Wrench Whack

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"This wrench is good for both tightening nuts and bashing skulls."
Enormous Wrench Description, Dungeons of Dredmor

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.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Board Games 
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.

    Fan Works 
  • 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 

    Literature 
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Used a couple of times in Star Trek: The Original Series.
    • In "Court Martial", Finney uses a (20th-century) wrench in a fight with Kirk, but doesn't get a good blow in.
    • In "Space Seed", Kirk surprises Khan with a whack from a (23d-century) Space Wrench. Take that, superhuman!
  • In Doctor Who, 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.
  • In Battlestar Galactica (2003), a wrench is used to kill Laird.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Moose was undefeated in Ring of Honor until Cedric Alexander hit him with a wrench. Alexander also ended his Tag Team with Caprice Coleman after Coleman prevented him from using it on War Machine.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • 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 (in place of a crowbar).
  • 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 at the cost of half the construction speed and half metal from ammo boxes and dispensers.
  • 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.
    • A wrench identical to the one in the first game shows up in Bioshock Infinite. Booker doesn't wield it though; Elizabeth knocks him out with it when she finds out he's actually kidnapping her, not rescuing her. Ironically Elizabeth is later beaten to death with a wrench in Burial at Sea.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • In Fallout 4 in particular 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.

    Web Comics 
  • 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.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Around the turn of the 20th century, many manufacurers 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.

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