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A projectile is split in two or more parts midair by external forces

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
KZN02 on Nov 30th 2018 at 4:18:15 PM
Last Edited By:
KZN02 on Dec 21st 2018 at 8:40:45 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

A single projectile is flying towards the target or targets, only to be split into two or more parts midair by external forces such as an Absurdly Sharp Blade. This allows hitting multiple targets or a target that would be typically able to avoid the original projectile's trajectory.

See also:


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam movies, Kamille invents the "Beam Confuse" maneuver as a defense against fast but lightly-armored missiles and Attack Drones - he first throws a spinning beam saber then shoots at it with his beam rifle, causing the shot to be deflected and spray outwards.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: A tragic and unintentional example; when the Mobile Armor Hashmal becomes active and goes off on a human-killing rampage, Riden attempts to protect the Agriculture Center in its path with his Shiden. The Shiden's nanolaminate armor No Sells the Hashmal's beam weapon, but the beam diffuses around it and does heavy damage to the center behind it.
  • Doraemon: In The Doraemons spinoff, Dora The Kid (the cowboy cat robot) at one point is in a gunfight with a pair of villains. At one point, as the 2 baddies is about to attack him from both sides, Kid quickly finds an idea: using his unique Air Shot Arm Cannon, he shoots it to the tree in front of him; the "air bullet" splits into 2 upon hitting the tree, the halves of which then hit the 2 baddies at the same time.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: One manga chapter has Yami Yugi challenging a person to a dice roll game where the person who rolls the lowest number wins (Yugi also makes a rule where even a tie will be his opponent's win). Yugi rolls first and gets a 6. His opponent gets arrogant and simply chucks the die at Yugi's face, thinking he will win no matter what. Yugi actually uses his Millennium Puzzle to deflect the die, causing it to split in half with 1 and 6 facing up, a total sum of 7 and thus Yugi's win.

Film

  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: during the opening where the team of mutants' assault on a building, Wade Wilson enters a room full of armed mob which proceeds to fire at him. At one point, he cuts an incoming bullet with his katana, which splits it in two; the halves then hit 2 mobs behind him.
  • San Basilio: the protagonist splits his bullet with a knife to kill two goons.

Literature

  • A variation occurs in The Last Hero: Cohen the Barbarian is playing dice with a god. The god rolls a single six-sided die and gets a 6. He then informs Cohen that as a god, he wins all ties. So Cohen throws the die and slices it with his sword in midair. The two halves land with a 6 and a 1 up, giving Cohen a 7.

Live-Action TV

  • There's the myth (proven possible by the MythBusters) that Davy Crockett shot a lead ball at an axe so it could be cut in half and hit two targets.
  • In the second season finale of Wynonna Earp, Doc Holliday splits a bullet fired by Wynonna in order to kill two adversaries.

Toys

  • BIONICLE: In the comics, Pohatu and Tahu defeat a pair of Tarakava by the former kicking a large boulder at the latter to cut in half so each half would hit each Tarakava behind him.

Video Games

  • Mega Man Zero 4:
    • One of the bosses, Mino Magnus, has a move where he makes a cluster of metal junk usink his magnetism ability. Then, as the cluster floats towards him, he smashes it with his axe, causing the chunk to split in two as they're launched away from him.
    • One of Dr. Weil's moves after he goes One-Winged Angel is to shoot a large, slow moving Energy Ball. Said ball can be shot/slashed by Zero, but upon hitting it enough, it'll split into 3 smaller energy balls.
  • Mega Man ZX Advent: One of Thetis' boss moves (in Ashe's storyline) is to generate a chunk of ice in front of him, then he slashes it with jis halberd, causing a spread of icicles to shoot out. After Ashe gains his form, she can use a weaker version of the attack.
  • Unreal Tournament: the Shock Rifle has a Secondary Fire mode that produced a Painfully Slow Projectile, and shooting down your own projectile with primary fire would create a large explosion.

Western Animation

  • The Flintstones: a bowling ball splits into two halves after being lobbed into the air in order to successfully hit a split.

Feedback: 36 replies

Nov 30th 2018 at 4:25:54 PM

There's the myth (proven possible by the Mythbusters) that Davy Crockett shot a lead ball at an axe so it could be cut in half and hit two targets.

Nov 30th 2018 at 4:33:44 PM

The second one is Recursive Ammo, so it should be mentioned, and examples of those should go to that page.

The first one is Parrying Bullets; I don't know if "the bullet splits as you parry it" is The Same But More Specific or not.

Nov 30th 2018 at 4:45:06 PM

Hmm, I guess Parrying Bullets would cover the first one, but I would think the second is distinct from Recursive Ammo since the projectile probably wasn't intially intended to be recursive in the first place.

Nov 30th 2018 at 6:29:17 PM

I do have an example, at least

  • X Men Origins Wolverine: during the opening where the team of mutants' assault on a building (forgot the name), Wade Wilson enters a room full of armed mob which proceeds to fire at him. At one point, he cuts an incoming bullet with his katana, which splits it in two; the halves then hit 2 mobs behind him.

Nov 30th 2018 at 8:41:35 PM

I do recall instances where a bowling ball is split into two pieces in order to hit a split.

Nov 30th 2018 at 11:11:45 PM

^ In cartoons, I assume? I thought I saw it at leanst once in Tom And Jerry.

Dec 1st 2018 at 10:49:22 AM

This is a variation. A Filipino film has a protagonist split his bullet with a knife to kill two goons.

Dec 2nd 2018 at 3:49:04 AM

In Angry Birds, the Blues split from one apparent bird into three when you activate their ability.

In Arkanoid, the "D" powerup splits the ball into three. Some clones of the game have the ball split into two if it gets into a continuous loop of bouncing, to avoid having to quit the game.

Dec 2nd 2018 at 3:50:37 AM

  • Doraemon: In The Doraemons spinoff, Dora The Kid (the cowboy cat robot) at one point is in a shootfight with a pair of villains. At one point, as the 2 baddies is about to attack him from both sides, Kid quickly finds an idea: using his unique Air Shot Arm Cannon, he shoots it to the tree in front of him; the "air bullet" splits into 2 upon hitting the tree, the halves of which then hit the 2 baddies at the same time.

Dec 3rd 2018 at 9:38:05 AM

That Filipino film I mentioned was "San Basilio". This is what I was describing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mraK-zRfWL0

Dec 5th 2018 at 12:22:50 PM

I seem to recall a time when Green Arrow shot an arrowhead that separated from the shaft and split into two ends of a bola with the cable wound up inside it.

Dec 5th 2018 at 6:10:44 PM

I know you meant this to be "the projectile is split by an outside means", but the name "Projectile Split" isn't working good enough.

Dec 6th 2018 at 8:23:38 AM

Hmm, good point. Projectile Divide? Projectile Split Trick?

Dec 6th 2018 at 2:15:41 PM

Would "Improvised Recursive Ammo" or "Impromptu Recursive Ammo" work?

Dec 6th 2018 at 2:21:58 PM

Trick Arrow seems to be a possible supertrope.

Dec 6th 2018 at 6:25:25 PM

^ That's not really related, is it...

@ Flintstones example: What does cause the bowling ball to split?

Dec 7th 2018 at 6:15:48 AM

The best I can remember it was it being lobbed in the air and impact of the fall caused it to break in half.

Not sure if the names you proposed are good. It feels too much like The Same But More with Recursive Ammo.

Dec 7th 2018 at 4:38:54 PM

^ Then the example has to mention that. Simply "the ball splits" is Recursive Ammo.

Then again, this draft is a subtrope of RA, right?

Dec 8th 2018 at 7:55:18 AM

I guess it would count as a subtrope.

Dec 9th 2018 at 1:33:52 AM

Would this count?

  • In Dragon Age Origins, the high-level archery talent Scattershot, launches a single arrow that auto-hits and, upon impact, splits into up to ten more arrows that strike at as many enemies with a line of sight to the original target.

Dec 8th 2018 at 11:32:13 AM

This work?

  • Drawn To Life: The acorn-shooter used in the forest world shoots acorns that break into multiple pieces and bounce around, making it able to hit more than one enemy at a time.

Dec 8th 2018 at 12:43:36 PM

What does the "Improvised" in current trope name stand for?

Dec 8th 2018 at 2:32:28 PM

^ The ammo in this case isn't designed to break apart into smaller ammos (i.e Recursive Ammo), but the character involved "improvise" it so that the ammo could work that way (usually when the ammo is in flight).

Dec 8th 2018 at 7:59:45 PM

Okay, then the laconic needs some tweaking. It sounds like Recursive Ammo.

Dec 9th 2018 at 1:01:10 PM

@ Laconic: "solid projectile"? One of the examples is a projectile made of air, you see...

Dec 12th 2018 at 4:17:36 PM

  • Mega Man Zero 4:
    • One of the bosses, Mino Magnus, has a move where he makes a cluster of metal junk usink his magnetism ability. Then, as the cluster floats towards him, he smashes it with his axe, causing the chunk to split in two as they're launched away from him.
    • One of Dr. Weil's moves after he goes One Winged Angel is to shoot a large, slow moving Energy Ball. Said ball can be shot/slashed by Zero, but upon hitting it enough, it'll split into 3 smaller energy balls.
  • Mega Man ZX Advent: One of Thetis' boss moves (in Ashe's storyline) is to generate a chunk of ice in front of him, then he slashes it with jis halberd, causing a spread of icicles to shoot out. After Ashe gains his form, she can use a weaker version of the attack.

Dec 12th 2018 at 5:45:36 PM

I'm not sure if the following counts. It doesn't involve projectiles but it uses a sword in the same manner for a similar effect.

  • A variation occurs in The Last Hero. Cohen the Barbarian is playing dice with a god. The god rolls a single six-sided die and gets a 6. He then informs Cohen that as a god, he wins all ties. So Cohen throws the die and slices it with his sword in midair. The two halves land with a 6 and a 1 up, giving Cohen a 7.

Dec 12th 2018 at 5:54:53 PM

^ I've seen that trick before in a Yu Gi Oh manga. The dice split probably doesn't have enough examples to be its own trope, but I would like to include it for this.

Dec 16th 2018 at 11:20:19 AM

"Improvised Recursive Ammo" doesn't make sense as a name - there's nothing recursive about splitting a bullet in half. Suggesting Improvised Scattershot instead.

IIRC in Unreal Tournament or one of its sequels, there was a weapon with a Secondary Fire mode that produced a Painfully Slow Projectile, and shooting down your own projectile with primary fire would create a large explosion.

Dec 16th 2018 at 5:19:29 PM

Ooh, that is a much better name, I like it.

Regarding shooting a grenade, I feel like that's some other trope.

Dec 18th 2018 at 11:26:49 AM

^^ I remember that gun in Unreal Tournament — it's called the Shock Rifle.

Dec 20th 2018 at 9:40:03 AM

In the second season finale of Wynonna Earp, Doc Holliday splits a bullet fired by Wynonna in order to kill two adversaries.

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