Follow TV Tropes


Battle Trophy

Go To
I don't think he's wearing those skulls to be trendy.

"Each Legion that falls beneath me. Each house that we vanquish. Each people that we destroy. I keep mementos. I have hundreds."
Apollyon, For Honor

One way to celebrate a victory, as well as to remember a foe that is particularly hated or respected, is to take a piece of them as a keepsake.

The object in question should be something personal and connected with the enemy, such as an Iconic Item or, more morbidly, part of their own body. The victor might wear this piece, either to impress his allies or to taunt or demoralise his remaining enemies.

On a larger scale, one country can do this to another, taking a captured land's artworks and sigils for its own.

These might be kept in a Trophy Room or, especially for heads, mounted on a wall. In Video Games, this is often combined with And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating.

Related to Creepy Souvenir, Decapitation Presentation, Robbing the Dead, Plunder, A Scar to Remember, Shrunken Head. Superhero Trophy Shelf is a subtrope. As is often Nemean Skinning. Will likely be related to Unsportsmanlike Gloating. If the actual battle is delegated to someone else, see Bringing Back Proof.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex's second season, Kuze keeps Batou's knife after beating him in a fight. He reclaims it in the final episode, when Kuze surrenders.
  • In One Piece, Zoro's sword Yubashiri had been destroyed and he needed a new one, when he confronted a samurai called Ryuuma. Impressed by his sword, Shuusui, Zoro stated that he will claim it as his own. When the battle was over Ryuuma acknowledged his loss by giving the sword voluntarily to Zoro.
    • Bon Clay took Usopp's goggles after defeating him in Alabasta, but Sanji take them back, after beating him up.
    • Thriller Bark Ark, introduced Oars, who was wearing belt with three giant's skulls on it.
  • Gunslinger Girl: After knocking out cyborg girl Triela, Badass Normal child hitman Pinocchio claims her SIG pistol, a particular humiliation as she was personally issued it by The Handler she dotes upon. However, after fleeing, Pinocchio realizes that the necklace given to him by his cell leader/Parental Substitute has been left behind. Triela claims it for herself until she has the opportunity to leave it on his dead body.
  • After their first time defeating Viral in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Simon and Kamina take the crested helmet from the top of his mech and incorporate it as a permanent part of their own.
  • Clementine of Overlord (2012) takes the guild plates of adventurers she kills. The portion of her Chainmail Bikini that looks like bronze scale armor is actually her collection of plates.
  • Although it doesn't happen, Freeza tells Goku in Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' that after he has killed him he will hang his pelt on his wall in his trophy room.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Kaiba wins Solomon Muto's Blue Eyes White Dragon in a duel. Since a duelist can only have three copies of the same card in their deck, Kaiba destroys Solomon's Blue Eyes to prevent it from ever being used against him.
    • Joey won his Red Eyes Black Dragon in a duel with Rex Raptor.
    • The Battle City Tournament has the "ante rule" which allows the winner of a duel to claim their opponent's rarest and most powerful card. Yugi gets Slifer from Marik in this manner. He wins Obelisk and Ra from Kaiba and Yami Marik respectively in the final battle.
  • Food Wars!: Subaru Mimasaka had collected 99 cooking utensils that he took from other students he challenged to culinary battles, which he proudly boasted of as he loved to take their pride as chefs. The 100th was Takumi's Mezzaluna during the first round of the Fall Classic finals, and later tried to do the same to Soma, who instead upped the ante and demanded that Mimasaka returned every tool he'd taken to their owners, by gambling his entire career as a chef. Soma won and Mimasaka was forced to return them.

    Comic Books 
  • All-New X-Men: There was a fight where Beast almost loses against the 2nd Silver Samurai, until Jean Grey and Cyclops knock out Shin Harada. Beast picks up the dropped katana and says he's so going to keep it.
  • Batman: Almost every incarnation of Batman collects items he gained from his enemies like weapons and costumes. In fact the giant penny was from a case where the Penny Plunderer tried to steal it. It was later changed to Two-Face trying to steal it.
  • Cosmic Ghost Rider: Ghost Rider's indestructible crimson chain? That's made from Cyttorak's bones.
  • Fantastic Four: The Four have or had a time machine they took from Dr. Doom.
  • Justice League of America: After defeating the Overmaster, the League realize how huge his escape pod was, so they take it to use as a base.
  • Strikeforce: Morituri: The alien Horde prominently wear souvenirs from their hunts, ranging from bottlecaps and trinkets to human bones.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Beyond Tomorrow: Inuyasha and co. are revealed in chapter 17 to have kept Princess Kaguya's mirror as a souvenir; Hanyuu uses said mirror to see her full human form for the first time.
  • Bringer of Death has a particularly gruesome example in the form of Frieza & Kooler's severed heads, affixed to the front of Vegeta's Cool Ship.
  • Children of Remnant: An accidental case. After one of Pyrrha and Tyrian's spars, Pyrrha successfully cut off Tyrian's stinger, which he then presented to her as a trophy. Although she was disgusted, she didn't want to decline his offer, and it apparently still hangs up in her room.
  • The Conversion Bureau: A Diamond Dog foot soldier in A Dark in the Light tends to collect armor, weapons and other gear as a form of this.
  • The Great Slave King: Both Darkpaw's pelt and skull are taken by the Slave King. He's almost never seen without wearing the former, and displays the latter above his throne.
  • Nobledark Imperium:
    • Illic Nightspear adorns himself with with mementos taken from the dangerous creatures that he hunts, such as a necklace made from genestealer teeth, a knife with a handle carved from a single chunk of squiggoth ivory, and a necron finger.
    • Edmond Aldsworth, Ciaphas Cain's diplomatic aide, was a stormtrooper in his younger days, and spent most of his career afterwards doing things like performing counterraids on Dark Eldar slavers and hunting Ork kommandoz. He still has a necklace of Ork trigger finger bones stashed away that's worn more like a bandolier.
  • Rocketship Voyager. After being invited to dinner by Captain Janeway, Chakotay finds the shipbuilder's plate of his former command, the rocketship Valjean, mounted in her wardroom. When he suggests that she take it down given that the Maquis and Spacefleet crews are now working together, Janeway refuses. "I'm quite proud of that trophy. The captain of that rocketship gave us a good deal of trouble, as I recall."
  • The Sea Shadow: The sash Vivian wears is from a Gooper Blooper who's tentacle she cut off during a fight.
  • A Thing of Vikings: The story opens with a visiting merchant sailor watching Berk relocate the tail club of the Green Death to Berk, using a flock of dragons to lift the house-size mass of bone and scales to its new resting place next to the mead hall. Several teeth as long as people are tall are also mounted above the door, scales the size of dinner plates are gifted to the merchant for making the voyage, and fragments of bone were collected and carved into art pieces that are gifted in later chapters during Hiccup and Astrid's wedding.
  • Transformers Animated: Cybertronian Genesis: Megatron keeps the helms of every Prime he has ever defeated and offlined in a series of shelves in his throne room. However, his most prized trophies are the helm of his predecessor, Galvatron, which he keeps in a compartment under his throne, and the helms of the two Magnuses he defeated in personal combat, which he keeps on their own shelf at the very top of the display. The first sign of the encroaching insanity his hatred of Optimus is causing him is when, at the end of the first story, he deliberately leaves an empty spot between the helms of the Magnuses. As Starscream notes, it doesn't take a genius to figure out who exactly that spot is for.
  • Well-Matched: Played with. Kate and Sophie keep their bloodstained shirts after their boxing match, but they each keep their own.
  • Wilhuff Tarkin, Hero of the Rebellion:
    • Rivoche Tarkin and Luke took down the rogue Jedi A'sharad Hett, and when it came to collect the bounty she refused any cash and instead requested one of his two lightsabers as this, after it was deactivated. She was allowed to keep both, and she wears them as accessories.
    • At one point, to stave off boredom, Darth Vader cashed in a debt Wilhuff Tarkin owed him and had the Grand Moff hunt him down, as he expected him to actually give him a challenge. When Tarkin instead wins he spares Vader... but keeps his armor as a trophy.
  • With This Ring: Clan Commander Trogaar has a slightly non-standard approach to trophy collection. He considered taking mementoes from his fallen foes, but decided that rotting heads aren't hygienic, "And skulls just start to look...Samey." Instead, he keeps a collection of the weapons he has personally worked to death; overloaded plasma guns, broken blades, etc.
    Trogaar: I could tell you the cause of every scratch.

    Film — Animated 
  • Brave has an involuntary example with Mor'du, a demon bear with a bunch of arrows and swords stuck in his back from all his fights with the humans.
  • At the end of The Great Mouse Detective, Basil puts the bell used by Professor Rattigan to summon his Right-Hand Cat on his mantlepiece.
  • In the 2007 TMNT movie, Splinter keeps a trophy shelf that includes Shredder's Helmet from the first movie, the ooze canister from Secret of the Ooze and the Time Scepter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III among other Continuity Nods. They then add Winter's Helmet, Nightwatcher's Helmet and Cowabunga Carl's mask to the shelf too.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Eric Draven's Badass Longcoat from The Crow was taken off Tin Tin, the very first target of his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • In Easy Street, the terrifying, hulking bully wears the helmet of the last cop who tried to walk a beat in the crime-ridden Crapsack World of Easy Street. Charlie Chaplin, who is the new cop on Easy Street, has to find a way to defeat the bully.
  • In Heartbreak Ridge, Gunny Hightower takes a Cuban cigar off the body of a dead Cuban soldier, killed by his platoon during the siege on Grenada. Earlier (at the base in California), he rejected one, not because he didn't smoke, but because they're illegal.
    Hightower: Get that contraband stogie out of my face!!
  • Inglourious Basterds: Anyone who joins Aldo Raine's company owes him a debt of one hundred Nazi scalps.
  • Near the end of Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer, Jack takes a fang from the monster that killed his family and hangs it around his neck.
  • In Jaws, Quint's home is decorated with the jaw bones of the many sharks he's killed.
  • Mad Max 2: The Curmudgeon is carrying a katana that he presumably took as a World War II souvenir (one of his medals is for the Pacific campaign).
  • The Meg. After the mercenaries hired by Jack Morris kill the megalodon, Morris tells a merc to climb onto the floating carcass and collect some of its teeth as a trophy, adding "and grab one for yourself as well." Problem is he can't find any teeth...because they've actually killed a whale, so the megalodon is still out there.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Nancy's mother reveals that she participated in a plot to bait and murder Freddy Krueger and kept his knives.
  • In The Phantom (1996) Quill killed the 20th Phantom and took his belt as a trophy. The 21st Phantom beats Quill and takes it back.
  • In Predator, the alien hunter collects skulls (with the spinal cord still attached) from the humans it kills. The sequels show that it's a common practice and tradition of their race.
  • Shortcut to Happiness: In one of their earlier encounters, Daniel Webster cut off the Devil's tail. He now has it framed and hanging on his office wall.
  • In the movie Sky High (2005), the Commander and Jetstream have an entire section of their base to show off stuff taken from defeated opponents. The villain, aware of their tradition, baits a trap by building a Humongous Mecha with a "This should obviously be a trophy" eye, secretly building into it a transmitter that will let her see into their hidden base.
  • Star Wars: General Grievous's lightsabers come from slain Jedi, while Poggle the Lesser of Geonosis has a cane made from the bones of a rival he eliminated.
  • Superman II. Ursa rips off a piece of the clothing of the people she defeats. She ripped the patch off the suit of an astronaut on the Moon, killing him through explosive decompression, and the badge of a deputy sheriff on Earth. By the end of the film, she had a collection of them on her uniform.
  • Undercover Brother. When the title character was a child his father gave him a medallion so he would never forget who he was or what he stood for. When Mr. Feather captures Undercover Brother he rips the medallion off his neck and says "So I can always have something to remember you by."
  • Wake Me When It's Over features a beer mug from Plymouth, which was claimed by Stark as a victory trophy in a bar fight with a group of Canadian marines. Brubaker, recognizing this, realizes that his new CO is the same lunatic that had commanded his air crew when he was shot out over Europe.
  • In We Were Soldiers, a French bugler is killed in battle, and his horn is taken by one of the Vietnamese soldiers. The horn turns up again in the film's climax, being taken by an American soldier after the Vietnamese bugler is killed. In Real Life, the bugle would go on to be used in battle by the American Air Cavalry company that captured it.
  • Parodied in Your Highness. Thaddeus slays a minotaur and tries to claim its horn as a trophy. When the horn won't break, he cuts off its penis and hangs it from his neck.

  • Cities in Flight has this backfire when some of the City Police are captured on a Feudal Future planet and wonder what happened to their Powered Armor. It turns out that their captors like to display captured suits of armor in their entry hall, so when the prisoners escape they know exactly where to go for More Dakka.
  • Damned: Madison acquires King Ethelred II's belt, and adorns it with such other creepy souvenirs as Caligula's testicles, Hitler's mustache, and Thug Behram's handkerchief.
  • Dorian Hawkmoon: Dorian is very pleased after killing a pirate captain. Hawkmoon may be far-future Germanic nobility, but that pirate had the finest sword that Hawkmoon ever saw, and he happily takes it for his own.
  • The Dreamside Road: Some of Orson Gregory's weaponized souvenirs were won in battle.
  • The Dresden Files: Eldest Gruff in Small Favor has an understated but especially frightening version. He wears on his belt three very old purple stoles — the sort worn by senior members of the White Council of wizards. He takes out the villains' Brute in less time than it takes to blink, and despite everything that Harry had fought up to that point he would have stood absolutely no chance, hence why he has to escape using the eponymous "small favor".
  • The Drifting Lands: At the start of Skyfarer, the first novel, the Black Knight Lord Azrael purposely challenges the prince whose kingdom that the Eternal Order is invading to a duel. One reason was out of respect for the prince's valour and the other is becaue Azrael covets the prince's enchanted sword for his own.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Although she didn't kill him herself, Delores Umbridge's appropriation of Mad-Eye Moody's eye has this kind of intent.
  • Kim: The opening, by Rudyard Kipling, mentions an actual cannon in Lahore:
    He sat, in defiance of municipal orders, astride the gun Zam-Zammah on her brick platform opposite the old Ajaib-Gher — the Wonder-House, as the natives call the Lahore Museum. Who hold Zam-Zammah, that 'fire-breathing dragon', hold the Punjab, for the great green-bronze piece is always first of the conqueror's loot.
  • Known Space: Kzinti often take trophies from challenging or notable foes. After a Duel to the Death over honor, advancement or some insult, for instance, the victor often severs the loser's ears as a memento.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Monsters slain by demigods will usually dissolve into sand, but will sometimes leave a severed body part (Medusa's head, the minotaur's horn, etc.) as spoils of war.
  • Second Apocalypse: As Aspect-Emperor, Kellhus wears two demon heads hanging from his girdle, which his followers call the Decapitants. The heads are still fully intact, and their expressions are always mindlessly animating.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The Black Ears are a tribe of hillmen that rip off the ears of captured prisoners and keep them as trophies. One of them gives a Badass Boast that she never kills them, so they can have a chance to get their ear back, if they dare.
    • For the Ironborn, jewellery taken from slain foes is the only kind a man should wear. This is known as "paying the iron price"; by contrast, "paying the gold price" for ornamentation is seen as effeminate.
    • Also, the Tattered Prince tears off a scrap of clothing from every man he kills and wears them all as a patchwork cloak. Considering he's now past 60 it looks pretty impressive.
    • The Lord o' Bones (or Rattleshirt, depending on how much respect you hold for him) wears a suit made of bones from animals, men, and even a giant's skull. Might be a subversion; while notable enough to be known to the Night's Watch, and claiming his intent to wear his foes' bones, the only time we see him claim any were from an enemy he didn't kill, and he's overall more of a cowardly Smug Snake.
  • Tamara And Kethry: The finest weapon that Tamara has ever owned and which she still uses came from a masterswordsman that she accidentally stole from and then slew when she and Kethry fought a demon-worshipping cult that had just come off of having an orgy.
  • The Things They Carried: Some soldiers cut off thumbs and things from dead VC. This is to a certain extent Truth in Television.
  • The Way of Kings (2010) (first book of The Stormlight Archive): When Highprince Sadeas returns from a disastrous battle against the Parshendi, he tells the family of one of the dead generals that the savage Parshendi had carried off bloodied pieces of the general's Shardplate as trophies. Of course, Sadeas is lying. Besides the fact that this is completely out of character for the Parshendi, Sadeas actually abandoned Dalinar's army completely on purpose. He is enraged when he finds out that Dalinar survived (with a much reduced army).
  • The Wheel of Time: Lord Captain Commander Pedron Niall's audience chamber is lined with the banners of his defeated enemies. As a legendary Old Soldier, he's accumulated quite a collection.

    Live-Action TV 
  • This is a very common occurrence on BattleBots where if a competitor shreds parts from an opponent and wins the match, the opponent, as a Graceful Loser, allows the winner to keep that part as a souvenir.
  • On The 100, Finn thinks this is what happened when he sees a Grounder wearing Clarke's watch. He actually just found it scavenging about, but Finn doesn't believe him, and sets out on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • This causes the death of Hoobler in Band of Brothers. He shoots a German officer and eagerly helps himself to the officer's Luger pistol, only to get killed when the Luger discharges after it's tucked into his pants. Several other, non-fatal examples are also shown, such as Talbert's German poncho (though this does get him nearly killed when Smith mistakes him for a German), Perconte's looted watches, and Speirs' collection of souvenirs pilfered from the Germans.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spike's duster is revealed to be this in the episode "Fool for Love". He took it from the second Slayer he defeated. In the same episode, a random vampire who manages to get the better of Buffy keeps her stake. Riley later kills him and takes it back.
  • Dexter from Dexter takes a blood sample from every killer he's killed.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Farscape: The less-than-regulation Peacekeeper uniforms of the Special Ops Squad that boards Moya in a late first season episode boasted unique additions, which caused Aeryn to grumble about it. One of the commandos has some alien fur attached to his custom leather uniform. In another episode, the Peacekeeper Captain Crais is shown to have several stuffed heads of Hynerians in his "lavish" quarters. But knowing Crais, these could easily be torture-trophies.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • For the Ironborn, jewellery taken from slain foes is the only kind a man should wear. This is known as "paying the iron price" and by contrast, "paying the gold price" is seen as effeminate.
    • The clanswoman Chella daughter of Cheyk, whom Tyrion recruits in Season 1, wears a necklace of dried human ears and can be seen adding to her collection after the Battle of the Green Fork.
  • House of the Dragon: The Hall of Nine in High Tide is a Trophy Room decorated with the spoils of Corlys Velaryon's famous nine voyages across the Narrow Sea. As of the War of the Stepstones, he's put the Crabfeeder's golden mask on proud display after Daemon Targaryen killed him in battle.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • Used for Deliberate Values Dissonance in "Initiations" when a Kazon youth named Kar shows Chakotay the trophies in one of their spaceships, proudly pointing out a trophy taken from Kar's dead brother, killed by another Kazon to earn his name.
    • The Hirogen, whose hat is Hunting the Most Dangerous Game, display the bones and internal organs of their prey on the bulkheads of their ships. In "The Killing Game", a Hirogen Alpha shows contempt when a Nazi officer brags of his looted art collection, as such trophies were taken from an already defeated enemy rather than one he bested in single combat.
  • Weaponized in Season 3 of Star Trek: Picard wherein Lore gleefully takes Data's memories after subsuming him in a Battle in the Center of the Mind to take control of their new shared body. Because those memories make Data who he is, Lore taking them causes him to become Data.
  • In Justified, after killing fellow Afghan War veteran Colt, Marshal Tim Gutterson quietly pockets his shades.
  • Burn Notice:
    • Michael reveals to a government agent harassing him that he acquired his trademark Cool Shades from an Algerian special ops guy who "didn't need them anymore."
    • When Sam is audited by the IRS, he uses a handgun as proof of one overseas trip that was classified. Off the auditor's bafflement, he carefully explains, "Something happened, and then the gun... didn't have an owner anymore."
  • The Witcher (2019): Geralt encounters a man battling the Scoia'tael, elf terrorists/freedom fighters, who has a necklace of elf ears.

  • In the Homeric epics, warriors always try to bring home the armour and weapons of opponents they killed, while their late foes' comrades try to retrieve them. Thus in The Iliad there is a big fight for the arms of Patroclus, which is ultimately won by Hector. The Odyssey mentions the dispute between Ajax and Odysseus for the right to Achilles' arms, after the two had brought Achilles' body back to the Greek camp after Achilles' death.

  • Presumably, this is why the Evil Sorcerer in Williams' Sorcerer pinball wears a set of human skulls on his sash.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The greatest prize a luchador can win is another luchador's mask, or failing that, a piece of his hair. However, it is considered disgraceful to remove a luchador's mask or hair without consent. Those seeking these trophies are required to make a formal challenge for them and wager something of their own in return.
  • The first wrestler to really gain a reputation for targeting masked luchadors may have been the Grecian Jim Londos, although he did give El Enmascarado Rojo's back after taking it in 1935, leading Bobby and Firpo Segura to try and have Rojo permanently unmasked.


  • Destroy the Godmodder: Played with. Spoils of War are pieces of bosses acquired by the players that killed them. They have the added bonus of being usable in combat.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • 3rd Edition:
      • Chuuls take trophies from its victims, such as weapons, armor and other belongings. If the victim has nothing, the chuul removes and keeps its skull.
      • Devils are known to attack other creatures in order to take trophies from them.
      • Creature Collection: Belsamaug keep knives and daggers it takes from their victims as trophies. Steppe trolls take the heads of mighty warriors they have defeated in battle, incorporating them into their armor or making the skulls into drinking goblets or saddle ornaments.
      • There is also the Trophy Collector feat, which allows the player character to do this themselves, and grants intimidation bonuses against the creature's kin.
    • Beholders enjoy taking trophies from slain foes, and their lairs are decorated with the petrified remnants of defeated adventures, pieces of other beholders, and magical items taken from powerful foes.
  • In Nomine supplement Superiors 1: War and Honor. Angels who follow the Archangel Michael have been known to take the weapons, insignia or even body parts of defeated demons as trophies. A few of them have necklaces of demon ears.
  • Star Wars: Roleplaying Game:
    • Ganks value trophies as an important part of their culture. With even those not engaged in violent or criminal activity having some.
    • The Hunter's Trophy Armor is a suit made of beasts the hunter has killed.
  • Warhammer:
    • Most factions take the body parts of worthy opponents as trophies. The forces of Chaos are particularly infamous for their habit of taking gory trophies with Skulltaker, the personal champion of the Blood God Khorne, wearing a cape made from his victim’s skulls (his tabletop model itself includes over 100 skulls).
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • Ork Warbosses like to collect and display the skulls, horns or tusks of particularly dangerous enemies. Astartes helmets are highly prized as not only do they indicate the Ork has defeated a Worthy Opponent, but the helmets come in a variety of bright colours. Warbosses from the more military minded Blood Axe clan also hit on the idea that the Commissar Cap are used by 'umiez to indicate rank, and so these are a frequent addition to their trophy racks.
      • Genestealer cults often fashion their standards from, or at least adorn them with, trophies taken from defeated enemies. The Cult of the Bladed Cog, for instance, adorns its primary war-banner with the skeleton of the Tech-Priest Dominus Ovid Thrension, the ruler of their homeworld before the cult's revolt overthrew him, while the Cult of the Rusted Claw fashioned its banner from the cloak of one their world's primary mine overseers and decorate it with coins taken from the bodies of those who opposed the cult.
    • Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team: The 2018 Edition makes this a game mechanic for Kroot Kill Teamsnote  with the 'Prestigious Trophy' Kroot Tactic. When used, the Tactic make a Kroot Carnivore immune to Nerve tests after killing an enemy Leader.
    • Warhammer Fantasy:
      • At the end of the War of the Beard, the Dwarf king Gotrek took the Elven king's Phoenix Crown as compensation, it still remains in the Dwarfs' treasury to this day.
      • Long Drong Slayer, a Dwarf mercenary, keeps trophies from some of the more impressive beasts that he's slain, such as a flag made from Merwyrm hide.
      • Wulfrik the Wanderer, whose job it is to Walk the Earth killing dangerous things and people for Chaos, keeps the trophies on his person, including skulls, a giant's scalp for a cape, and an entire crucified skeleton.
      • The Skaven Warlord Queek Headtaker is in the habit of carving trophies from the bodies of especially challenging enemies after defeating them, which he then mounts on a rack he wears on his back. The display has become quite varied over time, bearing the head of the Dwarf King Krug Ironhand, the spine, ribcage and skull of the rival Warlord Ikit Slash, the skull of the Orc Big Boss Morglum Blacktooth and the hands of Baron Albrecht Kraus of Averland. This mainly serves as a reminder to his rivals and liege lord alike of the prowess of the almighty Warlord Queek, but he's also taken to having conversations with them.

  • Hell-Bent Fer Heaven: Sid brought home a Luger that he took from a German he killed in the Great War. His fellow hillbillies aren't impressed by a semi-automatic pistol, stating that it's only for people who don't think they'll connect with their first shot.

    Video Games 
  • In The Legend of Dragoon, Dragon with an Agenda Lloyd slays the Divine Dragon, claiming his Dragoon Spirit in the process. But it won't work for him so he says it will be his "trophy."
  • In Fable you get a trophy for each boss you kill, either one of its possessions or a part of its body. You can hang them on the walls in your house, or carry them with you and show them off to villagers to increase your Renown.
  • In de Blob2, after capturing the Color Revolution, Comrade Black steals the Prof's Super Wheelchair and uses it for the rest of the game, including in the Final Boss fight.
  • In Terraria, defeating bosses will sometimes drop a trophy depicting a certain part of that boss that can be mounted upon the wall as a Bragging Rights Reward, not to mention making for good Shop Fodder if you already have them. Examples include the King Slime's trophy, consisting of a slime-soaked katana belonging to the unfortunate ninja who got eaten up by the boss and the Eater of Worlds' trophy, depicting one of its many eyes.
  • Dwarf Fortress:
    • Immigrant dwarves might arrive with jewelry made from the bones of creatures they've killed.
    • There used to be a bug where vampires would make (and carry) a trophy out of a victim if the victim died from blood loss. This would result in migrant vampires showing up with dozens (or hundreds) of dwarf hair bracelets and dwarf teeth bracelets around each wrist, and similar numbers of dwarf hair/teeth necklaces around their neck.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, you get to keep and display in your throne room: the dragon egg from the Silverite Mines, the inferno golem shell from Kal'Hirol, and the dragon scull of the Queen of the Blackmarsh.
  • Gauntlet: After the first fight with Skorne in Gauntlet: Legends, you acquire his helm and gauntlets. Noteworthy in that they are among the most powerful secondary weapons in the game.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl's The Subspace Emissary has the Trophy Stand, an item that, when thrown, turns weakened enemies and bosses into trophies that you can then pick up and add to your collection.
    • Similarly, the Idol Transformation power in Kid Icarus: Uprising allows you to turn an enemy or boss that's near death into an idol (the game's equivalent of trophies). Unlike Brawl however, you can get the enemy and boss trophies through the random toss mode; it's just somewhat easier to get the one you want using the power.
  • In the Diablo series, killing another player in PVP causes them to drop their ear. It serves no practical purpose, but it saves their name and level forever.
  • Rugal Bernstein from The King of Fighters takes this a bit too literally, as it's revealed in his debut game that he preserves the bodies of the countless martial artists he's defeated over the years by subjecting them to a grisly liquid metal bath, making them living trophies.
  • Battlefield: Bad Company rewards a player successful in assassinating an enemy in online multiplayer with the knife with their dog tags. This has been included in every Battlefield game released since then.
  • In Dark Souls you can take the head of the armoured Fang Boars when you kill them as a rare drop. Also, Darkmoon Blades characters who invade and kill another player will be rewarded with their ear.
  • According to the Team Fortress 2 supplementary material, the RED Soldier (and presumably the BLU one as well) keeps a collection of severed enemy heads.
  • The Monster Hunter series runs on this trope, with the vast majority of the equipment being made from parts of the monsters you hunt and typically looking like it was made from the monster in question.
  • In Bully, after almost every significant mission a certain object will appear in your room.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, there are a handful of missions that will cause a certain artifact to appear at your mansion after completing them.
  • In Mass Effect 3, it is revealed that either the brain or the heart of the Human Reaper was taken from the Collector Base after the events of Mass Effect 2 and incorporated into the systems of Cerberus HQ. It actually has a practical purpose, serving as a War Asset and helping determine whether it's easier to Destroy or Control the Reapers.
  • In Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Kano is seen wearing a lock of blond hair on his neck, like a pendant. As exposed in his Konquest Mode story, he tore the lock off Sonya's blond head in a fight back during the Outworld invasion of Earth.
  • Trophies aren't made or taken by you in Star Wars: The Old Republic, but you can get them as rewards. They are a classification of gift, which some companions like and some don't, and run the gamut from a notorious crime lord's personal ID card to a humanoid skull.
  • In Skunny: Save Our Pizzas, many enemies drop a piece of their equipment when defeated, such as a helmet or harp, however, they only award points when picked up.
  • In X-Wing Alliance, your character's personal quarters are filled with trophies, but not from your missions with the alliance—instead, you retrieve pieces of enemy wreckage or receive gifts after performing family missions (your uncle gives you paired Jar'Kai dueling swords after you rescue him; you retrieve a piece of the hull from your first enemy starfighter shot down; and so on).
  • World of Warcraft
    • Quests to kill monsters may require certain items as proof that you've killed the enemies in question, although more recent quests have the questgiver consider killing the boss or enemies enough, unless they want something specific from them for plot purposes. In the Darkmoon Faire, one quest requires that you get 250 Grisly Trophies from enemies that give your character experience or honor, and they're represented by ears.
    • In Legion, the quest to claim the Frost Mage artifact weapon, Ebonchill, requires luring out an agent of the Burning Legion fond of wielding the weapons of his fallen foes, one of whom was the artifact's last known wielder.
  • In Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings And The Lost Ocean, you can take the Thunderfish Bone's Magna Essence after killing it, but it won't actually serve a purpose until much, much later in the game. You also can't put it back after taking it, so it'll just sit there taking up a valuable Blank Magnus. It's best to come pick it up later, once you gain the ability to navigate the various islands as you want.
  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag: Templar smuggler Julien du Casse keeps a box full of Hidden Blades, the trademark weapon of the Assassins, with him as "souvenirs".
  • Halo:
    • Halo 4: Spartan Ops: Gek, Jul 'Mdama's Dragon, has a collection of UNSC dog tags affixed to his armor. After he's killed by Fireteam Majestic, they inspect his corpse and discover that some of them belong to Spartans.
    • Supplementary materials for Halo: Reach mention Emile-A239 has an impressive collection of contraband taken during battles with the Covenant. Technically it's illegal (who knows if the Covies laced their equipment with tracking technology?), but his superiors overlook it, doubtless in part because he's a Spartan.
  • Drakengard: The backstory for Hymir's Finger says it was made from the melted armor of the enemies it killed.
  • In Guenevere, when Guen defeats Hrothulf she has the option of taking a number of battle trophies from his person (including potentally some of his hair.
    • Lancelot accumulates a number of these (all of which he dedicates to Guen) over the Time Skip between the first and second books.
  • In Borderlands 2, any class can lay claim to Handsome Jack's mask after the final battle for this reason. Krieg, the playable Psycho, also has a head option that's clearly a Hyperion-issue helmet (it's called STAY IN SCHOOL KIDS), and given that Krieg hates Hyperion more than literally anything else in the universe, it's hard to imagine any other way he might have gotten it.
  • Dawn of War II: Retribution: At the beginning of the ork campaign, Freeboota Kaptin Bluddflagg makes a deal with Inquisitor Adrastia to prevent a Daemon Prince from ascending. He accepts, but demands her hat as well, which she refuses. At the end of the campaign, he sneaks up on her, takes her hat... and leaves, Not Worth Killing being the absolute worst insult in orkdom.
  • In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, every time Geralt completes a monster hunting contract, he collects a part of the monster he killed as both proof that he has slain it for his employer, as well as a trophy he can mount on his horse to give him a bonus.
  • In DC Universe Online, the Bad Future version of Harley Quinn wears Robin's cape this way.
  • In For the King, each region of the world map has a boss-level character called a Scourge. Each Scourge is a distinct character, and defeating a Scourge scores you their unique headwear, which will have some useful set of traits, such as conferring immunity to all status effects.
  • In Battle Clash and its sequel, Carlos, pilot of ST Baron/Viscount, makes a habit of collecting the heads of all of the ST's he's defeated in battle, and especially wants to add Mike's (or Carol's) to his stash as he is an ST purist who despises the separate-pilot-and-gunner configurations of the ST Falcon and ST Tornado.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: There are a few quests that require taking trophies from the machines; during the Proving the goal is to fashion a trophy from one of the grazers and carry it through an obstacle course (a rival destroys Aloy's, so she has to get another), and the Hunter's Lodge demands these as proof of advancement. Speaking of the Lodge, they have the corpse of a Thunderjaw suspended from the roof of the Lodge itself, the first Thunderjaw ever recorded killed.
  • Crusader Kings II: An update added an event where a character beheads an enemy commander in an impromptu battlefield duel. They can keep their skull in their inventory as a trophy.
  • In Darkest Dungeon, defeating the bosses on their highest difficulty at Champion rewards you with a Trophy trinket of that boss. Most of them are powerful and rival Very Rare or Ancestral tier trinkets in their power.
  • In Total War: Warhammer after the successful completion of a WAAAGH! greenskin factions will take a severed head of their enemy as a trophy, granting them bonuses based on the type of enemy and their strength at the time the WAAAGH! was declared (a successful one at minimum requires the greenskins taking or destroying their capitol city, so it's expected to be considerably lower afterward).
  • In Wizard101, one of the rewards for the quest "Retribution" (which requires you to defeat Krokhotep, the last boss in the Emperor's Retreat, and the Krokosphinx area of Krokotopia as a whole) is Krokhotep's head mounted on a plaque.

  • Girl Genius gets Jägermonsters, who in turn get a fascination with hats as their, ah, hat. Losing the hat is a disgrace and acquiring one is a Serious Business:
    Maxim: A Hat iz a badge of honor! A Trophy vot must be plucked from off de head of a vorthy enemy!
    Oggie: Yah! Vun who happen to gots hyu same head size!
    • And after Maxim manages to win the hat of a man very famous among the Jägers, about 400 of them queue to challenge him for this legendary headgear upon his reunion with "de pack".
    • Members of the Vespiary Squad wear over their helmets skulls of Slaver Wasp warriors. So far, it's unknown whether this gives anything other than a little extra protection and a statement.
  • Homestuck: Jack Noir, the Big Bad (well, one of them), is expressly fond of doing this. To the point that near the end of his most active arc, he has far more trophies than he can actually wear and has to decide between them.
  • In It's Walky!, after killing Dargon and taking over his paramilitary organization, Penny takes to wearing his eyepatch as a personal affect.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Roy takes Xykon's crown and wears it on a string around his neck after "setting him back a bit". This turns out to be a problem when the residual evil on it causes Miko to try and smite him. Xykon takes it back in their next encounter.
    • Later, Gannji concocts a plan that requires his partner Enor to kill him, cut of his tail, and keep it so that Gannji can be resurrected later. He tells Enor to "tell the guards it's a trophy of your victory. They won't question it 'cause you're part-ogre. They do stuff like that all the time."
  • Awkward Zombie: Apparently, Peach takes trophies from every kill she makes in Super Smash Bros. — her main reason for being excited about Dark Pit joining the roster is that now she can decorate her hat with his black feathers alongside Pit's white and Falco's blue.

    Web Animation 

  • RWBY:
    • Professor Port decorates his classroom with the mounted heads of Grimm, and is happy to go on long tangents about how he defeated them. It should be noted that Grimm dissolve on death, so these are replicas.
    • The Nuckelavee Grimm in Volume 4 is shown to keep trophies of its victims, such as flags or weapons. This is unusual behavior for a Grimm, which generally are not intelligent enough to do such things.

    Web Video 
  • Linkara keeps Mechakara's dismembered right hand on his shelf. Bad idea, as Lord Vyce later uses it to take control of Pollo's new body.

    Western Animation 
  • After the bad guys have been defeated in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Wonder Woman claims the invisible jet as a Battle Trophy, even though in that universe she's able to fly on her own.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "The Hidden Enemy", there's a clone trooper who secretly takes battle droid fingers as trophies.
  • Star Wars Rebels: Agent Kallus got his bo-rifle, a uniquely Lasat weapon, this way during the Lasat genocide. This, unsurprisingly, is a Berserk Button for Zeb, one of the few survivors, as only members of the Lasan Honour Guard were allowed to carry one. In "The Honourable Ones", however, it's revealed that the guardsman actually gave Kallus the weapon before dying, in accordance with the Lasat warrior code Boosahn Keeraw, which states that when defeated by a superior fighter, a warrior must give them their weapon. The bo-rifle is still a battle trophy, but not in the way it was initially implied to be.
  • In Transformers: Animated the bounty hunter Lockdown takes parts of Transformers he captures or kills. In a twist, he then later attaches limbs and parts he thinks are useful in combat, to give him a mix and match appearance.
    • In his first appearance, he wields a weapon that was once one of Ratchet's medical devices, and Ratchet subjects him to a painful and well-deserved role reversal by reclaiming it.
  • Young Justice (2010). There's a Running Gag of Kid Flash helping himself to a "souvenir" of each Villain of the Week he battles. At the end of "Alpha Males", he takes the red beret worn by the ape Monsieur Mallah.
    Artemis: What are you grinning about?
    Kid Flash: One word: "souvenir"! (puts on the beret)
    Artemis: Two words: "gorilla lice".
    Kid Flash: Ugh! Oh, man! (Immediately takes the beret off)

    Real Life 
  • According to legends and archeological findings, the Celts were very fond of beheading dead enemies and keeping the head as souvenirs and door décorations.
  • The Royal Navy tended to leave captured ships with their old name as a reminder that they were captured. If they performed with distinction after capture, a new ship might be built with the same name.
  • Ancient Greeks often dedicated captured shields and armor to temples. Spartan boys were regularly shown the piles of captured gear at the temple of Artemis.
    • There was also the famous exhortation of Spartan women to their husbands and sons going off to war: "Return with your shields or on them!" Meaning they should prevent their shields from falling into enemy hands, even if they got killed in the process. It's also been interpreted that a warrior who flees would logically toss away his heavy shield to do so, which would also leave the rest of his comrades-in-arms in a rut.
    • It was then also customary to assemble a kind of monument from captured weapons and armour on the battlefield or on a point of a nearby coast in the case of a naval battle. When the battle's outcome was in dispute, it could happen that both sides erected such a victory monument and then one side would try to destroy the other's victory monument, leading to another battle, as mentioned e. g. in Thucydides' history of the Peloponnesian War.
  • Headhunting was practiced by Allied soldiers in WWII (particularly American ones on the Pacific front), much to the horror of the White House. It happened again to a smaller extent in Vietnam. Nowadays US military regulations and federal law prohibit soldiers from keeping human remains.
    • Taking weapons from dead enemies was also relatively common, both as trophies (Lugers taken from German officers, particularly by American soldiers) and for more practical reasons (British soldiers would take German MP40s over their own Stens, since the Sten took the same ammo as the MP40,note  but were much less reliable). Note that this prevalence of this practice means that abandoned weapons are also commonly used as bait for Booby Traps.
    • In one particular example, Carlos Hathcock, the famous American sniper from The Vietnam War, tried to take the rifle of the Vietnamese sniper he'd made his famous Scope Snipe against as a trophy, but after he'd turned it in and tagged it, it was stolen from the armory.
  • Standards and artillery pieces have long been a traditional battle trophy. A regiment used to be considered shamed if it lost its standard.
    • Other objects could also become traditional battle trophies, for instance kettle-drums. One British cavalry regiment uses a silver chamber-pot (formerly the property of Napoleon's brother, king Joseph of Spain), which it had captured in the Peninsular War, at officers' banquets.
    • The iconic tall bearskin hats of the British Guards used to be the distinguishing feature of Napoleon's Imperial Guards. The British tradition began with the Battle of Waterloo where the British Guards defeated their French counterparts and captured their hats.
    • 875 cannons captured from Napoleon's grand army as they retreated from Russia are on display along the south walls of the Kremlin Arsenal.
  • After the battle of Belle-Alliance or Waterloo, Prussian Hussars captured Napoleon's coach, which among other things contained his decorations, including the Prussian Order of the Black Eagle, which he had been awarded in 1805. King Frederick William III took the occasion to award the same order to Gneisenau, Blücher's chief of staff, specifying that he should wear the one from Napoleon's coach.
  • The Koh-i-Noor diamond ended up in the collections of prince after prince after one conquered the other, finally ending up in the crown of Great Britain created for Queen Elizabeth's coronation, where it to date has remained since 1937.
  • The Roman social class "equites" (more or less similar to medieval Europe's social class of knights) would regularly try to gain the glory of "spolia militaria" (the armor and weapons of defeated enemies) as they fought as cavalry in the time of the Roman Republic. The semi-legendary Roman consul Titus Manlius Imperiosus Torquatus (4th century B.C.) got his cognomen "Torquatus" (which was then passed on to his descendants) from the torque worn around his neck, which he got from a big Gaulish warrior he defeated in single combat, and later had his own son executed for presenting spolia from an enemy cavalry commander that personally challenged the young man, as he was under strict orders to not engage with the enemy during his reconnaissance.
    • The Romans also used to take the rams of enemy ships captured into battle and mount them on columns to commemorate naval victories. While the tradition is actually of Greek origin, the most famous was the one of Gaius Duilius, erected to commemorate Rome's victory in their first naval battle against Carthage, until then considered invincible on the sea.
  • According to the book We Were Soldiers Once... And Young, an old French bugle was captured by American soldiers during the fighting at Landing Zone X-Ray, during The Battle of Ia Drang. The horn was later used in battle by the American soldiers, under the command of a somewhat larger than life Cornish soldier turned American officer named Rick Rescorla.
  • Khan Krum the Fearsome is said by several historians to have done this with the remains of the Byzantine emperor Nikephoros I. After the latter sacked Krum's capital and had his army slaughter the civilians and burn it, the khan amassed an army in the meanwhile, including peasants and women, and ambushed Nikephoros on his way back through the mountain pass. The emperor was killed and Krum is believed to have kept his skull and had it fashioned into a wine goblet.
  • The highlight of the Soviet Victory Parade marking the defeat of Nazi Germany was Red Army soldiers tossing captured German standards and flags before the platform where Soviet leaders were standing. The standards were not only those of Nazi Germany but also the historical flags of the old Imperial Germany that fought the Tsarist army in World War I taken from museums and memorials. Germans, anticipating this, removed some old flags (e.g. the regimental standards from the Tannenberg Battle Memorial) to the West where the Allies were not nearly so vengeful.
  • During the Battle of Prague in 1648, the Swedish army looted many of the treasures collected by the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, including 472 paintings, which became war trophies of Sweden. Some are still on display at Drottningholm Palace, though Queen Christina took much of the collection with her into exile after she abdicated in 1654; they ended up in various hands after her death in 1689.


Video Example(s):


A nazi flag

Dick Jett owns a nazi flag, having gotten it from a nazi he brutally killed in WWII.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / BattleTrophy

Media sources: