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You know what they say about guys with big swords...note 
"It was much too big to be called a sword. Massive, thick, heavy, and far too rough. Indeed, it was like a slab of raw iron."
— Narration introducing the Dragonslayer, Berserk

The melee weapon equivalent of a BFG.

A common trope to both video games and anime, a BFS is an unrealistically large sword most often owned by The Hero, The Chosen One, or whatever type the lead happens to be. To be a true BFS, it should be nearly as long as its owner is tall. It may or may not have other special qualities besides being humongous. If a BFS does possess other strange qualities, one of them almost assuredly prevents it from being used by other people, whether that be weight, a magical barrier, a direct link to its owner, or other means.

Usually no other character in a game or series is the possessor of a sword that is anywhere close to as huge. Sometimes, even when unusual swords and weapons are an everyday occurrence, characters are still surprised by the size of the lead's BFS, as it is a physical manifestation of its owner's potential power.

The Rival or Big Bad will sometimes own a BFS, representing a significant hurdle and challenge for the protagonist to overcome. It is rarer for a secondary character, such as The Lancer or The Big Guy, to own a BFS, but if the lead character does not possess one, one of the others in their party likely will.

This trope includes any type of improbably large ("anime-sized") melee weapon. After the aforementioned big-ass sword, gigantic lances tend to be the most common. However, humongous hammers and titanic axes also appear from time to time, most commonly in the hands of The Big Guy (or, just for the absurdity of it all, a little girl).

An ancient trope. Oversized, unrealistic swords aren't unheard of in medieval or earlier fiction, poetry, and artwork. To make matters more confusing, most societies employing swords also made huge ceremonial swords for display, which laymen of later periods may mistake for actual war tools. Swords employed in combat or dueling were lighter than even the typical, non-BFS fantasy sword — which makes a lot of sense, if you remember it's about swinging one hundreds of times and quick enough — while the only purpose of a ceremonial or executioner's sword is to be carried along or make one strong cut respectively, there's not a lot of swinging around. Even the really big swords, such was the German Zweihänder, which were used for "fencing" with (batting aside or cutting) polearms or keeping multiple opponents at bay were much lighter (relatively speaking) than we are led to believe by most fictional portrayals.

Compare Big, Bulky Bomb, BFG (as mentioned above), Epic Flail, Great Bow, and Humongous-Headed Hammer. May well be a Bigger Stick. May involve Hammerspace physics for storage, or some sort of strange magnetism. Almost always held casually resting on the hero's shoulder.

If it's being wielded with just one hand, it's a One-Handed Zweihänder. See Giant's Knife; Human's Greatsword for when characters wield weapons meant for a race of a different size, and Big Weapon, Little Wielder if it's substantially larger than the wielder. Compare Dual Wielding, Heroes Prefer Swords, and Infinity +1 Sword. May be used to create a Sinister Scraping Sound. Obligatory links to Freud Was Right and Compensating for Something are here for your convenience.

For the computer scientists reading this page, this page has nothing to do with breadth-first search. Neither does it have anything to do with BTS, as cool as that combination sounds.

This item is available in the Trope Co. catalog.

Example subpages:

Other examples

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    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • Alan Ford: Parodied and deconstructed in the Number One's retelling of the Chanson de Roland: Roland's given the Durlendain by Charlemagne... but the sword is so huge Roland has trouble lifting it and is afraid that he'll break his wrist with it. When in combat, the sword is so heavy it causes Roland's horse to drop on the ground, sink itself in the soil and Roland ends up breaking the hilt while trying to recover the sword, leaving him at the mercy of the Muslim warriors.
  • The Incredible Hulk: Red She-Hulk has a great sword named Savage Sword of She-Hulk, created by Iron Man and blessed by Odin.
  • Shinryuken in Gold Digger whose Colossal Blade, Size-mitar, is one big reference to Sanger Zonvolt, listed above.
  • In Hillbilly, Rondel is armed with Lucifer's own humongous Meat Cleaver.
  • Les Légendaires: Razzia fights with a large saber named the "Leviathan".
  • The Mighty Thor:
    • The concept is taken to its logical extreme with the Odinsword, which is many times the size of anybody, human or Asgardian. Thor has successfully thrown it, but he could never wield it. Not least because drawing it from its sheath causes the end of the universe.
    • Unfortunately it was badly depowered in Roy Thomas' Celestial/Ring Cycle storyline, in which we learn its origin and that drawing it, rather than destroying the universe, will merely(?) bring on the day of Ragnarok. We also find out why it's that big: it's meant to be wielded by a giant-size Destroyer, powered by Odin and all the other Asgardians except Thor, when he defends Earth from the even larger Celestials.
    • Later, it reappears on a slightly more plausible scale during Fear Itself (though it's still about as tall as Thor and half as wide), when Thor wields it against his Evil Uncle, Cul, the Serpent.
  • In the New 52, Deathstroke has a giant sword that is almost never entirely on panel.
  • In No More Gods, the Antigod wields Ebethia the Netherblade, an enormous Talking Weapon that also consumes gods.
  • In Superman storyline Last Daughter of Krypton, villainess Reign's weapon is a broad, double-edged sword with a hooked tip. It is almost as tall as its wielder. Good thing that Reign is as super-strong as her nemesis.
  • Weapon Hex: Like Magik, Hellhound has a massive blue magical sword, though it's never referred to as the Soulsword.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): When Artemis returns as a demon hunter she's weilding a massive sword that with a blade that is at least five feet long. She's still carrying a bow as well, but it is no longer her primary weapon.
  • Korvus' Phoenix Blade from X-Men. Unlike most examples, it's suggested that the lingering Phoenix fragment was what allowed Korvus (a Boxed Crook) to wield it with relative ease, and, theoretically, carve his way through any opposition. Unfortunately, the Shi'ar high official who had this bright idea, neglected to think it through: namely, one of the people he was sending Korvus after was Rachel Summers, a former host of the Phoenix. And, as she points out to a flabbergasted Korvus after she pulls off a Bare-Handed Blade Block, absorbing the Phoenix fragment, the Phoenix knows her and likes her.
  • In Spirit World (2023), Xanthe Zhou's preferred weapon is a giant Chinese-style broadsword.

    Eastern Animation 
  • The Estonian animation Suur Toll gives the towering leader of the second horde one. He towers over every one but the giant eponymous character, and his sword is as big as he is.

    Fan Works 
  • DNMC features D'Arg and his two shotgun swords that he can set on fire which he's named Fire, Ready, Aim. Fitting for someone as reckless as him. Deconstructed, since their size and weight don't do him any favors against a more agile opponent, especially if they're a human and not a Creature of Grimm.
  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls:
    • Sweet Cider's Shikai, Kizuna (Bonds); described as less a sword and more like a gigantic slab of pure bronze that was hammered into the rough shape of a blade though once her Fullbring is properly separated from it, it assumes a more standard, if still just as massive, sword form. It's large enough that Cider, no small woman herself, has to stretch her arm just to reach the handle and grab it. Her Fullbring Hearthstone is a no less massive sword made of solid rock, and since both are extensions of her spiritual powers she has no issue Dual Wielding them together once they're finally separated.
    • Sunset's Bankai turns her sword from a moderately-sized blade into a flamberge that would normally require two hands to use properly.
    • Human Sunset's Fullbring is a greatsword nearly as big as she is.
    • Tirek's zanpakuto is described as a massive golden claymore that's as big as him (and Tirek is a big guy).
  • Fate of the Clans: Cú Chulainn is only 184 cm tall while his spear is a full two meters in length.
  • Harbinger (Finmonster) (Danny Phantom, Gravity Falls, ParaNorman): In this story, Wendy Corduroy, has a double-edged sword for a weapon that Danny describes as being almost ridiculously large.
  • In The Immortal Game, most unicorn blades have about nine pieces to them. Sir Unimpressive, who trained for ten years, has an impressive thirteen. Rarity and her father General Esteem (considered to be the most powerful mortal warrior on the planet) has fourteen. Astor Coruscare, the most powerful Unicorn at her time, is implied to have at least twenty pieces. Twilight Sparkle's blade Equinox? Twenty Seven.
  • In the Naruto AU story Kitsune's Power, the main character gains a bloodlimit granting him Super-Strength. He ends up having a sword made for him very like the one from Utawarerumono and uses it to fight Zabuza to a standstill.
  • Brittany, the main character of New Reality uses zweihänder.
  • Three examples from The Night Unfurls:
    • The Holy Moonlight Sword, in its transformed state, is noted to be a mighty greatsword that gleams with black-green energy. Kyril opts for this weapon whenever he faces a particularly strong opponent, or he needs to take out groups of enemies at once.
    • Being a villainous Guts expy, Vault wields a greatsword in combat.
    • Ludwig's Holy Blade, one of Sanakan's weapons, is a massive greatsword of considerable weight when the longsword is combined with the sheath.
  • No stars in sight: Cuaroc wields a large claymore described as being "fit for slaying giants" that has such a heavy blade that he almost always Sword Drags it around.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Ash's Farfetch'd* is capable of using Slash by combining two of his three leeks together to form a giant longsword.
  • The Pyrefrost Beowolf in Raindrop's Hearth's Warming Eve Miracle has a pair of scythes the size of him...
    • The size of a dragon.
  • Robb Returns: Stormbreaker, the Durrandons' ancient greatsword that Robert found, counts as one. When it is used, the sound of thunder can actually be heard. It also brings out the enemy's true nature, as it proves by making Jaime's sword rust from the inside, and will not be stained by the blood of a coward.
  • The katana Yuunagi in The Tainted Grimoire is an example of this trope.
  • What If I Know Too Many Reasons I Can Be Strong?: Haganezuka makes Tanjiro huge swords named the Demonslayer.
  • Blackfire in With Strings Attached. It probably changes size, too.
  • In With This Ring, Renegade OL eventually makes himself a daiklave, and later a shoklave. It's partly in case of situations where he's short on ring power, but also just because giant swords are cool.
  • In Wonderful (Mazinja), one of the weapons of the hero, Taylor, is a huge sword. She used it for first time to fight an Eldritch Abomination.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Mini-Mecha in Avatar carry oversize knives.
  • William Wallace wields one of these in Braveheart, and does the usual things of chopping horses' legs off and then the heads of their riders with it. The William Wallace Sword, traditionally thought to belong to Wallace, is quite enormous.
  • Rita Vrataski uses one to great effect in Edge of Tomorrow; it appears to be a broken-off propeller blade ripped from a downed dropship. This is a change from the original light novel, All You Need Is Kill, where she uses an axe instead.
  • Famine:
    Jenny: Not nice to call someone names when they have a big fucking sword on them!
  • In Hellboy (2019), one of the giants Hellboy tangles with halfway through the film wields a crudely fashioned sword about five times Hellboy's size. Big Red eventually disarms the monster and turns the enormous weapon against its owner.
  • The Kurgan in the original Highlander carries a large longsword. It's large enough that the Kurgan can't get away with pulling the sword from the Hammerspace in his trenchcoat like other immortals. Instead, he assembles it from pieces stored in a briefcase, with each piece clicking into place like a Snap-Tite model.
  • Ironclad gives us Marshall's Templar Longsword. From tip to hilt it's as tall as he is, and he uses it to vertically cleave a Danish soldier in half through the axe he used to block the strike.
  • In Killer Constable, Master Leng, who leads the constable team, use the largest sword among his allies, which he uses to slice and dice through plenty of mooks.
  • Kikuchiyo's main weapon in Seven Samurai is a nodachi that dwarfs the katanas carried by his groupmates. It ultimately doesn't survive the final battle, where the blade snaps in two and he has to pick up a smaller sword.
  • The title sword in The Sword and the Sorcerer wasn't just big lengthwise, but sported three ginormous parallel blades, and these two side blades could be shot as missiles, so it was both a BFS and a BFG combined.
  • The eponymously named sword in the Japanese film Sword Of Alexander.
  • Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Sideswipe all have retractable wrist-blades in the Transformers Film Series. Prime and Sideswipe have two on each arm. Sentinel Prime also wields a huge double sided sword, though his resembles a straight razor.
  • The killer's ridiculously oversized meat cleaver in Violent Shit.
  • Komodo has and uses one during all his fights in Warriors of Virtue.
  • The Silver Samurai from The Wolverine wields an enormous katana and wakizashi, both made out of pure adamantium. Holding these swords with both hands triggers the blades to become superheated and be able to cut through adamantium.

    Live-Action TV 
  • CSI almost called it by name.
    Warrick: Can you tell us anything about the tool that may have been used?
    Amy: (shrugs) BFK.
    Sara: (smirks) Big knife. Great.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Ice, the sword of House Stark. It is so big that Tywin Lannister describes it as "absurdly large" and is able to reforge two normal Valyrian swords out of it.
    • Gregor Clegane's sword is about the size of a normal person.
    • Sandor Clegane carries one of these, though only uses it in specific circumstance, such as open battle, or against his brother, who uses an even bigger one, as mentioned above. He has a short sword for quick draw.
    • Sandor invoked this trope when reminding Arya what happens when a man with wooden training sword goes up against a knight.
      Sandor: Syrio Forel is dead. And Meryn Trant's not. Because Trant had armor. And a big fucking sword!
  • In GARO, the title hero wields a reasonably-sized longsword. When riding his Hellish Horse, however, it can grow into a giant Zanbato (lit. "Horse Slashing Sword"), useful for taking on some of the biggest Horrors. In one situation, he threw it, then jumped on and rode it like a surfboard.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Den-O: Zeronos has one of these, the ZeroGasher, that also becomes a crossbow.
    • There's also Den-O's DenKamen Sword.
    • Most title Riders end up getting a BFS near the end of the series. Other examples include Kiva's Zanbat Sword, Kabuto's Perfect Zecter and Blade's King Rouzer.
    • Kamen Rider Decade gives us the Blade Blade, a sword that's incredibly massive in size, because it's made from Kamen Rider Blade himself.
    • Kamen Rider Zi-O gives us the combined form of the Zikan Girade and the Saikyo Girade: the Saikyo Zikan Girade, a fairly longsword-length blade.
    • They're all beaten by what may be the Kamen Rider counterpart to the Rekka Daizantou below: from Kamen Rider Saber, we have Kamen Rider Buster's Dogouken Gekido. While not as ridiculously large or as the Rekka Daizantou, it still has most other individual swords in both franchises beat, and is fittingly the weapon of the Mighty Glacier of the cast. Unlike most other examples in the genre, it's a pretty bare blade, being large orange edge with a sturdy skeleton frame as the body of the frame. This is likely due to the fact that as Buster's Transformation Trinket, it likely needs to be light enough to be wielded by Buster's face actor Yuki Ikushima, who's otherwise a pretty built-looking guy, as well.
  • Sharpe: Richard Sharpe carries a heavy cavalry sword despite being an infantryman. It was reforged into a more manageable form by Harper, but it's still a BFS.
  • Super Sentai/Power Rangers has its share of these.
    • A notable example is the Hundred Beast Sword from Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger (called the "Jungle Sword" in Power Rangers Wild Force): Rather than the standard BFG combination, all five of the Rangers' weapons combine into a sword so big that it takes the entire Ranger team to wield it.
    • The sword used by Go-on/RPM Red was the biggest personal sword a Ranger had ever had at the time, once even being used as a (flying!) surfboard. Sadly, he's outdone in the very next series by:
    • ShinkenRed/Red Samurai Ranger's sword, the Rekka Daizanto / Fire Smasher, from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger/Power Rangers Samurai. Its Cannon Mode is also the team's finisher — yes, a sword that's used as a BFG, holding several disks and channeling their energy. The sword's size shows it. If the scale of the S.H. Figuarts action figure is correct, the Rekka Daizanto is eight feet long. Reportedly, the only person on staff who could lift it properly was Hirofumi Fukuzawa, the stuntman who played the suited-up ShinkenRed. Although, he's apparently taught someone else, because in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger,:
    • Marvelous and Ahim morph into Shinkenred and Lady Shinkenred and wield two of them simultaneously.
    • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger gives a Rekka Daizanto to their giant robot as their Shinkenger Mode finisher. Even larger still is the sword used by the robot's Goranger Mode, which is formed when their two cutlasses merge into one ginormous weapon that falls down into the monster for the Gokai Hurricane Cassiopia attack. The one time it's seen being used, it's to bisect and destroy the Black Cross Colossus, which is at least four times the height of the average giant monster.
    • This trope isn't just limited to the characters, but it stands to reason that giant robots will be armed with giant swords. And it doesn't seem to matter how technologically-advanced your culture or civilisation is, because the primary weapon for your Giant Robot of Doom will always be a BFS. Even if a Megazord has a cannon or flaming fists or something, you can rest assured that another robot will show up, at some point, armed with a BFS.
    • Among the personal swords that's not Rekka Daizantou (coz let's be honest, there's no beating that), the largest sword as of this writing is arguably the Rail Slasher of Ressha Sentai Toqger, used by ToQ 1gou, but can be used by any of his teammates he passes his Red Ressha onto. Given educated estimates based on various shots, the blade of the sword seems to be an average of 85 cm or 33 inches, which marks it squarely into longsword territory and a few inches longer than the Road Sabre from Go-Onger. And that's disregarding its Whip Sword properties since the blade is a railroad track.
    • It's arguably been outdone by Uchuu Sentai Kyuranger, with Shishi Red's exclusive Kyu Sword configuration of the Kyu The Weapon, the team's uniform weapon. It's arguably as long as the Rail Slasher but significantly wider. Furthermore, given the nature of the grip, there's hardly enough room for two handed gripping. Lampshaded with Tenbin Gold when he tried using it, saying it was too heavy for his liking.
    • If it's the machines, it's gotta be the Super Zeo Megazord/OhBlocker. Its swords are small (compared to their wielder; each is about half the length of usual robot-wielded sword in the series) at first, but its finisher involves combining them into a blade SO massively massive the Zord actually can't lift it. It's combined above the head of the Monster of the Week and allowed to fall through it (a move that would later be repeated with the aforementioned Gokai Hurricane Cassiopia finisher). The monster is often quite some distance from the Megazord when this happens.
  • Willow: Boorman wields a massive sword which he's got to use two-handed.

  • Lu Xiao from Infinity Game creates a sword out of magic that is at least twenty feet tall. She weilds it one-handed.
  • Ryu Hanbin from Survival Storyofa Sword Kingina Fantasy World has a sword fashioned in the same vein as the Buster Sword or the Dragon Slayer as his main weapon, being fashioned out of the bones of the various gigantic monsters that have besieged him as he's Trapped in Another World. Because these creatures are designed to match Hanbin's combat prows, regardless of how strong he gets, this means that, when he's finally released from his prison and transported to another fantasy world, said sword is the only weapon he can actually use, as his time spent trapped in what is basically an Early Game Hell for years has nearly turned him into the World's Strongest Man in his new environment. The sword does eventually break, but only from Hanbin facing a challenging enough fight that he ends up subconsciously unlocking his Aura, which proves too powerful for the inexperienced Hanbin to utilise, ravaging his body and his weapon with his own strength. Hanbin is eventually able to reforge the blade into one made from the wood of the World Tree, which can absorb his Aura and render it usable for him.

  • Percer from Id has an absurdly large sword that he manages to use single handed.
  • Batu and Yuda from Shaman Warrior both employ these.
  • Sando's sword from Shin Angyo Onshi is bigger than she is.
  • Khun Edahn of Tower of God has a big fuckin lance, yeah not is a sword but It is so big that it can go through the floors of the tower, although this has only been said by SIU on their blog we have not seen it yet, for a more traditional example, the white sword is quite large and is more noticeable in the hands of its smaller clones, also some random mooks have carried some.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Older Than Dirt: In The Epic of Gilgamesh "They cast great daggers/ Their blades were 120 pounds each/ The cross guards of their handles thirty pounds each/ They carried daggers worked with thirty pounds of gold/ Gilgamesh and Enkidu bore ten times sixty pounds each."
  • Former adversary and later vassal of King Arthur, Osla Big Knife, carried Bronllavyn Short Broad, a sword whose dimensions are never completely specified. However, it is stated that it was large enough to be used as a bridge and that Osla himself died when the sword fell out of its sheath, allowing the sheath to fill up with so much water that he was dragged under and drowned. Osla appears twice in the Welsh Mabinogion, with the earliest text he appears in dating back to 1160 or thereabouts. This constitutes one the trope's few non-Asian and non-Asian-influenced appearances.
  • Beowulf wielded a giant sword when he fought Grendel's mom. Justified in that it was in fact made by giants.
  • In The Bible:
    • After killing the giant Goliath, David cuts off his head with the giant's own sword. Considering that Goliath was about 9.5 ft tall, his sword must have been rather large compared to David.
    • Later, when David was on the run from Saul, he is without a sword and is given the sword of Goliath from a temple. Some images have him continue to wield this BFS for his entire reign. A BFS in this time period would be the size of a normal sword by our standards, as the iron age had just started around this time.
    • In Deuteronomy 28, and Ezekiel 14, one of the punishments of the wicked is to be by the sword. In chapter 21 of Ezekiel, God wields that sword, and the description of it makes it seem rather huge, deadly, and quite awesome, if not terrifying. That same huge sword is in St. John's Revelation, used by the rider of the red horse. Such a sword is said to be symbolic of war and violence.
  • While Thor was known for his hammer, his wife, Sif, carried a BFS, being every bit a badass as he was.
  • Muslim esoterica has Zulfiqar, the story of which is rather odd. The historical Zulfiqar was a sword, and a very large one at that, possibly with two points. It was captured in a raid in which both the prophet Muhammad and his younger cousin/foster brother/son-in-law Ali participated; when time came to divide up the booty, Muhammad gave the sword to Ali, and it became an heirloom of Ali's line. This would all be some minor trivia if it weren't for the fact that some Muslims decided that Ali and his line were the rightful successors of Muhammad in his role as political and spiritual leader of the Muslim Ummah (nation); this group became the Shia branch of the faith, and they represent 15-20% of all Muslims today. As a result, the sword has been mythologized substantially among the Shia: rather than being simply two-pointed, Shia legend would have Zulfiqar be more extensively or completely bifurcated, and be so great and imbued with divine power that when used, it requires an angel be around to catch it, for if it fell, it would cleave the Earth in two. Non-Shia Muslims — and a fair number of Shia ulema (clerics/jurists) — think this story is nonsense, but it remains pervasive, and as a result Zulfiqar (and variants) remains a common name among some groups of Shia (particularly the Ismailis of Pakistan, who produced the Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto).
  • The Ulster Cycle has Fergus mac Roiche's greatsword, Caladbolg ("hard sheath"). That thing could dispatch an army with a single stroke. Not that it gets to do so against Conall Cernach's forces, since a peace agreement had been arranged (even if he tore up a lot of his soldiers with Caladbolg at less than full force). Nonetheless, to show that his side won't be taking intrigues lying down, Fergus uses Caladbolg to cut the tops away from three hills, with one stroke each. Because of close cognates in Welsh legends, some scholars believe that the stories of Caladbolg were the template for Excalibur. Maybe that's why Arthur's reign persisted for so long in the stories.

  • In the Cool Kids Table game Creepy Town, Walter insists on adding a claymore to the hillbilly torture shack room, regardless of how incongruous that is with the haunted house the teens are trying to set up.
  • Marche naturally gets to wield his Judge Blade when Jory plays as him in Interstitial: Actual Play.
    • Inverted with Tagdegx. They wield the Buster Sword, which is huge for them, but their tiny body means it's only about as big as a dagger for everyone else.

  • The three brothers in Princess Ida carry incredibly large swords in many productions.
    • In Ruddigore Dame Hannah appropriates one when confronting Sir Ruthven.


    Visual Novels 
  • In Aselia the Eternal - The Spirit of Eternity Sword, despite the premise of super powered cosmic swords all trying to kill each other, most of them aren't that unrealistically huge. But Karma? It's bigger than the guy wielding and that guy is pretty big.
  • A few appear in Fate/stay night:
    • Assassin in has a nodachi with a blade length of 150cm, or roughly five feet. Not terribly notable except the game specifically points out this is more the length of a lance than a sword and is unrealistically large. The 'actual' Monohoshizao had a more modest 90cm blade. Only Assassin's obscene skill can wield such a long sword, apparently. And it's still only suited for one-on-one dueling, and not for large-scale battle.
    • Berserker's axe-sword, which is a giant hunk of stone that looks somewhere between, well, an axe and a sword. It looks almost normal sized in relation to Berserker, who's about 8 feet tall. However, when Shirou uses it in Heaven's Feel, it's as big as he is. And to top it off he uses it one-handed.
    • Saber surprisingly enough uses a fairly normal sized sword that spends much of its time invisible, but is by far the shortest and smallest Servant, so it looks much larger in her hands. However when she fires off Excalibur it takes the form of a giant sword made of light.
    • Expanded universe materials have featured even more of these, especially in the hands of Sabers. Siegfried's Balmung is about as tall as he is, and he's already a giant of a man. The Saber version of Frankenstein carries a ridiculously bulky weapon that seems to weigh more than her. Musashi carries regular ol' katanas, but her Limit Break causes her sword to become about a hundred times her height. And then there's Okita Alter's Purgatory Blade, which is a nodachi around eight feet long, and ends up poking comically far above her model.
  • In Marco & the Galaxy Dragon, Gargouille’s sword Coelacanth has a large blade. Yuuko, meanwhile, wields a nodachi almost as long as she is tall.
  • Yo-Jin-Bo has a giant katana wielded by Ittosai; it's nearly as long as he is tall. Villain Nobumasa has a Big Freakin' Spear as well.
  • Yumina the Ethereal is full of BFS, but one character can turn herself into a BFS that is capable of destroying anything in a single strike.

  • One minor character in 8-Bit Theater is shown having a sword about 200 feet tall.
  • Adventurers!: Karn, being a parody of RPG heroes, loves to use these. At one point, he tries to wield one whose blade is just an enormous hunk of unsharpened iron.
  • Kendall of Agents of the Realm wields a hammer which sometimes looks like its bigger than her. It stands out, seeing how the other girls have more normal-sized weaponry.
  • In Alice and the Nightmare, Red Queen's Vorpal Blade is a wide claymore almost as big as Rougina herself.
  • Orion from Beyond Reality. It starts out about six feet long and a foot wide. After it its broken and reforged it is the same width, but only three feet long.
  • In C Karrus Tombstone's sword is large enough to cut a large military grade vehicle in half.
  • Dragon Tails parodies this trope in the RPG arc with an Expy of Cloud whose sword is so large it requires a cart for him to actually move it. Considering what Bluey did to poor Lady Moona, they probably didn't let him get a chance to use it, either.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Grace's proposed zombie survival strategy is simply to get one of these (specifically a four foot bladed Claymore) and use it to decapitate the zombies.
  • Jillian Zamussels, from Erfworld, carries a BFS. Her listed strengths on the cast page include "Unrealistically Oversized Weaponry" and "Hack-slash-carve-stabbity-chopchop".
  • Exiern: Dark Reflections. Ludicrously large sword, ludicrously tiny clothing.
  • Clearly inspired from Final Fantasy VII, Naoya from Soukaigi cranks it up. He's the one on the front. It's far bigger than him, its handle is insanely impractical and looks heavy as hell. And he swings it around using only one hand. The cherry on top? The sword's blade can actually be opened to fire Frickin' Laser Beams.
  • Girl Genius: The king of the Schwarzwald bears carries a saber longer than a human is tall. he uses it in one hand, because... well... he is a bear...
  • Sir Eglamore of Gunnerkrigg Court has two swords, each nearly as tall as him: A normal metal blade, for normal threats like dragons and wolves; and a glowing blade of unknown composition, for fighting Shadow Men. He backs them up with Charles Atlas Superpowers and a whole suite of rune-warded Required Secondary Powers.
  • Homestuck: All of Dave's alchemized swords are taller than he is in the comic's standard art style. In the various Art Shifts they are much more realistically proportioned (as is everything else), though still of considerable size.
  • In the Exalted fancomic Keychain of Creation Karin wields a daiklave so large she folds it in half (there's a convenient hinge halfway up the blade) to carry it when not in use.
  • (Inverted) In Moon Crest 24, Drake uses a rapier. Justified with the Ice Titan battle. Although it looks more like a katana than a rapier.
  • Kenta ("Ken") Daisuke, from the webcomic No Need for Bushido, carries a zanbato which is as wide as he is, and approximately four times his length.
  • The Obituator, a one-off from Oglaf, is a rare, possibly even unique, literal example of the trope. It's a sword, it's "the size of a plow", and for the trifecta...
    The Dwarves: It comes alive at night and fucks your wife!
  • Roy's weapon as leader of The Order of the Stick (and specialist weapon, being a Fighter) is an heirloom greatsword, which while being realistic by standards of this page is still damn big.
    • The intro comic to the first book parodies the "oddly effeminate male leads" of the Final Fantasy series by showing one of them with a sword larger than he is strapped to his back, rendering him unable to move due to its point being stuck in the ground while he's suspended several feet in the air.
  • In Questionable Content, Dora keeps a pretty healthy-sized broadsword behind the counter as an anti-burglary weapon. "Coffee of Doom", indeed!
  • Hakelda of Reliquary carries around a spiked club nearly as tall as she is.
  • In Sequential Art, Art gives one to his World of Warcraft version of Kat.
  • Andy Frogman in Ultima-Java: History, has Great Blades as his weapon of choice, between the beginning of UJ: History and the present, he accumilates over 30 of these huge weapons, some for their intrinsic power, some simply because he liked the look of them. By the end of the first chapter he already ahs five.

    Web Original 
  • Champions: During a game, one player claims that a 40d6 killing attack is not excessive for a photon torpedo because "That's only as much damage as twenty-five sword hacks." That, combined with a healthy dose of Star Fleet Battles, gives Buccaneer!, whose sword was so huge that it does the equivalent of twenty-five sword hacks.
  • Dreamscape: The Master of the Dammed's minotaurs carry huge swords.
  • Kings of Power: 4 Billion%: One of the characters has a very prominent BFS.
  • The Ask A Ninja Ninja describes something called an "Extremely Extremely Broadsword", which is so big that "it can slice TEXAS in half!". He also notes that there are only a few things in the universe that can even lift it, and since none of them are good guys.
  • Uncommon but still present in RWBY. Yatsuhashi and Sage both wield conventional large swords, and the base form of Qrow's gunscythe is a folding one. Perhaps the most impressive example is the one that belongs to Yang's mother Raven Branwen, which is a nodachi as long as she is tall and has a revolving dust mechanism in the hilt similar to Weiss' rapier (which speaking of wouldn't be a shabby example as it's got to be three feet in length).
    • And in Volume 4 Jaune upgrades his long sword, Crocea Mors, so that it can combine with its sheath to turn into one of these.
  • These sometimes appear in Survival of the Fittest, where Danya sometimes puts medieval swords on the list of weapons to be assigned. Such swords include a 55-inches-long Claymore, a 6-feet-long Zweihänder, and a Grosse Messer.
  • Kuar in Tech Infantry is only somewhat huge, but a world with werewolves, vampires, and other supernaturally strong characters facing off against supernaturally-tough enemies who may be Immune to Bullets, big honking swords are commonplace.

    Web Video 
  • In the Auralnauts Star Wars Saga, the laser sword of Dirk Lasermaster is long enough to always extend offscreen (even during an establishing shot of Tatooine from space).
  • Michael Craughwell, known as michaelcthulhu, is a craftsman who makes and sells giant fantasy weapons. Most famously, he's done a series of replicas of Cloud's Buster Sword from Final Fantasy VII.
    • He first went viral with the video REAL Buster Sword posted September 22, 2007, in which he attacks a stack of pallets using—or rather, attempting to use a Buster Sword replica weighing 20.9kg or 46 lbs. As a Cracked article noted, the victor in this case is neither the pallet nor the smith wielding the sword, but rather the laws of gravity and physics which make such a weapon absurd in the first place. It cannot even be properly swung: He has to lift it up and let it drop down on the target under its own weight. At least he deserves major points for effort.
    • In REALer Buster Sword, posted Oct 11, 2010, he's back with a new build which upped the weight to 54 pounds. His plan to test it himself is derailed by doctor's orders regarding potential damage to his spine, so instead he calls on the service of a muscular bodybuilder. Even the big guy is only able to strike the pallet by raising the sword and then letting it fall, but at least he's able to control it better and do something more comparable to a proper swing. He has a blast doing it, and you can hear how winded he is at the end.
    • In FFVII Buster Sword Build, posted 28 August 2015, he documents the process of creating a new, higher-quality buster sword to see how far his craftsmanship had improved since the original buster sword video.
  • Tony on this episode of Man at Arms also recreated Cloud's Buster Sword, which even when made of aircraft aluminum with a steel cutting edge inserted was guessed to probably weigh 75 or 80 pounds. Tony wrecked his back and arm just from lifting it, and since it was too heavy to swing the only way to cut anything with it was to have two men lift it into place above the target and let it fall down like the blade of a guillotine. Besides this, Tony creates many other huge replica weapons on the show, as do the Stagmer brothers in the Reforged season.
  • Pretty Hate Machining made a 123 lb. Buster Sword out of inch-thick AR500 steel. As seen here on the Demolition Ranch YouTube channel, two-time World's Strongest Man finalist Robert Oberst needed help to lift it onto his shoulder, and could only drop it rather than swing it. It’s a demonstration of how even great strength can be thwarted by disadvantages in balance and leverage.
  • Smosh deconstructs this in their If It Were Real series, where Cloud's Buster Sword is shown to be too heavy to use.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
    • In "Mortal Folly", Finn orders Jake to "Be a big sword."
    • In "Morituri Te Salutamus", Finn says, "I can't kill my best friend [...] without a bigger sword!", and the Fight King promptly gives him his bigass sword.
  • Angel Wars: Michael's sword is enormous, and isn't by any means the only large sword in the narrative: Morg, a Fallen Angel, also wielded a large sword as an angel, and yet another sword of Heaven's purest elements called Caliburn functions as a MacGuffin.
  • Castlevania (2017):
    • Alucard's sword is an interesting case, since despite wielding a sword that's almost as long as he is tall, the blade isn't too thick or wide. Being reasonably thin allows him to pull a One-Handed Zweihänder even without his Super-Strength.
    • Striga's "day armor" gets packaged with a giant sword. She uses it while singlehandedly slaughtering an army of human farmers.
  • William gets one of these in Code Lyoko once virtualized. It is implied that this is a subconscious choice inspired by his love.
  • In Generator Rex, an original production for Cartoon Network, one of Rex's apparent weapons of choice when he morphs his arm is a sword that he calls the "BFS" (Big FAT Sword.)
  • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2021), the Sword of Power is as long and wide as Adam's torso, and it only gets larger when he transforms into He-Man. The sword can grow with the more power He-Man or the Masters of the Universe pump into it. At its largest in the series, it was as large as a building and used to cut off Cosmic Terror Skeletor's left arm.
  • The Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures episode "Expedition to Khumbu" both subverts and lampshades this trope. While playing a game in Questworld, Jonny gets attacked by a scorpion-type monster. He immediately asks I.R.I.S., the AI user interface, to equip him with a Gatling gun; the computer, however, gives him a shield and a fairly small sword instead, explaining that it's the only type of weapon permitted in that level. Jonny tells her she'd "better make it a BIG sword!" So I.R.I.S. makes it grow until it's longer than he is tall. Given that this is a computer game, you'd think they'd play the trope straight, but as Questworld was designed to be realistic, the sword is too heavy for him. As he stumbles with it, he goes "give me a break, I.R.I.S.!" and then he falls. The sword breaks in two, Jonny complains, and the computer quips "you requested a break." He still uses the broken sword to fight the scorpion monster, though.
  • Parodied in the Kim Possible episode "Viru-Ron" (with a wink for those who get it) when Rufus and Wraithmaster keep expanding their swords to ever-more-unliftable size.
  • Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny: How the power of the Red Phoenix qi manifests for Fan Tong.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • In "Kung Food", a character mind controlled by the food-themed vilain of the week uses a big sword made of various sea-food. Kung Food also uses a big sword made of pizza, which is similar in appearance to Cloud's Buster Sword only it's much bigger.
    • In "Antibug", the villain uses an evil version of Ladybug's Lucky Charm to summon a massive sword bigger than she is. Ladybug's actual Lucky Charm summons... a bag of marbles. Antibug can't even hit anyone with the sword, while Ladybug dumps the marbles on the floor and causes Antibug to fall.
    • In "Sandboy", when Chat Noir's worst nightmare turns out to be an evil Ladybug who hates him. She summons a sword via Lucky Charm, and Ladybug is able to use a piece of it to disable Sandboy. It should be noted however that the sword Nightmare Ladybug summoned has a vastly different appearance from Antibug's sword.
    • Nightmare Ladybug's sword then makes a second appearance in "Chrismaster" when the titular villain brings a toy of Ladybug to life.
    • And a third appearance in "Miraculer" when the titular villain steals Ladybug's Lucky Charm power.
  • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles gives Leonardo an odachi, a Japanese greatsword that can open portals.
  • In the Samurai Jack episode "Jack and the Scotsman", Jack meets a very large Highlander who is unimpressed with Jack's modest looking katana; the Scotsman draws a sword at least six feet long and about a foot wide and boasts "now THIS is a sword!"
  • Steven Universe:
    • Rose Quartz's sword is normal-sized for her, because she was about 8 or 9 feet tall. Later on, Connie starts using it despite only being about as tall as it is long. After the sword's destruction, Bismuth replaces it with a sword more scaled to Connie's height.
    • Obsidian's weapon is one of these. Notably, it's not just tall relative to them; they are a freaking GIANT, and as such their sword is roughly the size of the Empire State Building.
  • In Titan Maximum, Claire carries a sword made out of aggregated diamond nanorod, which is actually the hardest substance currently known.
  • Late in Season 2 of Transformers: Prime, Optimus Prime recovers the Star Saber, the sword of Prima, the first Prime. Prima and the Thirteen are a good deal larger than Optimus, and the sword is, as a result, slightly longer than Optimus is tall. Optimus is quite literally, the size of a Mack Truck. Megatron later crafts his own Dark Star Saber from Dark Energon, using the Forge of Solus Prime, a big fraggin hammer also built for someone of that stature.
  • Final Space: Titanslayer is almost normal-sized relative to its creator and wielder Bolo. However, Bolo is a Titan, meaning he is a Cosmic Entity as big as a planet.

    Real Life 
  • Large, two-handed swords have been made and used in a wide variety of cultures throughout history. Some are made purely for ceremonial purposes and are impractical to use, while others are quite serviceable in the type of warfare they were created to be used in.
  • Practitioners of Baguazhang, a Chinese internal martial art, train with oversized swords to build strength and so on. It's relatively easy to find daos almost five feet long and weighing around 5 lbs. This picture shows grandmaster Fu Zhen Song training with an oversized dao that looks like it could give the Buster Sword a run for its money!
  • History tells of a Frisian pirate and rebel by the name of "Grutte Pier" ("Big Pier") who rose to prominence during the early sixteenth century. He was reported to be an enormous man, and strong enough to bend coins one-handed with three fingers. Some sources estimate his height to have been at least seven feet tall, based around the length of the two swords reported to be his—both seven feet in length. However, these swords reputed to be his were probably ceremonial bearing swords that were incorrectly identified as combat weapons in later times and ascribed to him through romantic speculation. According to legend, Grutte Pier was strong enough to behead multiple men in a single blow.
  • Japanese swordsmiths have in previous instances employed themselves producing these kinds of swords:
    • The ōdachi or "great sword" (also known as a nodachi or "field sword") is most easily described as a larger version of the katana or tachi, and was intended to be used by foot soldiers against cavalry. Typical examples were over five feet long, which is longer than the typical Japanese man is tall. Some of them were truly humongous in size, but actually weren't meant to be used in combat, rather to show the skill of the swordsmith and to be offered to shrines or as gifts. With the slow expansion of the many variants of the Yari polearm, the nodachi gradually saw less use in infantry and cavalry. There are also styles of using the nodachi in a very aggressive manner to defeat polearms, by essentially advancing toward a foe with polearm and using multiple rapid downward cuts to batter the enemy weapon down and cut the head and shoulders with the sheer weight and momentum of the blade, or as a weapon from horseback as with the tachi. Most nodachi were commonly used before the Edo period, as later regulation forbade the use of swords beyond a certain size (forcing several blacksmiths to clip and shorten many swords), which is believed to have caused the loss of several of these blades. Famous nodachi include the Bizen Osafune Nagamitsu/Laundry Pole belonging to Kojiro Sasaki and the Ichimonji sword gifted to Uesugi Kenshin (a folk tale states that he wanted to shorten the sword to a uchigatana size, but he dreamt of a beautiful woman begging him not to do so and he complied).
    • Derived from the nodachi, there's the nagamaki: started off as a nodachi with an extra wrapping around the lower half of the blade for better leverage, it gradually evolved in a proper weapon, halfway between a sword and a polearm. While the usage of nodachi has been contested, the Nagamaki (with its longer handle and better leverage) was apparently widespread enough to generate the idiom "Yari ga tsukaenai nara, nagamaki wo tsukae" (If you can't use a spear, use a nagamaki). It was said to be a favourite battlefield weapon of Oda Nobunaga himself.
    • Similar to the nodachi, the Chinese blade known as zhanmadao (horse-cutting sword), reputedly used as an anti-cavalry weapon by Chinese infantry. Most famous for his Japanese name, Zanbatou,although unlike the nodachi, it never had historical use (as Zanbatou is merely the translation of the term zhanmadao rather than a weapon of his own).
    • This mind-bogglingly enormous ōdachi is 377 cm (over 12 feet) long, and is the largest sword of its type known to exist in Japan. However, it was made not for use in battle, but to test a particular forging technique. Other examples, though none of quite that magnitude, can be found on the linked site.
    • The Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya City, where the legendary Kusanagi-no-tsurugi is enshrined, has built up a collection of swords (either historically-used by samurai or offerred up by swordsmiths. Among them are "magara-tachi", swords longer than a human being is tall. The originals are kept in glass exhibit cases, while visitors can actually handle replicas to test their weight and viability for themselves.
  • When you're trying to arm a giant, sometimes a normal sword just won't do. Peter Francisco (also known as the Virginia Giant or the Virginia Hercules) was well over 6'6" and joined the patriot cause when the Revolutionary War broke out. Since most weapons were designed at at time when the average man was 5'8" George Washington decided to arm the man with a specially made sword that measured 5' long, longer than some of the soldiers in the army were tall. This sword proved useful. At just the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, he killed 11 British solders with it.
  • Civil War officer Heros von Borke was another larger-than-usual man who needed a larger-than-usual sword. An immigrant from Prussia, the 6'4" dragoon officer became a Confederate cavalryman. And he bought his 42" German made Solingen sword to fight with.
  • The Scottish two-handed claymore (Gaelic claidheamh-mòr, which means "big sword"), while not quite as huge as the Zweihänder and nowhere near as big as fantasy examples, was quite large. They were typically around 140cm of length and weighed less than 6lbs, and are numerous existing examples in museums.
  • A two-handed sword said to have been owned by Scottish hero William Wallace is 5 feet, 4 inches long (163cm), and weights 6 lbs (2.7 kg). However, it is at the very most a composite creation put together long after Wallace's death and may or may not contain any parts of Wallace's real sword.
  • The Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh houses a claymore—admittedly ceremonial—that is at least seven feet (a bit more than two meters) long in total. See for yourself.
  • The German "Zweihänder" was up to 6 feet long, weighing up to 7 lb. (3 kg) and used in both hands, allegedly to break up pike formations. While heavy, it is still agile and flexible if wielded properly. Two-handers are included in the iconic image of the Landsknechts (hired foot soldiers, often not of noble origin). Those who actually used two-handed swords were called "Doppelsöldner" (double mercenary) because they received double pay for their services.
    • Illustrations in fencing manuals indicate that the Zweihänder may have actually been used in a sort of area denial role, being swung in circular motions to clear a space around the wielder and force attackers to back off or get cut. When deployed in a suitable chokepoint like a narrow street or bridge, a Doppelsöldner was effectively an Advancing Boss of Doom, earning the Zweihänder the nickname of Gassenhauer ("alley slicer").
  • The Italian Spadone (sometimes called Spadone a due mani, Great Sword in two hands), and its relative, the Iberian Montante (see a training example here) were very large swords, frequently exceeding five feet in length. The montante was usually used against other weapons, while the Spadone was used in the same fashion, but also used in duels. They averaged 5-6lbs, and were quite maneuverable.
  • The Chinese Dadao isn't especially long (the blade is usually 2-3 feet) but it's very broad and blade-heavy. And in the Second Sino-Japanese War, the dadāo was surprisingly effective against Japanese soldiers in hand-to-hand combat, used by the famous "Big Sword" shock troops. It helped that most of the soldiers who made up Big Sword brigades were ex-warlord mercenaries, who had a lot of experience in furiously hacking other mercenaries to death.
  • The whole premise of the Discovery Channel show, Big Giant Swords. And other giant weapons.

Alternative Title(s): Big Fancy Sword, Big Fucking Sword, Ridiculously Huge Sword, Big Freaking Sword


Artorias' Greatsword

Great Grey Wolf Sif weilding Artorias' Greatsword.

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Main / BFS

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