"YOU! — BROKE! — MY! — SWORD!!"While the heroes get kicked around a lot, after a certain point we don't worry so much. But if you want to really show off how badass a new antagonist might be, not only should they beat the hero in a fight quickly, but they should hurt their pride. The easiest way to do that is smash up their signature weapon/accessory. Although this is sometimes a cheap and inexplicable device to show off a new transformation, more often the hero is figuratively neutered, and has to deal with the emotional aftermath. Even if he has a buddy who can fix it up, that won't be as important as him coming to grips with either his reasons for fighting or just learning not to be such a clod about it. If this is a videogame, it's by far the easiest way to REALLY piss off the player along with their virtual avatar. Naturally, this is much more emotional for the character if they also have a Empathic Weapon and even worse if it's a Equippable Ally or other Living Weapon. If the weapon is an actual part of the character's body, it's a Fake Arm Disarm, which makes the crippling somewhat more literal. In some cases the breaking of a character's weapon can be foreshadowing of that character's death (if it occurs shortly before), or symbolic of it (if it occurs during or shortly after). In this case there may be some overlap with Tragic Keepsake if one of the character's friends keeps the weapon or a piece of it as a memento. If the weapon also has an association with a nation (for example the royal sword of the king) then it can even signify the fall of the nation in question. If a villain's weapon breaks, it usually signifies that their reign has come to an end as a villain's weapon is usually a symbol of their power. Alternately, the breaking of a soldier's sword is normally a major part of an Insignia Rip-Off Ritual. May lead to Reforged Blade, Give Me a Sword or even It Was a Gift In a mundane "real world" series without magic or swords, the easiest way for a villain to do this is to trash the hero's ride. Compare Breakable Weapons, where this is a gameplay mechanic instead of a plot event. Contrast Like Cannot Cut Like.
— Roy Greenhilt, The Order of the Stick
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Anime & Manga
- Nova breaks Hikaru's sword in the second season of the Magic Knight Rayearth anime. This cuts off Hikaru's connection with her living Humongous Mecha and intensifies her Heroic B.S.O.D..
- Mazinger Z's Rocket Punch is its most popular and most iconic weapon (being both the Trope Maker and Trope Namer). Whenever Mazinger-Z's fists were destroyed or shattered in one fight, you knew Kouji was going to be in trouble. Maybe the first time this happened was when Kouji was fighting Spartan K5 and the Mechanical Beast easily ran its trident through its fist before beating the crap out of Mazinger-Z. A very memorable instance also happened in the Mazinger-Z versus Great General of Darkness, when General Juuma caught his flying fist before eating it.
- Multiple instances in Bleach. The fact that the swords can heal themselves makes this trope much more repeatable in the series, since no story time needs to be spent in getting the swords repaired.
- In fact, one of the training montages in Bleach involved, among other things, learning to not break stride when (not if) an opponent shatters your weapon.
- Played straight at the beginning of the first major arc, when Rukia's brother and best friend turn up to take her back. The former ends up snapping Ichigo's unreleased Zanpakuto like a twig and piercing him in his "spiritual organs" (organs that produce spiritual energy), making him unable to create Reishi anymore. He has to undergo Training from Hell to get his powers back, and unlocks his sword's Shikai state upon doing so.
- Used again much later when Haschwalth snaps Tensa Zangetsu. Then it's revealed that Reforged Blade is not an option for Zanpakuto in Bankai state. Ichigo has to work really hard to get a new Bankai.
- In InuYasha, the sword Tessaiga suppresses the main character's demon blood, so breaking it leaves nothing to prevent him from going into a mindless, feral rage whenever his life is threatened. He eventually gets the sword reforged. Then it suddenly becomes insanely heavy and he can hardly use it. Once he masters using it again, he has a new attack, the Backlash Wave.
- At least two instances in Trigun: Vash's boot knife gets destroyed in a fight with an assassin and the knife he lent to Wolfwood broke when he tried to use it on a robot.
- Happens in the manga, in which Wolfwood's Punisher gets destroyed after a daring escape from the bad guy's giant Ark ship. Luckily, he met a quite crafty gunsmith just afterwards.
- Arguably averted when Louie's magic wand breaks in Rune Soldier Louie; the titular character is happier smacking enemies with a sword, or just punching them. His adventuring party forces him to fix the wand anyway.
- Lyrical Nanoha:
- Nanoha's and Fate's wands cracking each other in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. In the second season (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's), both Nanoha and Fate have their weapons heavily damaged in separate duels against the new antagonists.
- Fate had a version symbolic of her mental state near the end of the first season when she dropped her weapon in shock of finding out her true nature and, combined with the damage it had recieved from her battle against Nanoha, it shattered upon hitting the ground. It remained that way until she recovered from her Heroic B.S.O.D. and jump-started it's self-repair function.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS:
- Taken to a new level when Subaru does this to herself right after her Robotic Reveal by pushing her device past the breaking point after her Berserk Button is pressed.
- Vita breaks Graf Eisen trying to break through the shielding on the Saint Cradle's engine. However, Eisen's tip lodges in the engine after her last attack, eventually shattering the engine.
- Before this, Vita breaks Graf Eisen fighting against Zest.
- In the FORCE manga Signum does this to Laevatein by trying to fight a new villain with heavy Anti-Magic powers and a body tough enough to provoke the mighty Belkan sword to crack like a cookie; obviously, things do not end well for our beloved Lady of War.
- A Chevalier showed off just how powerful he was by destroying Saya's signature sword in Blood+, just by yelling.
- In Bubblegum Crisis, Priss' motoslave armor is destroyed by Largo's Hyperboomers, one of them crushing its head underfoot, and her hardsuit absolutely trashed to the point that it falls apart around her. Under the original script, this would have been followed by Priss being killed due to the voice actor's contractual complications. However, Priss was saved by an 11th hour fan-led campaign to save the character. In an ironic turnabout, when her new armor and motoslave conveniently show up in time to save her, the first thing the new motoslave does is crush the head of the Hyperboomer that destroyed its predecessor.
- Overused in Digimon Savers. Even before Burst Mode is introduced, the Geo-Grey Sword gets trashed by nearly everyone Shine Greymon tries to hit with it, making it possibly the most useless auxiliary weapon in history.
- Battle B-Daman used it to the point of frustration to replace heroes' old marble shooting chibi robots with new ones built around a new system.
- By contrast, one of the villains earlier gets a Kick the Dog moment by destroying his own B-Daman just to show that he has a new one.
- Fairly significant in the Violinist of Hameln, where the titular violinist appears helpless when said magical violin is destroyed; right up until the point where he crushes the foe's head with one hand in a demonic rage.
- The manga takes the concept and runs with it, giving the other characters their chance to shine as they daydream about taking over the entire series. After all, if Hamel's violin is destroyed, what's the point of the manga being called Violinist of Hameln? Better make way for The Adventures of Flute or Tron Bone Z...
- Rurouni Kenshin:
- Kenshin slices Sanosuke's Zanbato in half. Afterwards, Sanosuke puts it away and fights with his fists for the rest of the series. During the Jinchu Arc, Sanosuke wields the Zanbato, now held together with metal staples, again, but it shatters after he uses it to knock away a cannonball.
- Sanosuke breaks Jin-e's sword mid-strike by intercepting it with a statue. Unphased, Jin-e stabs him in the arm with the broken end, then retreats. He has replacements.
- Saito notes that he only likes to use katanas because all other swords are too brittle. His Cane Sword breaks after one use. Kenshin ends up slicing his katana in half. As a government agent, Saito quickly gets another one.
- Kenshin and Sojiro break each other's swords in a duel. However while Kenshin is effectively disabled while seeking a new and stronger sword, and dealing with the mental stress of fighting without killing; Sojiro merely has to ask Shishio for a new sword, in addition to the fact that Sojiro has no qualms about killing.
- Tyki Mikk of D.Gray-Man demonstrates how powerful he is by destroying protagonist Allen Walker's Innocence single-handedly, after we've seen that barely anything can even scratch it. This is particularly nasty because Allen's Innocence happens to be his left arm, and it's also been made very clear that (1) Allen can't be an Exorcist without an Innocence, and (2) forcing anyone to synchronize with Innocence that's not destined to be theirs is at best fatal. He gets better, and his Innocence is stronger for it.
- The Millennium Earl's goal in early volumes is to destroy all the Innocence. It's still a secondary priority, as there were only 109 Innocences at first, they can't be replaced (although they can sometimes be repaired), and they're the only things that can hurt his Akuma.
- Also, Kanda's and Lavi's weapons break in the Ark arc which prevents them from fighting in the lvl4 arc. Or that's what you thought.
- Buggy the Clown puts three knives through Luffy's precious hat early on in One Piece, which leads Luffy to an angry new attack. After the battle, Nami fixes the hat.
- Additionally, Zoro has broken at least two of his swords on different occasions. The first time he just bought a new one, the second time he defeated a master swordsman and took his.
- In the Manga three, in the Anime at least four. Manga would be his two unnamed swords he had when he met Luffy, later Yubashili would be destroyed in a small panel in a big fight against the Marine. The Anime got these examples, but also includes a flashback when Zoro met those two pals of him (see Baratie part of the story). Flashback goes that Zoro returns to a swordsmith and says "Sorry, I've broken them again..." or somesuch, gets into a fight and those two hand him their swords and he strikes down the troublemaker and is astounded that the swords DIDN'T break. Oh, and he didn't buy Yubashili or the Kitetsu, they were a gift from the weapon merchant when Zoro demonstrated that his luck is stronger than the Kitetsus curse.
- While training under Mihawk during the timeskip, Zoro is taught that he should never have a sword broken again, because he can use Haki to protect them.
- Fate/stay night:
- In Saber and Assassin's final duel, Assassin's nodachi gets slightly bent when he blocks Excalibur. This leads to his defeat because the damage created a blind spot in his otherwise undodgeable Tsubame Gaeshi technique, allowing Saber to dodge it and strike him down.
- Servants can use this as an ultra-powerful attack by overloading their Noble Phantasm with mana so that they shatter on impact (called a Broken Phantasm), doing devastating damage. Archer, the Servant who does this in-game uses it without any setback at all, since he is a 'Faker' who duplicates any Noble Phantasms rather than 'owning' one, meaning that he can endlessly re-make Phantasms and break them as long as he has the mana for it.
- In Samurai Deeper Kyo, Sasuke's knockoff sword gets a crack in it when he meets the wielder of the real version. When he takes it to its maker to get repaired, he gets a new one.
- Two hero-breaks-villain's weapon examples in Mai-Otome:
- Tomoe's Valkyrie spear is broken in Episode 22 when Miyu rushes in to stop her from killing Arika.
- In episode 25, she chases after Arika to avenge her previous loss, only to wind up on the losing side again as Arika, with her Robe's true powers awakened, unintentionally destroys Tomoe's armor when she crafts a barrier to protect herself.
- Happens a lot in Code Geass.
- Kallen's Radiant Wave Surger on her Guren is broken three times over the 2 seasons, once at the middle of the first, once about a quarter into the second, and finally in the last episode. The first time, Suzaku is nearly beaten, but lucks out as the Guren falls off a cliff and breaks the RWS upon landing. The second time, the trope is played straight, showing off the power of Suzaku's new mech against Kallen. She got a replacement within 2 minutes, then gave back nearly as good as she got. Finally, the arm is lost in her final battle with Suzaku, but at that point it was meaningless.
- Kallen then does it to Suzaku in R2 episode 18, breaking every single one of his mech's weapons, and cutting off the mech's leg when Suzaku tries a last-ditch Hurricane Kick.
- Bismarck has this happen to him during his mech rematch with Suzaku. He's strongest Knight in the world wielding a BFS larger than the mech he's riding on. The BFS is even named Excalibur. Cue Suzaku delivering a very clean cut of the sword from the tip to the hilt with an equally clean Diagonal Cut of the mech.
- Then said broken weapon is reforged into two new swords, and Suzaku broke those, too.
- Happens dramatically to Andromeda Shun in Saint Seiya. When Pisces Aphrodite destroys the Andromeda Cloth, Shun is left with no other choice than to unleash the Nebula Storm. This is a serious moment given its due gravitas, as the Cloth's Nebula Chain was Shun's Weapon of Choice and a companion at times.
- In Vinland Saga, Thors' sword promptly snaps on Askeladd's armour halfway through their duel. It at first looks like an Oh, Crap! moment, until Thors proceeds to win the duel anyway.
- In the early chapters of Rave Master, a member of Demon Card hunting Shiba and the Rave stones fights against Haru and snaps his sword, "Ten Powers" (in some translations, "Ten Commandments"), the sword with ten forms, clean off at the hilt, prompting Haru to seek out a master blacksmith to reforge it better than ever. Later in the story, Haru fights Let of the Palace Guardians, and Let breaks the sword in half with a punch. Rather than be distraught over this development, Haru grabs one part in each hand and unveils the weapon's fifth form, "Blue Crimson", which actually is two swords. When he shifts the sword back to its default form, it is undamaged. The sword is destroyed for good near the end after Musica forges an even better one for Haru, since the sword's creator believes it is no longer needed in the world.
- Happened once in Ronin Warriors. After gaining the Inferno Armor transformation, Ryo broke his original swords of Wildfire through the power of the armor. After reforging them, he had to quest into a volcano to find the new swords that went with the armor.
- The classic example from Berserk is Guts breaking Griffith's sword with one blow after deciding to leave the Hawks, which starts Griffith on the downward spiral that would ultimately lead to the Eclipse.
- Ed's prosthetic arm in Fullmetal Alchemist. Besides the fact that he tends to actually transform it into a weapon with alchemy all the time, he needs to clap his hands together to use alchemy in the first place (on a whim, anyway), making him completely helpless if it breaks or is severed (granted, you could say the same for his other, real arm, too...).
- In Dragon Ball Z:
- Trunks' sword chipped on contact with Android 18's arm. After this he decides not to use it in combat anymore because it clearly won't do the job, and he stops carrying it with him.
- This also happened later on with the Z sword, but that turned out to be Sealed Good in a Can.
- In Toriko, Komatsu's beloved knife is broken when he accidentally tries to cut through a Don Acorn. But by the end of the next arc he has a new one that can create gashes in mountains from swinging it.
- In Kirby of the Stars, the Demon Beast Kirisakin breaks Sword Kirby's sword, leaving him with no choice but to use Galaxia in order to defeat him.
- Similarly, Sword Knight and Blade Knight's swords get broken upon contact with Masher 2.0's nearly-impenetrable exterior.
- An anti-climactic battle in Samurai Champloo: In Ep. 26, when Jin and Mugen finally have the showdown promised in Ep. 1, they break each others' swords in half on the first pass. Unusually, this does not cause either one to fly into a rage. Rather, it gives them an honorable exit from a promise both now recognize as silly and destructive.
- Weapons get destroyed all the time in Gundam Build Fighters, since the show is about model kits rather than actual Humongous Mecha. However, a character's Gunpla being wrecked usually serves the same purpose as this trope; for example, Fellini's Wing Gundam Fenice gets mauled by the Qubeley Papillon just before Sei and Reiji's match against Aila to demonstrate how fearsome the Embody System is, and in the next episode Maoh's Gundam X Maoh is irreparably destroyed in a free battle against Julian McKenzie's F91 Imagine to show that he's on the same level as the current Meijin, Tatsuya Yuuki.
- In Kill la Kill, Satsuki's Bakuzan gets snapped in half during her rebellion against Ragyo. The Elite Four turn the shards into a separate sword and dagger, and eventually return them to Satsuki (only for them to be finally shattered in the last episode).
- In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray, the Red Frame Astray's Gerbera Straight katana is destroyed by the Gold Frame Amatsu chopping its blade. Lowe spends a sidestory getting it reforged.
- Morte's sword ends up broken at the end of Sands of Destruction, though as the adaptations are extreme Alternate Continuities to the video game on which they're based, the circumstances and meaning to this are dramatically different. In the anime, Morte's sword is seen standing upright in the sand with the top broken off in the final episode. It's likely meant to represent that she's finally called off her war on the world and doesn't want to fight any more; she isn't seen with it again in the final scene, even though it's stated that the world is still a rather bitter, dangerous place for humans and carrying a weapon of some sort, even if only for self-defense, is probably still a good idea. In the manga, she shatters her sword against Vreveil's barrier in the penultimate chapter, but she proclaims that they'll beat him together. The next panel, Morte looks down and notices a sudden hole in her chest, as Vreveil shot her while she was talking. She spends the rest of the manga dead and doesn't get to participate in the final battle. She's resurrected at the very end, but it isn't shown if her mental breakdown has been corrected or not; the story ends before she even sits up straight.
- Happens twice in Claymore during Clare's mission in Rabona. The Yoma Clare was ordered to hunt down first destroys the sword of a Human soldier, Galk, and then also smashes Clare's own knives. This to show how Human weapons are ineffective against Yoma and only the Claymore swords that give the warriors like Clare their name are up to the task, especially because they're made of Thunderbolt Iron.
- City Hunter has the climatic duel between Ryo and Umibozu end this way when Ryo's last bullet destroys Umibozu's gun, effectively winning the duel for him even if Ryo now was without ammo.
- Symbolically done in Tiger Mask with the title character's original Finishing Moves, including the "figuratively neutered" part and, symbolically, the Reforged Blade part represented by a new finisher:
- When Great Zuma defeats the Ultra Tiger Drop, created to have his own personal finisher that does not resort to Tiger's Cave-style murderous attacks, Tiger Mask is left effectively helpless. While he ends winning thanks to Oki's plan, now the world knows how to counter his move, and when provoked or cornered he instinctively reverts to his training and old combat style until he comes up with the Fujiyama Tiger Breaker.
- When Miracle 3 defeats the Fujiyama Tiger Breaker Tiger Mask takes it better, as only Miracle 3 has the combination of gymnast-level agility and immense strength necessary to do it... But the fight between the move and the counter completely exhausted Tiger Mask's legs, preventing him from kicking or even moving properly for the rest of the fight and leading to his defeat. This defeat at the hands of Tiger's Cave strongest assassin effectively cripples him in fear for his life, and he retires until he sees his disciple Teppei Oiwa filling in for him in the attempt to not end his legend and what it represents, leading to Tiger Mask reforging himself (by using the same exercises he had been subjected to at Tiger's Cave) and creating a brand new finisher, the Tiger V, in time for the rematch.
- It had been attempted a number of times with the Fujiyama Tiger Breaker, but any attempt before Miracle 3 had failed or backfired horribly on the opponent due Tiger Mask seeing it coming and coming up with variations to neutralize any counter. Also, this move was used again, because, as said above, only Miracle 3 could counter it.
- Subverted when the Tiger V is countered during the Heel World Championship, as El Sicodelico succeeds only because Tiger Mask was injured and couldn't perform it properly. Then Double Subverted when Tiger Mask finds himself unable to fight back against his opponent's superior skill until Sicodelico purposefully uses an illegal move to provoke him into using fouls he wanted to study, at which point Sicodelico is quickly annihilated due Tiger Mask's experience in fouls. The reforged part comes when El Sicodelico explains why he was even there: using fouls is actually legal in wrestling as long as it's stopped before three seconds, and he, unable to use them properly, wanted to study and learn them facing the foulest wrestlers in the world, inspiring Tiger Mask in doing just that and finally leave behind the nightmare of his past as a Tiger's Cave pupil.
- Downplayed in Tenchi Muyo!. When Tenchi finds the sword his ancestor Yosho used to seal the demon away, he swings it around and accidentally smashes it into a rock, shattering the rusted blade. He keeps the broken hilt and hopes that his grandpa doesn't find out. As it turns out, the blade was a decoration and the actual laser-bladed sword still worked fine.
- In GaoGaiGar FINAL, GaoFighGar uses the Goldion Hammer against the Repli-Star GaoGaiGar, but the hammer and the Marg Hand is destroyed by the Hell and Heaven attack. Goldymarg, the robot that is the two pieces are part of, has its AI implanted into 3G's starships and is activated as the Goldion Crusher.
- Subverted in the Champions comic book when Flare teams up with the Galloping Galooper, a non-powered hero who "fights with his great-grandfather's cavalry sword". His blade is broken in the fight, but when Flare consoles him over the loss of the heirloom he explains that his great-grandfather made swords, and he has dozens more at home.
- The "figuratively neutered" part of the trope comes in from a different angle, when she clobbers him in response to his ham-handed attempt to talk her into another sort of "consolation".
- The Punisher has traditionally had a nasty habit of breaking all of his coolest toys. Much like the T-car, the Battle Van is wrecked in almost all of its appearances.
- In one storyline in the City of Heroes comic, Statesman suspends Manticore from the Freedom Phalanx and then breaks his bow for no reason other than to be a dick. The subversion is that while Manticore looks crushed, he goes home and gets another bow from an entire wall of them.
- Happened to The Mighty Thor's hammer many times. What's interesting, mostly Mjolnir was broken because of magic, but last time it happened it was because Thor punched something too hard and powerful even for this weapon — his grandfather.
- Thor's foe the Crusader is powered by faith. If his faith wavers, then his powers falter. Frequently this results in his sword being shattered, usually just before his defeat. He always reforges his sword when he regains his faith.
- Evil Star, with his Starband, was able to take away and destroy Hal Jordan's power ring twice and Hal was powerless to do anything to stop him from doing that.
- A new enemy damaging Captain America's shield is generally a sign that this foe is to be taken very seriously indeed. For instance, Odin's brother the Serpent in Fear Itself breaks the shield into pieces as an indicator that he is ludicrously dangerous and powerful. Also, the pieces of the shield are seen lying around Cap during his Heroic B.S.O.D. in the Bad Future of Age of Ultron, which indicates that the world really has gone to hell in a hand-basket.
- In issue 10 of Loki: Agent of Asgard Thor breaks Gram the Sword of Truth, because he thinks Loki is not worthy to wield a hero's blade.
- Early in Wolverine's adamantium-less saga, Logan runs into his old rival Cyber, who fights the weakened X-Man. At the end of their battle, Cyber catches Logan and slams him into the floor, breaking one set of bone claws. Logan spends the next few issues (going into the Phalanax Convent storyline) regrowing his claws.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, Donatello gets his staff broken when the brothers arrive in the Amazon. Donny makes a second staff and it breaks when the brothers defend a village from a bunch of amoral loggers. As thanks for their help, he receives a third staff, which he keeps.
- Similar to the Punisher above, it's not uncommon for Batman's poor Batmobile to get wrecked in some manner. Two notable moments were in Knightfall, when Bats ends up setting off the Self-Destruct Mechanism that Jean-Paul Valley set up and Cataclysm, where the earthquake that ravages Gotham causes the Batmobile of the time to get crushed.
- This appears to be Saionji's fate in Undocumented Features. First, when Kaitlyn Hutchins attacks him with the Hyakken no Arashi, his blade breaks. Then after becoming her apprentice, he fights Lafarga, performs the Hyakken no Arashi himself, and his blade breaks after he's done. A while after that, he fights Sith Lord Psi Cop Roger Tremayne, and gets his sword cut in half by his lightsaber. Is it any wonder after this record that he claimed Tremayne's lightsaber for himself?
- In Bad Future Crusaders, Captain Rumble breaks Apple Bloom's pistol by merely stomping on it.
- Super Power Beat Down episode "Spider-Man vs. Darth Maul": When Spider-Man finds out he can't light up the Sith's double-lightsaber to use it against its owner, he just breaks the weapon on his knee. Darth Maul retaliates by destroying Spidey's webshooters with the Force.
- In Fates of Ice and Fire, Jamie Lannister blocks a wildfire explosion with his shield. The shield ignites and he's forced to discard it before the flames spread to his arm. The metal shield is vaporized within seconds.
- A very, very common inversion for the Actual Pacifist four in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, in that they take every opportunity to destroy the weapons, and sometimes the armor, of their opponents. If the weapons are unbreakable, then Paul hammers them deep into the ground. Which does not endear them to anyone.
Films — Live-Action
- In Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Michelle Yeoh's character battles Zhang Ziyi's character, who wields Green Destiny. Yeoh is a superior swordswoman, but she must repeatedly draw a new weapon out of a rack every time Green Destiny hacks through the last one. During one lull, the camera lingers over the many dents and pits in a bronze bar she wields for a few moments.
- Excalibur is broken in the film of the same title when Arthur uses it for an unjust purpose — namely, killing Lancelot to satisfy his ego. When he realises the depth of his error, the knight is revived and his sword returned to him in one piece by the Lady of the Lake. This sequence was added so that Arthur could receive Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake as well as pull it from the stone earlier in the film.
- In Highlander III: The Sorcerer, Connor's katana shatters due to him and Kane violating the "no fighting on holy ground" rule.
- After Duncan in Highlander: The Source hurls his katana through The Guardian's neck, he snaps it in two, and even impales Joe Dawson through the chest with what's left of it. Duncan then picks up a pair of butterfly swords for the rest of the film.
- In Kung Fu Hustle, Tailor's iron rings and Donut's spears are all destroyed by the Blind Musicians' Razor Wind.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Davy Jones snaps Jack's sword a few inches from the hilt, and later bends Will's at right angles while it's sticking out of his chest. He gets killed with the broken one.
- In The Punisher (2004), the bad guys send a Russian mercenary to beat up and kill Frank Castle. After taken quite a beating, Frank tries to grab his trusty revolver, only to have it smashed by the Russian's hammer. The look on Frank's face when he sees the bent barrel is priceless.
- In The Scorpion King, Balthazar and Mathayus' first sword clash shatters both their weapons. They just resort to fisticuffs.
- Star Wars
- In The Phantom Menace Darth Maul's double-bladed lightsaber is cut in half by a swift undercut from Obi-Wan, and Maul is forced to fight with the working half. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars Maul continues to use the bifurcated weapon, after his own bisection.
- In Attack of the Clones, Anakin's lightsaber is destroyed and he's unarmed until another Jedi gives him a new one. He also loses one saber while Dual Wielding against Dooku.
- In The Empire Strikes Back Luke loses his father's lightsaber (as well as his hand) while fighting Darth Vader. Luckily, by Return of the Jedi he's built another one, and has gotten an artificial hand to match. This isn't a completely straight example, as the lightsaber simply falls down a chasm rather than being destroyed (indeed, The Force Awakens has the weapon resurface after a matter of decades), but the symbolism is still intact due to the fact that Luke had pretty much lost his father's lightsaber for good at first.
- The Force Awakens: At the end of the duel between Rey and Kylo Ren, she cuts off the top of his crossguard lightsaber.
- In Thor: Ragnarok, Hela effortlessly catches Thor's hammer Mjolnir and crushes it to dust.
- Lone Wolf:
- There are many ways to break ordinary weapons in the series. In general it's a really bad idea to attack powerful supernatural entities, like the Darklords or Demonlord Tagazin, with a non-magical weapon.
- A few special weapons can also be damaged or outright destroyed if they encounter even more powerful magic:
- In The Legacy of Vashna, Helshezag and the Dagger of Vashna will not survive to the end of the book if you bring them with you.
- In Vampirium, your Kai Weapon is damaged after a failed attempt to destroy the Claw of Naar. In gameplay this means that its Combat Skill bonus is permanently reduced by either one or two points. Conveniently, this means that there is actual incentive to use the unique weapons that can be found in the previous book.
- In The Amber Spyglass Will's subtle knife breaks because he thinks of his mother while he's using it, while at the same time it's assumed to be somehow Mrs. Coulter's fault (she certainly takes credit for breaking it) because he was distracted by her hotness even as she reminded him of his mother. The whole scene has slightly creepy Oedipal overtones.
- In some versions of Arthurian legend, the Sword In The Stone gets broken when King Arthur is defeated in a duel with an enemy king. Merlin saves Arthur's life by magically knocking his opponent out cold, and takes him to the Lady of the Lake who gives him Excalibur as a replacement. When they meet the other king again, he becomes Arthur's friend, making this a double case of Defeat Equals Friendship.
- In C.S. Goto's Blood Ravens trilogy, Rhamah's Vairocanum. Made from part of a Wrecked Weapon that had been Forged by the Gods, and then broken again in the course of the trilogy. Blood Ravens perform funeral rites with the part that was all they had left of him. Later reformed.
- In Robert E. Howard's "The Phoenix on the Sword", Conan the Barbarian's sword is broken battling the assassins out for his blood, and he has to use a battleaxe to deal with the others. But when the Eldritch Abomination summoned by Thoth-Amon comes calling for the leader of the assassins, the broken sword proves to be the only thing that can kill it because of the phoenix mark that Epemitreus placed upon the weapon.
- At the end of The Dark Tower, Susannah, having crossed over into another dimesion to live out a normal life, discovers that one of Roland's revolvers has become completely unusable as a result. Roland abandons the other pistol in order to gain entry to the titular tower.
- In the Discworld story Mort the titular character ends up in a duel with The Grim Reaper. He manages to chop off the shaft of Death's scythe, but Death simply grips the remaining part like a sword and keeps on coming.
- The Dresden Files novels:
- In Changes, a vampire assassin destroys Harry's cherished car, the Blue Beetle, as well as his staff (which happened to be in the trunk). Even several books later, he's metaphysically hamstrung by the loss, since he hasn't had time to build a new staff, and is much less effective at controlled, long-distance magic as a result.
- In Skin Game, Fidelacchius, the Sword of Faith, is broken by Nicodemus when Murphy tries to use it in rage. Butters manages to reforge it... into a Lightsaber. Thanks to his faith. In Star Wars.
- The Broken Sword from the Father Brown story of the same name turns out to have a sordid tale behind it.
- The "Oh shit!" factor is quite high in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Harry's wand, the special powers of which had saved him twice over in battles against Voldemort, is blown in half and (almost) irreparably damaged during a fight.
- Earlier, in The Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry's Nimbus Two Thousand broomstick was shredded by an extremely vicious tree.
- The Eastern Emperor in the Heralds of Valdemar series sits on a throne made from the personal weapons of every monarch the Empire has conquered.
- The Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero: Jason's Imperial Gold javelin explodes during his fight with Enceladus while trying to save Piper's dad.
- In Brisingr, the falchion that Eragon uses after Murtagh takes Zar'roc, and before he forges Brisingr breaks after he accidentally swings it into a rock wall in the middle of a fight.
- J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: Possibly subverted with Narsil , which wasn't broken by Sauron but by its wielder Elendil after he fell on it (he and Sauron killed each other during the melee). Isildur then grabbed the hilt and used it to cut the Ring from Sauron's hand. Three thousand years later, it was reforged into the even-more-badass Andúril, the Flame of the West. The movie version has a moment where Boromir comments that even shattered, the blade is still sharp. Narsil is an example of a royal weapon foreshadowing the fate of its kingdom, and its re-forging symbolic of the Return of the King
- A bit more straight playing is when Gandalf meets Saruman after Orthanc is ruined. "Saruman, your staff is broken." Boom. In the movie version this foreshadows Saruman's death.
- Gandalf's staff breaking in the mines of Moria foreshadow Gandalf's fall and death and rebirth as Gandalf The White
- Boromir's horn is cleft in two, symbolic of its owner's death.
- In the Redwall novel Mossflower, the sword of Martin the Warrior, used by the protagonists of most of the books, is broken early on. Since this is a prequel, however, the sword is reforged using Thunderbolt Iron into the iconic weapon.
- A variation occurs in A Song of Ice and Fire. Eddard Stark's signature greatsword Ice isn't broken in combat — you can't break Valyrian Steel — but the Lannisters use it to behead its owner, then melt it down and use the metal to make two new weapons.
- Star Wars Expanded Universe:
- Ahsoka: The Sixth Brother's lightsaber is destroyed when Ahsoka uses the Force to reach for its kyber crystals, causing it to explode and kill him.
- Star Wars Legends:
- The vehicular variation comes up in the X-Wing Series book Starfighters of Adumar. Much is made in the initial portion of the book about how superior the X-wing is compared to their local counterparts, the Blade-class fighter. When the Big Bad convinces the perator to turn on Wedge's pilots and exile them, their X-wings are impounded, and they are forced to fight several pitched battles using borrowed Blades instead — including a four-on-four combat against Imperial TIE Interceptors, which are on par with the X-wing and therefore have a huge advantage over their Blades. Once they manage to seize the hanger where the X-wings are stored, though, they return and lay a Curb-Stomp Battle on the enemy forces.
- From the 13th century Völsunga saga: In battle with King Lyngvi, the old hero Sigmund's sword breaks on Odin's spear, causing his death.
- Subverted in Malleus, the second book of the Warhammer 40,000: Eisenhorn trilogy. Hero Gregor Eisenhorn's sword Barbarister shatters during his duel with Big Bad Quixos. Rather than being played for emasculation imagery, this actually allows Eisenhorn to win, as the sword shatters while Quixos was blocking a thrust, allowing the half remaining in Eisenhorn's hand to impale Quixos through the heart — had the blade not shattered, the blow would have been deflected and the duel continued.
- Played straight earlier in the novel, when Eisenhorn loses his two previous weapons of choice during an encounter with recurring nemesis Cherubael. His power-sword explodes when he attempts to impale the aforementioned daemon with it, and he loses his bolt-pistol during a fall from a hover-bike shortly afterwards.
- In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel Necropolis, Gaunt's sword is ruined during a fight against a monster that bleeds and secretes acid. Even as he fights, he laments this; his mentor had given it to him, he carried it for years, in many battles, and its destruction was like losing history.
- In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel Fulgrim, when Fulgrim and Ferrus Manus fight, Ferrus Manus breaks the sword he had given Fulgrim. This is when Fulgrim realizes that the break is irrevocable; he takes the warhammer he had given Ferrus Manus, leaves, and orders his Legion to open fire on the Iron Hands.
- When the Beast makes his appearance in Season 4 of Angel, he trounces our heroes in a Curb-Stomp Battle which includes crushing Gunn's signature axe made from a hubcap.
- The Doctor in Doctor Who has had his sonic screwdriver (not a weapon, but still an Iconic Item) trashed several times.
- The Fifth Doctor's sonic screwdriver was destroyed by a Terileptil in "The Visitation", and the Doctor doesn't get another till his Seventh incarnation (and his doesn't show up till his final appearance, in the TV Movie).
The Fifth Doctor: I feel as though you've just killed an old friend.
- The Tenth Doctor's sonic screwdriver is destroyed in "Smith and Jones" when he uses it on an X-Ray machine which fries it. The Doctor is distraught... for a few seconds, he then tosses it aside and by the end of the episode he's built himself a new (identical, so not a merchandising move) one.
Martha: But it was that woman, Miss Finnigan. It was working for her, just like a servant.
The Doctor: (dejected) My sonic screwdriver...
Martha: She was one of the patients, but...
The Doctor: ... no, no, my sonic screwdriver!
Martha: She had this straw, like some sort of vampire!
The Doctor: I love my sonic screwdriver!
Martha: (chastising tone) Doctor!
(he throws the sonic screwdriver over his shoulder)
The Doctor: Sorry.
- It gets fried for a third time in the Eleventh Doctor's first episode, when he tries to signal the Atraxi ship. He is not pleased. The TARDIS makes him a new (much bigger) one.
- And then again in the subsequent Christmas Special, where it gets eaten by a flying shark.
- The Fifth Doctor's sonic screwdriver was destroyed by a Terileptil in "The Visitation", and the Doctor doesn't get another till his Seventh incarnation (and his doesn't show up till his final appearance, in the TV Movie).
- The fourth season of Game of Thrones opens with Lord Tywin Lannister watching (with just a touch of villainous smugness) as Ice, the Ancestral Weapon of House Stark, is melted down into two smaller swords for the use of his own family. At this stage in the war, House Lannister has apparently triumphed over all their enemies. Just to emphasize this point, Tywin throws the wolfskin scabbard (the wolf being the sigil of House Stark) into the fire.
- On Heroes, Hiro confronts Sylar and tells him that he must kill him. Sylar responds by daring Hiro to do it, then, when Hiro can't bring himself to do it, he cracks Hiro's sword in half using cold-based powers.
- Highlander: Immortals occasionally have their swords broken during a fight. Normally this happens when they're losing badly, and they get killed immediately afterwards. In one episode, it happened to Richie when running away, and he later had to figure out how to get a replacement.
- This was used to show Katanas Are Just Better in the flashback episode where Duncan gets his katana. Having just washed up on shore in old Japan, Duncan draws his European blade on an older samurai who simply breaks Duncan's sword off just short of the hilt. The dumbfounded look Duncan gives the now 2 inch long blade is hilarious.
- Kamen Rider:
- Kamen Rider Ryuki: Played for laughs in the pilot episode. Shinji goes into battle before gaining a contract monster, and the flimsy-looking sword he gets as a default weapon breaks from an Offhand Backhand (technically a swipe from a Giant Spider's foreleg).
- Kamen Rider Kiva: Early in the series, the Moth Fangire tries to block Kiva's Garulu Howling Slash finisher with her own sword. His sword breaks hers before shattering her body.
- Kamen Rider Gaim: In the final battle between Kouta and Kaito, Kouta catches and breaks Kaito's weapon - his sword as Lord Baron, the Banaspear in the alternate future that's reflecting their current battle - and uses the broken piece to fatally stab Kaito.
- Power Rangers:
- Due to Stock Footage, a lot of the Sentai examples go for their respective PR series. Most notably, Deker's story is different from Juzo's, so why his sword breaking is a huge plot point turns out to be very different when everything is revealed.
- Power Rangers Wild Force: Partway through the series, Cole has his Cool Bike ruined protecting a child who turns out to be the human form of Animus, Lord of the Wild Zords. After the heroes learn that and pass a Secret Test of Character, Cole is rewarded with a new bike based on a different Wild Zord. It flies. It is definitely merchandising-based, but nobody much cares.
- Power Rangers S.P.D.: In the finale, Emperor Gruum's Last Villain Stand ends pretty conclusively when Cruger breaks his spear in two.
- In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's final season, the Dominion got a major power-up when the Breen joined their forces — a point driven home when they destroyed the Defiant, which had been the good guys' own power-up a few seasons earlier. Sisko was particularly attached to it, having had a hand in its construction.
- In one of the episodes leading up to the finale, Worf challenges Chancellor Gowron over the latter's accused dishonorable and unwise strategy during the Dominion War to pursue a vendetta against a perceived rival in Martok. Gowron has Worf on the ropes, having wrecked his bat'leth. Worf still wins anyway, when he stabs two broken pointy bits into Gowron's flanks, killing him.
- Super Sentai:
- Hikari Sentai Maskman has the Shot Bomber, the team cannon BFG used for the small-size Finishing Move, trashed. This puts the team in dire straits indeed. It is eventually replaced with the Jet Cannon.
- Since at least Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman, it's very common for the Combining Mecha's sword to be broken once a season. In those without organic creatures substituting for actual mecha, having a robot losing an arm might also qualify.
- Seijuu Sentai Gingaman: In their final duel, the Red Ranger breaks Budoh's katana moments before finishing him off.
- Mahou Sentai Magiranger: At the end of the first major arc, Kai breaks Wolzard's sword in a one-on-one fight before he and the rest of the team defeat Branken, the Disc One Final Boss. Wolzard takes Branken's sword and spends a few episodes re-forging it into a replacement (which is perfectly identical to the first, so it's not for merchandising purposes).
- Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: the sword that is actually made from the souls of his family gets damaged, so Juzo has to make do with one of the swords used by the Mooks for several episodes.
- Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: In the finale, Akudos Gill gets his sword broken about halfway through his Rasputinian Death.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- The Sunder feat tree in 3/3.5 Edition lets any GM pull this against the players. There's a certain Jerkass-ish aspect to using it, though, as combat encounters are scaled to assume a minimum value of gear — in other words, a fight appropriate for a 10th-level party is appropriate for that party with full gear worth at least 49,000 gold pieces each. And given the costs of a good magic weapon, having that villain break yours means you may have just seen a massive set-back in your effectiveness.
- Taken into account in the swordmage class or Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition. A bound sword can be reformed from a single fragment with an hour of meditation.
- Can happen as a matter of course in tabletop RPGs whose rules allow for weapon breakage in regular combat as a result of a fumble, critical hit, or even a simple outcome of "attack meets parry"; RuneQuest and The Dark Eye for instance are examples of the last in particular. Of course, in these games it then doesn't make much sense to get overly attached to a given individual "signature" weapon that the rules all but guarantee will break eventually in the first place, thus subverting the trope from that direction.
- In the Hero System, this is one risk of taking powers or the like with the Focus limitation — you get a significant cost break (or may not have to pay points for it at all in the right setting), but you pay for it with the power not always being available because it's embodied in a physical item that can get stolen, lost, or, yes, destroyed. A plain Focus can eventually be replaced if this happens since the points invested in the power remain with the character; also giving the item the Independent limitation, however, makes it considerably cheaper point-wise once again, but means that when it is lost (and it will be — it wouldn't be a limitation if it never came up) the points invested go away with it, leaving the character whose player paid them weakened either until they can retrieve the item or else simply permanently.
- In Warhammer 40,000, the World Eater Primarch Angron went through several weapons in his lifetime. However, he defies the emotional connotations of the trope by discarding them without a second thought and simply getting new weapons. This is because of the gladiator traditions of his homeworld that treated broken weapons as bad luck. One of the World Eaters, Kharn, defied Angron's principles by retrieving one of the Primarch's discarded and broken twin chain axes, Gorechild, and had it repaired for his own use. Gorechild's twin Gorefather remains lost and broken.
- The Red Shadow in The Desert Song has this happen to him for refusing to fight an opponent.
- In BIONICLE, after Lewa tries to intimidate the Piraka Reidak with a tale of how the Toa had defeated the dreaded Rahkshi; Rediak grabs one of Lewa's Air Katana and snaps it over his knee. "Rahkshi? I pick my teeth with Rahkshi." The defeated Toa were then stripped of their weapons and imprisoned, further humiliated by being made slaves. After being rescued, a villager offered to make a new Air Katana.
- The Like Likes in The Legend of Zelda series, monsters that look like a stack of pancakes and eat shields and tunics.
- There's also the Giant's Knife from Ocarina of Time, that can only take so much blunt trauma until it breaks, leaving you with a handle and some broken metal jutting out. Still works as a weapon, but does minimal damage. Interestingly the broken knife is a Lethal Joke Weapon against Dark Link thanks to a Good Bad Bug: He blocks as if he were defending against the full blade and the broken handle slips right past and lands a hit every time.
- "So much blunt trauma" meaning 8 swings. Tops. And that's only if you've bought at least SIX of them already.
- The Master Sword of all things in Breath of the Wild is gimped in gameplay terms; it can only draw out its full power around manifestations of Malice and can only do so for so long before it is forced to recharge. It's also this in story as well: pre-Calamity Link fought with it for far longer than it was expected to handle against Calamity Ganon and its horde of possessed Guardians, to the point where parts of it rusted and chipped from all the nonstop combat, and while the blade looks good as new in the present day, its inability to hold a charge indicates that it still hadn't repaired itself completely.
- There's also the Giant's Knife from Ocarina of Time, that can only take so much blunt trauma until it breaks, leaving you with a handle and some broken metal jutting out. Still works as a weapon, but does minimal damage. Interestingly the broken knife is a Lethal Joke Weapon against Dark Link thanks to a Good Bad Bug: He blocks as if he were defending against the full blade and the broken handle slips right past and lands a hit every time.
- In Dark Souls, you start with Broken Straight Sword Handle, and Hollow Warriors drop Broken Straight Sword as well, while they are weak compared to standard weapons, these are the essential materials for crafting the Blessed Artorias Greatsword.
- Dark Souls II also has its Broken Straight Sword, well received for its low stamina cost than standard weapons, and Broken Thief Sword, which is a dagger with the shape of a sword. It also takes wrecked weapons Up to Eleven with the Santier's Spear, a weapon useful only if it wrecks.
- When the Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater doesn't want to kill someone, she just beats the crap out of them. But first she simply takes away her opponent's gun and neatly breaks it up into its parts with her bare hands, and then hands back the pieces.
- Alicia's sword breaks dramatically in half in Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria, at the climactic moment when Rufus is apparently killed, Lezard reveals himself as a villain, and kidnaps Odin. Oddly, the sword is mysteriously in one piece again in time for the next battle.
- When Gordon Freeman's crowbar gets destroyed in Half-Life 2, you know it's time to get vengeance on Breen. Luckily enough, the process that destroys your trusty hardware also gives you the perfect weapon for the job.
- Though considering how the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator has apparently become Gordon's new Weapon of Choice, this could also possibly be considered a very rare inanimate version of Take Up My Sword.
- Gordon's signature crowbar was never really one-of-a-kind anyway — he went through two in the first game alone - so he's very likely to obtain a new one in Episode 3 or Half-Life 3, assuming one of them ever comes out.
- In the GBA game Summon Night: Swordcraft Story and its sequel you can win boss battles either by reducing the boss' health to 0 or by destroying their weapon (this is done by blocking the boss' attacks, reducing both yours and his weapon durability). The cool thing is: when you destroy a boss weapon, you gain the ability to craft it. Those weapons are much stronger than any other weapon the hero has at that moment.
- Also, all the boss fights in the first game (besides the final boss, since it does not have that secondary win condition), can be made much easier by equipping your forging hammer, which is unbreakable, and simply blocking through the whole fight.
- In Chrono Trigger, the breaking and reforging of the Masamune is a major plot point.
- In Samurai Shodown II, every character had both a weapon, and a manoeuvre to break the opponent's weapon. This typically left them without some, most, or all of their special moves (Cham Cham would obviously not be able to throw her boomerang, but still had her other moves; Wan-Fu's specials all involved his weapon swinging somehow).
- Galford can use every move without his weapon, including his super moves (because his dog is doing most of the work in the majority of his moveset.)
- In Dead Rising, although all weapons eventually break with use, there are two weapons that are specifically designed to increase their "mileage" by falling apart and changing forms: The mailbox and the push broom. Once they have reached their "damage limit" they will be stripped to their handles and be usable as spears. They are otherwise unremarkable weapons. Along the same lines there is also the mannequin, which falls apart after one hit but its individual limbs especially the torso last longer than most other weapons and deal better damage than the broom and mailbox.
- A meta example in Muramasa: The Demon Blade; it becomes annoying whenever an enemy wears out your sword, and it also forces you to switch weapons, which generally results in a screen filling slash which could be construed as the characters really pissed off about losing their sword... until it heals.
- Also in Lufia & The Fortress of Doom, when the Sinistrals destroy the Dual Blade.
- In Fire Emblem: Geneology of the Holy War, all weapons break after fifty uses, and then need to be repaired. In a case more relevant to the trope, the holy sword Tyrfing ends up broken (presumed to be due to Lord Byron having charged across a desert, while being persued by an army) and Sigurd's father has to crawl across the battlefield to give it to him. And Sigurd then gets it... and it costs 50000G (aka the maximum amount of gold you can carry) to repair it. But it's the Infinity+1 Sword, so it's worth it.
- Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has a few different abilities spread out through the job classes that can steal, or outright destroy, enemy weapons and armor. This can be a double whammy, as not only is the unit disarmed, but if the unit is still learning a new ability, then destroying the weapon means they stop learning. This can be especially aggravating if the weapon is a relatively rare item that you only have one of that can't be purchased in shops.
- The original Final Fantasy Tactics has a few classes whose abilities revolve around breaking your weapons or other equipment. This drastically decreases your stats, is expensive or even impossible to replace, and can be quite problematic if in a series of battles. Samurai accept the possibility that their katanas may break if they use their special skills.
- In God of War II, Kratos snaps Perseus' sword and crushes his magic helmet, but Perseus keeps attacking with his shield and sling.
- God of War III:
- Kratos' Blades Of Athena are eroded by the River Styx, so he replaces them with the Blades Of Exile. In the final battle, Zeus destroys all of Kratos' weapons.
- And after he's done kicking Zeus's ass, the chains that were seared to his arms - bonding his various chain blades to his body and making him a weapon — simply drop off his arms, symbolizing the end of his violent ways.
- In Super Robot Wars Original Generation Gaiden, Sanger Zonvolt's trusty Zankantou is shattered on the mech of Shura Magnus. Magnus expected this to win the fight for him, until Sanger revealed that the DyGenGuar's original weapons (which were non functional when it was first activated, hence the Zankantou), had been repaired. Magnus promptly eats a General Blaster to the face.
- Shin Super Robot Wars: As the Voltes team sorties in Scenario 14 of Space Route, the aliens spring their trap: the Namazunga flies over to wreck their Ultramagnetic Generators. Voltes is in dire straights to say the very least, and the group loses touch with Voltes as they slow the transport down to try to allow an emergency landing. After a quick rescue by the others, Ken'ichi is the first to wake up, disoriented and in considerable pain from whatever the bad guys did. He frantically asks after his other pilots, who are still out cold, though Megumi wakes up in short order. The bad news is that the Ultramagnetic Generators of all the Volt machines are toast, and they can't even move, much less combine. Ken'ichi is heartbroken, seeing as how they just got good at combining and all. Nothing for it but returning to Japan!
- Zaeed of Mass Effect 2 has a broken rifle named Jessie that was the most reliable weapon he'd ever used until it finally jammed and would not fire anymore. Zaeed laments that he'd give anything for "one last mission with that shitty old rifle." If he's still alive at the end of Mass Effect 3 you can learn that he's custom-ordered all the parts required to repair his rifle, so he can take Jessie along for the last battle.
- Shepard pulls a heroic variant on Kai Leng. If you take the Renegade interrupt after the final fight with him, Shepard will spin around and smash his sword to bits with a backhand, then draw an omniblade and gut Leng like a fish.
- Near the end of Eien no Aselia, Desire is broken in a confrontation. Yuuto is left unable to fight. Until he gets Wisdom, anyway.
- In Neverwinter Nights 2 much of the plot revolves around recovering shards of a silver sword used to fight the King of Shadows. Said sword exploded and embedded a silver shard in the player character.The fragments must by reformed to fight the second coming of the King of Shadows.
- The plot of the Mask of the Betrayer expansion carries on from this exact same sword, which was also the key to Akachi the Betrayer's backdoor into the afterlife and a central tool of his war to bring down the Wall of the Faithless.
- Any player of Mabinogi has had a weapon wear out in the middle of a dungeon at least once.
- Also, you can get a worn-out weapon repaired, but the repair process has a chance of permanently damaging the weapon. Eventually the weapon will become unusable, usually after you've spent several times the weapon's retail value on upgrades for it.
- In Thousand Arms, Meis' sword splits in half when he tries to show off in front of Sodina when she gets attacked by a group of thugs at the beginning of the game.
- Caliburn in Sonic and the Black Knight gets broken defending Sonic from Merlina's attacks. He gets repaired and receives an upgrade once Sonic receives his latest Super Form, Excalibur Sonic, though.
- The duel between Anduin Lothar and Orgrim Doomhammer Warcraft ended in the orc's favor when he shattered Lothar's Great Royal Sword with the Doomhammer. The Doomhammer went right through the sword and into Lothar's chest.
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor has Acharn, the shattered sword formerly owned by Talion's son. Talion keeps it both as a memento of what motivates him and a secondary weapon, though he can have the blacksmith Wraith who accompanies him refine it into an actual knife.
- Daikatana's third episode consists of the characters running around sixth-century Norway, collecting pieces of a sword called the "Purifier" in the hopes that restoring it will cure the king that owned it of insanity that has afflicted him since he first broke it. Given that it's a magical weapon, much like the game's eponymous Daikatana, it works.
- Every class in Darkest Dungeon has a Weapon of Choice. For the Leper, it's a broken executioners sword. No matter how much it's upgraded it never gets repaired. It's far from weak however; even broken in half it's still the biggest weapon used by any of the heroes and it does obscene damage.
- In Warframe, after the events of the Second Dream questline, you get the Broken-War, a shattered version of the War used by the Shadow Stalker. Despite it's state, it's still a solid one-handed weapon and can be reforged into the full War if you get Shadow Stalker to drop the blueprints for it.
- In Conan Hyborian Age, the quest's goal is initially to explore a dungeon to find a sword crafted in a superior metal. Said sword being found broken in two (the part with the handle and the lower part of the blade is usable as a dagger), the last objective is to reforge it at Whiterun's Skyforge, either as a one-handed sword or a greatsword.
- Tales of Berseria has an example revealed in a dramatic fashion: Rokurou's inferior Stormhowl is broken inside the sheathe, only a few inches are still attached to the handle. It's useless as a weapon (explaining why he couldn't fight with it earlier in the game) and he carries it forother reasons.
- Death Battle:
- This trope proved to be the great equalizer in the match between Ryu Hayabusa and Strider Hiryu. While the former is a Walking Armory, the latter has a weapon that could easily cut through almost everything, thus the former was quickly reduced to their main weapon.
- This trope happens in the match between Guts and Nightmare. Guts manages to destroy Soul Edge, and since Soul Edge is the source of Nightmare, it also seals Guts' victory.
- RWBY: Volume Three sees the destruction of one of Yang's gauntlets along with her arm as well as Pyrrha's sword being melted, shortly followed by Pyrrha herself being turned into ash. Given that the emphasis the show puts on it's Impossibly Cool Weapons, it's fitting that the fate of the characters and their weapons are tied together. Volume 4 reveals that Jaune took Pyrrha's wrecked weapons and had them reforged into his old armor.
- Angel Moxie: Parodied. When Riley try to figure out how the wand work she accidentally breaks it, but it instantly rebuilds itself. Also the Evil Minions have the bad habit of destroying Riley's laser guns, but she's good at building new ones. The trope is also used dead serious near the end of the comic, when Yzin damages the wand beyond repair.
- Collar 6: If a crop is a weapon.
- In Cucumber Quest, the Splashmaster breaks Carrot's spear.
- Homestuck thoroughly subverts Katanas Are Just Better when Dave Strider gets curbstomped by Bro, wrecking his CHEAP PIECE OF SHIT sword in the process. Interestingly, due to the in-universe mechanics of weapon wielding, this changes his STRIFE SPECIBUS to One-Half Bladekind, which only allows Dave to use broken swords to fight now.
- Although Future Dave seems to have got around this by combining a broken sword with his time turntables to create CALEDSCRATCH, a broken sword that can be rewound back to when it was whole.
- When Alpha Timeline Dave makes it to the point of retrieving the original Caledfwlch (i.e., Excalibur) from the stone, he deliberately breaks it in the process instead of pulling it out "like a hero".
- It's worth noting that the Wrecked Weapons don't seem to decrease his effectiveness in combat so much as change the symbolism of his fights. The broken blade symbol relates to Dave's quest arc: coming to terms with not being The Hero like John and asserting himself as an individual instead of as a shadow of his older brother.
- Ruined objects are a symbol of Time, which is Dave's aspect. A few of his swords also seem to have the ability to be shifted backwards in time, before they were broken.
- Subverted in Juathuur, in which Rowasu's sword breaks after he kills his opponent.
- Happens to Benjamin Prester twice in A Miracle of Science. Once in a flashback, when he's a Mad Scientist with a plot to take over the moon, and honestly deserves to have it destroyed; the second time during the Challenge and Chase Scene stages of Dr. Haas' mad science infection.
Prester: You shot my gun!
Sumatera: Look, there's no need for us to be shooting at each other. I am certain there's a solution to this situation which doesn't involve any more gunfire...
Prester: WHY ARE YOU BARGAINING WITH THE MAN WHO SHOT MY GUN!!
- The Order of the Stick:
- When Xykon destroys Roy's sword, a family heirloom, Roy goes into an Unstoppable Rage and dispatches the lich with his bare hands... at least temporarily.
- The trope is subverted earlier in strip #17: after failing a spot check and becoming surrounded, Belkar accidentally breaks Elan's Rapier with a well-placed "Damnit!" (mentioned earlier: "I could sunder that thing by speaking too loudly!"). A broken sword has much less effect on Elan than it does on for Roy for several reasons: 1) Roy specializes in the use of his weapon, and Elan's is mostly for looking cool; 2) Elan wasn't very effective to begin with.
- Much later, in #607, Crystal slices through Haley's bow, forcing her to resort to her other main weapon, her wits.
- Elan tends to lose rapiers regularly; his +3 silver rapier is later sundered by his own father, General Tarquin.
- In Sinfest, the angels make Tangerine's gun shoot flowers instead of bullets.
- In The Specialists, Hartmann finally fights back after being shot at, and breaks the guy's gun.
- Tower of God: Baam's cleaver breaks during the Ball Test, as well as Androssi's flying shields during the Hide-and-Seek Game.
- During the battle of Remonton in the Godslayer arc in The Gamer's Alliance, an ice elemental shatters Ax's sword Dawn. The shattering of her magic weapon affects Ax emotionally and leads her to leave her allies for a while after the battle so that she can do some soul-searching and find a way to repair the sword.
- Arguably, when Captain Hammer breaks his hand by holding an exploding gun in Dr. Horrible (his main weapons being his fists, though they aren't the hammer...)
- The Adventures of Puss in Boots has Puss in Boots adamantly refusing to give up in battle against the all-powerful Bloodwolf even though his attacks have no effect on him at all. It is only when Puss lands a clean hit that does nothing but shatter his rapier that Puss begins to pass into the Despair Event Horizon.
- In the first season finale for The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, Loki shatters Captain America's shield using the Odinforce. Cap is later shown to have collected the pieces and it takes more than half a season for it to finally get fixed by Wakandan scientists, the only people who know how to deal with vibranium and its alloys. The shield is briefly replaced by a holographic version designed and built by Iron Man, although it turns out that Cap was in fact a Skrull during the entire time the holo-shield was used, and the real Cap much prefers the original.
- In an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, assassin-for-hire Bane makes his presence in Gotham known by smashing the Batmobile with his bare hands. Another villain, Lockup, puts a boot (wheel clamp) on it.
Batman: He trashed my car, Alfred. Between a couple of guys, that's real personal.
- Midway through Dinobot's final battle in Beast Wars, his sword and fan-bladed shield are shattered, the first hint that this won't end like any other battle so far. To add insult to injury, said weapons were formed out of his beast-mode's tail, which would make it impossible for him to transform.
- In Code Lyoko, this happens a few times to Ulrich's katana, but being a virtual weapon it is intact on his next virtualization. Most notable is in "The Pretender", where Frelions blast the sword with their lasers, higher and higher, until it disintegrates. Ulrich still manages to destroy them barehanded or with a shard of stone.
- The poor Ecto-1 gets wrecked by a weather controlling ghost in an episode of Extreme Ghostbusters, prompting Mr. Fixit Roland to declare It's Personal, since he had spent all day cleaning and maintaining the thing.
- Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet: Spectrum write off a lot of Rhinos and White Falcon interceptors, but on one occasion this trope kicks off the whole plot of an episode; Captain Blue accidentally trashed some guy's Harley while pursuing a Mysteron agent, and the guy retaliated by stealing the Spectrum Raid Bike that Captain Ochre had ridden to the scene. Colonel White was not pleased when he found out she'd forgotten to set the immobiliser.
- In the Merchandise-Driven '80s cartoon M.A.S.K., the heroes' transforming vehicles were occasionally damaged or shot up, but never really destroyed. But in one memorable episode the Big Bad gets his hands on an experimental melting-ray and dissolves Hondo's truck, Firecracker, into a puddle of goo. He's naturally dejected at the loss, but at the end of the episode, he gets a brand new transforming '57 Chevy to replace it. By contrast, later seasons simply gave the characters a second vehicle with no real fanfare.
- Happens with Iris's sword quite a lot in LoliRock. While it lasts for a while, it is always not long until it breaks or she loses it.
- Also happened once with Mephisto, when Carissa destroys his shield before destroying his sword.
- Auriana's ribbon is easily cut, but she is always able to use it later on.
- During ReBoot's second season finale, Megabyte crushes Glitch right before stranding Bob in the Web. This makes Glitch useless during season 3 until Bob fuses with it. And even then the damage to glitch is so bad that the fusion is causing both of them to slowly die.
- Samurai Jack knows a technique called "The Tremendous Horse-Cut" that destroys an opponent's weapon. He's only used it once, against The Scotsman - whose sword was also magical and thus resisted the attack.
- She-Ra: Princess of Power: In "The Stone in the Sword", the jewel in the hilt of Princess Adora's sword gets cracked by an attack, which depowered the sword and prevented her from transforming into She-Ra. She had to pass several tests to get it repaired.
- Star Wars Rebels:
- All but one of the Inquisitors to appear have had their lightsabers destroyed during their defeats: The Grand Inquisitor gets his cut in two by a Dual Wielding Kanan, leading directly to the destruction of the ISD Sovereign. The Fifth Brother's is destroyed by Ahsoka just before he's killed by Maul. The Eighth Brother, finding himself outnumbered, tries to escape by flying away on his, only to fall to his death because Kanan had slashed the ring mechanism just before. Only the Seventh Sister averts this.
- In "Twilight of the Apprentice", besides the Fifth and Eighth Brothers above, Ezra ends up facing Darth Vader, who easily destroys his gunsaber when they briefly cross blades. Ezra builds a new lightsaber using the kyber crystal and some of the parts from his old lightsaber during the Time Skip before Season 3.
- "Twin Suns": Obi-Wan cuts Maul's lightsaber clean in half, along with his chest, when defeating him.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
- In the 2003 cartoon, an extended sequence of everyone who serves the Shredder beating the holy hell out of Leonardo concludes with the Shredder snapping Leo's swords with his bare hands.
- Similarly, Leo's swords get broken again, this time by one of the Gom-Tai, in a later episode.
- Donatello's Bo Staff gets snapped in half on many occasions.
- In Teen Titans, Cyborg's car is destroyed in what seems like all of its appearances.
- In ThunderCats (1985), the Sword of Omens is first broken when it is accidentally used to attack a fellow Thundercat; repairing it is said to be nearly impossible, and indeed proves to be nearly so. It took bribing a villain to reforge it, and they still had to escape him with the sword afterward. Much later, the sword is broken again in the introduction of new villain Tug-Mug, whose life on a moon with high gravity has given him tremendous strength. This occurrence slightly twists the trope, as the sword is promptly repaired by nearly-as-new hero Ben-Gali, demonstrating his own impressive skills as a blacksmith, which means the heroes now have the means to make repairs regularly.
- The Star Saber in Transformers Prime was destroyed by Megatron the episode after it was introduced. Given that in its introduction it sliced a mountain in half, this outcome was not especially surprising.
- Evangelyne from Wakfu gets it particularly hard in episode 19 when her bow (along with her forearm) is broken — not by an enemy but by her Love Interest Sadlygrove, possessed by the demon Rubilax. It is later described as the worst affront one could do to a Crâ... although ultimately Eva seems to be more worried about Sadlygrove's fate.