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"You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here!"
Jayne, Firefly

Sometimes the chain is all you need for a weapon, without the weight at the end. It's used much the same way as a whip or rope, and, in less realistic works, skilled users can make Instant Knots with it. The length may even vary as appropriate either with no explanation or for magical reasons.

A Badass Biker will often do this in a rumble, either normal large chain links or the slightly nastier bike chains. It was very common in 80s movies with street gangs and among fictional Japanese delinquents. And if one is very ballsy they can wrap the chains around their fists for an improvised knuckle duster, although it's heavily advised not to do it in real life unless you have something to protect your hands.

Overlaps with Breaking the Bonds and Bring the Anchor Along if the chain was being used to restrain its wielder. Chained by Fashion is when a character wears the chains as an accessory, although it can also overlap with this trope if said character chooses to make use of those accessories as weapons too. See also Blade on a Rope and Epic Flail for other weapons that have chains as an important component. A kusarigama is likely to be included in Stock Ninja Weaponry. If the chains become electrified (naturally due to being made of metal), it becomes a Lightning Lash.

Sub-Trope of Improvised Weapon.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • A memorably bloody sequence in Dreadstar: after Vanth Dreadstar finally faces and defeats the enemy who was responsible for (among many other things) the murder of Vanth's wife and their entire community, he puts away his sword—too clean and painless—and instead beats the man to death with a length of chain.
  • Most modern bearers of the Ghost Rider mantle such as Johnny Blaze, Dan Ketch, Michael Badilino and Robbie Reyes have all demonstrated the power to summon magical and flaming chains as their main weapons. When not in use, the chains are usually wrapped around their chests like a bandolier. Later comic iterations have also given them the ability to attach various weapons at the ends of their chains for extra cruelty potential, including hooks, knives, hammers, and even tire irons.
  • Befitting his entire aesthetic as a space biker, Lobo's signature weapon is a hook on a chain.
  • Hardcore, one of Luke Cage's enemies from The '90s, wielded manrikisas - chains with weights on the ends.
  • Freddy gets whipped and choked with a chain in A Nightmare on Elm Street: Paranoid.
  • Spawn has chains that pop out of his cloak and are under his control; most often seen in the HBO Animated Series.
  • Superman mini-series The Krypton Chronicles, which narrates the history of Krypton, reveals Superman's homeworld was once conquered by an alien race called the Vrangs who held sway over the planet until being kicked out by a slave revolt. The first rebel slaves lacked weapons when they revolted, so they used their own chains to flail their guards to death, and then they stole their ray guns.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): In the only successful escape attempt from Reformation Island the weapon of choice for the escapees was lengths of chain, which were on fire. Of the eight prisoners who formed Villany Inc. and tried to escape Blue Snowman, Cheetah, Doctor Poison and Eviless were recaptured before they made it off the island and Giganta, Hypnota, Queen Clea, and Zara were recaptured by Wonder Woman, Etta Candy and Steve Trevor the next day.

     Fanfic 
  • Child of the Storm has Harry uses a magical chain during the fight with the Fallen Fortress' Spirit when it's possessing Hermione, to both hurt it and try to bind it, with varying effectiveness.
  • Fate of the Clans: Cú Chulainn Alter can use the chains on his body to attack someone. Even after getting rid of the ones on his body he can still conjure up chains for offense or defense. If he catches someone in them, they get tighter the more they struggle. They're covered in fire a lot and Tamamo takes advantage of this by having them capture spears of ice, covered in earth to hide them, to instantly create steam.
  • The J-WITCH Series:
    • During their first fight, Tohru briefly uses a chain as a whip against Cedric.
    • Will uses a chain to fight Hoyle in "J-WITCH Meets The J-Team!".
    • Krampus can control chains, which he uses to restrain children.

    Film—Live Action 
  • The early 1980s Jet Li movie, Born To Defense, have Li's character fighting in a factory in the finale, where he get his hands on thick chains and uses it to bash his enemies. This scene was prominently featured in some DVD covers.
  • Towards the end of Breakdown, the villain tries to use a length of chain as a weapon. It almost works, but ultimately backfires on him.
  • Bumblebee has a unique spin on it: during a brawl between Bumblebee and Dropkick in a shipyard, Bumblebee manages to get hold of anchor chains and tangles Dropkick up while he's in helicopter mode. Once he's brought down, Dropkick tries to escape by transforming back into robot form, only for the chains to get embedded even deeper into his body, and with Bumblebee still holding onto his end, he pulls so hard he rips his enemy to pieces.
  • The killer in the Slasher Movie Chain Letter (2010) uses chains to kill people.
  • Charlie's Angels (2000) - Alex Munday grabs a short length of chain and swings it around like nunchucks.
  • Dim's favourite weapon in A Clockwork Orange.
  • Corvette Summer: When Kenny escapes the car thieves, one of them attacks him with a chain.
  • In The Crime Doctor's Strangest Case, the killer hits Dr. Ordway over the head with a chain and knocks him out in the abandoned nightclub.
  • In Cutthroat Island, one of Dawg's men has a chain in the place of his hand. It proves to be his undoing, as he misses one of the heroes with it, and is taken to the depths with the anchor that it got tangled with.
  • John McClane does this on Targo in Die Hard with a Vengeance.
  • A chain is one of Shack's weapons of choice in Emperor of the North Pole. He mostly uses it offensively like a flail, but at one point uses it defensively to stop a blow from an ax.
  • Master Bai from The Devil's Mirror uses a chain made of gold circlets as his default weapon, which he can alternate between using it to bash his enemies' brains out, strangling his opponents, and with his qi, turn it into a stiff, vertical staff strong enough to impale through flesh. He uses the last method to mortally wound the main villainess at the end of the film.
  • The Rambler from Duel of the Ironfist is a Multi-Melee Master who, at one point in the final battle, having flung his knives into mooks and seeing enemy reinforcements on the way, then grabs a nearby chain and using it to smash several skulls and strangle a few thugs.
  • During the final battle in The Expendables 2, Vilain picks up a knife as the fight against Barney Ross escalates. Ross then picks up a chain and proceeds to kick Vilain's ass with it.
  • Friday the 13th
    • Ali in Friday the 13th Part III uses a chain that hangs around his neck as a weapon.
    • Jason X has Jason use chains to hang one guard, and snap the neck of another.
  • A witch and alleged serial killer is beaten to death with chains by an angry mob in Don't Torture a Duckling.
  • The Game Changer has one of the protagonists breaking out of prison, still shackled in chains and all, and when several prison guards tries restraining him, he then uses those chains to beat up his captors.
  • The Shaw Brothers martial arts film, Iron Chain Fighter, is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • This happens in Ghost Rider (2007), with emphasis on 'improvised', as this is the same chain that one of the demons tries to kill him with at first.
  • Michael bludgeons one of the guards escorting him with his shackles in the theatrical cut of the Halloween (2007) remake.
  • Hellraiser has a variation of this, prehensile chains with barbed hooks come out of the Lament Configuration and snag people. They are quite capable of tearing people apart, as happens multiple times in the series's many kill scenes.
  • In the Gods vs Titans fight in Immortals, Zeus beats the tar out of the Titans with a chain that he snagged from their cage.
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade has Colonel Vogel use chains against Indy during the tank fight.
  • In Julia X, The Stranger's preferred weapon is a length of chain: either swung as a flail, or wrapped around his hand as brass knuckles.
  • The Donnie Yen action film Legend of the Wolf had an Elite Mook who uses a chain to fight Donnie. First by wrapping his chain around his fist as a makeshift gauntlet, then using the chain as a whip before using it to strangle Donnie.
  • Riggs tries to use one of these against Wah Sing Ku in Lethal Weapon 4 after trying to kill him with a forklift. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
  • Mad Max: a member of the biker gang tries to stop Jessie's car by smashing the window with a chain he's holding. Unfortunately the chain catches on the speeding vehicle and...
    Toecutter: That there is Cundalini, and Cundalini wants his hand back.
  • In The Man from Colorado, Jericho likes using a set of chain hobbles as a weapon. He uses them to knock Owen's gun out of his hand when tries to capture him, and in the final fight, he wraps the chain around his fist and uses it like brass knuckles as he pounds on Owen during the Battle Amongst the Flames.
  • In Moonraker, Holly Goodhead wraps a chain around her fist and punches Jaws in the gut. He No Sells it.
  • In Mystery Men, one of the disco gang has a chain for a weapon. Mr. Furious hangs a lampshade on this when he asks why it isn't at least a gold chain.
  • In Ong Bak 2, after being held by chains between two mooks, Tien takes the chains away from them, whipping many more mooks in the process, then wrapping the chains about his fists and forearms to make pra jiad or forearm wraps out of them.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl features Pintel and Ragetti firing chain shot at the Interceptor, though from a pair of side-by-side cannons instead of a single cannon (which would destroy the cannons because of the lack of exact timing).
  • Pistolera: After a prolonged chase and fight, Pistolera finally strangles Edwardo to death with a length of chain.
  • Preservation: During their final confrontation, the last hunter is carrying a length of chain that he uses to strangle Wit.
  • Alice uses a bike chain with heavy padlock to good effect against Japanese zombies in Resident Evil: Retribution.
  • Leia uses the chain of her Slave Collar to strangle Jabba the Hutt to death in Return of the Jedi. (As he's the size of a car, this wouldn't normally work, but she's an untrained Force-sensitive.)
  • Speed Demon 2003 has a character be hanged by a telepathically controlled chain.
  • Ten Dead Men: The Projects Manager's Perky Female Minion has a predilection for using chains on her victims: to restrain or to strangle. She makes good use of them on Ryan during her fight with him.
  • In Think Big, two mooks actually get into an argument on who gets to use a piece of chain against on one of the main characters.
  • Torque: Luther, one of the Hellions, fights with a chain, which he uses to murder Junior. As revenge, Junior's brother Trey kills him with his own chain.
  • The conductor in Train is hanged with a chain.
  • Transit: During the fight in the cabin, Marek uses a length of chain to hit Nate's wounded leg before trying to strangle him with it.
  • The Warriors: One the Punks who attacks the Warriors in the men's room is wielding a length of chain as a weapon. Cochise manages to wrap it around the Punk's own neck. Later, one the Riff's who surrounds Luther on the beach is carrying a heavy chain.
  • In When Taekwondo Strikes, Li is chained to a beam. After he saws through the wood with the chain, he uses it as a whip against his captors, and at one point almost strangles one of them with it.

    Gamebooks 
  • In Sorcery!, there's the Silver Chain. You can get this through the Chainmaker's shop. It's a magical weapon made of silver that allows you to harm the undead. It's other properties it can be animated and used to entangle enemies or grab objects from a distance. The only drawback is that it's a very inaccurate when used in a fight.

    Literature 
  • In the book of A Clockwork Orange, Dim, one of Alex's droogs, has an "oozy" (from the Russian word for snake, no connection to Israeli submachine guns) as his weapon of choice. He uses it very effectively, being The Brute of the gang.
  • In The Dark Ferryman, the 2nd book of Jenna Rhodes's Elven Ways quartet, the protagonist Rivergrace is in a narrow cave fighting a bloodthirsty reptilian Raver. She's in a good defensive position between two rocks and is able to deflect the Raver's pike with a piece of obsidian. The Raver then pulls out a spiked chain from its arsenal and it's able to cut Rivergrace up before she turns the tables. Her lover Sevryn was able to locate her, stab the Raver and then takes its chain after seeing how handy it was.
  • In the Dred Chronicles, chains are the protagonist's signature weapon. When she's not fighting with them, she has them wrapped around her arms, treating them almost as a sort of fashion statement. It's thematically appropriate for a gang boss on a Prison Ship.
  • The Dresden Files
    • Elaine uses a couple of fine chains as foci for her magic. Ordinarily it appears to be a decorative chain belt, but once she straightens it out it functions like a wizard's staff.
    • Grevane the Kemmlerite uses a weighted chain as his sidearm of choice. Ramirez winces when he hears it, claiming that anyone who carries a kusari like they know how to use it is going to be a seriously tough customer.
  • A character gets his arm ripped off by a chain in Final Destination: End of the Line.
  • Jason garrotes a guy with a motorcycle chain in Friday the 13th: Hell Lake.
  • In The Locked Tomb, a weighted chain is an option for a cavalierís offhand, albeit an uncommon one because of itís difficulty to master. Notable users include Anastasia the Firstís cavalier Samael Novenary, Protesilaus Ebdoma, and Harrow in one of her Elseworlds.
  • Redwall has several instances of freed prisoners who used their broken chains as weapons against their former captors.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Heard over the radio during the opening of Adam-12, gangs are fighting using "chains and knives."
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Arrow. In the Season One finale, Oliver Queen is captured by the Big Bad and left hanging with his arms suspended by chains in an Abandoned Warehouse. He proves a season of Workout Fanservice was not in vain by climbing up the chains to unhook them from the rafters, whereupon he uses the chains (which are still cuffed to his wrists) to take out two guards.
  • Occurs throughout Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though there chains are usually just used for choking and/or neck breaking.
  • On an episode of CSI, a chain was one of the weapons used to kill an undercover cop who had infiltrated a biker gang.
  • Mentioned in Firefly. See the quote up above.
  • Game of Thrones: Jorah and Tyrion have been Made a Slave, and are collared and chained accordingly. As Jorah is sold on the auction block for the Gladiator Games, Tyrion appeals to his buyer to take him as well, claiming to be a great fighter also. As Tyrion is a dwarf, everyone just laughs, so Tyrion yanks the slaver holding his chain off his feet, then beats him with his own chain until he's pleading for mercy. The buyer decides that's Actually Pretty Funny and buys Tyrion as well.
  • Kamen Rider Wizard's Bind spell usually takes the form of chains appearing out of magic portals. In The Movie, Haruto gets knocked off a building and saves himself by casting Bind and using the chains to catch him in mid-air.
  • The leader of a cult-like group of homeless children in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit used a chain to murder several people he stated had "disrespected" him.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Arondir, Region and Medhor are all Made a Slave and put in chains. They create a plan to escape and start the attack by to swinging the chains with their legs towards the Orcs.
  • Luke Cage (2016): In "Wig Out", one of Bushmaster's gang members attacks Luke with a chain. This being Luke, it proves useless.
  • In The Musketeers s3e10, d'Artagnan beats the captain of the Red Guard with a chain.
  • Person of Interest. Improvised by John Reese in the Season 5 premiere. Injured and on the run from Samaritan with The Machine in tow, Reese runs out of ammo shortly after shooting out a padlock and chain holding a gate closed. Two Samaritan agents confront him, and he uses the chain to strangle one and deliver a beatdown on the other.

    Other Sites 

    Podcasts 
  • In Interstitial: Actual Play, Criss can use his magic to manipulate his chain wallet of varying length and use it as either a weapon or a grappling method.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Many wrestlers were known to bring chains to the ring with them.
  • One of the many specialty matches in wrestling is the Russian chain matches, where the two combatants are connected at the wrist by a 10-foot chain. When the chain is attached to their necks, it's called a Dog Collar match.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Mech-sized "chain whips" exist in BattleTech. As dedicated BattleMech melee weapons go, they do relatively little damage, but have the fairly unique ability to momentarily entangle another 'Mech's limbs if they hit them, potentially tripping the target or keeping it from moving away from the attacker for a turn or two. They're acknowledged as Awesome, but Impractical in-universe, since like most melee weapons they were designed for use in gladiator games where wowing the crowd with flashy moves to generate ticket sales is more important than efficiency.
  • The spiked chain is a weapon option in Dungeons & Dragons and derived games (including Pathfinder). Because of the way the tripping and attack of opportunity rules worked, and because the chain could threaten every square it reached, a properly-built spiked chain fighter was often a Game-Breaker (unless you tricked them into backing off a cliff).
  • There is also a fighting chain, and its artifact version the dire chain, in Exalted.
  • Occasionally seen in Magic: The Gathering. Chainflinger is a good example.

    Theatre 
  • Some productions of A Christmas Carol, particularly the Alan Menken musical version, have Jacob Marley and the other chained souls tie Scrooge up, strangle him with the chains, or let him see firsthand how heavy they are to emphasize their points.

    Toys 

     Video Games 
  • One can make a reasonable assumption that any game where the hero mainly fights with a whip (such as La-Mulana or any Castlevania starring a Belmont) will inevitably have an upgraded version of the whip made of chain. And sometimes that can be upgraded even further into an Epic Flail.
  • One of Scharlachrot's primary weapons in Arcana Heart 3.
  • The titular Gunvolt from Azure Striker Gunvolt Series, who wields a superpower called Azure Striker, has Voltaic Chain as his strongest attack, where he summons gigantic chains to criss-cross the screen before electrocuting them, dealing heavy damage to all enemies. It's later established that all wielders of Azure Striker are capable of using Voltaic Chain, such as Gunvolt's Evil Mentor Asimov and Nova's Alternate Self (Nova from original timeline only has Mind over Matter powers), although we have yet to see Blade using it.
  • Death in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin will use chains to ensnare the characters while he performs a One-Hit Kill if you can't escape quickly.
  • In Cris Tales, Kari Hudo uses a magical pair of chains with a spike at the end of each to capture souls of enemies and use their skills in battle as The Beastmaster. However, if she doesn't have something suitable to fight her enemies with, and their souls can't be captured, she can still throw the chains and use the spikes as weapons.
  • Dark Judgement have muscular, bare-chested Giant Mook enemies in the factory and military base stages, who wields heavy chains to smash your players to a pulp. You can collect chains from destroyed crates or from these enemies, to use as melee weapons later on.
  • The Abomination, a hero in Darkest Dungeon, whips the long and heavy chains he's been shackled with around as his main attack when he's in human form. It deals decent damage and is liable to stun the target.
  • Of the many ridiculous weapons in Exit Fate, this is one of the few that can actually do serious damage. It's wielded by Outsider, a mercenary who's essentially a Disc-One Nuke if you can afford his asking price.
  • Fire Emblem: the General class in the GBA games have chains attached to their lances and axes.
  • One of the biker gangs in Full Throttle uses chains as their signature weapon. Ben can acquire one after defeating them.
  • The boss of the Cybercity stage in Gaia Crusaders uses a thick chain to smash your playable heroes into bits.
  • Delsin Rowe of Infamous Second Son uses a chain wrapped around his wrist as his melee weapon. Depending on what power he's currently using, it can either manifest as a whip or even a Laser Blade.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Eraqus from Birth By Sleep is a Keyblade Master who possesses a chain-based motif to his magic, able to summon chains made of light both as an attack and as a means of restraining his foes.
    • This is implied less to be his own ability than it is of his own distinct keyblade, as Aqua manages to use these chains when she takes Eraqus' recently-ownerless keyblade as her own.
    • Terra, as well as Terra's Animated Armor, the Lingering Will, can create a sphere of light chains around themselves, trapping their victim inside with them; in Birth By Sleep, Lingering Will uses it to stop Xehanort from escaping with Terra's body, while in A Fragmentary Passage, Terra protects Aqua from Xehanort with them. Notably, he only gains the ability after Eraqus dies in his arms, and Terra's heart absorbs his.
  • Igniz in The King of Fighters 2001 uses this as a weapon. And it hurts.
  • Chains are a staple weapon in the Kunio-kun series (especially River City Ransom, which lets you and the mooks use bicycle chains as whip-like weapons). The GBA remake added a double-length chain that was so unfairly fast and powerful that using it actually hurt your Karma Meter.
  • League of Legends:
    • The wraith Thresh has two sets: one with a sickle attached he uses to bind and beat enemies, and one with a lantern he uses to protect allies. Oh, and they steal souls too.
    • The escaped prisoner Sylas uses a heavy pair of petricite (basically Anti-Magic rocks) chains shackled to the heavy gauntlets on his wrists as deadly weapons and to channel his own destructive magic.
  • In Liberal Crime Squad, bikers use chains as their main weapons, as do non-union workers.
  • In the LISA: The Pointless mod Scholar of the Wilbur Sin, the optional boss enemy Will Killjoy's weapon of choice is a chain flail.
  • The Ninjakari guild in Lusternia: stealthy, potentially psionic assassins... whose weapon of choice is enormous bladed chains.
  • Wire Sponge from Mega Man X2 uses the Strike Chain as his weapon. He also spins it to deflect stuff. When X obtains his weapon, he can use it as an improvised grappling hook.
  • In Mitsumete Knight, Jack Burston, one of the game's three punks, fights with a big chain in one-on-one duels.
  • The Biker DLC for PAYDAY 2 includes a chain whip.
  • The Road Rash games have the top AI bikers wielding chains as weapons. The player can steal a chain and wield it himself.
  • You can find a 3' length of chain for Eileen to use in Silent Hill 4. It's her second most powerful melee weapon, and has better reach than the nightstick.
  • Birdie from Street Fighter Alpha uses a long chain attacked to his handcuff-like bracelets to wrap around his enemies' necks and slam them all over the place.
  • As said above, in the Super Robot Wars games that utilize the Mazinkaiser OVA (games like W and Judgment, that is.), Boss Borot has a chain weapon.
  • Ghost Rider again. This time in Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3.
  • Gun from Verdict: Guilty! breaks out of prison with manacles attached to his arms, and can use them as weapons.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night:
    • Rider uses a chain with a pair of nails attached at the ends.
    • One of Gilgamesh's many weapons is Enkidu, the Chain of Heaven, a chain used to capture and restrain enemies. Notably, it grows stronger when used against divine beings, so while it's just a chain to normal enemies it's nigh-unbreakable when restraining a demigod-type Servant. Rather than hold it and use it like a lasso as Rider does, Gilgamesh prefers to simply launch segments of it out of the portals of his Hyperspace Arsenal.
  • Getting strangled by magical chains summoned by Lumen practitioners is of the many ways by which Elodie can die in Long Live the Queen. There are two instances in which this can occur. The first is if you decided to try and have Julianna executed after imprisoning her, and the second by a rogue Lumen on trial for the murder of his wife (who claims to have been possessed by demons at the time), if you attempt to challenge him on that and fail to repel or evade his attacks.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Killdra uses chains to fight, combined with Variable-Length Chain.
    • Cody can create crystal chains.
  • Strong Bad Email: After Homestar starts hosting weekly "bread sing-alongs" at The Stick, Strong Bad, Strong Mad, and The Cheat also start hosting The Cheat's "rhythmic chain dancing recitals" at the same time and place, which boils down to him smacking Homestar around with a length of chain in an attempt to drive him out of their favourite hang-out spot.
    Strong Bad: He's quite good.
    Strong Mad: SUCH GRACE!
  • RWBY: Sienna Khan, the second leader of the White Fang, used a chain loaded with explosive spikes as her weapon.

    Webcomics 
  • In his original appearances, Hedge of El Goonish Shive wielded a chain as a weapon - specifically, the very chain that had once bound him in captivity in the laboratory that created him. Very symbolic. Very quickly forgotten, too. Only really appeared in one scene, if memory serves, though Grace references it again later.

    Western Animation 
  • An escaped Serial Killer uses a chain as a weapon in the American Dad! Halloween Episode.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Iroh is shown to be very proficient with chains. Also Blue Spirit uses them to restrain firebenders in Zhao's fortress. Zuko clearly took lessons from his Uncle.
  • Wheeler interrupts a fight with a chain when he gets his ring in Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • In Book 3, Korra drags down Zaheer with a heavy chain attached around her arm, slamming him down into the ground.
    • Dark Korra from Book 4 fights with a chain on account of being a reflection of Korra during her battle with Zaheer in the previous season. She uses it to drag Korra into a hallucination of a puddle of the poison Zaheer used against her.
  • When the power plant's donuts are being replaced by healthy snacks in an episode of The Simpsons, the vendor fends off the angered employees with a chain.
  • Sonic Boom: In "Planes, Trains, and Dude-mobiles", the Bike Chain Bandit is a Hostile Hitchhiker who uses a bike chain to strangle drivers who pick him up, as he attempts on Knuckles before Sonic manages to boot him out of their truck. Ironically, the Bandit is later defeated when he steals a bike and tries to escape. Sonic throws a bike chain into the wheel, jamming it and causing him to crash.

    Real Life 
  • Some gang members use bicycle chains as melee weapons. Quite likely began among outlaw bikers, who had excess chain on hand from motorcycle repairs. Outlaw biker gangs are infamous for using tools as weapons, because the police can't arrest you for illegally carrying a weapon if it's a tool you have an obvious legal reason to carry. But at the same time this lets them always be armed whenever a fight breaks out with a rival gang. Often, a padlock was added at the end for extra weight and damage.
  • Convicted mass murderer Perry Smith once claimed to have beaten a man to death with a bicycle chain "for fun".
  • Chain-shot, a type of Abnormal Ammo from the age of Wooden Ships and Iron Men, consisted of a yard or so of heavy chain with a small cannonball at each end. They were fired like a bolas to tear up rigging and damage masts, which made them one of the few ammunition types capable of reliably disabling a ship of that era without running the risk of sinking her outright, but their accuracy left a lot to be desired.
  • In Japan this trope may go by the name "kusari-fundo". It's believed to be a Ninja weapon used when said ninja is disguised as a peasant, since lengths of chain aren't illegal in and of themselves.
  • In his famous "Corn Pop" speech, Joe Biden recalled his younger self, then employed as a lifeguard, being challenged by the "bad dude" Corn Pop to meet him later in the parking lot after he'd called Corn Pop out for a safety infraction at the pool. On the advice of another employee, young Biden took a 6-foot length of chain used at the pool and went out to meet Corn Pop and "three guys with straight razors." Thankfully none of the weapons had to be used, as Biden apologized for having called Corn Pop a name when he'd originally called him out for the safety violation, and Corn Pop accepted his apology.


 
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Kurapika's chains

Kurapika fights using chains with various powers, symbolizing his unbreakable willpower and desire to see the Phantom Troupe dragged down to hell.

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