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Everyone Is Armed

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Andy Wainwright: Yeh do know that there are more guns in the country than there are in the city?
Andy Cartwright: Ev'rybody and their mums is packin' round there.
Nick Angel: ...Like who?
Wainwright: Farmers.
Nick: Who else?
Cartwright: Farmer's mums.

A crowd of people (patrons in a bar, customers in line at the bank, worshipers in church, etc.), are all armed to the teeth, down to the old lady with a walker, the nun, and the clown with the balloons. Like Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting, only with guns, swords, knives, brass knuckles, etc. In other words, a crowd where everyone's a Badass Bystander.

Virtually a given in all Zombie Apocalypse scenarios, Westerns, and libertarian utopias, and frequently the case with Eagleland, Crapsack Worlds, World of Badass, Wretched Hives and people who are Crazy-Prepared or Had to Be Sharp. When someone makes the mistake of threatening these people not knowing how well-prepared for trouble they are, it's a case of Mugging the Monster (which frequently leads to More Dakka and Multiple Gunshot Death). When there are two separate rival or enemy groups, it's the setup for a Mexican Standoff, which may lead to a Blast Out. This trope sometimes averts Guns in Church, when ordinarily it would be spectacularly inappropriate to carry weapons.

Compare Booked Full of Mooks, where someone meets the villain in a supposedly neutral public place, only to have it turn out that all the bystanders are really the villain's Mooks.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Given the kind of town it is, it's hardly surprising that pretty much everyone in Black Lagoon's Roanapur is packing, including the nuns. Especially the nuns.
  • The premise of Burst Angel is that the Japanese government has had to allow the private possession of firearms in the breakdown of civil order following a mega-earthquake and the rise of marauding criminal gangs.
  • A non-gun variant happens in Gate. The city of Rondel is dedicated towards the study and perfection of Magic within the Special Region, when it was found out that an assassination was going to be attempted on one of the most promising upcoming Mages' Lelei La Lelena during her presentation, all of the Sorcerers, Wizards, Witches, and Apprentices that were attending the presentation unloaded spellfire on the would-be assassin just as she was about to strike Lelei down.
  • One of the countries Kino visits in Kino's Journey has practically every citizen visibly armed. This is because murder is legalized in this country, so citizens are armed as to both act as a form a deterrence to each other, as well as eliminate potential threats to their community, as it is shown that they swiftly execute a newcomer who intended to take advantage of the legalized murder to go on a killing spree.
  • The antagonist of the first episode of the Miami Guns anime attempted to rob a bank at gunpoint. Literally the only person in that building that wasn't armed was the three-month old baby he later takes as a hostage. If he wasn't wearing a bomb vest that would have been a pretty short episode.
  • Played with in an early episode of Pokémon: The Original Series. Team Rocket holds up a store for materials they need to make explosives for their inevitable betrayal of the Squirtle Squad using a G-rated rocket launcher. Later, Ash shows up at the same store looking for a super potion to heal Pikachu, only to find both the shopkeeper and all of the customers packing heat. Fortunately, the local Officer Jenny calms everyone down.
  • Trigun:
    • In the third episode, Vash stands up to a group robbing the bank. A few other people slowly stand with him before the entire town begins bringing out their guns. The only people who don't have guns are Vash and the gunsmith (who, as the guy who supplied guns to all of the townspeople in an attempt to invocate this trope for the sake of safety, ended up utterly horrified when a guy used one of his guns to attempt a very bloody theft anyway).
    • A couple of other episodes afterwards showcase that Vash's 60 Billion Double-Dollar bounty means that when someone in a city identifies him and there's no issue of the week (yet) to fix, there are absolutely no stops to what people will do to try to capture him. As in shooting at him with rocket launchers and dismissing the destruction as "eh, the bounty will cover it". This ends up illustrating how much of a Crapsack World Planet Gunsmoke is and how out of place Vash's pacifist beliefs are: people are armed and are still highly desperate because Crooks Are Better Armed... and then there's the Gung-Ho Guns...

    Comic Books 
  • In the Anvilicious Batman: Seduction of the Gun Tim Drake infiltrates a high school in Gotham for about three days where supposedly over 95% of the student body carries a gun on campus, and every member of the small clique of non-gun users he starts to befriend has been shot at some point or other. Unsurprisingly two kids are shot and killed right in front of him before he's done at the school.
  • Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire has the planet New Hong Kong, where this is the norm thanks to the planet's only law being "There Shall Be No Law". Even EMTs whose job it is to help people who've been shot go armed.
    • Specifically happens in the graphic novel PSmIth, when an assassin makes the mistake of drawing a weapon and telling a crowd to get out of his line of fire:
    "On any planet other than New Hong Kong, it might have worked."
    "But you just don't DO that here."
    • Also New Hong Kong is invaded in the uncollected short story "Field of Screams"; it goes very badly for the invaders
  • The adult humor comic Cherry #3 includes a parody of slasher filmsnote  in which Cherry is attacked by a maniac killer. Fortunately she and her friends are all armed, and the maniac is pulverized by gunfire.
  • The Couriers As the main entry puts it: The series is set in an NYC where bicycle couriers routinely carry Uzis and running gunfights down the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway attract little police interest.
  • In the Disney Comics story "Minuteman Mickey", a Hessian mercenary who thinks he can terrorize the entire city of Boston all by himself finds himself facing a solid wall of muskets and bayonets (especially funny because we can't even see who's wielding the guns) and promptly runs back to his balloon and flies back to England.
  • The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers #5 has a one-page story "Violence On The Bus", where a panic leads to at least half the people on a bus drawing firearms and shooting.
  • In the KnightsQuest story arc of Batman, a pair of criminals decide to crash a gun show to steal a special weapon that is being displayed. When they make their move, one panel shows the shocked reactions of the convention goers. The next panel shows them grinning ear-to-ear as they all pull out their own firearms.
  • In Robocop Versus The Terminator, we get yet another glimpse of how much of a Crapsack World Detroit has become when two Terminators appear in the middle of a hockey match and every single person on the stands pulls out a handgun in a rage. All that this does, after some off-screen carnage, is give the Terminators a shiny new bunch of guns to terminate with.

    Fan Works 
  • Ambience: A Fleet Symphony In the city of Mobile, all adults are automatically enrolled as members of the militia/posse comitatus, and consequently are expected to be armed.
  • Battle Fantasia Project, Italian remake: An amusing scene in a side story shows that the Invaders' (aliens who multiply when hit by explosions and fire but vulnerable to kinetic weapons like normal guns) first attempt to open a portal between their world and Earth failed miserably because it took place in Texas, where everyone carries a gun.
  • In the Babylon 5/Robotech crossover The Battle for Narn, the codex explains that almost the entire adult population of Earth carries a gun, and being gifted receiving an assault rifle (often an old Kalashnikov that the family keeps from the Robotech Wars era) is actually a rite of passage for young adults. This is a consequence of everyone getting at least one firearm in the almost anarchy periods following the Rain of Death and the Invid Invasion to the point that government efforts would have been extremely long and expensive, the many firearms actually helping holding back the unarmoured Tirolian infantry at the end of the Second Robotech War, and modern Robotech body armour being impervious to normal bullets (armour-piercing bullets and high-powered energy weapons are another matter, but those are highly regulated).
  • The Kronicals of Rebecca Swansin: Everyone is armed — Every. Single. Person.
  • Service with a Smile: Jaune's cafe is the local haunt for hunters and huntresses so naturally everyone is carrying a weapon, with the most tame example being a pair of women with a pistol and knife. Eventually Jaune invests in wall hooks and weapon racks for them to hang their weapons on rather than simply leaning them against a wall.
  • In Win The Game, a variation of the Battle Royale scenario, all the involuntary participants are equipped at random. Sometimes with a weapon, sometimes with a non-offensive but useful item, and sometimes with an apparently useless object.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Rango, the title character asks if anyone has guns to contribute, and they all pull out multiples, even the cute little mole girl.
  • In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, everyone on Alchemax's staff happens to bring suitcases that transform into laser cannons with them to their lunch breaks. Cue chase scene as Peter and Miles flee for their lives.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Played for Laughs in Airplane! when a Hysterical Woman has a panic attack when it appears that the plane is going to crash. Leslie Nielsen begins slapping her, but then is interrupted by a stewardess, who takes over and resumes the slapping. The stewardess is in turn interrupted by a nun, and then she begins to slap the woman mercilessly. We then pan alongside an absurdly long line of passengers, all of them wielding increasingly deadly weapons with which to assault the poor woman.
  • Also Played for Laughs in Airplane II: The Sequel when a hospitalized Ted Stryker is giving his life story to Dr. Stone. At one point Stryker stops and tells Dr. Stone there was more to his life story but he'd be bored. At that point every other patient, doctor, and orderly in the psychiatric ward pulls out firearms and when Dr. Stone tells Stryker to keep going everyone else promptly shoot themselves.
  • In Blazing Saddles, this was the reception Sheriff Bart received upon entering Rock Ridge for the first time. Even the school marm was packing!
  • In the 1985 Chuck Norris movie Code of Silence, two armed robbers attempt to hold up the bar where all the off-duty cops hang out. It does not go well.
  • In Deadpool (2016), when Francis and Angel Dust burst into Weasel's bar to shake him down for intel on Wade. This being a mercenary bar, as soon as Angel Dust lays hands on Weasel, the entire clientele pulls guns on them.
  • Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead: Averted, when some Americans are facing a horde of undead Nazi soldiers in Norway. Accustomed to being able to buy shotguns and hunting rifles in any sporting goods store, they are appalled at the lack of available firearms.
  • Death Wish V: The Face of Death has a scene where a kid with a message runs inside a church that's holding a funeral service. Since the service is for a mafia member, the church is filled with jumpy criminals who pull a gun on the kid when he comes inside.
  • In Deep in the Valley, Lance and Dick chase Lester Carl into Busta Nutt's party and pull guns on them. Then everyone at the party turns round, pulls out a weapon, and points it at them. Including one girl who pulls a bazooka from behind her back.
  • In Fast Five, Dom reminds Hobbs that they are no longer in the United States and states "this is Rio". Suddenly everyone in the crowd pulls out a gun.
  • In Hot Fuzz, the two detective Andy's argue with newcomer Nickolas Angel about suspecting everyone of murder because everyone in the countryside is packing when Angel is criticizing their lackadaisical attitude towards suspecting people of committing crimes. Sure enough, during the final confrontation, half the town owns a gun.
    Andy: Around here, everyone and their mums is packing.
    Angel: Like who?!
    Andy: Farmers...
    Angel: Who else?
    Andy: ...Farmers' mums.
    • Sure enough, the first civilian to show owning a firearm is a farmer. And the second civilian to show owning a piece? His mum.
  • Last Action Hero, the funeral scene where all the mourners — including grannies and nuns — whip out firearms.
  • This is a major plot point in Lightning Jack. In the film's main town every citizen is not only armed, but officially deputized and with an effective watch system. While this does prove effective against most gangs, it also makes their bank awful tempting for any outlaws who want to build a real reputation...
  • In Little World of Don Camillo, about everyone in town owns a gun including the local priest don Camillo (who has a military-issue rifle and a submachinegun at home, and is alleged to have a mortar hidden somewhere) and the mayor Peppone (who owned a large arsenal before don Camillo set it on fire (and stole a submachinegun from it), and in a later movie is shown to have a tank). Justified, as the movie is set shortly after World War II and those who have guns are former partisans who still kept their weapons (and the tank is a war residuate that was found abandoned in the last days of the war, with Peppone and his group recovering and repairing it).
  • In the James Bond movie The Living Daylights, all the servants, kitchen staff and groundskeepers in the Big Fancy House used by British Intelligence to house a high-ranking Soviet defector are armed guards. That doesn't stop The Dragon from tearing through them, though Green Four gives him some trouble before he's subdued.
  • Looper: Due to the fact that in the future world, almost anyone can be killed with little consequence.
  • McLintock!: Dealing with an angry farmer and his fellow farmers, McLintock is quick to advise his employee who had gone out riding with the farmer's daughter to not draw his piece given how just about everyone in the area is armed.
    McLintock: The important thing is that you don't draw that hog-leg, or this'll be worse than Dodge City on Saturday night!
  • Referenced in Miss Congeniality. After Gracie tackles a guy in the crowd thinking he was a shooter (he was reaching for his lighter and a cigarette), she tries to defend her actions by pointing out the man did have a gun. The response is: "Of course he had a gun! This is Texas, everyone has a gun! My florist has a gun!"
  • The Naked Gun:
    • In the first film, Nordberg takes about five minutes to break down the door to arrest a boatload of villains. He finally gets through the door but everyone in the cabin already has their hardware out and pointed at him.
    • In Naked Gun 33⅓, Rocko and company tunnel out of prison into a Los Angeles high school, where every student opens fire on them, including one with an M60 machine gun.
  • Petticoat Planet: When Steve attempts to leave town against the sheriff's orders, the sheriff stands in his way and points a gun at him. Steve responds by pulling a high-tech weapon and telling her to get out of the way before he burns a hole in her. There is a sound of multiple gun cocks from behind him, and when he turns around, he discovers that every woman in town is standing there holding a gun on him. Steve quickly drops his weapon and attempts a lame "Just Joking" Justification.
  • In Predator 2, several people in a subway car draw guns in response to an attempted robbery, including the two cops who happen to be there at the time. Unfortunately, since this happens at the same time the Predator was stalking the subway car, all this achieved was adding more potential targets for him to hunt. Still, at least no-one was robbed.
  • The President's Analyst is cracking up under the pressure of his job — he meets his girlfriend Nan in a hotel cocktail lounge and rants madly about spies out to get him. When she urges him to get help he snaps out of it, thinks about how he sounds, and then puts it to the test. He loudly fakes getting shot and crumples to the floor. A moment later he opens his eyes and laughs triumphantly as everyone in the room is on their feet holding a gun...then is horrified to see Nan is too — then he wakes up.
  • The Punisher (1989): a high-level Mafioso meeting turns out to be a Bystander Mooks ambush.
  • In RoboCop 3, a truly stupid crook picks the wrong doughnut shop to attempt to rob.
    Cashier: [as every laser sight in the shop centers on the crook] What's it like being a rocket scientist?
  • Star Wars:
    • During the escape from the Death Star in A New Hope, Han Solo chases a small group of Stormtroopers right into a room full of MORE Stormtroopers. In the Special Edition, Lucas turns it up to 11 by making the room an entire Hangar full of Imperials.
    • In The Force Awakens, all of the people in Lor San Tekka's village on Jakku and Maz Kanata's bar on Takodana are armed with blasters. So when the First Order rolls in, the whole area turns into a war-zone.
  • The Thin Man sequel ""The Thin Man Goes Home'': Before giving The Summation, Nick wants everyone searched for weapons, despite his father's protestations the small-town folks wouldn't be packing. Most are.
  • William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet updates the play by recasting the Montagues and Capulets as warring mafia empires in a fictional California city. Naturally, most of the principles are always armed. Even the poster for the movie plays this up.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes: When Holmes and Watson show a Blow Gun to the proprietor of the Lower Nile Tavern, he starts screaming "Rame-Temp!" Cue everyone else in the bar drawing weapons on Holmes and Watson.

  • Across the Great Barrier: In an alternate North America inhabited by both pleistocene and magical fauna, going armed is indispensable anywhere beyond the protected frontier.
  • In Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code, Artemis and Butler walk into the bystander Mooks version.
  • In the The Bible's book of Nehemia, the Jews want to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. They encounter such stiff opposition that all of the workers carry a weapon, and for half of them their sole job is to be a walking armory.
    From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail... Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built.
  • A Brother's Price Captain Tern (correctly) predicts that this is so for the famous, infamous Whistler family, saying that the girls were probably given gun-shaped teething toys as babies, and their first actual rifles starting at age eight.
    • When Jerin and some of his sisters arrive at the palace, they're required to disarm. Security is astonished to find that even Jerin has both a derringer and a knife, since in this world, men do not normally carry weapons, instead relying on their mothers/sisters/wives to protect them.
  • The novel The Call of the Wild is set in the Klondike Gold Rush, and one chapter mentions in passing:
    "Then three or four western bad men aspired to clean out the town, were riddled like pepper-boxes for their pains, and public interest turned to other idols".
  • In Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, even the math nerds are armed — not too surprisingly since they're involved in a top-secret encryption program.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels
    • Feet of Clay has a bunch of robbers burst into a tavern frequented by the City Guard: "As their eyes grew accustomed to the gloom, they received a general impression of armorality, with strong overtones of helmetness." They try to take a hostage, but make a poor choice.
    • In Hogfather there is an attempt to coerce cooperation out of the patrons of Biers. This was also a poor choice, as everyone there who isn't armed doesn't need to be.
    • It's a fundamental part of Dwarf culture to carry battleaxes on principle, and even their pickaxes have an axe on the other side just in case. In Raising Steam, an attack on a wedding was less than successful precisely because one of the Dwarven guests had come formally dressed, which to a non-dwarf would look like he was getting ready for war instead, complete with plate armor.
  • Everyone in Domina City from the web-novel Domina is armed one way or another. Guns are the most common, but there are also people with bio-augmented Super-Strength, poison fangs, and weirder things. Adam decides to buy a gun on his first day in the city, and he's given a whole case full shortly after. Even Derek, who Doesn't Like Guns, has a gun, he just usually doesn't bring it with him. It was a gift from his mother when he was a teenager. No one seems to find this odd.
  • In the Eldraeverse nearly everyone in the Empire of the Star carries a gun and possibly a sword too. Not to mention that the Precursors decided to implant the eldrae with self-replicating vector control effectors enabling them to kill with their minds, if need be.
  • The Dean Koontz novel Frankenstein: Lost Souls: an attempt to begin assimilating the townsfolk en masse at a gathering goes awry when it turns out that almost every adult in town carries a firearm, and the villains encounter significantly more resistance than they had planned on.
  • In Freehold, by Michael Z. Williamson, a thug from a police-state world where average citizens never carry guns tries to rob a gun store on Freehold, a libertarian's utopia. He gets the first shot off because the gun store owner wasn't expecting anyone to pull something that stupid, but then the owner (who was wearing a bulletproof vest) and every other customer in the store open up on him with their own weapons, and he never gets a second shot.
  • Healer by F Paul Wilson. One of the planets in this fictional universe is Flint, basically the Planet of the Anarchist Gun Nuts. Everyone there is armed. Invaders who have been using a portal technology to launch terror raids try this on Flint only to instantly come under fire by everyone they encounter. (Thanks to Der Trihs of the Straight Dope Message Board)
  • Hostile Takeover (Swann) has the planet Bakuninnote  where it's actually considered rude to show up at a formal meeting unarmed.
  • The Icelandic Sagas accurately depict the omnipresence of weapons in Norse society.
  • Journey to Chaos: When Eric arrives in Ataidar, he discovers that everyone carries weapons all the time. When he asks about laws regulating weapons, Siron explains this trope is both necessary and practical. The world is infested with Always Chaotic Evil monsters and beyond that, it is a Fantasy Kitchen Sink with all manner of intelligent creatures with natural weapons (tiger demons and their claws, orcs with their fists, elves with their shapeshifting, etc.). Trying to regulate weapon use among humans is a Sisyphean task. Besides, since combat magic is something anyone can learn out of a book everyone is armed anyways.
  • In the Newsflesh post-Zombie Apocalypse world, it's considered nearly suicidal stupidity to venture out of one's home without at least one gun and/or armed guards. It's not considered at all remarkable for people to even sleep with guns in easy reach.
  • Noob mentions this is quite visibly the case of Piratas Island's population, including children. Fortunately, the island in question is a Fictional Video Game and the protagonists don't do anything that could cause the Non-Player Character population to draw their weapons.
  • The novel The Probability Broach by L. Neil Smith portrays a minarchist society in an alternate history North America, where no one would think of not being armed. The Web Comic version is here.
  • Skylark Series by EE Smith, all the heroes are in the habit of going constantly armed...and need to.
  • Star Trek:
    • The TOS reference work "Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise" states that the refit USS Enterprise carries enough hand phasers to arm every single member of the crew if needed.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: The technical manual for that series states that all officers and crew on the Enterprise are issued hand phasers, and that attached civilians are issued low power variants of the "cricket" phasers seen in the early seasons of the series limited to heavy stun.
  • A running gag in the Stephanie Plum novels is that despite New Jersey's strict gun laws, nearly everyone has illegal firearms. The bond office's collateral storeroom is a virtual armory.
  • In Victoria, this is true for everyone in the Confederation, which takes the right to keep and bear arms very seriously. Except the women, since guns are unfeminine, so most families discourage them from going about armed.
  • Voyage From Yesteryear by James P. Hogan. Among the many ways the anarchist Chironians differ from the second wave of colonists from authoritarian Earth is the ubiquitous possession of guns.
  • In Wearing the Cape: Team-Ups and Crossovers, Chicago has become this in one of the alternate universes Astra tumbles through, with every civilian in sight openly carrying handguns. It turns out that this is the aftermath of what would have happened if she hadn't stopped the missile in Omega Night.
  • In Fritz Leiber's "X Marks the Pedwalk"note  everyone and his dog has a weapon because society has degenerated into armed warfare between Walkers (pedestrians) and Wheelers (motorists).

    Live-Action TV 
  • The opening scenes of Burn Notice shows Michael running away from the bad guys which involves a car chase through busy streets. When they stop and pull guns on him, however, about two dozen bystanders whip out firearms of their own, allowing Michael to escape. Michael lampshades this by noting Nigeria as the "gun running capital" of Africa, and that it wasn't a good place to have a car chase.
  • When the magic disappears in Charmed (1998), Phoebe and Paige agree to meet with a demon to discuss possible solutions, selecting a public place to ensure the demon won't attack and break the Masquerade. Unfortunately for them, the demons bribed or otherwise scared off the Muggle patrons, and they've armed themselves to the teeth to take advantage of the Charmed Ones losing their powers. Unfortunately for the demons, "Everyone Is Armed" includes said Charmed Ones.
  • Played for Laughs in Community in the espionage paintball episode. Jeff tries to confirm that no-one in the study group is involved in the underground paintball game and they all deny that they are. When Chang tries to attack thinking they're unarmed the entire group pulls out guns and shoots him.
  • In one episode of Criminal Minds, the team is surveilling George Foyet's apartment. When Hotch decides to make his move, the team runs from their position across the street, and every person they pass turns out to be an undercover FBI agent who joins the raid, from the tourists consulting their map to the homeless man to the young parents cooing over their (empty) baby stroller. There's not a single civilian in sight.
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: In episode 3, the titular duo pay a visit to the crime-ridden East Asian city of Madripoor. Sure enough, everyone is openly packing, even carrying assault rifles inside a bar.
  • The Fall (2013): Unlike other British territorial police forces, all officer of the PSNI routinely carry firearms due to the higher levels of gun violence present in Northern Ireland. Even Gibson is issued with one, despite only being a visiting representative from the Met, who don't carry guns (aside from their armed response teams). The criminals also far more often have guns, with a police officer even being killed by one in the pilot (hence the police being armed). Many are former terrorists who've taken up regular crime after the Troubles ended, so civilians and police are far more likely to get shot in the province than the British mainland.
  • Fortitude, set in the arctic island of Svalbard, where the ever-present threat of polar bear attack means everyone has a rifle. Which makes solving a murder mystery difficult for a visiting police detective.
  • Hill Street Blues. The police run an investigation in a diner, and all of the staff are cops we know, undercover. So when a gang of holdup men burst into the diner, it's no surprise to us that the waiters all pull their guns.
  • Season Three Episode Fourteen of Lois & Clark "Tempus, Anyone?" had a parallel Earth (reflecting some obvious anti-gun views on the part of the writers) where Charlton Heston had become president and EVERYONE was armed, generally with assault rifles and sub-machineguns and contrary to actual NRA views would pull them out at a moment's notice.
  • Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, one of Syfy's original films. There was a scene at an outdoor function that the gators / pythons attacked, and as soon as the attack began, everyone (including the waiters) was suddenly packing heat, and laid down a torrent of lead.
  • The History Channel reality show Pawn Stars. Lampshaded heavily in the pitch reel for the show, but downplayed with the actual series.
  • In an episode of Psych, mobsters try to attack Lassiter and Marlowe's wedding. Everyone, including the groom, draw their weapons and gun them down before continuing with the ceremony.
  • As pictured above, this trope appears in Reno 911!: Miami, where Dangle fires a gun to quiet a rap party and all of the participants pull out and aim their guns at him and Junior.
  • A 1986 made-for-TV movie The Right of the People, depicting a small town that enacts a law lifting all restrictions on public carry of firearms, with decidedly mixed results.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: A terminally stupid Changeling infiltrator attacks Odo in a meeting hall on a Klingon Starbase filled with heavily armed Klingons in the episode "Apocalypse Rising, exposing himself as a Changeling. This results in the Changeling getting shot continuously by the assembled Klingons until he explodes.
  • The TV series Turks's pilot episode featured an attempted robbery of a cop bar.


  • Welcome to Night Vale, a parody of community radio set in a small town inundated by the paranormal. Even the elementary school students are armed. Granted, this is practically a necessity for survival in Night Vale. (Especially for the elementary school students.)

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Inverted in pro wrestling, where nobody is armednote  — not even (in Kayfabe) the security guards — instead having to rely on Good Old Fisticuffs. This allows the heels to get away with all sorts of atrocities, seize control of the arena, and even take their brawls outside the arena and out into the street. (It also explains why most characters flee in terror from The Undertaker instead of just shooting him in the head Night of the Living Dead-style.) In fact, on only one occasion has a firearm ever been used on Monday Night Raw, and that was during an "off-camera" segment.

  • The Coalition Of Ponyist States, a RP group on the NationStates forums inspired by My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. One of the Ponyist states, The Theocratic Hobbiest Republican Empire, a.k.a. The Hobbiests, is a formerly apocalyptic wasteland settled by religious outcasts and right-wing nutjobs. Everyone Is Armed? You bet.
  • Pandora: Take beings from multiple alternate realities, dump into a confined region, and stir. Being as deadly as possible is a prerequisite for survival.
  • Rise of Kings: as the main article puts it:
    "Within 5 minutes a smart player can have enough swords to build the iron throne."
  • Sburb Patch Notes, a roll play/play by post site based on the webcomic (now increasingly and self-referentially multi-media) Homestuck. For the characters involved, having a weapon is a built-in stat required by the very universe-game they inhabit.
  • Systems Malfunction: Everyone has, or IS, a weapon.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Cyberpunk: You'd either have to be rich or suicidal to walk the streets of Night City unarmed.note  As violence is so pervasive in the world, Word of God says that people have developed a daily routine where they load their guns before exiting their homes.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: by the Fifth Edition rules' exact wording, every human being who doesn't have Class Levels will automatically have something on-hand to hit you with.
  • The second rulebook for Hc Svnt Dracones thought it necessary to tell players that they couldn't carry lethal weapons openly in corporate-controlled areas (read, every city and most towns). And that the only exceptions were anarchic zones such as the Ganymede Mean, where everyone is packing heat.

    Video Games 
  • It should come as little surprise that an awful lot of people in the Borderlands series are armed, given how the game is set on a mostly lawless backwater planet, and that the series is known for its gratuitous, procedurally generated Gun Porn. Quite a few generic townsfolk walk around with guns casually in hand, and almost every named NPC has some sort of special gun to their name (like Hammerlock's large collection of sniper rifles, or Moxxi's elemental Life Drain weapons).
  • Every human villager in Dwarf Fortress is armed with either a knife or a cleaver, down to the children. With some easy, if tedious bit of military management, you can also make sure every last one of your dwarves has a weapon tucked away, which they'll automatically draw if they get in a fight that requires it. This can have its uses, as dwarves occasionally get vengeful and charge the latest threat without you telling them to. That and there aren't that many things in the game that can live through twenty guys with axes piling in.
  • Pretty much the norm in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, where everyone from the local alchemist to the builder down the street probably has an axe or a dagger on them at all times. And given that there's a good chance that either the Civil War, roaming bandits, errant wildlife or even dragons could descend upon your village at any time, it's just logical to do so.
    • Add to the fact that the native population are the Nords, it's not surprising that in addition to being armed, everyone happens to be wearing 24-Hour Armor as well.
  • Fallout:
  • Grand Theft Auto
    • Due to a glitch in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, attacking the golfers at Leaf Links (classed a gang) and then standing on a car would result in the pedestrian running confused into the vehicle for a few seconds before pulling out a pistol and attacking you with it.
    • A cheat code for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas causes all pedestrians to be armed, carrying everything from handguns to RPG-7s. Combine it with the riot cheat, and it becomes an outright warzone.
  • Two notable examples from Hitman:
    • Hitman: Blood Money includes the mission "'Til Death Do Us Part", in which all of the guests, half the guards, the two targets, and the dog (probably) are packing heat. The Blue Crabs who don't have six-shooters have shotguns instead. Of the ~100 NPC's the level has, everyone apart from the bride and the priest carry weapons.
    • Hitman (2016) has Colorado, which has everyone but the five targets and the hackers be armed, which includes the on-site Chef.
  • In Jak 3 everyone in Spargus carries a weapon in sharp contrast to their counterparts in Haven City.
  • In the Mass Effect universe, every Turian is required to serve in the military for some years when they come of age. As a result, every turian household keeps small arms in their home, in case of war or conflict.
  • For some reason, every single person whom you mindhack in Mindjack somehow has a shotgun on them. Even little girls.
  • In Poker Night at the Inventory, should Tycho be the first one eliminated in the tournament, will reach for something in his pocket. This causes the other three players to draw their firearms, but it's revealed he was reaching for a Granola bar. But if you listen closely, there are four gun clicks, implying the player drew a weapon too.
  • In Postal, depending on which game of the series and difficulty setting you're playing, your shooter character lives in a Crapsack World where everyone is trying to kill him back.
  • Star Wars:
    • Knights of the Old Republic: For non-Force sensitives living on Dantooine, a blaster or its equivalent is pretty much required due to the large number of dangerous animals on the planet, some of whom will attack with little or no provocation.
    • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Averted during the Peragus mining facility portion of the game. Most miners and other personnel working on the refinery are strictly prohibited from carrying weapons of any sort given how explosive unrefined Peragian fuel is when exposed to high temperatures, such as those resulting from a blaster shots.
  • Most characters in The Walking Dead are armed out of necessity, whether it be to fend off walkers or defend themselves from anyone attacking them.
  • Westerado: Virtually without exception, every male character in the game has a gun (or a bola. And Indians use tomahawks.), which they will draw if a fight breaks out. Most female characters are also armed with shotguns.

  • A recurring theme in Big Head Press's comics. See the Probability Broach adaptation above:
  • This is pretty much a given in the world of Drowtales, especially in the city of Chel'el'sussoloth, which following a 15 year timeskip is largely embroiled in a civil war. And even before the war the ever present threat of demonic possession meant it was prudent to keep at least a sword at hand in case your family members or friends suddenly started trying to eat your brains.
  • Girl Genius: A Smoke Knight pops into a room where he expects his target Margarella and a helpless young woman with a cat only to find himself faced with a room full of people with hidden weapons that they quickly turn on him. He does not achieve his goal
  • Magick Chicks: Students of Artemis Academy are divided to "Combat Cadets", "Ninja Club", "Magical Cadets" and "Esper Collective". So when a darker Skye crashed a party with a pack of wolves, in the first page a girl screams "Wolves!", everyone backs off and Callista is the only one holding a bow. Once this escalates, though, on the next page they all hold weapons — except Sandi (the only one shaken by this), Cerise (who conjured a tiny lightning ball) and Espers (in their own stances).
  • This page of a Ralph Hayes, Jr. webcomic highlights the brief career of a would-be supervillain.
    "You remember reading about that little town that made it mandatory to own a firearm?"
    "Cedar Springs was the second one to do that."
  • Anywhere outside cities in Suihira, because of the Desert Punk this world is made of.

    Web Original 
  • A gag in ASDF Movie #10 depends on this and the double meaning of the word "draw".
  • The crossover episode "Russian Meal Time" between the web video shows Epic Meal Time and FPSRussia. Apparently guns were necessary tools for the preparation of every dish.
  • In Welcome to Night Vale, the citizens of the titular town. Even the elementary school students. Granted, this is necessary for survival in a place like Night Vale.
  • In Worm, the town of Brockton Bay was an uncontrolled disaster area for several months after the attack of the Endbringer Leviathan. When the protagonist heads back to school afterwards, she notes that one of the main differences between the kids who moved to other cities for the duration and the ones that stayed is that the ones that stayed are having to check their weapons with the gate guards.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Almost Got 'Im", various Batman villains meet in a club and tell tales of how they almost killed Batman once. Turns out one of them is Batman in disguise trying to get critical info. When he reveals this they all pull out guns; but then every patron in the club pulls out a gun pointing at the villains — they were all undercover Gotham police, making this an example of the bystanders being the hero's mooks.
  • In the Family Guy episode, "Death Is a Bitch", when the Drunken Clam patrons discovered they're immortal from gunshots due to Death recuperating from his ankle injury, almost everyone shoots up the place.
  • The Simpsons
    • In the first part of the "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" storyline, every adult in town but Marge and possibly the Mayor is packing heat at the town meeting.
    • It eventually is strongly hinted that Marge does habitually go armed, with the very gun Homer was eventually convinced to stop carrying.
    • Spoofed in the episode that parodied Tom Sawyer. Everyone on a riverboat pulls a derringer on each other at the same time. Then they fire them and the bullets bounce off the windows. Them derringers are weak. Powerful weak.
  • Season 19, Episode 10 of South Park, "PC Principal Final Justice": The main Running Gag for this episode is that absolutely everyone in town has a gun, culminating in a giant Mexican Standoff at a gun show.

    Real Life 
  • In Athens owning a shield and corselet was for a long time a condition for voting.
  • In medieval Europe, everyone carried a knife. This was sharp enough to be used for defense, though the main usage was eating. (You wouldn't be given silverware at the table.)
  • During the Viking Age, men were required by law to own weapons. This made sense as most armies in medieval Scandinavia were made up levies from the population.
    • Similarly, in 1181 King Henry II of England issued the Assize Of Arms, which required every freeman to be armed, with the weapon depending on their wealth. In 1253 this was expanded even to serfs, who were required to be able to answer a summons to arms with at least a dagger and spear.
    • Later, King Henry VIII required every able-bodied man or boy over the age of 14 to own and practice with a longbow for several hours a week (even going as far as to pass laws banning other sports).
  • Some historical social classes, such as gentlemen in Europe and samurai in Japan, carried weapons as a symbol of their station. In Europe, when swords went out of style, walking sticks took over, which were essentially fancy clubs. (Unless they were actually Swordsticks.) Thus, when you were rubbing elbows with the elite, everyone was armed.
  • Sikh men are required by religious law to carry a knife with them at all times. In the 21st century, it's usually a small, ceremonial knife.
  • Enforced in Moldavia under the reign of Stephen the Great, who required that every farmer and villager be armed, so anyone could defend their nation. According to the Polish chronciler, Jan Dlugosz, Anyone who failed to do so was sentenced to death.
  • After Okinawa was conquered by the Japanese in the 17th century and its inhabitants forbidden to own weapons, a martial arts tradition known as Kobudo developed, which featured the use of common implements as improvised weapons. These included staffs, pitchforks, sickles, threshing flails, oars and work gloves, and later specially weaponized versions of the preceding. Thus almost every Okinawan farmer or fisherman who secretly practiced Kobudo went around armed in plain sight.
  • The shillelagh, a quintessential symbol of Ireland, was a traditional fighting club. After the English imposed disarmament of guns and swords with the Irish Penal laws in 1695, the shillelagh became a widely carried "walking stick" that just happened to be well-suited to breaking peoples' heads, especially if it was secretly weighted with lead.
  • The attempt by the James/Younger gang to rob a bank in Northfield, Minnesota in 1876 led to several of the gang members being killed or captured by armed citizens.
  • The attempt by the Dalton gang to rob two banks in Coffeyville Kansas in 1892 ended in a gun battle. It was the last raid the Dalton gang ever made.
  • Back during the 1920s in Texas, bank robberies were alarmingly common, often 3 to 4 heists in a day. In response, the Texas Bankers Association offered up a $5000 (about $68,000 today) reward to anyone who shot a robber during the crime. So whenever a bank got hit the robbers didn't just have to contend with local law enforcement, but also dozens of trigger-happy residents eager to collect on the reward money.
  • The Second Amendment of the United States of America has caused the country to develop a reputation of everyone being trigger-happy gun owners. An (untrue) urban legend that Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said "You cannot invade America. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." exemplifies this.
    • This goes double for the state of Texas, although it wasn't until June of 2021 that the requirement to have a permit to publicly carry was repealed.
    • Western Pennsylvania, of all places, has one of the highest per-capita gun ownership rates in the nation.
    • Guns were also quite common in schools up until the late 20th century, with many schools having had formal gun clubs where students owned and operated working firearms.
    • In the early 21st century, most of the states of the US have passed handgun carry laws that allow most law-abiding citizens with a clean record to obtain a permit to publicly carry a firearm, and going armed has become more common. In some states, a permit is only required to conceal the weapon, you can walk around with your gun on your belt completely legally. There are approximately 19.48 million active concealed carry permits in the U.S. as a whole as of 2020, about 7.5% of the total adult population. Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania each have over a million permit holders. Only eight statesnote  denied carry permits without needing to show cause until 2022, when the Supreme Court ruled in NYSRPA v. Bruen that New York's probable cause law was unconstitutional and the remaining states subsequently dropped their probable cause laws as well.
      • As of April 2023, twenty-seven U.S. statesnote  are "constitutional carry" jurisdictions, in which no permit or license is required to carry a concealed weapon (in some cases only for residents, in most cases for anybody legally entitled to possess a weapon). Most of these states (Vermont being the exception) still issue permits for "reciprocity" purposes (which may be required for their residents to carry in states that require permits but will recognize out-of-state permits.)
    • There are currently more privately-held guns in the United States than there are people in the country. It would be physically impossible to use them all at once.
  • Large areas of the state of Alaska are bear country — grizzly, kodiak and polar. Large caliber handguns are the preferred emergency gun when suddenly attacked by a bear, with the .44 Magnum considered too puny to do the job right.
  • The islands of Svalbard and Franz Josef Land, split between Norway and Russia, are populated by 2,500 people and 3,000 polar bears. Groups leaving the towns on Svalbard are required to have at least one person with a rifle sufficient to shoot a bear if they have to.
  • Pakistan has both a constitutional guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms and a strong social tradition of firearms ownership, especially in rural and tribal areas. Laws vary by province but can include even the possession of heavy military ordinance. See Gun Politics in Pakistan.
  • After the Ma'alot Massacre in Israel in May 1974, a Civil Guard program was established where civilian volunteers could be trained as armed police auxiliaries to keep watch and be on-the-spot responders. Reportedly, so many would-be terrorists were ignominiously killed by such auxiliaries that Hamas switched to bombing instead of using guns in Israel.
    • Although Israel tightened its already strict gun laws in 1995 after the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin, the fact that almost every able-bodied adult is required to undergo a term of military service means that reservists carrying their full-auto assault rifles with them in public is unremarkable.
  • Kennesaw, Georgia famously passed an ordinance in 1982 actively requiring most heads of households there to possess a gun and ammunition (done as a response to a handgun ban in the Chicago suburb of Morton Grove, Illinois).
    • However, the exceptions listed in the law include what amounts to "people who don't want to own firearms," making the law essentially "everybody who wants to do so and is able to do so must do so."
    • Nelson, Georgia passed a similar law in April 2013, although it was admitted that the law is mostly symbolic. Other cities that have passed similar laws include Virgin, Utah and Nucla, Colorado (which also doesn't actively enforce said law).
  • Just prior to The Chechnya Wars following the fall of the Soviet Union, the Chechen capital of Grozny was inundated with weapons by the Russian mafia and smugglers since the rogue republic became a hot bed of criminal activity. This was facilitated by the Russian Federation in hopes of arming pro-Moscow Chechens into overthrowing the dictator Dzokhar Dudayev, but by the time the war started, the Chechens turned their weapons on the invading Russians.
  • Every few years another incident makes the news in which crooks attempt armed robbery in places where multiple off-duty police officers happen to be.
    • One notable example involves the robber robbing a bank branch in New York, directly under the FBI's office, on payday.
    • There have been notable examples of inept criminals trying to rob bars or restaurants frequented by off-duty police (which, in many places, tend to be frequented by few others). There has also been at least one example of rather cleverer criminals staging an apparently stupid attempt to rob such, then a second group arriving after the obvious happens, posing as another, unfamiliar group of police. The second group of criminals then attempt to trick the real police in the establishment out of their guns to conduct a real robbery.
    • There's also been at least one instance of an attempted robbery at a fast-food place with a large number of police officers there as customers, such as on lunch break from a training seminar.
    • Exaggerated in the retelling, but there's also the time a robber tried to rob a Gun Store , complete with an off-duty cop who had parked his car in front of the store. With predictable results.
    • Two robbers attempted to rob a McDonald's in France. Said McDonald's had 11 off duty GIGN officers in it. Needless to say, they didn't make it far.
    • Every so often, a shooter will attempt to attack a church in the American South and finds out the hard way that a good number of small town churchgoers typically carry their weapons to church.
  • Speaking of, this is why you never ever ever rob a gun store. It's outright guaranteed that every employee in that store is packing heat, that they have something pretty heavy under the counter waiting for wannabe crooks, and that the employees are experienced and seasoned firearm handlers who are pretty quick on the draw, aren't intimidated by guns, and are probably a hell of a lot better of a shot than you are. And that's the employees; it's safe to assume at least a couple of the customers have and make full use of the local equivalent to Concealed Carry. Every so often you hear about someone who ended up as nothing more than a perforated puddle on the floor after attempting to rob a gun store.
  • According to Defense Distributed's founder Cody Wilson, the decision to focus their organization's efforts on producing firearms was to deliberately choose an object that would exemplify the potential of 3D-printing to bypass authoritarian efforts to limit access to certain objects, doing for physical objects what the printing press did for books and by extension for freedom of thought and speech
  • At the West Freeway Church of Christ shooting in White Settlement, Texas on December 29, 2019, the shooter was killed by an armed parishioner. Security video shows between 7 and 10 people pulling out guns, making this also a literal example of Guns in Church.


Video Example(s):


SPOILER: It's a cop wedding

It's unwise to shoot up a wedding where most attendees and the groom are cops.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / WeddingSmashers

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