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[[quoteright:350:[[Manga/{{Naruto}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/weapon_twirling.jpg]]]]

It's well known that when it comes to fictional fight scenes, what looks exciting and cool is far more important than what would be effective in real life. That's where Weapon Twirling comes in, because EverythingIsBetterWithSpinning. It's visually interesting and looks like it may be difficult to pull off, and is thus [[RuleOfCool cool]]. It's also used when a character would otherwise be standing idly, since someone just standing around with a weapon isn't as interesting as that person doing fancy tricks with that weapon.

In some instances, spinning weapons are used to [[SpinToDeflectStuff block projectiles]] or create [[BlowYouAway wind attacks]].

If the weapon twirling is being used show off before an attack, probably with the intent to intimidate, it's also IntimidationDemonstration. Can also overlap with UnorthodoxSheathing.

Supertrope of GunTwirling. Subtrope of EverythingsBetterWithSpinning.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/SoulEater'': Every single Meister in this series seems to love doing this. It may or may not aid with Soul Resonance or not, but it sure looks cool and eats up a few seconds of screen time. As Maka actually incorporates lots of this into her combat style, she is in fact sent into a brief Heroic BSOD [[spoiler: when the Book of Eibon tries to [[MindRape use this]] to claim that if she (seemingly) cannot pull off the same moves with a regular broom, she is too weak to do anything but rely on Soul Eater.]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** The Third seat of squad 8 tries to intimidate Chad by spinning his sword rapidly as part of an "unbeatable sword technique" and just gets punched in the face for his efforts.
** Just before Tousen unleashes bankai on Kenpachi, he walks forward, twirling his sword in his right hand.
** Former squad 13 member Kaien Shiba's Shikai is activated by twirling his sword until it morphs into a large trident. then proceed to keep spinning said trident at a speed that he uses to smash the his opponent with it.
* Saruhiko in ''Anime/{{K}}'' likes to do this with his throwing knives.
** Doumyouji is also fond of adding a few extra flourishes before sheathing his sword.
* ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'': Kenshin was once able to deflect fire being spat at him by an EliteMook until the latter had to reload.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The [[ComicBook/DisneyMouseAndDuckComics Disney comic]] "La cappa e la spada" has Goofy write a novel where one of the characters used to be a knight who loved to show off by twirling his swords (even lampshading that it's much more impressive than doing it with revolvers.) He stopped using physical weapons altogether after one stabbed his foot while in mid-twirl.

[[folder:Film - Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda''. Master Shifu twirls his chopsticks before his awesome fight with Po [[WhenYouSnatchThePebble for the last dumpling]].
* ''WesternAnimation/StrangeMagic'': [[EvilOverLord The Bog King]] does a lot of unnecessary showy staff twirling during his duel with [[TheHero Marianne]]. [[spoiler: Probably because by the time he starts this, the two are quite [[DatingCatwoman flirtatious]]. ]]
* In ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'', Rapunzel is justifiably pleased with herself after dispatching an intruder.
-->'''Rapunzel''': Too weak to handle myself out there, huh, Mother? Well tell that to my frying pa--*''clonk''*

[[folder:Film - Live-Action]]
* Riddick does some knife-twirling in ''Film/TheChroniclesOfRiddick''.
* In ''Film/TheFellowshipOfTheRing'', Boromir twirls his sword a few times while waiting for the goblin horde to break into Balin's Tomb in Moria. Though, as the Real Life section points out, this is more likely a case of him stretching.
* The infamous scene in ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'' where a swordsman does this to show off and Indy [[CombatPragmatist just shoots him]].
* The lightsaber fighting in much of the ''Franchise/StarWars'' prequel trilogy involves lots and lots of spinning. There's at least one portion in [[Film/RevengeOfTheSith Obi-Wan's climactic duel with Anakin]] that has both of them standing next to each other, spinning their sabers for a good three seconds before they actually attack again.
** It should be noted that most lightsaber combat is based on Japanese techniques, where the general better balance of weapons wielded by leaders (and therefore the type of people who were likely to write things down) encouraged a rather circular movement of the blade as being smoother to execute and harder to anticipate.
* In ''Film/TheForceAwakens'', a First Order Stormtrooper wields his riot control baton this way.
* ''Film/CrouchingTigerHiddenDragon'', as well as many other {{wuxia}} films, have a ton of sword spinning for this very effect.
* ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1990'' has a scene where the turtles come across some Foot Clan soldiers. One starts twirling some nunchucks. Michaelangelo then twirls his nunchucks. Then the Foot twirls his more elaborately, and so does Mike. Finally, the Foot does a really elaborate twirl, and then looks up in surprise - to see Mike spinning his nunchucks on top of his finger.
* ''Film/MadMaxBeyondThunderdome''. Max sticks a pistol in the face of The Collector, then shotguns off the fancy headdress of a mook who comes at him twirling twin knives. The mook slinks off with a pensive look and TheDragon moves in instead; Collector wisely signals everyone to back off until they can come to a more civilized arrangement.
* ''Film/{{Barbarella}}''. The Black Queen has two knives that she twirls simultaneously after [[DualWielding stabbing two men]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Buffy twirls a stake after dusting a particularly troublesome vampire in "The Freshman", and has been seen doing this frequently in other episodes. Spoofed in the promo for the aborted ''Buffy: The Animated Series'' where Buffy hits herself in the head while twirling her stake.
** Dark Willow lifts the training weapons off Buffy's WallOfWeapons using her [[MindOverMatter telekinetic powers]]. Before they fly at our heroes in a FlechetteStorm, one of the axes and some of the knives twirl in mid-air.
** In the spin-off series, Series/{{Angel}} often does this [[AnAxeToGrind when he's using an axe]].
* Whenever there are swords out on ''Series/{{Merlin 2008}}'', somebody twirls one at least once.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': Elliot twirls every single weapon he manages to get his hands on at least OnceAnEpisode.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Played straight for the usual badass versions, but [[KnightInSourArmor Sandor Clegane]] scoffs at [[TomboyPrincess Arya Stark]]'s twirl-heavy [[SheFu waterdancing]] technique, [[AwesomeButImpractical saying that it's a recipe for getting herself killed]]. He then [[WouldHitAGirl proceeds to demonstrate how.]]
** Ser Arthur Dayne, one of the leading members of the former Targaryen Kingsguard, was such a proficient MasterSwordsman that he [[DualWielding dual wielded]] two swords that he often twirled in his hands to scare off opponents.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', there is a "Flourish Weapon" ability mapped to a key, and can be used to spin blasters, swords, and lightsabers(!) around dangerously. Including the [[DoubleWeapon double-bladed lightsabers]].
* The later ''VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga'' games include some twirling of lightsabers. In ''Jedi Outcast'' it's mostly just the animations for activating or deactivating a lightsaber while standing still[[note]]as well as an EasterEgg "taunt" function where your character lifts his current weapon above his hand with the Force, spins it around, then lowers it again; active lightsaber blade passing harmlessly through his head during this optional[[/note]], but ''Jedi Academy'' incorporates a lot of spinning and twirling into the fighting styles for {{dual|Wielding}} or double-bladed sabers.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', Link twirls the Master Sword before sheathing it after every boss battle. Lampshaded in one fight when he does his victory sheathe, but then notices that the boss is still barely alive; after finishing it off he quickly returns the sword to its scabbard without showing off. [[note]]Humorously enough, said victory sheathe was entirely unnecessary considering the sword hadn't even been used during said fight.[[/note]]
** In the same game, Link also twirls his sword while L-Targeting. It's an {{idle animation}}.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'': Cloud does this as his victory dance, often with a sword that's as long as he is tall.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'': Zidane does this when he's equipped with double-edged swords.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'': In the original, at the Coliseum, Sora will imitate the victory dances of Cloud and Squall, this is the result.
* ''VideoGame/ChaosRingsII'' is rather fond of this trope.
** Darwin twirls his sword [[UnorthodoxSheathing before he sheathes it]] and before performing his [[spoiler: first]] two [[LimitBreak Awakenings]].
** Orlando spins his machette-like [[DualWielding swords]] after attacking.
** Marie spins her staff after attacking and as part of her Awakenings.
* Units in ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' games will often do this before scoring a CriticalHit.
** Chrom from ''VideoGame/{{Fire Emblem Awakening}}'' does this after felling an enemy.
* Yosuke from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' does this while in battle and in the opening animation. It backfires when he nearly drops his dagger in both.
* In ''VideoGame/KidNikiRadicalNinja'', Kid Niki attacks by spinning his sword in front of him.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'', Yuri weaponizes it with his Shining Fang arte, twirling his weapon to slash the enemy multiple times.
* [[BlackMagicianGirl Anise Tatlin]] in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' twirls her staff like a baton during spellcasting.
* Mages in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' frequently do this, with their combat having evolved from the simple point-and-click casting of the first game, into a full-body form of Wushu that turns their BladeOnAStick into a veritable font of destruction.
** Mage Hawke's SignatureMove in cut-scenes is to repeatedly twirl their Staff, whilst [[PlayingWithFire summoning an inferno]] and roasting their enemies alive.
* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', The Spy and Scout do this a lot with their weapons. The Spy opens and closes his ButterflyKnife this way (or spins it around his finger if it isn't a butterfly knife), and the Scout flips his [[BatterUp bat]] before grabbing it. He also does this with the Crit-a-Cola and Bonk! Energy Drink (it looks like he's spilling it everywhere, but it works just fine).
* The [[AnAxeToGrind Ravager]] skill "Round and Round" in ''VideoGame/AuraKingdom'', weaponising the spinning to deal continuous damage to all surrounding targets [[http://24.media.tumblr.com/cf25cc9c1043b8c17c96740935c2da04/tumblr_n66j1dw7Qh1r06ifyo3_1280.jpg in a cyclone]] for three seconds as well as absorbing some of that damage to restore health.
* This is Seren's pre-attack animation in ''VideoGame/PanelDePon''.
* ''VideoGame/MysticWarriors'' has a GiantMook wielding an equally enormous naginata that inexplicably develops a blade at each end when he twirls it.
* Estelle from ''LegendOfHeroesTrailsInTheSky'' will twirl her staff as a victory animation and during cutscenes when she wants to show off.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Aang is fond of doing this with his glider staff. Since he can use it to create wind attacks, it's also {{Justified|Trope}}.
* Beck nearly gives away his secret identity as the Tron imposter in TronUprising to TheDragon by doing this with what appears to be the Grid's equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife.
* In the fifth season of ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'' Mikey gets into a competition with a golem to see who can do this better. The golem wins.
-->[[HypocriticalHumor "Show-off!"]]
* Kevin of ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster'' frequently does this after firing his Zapper.
* Dreadwing in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' kept spamming this move.
* In a DeletedScene of ''WesternAnimation/{{Bionicle}}: The Legend Reborn'', which was to be an [[ShoutOut exact replica of]] the scene from ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'', a bone hunter swordsman tries to intimidate Kiina this way, but she blasts him away with water.
* ''WesternAnimation/PennZeroPartTimeHero'' invokes this in "Number One, Number Two", where one of the contests requires the competitors to pull this off with [[DualWielding two weapons]] instead of one.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In fencing and sabre, spinning your sword is called a moulinet, and is used to move a parry to a circular cut, although you'll rarely see it used this way in fiction. It is also used to warm up before a match, which may be where creators got the idea.
* Spinning your blade is a good stretch for your wrist and reminds you of the heft of your weapon. Also, looks good for the ladies.
* A point of contention between various schools of Eskrima (a Filipino martial art). Some advocate twirling as an effective way of increasing a strike's power and getting around an opponent's defenses while others claim that it's needlessly flashy and a good way to lose your grip on your weapon.
* In colorguard and winterguard, although not real weapons, will do this with [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I7I-nYJa_w wooden rifles]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9c9-dKQeqU blunt sabres]], and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kleNKSn9SY oddly shaped airblades]], the three of are part of weapons (also called spinning, because calling it twirling [[BerserkButton makes them angry]].
* The Rajput weapon known as the Aara (or Urumi), is actually used ''exclusively'' by twirling, as it is basically the lovechild of a sword and giant whip (it is composed of a normal sword hilt and one or more multi-foot blades so flexible that the weapon is worn like a belt when not in use). The user twirls around in circles simply to keep track of the weapons forward momentum and not injure themselves (although this has the additional effect of being a 360 area-attack). Whoever created this weapon actually managed to out-Hollywood Hollywood. Not only does the weapon make a noise like a cross between a whipcrack and two cookie-sheets banging together whenever it strikes something, but watching someone who knows how to use it demonstrate just that is like a cross between watching someone do the same thing with a whip, and ribbon dancing. The result is actually far more awesome and badass-looking than anything Hollywood has ever dreamt up. However, not only was the weapon intended to shock-and-awe and bitch-slap rather than do real damage, but it may be the single hardest weapon to master in pre-gunpowder history. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCQMtsyPuK0 Watch a two-blade version in all its glory here]]