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Crowbar Combatant

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Raising the bar on first person shooters and bringing it down on alien skulls.

"Is that a crowbar? [picks it up] Oh my God, this is friggin' perfect! Now I can beat the snot out of people!"

A common type of Improvised Weapon, a part of the "tools repurposed as weapons" subset.

Crowbars are actually awesome, yet practical — they are very sturdy, fairly easy to obtain, heavy enough to be used as clubs without being too heavy to carry, usually have hooks, and have two-bladed points that can do some nasty damage either by swinging or thrusting. Plus, they can be used as lock bypassers.

In Videogames they serve two purposes, both as a weapon and tool. When used as a weapon, you can use it to cave in your opponent's skull or you can just point yourself to a nearby wooden crate or breakable door, and your first impulse will be to smash it to pieces, rather than pry it open. As a tool it can be used to bypass certain things, such as boarded up or locked doors, windows and the like. Or any other thing that needs to be pried off or open.

See also Wrench Whack for another tool usually repurposed as a weapon.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Durarara!!'s Kida Masaomi uses this to take on the entire Yellow Scarves.
  • Nyaruko: Crawling with Love!:
    • Nyarko of wields her "unspeakable bar thing" the same way others would use swords (and occasionally throws it). It's probably meant to be a reference to the crowbar's prominence of Lovecraft-inspired games like Call of Cthulhu, though some fans have suggested it's a subtle nod to Nyarlathotep's Egyptian origins, since the crowbar resembles the "was" staff carried by pharaohs (and such was one of Nyarlathotep's 1,000 forms).
    • Crowbars seem to be the weapon of choice for the show's heroes, as Nyarko's allies Kuko (Cthuguha) and Hasta (Hastur) wield them on occasions, usually when they don't have access to their Elemental Powers.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • A crowbar was used by The Joker in an iconic scene where he shows off his psychotic brutality by mercilessly beating Jason Todd to near death in A Death in the Family with a time bomb delivering the Coup de Grâce. Years later after coming Back from the Dead and becoming the new Red Hood in Batman: Under the Hood, Jason reveals his identity to Joker and the readers by returning the favor. Thanks to these events, crowbars have had a very important connection to the two with Joker and Jason having used crowbars as either their weapon of choice or as a cheeky Mythology Gag in the mainline comics or in other continuities.
    • The Mutant leader tries to kill Batman with a crowbar in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
  • The Boys: A crowbar is Billy Butcher's weapon of choice. While his Super-Strength more or less makes the tool redundant, it also means that the tool is more deadly when used in conjunction with said Super-Strength. Case in point, he uses the crowbar to pry open the skull of Black Noir, who was revealed to be a Homelander clone and also the one who really raped and killed his wife.
  • G.I. Zombie: While fighting off zombies in Suttenville, Jared finds a crowbar in a mechanic's garage and uses it to bat away an undead dog, and cave in a few undead skulls.
  • Justice League of America:, Crowbar is a member of the supervillain team the Cadre. His weapon of choice is an energized crowbar that can fire energy blasts, as well as being used as the traditional blunt instrument.
  • The Mighty Thor: The Wrecker is a thug whose favored tool was a crowbar who when robbing a residence that held a temporarily depowered Loki lucked into receiving the magical power from the Norn Queen that Loki sought resulting in it empowering his crowbar and granting him immense strength and endurance. He also has the ability to divide his power between others to form the Wrecking Crew, all with their own construction site weaponry.

    Fan Works 
  • Ashes of the Past: A crowbar is Brock's weapon of choice when confronted by any unruly Unown. And it works, seeing as how his doing so allowed him to save the woman he loved from being pulled into another dimension by them.
  • Super Power Beat Down: In the episode "The Joker & Harley Quinn vs. Deadpool & Domino": The Joker beats up a drugged Deadpool with a crowbar. Naturally, he can't resist the Mythology Gag:
  • Patrick Pines, the main character of the Gravity Falls fanfic Weirder Things, wields a red crowbar as his main weapon whenever he's on an adventure with Dipper and Mabel.

    Films — Animated 
  • Batman: Under the Red Hood: The film features The Joker using a crowbar to mercilessly beat Jason Todd in lieu of the laughing gas or other gimmicky weapons he's typically associated with using. During the climax, Red Hood has a crowbar ready to return the favor.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 28 Days Later's Jim uses a crowbar in one scene near the end, where he bashes a soldier's head in.
  • Don wields one at the beginning of 28 Weeks Later.
  • Art of the Dead: When Louis attacks her with an axe in the garage, Kim grabs a crowbar to defend herself. After dropping it, she manages to grab it gain and slug him with it.
  • Walter uses a crowbar to destroy a car in The Big Lebowski.
    Do you see what happens, Larry!
  • Blood Ransom: After breaking into her house, Daniel knocks Crystal out with a crowbar.
  • In The Brave One, when Erica goes to confront a man who is a known crook, he, thinking she is a paparazzi (she was actually reaching for her gun), slashes her with the hook end of a crowbar. After she disarms him with a headbutt, she then uses that same crowbar to bash his head in before dumping him over the side of the parking garage.
  • Burlesque: A pissed-off Tess is pushed too fat by Nikki, and uses a tyre iron to smash the window of Nikki's car as Nikki drives away from her.
  • A character gets stabbed in the eye with a crowbar in Carver.
  • Clown Motel: A couple of clowns can be seen, crowbar in hand.
  • One of the intro victims in Cornered! is beaten to death with what looks like a crowbar.
  • Michael in the remake of Dawn of the Dead (2004) as they enter the mall.
  • A crowbar is one of the many things used to pin Freddy against a wall in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare.
  • In Ghosts of War, Kirk uses a crowbar to beat to death one of the Nazis who survives the group's ambush on the way to the chateau.
  • In Girl House, Loverboy has an Imagine Spot where he attacks with a crowbar a woman who accuses him of sexual harassment.
  • The initial antagonist of I Spit on Your Grave, I Piss on Your Grave is killed with a crowbar.
  • Killdozer!: In the final confrontation, Kelly attacks the bulldozer with a pry bar: smashing one of its headlights to provoke it into pursuing him.
  • In Lady on a Train, Josiah Waring is murdered by being bashed with a crowbar.
  • One Night in October: Kate starts wailing on the scarecrow killer with a crowbar after it kills her girlfriend, Charlie.
  • Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies has Roddy Piper using it as his mélêe weapon for a good bit of the movie.
  • Sands of the Kalahari: During their final showdown in the cave, Bain attacks O'Brien with a short jimmy bar.
  • In Shallow Grave, Andy, one of the two hitmen looking for Hugo, likes to use a crowbar to beat information out his victims.
  • In Stiletto, Raina kills Lee by driving the tyre iron end of a lug wrench up though his jaw and out the top of his skull.
  • In Superman: The Movie, a bank robber tries to hit the Man of Steel from behind with one. You can probably guess how that worked out.
    Superman: Bad vibrations?
  • In They Live by Night, Chicamaw swings at Bowie's head with a tyre iron, misses and cracks the car window. The fight comes to screeching halt when Bowie pulls a gun on him and forces him out of the car.
  • In Vampires vs. Zombies, Jenna stabs the Jeep driver with a crowbar she finds in the back of his Jeep.
  • Women on the Run has a fight scene where the heroine fights off would-be rapists antagonizing her using a crowbar. The first who gets the bar's pointy end right down there.
  • Brad Pitt for the third act of World War Z. This gives him an Oh, Crap! moment when the crowbar gets jammed in a zombie's head and another is charging towards him.

  • The Eminence in Shadow: The protagonist has a particular fondness for crowbars as a weapon, since the extra weight and sharp edge allows for breaking through a tougher opponent's defenses, and you can wield them like tonfas. It also helps to show how very sadistic he can get. Even after he's reincarnated and gained access to magic and swords, he falls back on crowbars at times just for the fun of it.
  • Halloween: The Mad House ends with Michael being beaten into submission with a crowbar.
  • Mercy Thompson used a crowbar in two books. In Moon Called, she broke the Mac's, a new werewolf, collarbone to free herself from his grip when he started to lose control to wolf in himself. In Iron Kissed, Mercy killed Tim, after he raped her, by spearing him and then smashing his head in, holding the crowbar in only her left hand.
  • Freddy is fought with a crowbar in A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Dealers.
  • In Mercedes Lackey's SERRAted Edge novels, mage-warrior Tannim fights with one of these, since twenty pounds of Cold Iron, enchanted for maximum effect, will ruin the day of a lot of magical beings.
  • The Zombie Survival Guide details why a crowbar is one of the better hand-to-hand weapons to use against zombies: it is strong enough to break skulls, doesn't need sharpening or loading, and, if needed, can be used to pry things.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All My Children's Will Cortlandt tries to pry open his bedroom door with one (his wife Hayley had barricaded herself in there when he tried to rape her), but ultimately gives up for the time being. Sometime later that night, someone enters the apartment and we get Will's horrified POV as it's brought down on his head, killing him.
  • The Boys: Just as the as invisible "superhero" Translucent is about to kill Hughie, Billy Butcher drives his car through the store window, slamming Translucent into the wall. He then climbs out wielding a crowbar — much like comic Billy —, determined to finish him off. He continues to use one throughout the series.
  • Burn Notice: In "End Run," Michael refers to a tire iron as "the ultimate all-purpose tool", because it as useful for shattering glass as for subduing security guards.
  • The Criminal Minds episode "Hopeless" begins with the three UnSubs murdering two couples with crowbars.
  • CSI: In "Ending Happy", one of the elements in Happy's Rasputinian Death is being brained by a prostitute wielding a crowbar.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Woman Who Fell to Earth", Rahul grabs a crowbar to defend himself against Tzim-Sha. It doesn't do him any good.
  • Motive: In "Purgatory", the killer smashes a lawyer over the head with a crowbar before tying him to a chair and planning to turn him into a Man on Fire.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: Count Olaf uses a crowbar as a weapon in order to kill Jacques Snicket.
  • Tales from the Crypt: In "Fitting Punishment", Evil Uncle Ezra beats his nephew Bobby with a crowbar so severely that Bobby is permanently crippled.

  • Portal 2: The (Unauthorized) Musical makes an obligatory reference to the page image, as Cave Johnson tries to hawk his brand-new Portal Gun to the imperiled Black Mesa employees.
    Do you sense the acrid atmosphere of an alien world? Is there a zombie shamblin' down the hall? Are you starting to ask yourself... "How good am I with a crowbar?"

    Video Games 
  • Subverted in Amnesia: The Dark Descent. You do find a crowbar at one point, but its only use is to open a busted door. Shortly thereafter, it breaks under the strain.
  • In Ashes 2063, Scav has a crowbar, a more dedicated melee option than the boot knife. It deals more damage than the knife and can be swung multiple times in quick succession, or deliver a stronger whack after a short wind-up that can one-shot a human bandit or a pit fiend without making noise that may alert their buddies. In Afterglow and the "Enriched" Updated Re-release for 2063 that came with it, it can be dual wielded alongside the solar lantern. If you win first prize on the pit fiend racing event in Prosperity, you get a golden version that works exactly the same.
  • A-Tech Cybernetic: One of the first weapons you can get in the game's Story Mode is a crowbar, which can be found in the room you start in.
  • Bioshock: After Atlas saves Jack from his first Splicer attack, he tells him "Would you kindly find a crowbar or something?" Subverted when the weapon he ends up finding is a pipe wrench.
  • BloodRayne 2: Some of the punks in the second level will attack Rayne with crowbars, when it's not baseball bats.
  • One of the melee weapons in Condemned: Criminal Origins. You can also use it to pry things open.
  • Kara finds a crowbar in the last chapter of Covert Front. It's useful in several puzzles, but she also uses it to kill the Big Bad when he reveals himself.
  • Crowbars appear as a very rare world spawn in Cyberpunk 2077. They are surprisingly lethal and produce a satisfying metallic 'thunk' when you brain someone with one.
  • Dead Cells added a Crowbar weapon as a direct Shout-Out to Half-Life. It's a melee weapon that deals critical damage if you broke down a door recently.
  • One of many melee weapons you can use in Dead Rising 2.
  • One of the first weapons found in Deus Ex is a crowbar.
  • In Discworld Noir, Lewton acquires a crowbar which he can use for opening crates and similar. Attempting to use it on people will prompt him to say that "tempting as it was", it's probably a bad idea (it's not a combat game).
  • In Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, one would probably expect the recurring Superboss, Tyrant Overlord Baal, to magichange into a sword, considering how almost all of his attacks involve summoning really huge ones to impale his foes. Instead, he magichanges into an ordinary-looking crowbar. A crowbar so powerful, that it can potentially max out the wielder's stats.
  • A crowbar is the starting melee weapon for Thieves in Drakensang along with knives and daggers. Said crowbar is listed as an "Axe/Club" type weapon and it's not very powerful.
  • In the 2D Fallout titles, crowbars are available as melee weapons that do unremarkable damage but can also be used to pry open locked containers or jammed doors.
  • As a mod of Half-Life 2, Garry's Mod keeps the iconic crowbar in for the gamemodes Trouble in Terrorist Town and Prop Hunt.
  • Subverted in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: as a Shout-Out, you can find one in Area 69, on a desk, but you can't pick it up. Some Game Mods replace the dildo (the only blunt one-handed weapon in the game) with it.
  • Probably the most famous example is in Half-Life: Gordon Freeman's signature weapon is a crowbar. Any time he loses it, he can count on his friend Barney (who can be found wielding a crowbar in his own side story) to give him a new one. This is commented on by the G-Man in Half-Life 2: Episode Two.
    G-Man: There was a time [the Vortigaunts] cared nothing for Miss Vance, when their only experience of humanity was a crowbar coming at them down a steel corridor.
  • Hitman has crowbars that can be found in most levels somewhere. They can be used as a bludgeon to knock out NPCs or they can be used to break open locked doors, though it's noticeably louder than using a lockpick.
  • The Joker's moveset in Injustice: Gods Among Us and Injustice 2 heavily features a crowbar as a reference to A Death in the Family.
  • Instinct grants you a crowbar as a melee weapon, oddly enough (since you're a Special Forces soldier who usually gets a combat knife in these types of games). Said crowbar is effective in bashing out the brains of zombies and human mooks alike.
  • The original Jagged Alliance had a crowbar as a tool, but 2 enables it to be used as a melee weapon. It's pretty effective, although it's heavy and takes up a lot of inventory space, and it's best used as an Emergency Weapon for your designated door-kicker.
  • The Last of Us Part II features a crowbar as a weapon Ellie can pick up.
  • One of the usable melee weapons in Left 4 Dead 2, and until the Last Stand update came about and introduced the pitchfork, it was the only melee weapon that dealt "shredding" damage (mutilates Common Infected more severely than bladed weapons, but cannot cut Smoker tongues) other than the chainsaw. Since Left 4 Dead and Half-Life are both owned by Valve Corporation, you can expect a Shout-Out:
    Louis: Man, I feel like I'm Gordon Freeman!
  • MADNESS: Project Nexus 2 has the crowbar as an early-game melee weapon. Its main benefits are low price and quick swing speed. Despite its rather short range, being able to drop grunts or Agents in a couple of quick whacks to the head makes the crowbar a useful weapon in early game missions. However, armored enemies will quickly render it obsolete, and it fares poorly against zombie enemies due to their tenacity and durability.
  • In Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven, Tommy Angelo can sometimes find a crowbar, usually on the body of dead workers.
  • In Manhunt, the crowbar is a blue-class melee weapon, and can also be used to bust open numerous things, such as padlocks and shutters.
  • In Mission Thunderbolt the crowbar is not only a durable tool for prying and smashing things, but one of the better early-game weapons.
  • After returning as a DLC character for Mortal Kombat 11, the Joker can replace his kane with different weapons thanks to the gear system. A few of them being modified crowbars that are clearly a reference to his brutalizatiton of Jason Todd in Batman: A Death in the Family.
  • Odium. About as much power as a bat, and weaker than an axe.
  • In Planescape: Torment, the prybar can be used as a club or to give a bonus on attempts to force open locked containers.
  • A crowbar is one of many, many household items that can be swung into zombie heads in Project Zomboid. It's a moderately good choice, with short reach but very high durability. In an aversion of Utility Weapon, quite unusual for Zomboid, the crowbar had no non-combat use until the ability to scavenge furnishings was added. Now a crowbar can also pry up tile flooring to spruce up your base with.
  • Leonard's basic melee weapon in Redneck Rampage, until the Ripsaw can be found. Curiously, he swings it "backwards", with the curved tip pointed in his direction. Usually you gotta whack his friend Bubba over the head with it to finish a level.
  • In Resident Evil: Revelations 2, a crowbar is Moira Burton's only weapon considering that she really, really Doesn't Like Guns due to a traumatic firearms incident. She also uses it for its actual intended purpose in prying open stuck objects.
  • Present in both Saints Row games. The best melee weapon in the original, but overshadowed by better weapons in the sequel.
  • In Space Station 13, a good clout upside the head with a crowbar will knock someone out for longer than you'd expect.
  • A crowbar is found in the first areas of both Sonny games. The weapon is a Shout-Out to Half-Life, which is more blatant in the second game (the weapon has the description "the weapon of free men").
  • Crowbars are some of the many weapons players can pick up to use on enemies in the Streets of Rage series.
  • In Sunset Overdrive, the Player Character can use a crowbar as a melee weapon, among other things. Even if a different weapon has been equipped, they will still use it to undergrind around the city.
  • The original melee weapon for the Scout, Soldier, Pyro, Demoman, Heavy, and Sniper classes in Team Fortress Classic was a crowbar. Engineer used a Wrench that could upgrade buildings, repair buildings, and restore the armor of teammates, Medic used a Med-kit that healed allies and infected enemies, Spy used a knife that could Back Stab enemies for a One-Hit Kill, and Civilian used an Umbrella.
  • Undying: Anling can battle zombies with crowbars.
  • In The Walking Dead:
    • Kenny kills Carver by bashing in his face with a crowbar.
    • Javier is attacked by a zombie with a crowbar in its face during season 3 and can be killed by it if the button is not pressed at the right time.
  • As expected in a Beat 'em Up brawler like Yakuza, the Crowbar is one of the many weapons that is used, either by the player characters or the mooks they are fighting.
    • One notable appearance and use of the weapon is in Yakuza 0 where it is an available weapon for Majima, he won't be able to use it until he gets Tonfa training from Fei Hu. Which then not only allows Majima to use said crowbar but he also uses it like a Tonfa for some weird reason. The only time he uses it properly is in certain heat actionsnote .
      This is the type of crowbar often mentioned in crime reports on the news. It has plenty of destructive potential.
    • In Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, Yutaka Yamai uses a crowbar as his sole weapon, even setting it on fire in one of the boss fights against him. He has even made his own martial art based on it.

    Web Animation 


    Web Original 
  • Darwin's Soldiers, the second RP. Dr. Rawlson/Dr. Jeston tries to kill Dr. Zanasiu with a crowbar. Also a Brick Joke, as earlier Dr. Shelton had opened Jeston's tool closet looking for a weapon and was disappointed to find the crowbar was missing.
  • Insane Cafe 3: The Curse of the Haunted Hotel. Strut using a crowbar then a shovel to subdue a super powered Human who had tried to pick a fight with the entire hotel.
  • Tom spends a large portion of Ruby Quest carrying around a crowbar to smash things with. He does use it once to pry a crate open.
  • Strippin uses a crowbar for melee combat in Rail Bros, one of the Yogscast Minecraft Series subseries.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Harley Quinn (2019) episode "A Fight Worth Fighting For", the Joker kills several of Darkseid's parademons with a crowbar, probably in a homage to A Death in the Family.
  • In the Robot Chicken sketch "Iron Cheney", the terrorists order the vice-president to build them weapons. He says he already has a weapon and knocks one of them out with a crowbar, calling it the "Cheney Special". The terrorists say they'll take a thousand.
  • In Thunderbirds Are Go, Parker's preferred weapon is a crowbar he calls "H'alice".

    Real Life 
  • A man drove his teenage daughter to a fight and then hit a male classmate with a crowbar.
  • Two students got into a fight that ended with the victim being sent to the hospital after he was beaten with a crowbar taken from the school bus.
  • A woman beats her would-be rapist unconscious with a crowbar.


Video Example(s):


The Joker’s Super Move

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