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Bad with the Bone

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Yeah, Togedemaru is boned.note 
"With an ass's jawbone I have made asses of them. With an ass's jawbone I have killed a thousand men."
Samson, Judges 15:16
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The use of bones as a weapon.

The common variant is using a plain bone as an Improvised Weapon. Similar to Grievous Harm with a Body, except that that involves using a whole body or at least a bodily limb that hasn't yet been reduced to bone. Bonus points if it involves a Stock Femur Bone or is used for Palate Propping.

Another variant is creating a weapon out of bones. This is particularly common in more fantastic settings, where bones of fantastic creatures can be dense enough to be used as material for making weapons or armor. Those who use/create these kind of weapons tend to be the primitive sort of people, although on occasion there may be rare and powerful weapon made of exceptionally strong bones.

A somewhat less common variant is a superpower to use your own bones to attack others or defend yourself, with a Required Secondary Power to grow bones quickly, usually in a manner similar to Spike Shooter or Spikes of Villainy. Occasionally dips into Body Horror or Lovecraftian Superpower depending on the portrayal. A subset of Master of Your Domain, in this case, with bones.

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Generally, this is an especially common weapon option for the Frazetta Man, cavemen of the Hollywood variety and similar primitives, who are often depicted as using large femur bones, implicitly those of their prey, as crude weapons. See also Primitive Clubs, for big sticks and clubs to denote how primitive a being is. This is also a common option for Scary Skeletons, which will either scavenge bones as weapons from their usually morbid surroundings or just pragmatically break off parts of their skeletal anatomies when in need of weapons.

This trope can also overlap with the Sinister Shiv, because bones of certain animals are dangerous enough, due to how small, sharp and sturdy they can be. Making them good stabbing weapons on the fly, although at times depending on the type of bone grabbed they might need to be broken off to create a spiked tip.

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Skeletons in the Coat Closet is what happens when you wear bones as armor regularly. See Ballistic Bone for bones launched as Abnormal Ammo.

Not to be confused with Bad to the Bone.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Clover: Zenon uses Bone Magic, generating massive amounts of bones from his body to brutally stab enemies. He can even shape his bones to wield like a blade.
  • Digimon Adventure: Ogremon wields a bone as a club. The Palette Swap Monster of the Week Fugamon does the same. (Another variation exists called Hyogamon, but he's got a big icicle instead.)
  • Inuyasha: Sango and her village use the bones, skins, shells and other remains of youkai they killed to make into weapons. Her giant boomerang is made from purified demon bones.
  • Naruto:
    • Kimimaro is apparently the only member of his clan to fully activate his kekkai genkai, the Shikotsumyaku or "Dead Bone Pulse". Using it, he can manipulate his bones to act as armor against any attack or extract weapons formed of super-dense bone.
    • His distant ancestor Kaguya Ōtsutsuki had a more deadly version capable of reducing the target to ash in one hit.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman foe Abattoir was a Serial Killer who obsessed with death and symbols of mortality. He frequently used human bones as weapons: either as clubs or sharpened into blades.
  • Hellraiser: Refugees from the Labyrinth in the Summer Special craft the bones of one of their dead members into weapons to battle the Legions of Hell, since only something "of Hell" can harm something else "of Hell".
  • The Jungle Line: As fighting fever-induced hallucinations, Superman grabs a skeleton's giant bone to defend himself with.
  • In the French comic book La Licorne ("The Unicorn"), Ambroise Paré is attacked by assassins sent by the Church. Thankfully, it happens in a laboratory with multiple dead bodies on study, which the surgeon promptly weaponizes — he stabs one to death with a rib, trips another into falling onto a ribcage (like the Final Destination example above) and smashes yet another by using a skull still attached to a spine as an improvised mace.
  • Werewolf by Night: The crazed actor Steven Rand adopted a jawbone of an ass as his weapon of choice when he started his quest for revenge as Atlas.
  • X-Men:
    • Marrow's power is to grow bones out of her body. Usually this means outward jutting spines, claws, or knives — she isn't too big on bludgeoning bones even though they do show up in her arsenal.
    • Wolverine when he has his bone claws instead of his Adamantium claws counts, as well.
    • Marrow inspired Spyke from X-Men: Evolution, who in turn inspired the Spike from X Statix, who preferred shooting bone spikes out of his body.
    • Daken, Wolverine's villainous son, has three retractable bone claws housed underneath his forearms, two claws which emerge from between the skin of his first and third knuckles and one from his inner wrist. These claws are much harder and denser than normal human bone and their natural shape provides them with a razor sharp edge capable of easily slicing through flesh and bone, and they have been shown to be able to penetrate metals as durable as Iron Man's armor.

    Fan Works 
  • In A Discordant Note, and later its sequel Metagaming?, Harry and Luna replaced their original bodies but Harry kept their skeletons and turned each into a Magic Staff, citing that their bones were saturated in their own magic and thus the absolute best possible magical foci imaginable.
  • Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons: Blackjack fashions an improvised macuhuitl from the bones and teeth of a dragon skeleton she finds in a museum.
  • A Growing Affection: Kabuto attaches Kimimaro's arm to his body to gain Shikotsumyaku.
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: Harry is asked in Defence class to suggest unconventional combat uses for items in the room. Some of his suggestions, like strangling someone with a student's robes, are logical enough, but even Draco Malfoy is horrified by the idea of extracting someone's bones and sharpening them into spears. Harry never lives it down.note 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Bequin: In the second book, Beta is attacked by crazed anatomists wielding a variety of weaponized human bones, such as axes with femurs for handles and sharpened scapulae for a blade, and slings which use knucklebones as ammunition.
  • Black Colossus: Conan chooses to gnaw on a huge beef-bone while commanding an army. Later he uses the bone to bash in the brains of a deserter when his army needs an incentive to keep fighting.
  • The Cat Who... Series: In book #8 (The Cat Who Sniffed Glue), this is attempted by the killer, who attacks Qwill with the thigh bone of a camel. Luckily for Qwill, the bone turns out to be a plaster fake that crumbles after one hit.
  • Family Skeleton Mysteries: A killer tries to use one of Sid's bones to hit Georgia. Sid takes control of it and hits the killer instead until he falls unconscious.
  • Friday the 13th: Norwood Thawn in Friday the 13th: Hate, Kill, Repeat creates a dagger out of dead wife's bones, with the intent of using it against Jason.
  • The Kalevala: Väinämöinen built his first kantele (a stringed musical instrument) out of the jawbone of a giant fish he has slain. Not exactly a weapon, but seeing how he's a master of Magic Music, he uses his kantele later to disable Louhi's guards to make a clean getaway with The Sampo.
  • The Land That Time Forgot: During the scene where the heroes escape their skull-adorned cell by overpowering the guards, Dr. Norfolk beats one up with a bone he picked up from the floor.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street: A character briefly incapacitates Freddy by smashing his head in with a bone in A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Dealers.
  • In "Seven Views Of Olduvai Gorge", by Mike Resnick, the primitive night creatures (the surviving humans) use bones of their fellow tribesmen as weapons and in the end club Exobiologist to death with a shinbone.
  • The Sharing Knife: The titular weapons are crafted from respectfully donated human bones - usually thigh bones, occasionally upper arms — and are the only way to permanently kill the series' resident Eldritch Abominations. They've also led to some nasty rumours about cannibalism and necromancy by their makers.
  • The Six Sacred Stones: Zoe is hunted through a maze by hyenas and fights them off using crocodile bones. She turns them into stabbing weapons by holding them against the wall of the maze while running.
  • Worm: Marquis can not only manipulate his own bones, making them shrink or grow into various shapes such as spears, needles and shields. Moreover, he can do that even with the bones of his enemies, provided they are exposed and he can see them. He lacks the complementary immunity to feel pain and feels unspeakable levels of agony when his bones tear through his flesh or break, but he has trained himself not to show it in the slightest.

    Live-Action TV 
  • CSI: One episode has a woman die after having a lamb chop thrown at her in an argument over a slimming competition, the bone of which pierced her neck (although it's explained she would have lived if her friends has taken her to a hospital instead of letting her bleed out trying to cover it up).
  • Power Rangers Time Force: Ransik, the Big Bad, fights by pulling bones out of his body and transfiguring them into weapons. This appears to hurt. A lot.
  • Supernatural: Dean has the First Blade (a bone shaped and used as a blade), which belonged to the Biblical Cain.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible: Samson once wiped out a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey, note  thus making this Older Than Feudalism.
  • Celtic Mythology: In some accounts, the magic spear Gae Bolg of the hero Chu Chulainn was made of the rib of a massive sea serpent.
  • Pacific Mythology: Maui famously wielded a hook fashioned from the jawbone of his divine grandmother, Ina or Hina.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Moondogs regularly used to come to the ring with bones that they would use to attack opponents with.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Adventure A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords starts with the PCs in the title location, stripped of all weapons and equipment. If they search carefully they can find a human skull (usable as a thrown weapon) and a human thigh bone (usable as a club).
    • Dark Sun is set in a world that lacks (amongst other things) metals and much in the way of wood, and the majority of equipment is made of bone, carapace, and similar materials. These are understandably inferior to rare metal gear. Pre-4th Edition it was even more merciless, with bone equipment having atrociously low durability.
    • There's also an obscure Osteomancer prestige class which focuses on exactly this subject.
    • Ravenloft: Archer skeletons use bone arrows, which can grow into additional skeletal attackers if they miss their targets. Giant skeletons from the same setting (not skeletons of giants, but human ones enlarged before animation) use bone-tipped spears or scythes in combat.
  • Numenera:
    • If called on to fight, Sallian Orsay wields a long sword made of honed whale bone.
    • Bonebreakers construct elaborate stick-weapons from the bones, skin and biomods of their dead quaaenit mounts, adding a bit to the weapon from each mount that dies in their care.
  • Warhammer has a number of primitive creatures that use bone weapons, most notably ghouls and savage orcs.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Giant Orc uses the femur of... some other giant monster as a club.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE: Tools on Bara Magna are either made of bone or claw.

    Video Games 
  • In Adventure Island IV, Master Higgins begins the game with an infinite supply of bones he can throw at enemies.
  • In AdventureQuest Worlds, your character can use bone based weapons like The Bone Sword and Bone Axe.
    • AdventureQuest as well has a few bone-based weapons, like the Lumpy Skull Club or Dragonfang Scimitar.
    • DragonFable has The Doom Weapons which look bone based.
  • Villagers in the original Age of Empires attack with large bones. This is not that odd when you are in the original Stone Age but becomes a rather weird sight when you have reached the Bronze Age and the same villagers are surrounded by finely crafted Greco-Roman buildings, though by the Iron Age they graduate to pitchforks. In Age of Empires II the villagers use metal knives.
  • In Arx Fatalis large bones (that look like femurs) are the first weapon you get.
  • Baldur's Gate has a magical club made from a human femur. The man who made it amputated his own leg, and used it as a weapon to avenge his family. Why he decided this would be the way to do it wasn't made clear, but the description notes that it's uncertain whether the item was conventionally enchanted or if he was just so mad that it gained magical powers anyway.
  • One of the dual kamas used by Pendles from Battleborn is made from the the reclaimed skull, femur, and ribs of a Kormiri Aviant that was a previous target of his.
  • From The Binding of Isaac, the Afterbirth+ DLC has the unlockable character "The Forgotten". His primary attack is him swinging a sharlened bone in front of him. The alternate attack Note  is that bone being tossed at enemies instead.
  • In Dark Cloud, one of the swords Toan can use is the Bone Rapier. Among the randomly generated loot, it is one of the weaker swords.
  • Crossbow bolts can be carved out of animal bone in Dwarf Fortress, which is about half-way between this trope and Ballistic Bone. They're not much use against large wild animals or any humanoid wearing the most rudimentary armour, barring a lucky hit, but they're a cheap and readily available source of practice ammunition.
    • And the crossbows themselves can be made from bone, falling under this trope when your marksdwarves run out of ammo. Unfortunately, bone is a bit too light to be an ideal choice for this.
  • With the Dawnguard expansion for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, it is possible to create Dragonbone Weapons, which happen to be even more powerful than Daedric weapons. The dragonbone warhammer, which has the highest base damage of any weapon available in the game, is essentially a dragon's femur with a long decorative handle.
  • In Fable III one of the possible permutations your character can have includes bone decoration. You get if your character kills a lot of Hollow Men. Unfortunately, since Hollow Men make up something like 90% of the enemies you face in the game, you'll usually end up with bone decoration whether you like it or not.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the Hero's Relics, including the Sword of the Creator, has a bony appearance with noticeable cracks and yellowish tint. It's because they are bones made into weapons as Nemesis murdered the progenitor goddess, Sothis, and created the Sword of the Creator from her bones and heart (which are made into Crest Stones). Nemesis and the Ten Elites also did the same to many of the Nabataen.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, Umaro's weapon of choice (and in fact, his only weapon) is the Bone Club.
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game has the Fiends, small humanoid Animators, who use this as their ranged attack. Sometimes it's not always bones per se (cf. the Book Fiends), but the effect's the same.
  • Grim Dawn: Trogs wield bone weapons and armor. When dropped and equipped by the player character, their bone armaments give significant boosts to bleeding and vitality damage skills and damage.
  • Halo: Skulls can be used as melee weapons.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Stalfos normally wield giant maces, but if you disarm one it will... disarm itself in a more literal fashion and start beating you with that.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
      • Link can swipe Stal creature limbs and skulls after scattering them, and use them to bash opponents. Their damage output is very weak (and their durability laughable) but the unlockable skeleton costume improves it a bit.
      • The Stalnox minibosses will break off parts of their own skeletal bodies when fought, pummeling Link with their own ribs, jawbones and arms.
  • Luigi's Mansion: The "Mr. Bones" ghosts throw their bones as weapons.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes: The Marvel character Marrow got her powers amped up to fit the visual style. Whereas in the comics she could only create small projectiles and knives, here she can create meter long spikes and clubs the length of her arms.
  • In Metal Slug 3, yetis usually don't harm the player, but if you get caught by their freezing breath which turns you into a snowman, and don't shake off the snow in time, they will crush you using giant bones as clubs.
  • In MediEvil, your first weapon is your own arm and you play as a skeleton.
  • Minecraft: Although it's entirely cosmetic and gives no boost, you can hold a bone while punching enemies.
  • In Monster Hunter, many of the early weapons are made out of bone. In fact, one of your earliest Great Swords/long Swords (depends on the version) is, literally, a giant bone.
  • Mortal Kombat: Shinnok is able to conjure skeletal constructs of varying sizes, from scythes to giant arms. Mortal Kombat X sees his Necromancer Variation render his forearms with nothing but bare bones up to the elbow yet still functional despite lacking any connective tissue or muscle.
    • Quan-Chi can create skulls to hurl at his opponents.
    • In 11, Baraka's arm blades are retractable bony protrusions by default. They still slice as good as the metallic ones, though.
  • Paper Mario: Dry Bones attack primarily by throwing bones at Mario. In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, they sometimes drop the Bone sticker, allowing Mario himself to attack his enemies that way.
  • Persona 3: Koromaru can use a bone as a weapon.
  • In Phantom Brave, you can use both leg bones and skulls as weapons.
  • Planescape: Torment has a few bone clubs The Nameless One can use if he's a Fighter or Rogue. The basic one is just the femur of a large animal and is prone to breaking when it strikes something, but late in the game you can find a powerful magic club made from the bones of a Vrock demon. In addition to dealing substantial damage, it can poison the target.
  • Pokémon: Cubone and Marowak (pictured on the top of the page), which use bone attacks such as Bone Club, Bonemerang, and Bone Rush. All three used to be exclusive to them until Generation IV. Even in Generation IV and on, Bone Club and Bonemerang are still exclusive to the two; meanwhile, Lucario and Mandibuzz are the only other Pokémon with Bone Rush. The Alolan variant of Marowak introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon uses a longer bone lit with a ghostly flame, and it's also the only Pokémon that learns the move Shadow Bone. To further this trope, the held item Thick Club (known as Thick Bone in Japanese versions), which has the icon of a bone, doubles the Attack stat of a Cubone or Marowak holding it. Marowak is especially notable in that its Attack stat can reach a maximum of 568, the highest Attack stat obtainable in the Pokémon games without the assistance of any kind of buff.
  • RuneScape: Some mountain trolls wield bones as weapons. The player can also wield (fairly weak) Bone Daggers, Bone Clubs, Bone Spears, and Dorgeshuun Crossbows (which appear to be made of bones, complete with specialized Bone Bolts). Zanik's Crossbow is a modified and stronger Dorgeshuun Crossbow.
  • Samurai Shodown: Kusaregedo's weapon is a sharpened bone jammed into his forearm.
  • Secret of Evermore: The first "weapon" you get is a large bone.
  • Skul: The Hero Slayer: The protagonist wields a femur as his weapon of choice.
  • In Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Sly's neanderthal ancestor "Bob" uses a giant bone club as his melee weapon to replace his stolen cane.
  • SoulCalibur has the "Meat on the Bone" as an unlockable joke weapon for Lizardman.
  • Splatterhouse: In the reboot, Rick's Berserk Mode has his bones protruding out of him to form giant bone blades.
  • In Stinkoman 20X6, one enemy is an obese, robotic chicken that constantly spits bones out of its mouth.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Bat Outta Hell weapon is a skull and spinal cord used by all classes except for Engineer and Spy.
  • Terraria has bones as a late-game thrown weapon. Given what sorts of enemies drops the bones you can ultimately end up killing skeletons with parts of other skeletons.
  • Trover Saves the Universe: Many of Glorkon's clones fight you with bone swords - as in, they wield a Stock Femur Bone that doesn't appear to be sharpened at all, with a small version of one acting as a crossguard
  • Undertale: Being a proud skeleton, all of Papyrus' attacks are bone based. As are most of his brother Sans' attacks, though Sans adds his own unique twist to several of them.
    Battle text: Papyrus prepares a non-bone attack, then spends a minute fixing his mistake.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption, you can find a Femur and beat the ever loving shit out of vamps as Pissed off Christoph.
  • World of Warcraft: A number of weapons are leg bones. There are also several high quality weapons constructed of bone such as Bryntroll, in these cases losing any of the improvised aspect. Skulls are also a fairly frequent off-hand item spell casters hold to increase their abilities.
    • Death Knights can create bone shields by surrounding themselves with a whirlwind of bones.
    • This carries over from the earlier Diablo II, where there were wands, helmets, and shields made of bone plus socketable demon skulls. All particular favorites of the necromancer class. The Spiritual Successor Hellgate: London follows with Necromancer-inspired abilities to throw bones as javelins and skulls as fragmentation grenades. Some skeletal enemies shoot homing bone spikes and explode with bone shrapnel on death.
  • Weird and Unfortunate Things Are Happening: The Hellbone Bat, for Alicia, who fights with bats. As its Flavor Text says:
    Made from a demon's bone. Smells awful.
  • Fresh Minty Adventure: The Scary Skeleton inside the Cave of Wisdom throw bones as their attack.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Worm: Marquis has the power to grow vast constructs of bone right through his flesh and shape it at will, and he can also manipulate other people's bones if they become exposed.

    Western Animation 
  • Max Steel: In an episode involving a hidden cave of pirate treasure, Max apologizes to a pirate's skeleton before beaning a mook with his skull.
  • X-Men: Evolution: Spyke is a high-school freshman with the mutant ability to project spikes out of his body.

    Real Life 
  • There's evidence that early humans carved, among stone, animal bones into weapons or tools. Knife handles carved from bone or ivory remain popular to this day.
  • In many wilderness survival guides, a suitable animal bone can be used to craft an effective field-expedient edged weapon
  • The traditional warclub of many Inuit tribes is the penis-bone of a walrus, which can be the size of a baseball bat.
  • Some Australian Aboriginal tribes use the "pointing of the bone" to lay curses.
    • In 1993, after Aboriginal Australian Rules Football player Nicky Winmar had been the target of racial abuse in a game against Collingwood, and their president Allan McAllister had made comments condoning their fans' behaviour, a witch-doctor laid a curse on the club in this manner.
    • In an example of parallel cultural evolution, Navajos and Apaches also believe a witch can curse someone by pointing bones at them. Since fingers are made of bones, Giving Someone the Pointer Finger is really rude in their cultures; they point by pursing their lips toward the indicated object, instead.
  • A pork chop bone was used as a shank by a prisoner... resulting in pork chops no longer being on the menu.

 
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"Bob's" Club

His "cane" stolen by the Grizz, Bob settles with using a bone club.

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