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Boulder Bludgeon

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Who knew rocks were good for fratricide?

Killer Croc: There I was, holed up in this quarry, when Batman came nosin' around. He was getting closer, closer...
Poison Ivy: And?
Killer Croc: I threw a rock at him!
[chirping crickets]
Poison Ivy: [ignoring Croc] So, Harvey, what became of the giant penny?
Killer Croc: [indignantly] ...It was a big rock...

One thing that seems true regardless of where you are is that people can come up with some creative and scary ways to hurt each other. But what does someone do when conventional weapons aren't available, they aren't interested in or skilled at hand-to-hand-combat, and when they are in a rush? For the strongest and bluntest of characters, attacking their enemy with a rock will suffice.

This signals a few things about the character. One is that they are physically strong or at least going through enough of an adrenaline rush to gain some strength. This character is typically focused on doing the most damage they can as easily as possible, often marking them as a Combat Pragmatist or a primitive brute. Another possibility is that the character, for whatever reason, doesn't have another weapon to use and is acting out of desperation.

Whether they're desperate or just brutish, however, one fact remains the same: they want to do some damage, and are willing to resort to literally crushing someone with a stone to accomplish their goal.

To apply, the weapon need not be a rock specifically. Concrete, bricks, cinder blocks, and other rock-like objects can count, as well.

Truth in Television, of course; a decently-sized and sturdy rock or brick will do just as well as any other bludgeon in the event that you need to defend yourself quickly. Either being used in melee or being thrown.

When turned into a superpower, this is Dishing Out Dirt. Defiant Stone Throw is when the character throws a rock as an act of defiance instead of using it as a weapon although there's nothing stopping the tropes from overlapping. Subtrope of Brutish Character, Brutish Weapon and Improvised Weapon. Unrelated to Homing Boulders.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Akame ga Kill!, alchemist Dorothea modified her own body to the point that she's able to survive having her neck broken. Leone responds to this by picking up a giant boulder and crushing Dorothea's entire body with it.
  • In the 2nd season opening credits for Bleach, Chad is shown ripping a huge slab of stone out of the ground and throwing it at a group of approaching Soul Reaper combatants.
  • In Fairy Tail, during the Tartaros Arc, Natsu and Lucy end up fighting Franmalth, a demon whose Curse allows him to absorb anything living or with magic in it... and is ultimately defeated when Natsu just grabs a giant slab of stone and proceed to turn him into a pancake.
  • In Yaiba, Ruby the Strong Soldier at one point uses her energy axe to lift a giant slab of stone from the ground and use the whole thing as an improvised hammer to slam the heroes. Noticeably, the slab is several time her size.

  • "The Cobblestone Is the Weapon of the Proletariat" is a famous sculpture by the Soviet sculptor Ivan Shadr, symbolizing the worker class' struggle against exploitation. It depicts a shirtless worker prying out a large cobblestone from the street to use as an improvised weapon in his rebellion.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: Big Guy Obelix sometimes uses a menhir (a large, pointed, prehistoric rock) to bludgeon or crush his opponents. In Asterix and the Big Fight, this tactic comes back to bite him however when he tries to hit some Romans with a menhir, but ends up hitting Getafix instead, giving the druid amnesia.
  • Dark Reign at one point had the X-Man, Colossus fighting the Mac Gargan version of Venom. Besides being impervious to Venom's attack and being a lot stronger, Colossus upped his advantage by ripping out a part of the ground and braining Venom with it.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: The first members of Villainy Inc to attack Diana on Reformation Island do so by trying to ambush her from the roof as she walks into the building throwing large boulders at her.

    Fan Works 
  • Better Bones AU: Mistystar kills Leopardstar by bashing her head against a rock, without which she probably wouldn't have been able to kill her due to Leopardstar being such a strong fighter.
  • Heroic Myth: During the War Games arc, Berserker hurls a boulder at Apollo Familia's gate to destroy it.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku digs his fingers into the ground and chucks a hunk of asphalt large enough to rip off the giant zero-point robot's arm with a glancing hit during the U.A. Entrance Exam.

    Film — Animation 
  • During the climax of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the dwarfs corner the evil Queen at the top of a cliff. Enraged, the Queen tries to dislodge a nearby boulder onto the dwarfs. It nearly works, until a bolt of lightning strikes the Queen from her perch to her death.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Dark Passage opens with the wrongfully accused Vincent Parry escaping from prison and getting a lift from a passing motorist, Baker. When Baker realizes who his passenger is, Vincent punches him out of the car, knocks him unconscious, then desperately grabs a rock to kill him with. But before he can become a murderer for real, Irene (the one person who knows Vincent is innocent) shows up and persuades him not to go through with it.
  • During the climactic fight in Float Like A Butterfly, local bully Eamann hits Frances in the face with a rock after she knocks him down, which almost completely negates the previous advantage she had over him. Given that they're supposed to be having a fair, stand-up boxing match, it's particularly dirty (and Eamann was already cheating by having stones hidden in his hand wraps).
  • Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later: When Michael Myers stabs John and is about to finish him off, Molly smacks him in the head with a rock, stunning him long enough for them to get away.
  • In The Jungle Book (1994), one of Mowgli's opponents almost succeeds in killing him this way.
  • In Labyrinth, Sarah throws rocks at various goblins' heads in order to stop them from attacking the imprisoned Ludo.
  • Never Hike Alone: Kyle has so far had zero effect in his fights with Jason, and has just been disarmed of his only defense against his machete and thrown violently to the ground. In desperation, he grabs a rock and smashes Jason in the face with it, knocking his mask off. This being Jason, knocking his mask off is all it does, and even that's quickly fixed.
  • Parasite (2019): Ki-Woo takes the scholar stone to the Parks' house with the intent of killing the man in the basement. While descending to the cellar, Ki-Woo drops the rock. Through a quick turn of events, the man in the basement grabs the boulder and hits him over the head, causing him to haemorrhage.
  • In The Princess Bride, Vizzini (the brains of the bad guy trio) is the one who insists that the giant Fezzik should smash the Man in Black's head in with a huge rock—but Fezzik actually prefers a fairer fight. When the Man in Black does show up, Fezzik deliberately misses with the first rock, just to prove that he could have killed him, then challenges the Man in Black to a fight without weapons.
    Vizzini: Finish him. Finish him, your way.
    Fezzik: Oh good, my way. Thank you Vizzini... What's my way?
    Vizzini: Pick up one of those rocks, get behind a boulder, in a few minutes the Man in Black will come running around the bend. The minute his head is in view, hit it with the rock!
    Fezzik: My way's not very sportsmanlike.
  • In Rambo IV, serves as a very dark Call-Back during the climactic battle. As Rambo uses a .50 cal. to mow down Burmese troops, and School Boy uses his .50 cal rifle to cover the mercenaries, Michael, one of the Hostages rescued by Rambo and the mercs, tackles a Burmese soldier that tried to flank the mercs and took a shot at Lewis. In the struggle, Michael, who had earlier given Rambo a "Thou Shalt Not Kill" spiel, picks up a rock and uses it to bash in the soldier's skull.
  • The Ewoks from Return of the Jedi toss large rocks down upon a squad of Imperial troops. Though their Imperial armor mitigates the damage, the impacts nonetheless knock them off their feet.
  • At the climax of Tumbleweed, Lam attempts to smash Jim's head in with a rock. However, when he misses, the rock causes him to overbalance and he falls to his death of the cliff.
  • Year One: The Cain and Abel story is parodied, as Cain (played by David Cross) bludgeons his brother (played by Paul Rudd) then actively denies it.

  • Discworld:
    • As mentioned in Sourcery, many people with all manner of magical weapons and powers have been defeated by the old Half-brick-in-a-sock. It is also the weapon Rincewind uses to fight The Creatures from the Dungeon Dimension.
    • Trolls hit each other with rocks all the time. However trolls are durable enough (being made of living rock themselves) that this is seen as a friendly greeting rather than an attack. If it's a pretty rock, then it's a very friendly greeting.
  • The Hunger Games:
    • Thresh, after believing that Clove had killed his young district partner Rue, had gotten so enraged that he killed her by smashing her head with a large rock.
    • In the first movie, an unnamed victor of a previous Hunger Games, whose arena was the ruins of an abandoned city, killed the runner-up by beating him with a brick.
  • Lincoln Rhyme: in The Coffine Dancer, at one point when we see the P.O.V. of the hitman, it's mentioned that he's not attached to his weapons and will use any method to terminate his targets, even a rock if it's convenient. Later, in The Twelfth Card, the climax has Amelia beating the killer into submission with half a brick after distracting him with her empty pistol, having lost her knife.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction: One short story involves a murderer who killed a man by smashing his head in with a chunk of asphalt. He gladly recounts this story to his cellmate... who turns out to be the victim's father, who isn't too happy to hear it.
  • Choujin Sentai Jetman: Raita Ooishi/Yellow Owl, The Big Guy of the Jetmen, has a penchant to beat up the Monster of the Week with a big rock as large as his arm span, either to pummel with or use it as a hammer throw weight. For extra Visual Pun points, Raita's surname means "Big Rock".
  • The Flash (2014): In the season 5 episode "Goldfaced", a temporarily depowered Ralph and Bary have to fight off Goldface's gang. Barry tries to toss Ralph a brick to use as a weapon, and ends up hitting one of the criminals instead, knocking him out.
  • In Game of Thrones, when Lady Brienne finds Arya, she intends to take her with her, and after she refuses to go, Clegane, who was traveling with her, tells Brienne to leave them alone. When Brienne refuses, they get into brutal fight, that is ultimately ended when Brienne, picks up a rock, and bashes it onto Clegane's skull. Brienne then goes to look for Arya who ran off during the fight, shortly there after, Arya confronts a badly injured Clegane, and after he tried to goad her into killing him to end his suffering, she instead takes the coin bag, and leaves him to die on his own.
    • In House of the Dragon, Daemon Targaryen comes back to the Vale and kills his Unwanted Spouse Rhea Royce with a stone after causing her to fall from her horse (the fall paralyzes her and the scene's last shot is him grabbing a stone and getting closer to finish her off).
  • The Good Place: The Accountants have a picture of the first human act that earned positive points: A caveman gifting his brother with a rock. Unfortunately they also have a picture of the first human act that earned negative points: The brother braining him with the rock moments later.
  • My Life Is Murder: In "Lividity in Lycra", the killer swaps the Victim of the Week's water bottle with an identical one spiked with monkshood. However, they miscalculate the dose and it is not enough to kill their target, and they forced to finish the job by hitting him on the head with a rock.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series
    • Episode "Arena". Captain Kirk and the Gorn captain are forced to fight each other with improvised weapons. During their battle, the Gorn captain picks up a boulder and throws it at Kirk, pinning Kirk's leg to the ground.
    • "The Galileo Seven". While the crew of the shuttle craft is trapped on a primitive planet, they are attacked by giant cavemen-like humanoids.
      • One of the cavemen uses a boulder to pound on the shuttlecraft.
      • During a funeral ceremony, one of the cavemen throws a boulder at Spock, pinning him to the ground.
  • Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle: Red King, during the fight with Ray's Gomora, gets the idea to suddenly find and use a giant boulder against the Ancient Monster. Unfortunately for the Skull Monster, Gomora then shows off that it can use its Super Oscillatory Waves as a beam attack, quickly shattering the bolder in Red King's hands.
  • Vera: The Victim of the Week in "Silent Voices" is bashed over the head with a rock and then held underwater until she drowns.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons. If giants have boulders nearby they can pick them up and throw them at their opponents instead of using their normal melee weapons.
    • Apes also get a 'Rock Throw' action, making them one of the few beasts with a ranged attack.

    Video Games 
  • Avernum, Giants are primitive humanoids, barely at bronze-age level of technology. They use massive boulders to attack from afar, with such efficiency that they can easily lay siege to whole towns without siege engines.
  • The Brute summon from The Bard's Tale is a massive half-naked oaf who, despite his size and girth, is a long-ranged fighter. Because of his size and girth, said long-ranged attack is delivered with massive boulders, dealing massive damage to enemies and stunning them.
  • Kabbu of Bug Fables is usually a short-ranged, ground-level melee fighter, but you can equip medals on him that let him throw pebbles or boulders at enemies. It's the only way he can attack aerial and back-row opponents without doing a Combination Attack with Vi. Mini-boss Pisci and regular mook Belostoss can also toss rocks at the heroes; in the latter's case, the party members can attack it when it has picked up a rock to make it drop it.
  • In Condemned 2: Bloodshot, bricks are one of the more fairly common weapons to run into. In fact in a few levels, whole piles of it can be found, you can pick up more bricks infinitely without worrying about decreasing the pile too. They are light and attack very quickly, but obviously have short reach and deal a low amount of damage. Naturally thanks to these brick piles and how light they are, they are also commonly used as projectiles. Some levels even need bricks to be thrown in order to access certain areas. If a player discards a brick, it will break as soon as it hits the floor.
  • The giant round boulder-wielding Infested Barbarians in Dark Souls are much more dangerous than the regular club-wielding kind, thanks to their extended move set, which includes slamming you (repeatedly) into the ground with the boulder, charging you from a distance by rolling the boulder in front of them, or just throwing their boulder at you from range (and immediately summoning another one into their hands).
  • Disarmed Bokoblins and Moblins in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will occasionally throw rocks projectiles. Bokoblins pick up small ones from nowhere, while Moblins use the large ones scattered around the overworld (which Link can also use).
  • Various monsters in the Monster Hunter series throw boulders as one of their attacks, including Tigrex, Rajang, and Deviljho.
  • In Resident Evil: Outbreak and its sequel, Outbreak File #2. A piece of concrete is a throwing item, which deals 100HP in damage and may render an enemy incapacitated for a short duration. If David King is around, he can even combine the concrete piece to a metal pipe with the help of vinyl tape, to create a makeshift sledgehammer.
  • Street Fighter: One of Cody's dirty fighting tricks is to pick up some stones and then throw them at people mid-fight. Later on, in Street Fighter V, he's got a variant; he can toss up a stone and then punt it with his steel pipe like a baseball to hit enemies at range.
  • Titan Quest: large Trolls in the fifth act wield giant boulders either as long-ranged projectiles or as rudimentary bludgeons in melee. While it showcases their strength and brutality, it also makes them slow.
  • The Untold Tales Of The Vocaloids: When Rin accidentally fell from a bridge and got separated from the party when an earthquake struck them in Whispering Cave, she lost whatever weapon she's currently equipped. After she regained her consciousness, she picks up some rocks as a makeshift weapon.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Darktide: The ogryn playable class, fitting with their characterization as dumb brutes, can pick up chunks of concrete and such to chuck at enemies, often delivering a One-Hit Kill.
  • The Wolf and the Waves: Your only attack in human form is throwing rocks. It's a hard-to-aim and low-damage attack, encouraging the player to switch to wolf form for combat.

    Web Animation 
  • Chadam: During a large battle, Sandy is seen killing a Pallid by smashing their head with a rock.

    Web Videos 
  • Everyman HYBRID: In "All Good Things", Vinny attacks Evan with a rock during a battle-to-the-death, as it's the closest available object he can use.
  • Forgotten Weapons: For April Fools' Day 2019, Ian released a video about the fictional military history of a rock with a handle on it, dubbed the Municion L.M.P. 1889. The joke is based on an image of a French World War I soldier heaving a rock over his head.
  • Marble Hornets: Alex does this twice:
    • After he and Jay are attacked by "Masky" and manage to not only defend themselves but take him down long enough to unmask him (finding their friend Tim), Alex, after being told he can't kill him, instead smashes his legs with a nearby rock to cripple him.
    • He starts to become paranoid after Jay has been spending weeks doing nothing but stalking him. When a man innocently approaches him from behind, Alex goes into a fit of rage and murders the man with a rock, believing it to be Jay. This murder is seen on a video taken by totheark in order to expose Alex's crime.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: According to his story in "Almost Got 'Im", Killer Croc's closest attempt at killing Batman involved a thrown rocknote . Croc's love of thrown rocks is brought up later in "The Trial" when he's part of the Joker Jury and suggests hitting Batman with a rock, and he tries (or re-tries) the feat in the later episode "Sideshow" where it once again fails to kill Batman (but gets pretty close). In "Almost Got 'Im", it actually turns out that Killer Croc was Batman in disguise, meaning that Batman thought it was Croc's best attempt at his life!
  • In the Justice League episode "Hereafter," a de-powered Superman encounters Vandal Savage and knocks him to the ground, then picks up a boulder and prepares to crush Savage's head with it. Savage points out that it would do no good, as he can heal. Superman decides not to go through with it.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls (1998) episode "Meet the Beat-Alls", while the other villains bring high-tech weapons (and in the case of HIM, magic) to fight the Girls, Fuzzy Lumpkins only has a boulder. However, he's the one who delivers the final decisive blow against the Girls by dropping it on them while they're immobilized by the other villains' attacks.
  • Played with in the The Simpsons episode "Bart's Friend Falls in Love''. After Bart confesses that he's the reason Samantha's dad won't allow Milhouse to see her anymore, the latter starts to strangle Bart. Bart then reaches around the floor, choosing from a brick and a broken glass bottle, before settling on a "Lucky 8-ball".
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks:
    • The Galrakians have a giant (crystal) boulder they use to "legally smush" criminals. Or people who annoy them.
    • Dr. T'Ana figures the best cure for Ransom getting jacked up on strange and energies and becoming a god is dropping a giant boulder on him. So she does just that, successfully purging the last of the energy Mariner had not already kicked out of him.


Video Example(s):


Belostoss rock attack

Belostoss' can pick up and throw boulders to deal a large amount of damage.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / BoulderBludgeon

Media sources: