amoracchius, a broadsword that is Excalibur; Fidelacchius (Kusanagi), a katana (possibly a shirasaya, as it's been described as having a cane-like sheath); and Esperacchius Durendal, a saber . Throughout the years, the latter two have been periodically reforged as different types of swords to better suit their wielders.
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 Battle Circle trilogy by Piers Anthony, the main culture is based on Proud Warrior Race Guys; and the society is based around ritual combat in the titular Circle, with warriors typically specializing in one of 7 common weapons (although a few less common ones show up occasionally). All men are known by their signature weapons, which they use as a title, eg. Var the Sword, Kal the Club. A few rare individuals are proficient with more than one, which they add to their title.
The main characters the trilogy are Sol of All Weapons, who is unique in his mastery of combat, and Sos the Rope (actually a long steel cable), who choses an unusual signature weapon after being forbidden to use the common ones.
Nearly all warriors are also proficient with bow-and-arrow; but these are used exclusively for hunting. They are not considered acceptable for the Circle, which is exclusively hand-to-hand ritual combat.
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.
A Song of Ice and Fire, most obviously with Arya's Needle, Jon's Longclaw, Dothraki arakhs, and Ned's Ice. Ser Barristan Selmy even discards his sword in favour of an epic staff, befitting his transition from general Bad Ass to Badass Grandpa.
Tyrion subverts this by fighting with maces and swords, extremely at odds with his character and his physical stature.
In the Time Scout series, each character tends to have one or more preferred weapons.
Skeeter pines for the recurve bows of his youth, but he'll use a gun. In the Arena, he tricks them into giving him a lariat and a trident, those being what he was trained with and what was closest to the spears of his youth respectively.
Jack the Ripper prefers an Arabian jambiya for the ceremonial taking of heads.
Kynan Rhys Gower prefers his longbow or a war maul. But when their superiority is demonstrated in the face of an angry Cape buffalo, he asks, "You show gun?"
Obviously in Harry Potter, wands are the weapon of choice for the wizarding world, but there are two that stand out: The Elder Wand, which is the weapon of choice for Antioch Peverell, Gregorovitch, Gellert Grindelwald, Albus Dumbledore, and Lord Voldemort; and Harry's holly and phoenix feather wand, which he actually mourns when it is broken.
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.
In Don Quixote, the legendary knight errant wannabe/Misadventurer/Badass uses his lance the most out of his three weapons. He also carries a sword and a shield, of course, but his lance features the most in his most famous adventures, especially the legendary battle with the windmills.
In the Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch novels by Robert B. Parker, Everett's weapon of choice is an 8 gauge shotgun.
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
Xena of course has her Chakram◊ (a weapon originally associated with the Sikhs). In Season 5, she swapped her older chakram for a new model◊ that resembled a yin-yang, and could split into two hand-held bladed weapons.
Gabrielle also had her Sais starting in season 5 and lasting until the end of the series, and her (less exclusive) staff in seasons 1-3.
Buffy has her Slayer Scythe during the last few episodes of season seven, right up to the end of season eight. She and every other Slayer within spitting distance.
The rest of the time, of course, she has her wooden stakes, especially earlier in the show when she fought vampires more often. She also has her crossbow for them.
Angel follows this trope more closely, particularly with smart guy Wesley in the later seasons. While the other characters stick with more traditional fantasy weapons like axes and swords, he starts bringing along shotguns, dual pistols, and a healthy dose of Gun Fu. Unfortunately, it doesn't often help.
Garrett, the Sixth Ranger with serious ego issues, uses an ax.
Angus, the Knight of Earth, uses a mace, probably just because it's round, and they had to show boulders shooting out of it.
Super Sentai/ Power Rangers: You can expect almost every team to have character-specific weapons in addition to smaller guns / swords (or guns that turn into swords), and in most cases the personal weapons will combine to form a blaster for the Finishing Move. Listing every example could be a page in itself.
Didn't matter much, considering the Dragon Dagger could fire off energy blasts, as well as lightning.
Firefly follows the trope with Western-inspired (of course) weapons. Mal has a gun based on a six-shooter; Zoe carries a custom 1892 Winchester rifle (and, unusually, a bulletproof vest). 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). Shepherd Book, with his mysterious past, seems content with rifles—he's a Technical Pacifist from his faith (although the Bible, while specific on killing, is 'a mite fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.') River, the Mysterious Waif, is pretty much a blender with anything.And with nothing. 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.
Actually the revolver Wash uses is a Colt Python.
Richard Sharpe uses his Baker rifle to devastating effects. He also carries a 1798 pattern cavalry sword, which is essentially a sharpened club with a knuckleduster attached.
In the early seasons of SG-1, Teal'c usually used the Goa'uld staff weapon, as did Bra'tac who's absolutely badass with it. After many seasons of Character Development, Teal'c finally switched over to Dual Wielding P90s.
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 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.
Michonne uses a katana, demonstrating her foreign nature.
Darryl uses a crossbow, representing his simple, country-folk nature.
Duncan in Highlander has a dragonhead katana similar to Connor's in the movie (but not the same one). On rare occasions, he had a broadsword instead, though (and in one specific episode, he used his father's claymore). Methos had a medieval broadsword and Richie a rapier until just before his death.
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.
After adopting his Crow persona, Sting regularly used a black baseball bat, sometimes using more than one.
Anyone who wins a Money In The Bank briefcase is known to use it as a weapon before cashing it in.
Rob Van Dam works the classic wrestling folding chair into several of his trademark moves, namely the Van Daminator and Van Terminator.
The Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (TLC) concept was based around the favoured wrestling-weaponry of the 3 teams involved in its inception. WWE had The Dudley Boys powerbombing people through tablesnote Eventually, flanderizing them into only being about tables and catchphrases. TheHardyz were experts with ladders. Edge and Christian would do a double-team chairshot they called the "Con-Chair-To".
Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition's feats allow players to specialise in particular weapons to a greater or lesser degree. This is usually done by Fighters, since their bonus feats are more or less designed for it.
There is also the Weapon Master Prestige Class, which requires the character to choose one type of weapon to focus on before they can take the class.
And 4th Edition's Fighters has a different spin, first one chooses feats that work for a specific weapon, then powers that lend themselves to different weapons.
The Weapon Master advantage in GURPS lets the character use a particular weapon or class of weapons well beyond what a normal human can even attempt.
Althought the Fighting Style merits in the core New World of Darkness book mostly focus on martial arts, quite a few in the supplementary material center around a specific type of weapon (examples include knife-fighting, sword-and-shield, and heavy swords).
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 favour 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 armour 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.
Eldar favour advanced laser weaponry and blade-firing "shuriken catapults", along with long swords.
Eldar Aspect Warriors all specialize in a single type of weaponry, from the above shuriken catapults, to chainswords or powerswords, to powerful laser weapons, to microwave "melta" guns, to guns that fire streams of "razor floss" — supersharp monomolecular wire.
Harlequins are close-combat specialists whose signature weapon is a narrow sharpened tube, similar to an oversized hypodermic needle, that punches through armour and shoots a jet of the aforementioned monomolecule wire inside their targets, effectively liquifying them inside their battlesuits/exoskeletons.
Dark Eldar utilize similar weaponry to the Eldar, though firing antimatter instead of lasers and needle-like shards instead of discs.
The standard weapon of the Space Marines is a fully-automatic-armour-piercing-rocket-propelled-grenade-launcher. Their heavy weapons are quite varied. For close combat, theres the good old fashioned chainsword.
Orks don't usually have a preferred weapon of choice; rather, they prefer to ensure whatever they're carrying has either "more choppy" or "more dakka." Or both.
The Tau are in love with their plasma guns, as well as railguns and guided missiles.
The humble Imperial Guardsman typically carries a simple, durable, and (for the setting) low-powered lasgun. However, the sheer variety of weapons available to the Imperial guard also means that any given squad can have everything from grenade launchers to bipod-mounted autocannons to handheld anti-tank fusion cannons.
The Necrons have a distinct preference for weapons which strip apart their target layer by layer, but a few enjoy skinning you with their claws, then wearing your skin.
The Tall Man of Chzo Mythos uses a giant metal spike with four extremely wide scythe-like blades installed on one of the ends. His preferred method of killing is ramming the bottom of the spike through the very top of the victim's skull. Squick indeed.
Vulcan Raven had the M61 Vulcan he ripped from a downed F-16 to show he's an effin' giant.
Sniper Wolf, anybody know what she uses?
Raiden would later take up a High-Frequency Blade - probably better to highlight his more Bishounen qualities, and a way to symbolically distance him from Snake (who admits that he's "no fan of blades"). He still keeps a SOCOM in a holster just in case.
The bosses of Sons of Liberty had their own weapons of choice - Fatman had his bombs, Fortune had her gigantic railgun, and Vamp was a Knife Nut. Solidus himself had a P90 and a pair of high-frequency blades.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has main protagonist "Naked Snake" utilizing his trusty M1911/Knife combo, Ocelot's beginnings and shaping of his trademark revolvers, The Joy's badass accessory the Patriot, which is just an XM16E1 with the butt sawed off, and the barrel shortened, and attached with an infinite drum barrel magazine, Eva using the Mauser+ traditional shooting styles (Bandit shooting), The Fear's crossbows, The Pain's Killer Bees, The End's Mosin Nagant (customized for tranq rounds), The Fury's Flamesuit/jet pack, and Volgin's use of his power to fire bullets.
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.
The Soul Calibur series. Some are rather strange (see Necrid's fragment of an alternate universe).
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.
They can also all use Slingshots, but that's generally not a good idea. Poo in particular is weakened by equipping them.
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.
The Masamune is only called that in the western releases of the game. Its original name (and the one used in the retranslation) is Grandleon, which makes sense for a European-style broadsword. It was probably translated on the assumption that it had been given a European name for exotic flavour rather than simply because it's that kind of sword, and so the translators chose a name that would preserve this intention for the English version.
The sequel Chrono Cross has the protagonist Serge using a "swallow", which is a lance with 2 sharp points. Altough there's other characters that has some weapons such as a boomerang(Van), a fishing rod(Korcha) and a musical instrument(Nikki and Irenes).
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.
Actually, one gets the feeling that the characters just sort of grabbed whatever they thought they could use. It's implied that no one in the party (possibly save for Naoto and the protagonist) has had any weapon/fighting training and are either self taught, or learning as they go along.
It makes sense for Naoto (who is a detective), Chie (who probably knows martial arts), Teddie (who is from the TV World), and Kanji (who just hits things). However, Souji (the protagonist), Yosuke and Yukiko are harder to explain.
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 hugedork 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.
In Eternal Punishment: Maya is still Adorkable about her pistols. Katsuya is a police officer trained in the use of pistols as well. Ulala is already very practiced in boxing. And Baofu somehow throws coins at ridiculously high speeds to harm others.
Dragon Quest characters typically have different usable weapons that depend on their fighting style (staves are pretty much universal among magic-using characters and swords among knights and typically the protagonist as well). An unusual example from the fourth game is Torneko Taloon's use of abacuses (though he can use other weapons, such as swords).
An abacus on a stick, mind you, but given we're talking about a merchant here, such a device fits Taloon.
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, both of which get upgraded over the game (usually getting the Master Sword somewhere along the line). His ranged weapons include a bow, boomerang, and bombs, and he's recently trained with a crossbow...
The Scout uses a scattergun, a pistol and a metal baseball bat. His alternate weapons include a double-barrelled shotgun with massive kickback, 'Bonk' energy drink for brief invincibility, another soft drink that turns all damage taken and given up by 35% and a bat used to hit stunning baseballs. In another update he got a Fish, a bottle of milk, and another pepperbox pistol.
The Soldier's main weapon is a rocket launcher, which can be used to Rocket Jump, a shotgun and an entrenching tool (a shovel). His alternative weapons are a more accurate but less explosive rocket launcher, a bugle, flag and banner that makes everyone else on the team stronger or boots that prevent rocket jump damage instead of the shotgun, and a pickaxe that makes you stronger and faster the less health you have or a makeshift club made out of an axe handle and a large railway nail. He also gets a large, black boxy rocket launcher and a backpack radio that works like the buff banner.
The Pyro obviously has a flamethrower, a shotgun and a fire axe, with the alternate weapons being a flamethrower that does more damage from behind, a flare gun and an axe that does double against burning foes but half otherwise. S/he also gets a car battery combined with a powerjack and a flamer made out of gas station equipment, in addition to a sledgehammer which is more effective against enemy buildings and can remove sappers from allied ones.
The Engineer uses one of two shotguns, a pistol or laser pointer for his sentry and one of three wrenches or mechanical fist.
The Demoman uses a grenade launcher, a remotely detonated sticky bomb launcher, and a bottle of rum that breaks on a critical hit. Alternative weapons include a sticky launcher which can lay more bombs at once, a shield that grants less explosive damage, and a massive sword or axe used for cleaving skulls as well as sharing the Soldier's axe-handle-railway-spike.
The Medic has a nailgun-like Syringe Gun, the Healing Gun and a bone saw. The alternate weapons are basically the same with special abilities.
The Sniper has, obviously, a Sniper Rifle, a Mauser-style machine gun and a kukri. The alternates are a bow and arrow for the rifle, and either a jar full of piss or a shield that protects against a backstab in place of the machine gun, as well as another kukri made of wood that cuts up his enemies so they bleed. Other items include a tranquilizing rifle, an even bigger knife, and a shield worn on the back that resembles a croc.
The Spy has a revolver, a Butterfly Knife that does One-Hit KillBack Stabs, and a watch that doubles as a cloaking device. His alternates are a second revolver than can score a headshot (making him the only class other than the sniper that can), and two more watches: One will cloak the user and leave behind a fake corpse when you take damage, and another that allows you to stay cloaked indefinitely as long as you stop moving every so often. He also gets a pearl-handled revolver which restores cloak when it hits enemies, and another knife which disallows normal disguising in favor of instantly disguising as the person you backstab with it.
In the first game of the Assassin's Creed series, most of the focus is on Altaïr's swords, as they are continually upgraded throughout the plot; the second game and the two that come after it focus on Ezio's hidden blades, as he receives multiple upgrades that turn it into a Swiss-Army Weapon (Hidden Gun, Poison Darts, Hookblade, etc.); and Connor from the third has a lot of focus on the Tomahawk, though dual wielding in general is his thing. Desmond himself prefers two small knives in combat, using Connor's fighting style. Edward Kenway from the fourth is shown with a lot of guns in his promotional shots, along with two large cutlasses.
The protagonist of Avalon Code uses the Book of Prophecy as the core device; all weapons come from within it, from swords and hammers to bombs and guns. There's always the option to fight unarmed if the player so chooses or during Chapter 6, after you LOSE the book.
In general, the protagonists of any given Resident Evil game will start with the "Samurai Edge", a highly-customized Beretta 92FS. Knives pop up frequently as well, most notably with the quick-time boss battle between Leon and Krauser in Resident Evil 4.
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 armour, and the Big Bad Sigma using a sword in many of his boss fights - which makes sense he used to be a good guy.
Alice Twilight/Moonlight has eight Beam Katanas attached to a set of waldoes.
Jasper Batt, Jr. fights with a rocket car, and when it's destroyed, doses himself with Psycho Serum and fights with his bare hands. He then overdoses and becomes a giant, shooting energy blasts from his mouth.
Mobius One from Ace Combat is identified mainly with the F-22A Raptor, which is odd as said plane only is available in the penultimate mission of Shattered Skies, not enough time to establish it as his signature plane (though the arcade mode of the fifth game makes up for it - initially the F-22A is its only available plane). There are other pilots who use exclusively one plane type, like Pixy's F-15C or PJ's F-16C.
Many of the player characters and their allies are identified with the plane shown on the box-art of their respective game - Su-35 for Scarface One (Ace Combat 2), F-14 for Blaze and his team (Ace Combat 5), F-15C for Cipher and Pixy (Ace Combat Zero), and so on.
Air Force Delta Strike features Jamie, the oldest pilot in Delta Squadron. He only flies prop-fighters.
Though Final Fantasy II's characters could use every weapon, they were best with certain kinds:
Firion uses swords.
However, as of Dissidia, he has been established as a weapon master, using all eight possible weapons (swords, axes, daggers, spears, shields, maces, bows and his bare hands), sometimes all at the same time. He also knows magic, though it's less powerful than most everyone else who does.
World of Warcraft: Druids, due to their shapeshifting, usually fight with fists (paws) regardless of what weapon they have equipped. It's usually a twohanded weapon however. Rogues on the other hand tend to prefer daggers, depending on their chosen combat style. Hunters are the only class that focuses on ranged weapons, but the exact type is largely irrelevant.
On a more defensive aspect, both Shamans and Paladins almost always use shields outside of their melee specialisation.
Death Knights are explicitly called out as two-handed melee fighters, with the exception being Frost Dual-Wield builds. In both cases, the use of either one huge blade or frenzied dual-wielding suits their characterization as implacable death-dealers.
Aya from the Parasite Eve series can use any kind of gun, but in official media and cut scenes, she's always holding a pistol.
Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider series uses shotguns, uzis, grenade launchers, rifles, and revolvers, but she's always rendered as using dual pistols, including in the movies.
An in-universe example from Mass Effect. Zaeed Massani has a rather unhealthy relationship with his M8 Avenger assault rifle, Jessie.
Other characters are often depicted with particular weapons. Garrus and Legion get sniper rifles, Tali has a shotgun, and Shepard is oft depicted with a very powerful handgun, regardless of what weapons you actually have them equipped with in-game.
Each gang in River City Ransom has different attitudes on weapons - some totally eschew them, some will actively seek out any dropped weapons, and all have certain weapons that they're much more likely to carry. The Frat Boys, for example, like to carry lengths of chain with them, while The Plague tend to carry the strongest weapon, the lead pipe.
Left 4 Dead has survivor AI picking weapons based mostly on preference. Francis uses shotguns, Louis and Bill use assault rifles, and Zoey uses sniper rifles. In Left 4 Dead 2, the same characters have their preferences changed due to using the same programming as the new characters. Bill still uses assault rifles, but now Zoey uses them too while Francis uses sniper rifles and Louis uses shotguns. For the new characters, Nick and Rochelle prefer assault rifles, Ellis uses sniper rifles, and Coach prefers shotguns. When human players are together with survivor bots, the AI will instead pick weapons based on what the players use, to avoid a full team using the same weapon.
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:
Earthshaker use his enchanted totem.
Sven use a broadsword and throwing storm gauntlets.
Kunkka use Tidebringer sword.
Legion Commander use a halberd (or dual-wielding demonic swords).
Bristleback use his... flail thing.
Tusk use his fishing spear and metallic gauntlets (for his WALRUS PUNCH!).
Alchemist's ogre either use his bare hands or twin pair of swords in Chemical Rage, Beastmaster use his twin axes.
Elder Titan have its... telephone-shaped bludgeon weapon-thing.
Clockwerk with his bladed mace and hookshot.
Dragon Knight with his knight-standard sword and shield.
Timbersaw using... saw.
Tiny originally doesn't use any weapon, if he equips Aghanim's Scepter he will uproot a tree and using it as weapon.
Earth Spirit use a jade staff.
Centaur Warrunner use a huge axe.
Brewmaster use a flail-staff and booze keg of all things.
Huskar throwing burning spears.
Luna use her bouncing moon glaives
Mirana, Drow Ranger, and Windranger use bows
Anti-Mage use a pair of glaives
Juggernaut use his katana
Bounty Hunter use bladed tonfa, a dagger, and shuriken
Ursa use his claws
Lone Druid use his throwing dagger and paws
Riki with twin daggers
Naga Siren use twin swords.
Ember Spirit use twin flaming swords.
Templar Assassin use psionic daggers.
Troll Warlord use two axes, alternating beetween melee and ranged.
Phantom Lancers use their spear (not lance).
Sniper use a rifle with increasing attack range per patch.
Gyrocopter pwning everyone with rocket and missiles.
Radiant Intelligence: most of the heroes are using their staff. Some peculiar ones are:
Ogre Magi that use a fiery club
Tinker that shooting everyone with laser.
Silencer use his glaive of wisdom (and shield for his ultimate).
Enchantrees use her impetus javelins.
Pudge with meat cleaver and meat hook
Chaos Knight use his scythe-mace hybrid
Abaddon with mist sword
Tidehunter use anchor
Spirit Breaker with space flail
Doom with flaming sword
Axe using... axe
Lycan with his claws and fang
Slardar use trident
Wraith King use a broadsword
Magnus use a stone spear.
Clinkz with fiery bow and arrows
Terrorblade use his spiky glaives
Spectre using spectral glaive and daggers
Slark with his dagger
Meepo use shovels
Razor use electric whip.
Faceless Void use his time-locking mace.
Phantom Assassin use a glaive and stifling daggers.
Medusa use a split-shot bow.
Bloodseeker use a pair of mounted blades.
Dire Intelligence: most using their staves.
Necrophos have a scythe but only using it in his ultimate.
Queen of Pain throws dagger for attacks.
In the Mario RPG spin offs like Paper Mario, Mario's main and only weapon is a hammer, though he also uses his signature jump as an attack as well.
Samus in the Metroid franchise has a large arsenal of weapons, but she's usually seen using the Power Beam in official media and sometimes Missiles.
Secret of Mana was one of the few Eastern Role-Playing Games that allowed players to decide what they wanted their weapon to be (although the main character was "encouraged" to use the sword).
The Servants of Fate/stay night generally use the weapons according to their Class (Saber, Archer, Lancer, Rider, Caster, Assassin, Berserker) but there are occasional exceptions; Rider generally fights without her mount, only revealing it as an Eleventh Hour Superpower. Archer uses twin dao (Chinese falchions) despite having a literal endless Field of Blades at his disposal.
It might be argued that they are symbolic of his deep inner conflict over (and bitter acceptance of) the gap between ideal and reality, though...
Archer says flat out that he isn't one. He just happens to be good at it.
The Archer-class in general seems to be a general catch-all for ranged weapon fighters rather than those who use a bow and arrow per se. Fate/Zero Archer uses swords as well but launches them as a projectiles by default. Fate/Apocrypha has King David (of David and Goliath fame) as Archer as well by virtue of his famous stunt with the sling.
When push comes to shove, the Higurashi gang almost always uses their iconic weapons. Keiichi has his (Satoshi's?) metal bat, Shion has a taser, Rika uses a broom, Satoko relies on her traps, and of course Cleaver Girl. Mion generally uses hand-to-hand combat when push comes to shove. Oh, and she has a water (or airsoft) gun.
Rich Burlew, the author, may have a fondness for this trope. There's a self-created class on the site based entirely around empowering a specific Weapon Of Choice with powers that greatly surpass the abilities of the character itself.
In Homestuck, each of the main characters can allocate their STRIFE SPECIBUS, essentially selecting the type of weapon they can use.
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.
Bro Strider is the only Guardian with a confirmed Specibus, also using bladeKind. While not officially one of his Specibi, he does seem to enjoy using Lil Cal for combat.
Jade Harley, the series' resident semi-prophetic, weird girl has the Riflekind Abtractus, reflecting her distance from the rest of humanity.
Jane Crocker utilizes spoonKind, but owns a device which allows her to switch her Specibus between spoonKind and forkKind at will.
Sollux Captor doesn't feel the need to allocate his specibus because he's got Psychic Powers.
Neither does Aradia Megido for the same reason, but she used to allocate whipKindbefore her death.
Caliborn and Calliope also use the STRIFE SPECIBUS, each of them wielding a dual-object: Calliope's is a magic wand that turns into a pistol, while Caliborn's is a pimp cane that turns into an assault rifle.
He doesn't have a STRIFE Specibus, but Jack Noir is an expert with bladed implements of all kinds. His personal preference is for knives.
The titular Axe Cop prefers to use a heavyset blade mounted on a polished wooden club. Pretty much everyone with the name "_______ Cop" has the blank filled in with the weapon - Flute Cop, Book Cop, Telescope Gun Cop...
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.
Ruby Quest; One of the fanarts featured Ace with some sort of MacGyver'd cane/hook/spear thing, which actually made it into the game. The main characters have weapons of choice themselves: Ruby has a mean left hook, while Tom prefers a crowbar, which was later swapped for a BLUDGEONY CANESHOVEL.
Linkara and his magical gun. And on a semi-related note, The Nostalgia Critic and his handgun (which has a tendency to show up at unusual times).
Red vs. Blue has Church with the sniper rifle (which he can't hit the broadside of a barn with), Tucker and his energy sword, Caboose and his battle rifle, Sarge and his shotgun, Donut and his grenades, Simmons and his rocket launcher, and Grif with the Brute Shot, which he managed to steal from the Meta.
Then theres the Meta with its Bruteshot and Wash with his Battle Rifle.
For the other Freelancers: Carolina has her trusty pistol and in Season 10 Gravity Hammer and a pair of plasma rifles, York with the shotgun, South has the Assault Rifle, North and Wyoming both have the sniper rifle and lastly CT has two pistols to dualwield.
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.
In Code Lyoko, the heroes' weapons are generated from their subconscious during their first virtualization.
The exception is Aelita, The Chick, who started out with the ability just to change the landscape and create illusions, but got powerful energy blasts in Season 3 (a boyfriend who programs your attacks really pays off).
Kim Possible doesn't use weapons generally, but does get a lot of mileage out of her grappling gun. Ron at one point had his own signature weapon; the Lotus Blade, which could only be used by a master of the Mystic Monkey Power and had the ability to morph into other weapons (Ron used it as a sword, a staff and a shield during the episode). Ron-centric fanfics will generally have him reclaim the Lotus Blade at some point.