Weapons That Suck
"This s... sucks!"And we mean literally. Sometimes, in a work of fiction, the good guys will use Frickin' Laser Beams to defeat the bad guys or the monster. Usually, said laser beams work like some science-fictiony approximation of a bullet. Occasionally, though, the beam will do something totally different: suck the target into the weapon. Most of the time, this doesn't kill or otherwise destroy the target, it just traps them, to (presumably) be disposed of or imprisoned elsewhere later. A lot of the time, when some supernatural menace won't go down under Frickin Laser Beam fire, you need a Frickin Vacuum Cleaner to get the job done! For when a character uses themselves as the vacuum, see Vacuum Mouth. Not to be confused with Tractor Beam. For weapons that suck figuratively, see Joke Item and Scrappy Weapon.
— Fatso (being sucked into a vacuum cleaner) in Casper
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- A jar-o-demon-sucking showed up in Mahou Sensei Negima! during the Demon Arc.
- One Monster of the Week in Futari wa Pretty Cure was a vacuum cleaner possessed by a Zakenna.
- Miroku from InuYasha, cursed with a black hole in his hand that will eventually kill him, for both senses of "suck".
- Shizuku uses an actual vacuum cleaner as a weapon, albeit infused with her Battle Aura. She calls it "Deme-chan" ("Blinky" in the translated manga).
- Actually, it's not an actual vacuum cleaner: she creates it with her nen. It has teeth and barks.
- Team Rocket uses vacuums now and again in the Pokémon anime.
- The Poké Balls can also be considered as this trope.
- In one episode of the Ranma ˝ anime, Soun Tendo intends to use a magical gourd to swallow up and imprison Ranma's shadow, which has come to life and has started making trouble (long story). The problem is, it only works if he can call out the Shadow Ranma's name... and he doesn't know it. This is a reference to the Journey to the West example below. In a different story, Ranma uses a magical box to catch an oni that's currently possessing the body of Happosai, sucking both of them into it.
- In the manga, there exists a magical compact mirror that can suck in anyone who looks at their own reflection (and a fair bit of the accompanying landscape.) The victim is sealed up in a non-infinite mirror world, with no escape, unless someone outside pats the back of the compact and effectively slaps the victim out of it.
- The Mafuuba technique in Dragon Ball is kind of like this. It doesn't work unless you have some kind of object (in this case, a rice cooker, but any sealed container with the proper talisman will work) to trap your target in, though it's not the object itself that actually sucks them in.
- Vampire Hunter D has a symbiotic life-form living in his left hand which can—among other things—consume and inhale various substances.
- Chikuma Koshirou from Basilisk has the Kamaitachi technique which sucks people and weapons and then shreds them to pieces.
- The Metroid manga features the Space Pirates using an artificial singularity as a weapon at one point.
- In Shirokuma Cafe, Mama Panda uses a vacuum to punish her son whenever he tries to laze around the house.
- Kill la Kill has the "Emergency Rescue Suction Device", which destroys COVERS by extracting their human hosts via a vacuum.
- This was first method Spider-Man used to defeat the Sandman, by sucking him into a industrial vacuum cleaner.
- Adam Strange in his original stories had one enemy alien race that used this form of sucking weapon.
- Transmetropolitan features someone trying to sell Channon the "Chupacabras", a gun that can drain a target of blood in 4 seconds. Channon, who is a highly professional gun-for-hire, comments that 4 seconds to kill someone is far too long, and that she wouldn't be caught dead packing a "Goatsucker".
- One episode of Lobster Random had one that sucked out people's brains in order to make a drug that sent people on massive ego trips and sent the minds to another dimension for use in Warathraal's army. When Lob asks "It sucks?", Ms Teak simply states, "No, it's rather effective."
- Howard the Duck's enemy Black Hole has a dimensional portal thingamajig stuck in his chest like a black disc, and he can suck people and things into it. Everyone's reaction is that it's disgusting.
- In one Silver Age Batman story, The Joker used a vacuum cleaner the size of a truck to suck up loot (and Batman).
- In Mega Man Reawakened, Roll's vacuum attachment from the cartoon is seen; she often uses it to suck up enemy projectiles.
- In Ghostbusters, the guys use their proton beams not to actually blast the ghost, but to position it over the ghost trap and suck it in. For some reason, parodies of Ghostbusters always have the proton beams as the thing that sucks the ghost, with no mention of the trap.
- In Aladdin, Aladdin defeats Jafar by tricking him into wishing he were a genie. Jafar is promptly sucked into his new lamp in a Frickin Vacuum Cleaner effect, because genies must be released by new masters.
- The titular board game in Jumanji uses strange magic to this effect. First, it sucks in Alan Parrish into its fictional jungle, then it releases a series of creatures, villains, and strange meteorology into the real world. In the end, everything is sucked back in one huge vaccum cleaner-like effect.
- In Spaceballs, the bad guys' gigantic space ship transforms into Mega Maid, a Humongous Mecha that can suck up an entire planet's air supply.
- Similar to the Jumanji example, the end of Cool World features cartoonist Jack Deebs, transmogrified into a cartoon superhero, returning the Spike of Power to the roof of the Las Vegas Plaza Hotel, thus curing everyone in the city who had been turned into cartoon characters, and sucking all the denizens of the Cool World back where they belong with a vacuum cleaner-like effect. (It Makes Sense in Context, but you gotta watch it)
- Gargamel in The Smurfs used a leaf blower for capturing Smurfs while chasing after them in FAO Schwarz.
- The aliens in The Arrival use some sort of black hole generator.
- The Dark Elves in Thor: The Dark World have grenades that create powerful implosions.
- Help! - a hand dryer in a washroom is rigged to vacuum at high intensity to pull the coveted ring off Ringo's hand - it rips off bits of the guys' clothing and pulls the plumbing off the walls before it's shut down.
- In the Thursday Next series, Spike captures a Supreme Evil Being using a specially designed vacuum cleaner, to the demon's surprise.
- Weapons That Suck have a role in China Miéville's Un Lun Dun Specifically, the UnGun, which sucks up the Smog at the climax of the novel.
- The eponymous heroine of C. J. Cherryh's Morgaine Cycle wields a sword which, when unsheathed, opens up at its tip a rift in the fabric of reality which sucks up things and sends them to nothingness. Useful for blocking arrows, destroying castle gates, and killing people.
- Older Than Steam: There are quite a few examples of Magical Artifacts That Suck in the Chinese epic Journey to the West, including magical gourds and jade vases that suck people in and slowly digest them with the container's equivalent of stomach acids.
- In the New Jedi Order series, the Yuuzhan Vong's dovin basal creature is essentially a living black hole generator. Ordinarily it serves as the Vong equivalent of a deflector shield generator, sucking up laser fire and missiles. It has also been known to make small starships literally disappear when they fly into it by mistake, and in at least two cases to perform Colony Drops by diverting a moon and several space stations onto the planet.
- In Steve Perry's The Man Who Never Missed The Confed's military uses an implosion bomb to finally take out Khadaji, once they figure out that he's the sum total of the 'Shamba Scum' resistance movement.
Live Action TV
- In Doctor Who, the Daleks' multi-purpose "plunger arm" has this as one of its functions.
- In The Mighty Boosh the evil spirit of Jazz is subuded by being sucked into a vacuum cleaner. Sadly this doesn't stop the spirit as he just rolls the cleaner to Howard and "Get's inside him."
- This happened in Monkey - the baddies had a magic bottle which would suck you inside if they pointed it at you, they said your name, and you answered to it. Monkey escapes it by turning into a wasp and later tricks the baddies by posing as someone else and giving a false name.
- The Vacuum Bot in Power Rangers RPM, capable sucking all the oxygen out of Corinth and sucking in the attacks and weapons of the Zords during battle.
- In the first episode of Reaper, Sam is given a demonic dirt devil vacuum in order to recapture a soul that escaped Hell.
- From Monsterpocalypse: the Oppressor unit from the Subterrans has huge vacuum cleaners bionically grafted onto its arms.
- Dungeons & Dragons had a magic item called an Iron Flask. It could suck a targeted creature into itself and store it indefinitely. (It only works on extradimensional creatures, however, and the chance of it working is better if the user knows its True Name.)
- Also, the Mirror of Life Trapping could do this to any living creature who saw its reflection in it, and could hold several victims at once; not only could a wizard use it against an enemy, he could set it as a booby trap, and then speak to any prisoner trapped inside. (Not that he should expect an answer, of course, unless he had something to bargain with.) The danger in using this is, if the mirror is broken, every prisoner is freed, and will probably be very angry at whoever put them there. (And even worse, might be insane; the longer a prisoner remains in it, the greater the chance of that happening.)
- The Poltergust 3000 in Luigi's Mansion.
- The Suck Cannon from Ratchet & Clank sucks in enemies or crates and lets you use them as ammunition.
- The third game had the Rift Inducer, which shot out a black hole that was an insta-kill to any small or medium-sized enemy. In "A Crack In Time" however, it was changed to summoning an Eldritch Abomination that grabbed mooks with it's tentacles.
- The Persephones in Castlevania use vacuum cleaners with skull-shaped canisters. For fun, let one of them catch Charlotte in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin...
- Also just as fun with Student Witches and Persephones themselves when you get to use one in Castlevania: Chronicles of Sorrow.
- Link's Gust Jar in The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap.
- One of SonSon's abilities in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes is to suck an opponent into a vase....thing she's carrying, then cook it. Given SonSon's origins, this is likely a reference to the vase from Journey to the West above, possibly combined with Laozi's eight-way trigem cauldron, given the "cooking" aspect.
- In Shin Megami Tensei, the Red Baron (aka Maou Belial) is unbeatable unless you have "the gushing jar". Then it will just suck him up.
- Mega Man\Rockman Trigger's Vacuum Arm in the Rockman Dash / Mega Man Legends series. Comes with three levels of suckitude, from "why don't you just walk up and grab the Zenny" to "Whoa, there was money behind me on the other side of the room?"
- In SaGa Frontier, characters of the mystic race get the Mystic Sword, Mystic Glove, and Mystic Boots. Dealing the finishing blow with any of these three weapons sucks the monster inside of them, allowing the character to gain boosted stats and a skill of the monster's.
- A couple of pins in The World Ends with You have the "Black Hole" attack, which will instantly kill any enemy that gets drawn into its area of effect (though you earn no experience or treasure for it).
- Disgaea 3 has an attack where you shoot the enemy with an energy ball, suck them into the gun, shake the gun around (doing damage in the process) and then shoot them back out. The attack is called 'Cocktail Shaker'. Yeah, it's that kind of game.
- Inverted in Fallout 3: the Rock-It Launcher is a vacuum cleaner designed to blow rather than suck, with enough projectile force to knock a body to bits.
- The Bloonchipper from Bloons Tower Defense. It chips apart bloons after vacuuming them in. It can even be upgraded to suck in the massive blimps that appear on later rounds and shred them apart in a manner that definitely does not befit their Damage-Sponge Boss natures.
- Johnny Garland uses a vacuum in Shadow Hearts: From The New World. It does no damage, but it drains Stock from an enemy and gives it to him.
- There are two weapons like this in Shadow the Hedgehog. Somehow, they have limited ammunition.
- The Sims 3 expansion Ambitions adds new professions to the game, one of those being Ghost Hunter, and your main tool of a the trade is the Banshee Banisher which is used to suck up spirits or ghost Sims.
- The Sims 2 has the SimVac aspiration reward, which sucks skill points and aspiration points out of another Sim, or if the Sim using it has a low aspiration meter it may backfire and transfer them to the target sim instead.
- In the Breakout clone Shatter, your bumper can generate a vacuum which can draw in your balls for better control. It also sucks up bricks, which can cause damage to the bumper and deactivate it for a short time, so you have to be careful how much you use it.
- In Donkey Kong Country 2, Kaptain K Rool's blunderbuss is an example (you have to throw cannonballs at it so they explode in the gun). It can also work the other way, firing various types of poison gas cloud, cannonballs, barrels, mines... and function as akin to rocket skates for K Rool to charge across the arena.
- The various sweepers in Blinx the Time Sweeper and its sequel.
- Tumble Pop is all about this trope, featuring two guys armed with vacuum cleaners that suck enemies inside and then release them in a Giant Ball of People.
- Rockman 4 Minus Infinity has the Recycle Inhaler, which converts enemies into E-Tanks, Extra Lives or healing items after using it to suck them up.
- The Nameless Mod has Vortex Grenades, which are a Too Awesome to Use item that one can go through an entire playthrough without finding one. When you throw it, it sucks everything in the area into the vortex (including you if you're not careful) and smashes all the enemies into each other, resulting in Ludicrous Gibs.
- In the Mass Effect series, the Biotic power named "Singularity", specialty of the Adept class and Liara T'Soni, creates a miniature black hole that sucks all unshielded enemies into its orbit and keeps them helplessly suspended in the air while you pick them off.
- Mega Man 9 has the Black Hole Bomb, which, after it explodes, draws in and instantly destroys minor monsters, and damages significant monsters even outside its visible blast radius.
- In Super Methane Bros, the two brothers' weapons can trap enemies in gas bubbles, but to actually defeat them they have to suck the bubbles in and blow them out so that they crash against the stage walls.
- Kyuiin is an old Japanese PS1 Horizontal Scrolling Shooter recently released for the PlayStation Network, wherein the players fly on a magic vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner can shoot the usual beams, but also suck up enemies and bullets: this is not mandatory, but needed to power up the gauge of the Smart Bomb beam that destroys almost everything on screen.
- Borderlands has the singularity grenades, which draw enemies into the area of effect before detonating.
- The Darkburst beam combo in Metroid Prime 2 creates a black hole that sucks enemies.
- The Darkness: Black hole ability.
- The Space Eggs in the bonus levels in Angry Birds Space.
- In addition to the proton packs and ghost traps, David Crane's Ghostbusters (1984) from Activision also has a ghost vacuum that you can equip your Ectomobile with to suck up ghosts in the driving game sequence.
- The Eskimo in this Mountain Time episode uses his Cube of Doom to defeat the Vikings. It doesn't work.
- Gayle and Kaz from Work Sucks use a pair of gunk-shooting guns in a friendly duel, but Gayle's (after some modifications) sucks Kaz into a vortex and traps him in a hammerspace ball here.
- While not exactly a weapon, a printing machine, of all things, does this too.
- Koon's Manbarondenna from Tower of God proved it self surprisingly effective against shapeshifters by sucking them up mid-transformation.
- Danny Phantom and the Fenton Thermos.
- They also have a vacuum that does the same, but is rarely ever used.
- The Jackie Chan Adventures had the "Lost Urn of Wei Chun," a three-compartmented box, complete with ghost-trap sound effects homage, to trap the first Three Dark Warriors of Daolong Wong. But, when faced with the 2nd Three Dark Warriors, we get this exchange:
Jackie: Uncle, we need another urn!
Uncle: There is only one Urn of Wei Chun... And it is already occupied!!!
- The Monster Buster Club and their vacuuvators.
- The Smurfs in the cartoon show episode "Smurfing For Ghosts" use a Ghostbusters-type backpack weapon that acts like a vacuum cleaner for sucking up ghosts. Gargamel in "The Trojan Smurf" also had a weapon that acted like a vacuum cleaner for sucking up Smurfs.
- In Mega Man, Roll has a vacuum cleaner attachment on her arm that she uses as a weapon.
- The magical Moon Mirror in an episode of She-Ra: Princess of Power. It's supposed to work as a Cool Gate to other universes, but Shadow Weaver operates it wrong and it goes haywire, sucking up everything in sight.
- Similarly, when Filmations Ghostbusters fight the Invertroids in the dimension of mirrors, they manage to reverse the Invertroids' Cool Gate, sucking them all back to their home dimension.
- Need to go up against one of the scariest insects in the world, the suzumebachi or Japanese giant hornet, whose stings kill about 70 people a year? A vacuum cleaner is your best bet. (If you have balls of solid titanium, that is.)
- Suction is a fairly popular method of capturing prey among aquatic organisms. Its primary advantage is that there's no need to actually come into contact with the prey before snaring it, just get within a certain distance of it. It also helps with multiple small prey items. An additional means of killing the prey is recommended for anything dangerous, as the mere act of "vacuuming" it up usually leaves the victim alive and quite agitated. While suctioned prey is often suffocated in the process of being swallowed, specimens of deepsea fish have been found killed by their struggling prey while in the process of trying to swallow them.