Follow TV Tropes


Grievous Bottley Harm

Go To
Not even Tintin is immune to having a bottle broken over his head!

"I think it's time I cracked open this bottle!"

As one of the standard Improvised Weapons for the Bar Brawl, it makes sense that bottles have a certain special place in the world of weapons. Getting hit with one is actually fairly damaging due to the way they are constructed, and it's fairly easy to inflict serious head injuries on people (if not actually kill someone) with them. The fact that they come with a ready-made grip at the neck doesn't hurt either.

Many of these end up falling under the Soft Glass rule and shatter easily when they likely wouldn't in real life, (beer bottles, in particular, are actually rather hard to break without a lot of force and knowhow due to how thick the glass is; indeed, most beer bottles are tougher than most people's skulls,) though this aspect of them is occasionally subverted comically. Some people in Real Life expect bottles to break as easily as they do in movies and wind up with either a whole bottle or a handful of glass shards.


This trope has a common, more intimidating variation where the wielder will deliberately break the bottle on something hard first, leaving a half-bottle with the base end now made up of shards of broken glass that the wielder can stab with. Again, Real Life applications of such are highly impractical, since not only are real bottles a lot harder to break, if one does attempt to bust one open for their makeshift shiv and succeed, they'll most likely destroy the entire bottle outright instead of the pointy half-bottle they were going for. Smashing a beer bottle into a bar table is more likely to break the table than the bottle. There's also the risk of the bottle-smasher getting hit with glass shrapnel, making this potentially counterproductive.

In Comedy, they might attempt this with a plastic bottle; needless to say it doesn't break (or shatters like glass).note 


For all you beginning bar brawlers, you're generally better off hitting people with an intact bottle (if empty — we did mention some beer bottles are harder than most people's skulls, right?), or, if they're full and you have a good arm, throwing them.note 

When you use the person instead of the bottle to attack, it's Grievous Harm with a Body. When you have a bottle full of petrol with a wick, it's a Molotov Cocktail. When a non-improvised weapon is intentionally formed out of glass, it's Glass Weapon.


    open/close all folders 

  • Used in a Wilkins Coffee commercial.
    Wilkins: You want a can of Wilkins Coffee?
    Wontkins: No, give me a bottle of ginger ale.
    Wilkins: Okay! (WHAM) But he would have liked the Wilkins.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Played for Drama in Angel Beats!. Iwasawa is hit in the head with a bottle while her parents are fighting. As a result, she loses her ability to sing (her only outlet) and eventually her life.
  • Battle Angel Alita offers Alita kicking a beer bottle into someone's face (and beer mugs into several other peoples' mugs). Being cyborgs, however, it doesn't serve any purpose beyond making them wet and pissed off.
  • Sheeta at the beginning of Castle in the Sky tries to escape by hitting her captor with a champagne bottle. Unusually for this trope, the bottle does not break (but it does knock the man out).
  • Darker Than Black: Due to a cast full of Combat Pragmatists, this trope is used several times. On one occasion, the protagonist is undercover in a Yakuza-run restaurant and an angry patron attacks him this way; While exactly what he did with it is off-screen, November 11 killed an entire room of people with a bottle he froze, but was killed in the process. In the second season, Hei teaches the character Suo how to fight and during their Training from Hell, picks up a jagged bottle to demonstrate that anything in your surroundings is a potential weapon. In a variation, Suo later remembers this lesson and grievously injuries someone who betrayed them by throwing shards of glass into her boomerang style.
  • This is used to commit a murder in Detective School Q. More exactly, the Boarding School's Jerkass of a Student Council President is kidnapped, tied up, and killed via this by a Malevolent Masked Man. The concept of stage glass bottles is a major clue in discovering who did it.
  • Episode 1 of Galilei Donna: A mysterious man in black is assaulting Hazuki in the women's' restroom! Then he takes a wine bottle to the head, courtesy of Anna. Probably should have waited for them to leave the restaurant...
  • During a brawl in Yu Yu Hakusho, a mook smashes Yusuke over the head with a beer bottle. Not only does it have no effect whatsoever, but he also complains about the guy wasting quality brew.
  • Happens to Sailor Moon in the series premiere of the 1992 adaptation. When she gets in a physical scuffle with some zombies, she already isn't doing very well, but then one of them pulls a broken bottle on her...
  • Speed Racer: In one episode, a thug tries to knock Pops Racer out by breaking a bottle over his head. It doesn't work. In a later episode, Spritle and Chim-Chim are able to pin down a spy long enough to tie him up by throwing empty bottles at him.

    Comic Books 
  • A Sergio Aragonés comic follows a man who's hit in the head by a bottle someone throws at him in a bar. He recovers at the hospital until he's well enough to go home to his seedy, depressing neighborhood. While drinking and reminiscing about how nice the hospital was by comparison, he gets the bright idea to hit himself in the head with a bottle. He's taken away in a casket this time.
  • Barracuda: In "Scars", Raffy smashes a bottle into the face of a pirate who is taunting him for being a coward.
  • In Black Magick #8, J.P. Brandt is fleeing from Rowan and Morgan when he throws a bottle at Morgan that hits him in the head.
  • In the first Death mini-series, "The High Cost of Living," Mad Hettie threatens Sexton with a broken bottle.
  • Fun with Milk & Cheese: Evan Dorkin's comic runs on this trope. They prefer gin bottles rather than beer bottles.
  • In The Shadow Hero, Wun Too is a legit kung-fu master, but he'd much rather have a couple of broken bottles in his hands.
  • In the Sin City tale Just Another Saturday Night, Marv smashes a whiskey bottle and comes after a group of psychopaths torching a homeless man to death for fun. He gets shot in the shoulder and never gets the chance to use his makeshift weapon, however.
  • In Sullivan's Sluggers, when one bar patron insults Casey Sullivan too much, Casey responds by breaking a bottle against the man's head.
  • Tintin and Captain Haddock of Tintin frequently makes use of this trope, mainly because Haddock's status as The Alcoholic means that there's always a whiskey bottle nearby for them to use.
    • The Secret of the Unicorn has him toss a bottle of three-star brandy at a gun-toting villain, then pretty much immediately bemoans its loss.
    • The same also happens to Bobby Smiles in Tintin in America as he charges at Tintin.
    • In The Crab With Golden Claws, Tintin and Haddock use wine bottles as projectiles to hold off Allan and his henchmen.
    • In Red Rackham's Treasure, Tintin, while diving to salvage an artifact from the shipwreck, attracts a Threatening Shark that swallows the artifact and tries to desperately fend it off with an ancient flask of rum. The flask itself doesn't do much against the shark, except that it also swallows the rum and falls into a drunken stupor shortly.
  • Watchmen:
    • In a flashback, the Comedian gets accosted by a Vietnamese woman he got pregnant. When he refuses to have anything to do with either her or the baby, she slashes him across the face with a broken bottle, and he shoots her dead.
    • In the film, someone Rorschach wants to talk to tries to threaten him with a bottle. Which Rorschach breaks, and then squeezes the shards into the man's hand. In the comic, the person is holding a shot glass. Rorschach grabs the glass-holding hand and does the same thing. Ouch!
  • Back in the early years of Wonder Woman a wine bottle was among the many, many, things Steve Trevor got knocked out with by bad guys.
  • In a flashback in Wynonna Earp: Season Zero #1, Wynonna jams a beer bottle into the eye of a biker who is hassling her in a bar.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Dick Tracy, Haf-and-Haf knocks out his girlfriend Zelda by smashing a champagne bottle over her head.
  • In one Spy vs. Spy comic, Black Spy is at the bar in a western saloon when White Spy lassos the former's revolver out of his holster and holds him at gunpoint with it. Black Spy intercepts him by lifting up the middle section of the counter and dropping the alcohol bottle on it on White Spy's head.

  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic/Xenophilia fanfic, Divided Rainbow, Lero attempts this on Discord in not one, but two consecutive chapters! It actually goes a LOT better than you'd expect. Which is to say that LERO managed not to get hurt.
  • In Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox, Naruto uses a soda bottle to beat up Mizuki's biker gang. Amazingly, the bottle itself survives the whole ordeal.
  • The Palaververse: From Wedding March: In Chapter 6, how Fairy Floss takes out a changeling:
    Fairy Floss dashed the bottle's base down against a solid-looking trimmer edge, and as a small fortune gushed out onto the grass, she stepped forward primly, and spun her head to plant the newly-made business end right behind Faux-Sailears' front legs.

    Films — Animation 
  • Inverted in The Adventures of Tintin when Tintin goes to hit a mook with a whiskey bottle, only for Captain Haddock to grab the bottle in mid-swing so he can take a swig. Played straight later in the movie; given a choice between holding a bottle or the MacGuffin, Haddock resolutely puts down the former, only for The Dragon to sneak up behind Haddock, grab the bottle and break it over his head. Tintin is furious afterward; given that Haddock reeks of alcohol, he naturally refuses to believe Haddock wasn't drunk again. Then once more for a Rule of Three during the climactic battle. After losing his weapon, Haddock throws whiskey bottles at the Big Bad, knocking his Sword Cane out of his hand. When the villain responds with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, inviting Haddock to take a swig from the last bottle, Haddock punches him overboard and kicks the bottle after him so it bounces off his head, knocking the villain out.
  • In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, the Joker breaks a coffee mug and uses it as a slashing weapon to slit one man's throat, before gassing everyone else in the room.
  • Justified in Batman: Under the Red Hood. The Joker does break a glass and use it as a slashing weapon against a mook, but it is only a glass, a crystal one, meaning it would be easier to shatter and doesn't have the weight of a bottle.
  • The crow barkeep in Fritz the Cat threatens Fritz with a broken bottle when he accidentally calls him a racist slur.
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet: Parodied; as the Disney Princesses prepare to attack Vanellope, Cinderella breaks one of her glass slippers and points it like a shiv.
  • Parodied in The Simpsons Movie: When the mob breaks into the Simpsons' house, Maggie scares off Mister Teeny (the chimp) with a broken baby bottle.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 1994 Baker Street: Sherlock Holmes Returns, Mrs Hudson hit Henry Moriarty over the head with a bottle of wine when he breaks into Holmes' suspended animation chamber. Moriarty hits his bead on the brickwork, resulting in his Death by Falling Over.
  • Parodied in 22 Jump Street: Schmidt attempts to break a bourbon bottle against Mercedes' head, only to find that it's plastic.
  • The ABCs of Death: While escaping from the facility, the patient smashes a glass flask full of blood over the orderly's head in "R is for Recovered".
  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective: A deleted scene shows Ace entering a bar looking for former kicker Ray Finkle only to start a fight. One patron threatens Ace with a broken bottle but Ace pulls out and breaks his contact lens to play with glass too.
    Ace: Come on! Fat boy!
  • Against All Flags: During their duel, the sailing master attempts to smash a rum bottle down on Hawke's head, only to have Spitfire shoots it out of his hand.
  • Parodied in Airplane!, when the hero tries to break a milk carton against the bar.
  • In Anne of the Indies, Blackbeard smashes a bottle over the head of the man wrestling the bear so he does not lose his bet.
  • In Ariel, Kasurinen is hit over the head with a bottle and robbed early on.
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember: Austin breaks a liquor bottle when fighting with Mini-Me. Mini-Me breaks a miniature bottle.
  • The Avengers (1998) has The Dragon smashing two milk bottles together for twice the weaponry.
  • In Bad Times at the El Royale, Darlene smashes Father Flynn in the face with a wine bottle; leaving him unconscious on the lounge floor.
  • The Big Bus: This spoof disaster movie parodies Grievous Bottley Harm. Disgraced bus driver Dan Torrance gets into a fight in a bar:
    Bar Customer: Look out! He's got a broken milk carton!
  • The Boondock Saints: During the bar fight, Murphy smashes two full wine bottles on one guy's head.
  • When Bragg tries to jump Logan in the barroom in Canyon Passage, Logan is ready for him and smashes a full bottle of whiskey over his head.
  • Randall from Clerks II has been taught a particular racist term for this, from his lovely old granma.
  • In A Clockwork Orange, after the gang betrays Alex, one of them smashes a full milk bottle across his face. Played at least somewhat realistically, as Alex drops to the ground in agony.
  • A character gets stabbed to death with a broken ketchup bottle in Cornered!.
  • In Cradle of Fear, the reanimated Emma smashes a whiskey bottle and drives the jagged edge into Sophie's eye.
  • In Darkman, Yakitito is knocked out when Durant's thugs smash a laboratory flask over his head.
  • Dawning Of The Dead: In one scene, a guy breaks a bottle over a zombie's head.
  • In Dead in Tombstone, Guerrero uses a succession of bottles to beat Darko to death in the saloon.
  • Death In Brunswick: Averted along with soft glass in this Australian film. A man smashes an empty beer bottle on the bartop and gets a hand full of broken glass for his trouble.
  • Near the end of Death Wish V: The Face of Death, vigilante Paul Kersey finds a glass bottle and breaks it. When he finds mob boss Tommy O'Shea, Paul cuts Tommy's face with the broken end in retaliation for what O'Shea had done to Paul's girlfriend earlier in the movie.
  • In Dinosaurus! this trope is subverted. The villain attempts to break a bottle to be more threatening but does it wrong and the bottle breaks in his hand, cutting him badly. Oops.
  • In Dogma, Bartleby smashes a bottle and holds it to Bethany's neck, once he realizes who she is. Bartleby, however, is an angel; his exact level of intelligence/consciousness and strength would certainly be supernatural, allowing him to do it flawlessly on his first try.
  • Averted in Dr. No. James Bond is dining with Dr. No and at one point grabs a bottle as an Improvised Weapon, only to freeze when a guard shoves a gun in his back.
    Dr. No: That's a Dom Perignon '55, it would be a pity to break it.
  • In Enter the Dragon, Oharra is getting destroyed by Bruce Lee, and in frustration grabs a bottle from an on-looker and smashes it. In the scene where he actually breaks it, he ends up with a very tiny stem of the bottle in his hand, with very small jagged edges to act as a weapon. In the next scene cut, he is threatening Lee with a more visually appropriately broken bottle. Of course, it still doesn't do him any good...
  • Fear, Inc.: When Joe decides he needs a weapon, he attempts to smash a bottle against the wall. Reality Ensues, and he wind up with a handful of broken glass. Lindsey then demonstrates that she is much better at it, and breaks a bottle into a jagged dagger and hands it to him.
  • While he was alive, Schneider in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell had a fascination with broken glass, which led him to stab people with broken bottles. He continues to do so even when another man's brain is put inside his head.
  • In Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives the alcoholic cemetery caretaker is killed when Jason grabs one of his discarded liquor bottles, breaks it and stabs him in the throat with it.
  • Played surprisingly realistically in Chinese silent film The Goddess, in which a prostitute kills her pimp with one blow from a wine bottle, which remains intact.
  • The Golden Child. Before attacking Kee Nang, a biker casually breaks a bottle of beer to create a weapon. Kee Nang jumps up, grabs onto an overhead metal pipe and kicks him through a wall.
  • Hannie Caulder: When Rufus Clemens grabs Hannie, she responds by smashing a bottle over his head. It doesn't do any good.
  • In Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Hansel hits an evil witch in the head several times with a milk bottle, which doesn't break.
  • In Happy Gilmore, Happy breaks a bottle at the golf course clubhouse when he thinks he's being threatened. When he realizes his error, he claims he was simply looking for the other pieces of his bottle.
  • In Help!, The Beatles hide from danger in a riverside pub, where a booby trap drops Ringo into the cellar. Clang, posing as a bartender, threatens the others with a broken bottle and they flee through the window.
  • Mentioned in Herbie Rides Again, where stewardess Nicole Harris is said to have "knocked out a hijacker with a bottle of California wine." No word on how badly-injured the receiving party was.
  • Somewhat related; in the urban slasher Holla If You Hear Me, a character is bludgeoned with a can of Pepsi, which is then pounded down his throat.
  • In Hot Spur, Carlo gets a bottle broken over his head while trying to pull the cowhands off the dancing girl in the cantina.
  • The Hunt (2020): After being stabbed in the throat, Randy grabs the champagne bottle and hits Ted in the head with it. He then smashes the bottle and attempts to eviscerate Richard
  • Subverted in It (2017): In the lead up to the final confrontation in the house on Neibolt Street, Mike picks up an empty bottle from the lawn and smashes it (hoping for a sharp weapon), but it instead just breaks into useless pieces.
  • I Went Down: In this Irish film, a bad guy smashes a bottle against a table. But he breaks it by swinging it up and against the edge of the table, which seems even more unlikely to succeed.
  • In In Bruges, the lead characters decide that someone coming at you with a bottle is reason enough to use force and fight back. This means the main character is excited when an irritating Canadian woman comes at him with a bottle.
  • In It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, milquetoast gas station owners Arnold Stang and Marvin Kaplan knock out a raving Jonathan Winters with a bottle... they're not so lucky the next time when he comes to even madder.
  • In John Doe: Vigilante, John Doe cuts the throat of one of his victims with a broken bottle.
  • In Johnny Reno, Yates smashes a whisky bottle on a barrel and attempts to gut Reno with it during the fight in the barroom.
  • John Wick: Kirill (One of Viggo's men) smashes a bottle against Wick's head and then stabs him in the side with the broken bottle.
  • In Julia X, Jessica smashes two bottles over The Stranger's head while he is tied up in her kitchen.
  • The Kentucky Fried Movie. While The Dragon Butkus is fighting Loo, he smashes two bottles together in order to use the broken ends against Loo.
  • In Kick-Ass, the female junkie (that's how she's listed in the credits) smashes a bottle to use as a weapon against Hit Girl. It doesn't help, and after immediately realizing what an incredibly bad idea that was she tries to run away. That doesn't help, either.
  • In Knife for the Ladies, Jen smashes a bottle over Travis' head when she escapes from the Attempted Rape. It stuns him for a second, but he is after her almost immediately.
  • Played with in The Last Horror Film. The delusional fanboy protagonist breaks into his favourite actress' bathroom, breaks a bottle of champagne and puts it against her throat, but only to see how it would look in the movie that he wants her to star in. She is still understandably freaked out by it, and a Chase Scene ensues.
  • Lifetime idiot Freddie from Layer Cake gets a ketchup bottle smashed into his face. And then it gets worse...
  • During the Bar Brawl with machine guns in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, one of the mooks charges Quatermain, who smashes him in the face with a whiskey bottle and flips him.
    Quatermain: (glances at bottle label, then tosses it aside) Wicked waste.
  • The Locals: When Bill smashes in the rear window of the car, Kelly attempts to beat him off with a champagne bottle.
  • In The Long Good Friday, Bob Hoskins makes particularly graphic use of a bottle against one of his closest friends when his bad day finally explodes into a brief, furious frenzy; first he smashes the bottle over his victim's head, then he brutally stabs him in the neck with the jagged end. The sight of blood spraying out of his friend's throat soon calms him down.
  • In The Long Goodbye, gangster Marty Augustine threatens Marlowe by smashing a coke bottle against his own girlfriend's face.
    Marty Augustine: Now, that's someone I love! And you, I don't even like!
  • In a somewhat more realistic application in Memento, Leonard successfully clubs Dodd senseless with a full bottle of wine he happens to have handy when Dodd assaults him on the toilet, and never breaks it.
  • In Monster Party, Iris smashes a bottle over Cameron's head when she escapes from him in the kitchen.
  • In The Muppet Movie, a fat sailor breaks a bottle against the bar in response to Fozzie beginning a joke with "There was this sailor who was so fat!"
    Sailor: How fat was he?
    Fozzie: Uh... he was so fat that everybody liked him and there was nothing funny about him at all.
  • In Once Were Warriors, Jake stabs one of his drinking buddies in the groin with a broken bottle after finding out he raped Jake's daughter, causing her to hang herself.
  • In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, after Blofeld orders Grunther and a mook to take care of Tracy during the helicopter attack on Piz Gloria, she takes a wine bottle and smashes it on the mook's head. Afterwards, she briefly tries to defend herself from Grunther with the broken bottle, until he disarms her.
  • Attempted by a Yakuza in Outrage but he is stopped by his friends before he can do anything. Not that it helped.
  • The Outlaws IS Coming!: While preaching to the outlaws about the joys of reforming, the Stooges smash a bottle over the head of one of them when he doesn't agree fast enough.
  • Outlaw Women: When Sam Bass attempts to force himself on Beth, she escapes by smashing a bottle being used as a candle holder over his head.
  • Henry Fonda's character in The Ox-Bow Incident gets a whiskey bottle over his head which knocks him unconscious.
  • Pan's Labyrinth: A particularly nasty example averted the whole "easily broken" bit in a horrific scene where a man's face is smashed in with a bottle that doesn't break. This was based on an experience the director actually had in Real Life, and he commented that he'd seen the breaking played straight a lot in Westerns.
  • In Pickup on South Street, Candy knocks Skip out by slamming a beer bottle (which miraculously does not break) down on his head to prevent him taking the film to Joey.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean, Elizabeth Swan and the village Blacksmith use a bottle to knock out James Norrington and Jack Sparrow in the second and first films respectively.
  • In Preservation, Wit stabs one of the hunters in the throat with the broken neck of a bottle Mike had discarded earlier.
  • Reform School Girls: While escaping from the infirmary, Jenny smashes a glass flask over the head of the night nurse.
  • Savaged: In the bar, Zoe snatches a beer bottle off Jed, smashes it, and uses it to (literally) gut him.
  • In Scary Movie 2, the cat attacks Cindy with this.
  • In Scream (1996), Tatum Riley, one of the Ghostface's victims, manages to fight him off by flinging beer bottles at him. She would have escaped too, had she not made the rather dumb mistake of trying to use the doggy-door to get out of the garage.
  • In Serenity, during the big Maidenhead bar brawl, River is attacked by a man using a beer bottle, and she shatters it against the bartop when she deflects his attack. She then turns and kicks another bottle into another man's head, knocking him out cold.
  • In Shaolin Soccer, "Iron Head", the eldest of the Shaolin monks gets repeated bottle breaks over his head by his abusive boss to chastise his poor job performance, with no effect. Sing gets a bottle thrown over his head with effect from his poor band performance with Iron Head.
  • Sheitan: After Bart starts a fight in Club Styxx, the bouncer smashes a bottle over his head.
  • A guy has a beer can crushed into his head in Sleepover Nightmare.
  • In Some Guy Who Kills People, Irv smashes a beer bottle over Sheriff Fuller when Fuller tries to arrest him. Fuller justs shrugs this off, draws his gun and arrests him.
  • Subverted in Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). Sonic gets picked on by bar brawlers, and tries to break a bottle against one's head, having been inspired by watching "way too many action movies". Unfortunately for him, the bottle doesn't break, leaving him dumbfounded. He then rapidly tries it again, to no avail.
    Sonic: Huh. Am I crazy? It was supposed to break, right?
  • Sorority Row has a girl get a bottle violently shoved down her throat, which is then slashed.
  • During the fight on the train in The Spy Who Loved Me, Bond smashes a champagne bottle over Jaws' head (to no avail).
  • In Stark Raving Mad, a guy gets a wine bottle over the head and is knocked out.
  • The Slasher Movie Stepfather II features a particularly brutal scene where the title serial killer murders his current lover's former husband by smashing a bottle against his head, before maniacally stabbing him with it over and over again.
  • In Stiletto, Englehart smashes a bottle over the head of the black bouncer at the strip club and proceeds to Kick Them While They Are Down. Later, during the fight between Raina and Large bills in Large Bills' limo, Raina grabs the champagne bottle out of the ice bucket at hits him with it.
  • Several bottles get smashed over the heads of soldiers during the Bar Brawl in the bordello in Swashbuckler.
  • In The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) remake Sheriff Hoyt breaks a liquor bottle into Morgan's face, severely injuring him and leaving him partially blinded and unable to talk for the rest of the film.
  • When Lionheart's gang of tramps rise to attack Maxwell in Theatre of Blood, one of them smashes a bottle to stab him with.
  • The Three Stooges: Many times, the Stooges get their heads smashed in with beer bottles either by themselves or other patrons.
  • They Live: While Frank and Nada are embroiled in a lengthy Fight Scene in an alleyway, Nada swings a board at Frank and misses, smashing a car window. Frank retaliates by grabbing a beer bottle and smashing it against the car to make a weapon for himself, destroying it completely. Nada calls himself out for escalating to using weapons, laughs at Frank smashing the bottle, and the fight continues.
  • In Transylvania 6-5000, Elizabeth knocks out the jailer by smashing a bottle over his head. Later she does the same thing to the cop trying arrest Jack in the town square, and threatens the other police with the broken bottle.
  • In The Tribe, some of the gang members smash a bottle over Sergey's head, sending him to the hospital.
  • In True Lies, Helen Tasker beats Juno Skinner senseless with a champagne bottle. It doesn't break!
    Helen: Want one? (whack) How 'bout two? (whack)
  • Urban Legends: Bloody Mary has a scene where the titular murderess kills a boy by breaking a bottle over his head before slashing his throat with it several times.
  • One of the characters in The Outsiders breaks a Coke bottle for use in a fight, but the fight doesn't end up happening.
  • Valentine: When Kate is dancing with Adam and suddenly suspects him of being the killer, she smashes a champagne bottle over his head in order to get away.
  • The Warriors: When our eponymous heroes are preparing to face down the Rogues, Mercy breaks a bottle against a girder to arm herself. She won't need it.
  • The War Wagon: The bartender smashes a bottle over Levi's head during the Bar Brawl. Leads to a Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh... moment as Levi is completely unfazed by the blow.
  • In Watchmen, the pregnant Vietnamese girl uses a broken bottle to slash The Comedian's face.
  • During the final shootout of The Way of the Gun, one of the antiheroes jumps into a dry water fountain for cover and then screams in agony. When we see inside, we realize that he's jumped into a pile of broken bottles, and has to pull a four-inch-long shard out from under his skin. Ouch.
  • In When Evil Calls, Kirsty stabs herself and Molly to death with a broken vodka bottle.
  • Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit does this to one of the weasels.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): When Etta is rounding up Sameer, Charlie and Chief for a new mission in the home video stinger, the pub patron who beat Charlie up earlier comes back to kill him. She starts dealing with him by breaking a beer bottle on his head from behind. Then Charlie makes him stumble, and Etta finishes him off by smashing a chair on him.
  • In Salt, how Salt kills Orlov. Both types of the trope appear - she breaks a bottle of vodka over his head, stunning him, then stabs him in the throat repeatedly with the broken end.

  • Callahan's Crosstime Saloon: Mike Callahan has been known to throw a beer bottle at customers from time to time. Luckily, it's made of foam rubber.
  • Confess, Fletch, one of Gregory McDonald's eleven Fletch novels. The title character arrives in an apartment he's using as part of a housing swap to find a beautiful woman has been murdered there. With no evident murder weapon and the girl clearly dead, he pours himself a bottle of whiskey from the buffet nearby and calls the police. Unfortunately for Fletch, the whiskey bottle was the murder weapon and was placed in the open so that he might incriminate himself. Police have a hard time figuring it out at first, as an open bottle would have made a much less effective murder weapon given that it might break. This is seen as more damning evidence that Fletch was trying to keep the murder weapon out of play by opening it for a drink.
  • Death and The Joyful Woman by Ellis Peters: Alfred Armiger is done to death with the (full, unopened) magnum of champagne with which he was about to celebrate his latest triumph.
  • In Different Seasons' "The Body," it's mentioned that Chris Chambers once turned up at school with a large bandage wrapped around his head after his father hit him with a Rheingold bottle.
  • Discworld:
    • A variant turns up in Night Watch — Vimes notes that unless you know how to break a bottle properly, instead of a weapon you get a hand full of glass shards and a lot of bleeding. He uses this to his advantage while attempting to avert a riot, making sure the crowd sees an "amateur bottle fighter" hurt himself while Vimes' hands are both occupied with innocent tasks (a cup of cocoa and a cigar), then offers medical assistance.
      He also mentions to the crowd, while helping the injured man, that he saw someone try this trick against a less generous opponent. The guy reached down and squeezed the afflicted hand. This gets a groan of morbid appreciation. Earlier in the series, broken bottles have also been referenced as "Morpork knives", bar-fighting practically being the "lower" city's civic sport.
    • In Maskerade, Mrs. Plinge tries to knock Nanny Ogg out with a full magnum bottle of champagne. This normally would have worked just fine, and it does give Mrs. Plinge some time to run off. However, there's some Dwarfish ancestry in the Ogg line, and Nanny quickly recovers.
  • In H.G. Wells' The History of Mr. Polly, Polly breaks a wine bottle over the head of the villainous Uncle Jim, who comments, "Bolls? [sic] Fightin' with Bolls? I'll show 'im fightin' with bolls'!" He then breaks two bottles to use as daggers, a skill he had learned in a reformatory home.
  • Iron Fist: The more common unrealistic treatment is averted. At the beginning of the novel, agents of a rogue warlord stage a fight in order to get the Wraiths out in the open. To start it, a real bottle is used to hit one of the pilots over the head, and it does not break. (The victim survives without permanent injury, but Tap on the Head is averted; he spends about a week and a half on medical leave with a concussion.) Later, when the Wraiths are using that trick on another world, one of them uses a stage-glass bottle against one of their own, which does break.
  • Shadow Police: Quill smashes a magical bouncer over the head with a bottle of champagne during the fight in The Goat and Compasses in The Severed Streets.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch novels, the psychologically unstable Thriss has a mini-breakdown in Quark's Bar and attacks one of her companions with a broken bottle.
  • In Up Periscope by Robb White, the hero is a frogman who is sneaking into a Japanese encampment during a drinking party. When a Japanese officer comes to close the hero uses a bottle of sake, that he found in the hands of an unconscious soldier as a mace. In this case, the hero swung sideways rather than overhand, because that was the only way to hit a scar on the Japanese officers head, and the hero was actually trying to kill him lest his presence be revealed. In this variation, it was war rather than a Bar Brawl.
  • In Fred Vargas' Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand, when Fabre insults Retancourt, Adamsberg takes a bottle of wine from Danglard's bag, breaks it on a table's corner and threatens Fabre with the broken gullet to get him to apologise. The violence doesn't go any further on Adamsberg's side, as he soon drops the gullet and walks away... only for Fabre to grab the broken bottle and stab Adamsberg in the arm with it. Adamsberg remains pretty much unflappable through the whole thing.
  • In the Indian novel The White Tiger: How Balram kills Ashok.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the early going of Ash vs. Evil Dead, Ash ends up having to use an empty beer bottle to defend himself. Unsurprisingly, it's even less effective against Deadites than normal human opponents, as it takes hitting the Deadite hard enough to shatter the bottle (which only pisses it off) and stabbing it in the neck "about fifty times" (which only pisses it off more and gets blood everywhere) before he starts getting results, and even then he had to finish it off by getting a truck to smash its head in. His sidekick Pablo is not at all reassured when Ash hands him said bottle when they prepare to fight another Deadite.
  • In the first episode of Briarpatch, Allegra accidentally whacks her boss in the head with a bottle after he sneaks into her hotel room.
  • Of course, there's a Buffy the Vampire Slayer example, and of course it's a subversion. In "Dead Things", Warren hits his ex-girlfriend over the head with a champagne bottle to keep her from calling the police on him. The bottle doesn't break, but she dies instantly.
  • This is one of the many Amusing Injuries suffered by Madge in Le Cœur a ses Raisons.
  • Columbo: In "Murder by the Book", the murderer uses a champagne bottle to bludgeon the second Victim of the Week unconscious before dumping her in a lake to drown.
  • The Coroner: In "That's the Way to Do It", the Victim of the Week is beaten to death with a champagne bottle.
  • Criminal Minds averts the Soft Glass trope in the episode "Parasite", when a murder victim is repeatedly bludgeoned with a glass decanter without breaking.
  • CSI:
    • In "The Case of the Cross-Dressing Carp," the Victim of the Week attacks himself with a broken beer bottle; hacking at unwanted breast tissue on his chest before committing suicide.
    • In "Meet Market," the Victim of the Week is bludgeoned to death with a champagne bottle.
  • CSI: Miami: In "Habeas Corpse," corrupt ASA Josh Avery is killed by a blow to his head with a wine bottle.
  • CSI: NY:
    • Danny gets one of these in "Officer Involved." The bottle breaks and he gets knocked out.
    • The Victim of the Week in the first of the trio of stories that make up "Blood Actually" is bludgeoned to death with a champagne bottle.
  • Used as a buzz-in on the game show Distraction. A question was asked, a contestant would buzz in, and immediately have a bottle smashed over their head before being allowed to answer. Seemed to prove quite distracting, even with the bottles being of the sugar-glass variant.
  • Doctor Who: In "Day of the Daleks", Jo smashes a wine flask over the head of an Ogron.
  • Get Smart: Max pretends to go on the bottle so he'll be recruited by KAOS. To help sell the premise, CONTROL stocks the bar with breakaway bottles so Max can hit Da Chief over the head with one when Chief comes in to try to get Max to go on the wagon. They do it, but the KAOS agent doesn't notice. So they move closer to him and do it again, and the KAOS agent still doesn't notice. They're out of breakaway bottles so Max orders a big bottle of champagne: he plans to break the bottle on the bar and threaten the Chief with the shards. But slamming the bottle on the bar just makes a hole in the bar.
  • Played realistically in General Hospital, wherein the victim actually died from the blow.
  • Gotham: In "Selina Kyle", Cobblepot smashes a beer bottle and stabs the two college kids who give him a lift after they push his Berserk Button of calling him 'a penguin'.
  • Subverted humorously twice in an episode of Happy Days — once when Ralph attempts to break a bottle against a bar, only to be left with an intact bottle and a hole in the bar; and later in that same episode when he attempts to pick up a soda bottle only to have it fall apart in his hand.
  • The British sketch show Harry and Paul has a series of parody ads with Nelson Mandela selling stuff. In one ad he sells Nelson Mandela's Organic Fighting beer.
    Nelson Mandela: It contains no preservatives. It contains no additives. It is just 100% organic fighting beer. (smashes, then waves bottle) Do you want some?
  • In the Here Come the Brides episode "One Good Lie Deserves Another," Lottie tries to throw a bottle at her slimy ex, but he holds up a bag to protect himself.
  • Parodied in the first episode of Ideal. Moz is talking to Colin about intimidation tactics, and Colin is quick to suggest to 'glass yerself' rather than the person you're trying to intimidate. At the end of the episode, Psycho Paul enters his flat and pulls out his screwdriver to scare Moz into giving him his stash of drugs. Moz then proceeds to pick up his own drink, hold it up, and confidently tell Psycho Paul, "I don't fear nowt," and slam his drink into his head... Scrunching the flimsy plastic cup up against his forehead while he gets covered in half a pint of beer. He quickly drops the act.
  • In an episode of Laverne & Shirley, one of the gang brings in some prop-bottles from a movie set and everyone has fun smashing them over each other's head. Arriving late on the scene, Squiggy picks up a "real" wine bottle and bonks Lenny on the head with it. The bottle doesn't break and there's a rather grisly "clonk" sound effect, but Lenny acts like nothing happened.
  • In The League, Jenny accomplishes this with a ceramic Chinese figurine, and uses it to threaten bar patrons into changing the TV away from the Bears game.
  • Married... with Children: Bud busts a bottle over a guy's head when Al takes him to the nudie bar for his 18th birthday.
  • In the The Mentalist episode "The Great Red Dragon", Gale Bertram smashes a bartender who recognizes his face from a news bulletin in the face with a whiskey bottle, then uses the broken edge to do something lethal and very gory to the back of the poor bastard's neck.
  • In the Midsomer Murders episode "Not In My Back Yard", the first Victim of the Week is done in with a broken bottle. In another episode, one of the victims gets done in by having wine-bottles catapulted onto him (he'd been drugged first so croquet hoops could be securely affixed into the ground over his arms and legs to keep him from moving before the murderer woke him up again).
  • Motive: The Victim of the Week in "Pilot Error" is cracked over the head with a bottle, which — unusually for this trope — does not shatter on impact. The blow does not kill her but knocks her out. She dies when the killer, thinking she is dead, hides her in the deep freeze.
  • From the Rita Moreno episode of The Muppet Show, while performing a comedic tango/adagio with a human sized Whatnot to the tune of "I Get Ideas," she drags her lover over to a table by the ear, does a shot of alcohol, kisses him, then cracks the bottle over his head.
  • My Name Is Earl, Joy threatens Catalina:
    Joy: You're not the one holdin' a freshly broken bottle, now are you!
    * thunk*
    * thunk*
    (bottle remains whole)
    Joy: This would still hurt if I hit you with it!
  • MythBusters:
    • In a Shark Week episode, Kari tried to christen the new boat "Orca V" with a bottle. Unfortunately, the bottle would not break despite her trying repeatedly until it finally broke and splashed Champagne all over her.
    • In the "Buster Special," when Adam tried to christen the new "Buster 2.0". It took three tries for the bottle to break. Apparently whenever the Mythbusters try to christen something one should expect them to need several tries to make the bottle shatter.
    • They did an entire show about the effectiveness of the bottle as a weapon, and their tests showed that a full beer bottle does significantly more damage to the brain than an empty one. They were going to hit Adam (in a helmet) at first until they discovered that the force applied was enough to cause a concussion, so they used gelatin brains instead. After declaring the "empty bottle being more damaging" myth busted, Jamie and Adam broke sugar glass bottles over each other's heads. (As in the previous examples, they had trouble breaking the bottles against a football helmet early in the episode, and Adam pointed out that those types of bottles are meant to be shipped long distances, so they had to be relatively strong.)
  • NCIS: New Orleans: In "Means to an End", Laurel uses a bottle to knock the gun out of the hand of a woman who is threatening her. The bottle smashes when it hits the gunwoman's hand.
  • Nichols: Scully One gets a bottle broken over his head during the Bar Brawl in "Nichols".
  • A subversion appears in Perfect Strangers. Larry attempts to intimidate a group of tough bikers by breaking a bottle against a pool table, only for it to fail to break, twice. Then the toughest biker takes it from him, and smashes it against his own forehead, and nonchalantly says, "Is that what you were tryin' to do?"
  • In an episode of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, Trakeena attempts to break a bottle to use a weapon. However, she is unable to shatter it on the bar top.
  • Two instances in the Preacher2016 pilot:
    • Jesse Custer stabs a well deserving thug in the face during a bar fight.
    • Cassidy stabs a vampire hunter in the chest with a broken champagne bottle...then uncorks it and fills an empty bottle with his blood.
  • On Republic of Doyle Jake gets hit on the head with an empty wine bottle. The bottle does not break and he is knocked unconscious.
  • Rizzoli & Isles: In "A Shot in the Dark", a recently released convict smashes a wine bottle over the head of a store clerk.
  • Scorpion: In "Going South", Happy smashes a bottle and uses it to threaten the punk who kidnapped her.
  • Played with in Sledge Hammer!. The crook Agent Doreau takes on in a Bar Brawl tries several times to break a bottle to fight her and fails like he would in real life. So she grabs the bottle, breaks it for him on the first try as though the bottle is Soft Glass, hands the broken bottle to him, then jump-kicks him.
  • The Stewart/Colbert/O'Brien Mêlée à Trois includes a scene where all three smash Soft Glass beer bottles over each other's heads — this is where the Stewart-Colbert alliance breaks up and it becomes a true Mêlée à Trois, as Jon accidentally breaks a bottle over Stephen. The blooper reel shows Conan going to hit Jon and hesitating at the last minute, disturbed by how real the sugar glass bottle looks.
  • Studio C takes the hand-full-of-glass (or eyes) approach when bikers try to get in a bar fight.
  • Titus: Tommy attempts this, but the bottle remains intact, so he just puts it back on the table.
  • In the Torchwood episode "Fragments", Jack's flashback starts with him reviving while having a broken bottle stuck in his gut. He then proceeds to pull it out and throw it away and is killed again a minute later.
  • True Blood averted the Soft Glass portion of this trope when Tara's mother hits her over the head with a tequila bottle. The bottle doesn't break at all, and Tara is left with a nasty gash.
  • Vera: In "Telling Tales", a householder gets hospitalized when an intruder who has broken in to retrieve some incriminating evidence smashes him over the head with a bottle.
  • In the first episode of Wild Boys, Hogan smashes a bottle and uses to attack Jack in the pub.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: Parodied, where an old western saloon contains two racks of bottles, one marked as "real", and the other as "Fake, for barfights only". Max promptly breaks one of the fake bottles.
  • Wonder Woman: In "The Deadly Sting", Roman Gabriel - right after he retired from the NFL - grabs a bottle and threatens everyone in a Bar Brawl with it. Fortunately, Wonder Woman was just finishing de-escalating the situation - mostly by knocking down all of the other football players in the brawl, including Deacon Jones!
  • In an old episode of X-Play Johnny Extreme smashes several beer bottles on his crotch and encourages Adam and Morgan to join in. Adam does so, and Morgan instead smashes her bottle over Adam's head.

  • The entire premise of Ms. B'Havin's outrageous, must-be-heard-to-be-believed song "Bottle Action" is this trope.

    Music Videos 
  • The music video for MGK and Waka Flocka Flame's Wild Boy starts the music after Waka smashes a bottle on a dinner host's head.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In a Get Fuzzy comic, Bucky attempts to do the "break the bottle on the table" move from movies. Unfortunately, it's a plastic bottle, so it bounces off and smacks him in the face instead.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Mick Foley tells a story of a match with Sabu where Sabu attacked him with one. Expecting it to explode, he painfully learned how difficult the bottles are to break, and it took Sabu several tries to get the bottle to shatter against his head.
  • Kurt Angle once hit Chris Benoit over the head with a beer bottle during a backstage brawl at a Halloween party. It was obviously stunt-glass though.
  • The beer bottle is the signature weapon of James Storm, although it is best known for being used against him by Bobby Roode, setting up the latter's Face–Heel Turn and "It Factor" championship run.
  • Before the end of the LLF match where Princesa Sugey took Dark Angel's mask (and Juvenile title), she broke a beer bottle over a chair and cut Dark Angel up with it.
  • Lauren did this in a backstage segment on TNA to save Taylor Wilde from being thrown down the stairs by Daffney Unger.
  • Chris Jericho did this to CM Punk once on an episode of Raw, when forcing him to finally drink alcohol.
  • "The Precious One" Gilbert was left with nothing but a shard of glass after he broke a wine bottle over Orlando Colon's head on the 7-20-2019 WWC Superestrellas and then continued to hit Orlando with the broken bottle. Needless to say, Orlando was pretty red.
  • On Dec. 11, 2020, Carmella smashed a wine bottle over Sasha Banks.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Deadlands: Given the setting's pastiche, it had to happen. A bottle is stated in one rule book or the other as a small club, which does the attacker's Strength plus 1d4 damage. If the bottle were to break, it would presumably become a small knife instead, doing... the attacker's Strength plus 1d4 damage.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: The Drunken Master Prestige Class has a class feature that lets it use anything as a weapon. Frequently, the Drunken Master will be holding a bottle.
  • An intact bottle is a weak club in GURPS and a broken one is the equivalent of a small knife.
  • New World of Darkness, in the book Armory, gives rules for attacking with a bottle. It breaks if you do more than two damage with it, changing it from Bashing to Lethal... and then that shatters if you do more than two damage with it, rendering it worthless. (It also takes a skill roll to break it intentionally, and if you fail, your hand is a mess.)

  • In Peter Grimes, a drunken Boles moves to hit Peter over the head with a bottle, but Balstrode dashes it out of his hands just in time.
  • In A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche unsuccessfully attempts to defend herself against her brother-in-law Stanley with a broken bottle.

    Video Games 
  • The most common weapon in the Doom-based first person Beat 'em Up Action Doom 2: Urban Brawl. In fact, the very first weapon you get in the game is a bottle of Jack Daniels the player character drinks to reduce his sensitivity to pain and then uses as a weapon.
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • Bubble Bobble has Drunks as enemies that throw bottles, and Willy Whistle throws entire waves of bottles.
  • In the City Elf origin story for Dragon Age: Origins, a nobleman tries to interrupt the PC's wedding, leading to the PC's cousin driving him off by breaking a bottle on his head. He comes back later with armed mooks to kidnap a number of women from the wedding, including two bridesmaids, the cousin who knocked him out earlier, and either the PC or his bride, depending on which gender the player chose for the PC.
  • Fighting Force has breakable bottles for the player to use against enemies.
  • EA's adaptation of The Godfather II actually uses a bottle thrown to the head as a required kill condition for a rival family's made man.
  • God of War has an alternate costume called The Dairy Bastard, which puts Kratos in a cow suit — and replaces his Chaos Blades with gallon milk jugs. Since the animations remain the same, Kratos can use them to fatally stab things.
  • Grand Theft Auto V added a broken bottle as a melee weapon in the Beach Bum Update. (See web original for related entry)
  • Hotline Miami: an empty bottle can be used by Jacket. Oddly enough, it's a throwing weapon only.
  • The execrable Human Killing Machine for the Amiga is a bad ripoff of Street Fighter in the guise of a Spiritual Successor, and featured a cast full of bad racial stereotypes. This included Franz, a German waiter who went into fights while balancing a wineglass and bottle on a tray at all times and whose attacks consisted of flinging bottles of wine at Kwon, the protagonist.
  • Wine bottles appear as one of the many Improvised Weapons in Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb. Indy has the option of either wielding them as makeshift bludgeons or throwing them. Either way, they make surprisingly effective weapons. Once.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, the drunken half-orc hobo has a bottle of Mad Train Wine as one of his weapons. It doesn't mention the bottle breaking on impact, but it may return a message about there being too much blood in your broken-glass-stream. If you're fighting a hobo found while dumpster-diving, he explicitly grabs a broken bottle. In the 2013 class revamps Disco Bandits learned a skill that lets them summon an improvised knife once per day, and one of the possible weapons you can get from this skill is a broken bottle.
  • You can often throw bottles in LEGO adaptation games. In fact, in LEGO Indiana Jones, doing so is a part of the first fight with Belloq in the mountain bar.
  • After the shipwreck at the beginning of Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir, you can salvage broken bottles from the wreckage of the Vigilant to use as weapons against the batiri that want to eat you. Mechanically they work like a basic, unenchanted dagger.
  • PAYDAY 2 has the Rivertown Glen Bottle, Bonnie's melee weapon of choice.
  • Older Than the NES: In the old Popeye game, both Bluto and the Sea Hag can throw bottles at Popeye that the player can avoid and gain points by punching.
  • The Punisher for the Xbox subverts this. Thrown beer bottles hurt... oddly just as much as a bullet to the chest (on easy mode).
  • Soft Glass is Averted in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army, when Raidou hits Rasputin, who's an android, over the head with a bottle. Rasputin ends up knocked out cold and the bottle doesn't break.
  • Some of the Majini in Resident Evil 5 wield bottles as melee weapons.
  • In Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara can pick up bottles lying around and throw them to cause a distraction. However, if she knows the "Deadly Force" skill which allows for faster stealth takedowns, and she does a takedown with a bottle in her hand, she'll use the bottle to kill the enemy. There's even an achievement for it.
  • Jet Li's Rise To Honor encourages this, as it is effectively a Hong Kong Martial Arts Movie in video game form. Kit Yun can transfer bottles from the floor to his hand with a single deft flick of his foot, then bash enemy Mooks with it. Only good for one hit, but it takes out any non-boss enemy after a single smash and when bottles are available, they're plentiful.
  • Saints Row 2: In the second mission, the protagonist is sitting in a bar watching the news, when a gang member comes by and has the TV turned off. The protagonist says he/she was watching that, and the gang member replies "I guess you're not anymore, are ya bitch?" The main character sits quietly for a moment, then casually grabs a beer bottle and backhands it across the gang members face, knocking him out instantly. Note also that Boss takes the gang member's bottle, and then goes back to drinking their own.
  • Samurai Shodown: Haohmaru uses a sake jug as his version of a Hurricane Kick. It stuns enemies and doesn't break.
  • Bottles are one of the many weapons you can use in Scott Pilgrim. They don't break upon use, which means you can throw them and abuse the juggling properties thrown weapons have against mooks.
  • Win a duel against an Annoying Captain in a bar in Sid Meier's Pirates! 2004 and the barmaid is the one who will end the angrily walloping your opponent over the head with a bottle of wine.
  • Another example is the wine bottle weapon in Silent Hill 4. True to form, it eventually breaks and changes from a clubbing weapon to a stabbing weapon after repeated use.
  • In the Streets of Rage series, you could pick up and break a bottle to use as a weapon.
  • In Team Fortress 2 the Demoman uses an intact bottle of cider as his default melee weapon. When taunting with the bottle in hand, he drinks. If the bottle strikes something with a Critical Hit it breaks as per this trope, though the effect is purely cosmetic. This doesn't make any difference to the taunt animation, as he drank out of the broken bottle, presumably too drunk to tell the difference. Due to the use of the same animations he can also appear to be drinking from a frying pan and various other melee weapons as well. Some of these were eventually fixed but the frying pan one was kept around because it was funny.
    • A humorous and widely popular fan-made mod turns the Demoman's Grenade Launcher into The Scottish Reserve, a crate full of scrumpy. This makes the Demoman attack by chucking bottles of booze at enemies and has him reload by taking swigs from the bottle he's currently holding. It also raises questions of what's in those bottles that is both drinkable yet highly explosive. (Ryncol?)
  • In Urban Reign glass bottles can be thrown at enemies or clubbed over their heads. Doing this, or dropping them, breaks the bottle and converts it into a slashing weapon.
  • The Warriors: One of the many items that can be picked up and used as a weapon in the video game adaptation. The brutality of hitting someone with a bottle is usually accented, so the game partially subverts the Soft Glass trope.
  • In World of Warcraft the "Barman Shanker" is a broken bottle, looted from a bartender in one of the (at the time) higher level dungeons. It is easier to get than anything from raids, and its damage-over-time effect was situationally useful. Most importantly, it was cool to carry around a broken bottle as a dagger.
    • The seasonal boss Coren Direbrew also drops a shattered bottle that functions as a dagger.
    • On a less serious note, some drinks leave a bottle behind after their use. You can sell them for a copper to vendors... or chuck them at other players.
  • A common weapon to find in street fights in the Yakuza series, which can be used as either bludgeoning or throwing weapons. A particularly nasty Heat move has Kiryu stab a mook with a broken bottle before kneeing it deeper into the man's body when he tries to recover.
    • During Majima's fight with Nishikiyama in Yakuza 0, Reina tries to help by breaking a wine bottle over Majima's head. Failing the Quicktime Event sees her knock a chunk of Majima's health off, and earns the player a trophy.
    • During Ryuji's introduction cutscene in Yakuza 2, he punishes a mook who called him "The Dragon of Kansai" by breaking a bottle over his head and threatening him with the remainder. When Kiryu does the same and prepares to leave, another goon tries to hit him with a bottle as well. Kiryu shrugs it off before pitching the goon over a railing and into a piano.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • In the second game's third case, a bottle is used as a weapon, but it's not the murder weapon and just leaves the victim with a concussion. It, however, broke. It was probably made from cheaper glass than Phoenix's favorite brand of grape juice.
    • Later on in the same case, it's possible to bait Maya into hitting Phoenix with a plastic bottle that, of course, does not break.
    • In the first case in Apollo Justice, the victim hits a waitress over the head with a glass grape juice bottle, and knocks her out. (Yes, despite what you're all thinking, it was really grape juice, even in the Japanese original.) Later, the victim is killed with a hit from another bottle, which does not break, and the unbroken bottle becomes evidence.
  • Sakura Ogami's death in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc involves her being subjected to this. Twice. With enough force to shatter said bottle each time. She still lives after this and later commits suicide via drinking poison. Of course, she is a titanic mountain of muscles. You could probably hit her with a whole case of bottles and she'd still be fine afterwards.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Subverted in Chris Ray Gun's song "Algorythm"; Chris tries to smash a bottle in his face, but it refuses to break, so he gets frustrated and just smashes it on the floor.
  • The Punisher short Dirty Laundry inverts the Soft Glass with the bottle of Jack Daniel's Frank's using staying in one piece all the way.
  • The glassinator. That is all. note 
  • In his review of Holing II, Your Sister is a Werewolf, JonTron mocks a scene where an actor gives a Dull Surprise after being hit with a bottle, by having him being hit with prop bottles in the head. Reality Ensues.
    Jon: ...yeah that actually just hurt for fucking real. I forgot whatever joke it is I had planned for that. (gives thumbs up) Let's move on, everyone.
  • The Spoony Experiment: In "O British, Where Art Thou? Spoony as The Avatar attempts this with a whiskey bottle on Lord British (played by Richard Garriott himself) after being stiffed by him one too many times, but seeing as Lord British is Nigh-Invulnerable as in the games the most it does is bounce off with a "ping" and he doesn't even notice.
  • Todd in the Shadows mentioned at least twice in his videos the "DL incident" which he saw in his house.
  • World War II: A bit of Black Comedy by Winston Churchill after the Dunkirk evacuation and his famous "We Shall Fight on the Beaches" speech.
    Churchill: And we'll fight them with the butt ends of broken beer bottles because that's bloody well all we've got!
  • Zombie Go Boom tested a champagne bottle for their New Year 2013 episode. Not only did it fail to even slightly damage the bottle, but the first hit was enough to cause a fatal skull fracture.
  • Subverted in the middle of a video of far-distant actresses and stunt doubles "fighting" each other one by one through the camera, one says, "Ow...", grabs a bottle of wine, swings it back, then thinks better of it, decides she wants to keep what's in the bottle, sets it carefully on the table, grabs a dog toy and uses that instead.

    Western Animation 
  • A gag similar to one of The Simpsons examples above is used in an episode of Catscratch when Mr. Blik uses a broken sugar cone to threaten the cats' manager at an ice cream place after he fires them.
  • In The Critic, a woman dressed as a beer bottle with just her legs showing breaks the top half of her costume against the counter and threatens to cut Jay.
    Duke: That's the last time I hire Sean Young to be a dancing beer bottle.
  • In one episode of Disenchantment, Elfo threatens Luci by breaking a flower vase over the counter and then threatens his neck... with a flower.
  • Drawn Together: Long story short, in one episode Wooldoor learns how to masturbate and every time he does, he produces larva-esque creatures with healing properties. At one point he shatters one like a bottle to use as a weapon.
  • Family Guy: Meg interrupts a scene of Everybody Loves Raymond to tell Neil Goldman how much she hates him. It's followed by Ray angering Debra who then shatters a wine bottle threatening him with it.
  • Futurama: Bender mentions this when the crew goes to a Blernesball game. They have really good seats, with Bender noting, "We're close enough that if you hit a player with a bottle, he stays down."
    • When they deliver the crate of game prizes to the lunar theme park, the park mascot tries to confiscate Bender's beverage. Instead of clubbing the guy with the bottle, he sticks it in the mascot's eye.
    • "Fear of a Bot Planet" ends with a bunch of snapshots of Fry, Leela and Bender's "Robanukah" party. One shows Bender holding a broken bottle to Fry's neck. In the next, he has some band-aids.
  • Parodied in the Mickey Mouse (2013) Christmas special "Duck the Halls", when after fully succumbing to Sanity Slippage, Donald threatens Mickey with a broken candy cane.
  • Robot Chicken:
    • One sketch had Sara Lee breaking a beer bottle against her head to use it as a weapon against Betty Crocker.
    • In a sketch parodying Blue's Clues, Steve is preparing to kill Blue to stop her from replacing him with Joe, so she breaks a beer bottle and attacks him with it.
  • The Simpsons
    • In "A Streetcar Named Marge", Marge (playing Blanche Du Bois) uses a bottle in this manner against Ned (playing Stanley) in the A Streetcar Named Desire musical episode. Notably, she has trouble breaking it at first, but after getting a bit too into the role and imagining Ned as Homer (whom she was mad with at the time) she successfully breaks it, tackles him, and judging from the bandage on his chest later apparently managed to hurt him.
    • In "Worst Episode Ever", the Comic Book Guy goes to Moe's Tavern and states that he dislikes beer: "Beer is the nectar of the nitwit." Lenny is incited, yells out "No one badmouths Duff!" and proceeds to attempt to break the bottom end of the Duff bottle he's holding for a weapon. The entire bottle shatters in his hands (though it doesn't harm him) and he says dejected "Aw, piece of crap."
    • Itchy does this to Scratchy in the I&S short "Foster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!". With a baby bottle.
    • In "Homer the Moe", Homer starts his own bar, where he even gets R.E.M. to play by making them think they're saving the rainforest. When Homer reveals this to Moe, R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe is not amused at all.
      Michael: You lied to us! (smashes bottle before held back by Mike Mills and Peter Buck)
      Mike: Michael, no!
      Peter: That's not the R.E.M. way.
      Michael: (sighs) You're right. Let's recycle these shards and get out of here.
    • In "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge", Marge does this using a porcelain ice cream cone decoration.
  • The first episode of season 2 of The Spectacular Spider-Man has one of Mysterio's robotic doubles smashing a bottle over Spidey's head. In a Western Saloon prop house.
  • Parodied during an episode of Stroker and Hoop. When the duo smacks a cameraman and sound guy with bottles, the bottles don't break. The sound guy collapses without passing out and suspects the cameraman not only lost consciousness but died. Stroker feels insulted that his ability to give a Tap on the Head is questioned, so the sound guy pretends to pass out so he doesn't get hit again.

    Real Life 
  • In bar fights in Germany (including the Oktoberfest), sometimes beer steins are used instead of bottles. That's why the makers of those introduced predetermined breaking points - hit someone with a stein, and the grip will break off, reducing the chance of really bad injuries.
  • The "bottles" seen in the movies are in fact dedicated props that are typically made of hardened wax. This wax looks exactly like thick glass, can hold liquid, and breaks satisfyingly but doesn't hurt the actors as much as real glass. (Bottles can also be made of the same sugary stuff used for breakaway window-panes, but this is unusual because sugar-glass shatters and can cause injury.)
  • On one occasion when Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison were at the same club, Morrison, in typical fashion, started acting like a drunken idiot and Joplin proceeded to hit him in the face with a Southern Comfort bottle. Morrison already had a thing for her and apparently this only increased his feelings for her. She didn't reciprocate but he apparently carried a torch for her for the rest of their brief lives.
  • In a [mock] quote attributed to Winston Churchill during WW2, Britain is so lacking weapons after the defeat at Dunkirk that Winston quips that they'll have to throw bottles at the invading Germans. "Empty ones, of course."
  • During an attempted robbery at a liquor store in Oklahoma, one of the two clerks working the late shift noticed that the 'gun' in the assailant's pocket was actually the handle of a hair comb. The woman, Jeanne Casey, grabbed a nearby bottle and hit him in the temple with it from behind. Her co-worker behind the counter, Debbie Ellison, then smashed the man over the head with another bottle, causing him to flee.
  • Avicii apparently chose this way to go out when he injured himself with a broken wine bottle and died from the resulting blood loss.
  • Black Friday Coming Down is the second account by former Tennessee police officer David Hunter of real stories from his career. In one of several inverted tropes incidents, a belligerent drunk slams a beer bottle against a bar — and the bar top breaks.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Bottle Attack


Hitting the Bottle

During Majima's fight with Nishikiyama, a quick-time event will occur. Screwing it up will have Majima take a bottle to the skull.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / GrievousBottleyHarm

Media sources:

Main / GrievousBottleyHarm