This trope refers to wielding two weapons at once. After all, if one weapon is good, then two weapons must be twice as good. The tactics can vary widely. A character might be concerned only with offence and therefore decides that he wants to kill with both hands rather than just one. More tactical characters might typically use their off-handed weapon for blocking or tricky counter-attacks.
The types of weapons used can also be diverse. If the character has one hand dominant, he might wield a long weapon in one hand and a shorter weapon in his off-hand, such as a classic rapier and dagger pairing. Two small weapons is also pretty common, with the idea that smaller, nimbler weapons won't get tangled up with each other. However, some characters will dual-wield long weapons, such as swords or axes, which is generally portrayed as quite a feat. A Bifurcated Weapon might allow the character to switch between one- and two-weapon styles on the fly. On the extreme end of the scale, a character might wield a One-Handed Zweihänder in each hand!
Game mechanics often grant additional attacks to characters with two weapons. In many games, the potential for additional damage is often balanced out by imposing penalties to damage or "to hit" chance, which may be improved by investing in skills and abilities related to two-weapon fighting. In a few games, choosing specific abilities or classes may be required to be able to equip weapons on both hands at all.
Whatever the weapon, you'll probably see a lot of Flynning and Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship in the choreography. Two crossed weapons are also perfect for a Blade Lock.
Dual-wielding appears much more often in fiction than real life because it's... well... cool. In real life, having a single two-handed weapon or a sword and shield is simply much more practical in most situations than dual-wielding blades. Basically there are a lot of drawbacks to dual-wielding (with the most obvious being that most people aren't ambidextrous), and most of the advantages have big asterisks next to them. Where dual-wielding did happen was mostly in formalized duels, and even then not with two blades of the same length but rather with a sword and dagger. See the analysis page for more details.
A Double Weapon is a variation of dual-wielding in which the character wields two weapons that are attached together. An easy way to up the ante even further is to be Multi-Armed and Dangerous. Any fighting style with multiple weapons may be a manifestation of Heroic Ambidexterity.
Subtropes include: <!—index—>
- Guns Akimbo, for dual-wielding firearms.
- Sword and Gun, for wielding a bladed weapon in one hand and a firearm in the other, rather than two bladed weapons or two firearms.
- Anime & Manga
- Fan Works
- Live-Action TV
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
- Western Animation
- Real Life
- BoBoiBoy: BoBoiBoy Lightning often wields two lightning swords at once, same goes for his Next Tier Power Ups. In the sequel series, BoBoiBoy Thunderstorm gets a double-bladed lightning sword which can split in the middle for him to interchangeably wield them as two swords or as one.
- In Happy Heroes, Careful S. typically wields two swords, both his friend Kalo morphed into them, when battling villains.
- The vicious cleaner robot Janitoor can wield two sizeable toilet brushes simultaneously. Talk about fighting dirty.
- Ninjamera carries a pair of katanas and sometimes wields them simultaneously.
- Bill & Ted Go To Hell: When he finds that Napoleon has Missy, De Nomolos immediately grabs a sword and a flaming spear.
- Deadpool frequently wields dual blades of various sorts. He generally has two katanas strapped to his back, which he can use together, but also varies it up with a katana-and-sai combination (e.g. that Cable & Deadpool cover with Deadpool and Spider-man) or pretty much anything around. Usually he's got at least three to four blades on him at any time, along with the guns, grenades, and other various weaponry. (The cover of Wolverine #88 shows him skewering Wolverine with both katanas.)
- In his self-titled video game, Deadpool dual-wields katanas, sai, and even ''sledgehammers''.
- Die: Matt eventually grabs the Maul of Rage to wield in addition to the Sword of Grief. The weapons point out that this has never happened before — no Emotion Knight has ever tried to wield multiple weapons at once, in the entire history of Die.
- Johan De Rode Ridder is capable of doing this (and at one point remarks that he is ambidexterous), but he tends to prefer sword and shield, as is befitting his Knight in Shining Armor personality. His squire Chuk and some of his enemies have also done this on occasion, and Johan once remarked that such people must be very skilled to pull it off.
- Elektra, from Marvel Comics' Daredevil, dual-wields sais, though, as mentioned above, they are traditionally dual-wielded.
- In G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel), Rock n' Roll dual-wields twin gatlings◊. How the recoil doesn't knock him over is anyone's guess.
- Groo the Wanderer: The titular character fights with two katanas, one in each hand.
- Hybrid Force: Thorn's primary weapons are his two katanas.
- In the Shadow of Dragons: Evina wields twin royal rapiers.
- In Rat Queens, Violet and Betty both dual-wield. Violet has twin wakizashis as a backup weapon, Betty uses daggers.
- Miho in Sin City often uses a katana in concert with a wakizashi.
- 'Shorty' the dwarf in Skullkickers wields two axes. Sometimes he uses only one, with the other as a back-up in case the first gets stuck in a guy; other times he just uses both at once. The axes in question are small hatchets, quite realistic for either purpose.
- In Supergirl (2011) issue #10 "Rescue", Supergirl wields two swords simultaneously while fighting the Black Banshee in a Battle in the Center of the Mind.
- In The Supergirl from Krypton (2004), Gillotina uses two twin blades.
- In Arrowverse tie-in comic Adventures of Supergirl #3, Kara Zor-El wields twin sabers during a battle in a snowy dreamscape.
- All of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles except Donatello dual-wield their respective weapons.
- The titular character of Usagi Yojimbo carries both a katana and a wakizashi, though he frequently just wields the longer sword two-handed.
- In V for Vendetta, V's main weapons are multiple knives. He combines these with "fancy karate gimmicks" and superhuman abilities (thanks to a bunch of experiments performed on him by the government he now seeks to overthrow).
- Aarik of White Sand wields two sabres.
- Nightcrawler from X-Men is known as a swashbuckler being able to dual-wield sabers. He can even triple wield when using his tail to hold a dagger or even a rapier. That being said, he's literally got superhuman agility and acrobatic ability. The unique shape of his feet (with prehensile toes) means he has, on occasion, quadruple wielded, using his superhuman agility for all it's worth.
- The six-armed X-Men villainess Spiral. Predictably, she wields six swords, usually of varying lengths.
- The short-time X-Man Marrow also is known for her tendency to dual-wield her self-made knives or clubs.
- During the battle scene in the later half of Beowulf (2007), soldiers are seen dual-wielding axes.
- The Book of Life:
- Manolo and Joaquin both wear two swords on their backs, and the former uses his at least once.
- Chakal has two BFS... that are shark-shaped.
- Queen Victoria in The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists uses two katanas during a fight scene.
- In Princess Mononoke, Lady Eboshi uses a sword and a hairpin in her fight with San. And it works.
- The Steam Engines of Oz: When the lions and the munchkins take on Oz's army, Four-Star Badass Sir Blackburn charges Magnus weilding an elctro-sword in each hand.
- Archie Andrews is able to wield both his own and his father's Keyblades in the Interstitial: Actual Play one-shot A Touch of Evil.
- Sable, seen in promotions such as CMLL, had a gimmick revolving around swords (no, his enthusiasm does not extend to the ring, his bare hands are enough for that) and would swing around two different kinds.
Hamlet: What's his weapon?
Osric: Rapier and dagger.
Hamlet: That's two of his weapons.
- Remarkably enough, Mufasa and later Simba in the theatrical version of The Lion King use double swords during fights, a stylized representation of their claws.
- In the second play, Yumemigusa, Rui and Kakeru dual-wielded tantou (short katana).
- In the fifth play, Rabbits Kingdom, Arata, as Prince Aoi's knight, dual-wielded scimitars.
- In the sixth play, Kurenai Enishi, Iku and You dual wielded katana.
- The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad show at Universal's Islands of Adventure has a scene where both Sindbad and one of the evil minions are battling each other with two swords in each hand.
- BIONICLE: Present on many characters, mostly Toa.
- The original six Toa had one weapon each, but with their Nuva upgrade all of them suddenly wielded one weapon in each hand. Kopaka takes the prize here: because his original form already carried a shield as well, his new weapon form thus meant that he had a Double Weapon in one hand and the upgraded shield in his other!
- The focus on Dual Wielding and Double Weapon continued into the Metru line of Toa, where Vakama was the only one to carry a single weapon (though it was a projectile launcher to make up for it). In their mutated forms, they were all Dual Wielding again.
- The next few years began putting more focus on projectile weapons, thus having everyone start using the Sword and Gun setup instead, with at least some of the villains taking this trope to its logical conclusion and carrying two blades plus a gun. Kongu, however, took a slightly more realistic route and at least threw away his newly transformed melee weapon so he could carry two Cordak missile launchers instead.
- The NERF N-Force Vendetta, which falls into the realm of Double Weapon when the two blades are attached.
- The Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen Voyager Bludgeon gets this right on the "one large one small" weapon front: he's a skeleton samurai robot who has a huge freaking katana and a smaller wakizashi. He also has a sheathe for each.
- Madeleine in The Confines of the Crown dual-wields daggers and apparently knows some tricks to disarm people with them.
- Demonbane often dual-wields its magic guns, Cthugha and Ithaqua. Kuzaku from the sequel has dual-wielding as his primary gimmick: he's either dual-wielding Cthugha and Ithaqua or the twin magic blades Lloigar and Zhar. His Badass Nickname further references it: Two-Swords/Two-Guns.
- Fate/stay night: The most natural style of Emiya Shirou, so natural that he was able to become proficient at it by simply watching Archer use it in battle.
- Highly prevalent across the Madness Combat series, but the only one who's ever seen doing it with any degree of effectiveness is Hank. Some mooks try, but they usually still get mowed down before they can fire.
- Many characters in RWBY wield two weapons:
- Ren's weapon Storm flower is always dual-wielded.
- Cinder's bow can turn into two swords.
- Sun's staff transforms into nunchucks and dual guns.
- Emerald uses a pair of convertible revolver-sickles
- And many more...
- In Unforgotten Realms, Rob is fond of having his character "Sir Schmoopy of Awesometon" dual-wield nunchacku. As the game he's playing is a parody of Dungeons & Dragons this means, of course, he takes fairly serious penalties (his character isn't even specced to use nunchacku, much less dual-wield them). To his DM's chagrin, however, he often rolls 20s.
- Blood and the Stars has Krieger Martel, who dual wields two swords.
- Dice Funk: Rinaldo dual-wields morningstars. While this would normally be illegal in 5th Edition D&D without the Dual Wielding Feat, Leon uses the stats of a weaker weapon to allow for it.
- In The Gamer's Alliance, Ismail, Khalid and Vaetris all dual-wield swords.
- Iron Liz has herself a nice pair of breasts, I mean swords!
- Artist John Su has created a Dual Dual Wielder Wielder A guy that dual-wields his sisters who in turn dual-wield swords and guns.
- Lindybeige, meanwhile, makes some points regarding the practical issues with dual wielding (and why it doesn't actually simply let you hit twice as often) in real life here.
- Arthéon uses two swords between the guild's termination of the second floor of the Galamadribyak tower and finding Sourcelame.
- Omega Zell goes through a pair of katars, two different-sized blades (a shortsword and a dagger) and a pair of katanas.
- Early appearances of Decklan had him use a pair of katars (he's currently using a single katana).
- Non-Player Character Saly Asigar from the novels uses a pair of high-tech whip-like weapons.
- Non-Player Character General Helkazard from the novels uses a couple of large swords, which, according to their description, would each probably have to be used with two hands by anyone else.
- Enriqueta-2856's fighting style takes a hint from King Bradley in the v4 of Open Blue. From v2, Janice Cervantes.
- Ktk, the titular bug in Pay Me, Bug!, has three prehensile tails that are each strong enough to pick up a full-grown human. Its favorite tactic during a melee is to triple-wield its enemies.
- Done briefly in Survival of the Fittest, where after the machete-wielding Andrew Klock is wounded with a corkscrew in his fight with Cole Hudson he pulls it out of himself and attacks Cole with both weapons, eventually lodging the corkscrew in an artery.
- Post-Mission That Dude in the Suede with his katana in one hand, and the sheath in the other.