Follow TV Tropes


Improbable Weapon User / Live-Action TV

Go To

  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete had "Papercut", a schoolyard bully with origami mastery who could create painful paper-cutlery from any readily available paper. He demanded his opponents always throw rock in Rock–Paper–Scissors.
  • In Seattle in the '80s, late night variety show Almost Live! had a send-up of kung fu movies and Public Service Announcements called, "Mind Your Manners with Billy Quan". In each episode, Quan and his opponent would use improbable weapons (such as sausage nunchakus, computer disc shurikens...).
  • The A-Team: The titular heroes are not above using whatever happens to be on hand, including, in "West Coast Turnaround", watermelons.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy certainly qualifies, since she frequently uses improvised weapons to kill vampires, especially in the early seasons. Most of these are improvised stakes, ranging in size from a pencil to a mop handle (and, in "Homecoming", she stakes a vampire with a spatula). She also decapitates a vampire with a cymbal in "The Harvest".
    • In the Season 5 finale, Xander smacks Glory around with a wrecking ball.
    • In Angel Harmony even stakes a vampire using chopsticks and Angel, to Spike's dismay, kills a opponent with a spoon.
  • For a more modern take, see Burn Notice.
    • In one particularly impressive example, Michael is attempting to keep a man alive while he is being targeted by a prison gang. Three gang members pull shivs and attempt to attack Michael in his cell, so Michael fights them with a small towel. And wins.
  • Chuck: John Casey is king of this trope, having weaponized: appliances as both melee and projectile weapons, part of a bed frame he was handcuffed to, a hotel room's heater/radiator unit, Chuck, his Crown Vic, chairs and other furniture, and pretty much anything else he can get his hands on.
    • Chuck is no slouch at this himself, having used a broken CD and a scalpel as shuriken, a nacho platter as a discus, chair legs, a Dodge Challenger, Sarah, a clothing rack, "tranq gloves," a cane, the cast for his own injured ankle, another scalpel in a tiny weapons standoff, has disarmed bombs with internet porn and fruit juice, and is a crack shot with tranquilizer guns. This becomes especially prominent in Seasons 3 and 4, when the Intersect can allow him to use pretty much anything as an improvised weapon.
    • Advertisement:
    • Sarah gets in on the act as well, using hair pins as throwing knives, a broken CD as a knife, a car's air bag, handcuffs as brass knuckles, the carved head of a cougar, a tiki torch, and Chuck, among other items.
  • In Community episode "Epidemiology", Jeff, whose costume is David Beckham, uses his soccer ball to take out a zombie.
  • On one episode of CSI: NY, resident Woobie Adam defends himself against a bad guy with a tube-length fluorescent lightbulb and succeeds in knocking the guy out. Doesn't stop Danny & Sheldon from picking on him about his lightsaber.
    • Murderers throughout the series intentionally used such things as a cricket bat, a Statue of Liberty key chain, a baseball, etc., on their victims.
    • Other victims were unintentionally killed with knitting needles, a pool cue, a swordfish, and a name a few.
  • Dead Ringers: One sketch was Darth Vader and Obi-Wan fight one another with baguettes.
    Darth Vader: Your baking products are weak, old man.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor typically doesn't carry weapons (he's a Technical Pacifist), only a sonic screwdriver, which is of dubious offensive capabilities at best. However, he has created powerful sonic blasts by combining said screwdriver with a sound system, and pointing it at another sonic device. He also killed an alien warrior with a satsuma, and bluffed a bunch of Daleks with a Jammie Dodger. This was an homage to an ad-lib by Tom Baker that he made because he found what he was scripted to do too violent — he was meant to pull a knife on the alien and threaten them. The director was not pleased, but the writer absolutely loved it and decided to keep it in. In his autobiography, he described a little boy coming up to him, offering him a jelly baby and repeating the line:
      "Put down your weapons! Or I'll kill him with this jelly baby!"
    • Advertisement:
    • A Special Effects Failure-induced example is the Daleks, a terrifying genocidal alien race whose secondary weapon appears to be a toilet plunger (this is because it was — Classic Doctor Who famously had No Budget). Several attempts were made over the years to ditch the plungers and replace them with something more sinister like a claw, but reactions to it were invariably negative. In the new series, a character mocks a Dalek for its plunger and asks it if it's going to "sucker [him] to death", so it does, and it's actually horrible.
    • "Remembrance of the Daleks" ends with the Doctor allowing Davros to destroy his Dalek empire with what's essentially a piece of booby-trapped heavy industrial equipment. Stellar engineering heavy industrial equipment from the birth of Time Lord civilization, that is.
    • "Smith and Jones": The blood-sucking villain uses a bendy straw to drink her victims' blood, and rigs an MRI to wipe out a good chunk of the Earth's population via severe EMP. The Doctor, meanwhile, kills a robot by frying it with an X-ray machine.
    • A funny version occurs in "A Good Man Goes to War" when Amy, fearing that an enemy is trying to get into the room, grabs what looks like a turkey baster and tries to threaten them. Turns out it's just Rory.
    • The Twelfth Doctor uses a spoon to beat Robin Hood, of all people, in a direct duel! He makes it even worse by tapping Robin on the head with it as a taunt.
  • In The Flash (2014) Christmas Episode "Running to Stand Still", the Trickster attempts to kill The Flash with a bunch of dreidels. Dreidels made of C4 and rigged to explode, but dreidels nonetheless.
  • On Heroes, Mohinder has successfully used a rolling chalk board, microscopes, syringes, and a tuning fork against Sylar and the door of his taxi against Danko and his goons. He used a ceramic elephant statue against a hitman, but Eden saved him in time before the hitman could retaliate.
    • We can probably all still remember how Claire escapes from Sylar in Volume Five by stabbing him in the eye with a pencil...
  • Leverage: Elliott Doesn't Like Guns. Anything else is fair game.
    • He once killed a guy with an appetizer. Maybe.
  • MacGyver is another one who Doesn't Like Guns, and is a Technical Pacifist. Doesn't stop a Swiss Army knife and the contents of a janitor's closet from becoming a veritable arsenal in his hands.
  • Murder, She Wrote had a woman trying to protect herself in a restaurant freezer use a frozen swordfish as a weapon against a Jerkass Victim (the sharp nose acted like a knife) when he tried to kill her. Instead it was self defense (she killed him by accident when it caused a fatal slash wound).
  • One villain in Odd Squad known as Polka-Dot Pete attacks with polka dots, forming spheres with them before throwing them at whatever he sees fit.
    • Another one known as Sue Venir attacks using a bulky camera — all she has to do is point it at her target, take a picture, and it turns the target into a souvenir.
    • Confetti Betty, another villain, attacks using confetti of all things, which she generates using a Magic Wand.
  • Belle of Once Upon a Time has defeated enemies with a bookcase, an oar, and a mine cart. Usually while wearing five-inch heels.
  • Raising Hope: Virginia Chance's trademark weapon for whenever she needs to take out a threat to her family is a TV, though Sabrina has used it too. Burt uses a guitar to take out Smokey Floyd.
  • In Season 2 of Round the Twist, the kid Bronson has his feet. And his shoes. And his socks. How does that work? He 'saved his smell' by not changing his socks or shoes for over six months, until the stench became so foul that a single one of his shoes can be used to knock out an entire classroom. This is important for only one episode (although it is foreshadowed beforehand), as his whole motive behind developing this unholy gift is to save a turtle. It's that kind of show.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: in "Empok Nor", Garak is accidentally exposed to a drug that turns him into a xenophobic, psychopathic killer. O'Brien does manage to stop him in the end, but not before Garak kills one of O'Brien's engineers with the engineer's own flux coupler.
    • O'Brien's own weapon in the final duel also counts, because although he used a phaser, he didn't use it as it was intended to be used but instead used it as a grenade.
  • In many Super Sentai (and of course, Power Rangers) series, the Sixth Ranger usually gets the oddest weapon; usually in the form of a Swiss Army Weapon that can become a sword, gun, or both for more conventional weapon use. Such improbable weapons include a pool cue/rifle/sword (Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger), sword/baseball bat/microphone (Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger), quill pen/sword (Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger), magic lamp-gun (Mahou Sentai Magiranger), metal detector/spear/gun (GoGo Sentai Boukenger), light guide stick-sword (Ressha Sentai ToQger), guitar/rifle/sword (Shuriken Sentai Ninninger), fishing rod/rifle/staff (Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger), and jackhammer/grab-claw/BFG (Mashin Sentai Kiramager).
    • Also the original Green Ranger's flute dagger. Given the fact that the Green Ranger's peers used a sword, a bow, an axe (that turned into a gun), daggers and a staff, as well as having pistols that turned into knives, the Green Ranger being armed with a flute is very peculiar (though still practical thanks to the blade).
    • In Power Rangers RPM the cast takes this to new heights. Although most weapons are one use only, the cast's consistent use of the unusual earns them a place on this page: saran wrap, a baby stroller (with a baby in it no less), a building, shopping carts, lawn chairs, beach umbrellas, bus doors; if it can inconvenience the mooks, it's been used. And that's not counting Summer's Zip-Charger, which launches an RC car at foes. And, last but certainly not least, Dr. K's violin; the first time, it's just conveniently hooked up to a nearby amp, but the second time, she demonstrates that all of the technology is programmed to respond to her music.
    • Some Monsters Of The Week have also had odd weapon choices, such as Gnarly Gnome, who wielded a rake. That the Megazord wrenched from his hands and swung at him. He also used his accordion to confuse the Rangers and let him land some blows on the Megazord before it was punched out of his hands.
  • Ultra Series
  • Elijah from The Vampire Diaries once used a handful of coins (added to his super-strength) to attack Rose and Elena from outside a coffee shop. The coffee shop was destroyed.
    • His younger brother Klaus did this numerous times. He attacked the Gilbert's house with a newspaper and pieces of picket fence before realizing it wasn't working and deciding to burn it to the ground (Damon and Stefan calm him down in time though).
    • Elena and Katherine both qualify during their fight in the Season 4 finale. Katherine beats her up with a mop handle. Elena counter-attacks by ripping a locker from its place and throwing it at her. It gets worse...
  • Glenn uses a piece of store shelving to get a Walker off of Maggie in Season 2 of The Walking Dead.
    • Maggie also employs a No Parking sign at one point.
  • Captain Feathersword of The Wiggles wields... well...


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: