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, showing that Reality Is Unrealistic.
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.
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
- 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.
- Gunnm offers Gally 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- During a brawl in YuYu Hakusho, a mook smashes Yusuke over the head with a beer bottle. Not only does it have no effect whatsoever, he complains about the guy wasting quality brew.
- This is used to commit a murder in Detective School Q. More exactly, the Boarding School's Jerk Ass 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 womens' restroom! Then he takes a wine bottle to the head, courtesy of Anna. Probably should have waited for them to leave the restaurant...
- 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...
- 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).
- 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!
- Fun with Milk & Cheese: Evan Dorkin's comic runs on this trope. They prefer gin bottles rather than beer bottles.
- 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 the first Death mini-series, "The High Cost of Living," Mad Hettie threatens Sexton with a broken bottle.
- 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 which 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 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 bottles 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Averted 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.
- 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 22 Jump Street: Schmidt attempts to break a bourbon bottle against Mercedes' head, only to find that it's plastic.
- 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!
- 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 Darkman, Yakitito is knocked out when Durant's thugs smash a laboratory flask over his 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...
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Reform School Girls: While escaping from the infirmary, Jenny smashes a glass flask over the head of the night nurse.
- 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.
- A guy has a beer can crushed into his head in Sleepover Nightmare.
- Sorority Row has a girl get a bottle violently shoved down her throat, which is then slashed.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit does this to one of the weasels.
- 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", barfighting practically being the "lower" city's civic sport.
- Iron Fist: The more common unrealistic treatment is averted in the Star Wars Legends novel. 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 then a Bar Brawl.
- 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 the Indian novel The White Tiger: How Balram kills Ashok.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- My Name Is Earl, Joy threatens Catalina:
Joy: You're not the one holdin' a freshly broken bottle, now are you!
(bottle remains whole)
Joy: This would still hurt if I hit you with it!
- 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.)
- 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.
- True Blood averted the Soft Glass portion of this trope when Tara's mother hits her over the head with a tequila bottle. Bottle doesn't break at all, and Tara is left with a nasty gash.
- Criminal Minds also averts the Soft Glass trope in the episode "Parasite", when a murder victim is repeatedly bludgeoned with a glass decanter without breaking.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- A similar 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?"
- Titus: Tommy attempts this, but the bottle remains intact, so he just puts it back on the table.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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 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.
- In the first episode of Wild Boys, Hogan smashes a bottle and uses to attack Jack in the pub.
- 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.
- Danny gets one of these in CSI: NY "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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Played realistically in General Hospital, wherein the victim actually died from the blow.
- CSI: Miami: In "Habeas Corpse", corrupt ASA Josh Avery is killed by a blow to his head with a wine bottle.
- Of course there's a Buffy the Vampire Slayer example, and of course it's a subversion. 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.
- 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'.
- Studio C takes the hand-full-of-glass (or eyes) approach when bikers try to get in a bar fight.
- Scorpion: In "Going South", Happy smashes a bottle and uses it to threaten the punk who kidnapped her.
- 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.
- The Coroner: In "That's the Way to Do It", the Victim of the Week is beaten to death with a champagne bottle.
- 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.
- Vera: In "Telling Tales", a householder gets hospitalized when an intruder who has broken in to retrieve some some incriminating evidence smashes him over the head with a bottle.
- Rizzoli & Isles: In "A Shot in the Dark", a recently released convict smashes a wine bottle over the head of a store clerk.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- This is one of the many Amusing Injuries suffered by Madge in Le Cur a ses Raisons.
- 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!
- The entire premise of Ms. B'Havin's outrageous, must-be-heard-to-be-believed song "Bottle Action" is this trope.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- In Pathfinder, those of the Alchemist class add their INT bonus on any splash weapons they use; this applies principally to their bombs, but also affects any acid flasks, bottles of alchemist's fire, etc. that they make or purchase. In a pinch, they can also use anything nearby, including bottles, as improvised thrown weapons.
- 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.
- In the original Streets of Rage fighting game you could pick up and break a bottle to use as a weapon.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Punisher for the Xbox subverts this. Thrown beer bottles hurt... oddly just as much as a bullet to the chest (on easy mode).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 quiet 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bubble Bobble has Drunks as enemies that throw bottles, and Willy Whistle throws entire waves of bottles.
- 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.
- 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.
- Batman: Arkham City
- The Penguin's◊ monocle isn't actually a real monocle, but rather the bottom of a beer bottle that was violently shoved into his face during a bar fight.
- Some inmates use broken bottles as weapons. They behave just like inmates with knives, but they aren't as common or as easy to spot.
- 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.
- Some of the Majini in Resident Evil 5 wield bottles as melee weapons.
- Hotline Miami: a empty bottle can be used by Jacket. Oddly enough, it's a throwing weapon only.
- 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 fight...by angrily walloping your opponent over the head with a bottle of wine.
- Grand Theft Auto V added a broken bottle as a melee weapon in the Beach Bum Update. (See web original for related entry)
- 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.
- The execrable Human Killing Machine for the Amiga is a bad ripoff of Street Fighter I 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.
- 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.
- In Urban Reign glass bottles can be thrown at enemies or clubbed over their heads. Doing this, or dropping them, breaks the bottle and coverts it into a slashing weapon.
- 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.
- PAYDAY 2 has the Rivertown Glen Bottle, Bonnie's melee weapon of choice.
- 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.
- 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 the fourth game, 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 Oogami'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.
- Achewood: Rodney Leonard Stubbs threw a beer bottle through Carl Veidt's head in the Great Outdoor Fight backstory. "Perfect spiral... scientists are still figuring it out..."
- This is what Steve from Questionable Content recommends for dealing with tequila monsters.
- In Impure Blood, a guard tries this on Dara; Elnor interrupts it.
- In Beyond the Canopy, Glade gets knocked out by a chicken knocking her on the back of the head with a bottle of "It's Wine!".
- In The Order of the Stick, "Change of Plans", Roy uses an empty potion bottle against Thog by smashing it into his eye.
Ian: Would it be crass to bill him extra for a single-use improvised weapon?
Ian: "Lovable miser" crass, or just—
Geoff: Just regular crass.
- In Unsounded Starfish beats a severely injured Ephsephin to death with a wine bottle. The bottle ends intact, his skull not so much.
- Manly Guys Doing Manly Things: During the Commander's battle with Gackt, Jared tries to heal him by throwing a Healing Potion at him, shattering it on his face. Gackt puts the battle on hold while the Commander cleans up at Gackt's eye-wash station.
- Cosmic Dash: Alix notices an assassin's tattoo and warns Dash. When the assassin attacks Mr. Kimney With Catlike Tread, Dash smashes a glass on him. They're both bleeding after that, but the assassin is severely hit.
- Todd in the Shadows mentioned at least twice in his videos the "DL incident" which he saw in his house.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The glassinator. That is all. note
- The Simpsons
Michael: You lied to us! (smashes bottle, before held back by Mike Mills and Peter Buck)
- In "A Streetcare 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 at 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.
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 with a broken waffle cone.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 a Robot Chicken 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.
- 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 beer 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.