"This wrench is good for both tightening nuts and bashing skulls."Wrenches are tools often associated with The Engineer and the Wrench Wench, using them to build and repair objects, whether by tightening bolts or Percussive Maintenance. Like other tools used in construction (hammers, nailguns, etc.), wrenches can be very effective weapons. Very much Truth in Television as a good monkey wrench (also known as a pipe wrench) can be made of very sturdy materials, and some can weigh quite a bit on top of that. So, in a pinch, you can very easily break someone's skull wide open if you hit'em hard enough. Unrelated to Spanner in the Works, unless what derails your Evil Scheme is underestimating the combat potential of the Wrench Wench. See Crowbar Combatant for another tool used as an effective weapon.
— Enormous Wrench Description, Dungeons of Dredmor
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Anime & Manga
- When Wrench Wench Winry from Fullmetal Alchemist gets mad, poor Ed often winds up the victim of this trope.
- Takashi in High School Of The Dead uses a wrench as a weapon as they enter Shizuka's friend's apartment.
- Smile from Occult Academy has a giant wrench as his weapon of choice.
- Graham Specter carries around a monkey wrench about three-foot long so he can use it to bash people and catch shotgun slugs out of the air.
- The Castle of Cagliostro: Lupin wields a large wrench from one of the Clock Tower's tool racks against the Count. This is a case where the wrench's size is justified: The machinery in clock towers uses big bolts, which consequently need big wrenches.
- Isara does this to Knute in the Valkyria Chronicles anime, while also doubling as an Offhand Backhand.
- Mikazuki Augus from Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans adapted a gigantic wrench mace for the Gundam Barbatos since the original mace was lost. He also doubles as Improbable Weapon User since the wrench mace wasn't supposed to be a weapon, but rather a tool for repairing mobile suits.
- One of the possible murder weapons in the game Clue (also known as Cluedo). Befitting their source, it also appeared in the related video games and books as a suitable blunt instrument.
- In G.I. Joe comics, a large automechanic's wrench is the weapon of choice for the recent Deadnok recruit Heartwrencher. In spite of his name, the same doesn't apply to longtime Dreadnok Monkeywrench.
- In Runaways, Gert once attacked Victor with a gigantic monkey wrench Nico had conjured up earlier in the issue.
- In She-Hulk, during Byrne's run, the main character was being mind-controlled by Xemu, her BFF whacked him on his braindome.
- The Goon calls the chrome-plated adjustable pipe wrench "the finest monster hunting technology 1932 had to offer."
- In Secret Six #14, Ragdoll smashes Smythe the Slaver's hand and back with a wrench before lodging it in his head. It doesn't kill him, though.
- A dead worker is shown with a wrench embedded in his face in Hatchet / Slash.
- Super Power Beat Down, episode "The Joker & Harley Quinn vs Deadpool & Domino": Harley Quinn takes out Domino by mean of a lucky throw with a wrench landing on her skull.
Films — Live-Action
- One of the murder weapons in Clue.
- V for Vendetta: The revolution officially begins when a man does this to a policeman who just shot a little girl for wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.
- While we're on the subject of the Wachowskis, Speed Racer features a fight scene in which a monkey wrench is wielded by, appropriately enough, a monkey.
- Yeah, the Wachowskis really like this trope. In Cloud Atlas, a hitman played by Hugo Weaving gets a giant wrench to the back of the head courtesy of a tiny Hispanic woman played by (who else) Korean actress Doona Bae.
- A sewer worker gets clobbered with his own wrench in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.
- Frank/The Crimson Bolt's weapon in Super.
- From DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story: "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball."
- Home Alone loves this trope - especially the second film.
- A character gets impaled through the head by a wrench in Final Destination 5.
- At the end of The Toolbox Murders remake, Coffin Baby tries to kill Nell with a wrench, but she fends him off long enough for the police to show up and shoot him out a window.
- The Texas Vibrator Massacre ends with the main character being beat to death with a wrench by Porn!Leatherface's father and sister.
- The Cannonball Run: In the brawl with the bikers, J.J. punches a huge biker in the face several times to no effect in a Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh... moment. The biker mockingly points to the other side of his jaw and suggests J.J. try there. J.J. says "Thanks" and immediately smacks the biker across the face with a spanner.
- Rumble in the Bronx subverts this with Jackie Chan starting out by hitting the Giant Mook, to no effect – then the Tagalong Kid passes him a bike helmet, which he whacks the guy's face with, still no effect - then the kid gives him a big wrench. One look at it and the mook caves.
- Used for a Bait-and-Switch in The Living Daylights. A Brawn Hilda woman tells James Bond she's going to take care of the supervisor while hefting her wrench significantly, but she uses Marshmallow Hell tactics instead.
- Dr. Igora in Monster Brawl aids Frankenstein in his his match by entering the ring and whacking Zombie Man in the head with wrench.
- Part of The Fast and the Furious protagonist Dominic Toreto's backstory. After a rival driver accidentally causes his father to die on the racetrack, Dom uses a wrench to savagely beat the man almost to death, leading to the predictable results and is implied to be what kick started his criminal career.
- In Breakheart Pass, the engineer clobbers the trooper acting as his fireman with a wrench just before being shot by Deakin and Major Claremont.
- Sergeant Julio Poertena from the Prince Roger series uses a "big pocking wrench" to dismantle jammed power armour and hostile cannibalistic aliens with equal gusto. In the former case, Percussive Maintenance is actually better at unjamming powered armor than the official method.
- In one of the Doc Savage novels, Ham - having been on the receiving end of yet another one of Monk's practical jokes - picks up a monkey wrench and whacks Monk in the head hard enough to knock him out.
- Young Sherlock Holmes: In Red Leech, Grivens attempts to kill Sherlock with a large engineering spanner in the ship's engine room.
- The Bastard Operator from Hell once used a large Stilton wrench to sabotage the board's new secure room, first by smashing the comms panel and then to close a stopper and flood the secure room in sewage.
- The A-Team, "Knights of the Road": when Tyler's men move in on her, Jenny picks up a wrench and swings at them. It ultimately does no good, and one of the men takes the wrench from her to bust up her and her father's tow truck.
- In Battlestar Galactica (2003), a wrench is used to kill Laird.
- On Boardwalk Empire, a stressed Eli gives George O’Neill a wrench whack right in the windpipe, if that didn't kill him the repeated strikes to the head afterwards did.
- The killer in the Criminal Minds episode "Painless" tries to attack Hotch and Prentiss with a wrench after being shot (he doesn't feel pain) but is stopped by a second shot, this one fatal.
- The Doctor Blake Mysteries: At the climax of "The Open Road", Jean grabs a wrench and clobbers the murderer who is attempting to crush Lucien beneath a car on a jack.
- Doctor Who: In "Victory of the Daleks", the Eleventh Doctor attacks a Dalek with a large wrench, trying to provoke it into dropping the "helpful automaton" act in front of the supporting cast.
- Father Brown: In "The Laws of Motion", the Victim of the Week is done in with a blow to the head from a lug wrench. The killers then plan to make it look like she died in a car accident.
- In Firefly, Mal knocks out Jayne this way toward the end of "Ariel".
- Midsomer Murders: The first Body of the Week in "The Flying Club" is done in by a blow to the back of the head with a wrench.
- Used a couple of times in Star Trek: The Original Series.
- Mekton has a Running Gag of mecha pilots making stupid design suggestions and getting hit on the head by the resident Wrench Wench.
- The wrench is one of the possible murder weapons in the game Clue. In other words, in a given game, any of the characters may have used a wrench to commit a murder.
- The Angry Marines, a fan-created Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine chapter, have the Power Wrench as one of their signature weapons, especially their Angry Techmarines. Older editions of ork rulebooks show meks with wrenches for bolts the size of their skulls◊.
- Cid uses wrenches as weapons in Final Fantasy IV. Hilariously, they're some of the strongest weapons in the game while he's in your party- even better than swords and karate.
- Gremlin Thwackers in Spiral Knights.
- Ratchet & Clank: Ratchet uses the Omniwrench, which he uses for its actual purpose too.
- Adrian Shephard in Half-Life: Opposing Force has one. It's stronger then Gordon Freeman's crowbar but swings slower. He later gets a combat knife which is weaker but swings faster.
- Team Fortress 2: the melee weapon of the Engineer. It is used for hastening building, repairing and upgrading the Engineer's buildings. Other uses include hurting people - and the wrench is good at it, hitting critically often because Sentries do a lot of damage - especially removing Spies and their sappers from the Engineer's guns' vicinity. Variants include the Southern Hospitality, implemented with a sharp piece of metal and a spiked handguard, which cause the hit enemy to bleed, the Jag, which hastens building even more but doesn't hurt as much, and the Eureka Effect, which can teleport the Engineer back to spawn or his teleporter exit (and after the Meet Your Match Update, build teleporters at half cost) at the cost of half the construction speed and half metal from ammo boxes and dispensers.
- Also the default weapon for... guess who... the Engineer in Team Fortress Classic.
- System Shock 2 has a wrench as a weapon. On the harder difficulties, it's pretty much the best weapon available.
- Since BioShock is a spiritual successor to the System Shock, it would naturally feature a wrench as the first available weapon. With the right Tonics and Plasmids, the wrench goes from a weak Emergency Weapon to the sole weapon you use. Tonics can boost the wrench's damage, swing speed, and even give it Life Drain, meaning you can run headlong into a group of enemies swinging wildly and come out with more health than you had going in. There are also Tonics intended for stealthy players that give huge damage boosts to the wrench on enemies that aren't aware of your presence... except no stealth is actually required, since stunning an enemy with either Electro Bolt or Insect Swarm will make the game count them as not being aware of you.
- Heimerdinger from League of Legends; he doesn't whack minions and champions with his wrench though, he throws them.
- Dark Cloud 2 features Max using wrenches as his primary melee weapon from the beginning of the game. It can be upgraded to many different, more combat-designed wrenches, including Smash Wrench, Drill Wrench, and Poison Wrench.
- Principal Takashi Hanya in Persona 2: Innocent Sin uses a giant wrench as a melee weapon.
- Yosuke in Persona 4 usually has dual daggers/kunai, but can pick up a pair of spanners if you revisit the liquor shop in the TV world. They're also a great weapon for that early in the game thanks to its high critical ratio.
- Wrenches are used by Engineers in Makai Kingdom with the Tech Bash skill, and possibly as an equippable weapon.
- Rocky Wrench from the Super Mario Bros. 3 airships and their subsequent appearences. Notably, when defeated in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, they sometimes drop a Wrench sticker that allows Mario to whack people with wrenches too.
- In Super Robot Wars, Super Robot Gunleon carries a number of these, ranging from ones that are appropriately scaled to fit in its hand like a human's would to a normal wrench, to wrench nunchucks, to a massive crescent wrench almost as tall as it is. Naturally, these are used to bash or crush enemies, but the largest wrench will occasionally become an enormous crushing clamp... with a Pile Bunker situated at the joint of its jaws.
- Wrenches appear in all Fallout games after the second one, but are only used as weapons in Fallout 2, Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel and Fallout 4
- A typical wrench used by mechanics for hurting people.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, a particular quest implies a wrench was used to murder a NCR Engineer for his outfit. Strangely, wrenches still aren't useable as weapons. You can use a lug wrench or a piece of piping but you can't use an adjustable wrench.
- In Fallout 4, the pipe wrench is actually a fairly effective melee weapon at low to mid levels, thanks to the weapon mod system, as it gains mods that not only boost its damage, but also increase its chances of crippling a target or deal extra damage to limbs.
- In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Kazooie carries around a magic Wrench that, aside from carrying stuff around via Tractor Beams, can be used as a melee weapon.
- And in Banjo Tooie's Grunty Indutries there were worker enemies who'd try to whack the bear and bird with their enormous wrenches.
- One of the bosses in Mole Mania uses wrenches as throwing weapons.
- Lexis in Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals has wrenches as a main weapon.
- Led from Septerra Core uses oversized wrenches, not only as a blunt weapon, but also to dismantle robotic enemies.
- Pey'j's weapon of choice in Beyond Good & Evil. His wrench even comes with a secondary wire cutter function.
- The Engineer in Torchlight 2 starts with a massive wrench and can find more of them optimized for their class-specific Whacking skills throughout the game.
- In Valkyria Chronicles II, the Armored Tech class carries an enormous wrench as a melee weapon and multipurpose tool.
- Tinker Knight from Shovel Knight can toss his spanner like a boomerang in his desperate attempt to defeat the player. Knock his hit-points down enough and he starts throwing fountains of spanners.
- The Mechanic in Terraria can throw her wench like a boomerang at nearby enemies.
- Wheeljack uses Dual Wielding wrenches as his default melee weapon in Transformers: Devastation. Functionally, they're similar to dual wielding swords but with slower attack speed.
- In Wasteland 2 NPC Angela Deth comes equipped with a wrench as hand-to-hand weapon: it is very effective.
- Guild Wars 2's Engineer has the Tool Kit skill that replaces weapons with a wrench used to repair turrets and as a melee weapon, and the Heart of Thorns expansion adds the Scrapper elite specialization that allows the Engineer to use hammers and along with it two hammer skins in the shape of massive wrenches (that any other class that uses hammers can equip too).
- In Girl Genius, Agatha clobbers Moloch, Vole and Prof.Tiktoffen with variety of wrenches. They're apparently as good at breaking things as fixing them.
- Gil whacks Othar.
- Princess Zulenna is shown early on with a bent wrench after apparently having done this to a guard who was between the Castle Wulfenbach students and the lifegliders they wanted to use to get back to the main part of the castle.
- Ed, from Fake Knight carries a wrench.
- In the xkcd comic "Security", hypothetical bad guys who want access to someone's files figure that using a wrench for torture would be the mundane alternative to intensive hacking.
- In one episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Meatwad can be seen beating a homeless man to death with a monkey wrench.
- Ratchet has been known to throw wrenches at those who intrude in his med-bay.
- Dexter, particularly in Ego Trip, uses a large wrench as a weapon.
- In the Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode "Flipmode", Space Ghost pummels Zorak with a wrench at one point. "Do NOT! DISTURB! THE JUDGE!"
- In the Code Lyoko episode "Mister Puck," Yumi wields one against a possessed Jeremie taking Aelita hostage.
- Around the turn of the 20th century, many manufacturers such as Bemis & Call designed their monkey wrenches to include a hammerhead on the back side of the wrench. They were meant to be multi-purpose tools rather than being overly specialized. They fell out of favor for lighter designs.