[[quoteright:320:[[Website/{{Cracked}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jedi3_-_numeroquatro_4120_9346.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:[[Franchise/StarWars Now that's what I call a hammer!]]]]

->''"I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail."''
-->-- '''Abraham Maslow''', ''The Psychology of Science'' (1966), {{Trope Namer|s}}

A character has a limited offensive repertoire, but the writer wants to make him look clever anyway, so he faces him off against something which requires a little bit of strategy. Unfortunately, this strategy ends up being "Just do what you always do, but slightly better." It's not that our hero is uninventive. He may be an outright Series/MacGyver, but he just doesn't have much to work with.

Most often, this offensive capability ends up being "punch the other guy really hard", and the "solution" to the current dilemma is "punch the other guy really hard ''in the face''."

Sometimes, this is a little more elaborate, and the hero has to do something totally different. ''Then'' he gets to fall back on his usual strategy. "Cast 'dispel invulnerability' on him. Then punch the other guy really hard. ''In the face.''"

Occasionally it happens because of complacency; the character does have other abilities/methods to do the job, but they have used "the hammer" so much to be really effective with it, and thus those other methods are largely redundant for them (save for special occasions). Especially true for a given character's SignatureMove and especially FinishingMove, or worse, [[SeriousBusiness it's part of the work's premise.]] See ComplacentGamingSyndrome for cases of video game players about this.

A justification can be that there are many ways to arrive at what looks like the same conclusion. For example, all of General Patton's strategies were elaborate ways to shoot stuff with tanks, and all successful modern infantry tactics end the same way: "and then we shoot them/call in the artillery."

This generally happens due to the InverseLawOfUtilityAndLethality; the more a character specializes in combat, the smaller the characters' repertoire. If the character is so attached to his 'hammer' that he cannot adapt to, say, a screwdriver, see CripplingOverspecialization.

DamageSpongeBoss can be a justification for this trope.

TheAllSolvingHammer is when this becomes a RunningGag. Can sometimes be related to WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway (and HeartIsAnAwesomePower if used creatively) and DeathOfAThousandCuts. See also PlotTailoredToTheParty, SmashMook. YourAnswerToEverything may be said about this, and it might be a NewAbilityAddiction if it's because they just got it. Contrast EveryDeviceIsASwissArmyKnife, SwissArmyWeapon and SwissArmySuperpower when something does have enough functions to tackle a (plausibly) wide range of problems. Can overlap with QualityOverQuantity in the sense that skill with one tool beats skills with other tools.

Not related to [[DropTheHammer characters who use hammers as their (primary) weapon]] unless they use nothing but this hammer at every opportunity.

Also known as the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_hammer Law of the Instrument, or the "Golden Hammer".]]


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'': Kenshiro hits people and then they explode. If he loses a battle it's not because he needs to strengthen or do more training like with the shonen protagonists that come after him: he's just hitting them wrong. Once that's figured out, he hits them and they explode like they're supposed to.
* Light Yagami's only weapon is a ''Manga/DeathNote''. [[ArtifactOfDeath It kills people]]. It has a few functions related to the task (which Light exploits the hell out of), but in the end, all it ''really does'' is kill people, so every crime tends to receive the same punishment. By the end of the series, the worst criminals in the world are as petty as purse-snatchers, [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans so they receive the axe as well]].
* ''Anime/{{Voltron}}'' frequently fell into the pattern of having a monster require a clever strategy to weaken it, but then it was always time to form [[FinishingMove the blazing sword]].
* Parodied in one episode of ''Anime/SamuraiPizzaCats'', where the MonsterOfTheWeek is fully defeated by a clever stratagem... but then Speedy performs his standard StockFootage finishing move anyway, because it's in his contract that he gets to do it OncePerEpisode.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh TheMovie'': Big evil comes back to destroy the world, they defeat it with card games. It's NotQuiteDead, but a quick trading card later...
** ''Yu-Gi-Oh!'' in general. Oh no! A giant that could kill us all with a flick of his wrist is coming at us... well, time to get out the cards.
*** [[Anime/YuGiOhGX Kaiser]] was the epitome of this trope, before he had a FreakOut and got new cards. His entire strategy consisted of summoning Cyber End Dragon OVER AND OVER again.
*** In fact, most main characters in all four series to date will typically default to strategies built on their signature cards to win the big duels, even if other options are available. Kaiba never let a duel pass without summoning at least one Blue Eyes White Dragon, if not all three.
* For [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion NERV]] as a whole, Unit 01 is this. Got an Angel that can't be beaten? Throw Shinji at it. Shinji can't beat it? Piss Shinji off. There are a couple aversions, but generally Unit 01 is treated as the Ultimate Hammer. [[spoiler: There's a very good reason for this, since Unit 01 is a SuperPrototype PhysicalGod]]. The {{Deconstruct|ion}}ive nature of ''Evangelion'' comes from the horrific psychological toll that this treatment (along with everything else he goes through) takes on Shinji's mind.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' uses this trope a lot. About a fifth of the way into the series, the title character learns this nifty technique called a "Rasengan" and from then on whenever he encounters a problem he infallibly resorts to punching it in the face with this technique. If that doesn't work, 9 times out of 10 he resorts to some ''variation'' of it to win.
** ''Before'' he learned Rasengan, Naruto's favorite (only) tactic was to bum rush with his [[DoppelgangerAttack shadow clones]] a lot. When when that by itself inevitably failed, he would use it in combination with [[VoluntaryShapeshifting his disguises]] to sneak his real self into position while his clones distracted the villain.
** Generally speaking, [[ThemeDeck a lot of the time]] [[CastSpeciation everyone sticks to what they're good at]]. However, the trade-off is that most of these abilities overlap. For example, Naruto's favorite technique is Shadow Clone Jutsu. While he is by far the most proficient user of the technique, [[http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Special:BrowseData/Jutsu?Jutsu_classification=Bunshinjutsu there are a ton of abilities that do a similar effect.]] The same is true of other types of techniques, and most of the best ninja tend to find ways to copy abilities from others using their unique skill set. For example, if there's an ability too difficult for Naruto to pull off, he usually uses a shadow clone to assist and comes with his own unique variant.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann''. [[ThisIsADrill Hope you like drills]]. Best shown with this exchange (which is not remotely joking on the characters' part):
-->'''Viral''': Our attacks aren't powerful enough! The drill can't get through!
-->'''Simon''': So you mean [[GonnaNeedMoreX we're gonna have to use an even bigger drill]]?
* ''Anime/GaoGaiGar'', where it is a case of [[{{Pun}} "When All You Have Is A Goldion Hammer"]]. He has other moves, but they're to weaken the enemies so he can use the Goldion Hammer/[[YinYangBomb Hell and Heaven]]. Furthermore, it's {{justified|Trope}} here since those two attacks are the only way to remove a [[MonsterOfTheWeek Zonder's]] core without obliterating it and killing [[UnwillingRoboticisation the innocent person trapped inside it]].
* Ippo from ''Manga/HajimeNoIppo'' is an in-fighter with exceptional power. Unfortunately, that's all he has going for him, so he makes up for it by focusing on being a purebred in-fighter, despite the drawbacks.
** Pointed out when Ippo learns the [[SpamAttack Dempsey Roll]]. At first, he wins a lot of fights by using the massively powerful technique, but after fighting [[spoiler:Sawamura Ryuuhei]] he realizes that he needs to seal the technique in order to ensure future victories; otherwise, ''all'' his opponents will start figuring out ways to counter and capitalize on it.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' has a number of examples
** Kenpachi Zaraki has no interest in the sort of tactics, strategy, or sophisticated moves used by other {{shinigami}}; he relies on his [[SuperStrength brute strength]] and insane durability to win. And even at that he wears an [[EyepatchOfPower eyepatch]] that [[PowerLimiter seals his energy]], wields his sword [[IAmNotLeftHanded one-handed to weaken his blows]], and purposely lets his opponents hit him.
*** When pitted against opponents who negate this strategy it is quickly revealed that Kenpachi is a clever strategist, if a somewhat linear thinker. After Tōsen's Bankai cut off all his senses, Kenpachi figures out that he could still feel pain. So he lets himself get [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice stabbed]], knowing that doing so would allow him to grasp Tōsen's sword, thus dispelling the Bankai.
** Ichigo Kurosaki. When all you have are [[SwordBeam Getsuga Tensho]] and [[LeeroyJenkins a tendency to rush in]], everything's a contest of power, which he has in spades.
** Hitsugaya and Harribel get trapped in a battle that consists of this. Every single tactic boiled down to Hitsugaya trying to throw more ice at Harribel than she can cope with, and Harribel trying to throw more water at Hitsugaya than he can cope with.
** Yasutara Sado's El Directo was his hammer for a very long time, until he got his second hammer, La Muerte.
* Contractors in ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' get only one ticket in the SuperpowerLottery. Some adopt the "hit it with a hammer" approach and act like walking guns with a single type of ammo, but smarter or badass ones are more than just their powers. Hei and Wei, as martial artists, use sound tactics and combine powers with normal moves. In addition, some contractors are ''very'' versatile and find a MundaneUtility or dozen if possible. [[RazorFloss Force whip]] cuts bottle necks, people or incoming projectiles just as well. [[AnIcePerson Ice]] may immobilize, stab, or shield. [[ShockAndAwe Electrical discharges]] allow to attack via various conductors, repair a TV, [[spoiler:crack electrical locks, defibrillate hearts, tweak particle beams, alter substances]]...
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'': If Jack Rakan has anything to say about it, just about every problem can be solved by summoning a sword or multiple swords or a sword the [[{{BFS}} size of a skyscraper]]. He calls this his "Rakam Smash" technique and he uses it so often because he [[ObfuscatingStupidity keeps his intelligence a secret.]] Much of his apparent invincibility comes from his flexibility, knowledge, and cleverness. When intelligence and strategy prove useless against [[spoiler: Fate]], he shows just how ridiculously strong his "Rakan Smash" technique is regardless.
** Negi has a tendency to solve problems by making Pactios with his students. It's a joke in the fandom that he can solve any problem by [[http://a.imageshack.us/img810/7335/problemsolving.png finding the right girl and snogging her.]] [[spoiler: This is HOW he unmasks Shiori/Luna of all people.]]
** Negi's father Nagi plays this straighter: He states outright at one point that if he can't solve the world's problems by beating up bad guys, [[IdiotHero someone else will come along with a better solution]].
* Captain Luffy of ''Manga/OnePiece'' tends to get caught up in adventures of political intrigue, corrupt governments, and false Gods. His general solution to the problem is to find the most powerful guy on the opposing side and beat the crap out of him. He's even been known to [[LeeroyJenkins run off while the other characters were planning their elaborate strategy]] because he figured he could get to the guy whose ass he wants to kick faster on his own.
** This is in general true with more or less all Devil Fruit users, who usually have no other combat abilities whatsoever, but learn to utilize what they have in extremely varied ways. Luffy himself is no exception.
** It's even mentioned at one point that the devil fruit's powers don't get any stronger, but the user gets more inventive with how they use their ability.
*** Bartholomew Kuma deserves a specific mention. His power is to push things. ''Somehow'', he figured out that this includes "pushing" ''abstract concepts'', meaning he can "push" ''pain'' from somebody's body.
** Roronoa Zoro, the Straw Hats' swordsman, when confronted with a problem, his first idea is to cut it.
** [=CP9=], the World Government's top assassin squad, uses a martial art called the Six Forms which has only six moves. However every member of [=CP9=] uses those six moves in various ways. Some even use them to complement their Devil Fruit powers.
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'', the main character Natsu has the power to project/eat/breathe/be immune to/etc. fire. He fights an opponent whose main power is the ability to shoot fire, so he's not affected and goes to deliver a flaming punch. Natsu then learns that his opponent can control fire, so he makes the hero punch himself in the face. Natsu's response to learning that his only weapon can be used against him? Use more fire! He did this until he finally makes a fire blast too big for the enemy to control, thus winning the fight.
** Another time, Natsu faced an opponent whose wind armor countered his fire magic. The winning solution? Make more fire. This works because his fire made the air too hot for his opponent to control, [[IdiotHero not that Natsu knew that at the time]].
** One more, he goes against an opponent who can nullify magic covers himself in a shielding that hurt Natsu if he punched into it. Natsu's solution, use his flames on his ''elbow'' to give him the velocity to break through the barrier. Let's just say Natsu good at improvising with his flame magic.
* ''Manga/GetterRobo'': "If it doesn't work, we'll just have to make it work!" Though the series uses comparatively more strategy in its battles than other {{Super Robot|Genre}} shows, an awful lot of problems are solved by just getting a bigger [[AnAxeToGrind axe]] and hitting things with it. And then things get [[HolyShitQuotient crazy]] when we get into combining.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'''s Team Rocket trio up to no good? Use a Pokémon to shock them or pop their balloon. A giant serpent gone mad, destroying the countryside? Why tranquilize it when you can defeat it with a couple of two-foot tall monsters? All of time and space in the process of being destroyed? Good thing we've got just the {{Mon}} for the job. Every once in a great while, a GuestStarPartyMember would throw a tranq dart at it, or calm it down with ThePowerOfFriendship, but 99% of the episodes have been solved by "battling it with a Pokémon until you can throw a Poké Ball at it." This is especially painfully obvious in the episode where Ash fights Brock for the Boulder Badge. What does he do when his Pikachu can't beat Brock in a straight fight? He charges his Pikachu up with MORE ELECTRICITY! Sadly, this tactic works, [[GameplayAndStorySegregation even though no amount of electricity should've made any difference]]. Misty offers to loan him a water Pokémon, which would have solved the problem and is the obvious solution. Ash goes with the lightning because he's stubborn and still a bit of an IdiotHero.\\
When he faced Drake, the leader of the Orange Crew, Ash used this tactic to take down Drake's first Pokemon. That first Pokemon was a Ditto that would copy the appearance and moves of its opponent, which caught Ash and Pikachu off guard when the match began. Misty suggested that Ash change Pokemon, but he pointed out that Ditto would simply change shape again into whichever Pokemon he sent out next. He eventually defeated the Ditto by simply having Pikachu blast it with everything he had, realizing that while the Ditto might have copied Pikachu's abilities, it couldn't copy Pikachu's power level and couldn't take as much punishment.
* In ''Manga/{{Blame}}'', Killy's solution to everything is "shoot it with the [[WeaponOfMassDestruction Gravitational]] [[WaveMotionGun Beam Emitter]]". Granted, when you have a pistol that can leave a 70km long hole in absolutely everything, that's one hell of a hammer to just swing around.
* ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'''s Saito Hajime follows the philosophy that a warrior does not need several special moves. He needs only a single move refined to the point of perfection. Thus, his only named attack is the Gatotsu and uses variations when the situation calls for them. Opponent above you? Gatotsu second form. Opponent dodging? Gatotsu slash form. Need to bust down a door? Gatotsu. Need to clear rubble? Gatotsu, of course! In the final series of battles, when Saito's "perfect" attack is foiled by his opponent and Gatotsu is defeated (or so the opponent thinks), Saito shows that all he needs is a slight variation in his move to win.
** A point is made that Saito only needs two things: his Gatotsu and [[BadassCreed Aku Soku Zan.]] This is because two warriors generally met in battle once, since most ended in death; thus if you had one move honed to perfection with which you could defeat any opponent... why not?
--->'''Kenshin''': If Hajime Saito could be defeated just by defeating his Gatotsu, the duel between him and I would have been settled long ago in Kyoto during the Bakumatsu...
** [[TheLancer Sanosuke]] also adheres to this philosophy. Tough enemy? [[MadeOfIron Take the blow]], and return the favor with a punch. Not strong enough? Hit even harder.
* In ''Manga/TegamiBachi'', the Letter Bees' heart bullets are not only their typical way of killing [[TheHeartless armor bugs]], but for main character Lag Seeing, they can apparently show people what's in others' hearts, resulting in him learning about and sharing other people's pasts and solving seemingly impossible problems -- often in the middle of killing the [[MonsterOfTheWeek bug of the week]].
* ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' has all enemies defeated with song. The only time this didn't work was when an enemy COVERED HER EARS (shock, horror). They steal her hat, and the song defeats her. Music also apparently cures illness, brainwashing, and changes the weather... so might be a flexible tool?
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'': "Punch him really hard in the face" is literally the hero's big plan for defeating the final villain. Word for word. [[spoiler: AND IT WORKS.]]
** Jotaro has a variation, punching Dio in the ''knee''.
** [[WebVideo/JoJosBizarreAdventureAbridged "I have found the only way to defeat X is to]] '''[[WebVideo/JoJosBizarreAdventureAbridged burn]]''' [[WebVideo/JoJosBizarreAdventureAbridged it!"]]
** Stand users are limited to specific skill sets (unless something miraculous happens), so the question is about ''how'' the user utilizes such abilities to overwhelm the opponents.
** Hamon is normally used to heal, but when the protagonists use it, it can manifest anything that can to be used [[ReviveKillsZombie to kill zombies and vampires.]]
* In ''Manga/SaintSeiya'', Athena's Saints typically have anywhere between [[ThemeDeck three to four attack techniques]]: a basic, general-purpose one; a mid-level one for difficult foes; a situational specialty; and a DangerousForbiddenTechnique that [[TakingYouWithMe might kill the Saint and his foe]]. Seiya himself has three, but he has only used the ''Pegasus Rolling Crush'' and ''Pegasus Comet Punch'' exactly ''once each'', preferring to just {{spam|Attack}} his ''[[RapidFireFisticuffs Pegasus Meteor Punch]]'' against every. Single. Enemy. Always. And if it [[ItOnlyWorksOnce doesn't]] [[TheWorfBarrage work]], he'll do it again, but faster.
* Meet Touma of ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex''. He has one hammer, his AntiMagic right hand which he uses to great effect by punching and/or blocking. Enemy in your path, punch him in the face. Attack coming your way, dodge or block? That is the question. Still, it seems to serve him well. [[SpiderSense And it's not like he could try to do much else anyway...]]
** Also Mikoto, who ends all fights with her trusty [[WaveMotionGun Railgun]] and Accelerator, who end all by [[AttackReflector changing vectors]]. Given that most, if not, all people there own one kind of power, we might say that most heroes in the series end their problems with the only hammer they have.
*** Misaka tends to avert this trope in her ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun'' spin-off, however, in which she uses her basic power (electricity manipulation) in a staggering array of different ways. This includes subverting security systems, reading electrical impulses in people's brains, and magnetizing the armoring in concrete in order to walk on walls ([[FridgeLogic which begs the question of what exactly her shoe soles are made of]]...). She rarely uses the actual Railgun move because it's [[LimitBreak not exactly collateral damage-free]].
*** Accelerator also starts to subvert this [[spoiler:after he loses his powers because he can only use them with the help of a very fallible radio collar with limited batteries. He turns to none other than [[TheGunslinger good ol' guns]] when he wants to conserve electricity]].
* Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara'' anime has [[TheStrategist his strategist]] Hanbe make plans for him: the man himself approaches problems mainly by punching them, and if that does not work, punching them harder. His introduction sees him defang the Uesugi and Takeda clans by punching all their arrows out of the sky (and punching a hole in my cloud cover in the process), and he defeats Chosokabe Motochika and his enormous floating fortress by punching the sea so hard that it ''splits''.
* ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'': A little quiz, shall we? [[spoiler:It's the Darkest Hour. Your partner in crime-fighting has been Put On A Bus, you've been left depowered, and the friendly neighbourhood Big Bad has kidnapped the closest thing you have to a Love Interest in order to open a gate to Hell with his penis. So, what do you do? If you have any idea what this show has been like previously, you should know that Panty's answer is fuck a guy. The best part? It turns out to be EXACTLY the right thing to do.]]
* ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'' has [[spoiler:Saika]], a demonic blade that truly loves humanity and wants nothing more than to express that love. Unfortunately, its a sword, so the only way it knows how to do anything is to cut it.
* Virtually every episode of ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam'' ends with Domon ending his battle with the same move. When he learns a new move, he doesn't increase his repertoire, he just replaces the hammer. Given the name of the first two finishing moves he uses, you could say that he effectively wins fights by giving his enemies [[{{Pun}} The Finger]].
* ''Manga/{{Kekkaishi}}'' has a good deal of this. As a [[BarrierWarrior Kekkaishi]] killing monsters typically comes down to 1) Form Barrier. 2) Explode what's in barrier. It starts to get interesting when characters realize that there's a hell of a lot you can do with just a box shaped barrier. Thin, long ones are like spikes, many small ones act like restraints, a barrier inside another barrier explodes exponentially harder. They have other powers, but they typically don't need them.
* ''Manga/ThePrinceOfTennis'': Some of the characters in the series have a limited arsenal of shots. Kaidoh only has one called "The Snake"...along with many variations to confuse opponents. Special mention goes to Ishida Gin, who only has a single move, the Hadoukyuu that happens to have a hundred and eight variants. Said variants are simply the same move with more power. The illogical situation is even {{lampshade|Hanging}}d by Ryoma Echizen, calling him stupid for having several identical variants of the same thing.
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' Nanoha Takamachi's signature style relies mostly on [[BeamSpam using an assortment of beams to try and subdue opponents]]. When the going gets tough, [[WaveMotionGun Starlight Breaker]]. This is lampshaded during [[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs the second season]]; during her fight with the Book of Darkness. She told Nanoha that [[PowerCopying since she already knows all of Nanoha's attacks, using the same ones over and over would be pointless.]] Her response when [[NoSell a point blank Excelion Buster fails to even scratch her opponent]] [[{{Determinator}} was simply "I guess I have to try harder."]] This philosophy is also part of her training style during ''[[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS StrikerS]]'', stressing the importance of refining the skills one is strongest at to bring out her students' full potential.
* This is arguably the entire point of the series ''Manga/TheLawOfUeki'' in which Junior High students are given a single power (usually transforming something into something else) in order to compete for the next candidate for God. The titular character Ueki is granted the ability to [[GreenThumb turn trash into trees]], and for the first half of the series he must find creative ways to do so. Played with as the series progresses, characters are given a "level 2" version of their power when they get stronger which gives them access to a whole other range of abilities. Also [[spoiler: Ueki is a heavenly being, which gives him access to a whole other arsenal of attacks that only people of his kind have. He starts relying on those ''a lot'']]
** The manga only sequel Law of Ueki Plus has Ueki going on an adventure with new friends and his new power is [[BlessedwithSuck literally controlling a mop]], but not just any mop [[spoiler: a ''special'' mop]].
** Part of what makes Ueki's power so versatile is that it's the power to turn trash into trees... and just about anything can be considered trash.
* In ''Manga/DigimonVTamer01'', Zeromaru has full confidence his V-breath arrow's ability to defeat any monster, having seen that Yagami Taichi always comes up with some sort of plan if it initially fails that allows his shot to beat it. When the Digimon of Folder start lecturing him about EvolutionaryLevels, Zero's response is to simply shoot bigger V-breath arrows but eventually [[SubvertedTrope they evolve so far not even that works anymore.]]
* ''Manga/OnePunchMan'': The S-class heroes in general, at least the physical fighters, seem to find themselves in this category often, having a bit of trouble with regenerators because all they know how to do is, for example, smash things with a bat. However, with some good aim, proper knowledge of the enemy (in this case knowing the source of the regeneration) and skill, it can be overcome. Saitama himself, however, falls into this ''hard''. Enormous monster starts killing people and carving a swath through several cities? Punch it, monster's dead, problem over. Enormous meteor is a minute away from crashing into Earth and wiping out several cities? Jump out there, punch it, scatter it into smaller pieces that will just wreck one city, problem over. Smear campaign by jealous heroes? Punch them in front of everyone, embed them into the nearest wall, problem over. TheLancer wants a spar and won't stop until Saitama finally decides to go on the offensive? ''Almost'' punch him, let the windshear wreck the entire mountain range behind him, leave him gawking, problem over. Ultrapowerful alien tries to [[Anime/DragonBallZ pull a Frieza]] and destroy Earth with a giant KamehameHadoken? Punch the beam harder, split the fucking atmosphere, kill villain and underlings with that single punch, problem over.
* In ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'', [[TheAce All]] [[DentedIron Might's]] fighting ability essentially amounts to punching things really, really hard. To counter him, the League of Villains create Nomu, a genetically-engineered super-soldier with the abilities of shock-absorption and regeneration, allowing him to NoSell All Might's attacks. Eventually All Might figures that since Nomu's power is to ''absorb'' shocks, not ''nullify'' them, all he has to do is just keep [[SpamAttack spamming punches]], harder and harder, until he [[ArcWords goes beyond]] the limits of Nomu's ability. Once he does, he promptly punts Nomu into the ''stratosphere''.
* Asta, the protagonist of ''Manga/BlackClover'', has a {{BFS}} with one single ability, and one alone: [[AntiMagic it negates all magic that comes in contact with it]]. While Asta can also use his sword for the usual swinging and cutting, Asta has discovered that the anti-magic can also be used to lift curses, heal people who were hurt by magic, cut magic signals, revert changes to people and objects done by magic, and by using the flat sides of his sword, deflect projectile magic back at the caster like a mirror.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Defied early on in ''Comicbook/UltimateSpiderMan'', when Peter gets his ass kicked by the Kingpin and Electro, and realizes that just because he can shoot a web at someone then punch them really hard, doesn't mean he should stop using his brain. He goes back for a second round but with a plan this time -- the Enforcers end up in jail, the Kingpin has to flee the country as a known murderer, and Electro is taken into S.H.I.E.L.D custody.
* ''ComicBook/GrooTheWanderer'' by Creator/SergioAragones. Aside from being [[TheFool the godchild of Fate herself]], which protects him from all manner of schemes both vengeful and proactively self-defensive, Groo has... swords. And lots of skill with swords. Not that he's beneath taking an errand or two, but he usually messes that up, or else does the errand far too late, or talks about it to the wrong person. And then a couple of armies storm the village and he kills everybody with his swords. Swords rule!
* One of the older ''[[ComicBook/TheMightyThor Thor]]'' annuals in his Creator/MarvelComics series involved Loki stealing his hammer (see Mythology below) in order to escape from his mystical prison. Thor fights through much of Asgard in order to get it back, solving various problems by making hammers out of nearby materials.
* In a CrisisCrossover in Franchise/TheDCU, Superboy Prime, who was previously RetGone, ''punched'' his way back into continuity. He ''punched at the walls of time and space until he existed again.'' [[note]] He was in a (rather large) PocketDimension at the time; the "walls of time and space" were a reachable, delineated area.[[/note]]
* Spider Jerusalem from ''ComicBook/{{Transmetropolitan}}'' usually doesn't use firearms except for self-defence, but for everything else, there's the (usually) non-lethal [[BrownNote bowel disruptor]] to incapacitate painfully and messily.
* Well-Spoken Sonic Lightning Flash of the ComicBook/SuperYoungTeam is a speedster. When the team temporarily disbanded, he did the one thing that felt right: he walked aimlessly. His thing is forward motion, and it's all he knows. That's why his immediate reaction to most problems is to simply run directly at them.
* The ComicBook/IncredibleHulk frequently violates the "clever trick" aspect of this by simply beating things harder and harder until they break anyway, regardless of how cleverly designed or how skilled they are at absorbing or avoiding damage. He is thus the ultimate "hammer" and disabuser of the notion of rock/paper/scissors story design.
* Although he's intelligent, and is capable of coming up with plans and tactics, Franchise/{{Superman}}'s default method of attack is just to fly up to a problem and punch it. Given that he's [[WorldsStrongestMan Superman]], this ''does'' solve a number of problems. Likewise for Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}, Comicbook/{{Superboy}}, Comicbook/PowerGirl and any other Kryptonians.
* Very common for most Comicbook/XMen, especially more minor characters, to fall under the trope and be reliant solely on their mutant powers. This is not completely universal for every mutant though. For example, Comicbook/{{Gambit}} very notably has many non-mutant skills and can manipulate his powers in a lot of different ways. Generally, his well known DeathDealer approach is most emphasized when he plays a minor role in a comic. Another example is their reliance on the FastballSpecial, especially during Creator/JossWhedon's run on Astonishing. Lampshaded by Emma Frost when she once told Colossus, "You can't just throw people at all your problems, dear." {{Justified|Trope}} in part; a usual aspect of mutants was that they had only one power (usually), and many of them have a highly specialized power. Still, they were able to use it creatively: Comicbook/{{Cyclops}}' optic blast serves as an attack, can be used to slow his falling, [[MemeticMutation allows him to fly...]]
* In Comicbook/WarMachine's case, it's "When all you have is an electric minigun, a missile box and a crapload of other guns".
* In the third ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' series, Nico developed a really bad habit of resorting to magic to fix every single problem, often with great complications. She finally got called out on this after using a magic spell to force Klara to stop crying after the latter was seriously traumatized by an accident.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* EVE, from ''WesternAnimation/WallE''. Her problem solving tree is something like "blast it with my arm cannon. Does it still need to be blasted more? Audri"
** Compare also with M-O, the obsessive cleaning bot, who lives in a very black and white [Clean/[[MemeticMutation Foreign Contaminant]]] world. Even in battle, he rushes towards the enemies just to....deliver a maintenance job.
* Fix-It Felix Jr. from ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' literally has a hammer as his only weapon. Unfortunately it's a magic hammer and its only function is fixing stuff. Likewise, his co-star Ralph is incredible when it comes to wrecking things.... but finds out when he's game-hopping that he's not so good at anything else.
-->'''Ralph:''' I told you; I don't make things. I ''break'' things.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In the ''Film/PoliceAcademy'' movies, [[CrazyAwesome Tackleberry's]] solution to any problem is to shoot at it. This includes putting out a cigar, getting a boy out of a car to force him to go to school and ''rescuing a cat out of a tree.''
* In ''Film/TheDungeonmaster'', the protagonist has precisely one solution to any of the challenges thrown his way by the villainous Mestema: shoot it with his FrickinLaserBeams. In [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Dr. Insano's]] review of the film, it starts [[BerserkButton wearing on his last nerve]].
* The corridor fight scene in ''Film/{{Oldboy 2003}}''. On the way to confront Woo-jin, Oh Dae-su meets a corridor filled with over two dozen mooks armed with almost every simplistic melee weapon under the sun, including metal poles, baseball bats, chunks of 2x4, and knives. Despite having little more than the clothes on his back and a claw hammer, Dae-su proceeds to beat each and every one of them down. Given that the entire scene is done in a single take and lasts the better part of three minutes...
* ''Film/SpeedRacer'': When told that racing isn't going to solve the world's problems, he says, "Racing is the only thing I know how to do, and I gotta do something."
* ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra'': Nevermind your complicated bypassing of the security system, Breaker. Snake-Eyes can just do what he does best and stab it with a sword.
* In ''Film/ShootEmUp'', the hero uses his gun to do just about everything, including cut the umbilical cord from a newborn.

* An electrician, a chemist, and an IT technician get on a car, but the engine doesn't start. "There must be a problem with the spark plugs", says the electrician. "No, it's the gasoline that has the wrong octane rating", replies the chemist. "[[HaveYouTriedRebooting What if we got off the car and on again?]]", says the IT tech.
** Extra points for this being a joke that came true. In the 1990's the idea of a car working like this was both ridiculous and funny, today most warning light really are caused by errors that go away from restarting. Rudimentary computer knowledge has become a pretty useful hammer.

* Gilderoy Lockhart in ''Literature/HarryPotter'', who could do only one spell with any degree of competence: [[spoiler:[[LaserGuidedAmnesia memory erasure]]]]. On a general note, if it's a good guy, they will use Stupefy (stun) and Expelliarmus (disarm). If it's a bad guy, they will use Cruciatus (torture) and Avada Kedavra (kill). At first. Later when the Second War starts, there are plenty of good guys willing to use lethal or at the very least brute force on Dark Wizards, so much that Lupin calls Harry's having Expelliarmus as his trademark spell as childish.
* It's a whole plot point of Creator/LawrenceWattEvans's book ''With A Single Spell'', which tells a story of an apprentice wizard whose master has died after teaching him only a single simple fire-casting spell.
* This became a problem for Luke Skywalker in the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse. Granted, the Force isn't so much a hammer as it is a complete garage full of the best power tools money can't even begin to buy, but even the Jedi of the old order, flawed though they were, knew that Jedi had to have tools and training beyond lightsabers and the Force. It was "fixed", temporarily, by [[Creator/TimothyZahn one author]], who noted that Yoda, Obi-Wan, and so on didn't use the Force except when forced to make a point, and that excessive Force use -- coming to see the Force as a [[Series/DoctorWho sonic screwdriver]] -- was the equivalent of making a whole lot of noise all the time, making you unable to hear even important whispers. When he established the Academy, Luke initially doesn't see the use for any weapon but lightsabers. Corran points out that lightsabers have no stun setting, and convinces Luke to have the trainees study basic unarmed combat too.
* In the 4th and later books in Spider Robinson's ''Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon'' series, mass-telepathy becomes the go-to solution for whatever horrible conflict is currently facing our intrepid barflies, even referencing the quote at the top of the page. It almost turns into the literary equivalent of OverlyLongFightingAnimation. In the first three, the problems are on a much more personal level, and the solutions are far less predictable. The group telepathy doesn't even show up until halfway through the final story in the third book.
* Subverted in Gromyko's ''Witch as Profession'' series. The heroine once explains: "A battlemare can't win by just dishing fireball after fireball, you must THINK, and fast!"
* In ''[[Literature/JohnnyMaxwellTrilogy Only You Can Save Mankind]]'', Johnny accused Kirsty of having a mind like a hammer and treating everyone else like a nail. Another example would be Johnny initially continuing to fire when the aliens in his video game try to surrender. ''After all, there wasn't a Don't Fire button.''
* Literature/AnitaBlake. Except all she has are her genitals [[GirlsWithGuns and a gun]]. Made even more blatant with the same author's ''Literature/MerryGentry'' series. There are no problems that cannot be solved by the main character having sex with someone.
* Late in the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' series, Jake makes this assertion regarding Visser Three.
-->'''Jake''': "Visser Three doesn't do tactics. He fights with a sledgehammer."
-->'''General Doubleday''': "If you have a big enough sledgehammer, that's all you need, son."
** Given that it's literally their only weapon, the Animorphs' practice and use of the morphing technology far surpasses the Andalites' skill with it. This to the point of shocking Andalites like Ax and Aldrea, who watch the humans perform morphing acts that would count as legendary to their species yet let it pass without comment.
* At the climax of Creator/FredSaberhagen's ''[[Literature/BookOfSwords Third Book of Swords]]'', Vulcan, wielding Shieldbreaker, is being wrestled to the ground by a group of unarmed human beings, only to discover that the otherwise invincible [[InfinityPlusOneSword Sword of Force]] [[WeaksauceWeakness doesn't work on the unarmed]]. To make matters worse, the [[ClingyMacGuffin Sword won't let itself be thrown away during a fight]], and also prevents Vulcan from using any of his other powers. So he tries using the Sword against the walls of the building, hoping to bring the house down on the heads of his attackers:
-->Concentrated now in the one Sword was all of Vulcan's power, and all his hope. He knew that he must win with it, or die.
* The page quote comes back often in [[Franchise/StarCraft Liberty's Crusade]], seeing how Mengsk's primary strategy to solve every problem is to plant a PSI Emitter near it and let the Zerg take care of the rest (followed by the entire planet being incinerated by the Protoss).
* [[CloudCuckooLander Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse]] in ''Literature/{{Cryptonomicon}}'' is more or less useless in any situation that doesn't involve mathematics. It's rather astounding the number of different ways he does manage to bring this particular hammer to bear.
* In ''Literature/TheInitiateBrother'', General Hojo tries to avert this, saying that a soldier like him might not be the best person to decide a certain issue.
-->'''Hojo:''' Soldiers will always make decisions with a sword. It is our way, but there are other ways.
* Discussed in ''Literature/SpaceMarineBattles'':
-->'''Lycaon''': Do you know how to kill him?\\
'''Lysander''': [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill Cut him into pieces and burn them.]]\\
'''Lycaon''': Is that what the people of Malodrax say?\\
'''Lysander''': No, but that works on everything.
* In ''Literature/TheKaneChronicles'', [[WarGod Horus']] strategy for fighting seems to be this. This is amusingly lampshaded in ''The Serpent's Shadow'', all (of course) [[ItMakesSenseInContext while Horus is possessing a pigeon.]]
-->'''Horus:''' My knowledge of combat magic is rather basic. [[CarryABigStick Hit enemies with a sword until they're dead.]] If they rise again, hit them again. Repeat as necessary. It worked against [[GodOfEvil Set.]]
-->'''Carter:''' [[DeadpanSnarker After how many years of fighting?]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In the early seasons of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', as [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Clark]]'s powers are limited to invulnerability, SuperSpeed and SuperStrength, his default attack is "throw the villain hard at something". In season two he gains [[EyeBeams heat vision]], but his default attack is unchanged because it would otherwise be messy. As his SuperSpeed increases, he seems to starts using "punching you at mach 10" more often against tougher opponents. Hey, it worked even on Brainiac, Zor-El and Zod! Not to mention he [[spoiler:took down Comicbook/{{Darkseid}} with one of those]]...
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' is a particularly JustForFun/{{egregious}} offender, almost every episode requiring that they devise some special technique to render the monster defeatable by one of the stock finishing moves. Several noteworthy examples:
** The second season's MechaMooks, Z-Putties, were completely indestructible unless you knew their weakness. This weakness: being punched really hard at a point in the middle of their chest ''[[AttackItsWeakPoint which is conveniently marked]]''. (Despite learning this weakness during their first encounter, the heroes never aimed for it immediately, which would've made the show both realistic and boring.) This once led to them being defeated by ten-year-olds with dodgeballs.
** In another early episode, the Power Rangers are faced with evil doubles that they aren't able to beat, so Zordon gives them new weapons...which look ''exactly'' like their old weapons. (Specifically, they're stronger versions meant to overpower the Mutant Rangers' weapons)
** ''SPD'': Reflections: Sam, who can turn into a ball of light, realizes that a monster's weakness is the mirrors built into its chest. So, is his brilliant tactical strategy to somehow leverage his light-form to turn those mirrors into a liability? Nope, the answer is "punch him really hard in the chest."
** ''Operation Overdrive'': Man of Mercury: Future SixthRanger, Tyzonn, has the power to turn himself into mercury, [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay T-1000]] style. Faced with the need to stop an alien army from escaping their imprisonment in a mirror, you might think that he'll use the reflective qualities of his mercury form in some way, as he'd been seen to do a few scenes earlier. He does end up using his powers: he extends his reach and smashes the mirror. ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' writers seem inordinately fond of smashing mirrors.
*** A different example is pointed out in at least one review of the episode "Both Sides Now" in which the Black Ranger seemingly defects for the purpose of stealing back an artifact from the bad guys. While it's clear that it wouldn't have gone as smoothly if the Rangers didn't have a career criminal on their team, it's also likely that they would never have even thought to try the FakeDefector plot if someone with Will's skill set wasn't around.
** But ''finally'' something different in ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'': "Doctor K": Faced with a monster that can duplicate anything it can reflect in its mirror, Dr. K does a well-timed feint, causing it to duplicate not her weapon, but a generator the rangers need two of. Still, it wouldn't be ''Power Rangers'' without falling back on the old chestnut. While all this is going on, the Rangers defeat a larger version of the same monster by a well-placed flying kick to the chest-mirrors.
* The only weapon on the ''Series/{{Lexx}}'' is a planet-destroying wave, as such the ship and its crew have a tendency to solve problems by blowing up planets. Like in the third TV movie where the ''Lexx'' scrapes a parasite off its skin by destroying the planet they were on and flying into the [[AsteroidThicket debris field]].
* Despite being surprisingly sophisticated in its character drama and plot development, ''Series/CaptainPowerAndTheSoldiersOfTheFuture'' was prone to resolving all its moments of suspense by the simple expedient of having it turn out that the heroes were not hurt quite so badly as it had at first appeared.
* Several times in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', when the story required a less than super character to handle a situation on their own, it was suggested that Buffy sit that one out as it didn't require slaying, citing Buffy's tendency to respond to even minor conflict with violence. And while she has quite a repertoire, her go-to weapon is a good-ol' pointy stick.
-->'''Buffy:''' "Why don't I just put a stake through [Anyanka's] heart?" \\
'''Giles:''' "She's not a vampire." \\
'''Buffy:''' "You'd be surprised how many things that'll kill."
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'': Lily Aldrin solves all of life's problems by treating them as she would in a kindergarten class and recommends her friends do the same.
* Claude Raines stopped Peter Petrelli from turning New York into rubble in ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' with a well-placed right cross. Given that he was played by Christopher Eccleston, it was awesome. This is similar to the method used to stop the alien villain in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial "City of Death."
* ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'': Frank has a gun. He wants you to know that and [[RunningGag will pull it out at the slightest provocation]] in what is otherwise a (very dark) SitCom. It's the only reason anybody ever does anything he says.
* Cameron in ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'', being a literal killing machine, tends to view any problem in the context of how many people she has to kill, treating alternative methods with anything from bemusement to derision. That she is willing to apply other methods as the series progresses is an important point of CharacterDevelopment for her.
* In ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', the eponymous city is invaded by aliens in powered armor who have come to steal a device. During their escape, one provides cover by throwing up an energy shield which blocks bullets. Undaunted by this, the heroes unload on this guy for nearly 30 seconds, eventually breaking the shield and killing him.
* Subverted by ''Series/DoctorWho''. Sure, all the Doctor has is a sonic screwdriver, but it has more features than a Swiss army knife with extra hammer space. If we're to judge by ''Doctor Who'', the grand unifying theory of science is that everything is controlled by screws. In fact, it was temporarily taken off the show because it was feared it would become a GameBreaker, so to speak.
** Although [[RunningGag it doesn't do wood]].
** Also, it's specifically never used to solve the episode's big problem. And in the revival series, the Doctor rarely uses the same trick twice to solve the episode's big problem.
** Ten references this in one of his audiobooks as the reason he never carries a weapon. "If all you have is a gun, then all you see are things to destroy, and that's not who I am." It's not that he doesn't think there are situations that call for violence, he just doesn't want to risk it becoming his first resort. When all you have is an amazing intellect, and tools to get you access to all the most relevant data on what's going on, things are much less likely to end in a tragic misunderstanding.
** In the Classic series, the Doctor is always ridiculing TheBrigadier's tendency to use military force to deal with the MonsterOfTheWeek. Of course, he's simply using the tools he knows well; it's the job of his 'scientific advisor' to come up with other options.
** The Daleks were very clearly designed with one purpose in mind: Exterminate. They were given two appendages, neither of which even functions as a hand: a gun, and a plunger like device that can interface with technology (and even that can be used to kill). While early episodes showed that they ''can'' stun someone, it rarely comes up as an option; their general tactics are kill, kill, and kill some more. Even when performing tasks like interrogating someone who would have willingly shared intel with them, they make it lethal because it's what they do.
-->'''Rose:''' You didn't need to kill him!
-->'''Dalek:''' Neither did we need him alive.
* Across assorted TV and live shows, Australian comedy troupe the Music/DougAnthonyAllStars had a running gag involving moral dilemmas, each of which would describe a particular quandary in varying amounts of detail, including situations involving alcoholism, losing a job and so on. The last line of each dilemma was inevitably "You have... a hammer." Except for unwanted pregnancies where it ends with "You have... '''a coathanger.'''"
* The titular character from ''Series/{{Angel}}'' will often claim to have [[ThePlan a plan]] to solve the current crisis. If any of the other characters bother to ask for details, it usually involves going in the front door of the bad guy's lair and stabbing it/them. (In another humorous case, the plan to avoid security was "walk really fast", and then, stab something.)
* How many times did ''Series/{{Star Trek|the Original Series}}'''s Captain Kirk [[MyFistForgivesYou punch an offending alien in the face?]] Or order his crew to [[BeamSpam fire phasers?]] Handheld phasers borders between EveryDeviceIsASwissArmyKnife and this trope -- on the one hand they can be used in a fair number of non-weapon ways (plus, they can serve as improvised explosives), but on the other hand a lot of problems were solved by firing at someone/something until it fell down/exploded/disintegrated.
* There is an interesting variation on the ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' episode "[[Recap/LeverageS03E11TheRashomonJob The Rashomon Job]]" where each of the various thieves tried to steal the same rare dagger on the same night using their designated skills and inadvertently sabotaged each other, only to realize that the mastermind of the group had really ended up with it. This was before any of them ever really met, mind. it also turned out that [[spoiler:the dagger was really a fake and that it was all just an insurance scam]]. Eliot often plays this straight as well. His primary means of gaining a proper disguise is to beat up the person wearing it and steal it.
* A nonviolent variant from ''Series/MythBusters'': No matter what the problem, Grant has the same solution: build a robot. And a "violent" variant from the same: if a myth is even tangentially related to explosions, there ''will'' be an explosion, even if they have to resort to calling in the bomb squad.
* In the ''Series/RedDwarf'' episode ''Meltdown'', Pythagoras believes there is a solution to the war, possibly involving triangles. Einstein is annoyed saying "Always with the triangles".
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': John Sheridan's motto appears to be, "When in doubt, [[NuclearOption nuclear warheads]]." No wonder Creator/{{Syfy}} keeps hiring Boxleitner for their similarly inclined [[Film/SyfyOriginalMovie movies]]. (To be fair to Sheridan, though, he never uses nukes in the same manner twice.)
* Jeremy Clarkson of ''Series/TopGear'' is particularly fond of hammers, using them at every opportunity even when it's not the best idea in the world.
--> '''James''': Don't hit it with the hammer.
-->'''Jeremy''': Why not?
-->'''James''': Because it's the tool of a pikey.
* In ''Series/KamenRiderWizard'', the monsters of the week, Phantoms, are tasked with making special humans called "Gates" from crossing the DespairEventHorizon and have their Phantoms break out of their "Gate". Now, sometimes, the Phantom of the Week has a brilliant plan to make a Gate despair, such as turning their closest friends against them or destroying a portrait of the Gate's loved one, and fewer have ''succeeded'' in making their Gates despair... Well, just that part in the show anyway. However, there are some Phantoms, like [[AxCrazy Phoenix]], who tend to just go and attack the Gate repeatedly, hoping that the near-death experience can cause the Gate to despair. This was examined with Phoenix, as this way of thinking was what caused him to be [[KickedUpstairs promoted to]] {{Co Dragon|s}} status and Phantom Supervisor. Why? Because he ''killed'' a Gate while performing this very trope.
* In ''Series/KamenRiderDrive'', [[SixthRanger Gou/Kamen Rider Mach]] has multiple TransformationTrinkets at his disposal and the [[PowerFist Zenrin]] [[CoolGuns Shooter]]. The only problem is that he only has 6 [[spoiler:(Well, 7 at the end of the series)]], and all but 2 [[spoiler: (Again, 3 at the end of the series)]] of his Signal Bikes just change what his Blaster shoots, meaning most of his fighting style varies from "Hide and Shoot Them From a Distance" to "Shoot,Freeze Them in Place, and Hit Them Really Hard".
* Barry Allen of ''Series/TheFlash2014'' intially falls into this, given that he can only do [[SuperSpeed one thing.]] His basic battle strategy in the early episodes tends to be "Run really fast and punch the other guy." However, he does eventually learn more applications of his powers, like time travel, creating illusory duplicates of himself, and turning his spark trail into a projectile weapon.

* ''Send The Marines'' by Music/TomLehrer ("Fortunately, in times of crisis like this, America always has its number one instrument of diplomacy to fall back on...").
* The Arrogant Worms' song [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "Malcolm Solves his Problems with a Chainsaw"]]

* Tales of the [[Myth/NorseMythology Norse god]] Thór sport an [[OlderThanPrint early example]] of this trope, as his repertoire was so limited that he was always content to solve any problem [[DropTheHammer with a literal hammer]], no matter the odds. This was lampshaded, as Thór once lost the hammer to theft, and was then screwed to the point of begging Loki's help to get it back. Averted once when Alvíss, the all-knowing king of the dwarfs, wanted to marry Thór's daughter Thrúd. Thór kept Alvíss busy and distracted with questions until sunrise, knowing that sunlight would turn the dwarf into stone.
* [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Zeus]] used [[VoluntaryShapeshifting transformations]] [[ShapeshiftingSeducer to sleep with]] [[DoubleStandardRapeDivineOnMortal nymphs and mortal women]] or solve problems. (The rest of the time, he [[BoltOfDivineRetribution threw lightning bolts]].)

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Several wrestlers can win any match with their FinishingMove. When Wrestling/{{Batista}} claimed the STFU (a submission move) was completely useless in a Last Man Standing Match, Wresting/JohnCena proceeded to lock him in it until he passed out, then counted to ten, proving him wrong.
* Many of the [[MightyGlacier less athletic]] pros out there fall under this, The Great Khali being among the top offenders. He has literally three "moves": overhead chop, choke-bomb, head-vice. The last two are finishing moves, and anything that doesn't involve swinging his arm over his head is either just running into someone, pushing them in various ways, and falling on them in various ways while the commentators desperately try to call it a leg/elbow drop. Wrestling/BigShow threw a lampshade on this at a house show, responding to chants of "You can't wres-tle!" with "I don't have to!"
* Wrestling/TheYoungBucks have a decent repertoire of moves. However, they are notorious for spamming the superkick over and over again until their opponents finally go down.
* Nicole Savoy cited this as the reason she lost to [=LuFisto=] in their first Wrestling/{{SHIMMER}} encounter, promising she'd show more versatility at Volume 80. [=LuFisto=], clearly wasn't expecting it, as her strategy was out [[BeatThemAtTheirOwnGame suplex the suplex queen.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In any game that has it, the "Magic Missile" spell quickly turns into a wizard's hammer: it typically deals NonElemental‎ damage which is hard to resist, it's cheap to cast and scales up nicely with the caster's level.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** The only thing the [[RedshirtArmy Imperial Guard]] have going for them? [[FiveRoundsRapid Guns]] [[BeamSpam and]] [[WeHaveReserves manpower]]. When confronted by the enemies of Man, they employ both of these, and if that doesn't work, they just keep throwing bigger guns and more men at it until it breaks. That said, their bigger guns tend to be ''really'' effective.
*** Kubrik Chenkov is a master of this. His strategy? Send men. If that doesn't work? Send more men. He uses men to clear minefields for his tanks. In one battle he sacrificed ten ''million'' men to achieve victory. His superiors gave him a medal.
** The [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Orks]] tend to be even more extreme than the Guard, just with "When All You Have Is MoreDakka." Or perhaps More [[{{BFS}} Choppa]]. At any rate, this mindset is reflected in the Greenskin deities, Gork and Mork - the Orks love to fight over which is which, but the main difference between the two is that one is "brutally cunning" and will bash you when you're not looking, while the other is "cunningly brutal" and will bash you ''really'' hard even if you are.
** The [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Tyranids]] as well, which was {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in a ''Magazine/WhiteDwarf'', battle report when a Creator/GamesWorkshop employee said that you can discuss different rosters and tactics for Tyranids, but when it comes down to it, all their strategies end up being about "spikey death."
*** Averted in fluff. Tyranid Tyrants and [[UpToEleven especially]] the Swarmlord tend to be brilliant strategists fully capable to outwit Imperial Guard generals, Space Marines Chapter Masters and Eldar Autarchs. And Orks are not an easy target practice as well. Especially that Ghazghkull guy.
** If you're playing a Chaos Daemons army, this gets even worse. Daemons literally have no guns, unless you use a lot of hyper-expensive Tzeentchian squishy-wizard Daemons, so the only thing you can do with them is charge. Thankfully, your basic close-combat soldiers can hack enemies to pieces with [[{{BFS}} gigantic iron swords]], [[DanceBattler sinuously decapitate them with crab-like claws while dancing]], or [[StoneWall take a whole lot of abuse]] to deliver a gigantic payload of [[ThePlague Super Space]] [[TheVirus Flu]].
* A common saying amongst Ancient and Medieval miniature wargamers: ''Sledgehammer is a plan on itself''.
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' give us the Hidebound Disadvantage, meaning a character prefers to use tried and true methods, or in some cases is psychologically unable to do otherwise, that have served them well in the past.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** Some specialist wizards are more specialized than others. Necromancers at least have Black and White arts (not much), Summoners have acid arrows and suchlike, but what sort of spells do you think a Fire Elementalist is going to have? Protection from fire, hurling fire, breathing fire, beating with fire, fire wall, fire cloud, fire trap and... and... yeah, right, that's about it.
** Specialist wizards could sacrifice breadth of knowledge for depth. By forsaking two (of eight) schools of magic, the Wizard chose one other school and gained a special spell slot at each spell level that could only hold a school from his chosen school. A splatbook adds the "Focused Specialist" class variant in which a wizard could sacrifice a ''third'' school to gain two ''more'' spell slots for their chosen school (for three extra slots total...at the cost of forbidding the wizard to use roughly 1/3 of the spells on his class list).
** Other (typically less useful) classes also forced specialization on individual characters. For instance, Shugenja had to forbid a quarter of their class list from their class list, Warlocks could only ever learn about 1/4 of the available Invocations, and all spontaneous casters (save the Spirit Shaman) had to permanently commit to a small pool of the spells on their list. The sublime martial artists of ''The Book of Nine Swords'' faced similar restrictions.
** 3.x had this in spades among players. The best fighter build, for instance, is considered to be one which uses feats to give a ridiculous number of bonuses to a charge, then praying for that one charge to kill the opponent.
** Although spellcasters aren't generally subject to this as much, since their big advantage tends to be a lot of versatility, there's a feat called Arcane Thesis, which lets you really specialize in a single spell above all others. Paired with a few other abilities, you can pile on the metamagic for an empowered, twin, chain, repeat, maximized, enervating, admixed, searing orb of cold that deals solely fire damage, and enough of it to literally kill gods. But, you won't be able to do much else, and it's considered one of the weaker ways to go. Yes, godslaying is subpar for casters. Go figure.
** Perhaps the most extreme caster example in 3.5 is the psionic class the Wilder. With an utterly dismal 11 powers known at level 20 (assuming one has not taken feats to gain more, this is one of the lowest of any psionic or arcane caster class in 3.5, period) but the potential to "surge" and vastly increase the wallop of your power when cast, you will be using a very narrow repertoire of powers but surging for immense increases in your effective caster level. This amounts to some truly absurd amounts of damage that can be dished out in a single usage of your power, but you will be using that same power and your wild surge again, and again, and again.
** The flavour text of ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' spell Khelben's Warding Whip (disrupting [[SomeKindOfForceField magical force constructs]]) says that Blackstaff once met [[{{TabletopGame/Greyhawk}} Bigby]] "apparently not on the best of terms" and later expressed his opinion on [[HelpingHands Bigby's Hands]] line of spells as "the old goat comes up with one good gimmick and beats it to death with a rock".
** 4e Slayer. What does it do? [[CripplingOverspecialization Basic attacks.]] That's all it can do, dishing out huge amounts of damage through basic attacks. And occasionally, have magic items that trigger basic attacks or are triggered by basic attacks. Why does the 4e Warlord like to pair up with Slayer? Because the 4e Warlord focuses on granting other players basic attacks.
** Warriors who put enough feats into using a specific weapon can result in this, too. In particular, a character focused on ranged attacks can quickly reach the point where a bow is the ideal weapon, regardless of range. Doubly so for the ''TabletopGame/IronHeroes'' variant's Archer class.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'':
** The [[DealWithTheDevil Green Sun Princes]] are explicitly told to [[DefiedTrope move away from this paradigm]]. What separates them from their Yozi masters is that they can think outside of the box and mix-and-match their masters' gimmicks to best deal with the situation at hands.
** The Yozis, on the other hand, have this as a fundamental tenet of their existence. For Malfeas, "solve this problem" = "use overwhelming force to solve this problem". Someone has to die? Smash them into a pulp. Need to debate someone? Shout them down.
* Though the sheer length of time that ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' has been around means that each of the five colors have a vast and expansive repertoire of spells at their disposal, each color tends to fall back on the same themes time and again. The biggest offenders are Red, the color of "throw fire/lightning/goblins at it", and Green, the color of "throw nature at it". In a text about the green/red pair, Mark Rosewater pointed this out as that pair's biggest weakness: "Plan A: Beat it up until it stops moving. Plan B: Er... We were supposed to have a plan B?"
** "Of course you should [[KillItWithFire fight fire with fire]]. You should fight ''everything'' with fire." Jaya Ballard, Task Mage.
** {{Inverted|Trope}} with Goblin Gaveleer. [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=194373 "When everything looks like a nail, you really need to get yourself a hammer."]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In pretty much any first person shooter with a physics engine the player will find themselves trying to manipulate objects with guns or bombs rather than with their hands. Clearly the best way to move a can across a room is with a shotgun.
* Pick ''any video game with LevelGrinding''. You will get players whose main tactic is to power-level to a point where all challenges become moot. For example, right up until ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' (which introduced [[AntiGrinding diminishing returns]]) it was a perfectly valid tactic to ''only'' use your starter Pokemon and grind it until all elemental weaknesses and strengths were flattened by raw level advantage. Even there, if you pick the right starter, then even the diminishing returns aren't enough to stop you, as there are exactly enough trainers to hit the level cap.
* For that matter, just about every shooter, from the classic ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' clones to more modern "realistic" ones. Chances are if your problems aren't solved by shooting it, you're either not shooting it enough/in the right place, or you're supposed to use explosives.
* in ''{{VideoGame/Bulletstorm}}'', there's four simple solutions to every problem in-game:
** '''1''': Kicking it
** '''2''': Leashing it
** '''3''': Shooting it
** '''4''': CruelAndUnusualDeath
* In ''{{VideoGame/Borderlands 2}}'', Brick and Mordecai, two [=NPCs=] who were playable characters in the [[{{VideoGame/Borderlands}} first game]], discuss their tactics with each other in one story mission. Brick's preferred method of solving problems is to utilize his secret "punch them in the face till they die" technique. Mordecai prefers to shoot stuff from far away.
-->'''Mordecai:''' Like I said, instead of punching, I prefer to keep my distance from my target, pick my moment, then kill them with a single, well placed shot.\\
'''Brick:''' You lost me at "instead of punching".
** In fact, in ''Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep'', Brick's solution to several problems is to punch them, [[spoiler:which inevitably led to problems when he rolled the highest initiative for communicating with the dwarf king]].
*** This trope is then subverted later in the campaign [[spoiler: when you free the Handsome Sorcercer's daughter (who represents Tina's mental image of Angel), and she quickly betrays you when you untie her, which all could've been avoided by punching her in the face]].
** There are very few problems a Gunzerker can't solve with liberal application of gun. If that fails, [[MoreDakka you simply apply more gun.]]
* Players can fall into this in RPG games that have multiple solutions to problems, particularly if they optimize characters for combat rather than diplomacy. How this is handled can vary from a drop on the KarmaMeter, to economic penalties, to nothing at all.
** Similarly, any RPG classes or characters which are only able to attack with one method. Monks from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI''? Punch stuff to death. Dark Knight Cecil in the Easytype of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV''? Swing your sword at stuff.
* ''VideoGame/SummonNight'' exemplifies this trope.
** The hammer is a Craft Knight's first weapon, as well as a tool for producing more weapons.
** In the very first ''Swordcraft Story'' game, Pratty (or [[OppositeSexClone Cleru]]) can't get in the labyrinth without a weapon, but she can't forge a weapon without first collecting the materials from the labyrinth, so what's she going to do? Why, use a hammer as her weapon, of course!
** Then in the second game, Aera (or Edgar, the Male Character) is given the materials to make a basic dagger... which promptly breaks after the first boss fight. Then she gets another set... which ends up poorly forged and breaks immediately. Cue Hammer Time at the local forest.
** Also, the hammer is the EmergencyWeapon of the game, and is always used whenever the player breaks all of their equipped weapons (or has none equipped to start with).
** During [[TournamentArc tournament battles]] in the first ''Swordcraft Story,'' each Craft Knight gets to bring a single weapon to battle. If a combatant's weapon breaks, they lose.
* In ''VideoGame/JetSetRadio'' and its sequel ''Future'', pretty much the only thing you can do to defeat enemies is to spray graffiti on them with your paint cans. You spray rival gang members, you spray law enforcement officers, you spray tanks and helicopters, and you even spray ''[[SpiderMech spider mechs]]'', and they all somehow get destroyed. This is taken all the way to the final boss fights too: in the first game, the evil millionaire is summoning demons with his turntables and you have to spray paint all over his sigils to defeat him.
* ''VideoGame/MischiefMakers'': There is no problem that cannot be solved by grabbing, and usually, shaking an object on the screen.
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' and ''VideoGame/CityOfVillains''. Click on things, and blow them up. You can blow them up in a variety of interesting and unique ways, or even heal people while blowing them up, but you'll blow them up. Trying to find the Council's hidden base, key to their plot to take over the world? Screw infiltration or keeping an ear to the ground; you'll just blow up Council till one of them spill the beans. Need to develop a new component based on Freakshow and Rikti technology? No, we won't be scavenging their bases; just go and blow them up. In fact, there are many missions that are ostensibly about "investigating" enemy bases; this can reliably be interpreted as "pound every single opponent on the entire map into the ground." The development team ''has'' tried to subvert this, but attempts usually fail internally due to it simply not being as fun as blowing things up.
** As a general rule of thumb, any task, no matter what its objective is, can be accomplished by simply beating up everything that can be beaten up in the target area. There is one exception; a mission specifically supposed to be about stealth. On it, defeating certain enemies will FAIL the mission, which can catch people by surprise.
** It's also why Mayhem Missions (Blow everything up) is generally considered more fun that Safeguard Missions (Stop people from blowing stuff up. Granted, you stop people from blowing stuff up by blowing them up, but still...
* Is this a Cryptic Studios thing? Any mission in VideoGame/StarTrekOnline involves either [[MoreDakka shooting]] crowds of enemies alongside your {{BFG}}-wielding bridge officers on a planet or a space station, or else [[StuffBlowingUp blowing up waves of enemy ships]] [[RecycledInSpace in an asteroid field]]. It took a serious amount of player outcry just to get a ''diplomacy'' system implemented, and this ''is'' TheFederation we're talking about. The [[TheEmpire Klingon faction]] has nothing to do but [[StuffBlowingUp blow other people out of the stars]], whether that's [[FantasticRacism their actual enemies]] or [[CivilWar other Houses]].
* ''VideoGame/SonicBlastMan'' proves that all problems can be solved through gratuitous use of the 100-MegatonPunch. Gangster stealing a lady's purse? Hit him with a right cross ''through'' the jaw. Meteor threatening the Earth? Body-blow that sucker straight out of orbit.
* ''VideoGame/{{Hammerfight}}'': you swing a [[JustForPun hammer]] around your craft by moving it and letting the attached free-swinging hammer or sword get tugged around. That's it for attacking, defending, and everything.
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'''s gameplay is centered around applying the same one tool (the Portal gun) to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. Having said that, the Portal gun lends itself to slightly more creative applications than, say, a left hook.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''
** In general, game strategy can be described as "Find creative ways to keep your enemy occupied while the TheMedic builds up his [[LimitBreak Ubercharge]]."
** The Engineer is another example. As the Meet the Engineer video says "The answer...use a gun. And if that don't work, use [[MoreDakka more gun]]." A built up sentry gun, or several built up sentry guns can even defeat an Uber.
** This trope is one of the reasons Pyro, Heavy and Demoman are considered good beginner class choices. While all three have their higher-tier gameplay skills to learn, a lot of problems can be solved by dousing everyone in fire, throwing a wall of bullets at it or spamming the area with so many grenades that the massed splash damage will do the trick, respectively.
*** By extension, the Pyro is practically a trope victim. Since all his [[RunningGag (her?, it?)]] primary weapons deal damage through fire, all but one/two of his secondaries also light things on fire (the exception being the fairly generic shotgun or the Reserve Shooter which scores minicrits against airborne foes[[note]]It doesn't help that Pyro can airblast people in the air[[/note]]), and one of the best melee options (the Axetinguisher and it's reskin the Postal Pummeler) relying on the target being on fire, it can be safely assumed that fire will be making your kills. This puts the Pyro in a bad position as the number of ways to counter ongoing burn keep increasing.
*** The Heavy is in a similar boat. Too slow to really benefit from melee weapons and having only a choice between some underwhelming shotguns and a support item lunchbox, a Heavy is going to be solving virtually every conflict by way of minigun. Indeed, this is the Heavy's main balancing factor. The minigun is one of the most destructive elements on the field but any way around it (high mobility scouts, long-range snipers, spies, etc.) and the Heavy is best off getting back-up rather than handling it themselves.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'': And then Shiki stabbed the unkillable super death machine vampire. And it died. Next! If you want someone to do a different method of fighting, talk to Arcueid (WolverineClaws, [[RealityWarper Marble Phantasm]], Mystic Eyes, HealingFactor etc) or Ciel (sword fighting, [[ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks sword chucking]], [[{{BFG}} the Seventh Scripture]], magic) because Shiki is noted even in story as skipping all the complicated parts so long as he gets near his target, to the point that his [[GlassCannon surviving to get near]] is the ''whole tension'' in his fights -- once he can get the stab in, it's done.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'':
** All characters solve their squabbles with relatively non-lethal combat magic. The first boss is almost never related to the real incident of the game; nonetheless, delivering beat downs to at least three random ''youkai'' will always point a heroine in the correct direction of the person responsible. Then you deliver a beat down to ''that'' person as well, and come back in a week to deal with their quirky entourage. Getting hit in the face with a bullet is practically a "hello" in Gensokyo.
** Many characters come with a special gimmick and their {{Vancian|Magic}} spellcards play on as many non-lethal applications of this power as they can imagine. Other characters, based on folklore and ''youkai'', have theme-tinted techniques. The fandom takes this to extreme limits by developing world-building routines that can be based around thorough mundane application of their power. In an aversion, some residents have rather abstract powers that are hard to understand or have set limitations (e.g., Remilia).
*** While Yukari has many different problem-solving assets, such as personal power, numerous powerful connections, her vast knowledge and intellect, or her considerable political clout, nine times out of ten she simply delegates tasks to either her Shikigami Ran or her employee, Reimu, on account of [[TheGodsMustBeLazy being too lazy to handle it herself unless she absolutely has to]]. Alice also has the least variety out of any of the known magicians, with her dolls being the center of all her magic.
*** Despite being only a BadassNormal, therefore losing the SuperpowerLottery, Marisa's ([[PowerCopying stolen]]) emblematic superpower is "[[{{Catchphrase}} creative uses of Master Spark]]," a KamehameHadoken supplemented by the [[MundaneUtility all-use miniaturized imitation]] of a [[GreenRocks magical reactor]]. Enemy in your way? Master Spark! Need an ''[[GonnaNeedMoreX even bigger]]'' attack? [[MoreDakka More Master Spark!]] More range? Fire TWO Master Sparks! Need something more surgical? The mobile Master Spark, Final Spark! Need to move/close the gap faster? Fire Master Spark [[RocketJump backwards]] and [[RammingAlwaysWorks charge headlong into the enemy]] with Blazing Star!
*** This only really applies in the fandom, however. In the games she also has astromancy, potion-bombs, and numerous other (smaller) energy attacks, from small lasers to cold fire and magic missiles. Many of which are also stolen since Marisa is a '''literal''' {{Kleptomaniac Hero}}. At least the enhancements she makes are entirely her own.
* Lampshaded by Master Chief in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'': "I thought I'd shoot my way out. Mix things up a bit."
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':
** The titular character of the series has two attacks: "curl into a ball and hurl self into the enemy at high speed"; and "turn into [[SuperMode Super Sonic]] and fly into the target at even higher speed". Over the years, he's destroyed armies of Dr. Robotnik's robots with the first attack, and defeated several evil gods with the second. Though the series does mix things up occasionally with {{Puzzle Boss}}es, and the major gimmicks of ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'' and ''[[VideoGame/SonicStorybookSeries Black Knight]]'' involve hand-to-hand combat and sword fighting, respectively.
** VideoGame/{{Shadow|TheHedgehog}} has all the same abilities as Sonic...but during his [[ADayInTheLimelight day in the limelight]], his usual homing attacks took a back seat to ''guns'' as a weapon of choice.
** Knuckles, despite being able to use the Spin Dash like Sonic, prefers solving his problems by punching them. Need to defeat Badniks? Punch them. Need to remove an item blocking your path? Punch them. Need to get up a mountainside? Climb it by punching your knuckle spikes into the rock. Need to get something buried underground? Punch the earth out of the way. Need to keep the Master Emerald from being stolen by Robotnik? Punch it so it breaks into a bunch of pieces. Punching something not working? PUNCH IT MORE!
* ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'': The second battle against Assassin Asha boils down to this, due to the guy having [[SuperReflexes "Plasma Cannon reflexes"]]. He will dodge ''anything'' (including the [[BringMyBrownPants Nuke weapon]] you might have fired on him in Sector 5) that isn't the Shotgun or Buster Gun, because he thinks dodging such pathetic weapons is shameful. He will continue ''not'' dodging pellets even on the verge of death. The Shotgun is the only weapon you have on Ultimortal that isn't the Resonance Detonator (you get the Reflector on that difficulty before the battle with Tor), so...
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'': During his fight with [[spoiler: corrupted Berserker]] in the Heaven's Feel route, Shirou mentions that when brute strength goes beyond a certain point skill has no meaning anymore. [[spoiler: He then uses Archer's Arm, which copies both a sword and the skills and abilities of it's owner (apparently including brute strength), to get both.]] Shirou's basic tactics boil down to this; as he doesn't have the wide array of skills that most mages employ, his tactics mostly consist of finding the right sword to project and whacking the bad guy with it until he falls over. If that doesn't work, [[MoreDakka Unlimited Blade Works]] usually does the trick.
-->'''Archer:''' You only have one skill; you must learn to use it to its fullest extent.
* ''Videogame/{{Painkiller}}'', as described by [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee]]:
--> Okay, so maybe it ''is'' nothing but murdering tonnes of dudes, but it does it so well, what more could you want?
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' does this with the Hammerman badge. It doubles the Attack power of your hammer... And nukes your Jump ability until you take the badge off. Similarly, the Jumpman badge powers up jump attacks but disables hammer attacks.
** Mario in general is original video game ''king'' of this trope, as the ''Portal'' developers mentioned in an interview once. To get over obstacles, jump over them. To gather coins and upgrades, jump under a "?" block. To kill baddies, jump on them. To lower the flag at the end of the level, jump into it. Everything else is an optional bonus. He manages to be a OneManArmy with nothing but jumping. That sort of takes him to a whole new level of awesome.
** Mario in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'' can't seem to do ''anything'' without the help of [[CreatorsPet FLUDD]]. Never has spraying water at something been so vitally important.
** Luigi in ''VideoGame/LuigisMansion'' and ''VideoGame/LuigisMansionDarkMoon'' can do ''anything'' with his Poltergust vacuum. Including (in the first game) spraying ice, water, and fire, carrying objects, hanging on to things, pulling things, grabbing items from afar, defeating enemies, etc.
* The downloadable game ''VideoGame/SplosionMan'' has you controlling a little fireball-man who has only one move: creating an explosion around himself. You use this for everything from attacking enemies to jumping.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts''' Keyblade can solve any problem you come across because it is [[SwissArmyWeapon more versatile]] than most weapons, functioning as a Sword, Magic Wand, Skeleton Key, and ''Spaceship''. That doesn't change the fact that many of the problem a Keyblade Wielder comes across can be overcome by smacking the offending object with a giant key. Need to open a chest? Smack it! BigBad firing a giant cannon at you? Smack enemies into it! Evil computer program trying to kill you? It's okay, with a bit of help, your keyblade can shoot HACKING LAZERS! [[spoiler:Need a minion? Stab someone in the chest! They won't even die!]]
* If you ask [[TalkingWeapon Lilarcor]] for advice in ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'', he will recommend killing things. In fact, his [[MurderIsTheBestSolution only solution for anything is killing things]]. Need money? "Find someone rich, and kill them. Then find someone richer, and kill them too!". Need to find your way around a labyrinthine plot of intrigue? "Start swinging. Eventually you'll lop off the head of *someone* important and the good fights will really start!" Need to defeat the EvilSorcerer? "Kill him!" Then again, Lilarcor is a sword. Everything probably looks like a stab victim to him.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'': Despite the vast variety of tools at his disposal, almost all bosses still go down with Link's sword. Boss have a specific weakness? Use dungeon tool, then sword.
** Taken UpToEleven in ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'', where it is your sole weapon in that game (everything else is used for puzzles) but can even ''grab items'' just by stabbing them.
* Many of the princesses in ''VideoGame/PrincessWaltz'' fall into this. Angela, for example, uses a lance and [[PlayingWithFire fire]]--[[KillItWithFire guess what her answer to everything is]]. Suzushiro, however, takes the cake. Her only real ability is to concentrate all her [[{{Mana}} alma]] into her fist, making it harder than steel. Her answer to everything is to punch it.
* The title characters of the ''VideoGame/RavingRabbids'' games have a problem with this as a result of their phenomenal idiocy. Most of the unlockable videos in the first game are built around the structure of a Rabbid being in an everyday situation, then "solving" it by pulling out a blunt instrument of some kind and screaming "DAAAAAH!" (Also, plungers. Plungers everywhere.)
* Chester from the original ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' has only one attack: his arrow shot. He hits high, low, and ''hard''. He doesn't even need a special skill or a need to locate an enemy's weakness to be powerful.
* Qara in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' is a {{sociopathic|Hero}} sorceress who specializes in fire spells. Naturally her preferred solution for solving problems is to [[KillItWithFire blast everything in sight]]. She ends up drafted into the party after ''nearly burning down the tavern''; the innkeeper (your foster father's half-brother) has her paying for the damage in sweat.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising''. During the Lightning Chariot level, Pit comes across an obstacle he needs to get past to proceed. When he wonders aloud what to do about it, [[spoiler:[[DeadpanSnarker Hades]]]] says "The same thing you do with everything. Shoot it."
* Franchise/{{Pokemon}}. If you have only one type effective move, screw strategy. Spam Thunder until that Pidgey is on the ground and twitching.
** In competitive play a set comprising Rest (restore all health, but fall asleep), Sleep Talk (use a random move in your sleep), Calm Mind/Bulk Up (increase both your offense and defense), and a single attacking move is sometime seen. Even if the opponent resists that attack, after some Calm Minds it won't matter.
** Also the Choice Items give the Pokemon holding it increased Speed, more powerful physical attacks, or more powerful special attacks, depending on which one you use. However, it forces that Pokemon to keep using the same move you pick first, unless you switch it out and back in, or lose the item somehow.
** A number of specific Pokemon fit this, either due to a limited move pool or because their stats, type, or some other factor keeps them from using most of the moves they can get effectively. A prime example is Lilligant; if you see one competitively, you can already guess 3/4s of its move set with near certainty: Sleep Powder, Quiver Dance, and Petal Dance. The last move is more of a toss-up, but it tends to be little more than filler anyway, and is usually only used if the "Disable opponent with Sleep Powder, power up with Quiver Dance, kill everything with Petal Dance" plan fails.
* Extremely common in the ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' franchise, since that universe operates on a caricature of MightMakesRight. The best example of this is Adell in ''VideoGame/Disgaea2CursedMemories'', who is presented as a dumb brute who solves everything with his fists... [[BrilliantButLazy except when he effortlessly solves a complex Geo Puzzle in seconds]]. He then reveals that he is ''capable'' of being smart, but that he just happens to live in a world where punching things is the quickest and most efficient solution to your problems.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'':
** In multiplayer, the Krogan Warlord embraces this trope [[DropTheHammer in a very literal way.]] His melee attack? Smash it with a hammer. His active power? Smash it with a biotic hammer. His other active power? Smash it with an electrified hammer. His passive powers? Become better at smashing it with a hammer.
** In the ''Citadel DLC'', you can overhear a conversation where a Turian Sentinel claims that detonating Tech Armour is the best FinishingMove against ''any'' enemy one might encounter and ''any'' situation one might find themselves in.
* In ''Videogame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'', most of Sith Inquisitor's repertoire revolves around creative ways to use [[ShockAndAwe Force Lightning]].
** Likewise, most of the Sith Warrior's abilities boil down to "Stab".
* Nero's Devil Bringer in ''[[Videogame/DevilMayCry Devil May Cry 4]]'' is used to lay the smackdown on enemies, hold them hostage, pull them towards you (Or, in the case of "heavy" enemies, pull yourself towards them), counter moves, store Yamato (Which, in turn, lets you use Nero's Devil Trigger), search for hidden orbs, missions and items, activate and use Gyro Blades, solve puzzles...
* Deconstructed in ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'': when prompted by the PlayerCharacter, Black Whirlwind has a number of stories to tell about his past adventures, all of which boil down to Whirlwind solving every problem he encounters by killing people. It's funny at first, but then FridgeHorror starts to set in. By the time you complete the Imperial Arena's sidequests and learn about how Whirlwind killed [[spoiler:his own brother, Raging Ox, in the process of trying to convince Ox to stop working as an enforcer for the local criminal syndicate]], it's become clear that Whirlwind's inability to find any other means of conflict resolution is in fact very tragic for him.
* ''VideoGame/{{Overlord}}'': Pretty much your entire repertoire of options boils down to "have minions do it cleverly", "have minions do it stupidly by throwing more along", and "have minions occupy the enemy while you throw spells at them and hit them with your preferred weapon". You may have noticed a pattern here.
* The main character of ''VideoGame/RockinKats'' is armed with a spring-loaded boxing glove gun. Not only can he use it to punch enemies, but he can rebound himself off of objects to hit enemies with ''himself'', rebound off the floor to avoid hazards like spikes and over large pits, rebound off the walls to WallJump, grab and swing from various objects (once again damaging enemies with himself in the process,) and grab certain projectiles and hurl them back at the enemy.
* In ''Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City'', anything that Michael Jordan can't hurdle by jumping alone is solved by throwing a basketball at it.
* Despite the vast range of items available in ''VideoGame/{{Scribblenauts}}'', most players will fall into using the same common basic items again and again.
** Later games in the series reward the player for coming back and finishing the same mission in different ways, in an attempt to shake things up a bit.
* ''KerbalSpaceProgram''. Rocket not reaching orbit? You could try and make it lighter, refine your engine choice, fly more efficiently - or you could just add more boosters. Also those players who will use the same lander for almost everywhere, and those who launch everything on a spaceplane.
* ''VideoGame/{{Solatorobo}}'', the main character's MiniMecha has only two main fuctions: grab something and throw it. Red expands the basic combat by either tossing enemies at each other, chaining a throw combo, or throwing an enemy's projectiles back at it. Red later unlocks parts of the robot and a SuperMode which, in most cases, result in him grabbing and throwing things better.
* 99% of the time, whenever presented with a problem, Snow Villiers of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' presents "summon Shiva" and "kick lots of ass" as the solution. Most of the time, it [[NiceJobBreakingItHero doesn't]] [[LeeroyJenkins work]] [[BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu at all]]. However, [[BigDamnHeroes sometimes]] [[Awesome/FinalFantasyXIII it does]].
* ''VideoGame/VisceraCleanupDetail'': Your job is clean up a god-awful mess on a space station (or, in the ''VideoGame/ShadowWarrior2013'' DLC, a fancy Asian manor). You have a mop, a steady supply of buckets and bins, and a furnace. Sooner or later, many players don't even bother with the niceties of a preemptive tidying up, and just throw everything into the furnace at the start. Shell casings? Furnace. Ruined equipment? Furnace. Bits of monster? Furnace. Co-worker's corpse? Yep, furnace.
* In all ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}'' games, the player characters solve all of their problems with one of two things: Pikmin, and if ''really'' desperate, punching. Whistles are also needed for giving the former commands. Something needs to be carried? Use Pikmin. Wall in the way? Pikmin break it down. Need to lower a platform? Throw Pikmin on it until it's weighed down. A giant EldritchAbomination humanoid on stone rollers is stalking them and seems to be invincible to all attacks? That's only because in that one cave you don't have access to the ''Purple'' Pikmin yet, get them and that blob monster becomes a joke. The Pikmin themselves solve most of ''their'' own problems by either hitting it with their leaves/buds/flowers or by carrying something to a destination, that "something" being anything from pellets to ship parts to exploding rocks to enemy corpses.
* Reinhardt, from ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'', quotes this trope if he can land his ultimate ability, Earthshatter, on enough enemies. Fittingly enough, his weapon is a [[DropTheHammer giant rocket-powered hammer]], and if he does land his ult, he's got ''three seconds'' to use said hammer on his opponents without them being able to fight back. And since his hammer hits everything in front of him when he swings, it pretty much guarantees all non-tanks are ''boned.''
* ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'''s main ability is to inhale enemies into him, then either spit it out (towards other enemies and destroyables) or swallow it for a [[PowerCopying copy ability.]] Sure, said copy abilities vary a lot, and those abilities serve for solving different puzzles, but at the end of the day, it's all traced back to the inhale. Subverted for the spinoff games that usually will make him unable to inhale; some games will also hand you some kind of EleventhHourSuperpower when it's clear neither inhaling or copy ability would work against the final boss.
** Taken UpToEleven by his special Hypernova ability in ''Videogame/KirbyTripleDeluxe''. All it does is a much stronger version of his standard inhale, and you'll be surprised at the things it could do to solve obstacles, like [[spoiler: engage in a BeamOfWar with the FinalBoss]].
** This goes even more for when you're able to play as [[AntiHero Meta Knight]] (or sometimes [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking King Dedede]]) who can't copy abilities like Kirby does (Dedede can inhale, but only when he's the boss; the player could never do it). They just smack things around with their sword and hammer respectively.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Webcomic/AnotherGamingComic has Nuclear Dan who is fire obsessed, with his entire spell list being a fire spell, he even spent a levels worth of points on fire immunity so he could fireball himself and not die.
* ''Webcomic/BrokenPlotDevice'' parodies the trope in the spirit of ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' [[http://www.brokenplotdevice.com/2009/08/24/solving-problems/ here.]]
* A version of this trope is PlayedForLaughs in ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}''. Chirinide can't figure out how to operate a [[{{Magitek}} non-manatech]] oven while staying in the colonies. Kau informs her that it uses fire. The trouble is, Chiri is a [[KnightTemplar Kyorl'solenurn Warden]], whose experience with fire extends to [[KillItWithFire purging]] demons and other foes. [[http://drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=9830 She promptly calls forth an enormous fireball.]]
* ''WebComic/EightBitTheater'':
** Fighter thinks very much this way. He's dumb enough to miss important clues to the workings of the world around him, but he's also exceedingly skilled with his swords (not to mention fixated on them). At a certain point he creates "[[InstantChucks swordchucks]]" (a combination of swords and nunchucks, that allows him to wield four swords simultaneously). His spiritual mentor appears to him in the form of a giant sword wearing glasses. Oh, and when conversations don't involve swords, he completely ignores them. We also have Black Mage, who tries to solve most problems with [[KnifeNut stabbing]] or a [[KameHameHadoken Hadoken spell]]. This trope in regards to Fighter is taken to its logical extreme when he faces his own worst vice, the manifestation of Sloth, which accuses him of always falling back on his sword techniques instead of improving himself in new ways, like using his mind. Fighter gets past it by [[spoiler:killing it with his swords, saying "my mind told me this would be faster."]]
** The Light Warriors in general seem to adhere to this philosophy. Their general plan for any situation is "kill everyone and steal anything that isn't tied down and on fire." So far it's worked, mostly through luck.
** Black Mage, in the early stages, discovered how frustrating this trope can be when you can only use your hammer once a day. Then he developed his {{Knife Nut}}tiness and some fire and lightning spells that didn't involve directly nuking an area the size of Vegas.
** Red Mage believes that there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome by ''vigorous'' application of the Animal Husbandry skill.
** Thief resolves most problem by stealing stuff, and then stealing some more stuff, be it riches, mcguffins, plot devices, the soul of his enemies and other intangible stuff, to the point of [[spoiler:stealing his class change from himself in the future. This comes back to bite him when, during the battle with Sarda when his past self steals his class change.]]
* Khrima, the BigBad from ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}!'', was a Kefka-class archfiend, with magic powers up the ying-yang. So naturally, his solution to every issue, from stopping the hero party to quashing revolts in conquered cities to [[MundaneUtility cutting his sandwich in half]], was [[KillSat Big Friggin Lasers]]. Once had a minion executed for suggesting that lasers were pretty inefficient and they had much better weapons (energy and magic-based) available. He also once fired a scientist when he told Khrima that he was developing an energy-beam weapon to make Khrima's lasers obsolete. The guy really should have just called it a "super-laser".
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** Xykon's two main tactics consist of brute magical force and [[WeHaveReserves sacrificing minions]] (sometimes combining the two by using brute force to kill his minions and then turning then into obedient zombies). He has no head for strategy and hates thinking too hard, but as he once put it "there's a level of force against which no tactics can succeed", and takes extra pleasure in killing wizards who accuse him of being dumb and repetitive. But while he hates battle tactics, he's absolutely brilliant at psychological manipulation. Examples include the rubber bouncy ball [[spoiler:engraved with the Symbol of Insanity which causes an entire room of paladins to start killing each other]] and the brutal "[[EvilerThanThou Butch and Bitch]]" speech in ''Start of Darkness'', [[spoiler:where he gets Redcloack to kill his own brother so the guilt will tie him to Xykon forever.]]
** The good guys' Wizard has the same problem. Vaarsivuus' obsession with arcane magical ''power'' as the solution to ''any'' kind of problem as opposed to tactics and intelligent use of all assets [[spoiler:bit the elf in the ass when Xykon showed he could think outside the box.]]
--->'''Xykon:''' You know what does equal power? Power equals power. Crazy, huh? But the kind of power? Doesn't matter as much as you might think. ... Right now, power takes the form of a +8 racial bonus to Listen checks.
*** Vaarsuvius proves capable of learning from experience and [[spoiler: turns this one around on Xykon immediately, inflicting a humiliating defeat -- which but for a stroke of luck could have been much, much worse than it was for the lich -- using just two potions to revive O-Chul, the level one class feature raven companion to carry Xykon's stolen phylactery, and a 3rd-level Explosive Runes spell to guard said phylactery]].
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'':
** "[[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20000809.html This]] new prosthetic is just ''wonderful''...".
** [[{{Pun}} On the other hand]], Schlock does ''not'' solve all his problems by [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20000703.html vaporizing something with his plasma cannon]]. Sometimes merely [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20000829.html pointing it in the proper direction and flipping the safety]] is enough.
** Namechecked (in Tagon's usual under-competent fashion) in [[http://schlockmercenary.com/d/20100308.html this]] strip, with Tagon conceding that "martial arts training is a really, really useful hammer".
* ''Webcomic/{{Starslip}}'''s Memnon Vanderbeam apparently thinks all the universe's problems can be solved through art theory. And tries to prove it. [[HilarityEnsues Hilarity usually ensues.]]
* Kyros in ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic'' generally tries to solve problems by putting more mana into his flame spells, causing much work for the Death of Insanely Overpowered Fireballs. In one case, he proposed using a Baelrog's own flames to power his fireball. ''[[IncendiaryExponent Baelrogs are made of fire.]]''.
--->'''Lambert''': You can't fight fire with fire!
--->'''Kyros''': Of course you can fight fire with fire. You can fight ''anything'' with fire!
** According to the GM's house rule, characters can only spend experience to improve skills they used. All Kyros ever uses is his fireball. Ergo...
* ''Webcomic/RustyAndCo'' [[http://rustyandco.com/comic/19/ here]]:
-->'''Mimic:''' To a hammer, the world is full of nails.
-->'''Rusty:''' Eat nails?
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/?db=comics&id=870#comic this]] ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal''.
* The way the Strife Specibus system works in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' forces the users to have only one (and, later, at most a limited) type of weapons. As the story progresses, these weapons gets bigger and badder, but still of the same type as earlier in the story.
** Used very literally with John Egbert, who had to put ''something '' in his Strife Specibus, and chose the obvious choice. Because of this, he's forced to result to simple brute force of smacking his opponents really hard with large hammers. Later on he acquires the [[spoiler: Fear No Anvil, which can alter time to stun whoever is hit by it]]. It's still a hammer though, whose primary function is to smash things really hard. ''In the face''.
*** John is a master of this, and its inverse. His secondary Strife Specibus is [[Film/ConAir plush bunnies]]. Turns out that a bunny [[spoiler: modified into a cyborg superweapon and equipped with weapons of its own]] [[LethalJokeWeapon still counts]]. And when all you have is the [[BlowYouAway Windy Thing]]? The Windy Thing can be [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower quite versatile in application]].
* ''Webcomic/BasicInstructions'' occasionally features a group of weird and dysfunctional superheroes. One of these, considered pathetic even by the others is the "[[KnifeNut Knifeketeer]]". He's a (not very) BadassNormal who stabs people with knives. That's it. When the others complained that most heroes prefer non-lethal tactics, he got himself a [[Comicbook/GreenArrow boxing glove knife]]. Yes, a boxing glove on a knife handle. That he then "stabs" people with.
** His associate Rocket Hat is a subversion of this, in that he is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a guy with rockets mounted on his hat]], who uses them in all sort of inventive ways. (Flying, highspeed headbutting, impromptu blowtorch, and so on.)
** The trope itself was referenced by Rick at a bar, where he inverted it when talking with a woman and saying "When you're a nail, everything in the world looks like a hammer." Naturally, [[ButtMonkey her boyfriend didn't take kindly to Rick's apparent flirting]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Housepets}}'', in [[ShowWithinAShow The Adventures of Spot (superdog)]], this is parodied, as Spot (superdog) solves everything by punching. Then the writer, Peanut, tries to make the story better, based on Grape's advice. Spot (superdog) goes into a HeroicBSOD when he finds out that there's a problem he can't solve with punching: The villain making kids obese with snack foods. [[spoiler: Spot (superdog)'s first attempt to solve this problem without punching is to [[PublicServiceAnnouncement make a PSA to stop kids from eating too much junk food.]] Then the villain mentioned earlier wears a disguise as a scientist to refute Spot (superdog)'s claims. Spot (superdog) tries to refute that, and the villain states that it'll take 20 years for the science boards to agree on why the kids are getting fat. Then:]]
-->[[spoiler: '''*beat*''']]
-->[[spoiler: '''Spot (superdog)''': [[ComicallyMissingThePoint *Punches villain*]]]]
-->[[spoiler: '''Grape''': So what was the entire point of--]]
-->[[spoiler: '''Peanut''': [[ShrugOfGod I DON'T KNOW]]]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'', [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2400/fc02349.htm Mr Raibert notes that he has a hammer and is too tired to think of a solution that does not involve said hammer]].
* ''Webcomic/{{XKCD}}'', in the strip [[http://xkcd.com/801 Golden Hammer]], this quote is parodied when Black Hat returns from a night out with his girlfriend, Danish, with this sarcastic remark to Cueball, who is discussing single-purpose hardware that runs java.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Blog/ThingsMrWelchIsNoLongerAllowedToDoInAnRPG'':
-->15. Plan B is not automatically twice as much gunpowder as Plan A.
* In ''WebVideo/ImAMarvelAndImADC'', It's Just Some Random Guy only really uses two special effects. His lightning is used for everything from tazers to the Joker's staff to Comicbook/IronMan's repulsor ''pulses''. His circular fade is used for any form of teleportation as well as any character shifting from one model to another (e.g. Modern Superman and Batman to overly friendly 80's Superman and Batman). Fortunately, his effects pool was slightly increased before Franchise/GreenLantern used his powers. ''Unfortunately'', that just meant that everything goes green for a second.
* ''Website/{{Cracked}}'': "'''Nobody outpunches the Punchmaster!''' A running joke comic by columnist Seanbaby, made from various unnamed Golden Age comic panels featuring a man whose only solution to anything (from answering a question to submitting a resume) is to punch it. Any discussion, confrontation or remark with '''the Punchmaster''' will result in being punched.
** [[[RunningGag '''Nobody summarizes the Punchmaster!''']]]
* ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'': Captain Hammer hits things. Sometimes he throws things. But usually he hits things.
** The one time he tries to mix it up and ''shoot'' things, it goes really bad.
* ''Series/IAmNotInfected'' has "The usual plan:" Push Charlie at the zombies and run.
** They only use it twice or so though. And Charlie survives both.
** They even say it's more like what they use in absence of a plan more than anything. However, on one occasion they used it rather than simply shoot the zombies.
* ''WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation'''s Yahtzee describes Franchise/{{Batman}} as responding to everything by either punching it, or applying "bat-anti-[[BuffySpeak thing]] spray" first, and ''then'' punching it.
* Chaka of the Literature/WhateleyUniverse is a martial artist with control of Ki. She uses Ki for ''everything''. Punching an opponent? Ki attack. Learning an opponent's moves? Ki reading. Drying off in the shower? Ki trick. But while the attitude fits the trope, the results usually invert it: her power is so flexible she's almost a living GreenLanternRing.
** Generator and Tennyo fit the trope too: the former will usually {{Animate Inanimate Object}}s, the latter will [[PersonOfMassDestruction turn the surrounding area into a smoking, radioactive crater]], [[EldritchAbomination if you're lucky]].
* In ''Smash Kingdom'', King Dedede, a king with a nation of weapons and variance of abilities, is a bit too dependent on his hammer, as per the quotes page.
* Referenced in [[http://www.the-editing-room.com/thor.html this]] [[TheAbridgedSeries abridged script]] for ''Film/{{Thor}}'':
--> Chris Hemsworth hammers the fuck out of the robot, hammers the fuck out of some Frost Giants, hammers the fuck out of Tom Hiddleston, and hammers the fuck out of the Rainbow Bridge.
--> '''Chris Hemsworth:''' ''Everything looks like a nail!''
* In ''LetsPlay/{{Boatmurdered}}'' once Operation Fuck The World (which when activated floods everything on the map outside the fortress with lava) was complete, it became their response to everything. Initially designed to provide a permanent [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill solution]] to the elephant problem, it was eventually used against goblin invaders, [[TheJuggernaut a bronze colossus]], an inoffensive merchant caravan come to trade with them, and a ''flood.'' The last of these was disastrous, creating an enormous cloud of steam that enveloped the fortress and scalded many dwarves to death.
* In ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'''s crossover review of ''Film/SouthlandTales'', Linkara claims the safety of the universe is threatened by the film, and tells the assembled they must review it.
-->'''Nash:''' Why is our default response to everything to automatically review it?
* [[Wiki/SCPFoundation SCP-682]] inverts this into "when you really, ''really'', '''really''' need to pound in a nail, everything looks like a hammer". At some point or another, the proposal to introduce SCP-682 to any other interesting SCP will be made.
--> SCP-682 must be destroyed as soon as possible.
* LetsPlay/HatFilms heavily rely on the fact that there is three of them, and tend to do a lot of their game problem solving with this in mind. While this can lead to very effective strategies, such as their use of ZergRush in 'Crown Conquest' and their group coordination in games like ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}'', this can also sometimes become a case of CripplingOverspecialization, like in the case where the Cobble Generator in their early episodes of Skyblock, an easily one-manned device for the average ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'' player, suddenly requires all three of their attentions (one person to pick, one person to dip, and one person on ice duty) to properly maintain.
* In ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'', Yang's go-to strategy in a fight is basically "rush up to enemy and punch them." That fails? She [[TheBerserker gets angry]] and punches them harder. ''That'' fails? She [[PlayingWithFire ignites]] and punches them ''even harder''. '''''That''''' fails? [[CriticalStatusBuff She goes all red-eyed, boosts power to maximum]], and punches the everliving crap out of them. Not advanced or graceful by any means, but it usually gets the job done.
** The series starts to Deconstruct this as it goes on, though. At the end of Season Two, Yang [[TheWorfEffect suffers a rather embarrassing]] CurbStompBattle at the hands of [[PintSizedPowerhouse Neopolitan]], who is just too nimble for her to land a hit on. Then in Season Three's penultimate episode, [[spoiler: Yang learns that trying to rush in and punch an IaijutsuPractitioner can cost you AnArmAndALeg. In Season 4 her father, Taiyang Xiao Long, calls her out on her dependence on her CriticalStatusBuff to win her fights and lack of lateral thinking]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''
** Clamps of the robot mafia is so clamp-obsessed that the Don Bot once chastises him for assuming every problem has a clamp-based solution. [[JustifiedTrope Then again, he does have clamps for hands...]]
** Bender has also supplied the line, "When you look at it the right way, everything is just a primitive form of bending."
** Also Roberto, as a function of being AxCrazy.
-->"This here's my stabbin' knife!"
* In ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' and ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'', Hawkgirl is a first-string hero. Her powers are limited to flying and hitting things with her mace. She lampshades her problem-solving abilities in issue #30 of ''Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica''. TheTeam is fighting [[LivingShadow evil shadow versions of themselves]], and various members are commenting on the best way to take the shadows down.
-->'''Hardware:''' Hint for the slow kids in the class: extremely bright light will take them down.\\
'''Hawkgirl:''' So does a mace upside the head. Actually, I've found the mace works in pretty much every situation.
** Despite the multitude of her mace's uses, she still hits EVERYTHING in the end. To wit, the mace is made from a special anti-magic metal, so it can even smack GODS upside the head. It backfires in the two-part "Eclipse" where she smashes the jewel that allows some sort of ancient reptiles to possess whoever is holding it. Unfortunately, the Justice League (minus the Flash who was fast enough to dodge them) [[NiceJobBreakingItHero is then covered in the crystal's shards]] meaning they are all possessed at once.
* ComicStrip/{{Popeye}}. Spinach. When punching doesn't work, punch it with the power of spinach!
* ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR''. Coop is good at smashing things, and Megas, being a walking homage to the Super Robot genre, is ''very very good'' at smashing things. However, when put up against enemies resistant to smashing (such as a nano-mechanical robot capable of integrating any metal into itself to gain new abilities and able to regenerate infinitely, even to the point of replicating itself a thousand fold) he has a few problems.
--->'''Kiva''': Just to reiterate: Smashing bad.
--->'''Jamie''': You know, normally I'm pro-smashing, and I hate to agree with future-girl, but maybe smashing is not the way to go this time.
--->'''Coop''': We tried no smashing, and that didn't work. I'm sticking to my strengths...And smashing is my strengths. I just need to find the right way to smash him.
** [[spoiler: Coop has to think outside the box and in this case learn the they were solar powered so he uses Megas to create a massive smog cloud. Though most of the time the trope is played straight.]]
** There's also the one time Coop fought a cloaked robot. Instead of figuring out some way to detect the robot, Coop simply fires missiles in every direction, rendering the cloaking meaningless.
* ''WesternAnimation/TitanMaximum'' uses the same basic solution. According to Palmer, their entire strategy for every fight they have ever been in is to "Punch the f*ck out of it." Sasha is [[GroinAttack even more specialized]]. She once suggested surrendering when she realized the enemy had no crotch, and a later enemy had a special force field protecting its crotch just to thwart her.
* Parodied on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' in the show-within-a-show "Knight Boat." A ''Series/KnightRider''-esque sapient crime-solving boat is never stymied when the crooks go on land, because, as Bart and Lisa says in this exchange, "There's always a canal." "Or an inlet." "Or a fjord."
* In the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "[[Recap/TheNewBatmanAdventuresE20GirlsNightOut Girl's Night Out]]", Supergirl and Batgirl team up to take down Livewire, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. Harley's response every time the three villainesses find a locked door is to repeatedly (and futilely) hit the door with a large prop hammer. After Harley's second attempt, Ivy just looks at Livewire and says, "She tries so hard." Then Harley sneaks up and tries her hammer on Supergirl. It backfires hilariously.
* Sandman from ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'' and his sand-based powers. In season 2 he learns how to use them more creatively, becoming a much more dangerous threat. Interestingly this is the last episode we see him in the series, because if he got too good at swinging his hammer, he would become a total GameBreaker.
* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' may be the {{Trope Namer|s}} for WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway, but as [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] pointed out in a comic review, it was by far the most versatile of the powers. Wheeler mocks Ma-Ti for his abilities, but when all is said and done, all Wheeler could do was set stuff on fire (or make it melt). It was, in fact, the ''least'' useful of the Planeteers' powers, especially in a series where ThouShaltNotKill. He didn't even use it very creatively. Heart, on the other hand, combined aspects of SpeaksFluentAnimal, CareBearStare, and MoreThanMindControl. HeartIsAnAwesomePower, indeed. In a broader sense, OncePerEpisode the solution to the problem of the week turns out to be, 1.) summon Captain Planet, 2.) watch the fun.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' has an interesting (and repeated) aversion of this trope, as the characters TRY to pull out their trump card every time, only to be foiled repeatedly and frequently be forced to switch to another plan. The protagonists pursue and acquire the ancient, extremely powerful set of magical artifacts known as the Elements of Harmony, which are capable of extreme feats of power. As such, whenever a major threat rears its head, it is natural for the characters to immediately use them as their go-to weapon. In the second season, when faced with another powerful foe, their first instinct is to go for the artifacts, which he has stolen; they manage to retrieve them, but lose one of their members (and the Magic of Friendship) in the process and have to fix that to use them again. When Changelings invade Canterlot, they make a beeline for the Elements only to be stopped before they can get to them. Because they keep getting stolen, and in order to keep Discord in line, in season 3 they are given the Elements permanently, which backfires when Twilight Sparkle accidentally casts a spell on them which switches their lives around. Finally, when big black vines overrun Equestria, they yet again break out the Elements of Harmony to combat the threat, only to discover that they must return the elements to the Tree of Harmony to fix the problem.
* When the cast of ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' have to face an unimaginably powerful foe in the core of the Earth, what's their plan? Well, they need to get to the core, and a giant drill is the most effective way they have to do it. As for actually defeating their foe?
-->[[spoiler:'''Peridot:''']] We have a drill. ''We're going to drill.''

[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler Hitler]] and UsefulNotes/{{Napoleon|Bonaparte}} (odd bedfellows, indeed) fell victim to this; both became so used to achieving foreign policy victories through war that they became reliant on warfare to secure all their successes. This culminated in disastrous invasions of Russia.
** Napoleon's tactics and battleplans in warfare could all be boiled down to "place a lot of artillery where it will hurt the enemy the most and fire until they break and run". Said approach earned Napoleon many victories when he should have lost (Austerlitz, for example: had he failed to conquer the Pratzen plateau that dominated the battlefield and place his artillery there, the Austro-Russians would have won), but if the artillery is somehow reduced in efficiency he becomes defeatable (at Leipzig, Napoleon was facing A DOZEN different corps with independent command from four nations, and by the time one was at the breaking point he couldn't give the ''coup de grace'' because of attacks from two others, while at Waterloo, Wellington resisted long enough for the Prussian attack because he had placed his troops behind a hill to neutralize direct artillery fire and mud from a nightly rain had reduced the effectiveness of grenades).
** Hitler and his generals became so wedded to the blitzkrieg strategy that it precipitated two key defeats. In Stalingrad an army trained for fast overwhelming victory in the open became bogged down in urban warfare it was not designed for. At Kursk the Germans sought to stake everything on one final blitzkrieg to open the road to Moscow, only to realise you can't blitz a prepared defence. These two battles so weakened the German army that Russian victory became inevitable.
** Of course, the other half of the problem for Hitler was that Stalin didn't particularly ''care'' that his troops were being treated like nails.
* A lot of kenjutsu/iaijutsu techniques come down to executing shomen-uchi (straight downward cut to the top of the head) as the killing strike.
* Krav Maga is similar except in that case the killing blows usually involve breaking the attacker's jaw, frequently after [[GroinAttack hitting him in the nuts]].
* In Shaolin Kung Fu, it is often skill and physical capability rather than technique that decides a fight. Among masters who have near-perfect technique, they will put considerable effort into refining one or two particular techniques. The great Wong Fei-Hung of Hung Ga fame was renowned for his No-shadow Kicks.
* True of most martial arts masters. Famed Taiji master Yang Lu Chan used to beat everyone with the same move: grasp the bird's tail. As the quote above demonstrates, the masters of any martial art are very aware of this. To provide another example: one of the best American karateka used only three techniques in his fights -- jab, cross, and front kick. He was just really good at them.
-->'''Creator/BruceLee:''' I fear not the man who has [[MasterOfNone practiced ten thousand kicks once]]. But I fear the man who has practiced one kick ten thousand times.
* Planned Parenthood once offered a [[http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/253533/new-york-city-council-takes-bad-aim-crisis-pregnancy-centers-greg-pfundstein dubiously legal late-term abortion]] to a woman who mistakenly came to them looking for a car seat.
* One FIRST robotics team adopted the motto "Nothing's impossible with a rubber mallet and enough strength of heart!" when trying to properly adjust the timing belt on their mecanum wheels (a difficult and delicate task involving much rubber mallet use). Another has the unofficial motto, "Life would be meaningless without 7/16-inch wrenches."
* Wiki/TVTropes -- Let's face it, not everything on this site really lends itself to a wiki format, but you have to give the admins credit for making it happen. Same with a lot of wikis. Notably [[Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} That Other Wiki]]'s discussion pages.
* {{Duct tape|ForEverything}}. If it can't be fixed with duct tape, you're clearly just not using enough.
** There's even a saying that puts it quite nicely: "If it shouldn't move but does -- Duct Tape. If it should but doesn't -- [=WD40=]."
* The Perl programming language relies heavily on regular expressions, a language for super-precise text searching. Unfortunately, it makes Perl programs super-hard to read.
* Similarly, almost every task in UNIX shell scripting can be jury-rigged with creative stream redirection and the use of one of three programs: grep (a regular expression, or regexp, text-finding utility), sed ([[RunningGag a regular expression, or regexp]], text replacer utility) and awk (an inline programming language that takes, you guessed it, [[RuleOfThree a regexp]], searches text for matches and then executes a routine for every match). In fact, awk was the basis for what later became Perl.
* It is slightly sad how far a sports coach can get with a tactical repertoire of "Plan A" and "Plan A with slightly different players".
* In the 1960's RCA conceived of a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitance_Electronic_Disc Video Disc]] home video format instead of what would become the far more common magnetic tape format because doing so would allow them to re-use their vinyl record pressing machines and other phonograph related infrastructure. Problems with the finicky technology took [[DevelopmentHell 17 years to work out]] and user experience issues like constantly flipping discs and changing worn playback needles were ignored. When the Disc format [[EpicFail utterly failed]] compared with rival tape formats RCA never recovered and [[CreatorKiller ultimately lost its place]] as the most dominant consumer electronics company in the United States.
* A Sports example: The basketball player Shaquille O'neal was a pretty bad shooter and had a very limited offensive repertoire, yet he is #6 on the all-time NBA scoring chart. O'neal had 3 moves: A dunk, a lay-up and a jump-hook, but combined with his insane physical gifts (7 feet, 330+ pounds and explosiveness) and footwork he really didn't need any more moves.
* In UsefulNotes/{{baseball}}, most pitchers have multiple pitches they can throw so that batters have to guess what they will throw next. Occasionally, though, pitchers get by with only one -- and in some cases, thrive. The most famous example is Mariano Rivera. He has only one pitch -- a 'cut' fastball, or a fastball that moves away from right handed batters. He has ridden this one pitch to be widely acknowledged as the greatest reliever in major league history.
** The reason this typically doesn't work in baseball is because if hitters know what is coming, it is much easier for them to see where the ball is going and know to swing or not and when to swing. In some cases like Rivera's, it doesn't matter because the one pitch is so dominant that even though hitters know it is coming, they can't stop it. Another way to get by this is to throw a knuckleball -- a ball with barely any spin on the ball. The lack of spin counter-intuitively causes the ball to have crazy motion, so that no one, even the pitcher, [[ConfusionFu knows exactly where it's going]]. Some pitchers, such as R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield, have succeeded by throwing a knuckleball almost exclusively.
* Boxing. It has a grand total of four offensive techniques (Jab, Cross, Hook, and Uppercut), and five defensive techniques (Slip/Turn, which consists of turning the body so they miss, Bob And Weave, which is essentially ducking, Parrying/Blocking, which deflects the blow to the side, Cover-Up, which uses the forearms as a buffer against the body/face, and Clinch, which is basically a grapple). Every style and form is based off of using these nine techniques to devastating effect. On a simpler level, boxing only strikes with the closed fist.
** Boxing defense is argued by some to be even simpler than that. Teddy Atlas is fond of saying "There are three ways to defend against a punch. You can block, you can dodge, and you can counter, and too many fighters only learn to do one of those things."
** If you think about it, Boxing offense is also simple, as the aforementioned attacks above are just variations of how you can hit your opponent with your fist. Boxers mostly need to know two things, how hard they should hit the opponent and where they should hit the opponent.
* When the M14 rifle was developed following UsefulNotes/WorldWarII and UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar, the American military decided, to ease up on logistics requirements like what they had to go through during WWII (three or four different ammo types for six or so weapon systems), the M14 would replace ''every single long gun in the arsenal''. Being a full-size battle rifle with heavy recoil and a small magazine capacity, this failed quite hard[[note]]the M14 and weapons based on it are only even still notable today because people discovered that, if you ignored the "full auto or bust" doctrine and stuck a scope on it, it made a pretty decent marksman's rifle[[/note]]. Even today, when standard-issue weapons do actually use the same ammo for different purposes, there are still differing weapons for each of those purposes (e.g. if you need suppression fire, you let the belt-fed machine guns do it, rather than force assault rifles with less than a third of the magazine capacity and no facility for quickly replacing an overheated barrel into the role).
* The primary way that Greek generals adapted the phalanx for various tasks was to simply make it denser and thicker. Epaminondas was said to have made a phalanx fifty men deep to fight off the Spartans.
* Go ahead and ask an electrician how often he uses his screwdriver as a chisel or his linesman pliers as a hammer, and when you're done go ask a plumber how often he uses his wrench as a hammer.
* Money. If you have enough of it, you can make anything happen (well, anything humanly possible) by paying the right people.
* Two political systems in Germany tried to make Germany (largely) self-sufficient for different reasons. The Nazis and [[UsefulNotes/EastGermany the GDR]]. However, as the GDR found out after intensive study, pretty much the only resource Germany has in abundance is lignite.[[note]]West Germany had at the time and still has notable quantities of black coal, which is much more useful and can be sold at higher prices; however, the Nazis needed it for their heavy industry and the GDR did not get any major deposits[[/note]] A type of coal that is just this side of peat, contains way too much sulfur and comes out of the ground so wet, half of it is water. It is so dirty, even oil or regular coal is an improvement in terms of the environmental record and it is mostly mined open pit, meaning whole villages had to be moved to access it. On the other hand, there is nothing in organic chemistry that cannot be made from lignite and water. Lignite can also be burned as a fuel. At the end of years of experimentation, chemical engineers had found a way to make ''margarine'' from it. That's right, they even tried to feed their citizens something made from lignite. The GDR had a huge chemical industry which - after the USSR cut petroleum supplies - ran almost exclusively on lignite.
* In urban planning this could be renamed to "when all you have is cars, all solutions will look like streets". While there has been a major paradigm shift in Europe and some American cities are also slowly moving away from this philosophy, in many cases this is still the main line of thinking. Congestion? Build more freeways! Downtown business in trouble? Nothing that a bit of freeways won't solve! Your city is losing residents? Well, it's probably because they do not have enough freeways! And if the freeways don't fix it, don't forget to add ample parking.
* Politics tends to be this. Almost any thing that parliaments do is in the form of laws. Justified in that laws are very flexible things that can create agencies, allocate funds, outlaw certain behavior, levy taxes and fees or do myriad other things.
* Humans. We may not have something like sharp claws or poisonous skin like some of other creatures of Earth but we can use our intelligent brain proficiently enough to compensate for our shortcomings and even go beyond our biological limitations with enough time and preparation.