Knives as a primary weapon are rarely used by the most moral, upstanding, honorable types. There is a strong cultural association between knife-wielders and crime or treachery, and as such, those who use short blades as their weapon of choice are usually Combat Pragmatists and/or The Sneaky Guy.
This may be due to the properties of a knife: its small size and light weight mean that it doesn't encumber one's movements when sneaking around or fleeing a crime scene. This also allows it to easily be concealed on one's person, both before and after using it to stab someone: the revelation that someone has a knife hidden in their sleeve or boot can make for prime material for a Traitor Shot. However, these properties also make it less effective against a combatant who sees it coming, as its reach is short, and its small size makes it harder to inflict a fatal injury compared to a larger weapon like a sword. Therefore, the types who gravitate towards this weapon will rely on stealth, trickery, and agility to best take advantage of its strength and minimize its weaknesses.
Because Poison Is Evil, and knife-users aren't exactly nice guys, knives are a common choice for Poisoned Weapons. This can also help with the aforementioned difficulty dealing fatal damage: if the victim doesn't die from the stab, the toxin will finish the job. Ironically, this would be much less effective in real life than it is in fiction: as you know, being stabbed makes you bleed a lot, which makes it likely that the poison would just get washed away by all the gushing blood.
Daggers, in particular, are a popular choice for guile characters due to their long history of being used to carry out assassinations, which gives them the reputation of being a "dishonorable" weapon. The dagger's narrow blade and acute point are specifically designed for piercing vital organs and give them few utilitarian purposes like an ordinary knife does also lends to this reputation; a character packing a dagger or stiletto isn't likely to be using it mainly to cook, hunt, or defend themselves. The expression "cloak and dagger" refers to secretive and underhanded activity. This comes from both In the Hood and the association of daggers with being easily concealed weapons that might come in handy during a sudden betrayal.
Despite this, such characters are not inherently evil or antagonistic. A Lovable Rogue on the heroes' side can use a knife to represent the "rogue" side of the trope without diminishing the "lovable" aspect. That said, they will usually be an Anti-Hero at the nicest, since sneakiness and pragmatism are not the traits of an Ideal Hero.
In fiction, knife-wielders will often be thieves, assassins, spies, or Ninjas. In gaming, their playstyle will commonly be that of a Fragile Speedster, Stealth Expert, and/or Critical Hit Class and are usually better able to use the Back Stab mechanic to deal extra damage (the ability to Back Stab may even be exclusive to knife users).
When a knife-wielder surprises someone with their blade, the result will often be an Instant Death Stab; in some cases, the victim won't even be able to scream before dropping dead, allowing The Sneaky Guy to stealthily take out an entire room of enemies one by one without any of them being aware of the slaughter until it's too late.
While the term "dagger" specifically refers to double-edged knives, note single-edged knives can also carry the same sneaky connotations. The trope name uses "dagger" because we like the Alliterative Name, not to restrict which knife-wielders fit the trope.
See also Retractable Weapon and Hidden Weapons for particular properties of certain knives that help them be concealable. The Sinister Switchblade is a sister trope more commonly used outside of period/fantasy settings, and usually implies a lot of the same things about the character wielding it.
These type characters are often Blade Enthusiasts.
For psychotic or unhinged characters who wield knives, see Psycho Knife Nut.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind: Mario Zucchero's Stand, Soft Machine, wields a strange knife that looks like either a very short rapier or an oversized thumbtack, and which has the ability to deflate whatever it stabs. Using this ability, Zucchero deflates his own body and pulls off a clever trick to sneak around a boat,note incapacitating and abducting the heroes one by one before Bucciarati finally figures it out and manages to defeat him.
- Kino's Journey: Kino carries several weapons, and is, at one point, told by a group of slavers to disarm. After Kino throws down her guns, they tell her to also toss her knife. She asks, "Which one you want?" They reply, "All of them." Kino proceeds to dump a dozen knives from her person until she's holding just one. It turns out to be a combination of fully functional knife, and concealed pistol with laser sight. Kino shoots one of the slavers with the pistol function, stabs the next fatally with the blade, and retrieves her gun to finish off the third.
- In a flashback shown in the manga adaptation of The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, the Evil Chancellor who betrayed King Gustaf used a dagger to mortally wound him.
- Moriarty the Patriot: Louis is most associated with knives as the character most often using them and he rarely switches to other weapons when he has a choice. He's also by far the most pragmatic of the Criminal Found Family Moriarty crew, and they conceal the same way his brother William's Sword Cane does.
- Himiko Toga from My Hero Academia uses knives, which match her deviousness and trickery (thanks to her Shapeshifter Quirk) as much as they do her psychotic love of violence. She can disguise herself as one of the heroes in order to approach a target and catch them off-guard with a sudden knife to the back, as she did to Rock Lock during the Shie Hassaikai Raid.
- Snow White with the Red Hair: Obi is a former assassin for hire turned knight who never trains with a sword, bow or spear like the usual knights and keeps his throwing knives and dagger as the weapons he uses. He also keeps his ties to the underworld and sneaks around to gather information and creep up on unsuspecting targets rather than fight "honorably" as expected of a knight.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW): Mimic is a deceptive shapeshifter who betrayed his former team, the Diamond Cutters. While his skill with them is never shown, he does wield knives in the first issue of the Tangle & Whisper mini-series.
- In Avatar, Col. Miles Quaritch has an appropiately-sized combat knife in a quick draw position on his AMP Suit, which, in-universe, is an optional feature.
- Conan the Destroyer: Malak, Conan's thief sidekick and lancer is skilled with knives, able to both throw them accurately and cleanly slit a man's throat from behind.
- The Dark Knight Trilogy:
- The Dark Knight: The Joker is a cunning schemer and master of mind games. He frequently carries a knife and even has one hidden in his shoe.
- The Dark Knight Rises: Invoked in a speech by Talia al-Ghul when she stabs Bruce upon revealing her treachery to him.
Talia: You see, it's the slow knife... the knife that takes its time, the knife that waits years without forgetting, then slips quietly between the bones... that's the knife that cuts deepest.
- Dirty Harry, a Cowboy Cop Anti-Hero, tapes a switchblade to his leg as a hidden backup weapon before going to a hostage exchange (where he will most certainly be forced to discard his firearm), prompting Da Chief to express his disgust that an officer of the law would know how to use such a weapon.
- First Blood: John Rambo is a former Green Beret who prefers to use a knife while he's being hunted in the county woods by Fat Bastard Sheriff Teasle and his deputies. John Rambo can certainly use firearms well, but he knows that gunfire attracts attention and gives away his position. A knife is a silent killer, and he can exploit "ghost hunter" tactics with it to great effect. Rambo's knife finds the throat of Sheriff Teasle to punctuate his message "Stop pushing."
- Marvel Cinematic Universe: Loki is a mischievous shapeshifting Trickster God who often uses knives and daggers as his primary weapons, being stated in Loki that he literally backstabbed people fifty times.
- Spider-Man: The Green Goblin, despite being bombastic and hammy, is presented as a cunning, dextrous fighter who likes to use sharp weapons, including his Razor Bats and his spiked glider. An alternate version of him shown in Spider-Man: No Way Home is seen wielding a Blade Below the Shoulder.
- Swashbuckler: Cudjo is a knifethrowing rogue who helps the main character stage a revolution against the Big Bad Governor Durant.
- The Belgariad: Silk is a Lovable Rogue, a Living Legend in the Drasnian Intelligence Agency, and an expert knife fighter. He keeps a bewildering number of daggers secreted on his person at all times.
- Circle of Magic: Briar Moss lived a hard life as a Street Urchin and gang thief, and never feels fully safe unless he has a knife on him. He got kicked out of his first dormitory in Winding Circle for hiding knives and when he's challenged to a duel as an adult, he has to remove eight knives from his person beforehand.
- Gentleman Bastard: Locke Lamora, the eponymous Guile Hero and career criminal, keeps stilettos hidden in his sleeves and shoes. However, he's not much good with them; a Combat Pragmatist in a pinch, he much prefers to leave his stouter friend Jean in charge of the violence.
- Malazan Book of the Fallen: Crokus Younghand, who later renames himself Cutter, starts out as a thief who is rather inefficient in combat, but learns the trade of an assassin from his Love Interest Apsalar and becomes scarily competent with knives. Competent enough that he catches Hitman with a Heart Rallick Nom by surprise.
- Six of Crows: Inej Ghafa is proficient in wielding several knives, which she uses for her job as a spy and assassin for the Dregs, the criminal gang she's part of. She's known as "The Wraith" for her ability to sneak around undetected.
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Nymeria Sand of the Sand Snakes prefers using subtlety and assassination to get what she wants. Captain Areo Hotah deems her at her least dangerous when she is wearing clothing that leaves her nearly naked. Otherwise, she can be expected to hide a dozen blades on her person.
- The Boltons are associated with knives due to their history of flaying people alive. They employ subterfuge and manipulation to get ahead, whether against enemies or allies. Most infamously, Roose Bolton murders Robb Stark at the Red Wedding to become Lord Paramount of the North, after pretending to be a dependable vassal.
- Invoked and then subverted in Les Misérables: Jean Valjean has asked for, and received, permission to deal with Javert, who has been captured as a spy at the barricades. Javert, expecting to be executed, remarks when Valjean draws a knife that the choice of weapon suits him. Valjean is actually preparing to cut the ropes Javert is bound with before letting him go; the ex-convict's unexpected mercy is such a blow to Javert's worldview that he's ultimately Driven to Suicide.
- In the Thieves' World shared universe, Hanse called Shadowspawn typically carries at least five knives: a long dagger which he uses like a short sword, a shorter dagger, and three (or more) hidden throwing-knives.
- In the Tortall Universe, George prefers knives for their ease of concealment, and his daughter Aly inherits the trait for her spy work. She hides at least six on her person whenever possible and makes use of them for surprise attacks and sneaky kills. Their ancestor Beka Cooper preferred her police baton but also hid a few knives on her person just in case, even commissioning flat-hilted ones to blend in perfectly beneath her sleeves.
- World of the Five Gods: Master Bosha, Lady Xarre's albino bodyguard and assassin, carries multiple poisoned daggers.
- Game of Thrones universe:
- Game of Thrones:
- Like in the books, the Boltons suffer from (or rather, enjoy) Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. They are associated with knives thanks to their house's tradition of Flaying Alive, not to mention Ramsay's affinity for it. His father Roose stabs Robb Stark at the Red Wedding and takes over Winterfell and the North... until Ramsay stabs HIM.
- In a slight change from source material, Tyene, not Nymeria, is the Snake Sand who prefers knives. In a fight, she slashes Bronn with a poisoned dagger, flashes her breasts at him to raise his heartbeat and accelerate the poison's effect, and gives him the antidote only when he agrees to proclaim her the most beautiful woman he's seen.
- Arya Stark first learns to wield a Royal Rapier, but when House Stark is ruined and she enters training as an assassin, she becomes a skilled knife fighter. She uses daggers both to execute covert attacks and to outmanoeuvre more powerful opponents, best demonstrated when she kills the Night King with a bit of fancy knifework.
- House of the Dragon: Aemond Targaryen carries a dagger in Season 1's finale when visiting Lord Borros Baratheon for an Altar Diplomacy offer. Being mad for revenge for the loss of his eye in his childhood, he draws it against Lucerys Velaryon and threatens to use it to cut one of Lucerys' eyes. Lord Borros wants none of it in his throne room and prevents him from going further.
- Game of Thrones:
- Kingdom Adventure: Considering that he's actually named "Dagger", it's not surprising that (a) a dagger is indeed his weapon of choice, and (b) he works as an infiltrator, messenger, and spy for Zordock. He doesn't often fight or kill, but he does pull a knife when he needs to.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: The Ascetic, one of the In-Universe Weird Sisters, is versed in using knives and throws them with a great precision.
- MacGyver: The assassin known as Murdock is versed in many weapons, including knives. In one episode, he is meeting with members of his organization and is forced to leave his weapons behind. After a metal detector catches him trying to keep one on his person, he is seemingly completely disarmed, and the heads of his group ask him what makes him think he can finish off MacGyver when he's failed in the past. Murdock produces a knife that he was still carrying, and says that, unlike Mac, he cheats.
- Shadow and Bone: Appropriately for a stealthy and acrobatic thief nicknamed "The Wraith", Inej carries many knives on her person and is shown throwing them with great accuracy.
- Dino Attack RPG:
- Dust is a master knife fighter, having killed five TumTum natives with just a knife. It fits his characterization as sly, cunning, and devious.
- Ata was raised to become a shinobi, and the knife appeared to be his weapon of choice since it was what he used in battle against the corrupted Master Yogen. In the Dino Attack, he used the knife a lot when he murdered most of the Second Headquarters Squad, during which time he was certainly putting his old skills as a stealthy infiltrator to good use.
- The Professional Killer Silencia Venomosa's weapon of choice is the knife, which she prefers for being able to silently kill her targets. Although she tried to distance it from herself after becoming Amanda Claw, old habits die hard and she soon found herself using it again, hinting at her being a darker Pragmatic Hero compared to her Ideal Hero boyfriend Rex.
- During her infiltration of Fort Legoredo, Maria killed Hybrids with a knife in order to keep silent and avoid raising an alarm.
- In keeping with his inspiration, Spy's weapon of choice is a knife, which he uses to cleanly and quietly kill his foes during stealthy infiltration missions.
- The very title of Blades in the Dark invokes the imagery of being mugged at knife point during the night (also, "blade" was originally the in-universe term for violent criminals in general and for Player Characters in particular, but it was phased out in favor of "scoundrel" everywhere but in the title during development). Even the cover of the rulebook depicts a hoodlum threatening the viewer with a pair of daggers. Lastly, all Scoundrels' equipment options include the deliberately vaguely-defined "A blade or two" as the default close-quarters weapon.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- The sneaky Thief/Rogue class is always able to use daggers in some respect (and they are always one of the weapons that can be used for their signature Sneak Attack ability). In addition, while the mechanics vary from edition to edition, daggers are easier to conceal and can be thrown as ranged weapons without any penalty.
- The Knife Master archetype specializes in dealing additional (sneak attack) damage with daggers and other light blades, as well as receiving less damage from other light blade users.
- Mice and Mystics: Filch the thief has the unique ability to triple-wield daggers with his Prehensile Tail and can learn to attack with all of them at once. Some daggers have secondary effects, like the ability to rob an enemy as part of an attack.
- Warhammer Fantasy: The assassins of the Skaven Clan Eshin most commonly use large knives, usually one in each hand, as melee weapons. At need, this allows them to run and climb even with their weapons clutched in their claws.
- The Les Misérables example above also appears in the musical adaptation.
Valjean: We meet again.Javert: You've hungered for this all your life.Take your revenge—how right you should kill with a knife!Valjean: You talk too much—your life is safe in my hands.
- In AFK Arena, Oscar is an assassin disguised as a butler, whose signature weapon is a set of table knives. His codename, "The Mannered Knife", was given to him because as opposed to the roguish, brutal methods of his fellow assassins, he used them to make such a clean job of it while never dropping his sophisticated demeanor that it takes several hours for anyone to even notice that his victims are dead. His official artwork has him holding up a tea plate in one hand and his knives fanned out behind his back in the other.
- The Assassins from Assassin's Creed have the Hidden Blade as their most iconic weapon, a small dagger that can retract into their sleeves, making for a murder weapon that practically hides itself, greatly facilitating sneaky assassinations.
- An interesting example is Black Tiger, essentially Black Tiger's real weapon is an Epic Flail, but his flails are so epic that they shoot a three-way stream of daggers. Allowing him to attack enemies at a distance with every swing of his flail.
- Crusader Kings III:
- One of the artifact types added by the Royal Court expansion are daggers, which increase a character's intrigue skill (making them better at sneaky affairs) in addition to their combat skill.
- On the council screen, your spymaster will be shown wielding a dagger.
- Dead by Daylight has a few knife-wielding Killers. They all fall under the Psycho Knife Nut trope, but some also overlap with this one due to their sneakiness.
- Michael Myers, wielding his iconic kitchen knife, has no Terror Radius when his Evil Within level is at 1, letting him stalk victims around in the early game.
- The Pig wields a Hidden Blade as her weapon. She can also crouch to disable her Terror Radius, making her undetectable until she launches her Ambush Dash at a victim, stabbing them with increased range and speed.
- The Ghost Face specializes in stalking targets, being able to knock his prey down with one hit from his tactical knife if he can observe them undetected for long enough.
- Hunters in Destiny (and its sequel) act as the stealth experts and rogue class stand-in among the Guardian player characters. Almost every Hunter subclass uses a distinctive knife as a fallback melee weapon when one's close-range attack isn't charged. The only exception to this is the second game's Arcstrider, which uses a charged fist instead; conversely, Gunslinger Hunters can lean into their knife expertise with the Blade Barrage super attack and the throwing knife melee abilities.
- Devil May Cry:
- Devil May Cry 2: Lucia uses throwing knives instead of guns like most of the playable characters in the games. At one point she tries to kill the main villain by disguising herself as one of her fellow artificial demons in order to get to him. Unfortunately, he sees through the disguise.
- Devil May Cry 4: The character Gloria is shown using curved daggers in battle against demons. She appears to be working for the villainous Order of the Sword but is revealed to be Trish, Dante's heroic ally who is spying on the villains.
- Dota 2 has a few sneaky heroes who wield knives:
- Mortred, the Phantom Assassin, is part of a shadowy cabal of assassins called the Sisters of the Veil. One of her abilities, Stifling Dagger, has her attack with a throwing knife. Her Blur ability hides her from being detected by creeps and wards when there are no enemy heroes around, and she can suddenly warp to an enemy, or out of combat, by using Phantom Strike. On the other hand, her normal method of attacking is by using an axe-like dual scythe. However, the Stifling Dagger is an important part of her kit, and it also procs her ultimate, Coup de Grace (dealing massive critical damage on a random basis in a normal attack), meaning that a single dagger throw can suddenly produce sudden massive gush of blood as if eviscerating with an axe-scythe.
- Riki is the Stealth Expert hero of Dota 2, thanks to his passive Invisibility. This lets him sneak around the map and inflict a Back Stab on his enemies with his dagger.
- In Divinity: Original Sin and Original Sin II, the Scoundrel skill line focuses on sneakiness, dirty fighting, and inflicting harmful Status Effects with weapon strikes. Many of its skills require an equipped dagger (or two, for extra credit).
- In Dragon Age the melee weapon option for the Rogue class are sets of paired daggers that they use for rapid striking and back stabs. Even Rogues with bows will lash out at enemies who get too close with a small knife that is otherwise not listed in their inventory or shown on their person.
- Dungeon Fighter Online: The Thief can use daggers, specifically the Shadow Dancer subclass, with the Rogue also having them as an option.
- The Elder Scrolls:
- Mehrunes' Razor is a recurring artifact dagger tied to Mehrunes Dagon, the Deadric Prince of Destruction. It can sever the link between its victim's body and their soul, killing them instantly. Naturally, it is often sought by devious types like thieves and assassins.
- The main advantage of daggers and knives as weapons is the 15x damage bonus that they gain from undetected sneak attacks and the Assassin's Blade perk — more than any other weapon type. This can be doubled to 30x with the Shrouded Gloves, which doubles backstab damage for one-handed weapons.
- Riften's crest is a pair of crossed daggers which is in reference to their previous Jarl, Hosgunn Cross-Daggers. Hosgunn was believed to have assassinated the previous jarl and took the title despite public outcry and he was known as a cruel and corrupt man who hoarded taxes for his own benefit and executed anyone for breaking the rules (even for something as minor as breaking curfew). After a 31-year reign, the people of Riften rebelled and executed Hosgunn by burning his palace down while he was trapped inside. Riften is seen as a corrupt place that is home to the Thieves Guild and run by Maven Black-Briar.
- The End Times: Vermintide and Vermintide II:
- The Skaven Gutter Runner is a fast-moving, mobile, ninja-like special enemy that attacks from stealth with a pair of punch daggers.
- Kerillian's "Shade" career in the sequel casts her as an assassin with extra emphasis on critical strikes and stealth attacks. Her special ability grants the greatest damage bonus for a Back Stab with a pair of daggers.
- Final Fantasy:
- Knives and daggers are most commonly associated with the Thief job across the franchise. While many Thieves are also able to wield swords, the Chicken Knife grows in power with every every battle the heroes flee from, and there's no better job at fleeing than the Thief (aside from its traditional upgrade, the Ninja).
- In Final Fantasy XIV, the Rogues' Guild exclusively use their stabbers to mill those who have broken the Pirate's Code. Due to their propensity for staying in the shadows and ambushing unwary marks, swords, axes, and heavy armor are far too conspicuous and unwieldy for their work. Hence their preference for easily concealed knives, daggers, and short swords that can be used within a densely packed crowd and tucked out of sight when the job is done. Doman and Hingan Ninja also prefer knives for the same reasons.
Jacke: A rogue needs to be light on his dew beaters to stay on a mark's trail. The job might have ye fightin' across a deck or weavin' through a mob, an' the last thing ye want is a bleedin' great battleaxe what hooks itself on every rope an' post. That's why we stick to daggers, they let ye slip through the streets just as easily as they slip through a rook's ribs.
- Fire Emblem: Thief/Assassin/Rogue characters. In the early games, these are just swords animated as knives (particularly cool for the assassins). In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, knives became their own weapon type, which thieving characters use exclusively and Sages can also use (though they have to forgo staves to do so), although this latter feature is no longer in effect in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Knives return in Fire Emblem Fates as the weapon of choice of Ninjas, their promotions (Master Ninja and Mechanist), Dread Fighters, and oddly enough, Maids and Butlers. In Fire Emblem Heroes, Theives from games without daggers, such as Yuri from Fire Emblem: Three Houses become dagger uses.
- For the King: Among NPCs, knives are used by thieves and scamps — Fragile Speedsters whose Signature Move is to try to cut the PC's purse and flee combat. Their attacks aren't powerful but can be Armor Piercing.
- Ghost of Tsushima: The first step Jin Sakai takes towards ditching his Honor Before Reason mindset in favour of Combat Pragmatism (which enables him to better defend the people of Tsushima) is learning to sneak behind Mongols and stab them quietly with a dagger, however well-armed they are. He learns this trick from his friend Yuna the thief, whose Establishing Character Moment consists of pretending to be a tearful, traumatized villager to distract a Mongol who confronts her in her house, and then stabs him from behind whilst he's searching for her rice.
- The Guild Wars franchise:
- The Assassin class from Guild Wars. Even though the dagger is the lowest-damage weapon in the game, Assassins use them to great effect, often drawing out huge amounts of bonus damage from their skills. They also have a few skills that allow them to throw knives for different effects.
- Guild Wars 2 features two classes that can dual-wield knives: elementalists and thieves. However, only thieves make actual use of the knives themselves. Aside from a super-fast attack rate, Dagger Thieves can throw daggers to damage and cripple a target, leap at an enemy with a quick strike, stack copious amounts of bleeding on enemy groups, and even turn invisible — which sets up a devastating Backstab move for at least double damage. Heck, even their normal auto-attacks will poison enemies continuously. Thieves can also use daggers in their offhand with a sword and can dual-wield a dagger/pistol combo in either hand for different results. A favorite trick among players is to use the pistol skill Black Powder Shot and leap through the cloud with the dagger skill Heartseeker. This renders the player instantly invisible and sets up a backstab. Suffice it to say, knives are at the heart of any good thief's offense.
- Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft:
- The Rogue class from World of Warcraft is represented by Valeera Sanguinar, who dual-wields fel-powered daggers and can infinitely summon them each turn (for 2 mana) for her heroic power. She can also equip various dagger-like weapons if they're in her deck and many of her spells are based on how one uses a knife, as many of them depict someone putting a knife in someone else (Eviscerate and Shiv are such examples). There's also Fan of Knives, where she throws a lot of knives at any enemy minion on the board.
- Valeera herself, while not appearing much in the main game, has always been fighting using knives during her comic debut. But when she does appear in Heroes of the Storm, she's carrying her pair of trusty Fel Daggers and comes complete with sneaky underhanded rogue repertoires from stealth, backstabbing and disabling her opponents.
- League of Legends:
- Katarina Du Couteau, also known as the Sinister Blade, is an elite assassin born to a noble family of Noxus. A Fragile Speedster, she can gut a single target or even entire teams in a flurry of daggers, thrown and swung, if given the chance.
- Talon is another assassin sworn to General Du Couteau. Even before being coerced into the general's service, he was feared as a self-taught assassin and thief who regularly slaughtered the other hired blades sent to kill him. He's cold, merciless, and taciturn, even attempting to kill Katarina on her father's orders after she made a critical blunder in pursuit of glory.
- Maplestory: Daggers are the weapon of choice of the Bandit subclass of Rogues.
- Metal Gear: Later games in the series has Solid Snake or Big Boss carrying a knife for their stealth-based missions. Slashing someone to death is a lot less likely to bring in curious enemy soldiers than firing an assault rifle.
- In Monster Hunter, one of the fourteen weapon types is a pair of large knives known as Dual Blades. These are the fastest attacking of all weapon types, but trade it for the lowest damage per hit of any weapon. Thanks to the series' love of designing comically oversized weapons these "knives" tend to be at least the size of real world longswords.
- Mortal Kombat:
- Kano is an unscrupulous, knife-wielding mercenary who will take any job as long as it pays. He's worked with those who seek to conquer his home realm simply for profit and his backstory in Mortal Kombat 9 has him posing as an informant for the Special Forces before betraying them.
- Kano's fellow Black Dragon member Kira also uses knives. And like Kano, she is also a sly, deceptive person. Her backstory has her selling weapons in Afghanistan while disguised as a man and her Mortal Kombat: Deception ending has her using superior tactics to defeat Kobra.
- OMORI: The Optional Boss Shady Mole is a Con Artist with a knife as his main weapon.
- Woljif from Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is a magical rogue who dual-wields daggers and has a habit of looking out for himself through subterfuge.
- The Persistence: The creepy little hunchbacks who fight you by sneaking up behind you and run away whenever you try to fight back wield tiny daggers. This demonstrates both their intelligence in using tools and their sinister nature, preferring to back-stab you then take you in a straight fight.
- The Ninja-themed Yosuke Hanamura from Persona 4 uses Dual Wielded knives as his weapon.
- Joker from Persona 5 uses knives as his weapon of choice. A fitting weapon for a sneaky Phantom Thief. This is in contrast to most Persona protagonists, who generally prefer swords. It's implied this started due to rumors Kamoshida spread about him when starting at Shujin, one of which was that he carried a concealed knife on him. Once he awakened to his Persona, the students' cognition of him resulted in that becoming his default weapon.
- Shir Gold of Phantasy Star II, being the resident thief of the party, can only equip knives and daggers. Sadly, what should have been her best weapon, the Laconia Dagger, has absolutely terrible stats, forcing her to equip Laser Knives instead (or just put on two emels and go full mage instead).
- Pokémon: The spy-themed Inteleon has a knife hidden in its tail.
- Rush'n Attack: Your Green Beret operative has a knife as his weapon as he infiltrates a Soviet base.
- In Saints Row (2022), the Nahualli is a vicious One-Man Army who occasionally uses stealth, and loves to collect knives. More relevantly to this trope, he uses one of his many blades to betray the Boss at the start of the game's final act, suddenly stabbing them in the gut.
- Scarlet Nexus: Kagero Donne uses knifes and has the power of invisibility. His SAS link allows the player character to become invisible and perform a Back Stab. He also clearly has more than a few secrets, being a spy for a villainous organisation, who eventually grew to despise their goals.
- Scribblenauts: Assassin characters always spawn holding knives, and are distinguished from other character classes by the fact that they're hostile and will attack even other assassins, yet will run away from police.
- The '80s computer game Shamus featured the titular robot private detective. Unlike the stereotypical portrayal of a private eye, Shamus doesn't carry a snub-nosed revolver. Instead he's packing Ion SHIVs, these are thrown energy knives that'll disintegrate most of his robotic enemies encountered.
- SMITE: Loki, the Norse trickster god, is one of the sneakiest characters in the game, being able to turn invisible, teleport behind opponents, and inflict extra damage with a Back Stab. So of course, he wields two knives as his weapons.
- Tales Series:
- Suzu from Tales of Phantasia is a ninja whose weapon is either a very long dagger, or a very short sword. In her Tales Of The Rays awakened portrait she also holds several kunai.
- Tales of Legendia has Jay, an information broker who uses knives and used to be an assassin.
- Tales of Zestiria has Rose, an upbeat and plucky merchant girl, armed with knives since her mercantile activities are a cover for being the boss of a assassin's guild.
- Team Fortress 2's Spy is known for two things: his sneakiness, thanks to being able to both turn invisible and disguise himself as an enemy, and his ability to inflict a One-Hit Kill with a Back Stab from his butterfly knife.
- In Thief: Deadly Shadows, the sneaking, thieving protagonist Garrett has ditched the shortsword he used in the previous two games in favour of a dagger.
- The melee weapons in Warframe include daggers, which can be outfitted with the Covert Lethality mod that increases the damage dealt by finishers (which include sneak attacks). The Red Veil —a syndicate of ruthless assassins and revolutionaries— provides a few stealth-oriented weapons, including the Rakta Dark Dagger which temporarily makes its wielder harder to spot by enemies every time it's pulled out.
- The Big Bad of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations uses knives for their crimes when they cannot use poison.
- Villainous Nights: In addition to his wind powers, Renzei likes to use actual knives - so much so that on a couple of routes Monarch wonders if his power is simply "knife." He is also the team member who is the most morally gray and willing to use violence.
- On The Edge: The Torture episode Torture Sommelier vs Dagger-weilding Yakuza [sic] stars the titular Kagawa, who is proficient in the use of a dagger. He raped and killed the client's daughter Satsuki for trying to escape him.
- Red vs. Blue: Phase is a knife-wielding villain who uses teleportation to attack from unexpected angles.
- Neopets: Members of the Thieves Guild wear dark clothes and cloaks, sneak around to steal treasures, and are often shown carrying bladed weapons — especially during the obelisk skirmish battles, in which each member carries at least one of them for each fight.
- The Questport Chronicles: The Professional Killer Ato smuggles knives into the Questport Temple, where weapons of any kind are absolutely forbidden.
- Critical Role: Vax'ildan from the first campaign exclusively uses daggers, and is, as rogue, a rather under-handed and sneaky character by trade.
- The Dragon Prince: Rayla, a trained assassin, has two large knives loosely based on real butterfly knives, which she uses in almost every fight. These knives can be switched between blade and hook shapes, allowing her to switch between using them as fighting and climbing tools at a moment's notice.
- DuckTales: The recurring character Gabby McStabberson, as her name would suggest, uses various blades including knives, daggers, and swords as her weapons of choice. She is also an assassin and mercenary, and is first introduced working for Glomgold.