Want to get a good idea how dangerous the situation got or was? Why not getting your hat cut into two, getting bullet holes in it, etc.
This is also sometimes accompanied with an indignant remark of "I just got that hat!"
Particularly smart characters might even throw their hats to test for booby traps or stick it out from cover only to pull it back in, riddled with bullets.
See also Doomed New Clothes, Wardrobe Wound, Could Have Been Messy, Close-Call Haircut, Dead Hat Shot, Losing a Shoe in the Struggle, and Broken Faceplate. A non-Fanservice Sub-Trope of Clothing Damage.
- Bleach: Urahara provides the page quote during a sword training session with Ichigo.
- Starrk slicing a bit out of Kyoraku's hat - cutting him in the process - would be an indication the fight's going somewhere, were it not for the fact they then continue to procrastinate for some time afterwards. One of Kyoraku's dirty tactics is to throw his hat at Starrk to block his view, and then attack by slicing the hat in two, and in theory cut Starrk. The Espada is too quick, but the hat is definitely 'killed'.
- In Get Backers during his first fight with Kyoji Kagami, Akabane gets his massive fedora sliced at a small point in the front, though it doesn't anger him and only serves to convince him of Kagami's worth as an opponent. The slit stays there for the rest of the series.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency: When Stroheim returns with his cybernetic enhancements, he keeps the brim of his hat low over his face, preventing Joseph from discerning his identity. It's revealed to Joseph and to the reader when Stroheim clashes with Kars, and the latter's Brilliant Bone Blade hits him in the face, cleaving the hat cleanly in half without leaving so much as a dent in Stroheim's newly enhanced face.
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Vita gets her hat slightly shredded by Nanoha's Divine Buster during their first fight. She does not react well.
- Ninja Scroll: Jubei's hat takes some damage early on, and it remains split for the rest of the movie.
- One Piece: Happens to Luffy's straw hat, which was given to him by Shanks. Which was presumably given to Shanks by Gold Roger himself
- Reborn! (2004): during the TYL arc, Reborn has been training Yamamoto in some swordplay. The final test is the former versus the latter using a Paintball pistol and his Katana respectively. After a few seconds of even-match sparring, the final blow is struck, and Reborn looks unharmed...until a rip appears on his hat.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie: Knuckles digs some tunnels to redirect a dangerous lava flow. He avoids getting burned, only for his hat to catch on fire.
- Soul Eater: Giriko cuts Mosquito's hat while slicing the roof off the limo they were in.
- In Winter Days, both Masahiro Katayama and Mark Baker interpret this line of the original poem as this.
"Now's the time!", releasing an arrow of resentment.
- Masahiro Katayama's segment features a crook who is about to shoot someone with an arrow, but gets blinded by a reflection of the moonlight. The arrow misses his target and instead ends up piercing a monk's hat, who just smiles it off.
- Mark Baker's segment features a bandit who gets the attention of a lumberjack he is planning to mug by shooting him with an arrow, which pierces his hat before landing on a nearby tree.
- Disney Ducks Comic Universe: If you shoot Scrooge McDuck's top hat, he'll make you pay... the repair costs.
- The "bullet through the hat" was sort of a trademark for Dalton brothers in Lucky Luke. This is also a plot point in one of the albums, although the Dalton brothers aren't involved. The "decoy hat on a stick" and the "Visited the Indians hat" are also prevalent.
- Marshal Bass: River Bass wears the hat of Bill Derby, a criminal he was initially mistook for. Derby was eventually shot by the colonel Helena, who offered the now-pierced hat to River as an excuse.
- Much the same as Lucky Luke goes forTex Willer, though by far the most frequent is the "hat shot", which serves two purposes. If a hero does it to a villain, it's usually a show of force. When it's in reverse, it demonstrates that the good guys are either dealing with a really good shot, or the baddies of the story are employing lots and lots of flying lead all at once. Tex's longtime companion Kit Carson is particularly prone to get the short end of the stick on this (often leading to much grumbling on his part), though it's been known to happen to Tex himself.
- Happens in the Tintin book Tintin: The Calculus Affair. Professor Calculus, coming back from his lab, had a bullet hole going straight through his hat, which he attributes to moths.
- The Walking Dead: Carl Grimes' trademark Sheriff's hat as well as its owner's head has a sizeable chunk taken from it by a stray bullet. Carl continues to wear it in this state.
- In Aladdin, when Prince Ali makes his dramatic entrance, an elephant opens the door onto Jafar. He's fine, except that his hat is knocked askew. (It's fine in the next shot though.)
- In the sequel, Jafar slashes the Sultan's turban and leaves it in Aladdin's room to act as evidence framing Aladdin for murder.
- G.I. Joe: The Movie has a brief scene in the opening where Bazooka trips and falls, discharging his rocket launcher... and nearly blowing off Shipwreck's head in the process. Shipwreck survives, albeit visibly horrified by his teammate's clumsiness; Shipwreck's sailing cap does not, being blown out to sea and then vaporized when Bazooka's rocket explodes on a Cobra boat.
- Disney's Robin Hood (1973) opens with a chase that leaves an arrow stuck through Robin's hat (triggering the Stock Phrase "That one almost had my name on it!"). Later, after a climactic fall into a castle moat, the hat bobs up, with another arrow through it, but with no Robin. What, didn't you see the word "Disney's" back there?
- In almost every movie about The Alamo, Davy Crocket shoots off Santa Anna's hat. Though no historical evidence is provided for this, he probably just does this to be a smart ass.
- Back to the Future Part III: Buford Tannen holds Doc at gunpoint and Marty hits the gun with a thrown pie plate the moment he pulls the trigger. Doc's hat gets a neat bullethole right in the center and is knocked off his head, but he is uninjured. Played completely serious.
- In Bad Taste, Derek falls off from a cliff, fracturing his skull. To keep it together, he stumbles to his car and puts on a hat, which gets blown off later by a stray bullet, sending him into convulsions.
- The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: Subverted. Buster removes his hat and inspects a neat bullet-hole in the front. He then tilts it to find a bloody exit-hole in the back, and realizes he's been shot straight through the head.
Buster: Well. That ain't good.
- In the first "Crocodile" Dundee sequel, the cartel members hold Dundee's friend Walter hostage to try to force him to surrender. Dundee responds by putting a bullet through Walter's hat. The cartel assumes he was going for a head shot, which gives Walter the appearance of a motive to track him down so that the cartel trusts him and keeps him alive long enough for Mick to come up with plan to thwart the cartel.
- Dollars Trilogy: The Man With No Name's hat has a repaired bullet hole in the dead center of the crown. We never learn the circumstances surrounding it, its just another mysterious element of the character.
- In the opening scene of Draw!, Harry shoots a stick out of Moses's hand with a gun he has hidden under his hat: putting a hole in it. He then pokes a finger through the hole and comments wistfully about it being his only hat. Later, Sam shoots the bowler hat of the head of one of Reggie's thugs who try to jump him in his bedroom; much to the shock of the thug.
- Duck Soup: In one scene during the war, Firefly is wearing an enormous busby (part of a Running Gag where Firefly's uniform changes in each scene). Suddenly, the shooting stops. Firefly waves a plate in front of a window to make sure it's safe. Just as he announces that the coast is clear, an enemy bullet knocks the busby off Firefly's head.
- In a later scene, Pinky uses his scissors to cut the tail off Firefly's coonskin cap.
- Gang of Roses: When Rachel's gang crashes Kim's Public Execution, the judge gets the hat shot off his head.
- In The Good, The Bad, The Weird, Do-won gets a bullet through the brim of his hat during the gun battle with Japanese Army, and Chang-yi shoots Tae-goo's aviator cap off his head just before the final showdown.
- Go West, Young Lady: When the stage is attacked by Indians, an arrow knocks the stuffed bird off the top of Bill's hat and pins it to the wall.
- In Gunslinger, Cain's hat is shot off in the final confrontation as he's shot in the head, killing him, though, when shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000, we get this little gem:
Joel: [As Cain slumps over dead] Ohh, got him right in the hat.
- In Hardcore Henry, Colonel Jimmy gets his beret shot off during his and Henry's running guns-and-grenades stairwell battle with Akan's thugs.
- Hawk the Slayer. While robbing the slave traders, the elf archer encourages a slaver to cut his captives loose by shooting off his hat.
- High Plains Drifter. Clint Eastwood's character is Training the Peaceful Villagers by having a wagon with dummies driven around so the townspeople can shoot at it. Annoyed by their A-Team Firing, Clint draws and shoots the heads off all the dummies, then shoots the hat off the driver for good measure. Another man standing behind Clint who's contemplating stabbing him In the Back suddenly decides he has urgent business elsewhere.
- In The Man Who Could Work Miracles, Colonel Winstanley attempts to shoot Fotheringay and succeeds in shooting the hat off his head. The bullet also creases his scalp, as his next miracle (after making himself invulnerable) is to heal his scalp wound.
- Muppet Treasure Island: The chief boar's big, elaborate headdress gets blown off his head when Long John Silver shoots it.
- My Name Is Nobody has a running gag about Nobody and Jack shooting one another's hats. At one point Nobody wastes his last bullet on a hat on the floor because Jack is ahead by one.
- In The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again, Nash Crawford has his hat shot off his head by his ally Jason Fitch in a Blind Mistake due to Fitch's appalling eyesight.
- In, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pintel shoots Gillette's hat off and Jack slices the feathers on Barbossa's hat in half (which thoroughly infuriates him).
- The Prince of Thieves: While Robin is using the Hands-On Approach to teach Marian archery, an accidentally loosed arrow knocks the hat off Little John who us sleeping under a tree.
- At the start of The Quick and the Dead, "Dog" Kelly shoots the Lady through her hat while trying to kill her. Understandably pissed, the Lady knocks him out, steals his hat, and leaves him shackled to a wrecked wagon in the middle of the desert.
- During the firefight at Chuck-a-Luck in Rancho Notorious, Frenchy shoots Comanche's hat off his head, forcing him to duck his head down again.
- Played straight and then subverted in Saving Private Ryan during the Normandy invasion. A soldier takes a round right in the forehead, leaving a big dent in his helmet. He takes it off, looks at it, and laughs just as another round hits him in his now-unprotected head.
- Happens twice in Sherlock Holmes (2009):
- Holmes finds himself on a Conveyor Belt o' Doom and comes dangerously close to a rotating chainsaw. His hat doesn't survive the encounter.
- Irene Adler shoots Dredger clean through the bowler hat. It just misses the top of his head inside the hat, prompting the one-liner, "Did you... miss me?"
- In the sequel, Watson is taking cover behind a gun shield to avoid Moran. There is a minute gap between the shield and the artillery barrel, so he holds out his hat to see just how sharp Moran's shot is, and gets a hole in it for his trouble.
- The Steel Helmet, a 1951 war movie by Sam Fuller. Sergeant Zack has a bullethole in his helmet, which saved him from a North Korean execution squad. He regards the helmet as good luck and refuses to exchange it for another one.
- During the shootout at Mix's ranch in Sunset, Tom Mix has his hat shot off his head. Wyatt hands it back to him, sticking his finger in the bullet hole and commenting on what a difference a couple of inches would have made.
- In The Three Musketeers (1973), during the opening encounter with the Cardinal's guards, Porthos's hat gets sliced in half while he isn't wearing it, leading to a scene in which Porthos, jubilant at the Musketeers' victory, puts his hat on, it falls off to either side of his head, and he throws a tantrum and takes four times the cost of the hat out of the guards' purses as a fine.
- In The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (better known as the movie where "We don't need no stinking badges!" comes from), the banditos have the protagonists surrounded, and the first warning shot goes right through their leader's huge sombrero.
- In one story about the Jewish Guile Hero Herschel of Ostropol, Herschel is on his way home after several months earning money when he's stopped by a bandit. He asks the bandit to shoot a hole through his coat, to prove to his wife that he really was robbed. Then he says that his coat is so old that it looks like a moth hole, and asks the bandit to make another. Just to be absolutely sure he has proof, he asks the bandit one more time to make a hole, this time in his hat. The bandit obliges, and mentions that he can't give him any more holes, since he's out of bullets, at which point Herschel punches him out and takes back his money.
- Around the World in Eighty Days: Phileas Fogg gets a bullet through his hat when he and his companions escape after saving Aouda from ritual human sacrifice.
- The Princess Ren is tackled in A Brother's Price and saved from a Booby Trap; her hat is less fortunate.
- In The Diamond Age, when Hackworth gets mugged, his hat is horrendously damaged.
- The "poke the hat up on a stick" version is subverted in Men at Arms: When the villain is firing the gonne into his office, Vimes moves to the corner of the room next to the window and uses a very long pole with a hook at the end to poke his helmet out. Immediately a bullet hits the floor, where it would have severely inconvenienced anyone crouched under the window.
- In The Last Continent, during the Mad Max parody, one member of the road gang shoots Rincewind's hat off with his crossbow. Since an awful lot of Rincewind's personal identity is tied up in his hat, he is not happy.
- In Carpe Jugulum, Granny Weatherwax, trying to make a point to the younger witches, challenges them to knock her hat off. When they don't know any spells that would do it, she asks Nanny Ogg, who throws a stick. When the younger witches protest that this isn't proper witchcraft, Granny decides to make another point, and makes Nanny's hat explode. Nanny complains that it cost six dollars and a pig cure.
- Mark Delewen and the Space Pirates has Mark shooting the very large hat off the pirate captain.
- Hilarity ensues when Matilda attaches Mr Wormwood's hat to his head with superglue. When the hat does not come loose by the following morning, Mrs Wormwood cuts it off his head with scissors, completely destroying the hat, and leaving Mr Wormwood with a bald white ring around his head.
- In Peril at End House by Agatha Christie, a bullet hole in Nick's hat is one of the signs that someone is trying to kill her. Except that she's the one who shot her hat in the first place, in order to make it look as though that were the case.
- The 1962 Polish book Pięć Przygód Detektywa Konopki has an example of this trope invoked by a cowboy who wears multiple hats, stacked on top of one another. If someone would try to shoot him in the head, they'd instead only manage to shoot off one of his hats, eventually giving up on shooting a guy whose head, as far as they can tell, is all hats.
- Happens to Psmith during a shoot-out in Psmith, Journalist.
- In Stig Of The Dump, Barney shoots an flint-tipped arrow at a thief, flipping the man's hat off and pinning it to the cliff-face. The man is enraged when he retrieves his hat, and sees the arrow.
"You little 'orror! Where did you get them things from? You know you could have killed me?"
- Episodes of The Avengers (1960s) often ended with Steed and Mrs Peel attempting to repair the latest damage done to Steed's bowler hat. Also shown in the Season Six Title Sequence.
- In Band of Brothers, while Easy Company is retreating from Nijmegan and Captains Nixon and Winters are supervising the withdrawal, Nixon gets shot in the head and is thrown to the ground. Winters freaks out and checks to see if he's okay, which causes Nixon to freak out and wonder if he's okay. Turns out the bullet hit Nixon's helmet at just the perfect angle to go in, burn his forehead slightly, and go back out. Also happened in Real Life.
- Invoked in Big Brother in the US version in Season 16. Victoria Rafaeli took a cosmetic knife to the pink cap Zach Rance had not returned to her after borrowing it in the house and wearing it so often it was like he stole it. After spending most of the season bickering with him, Victoria finally decided to punish him, sacrificing her own hat in the process. He assumed the hat just went missing and gave up on finding it after a period of frustration. When he was evicted from the house, Victoria taunted Zach with the shredded hat in her goodbye message. However, the Jury presented him with a brand new pink hat of his very own during his birthday at the Jury House as a gift.
- First episode of Blackadder Goes Fourth had Blackadder toss the Lieutenant's helmet over the trench wall. The German solders riddled it with bullet holes, before Blackadder caught it on its way back.
- Played with on CSI, when the groom at an Alice-In-Wonderland-themed wedding is fired on at close range by a robber who's shooting blanks. The blast of escaping air would have merely knocked the "Mad Hatter" hat off his head, except that its energy struck a button on the hatband, propelling it straight into the unlucky groom's brain. For once, Hat Damage caused death rather than substituted for it!
- Doctor Who:
- In "The Ark in Space", the Fourth Doctor and Harry are pinned down by an automated security system. Testing the system, the Doctor extends his fedora on an extending pole, only for it to be zapped by a laser beam and returned to him smouldering.
- This is a Running Gag during the Matt Smith era, with the Doctor putting on new hats and River shooting them.
- Happens to Benton Fraser, RCMP, in an episode of Due South. Played straight to begin with: a gun goes off, Benton falls, Ray takes out the shooter and yells for Benton... then this happens.
Benton: She shot me in the hat, Ray.
Ray: She shot you in the hat?
Benton: Yes. I can feel air coming in through the hole. (Sighs) I'll have to get my second-best one.
- Father Brown: In "The Lair of the Libertines'', the doctor shoots the fez off Cryus's head, which serves to show the viewers how heedless of others safety the doctor is. For the rest of the episode, Cyrus's fez has a neat bullet hole in it.
- In the Justified series finale, Raylan and Boon duel. Raylan wins, but Boon puts a bullet through Raylan's signature cowboy hat; Raylan takes Boon's to replace it.
- In M*A*S*H, Major Winchester has a near-death experience after the camp survives a sniper attack; everything is fine until Charles puts his hat on a hook, and it goes right through the bullet hole.
- Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Inspector Jack Robinson has his hat shot off his head in "Death on the Vine".
- Mythbusters: One of the many Tropes Examined By The Myth Busters. They found that it was impossible to actually shoot a person's hat off without also causing a fatal head injury, and the only gun to reliably take a hat off was a shotgun.
Adam: He's definitely not going around going, 'And then he shot the hat right off my head!', because he'll also be like, 'And then he shot the top of my head right off my head!'
- In the episode in which they test if one can shoot an incoming hand grenade and what the effect of that would be, Jamie and Adam go learn to shoot skeet with a 12-gauge. At then end, Jamie tosses his beret like a frisbee for Adam to try to shoot. He hit it.
- In a season one episode of NCIS, Kate and Tony are trying (and failing) at the target range - they keep accidentally shooting the "hostage." Gibbs decides to up the stakes a bit - he tapes Kate's PDA to her "hostage's" head, and Tony's hat to his. Next scene, Tony's complaining about the bullethole in the visor. Becomes a Brick Joke in season three, when he passes it off to Ziva.
Ziva: I'm wondering why there is a 9mm hole in my hat.
- In Power Rangers Zeo's final battle, King Mondo's defeat is punctuated by his mechanical crown coming off and rolling away.
- Supernatural. Averted for the Cliffhanger ending of "How To Win Friends and Influence Monsters". Bobby Singer dives into a van pursued by a hail of bullets. Sam Winchester hands him his hat, then realises there's a bullet hole in it and Bobby isn't answering. The following episode starts with a zoom out from the matching hole in Bobby's skull, to show it isn't Only a Flesh Wound.
- Sandra burned Russell's hat in the finale of Survivor: Heroes vs Villains, but he only found out when the episode aired.
- The Westerner: In "Brown", Dave shoots Burgundy Smith's hat off his head as a warning when Burgundy tries to steal his dog Brown away from him.
- Xena: Warrior Princess: In "The Xena Scrolls", Dr Covington's hat is shot off her head during the opening shoot-out.
- From "Cool for Cats" by Squeeze:
And he wakes to find the fire's dead
And arrows in his hat,
And Davy Crockett rides around
And says it cool for cats.
- A very early Barney Google arc had the eponymous character getting regularly shot at by gangsters in this manner, leading to the Running Gag "Just look at 'at hat!"
- One The Far Side comic features a bunch of western bandits, remarking on the fact that one of them manages to get a bullet through his hat every single time they get in a shootout. The explanation: said bandit has a ridiculously tall hat.
- Another The Far Side comic takes the old arrow-through-the-hat example of this trope from Westerns and takes it to its illogical extreme: a panicked cowboy runs in, bringing a warning. "Indians!" Guess what's lodged in his hat.
- In Cactus Canyon, shooting one of the Bart Brothers causes his hat to fly off.
- In the Spaghetti Western card game Bang!, the "Miss!" symbol is a hat with a bullet passing through it.
- In Carmen, Don José, guarding the gypsy camp, aims his rifle at the approaching Escamillo and fires. The shot apparently passes through Escamillo's hat, which he carries in his hand as he enters.
- Happens in Brain Dead 13 when Lance is impaled by a pit of spikes in one death scene, as his own baseball cap, hair and all, is pierced by spikes.
- Somewhat averted in other death scenes, as no matter how many times he gets doused in acid or gets his skin and/or clothing torn off by thorns or some other means, his cap somehow survives intact, as if it's Made of Indestructium.
- Dead Man's Hand, a Western-themed action game, have mooks with hats as a common enemy. Shooting their hats off without killing them actually grants extra points to your character.
- Eastern Exorcist has the boss, General Yin, who's Never Bareheaded. But in Lu Yun-chuan's campaign, after Yin is defeated the Coup de Grâce Cutscene sees Lu slicing General Yin's wide-brimmed hat into half, as well as parting Yin's hair, in a comical manner.
- In Fistful of Frags, shooting an enemy's hat will knock it off. It doesn't deal any more damage than if you shoot them anywhere else, but nets you more notoriety points.
- The Friday Night Funkin' modding community has a couple of examples.
- In Friday Night Funkin' HD, if you miss a caution note during Week 3's final song but have above 50% health, Pico will miss his shot and the bullet will go straight through Boyfriend's hat. This will switch his sprite to his "stressed" model.
- Friday Night Funkin' Minus has three playable characters who show a different skeleton in the Game Over screen. Mean Boyfriend's x-ray, in particular, shows a bone within the brim of his cap (for whatever reason) which breaks along with his skeleton.
- Dizzy's hat can come off in Gears of War 2 multiplayer, but only from being struck by an enemy's munitions or downed. Rolling around won't.
- The Godfather game allows you to blow off enemies' hats with certain Execution Styles.
- It's possible to knock the hats/helmets right off of the Mooks in GoldenEye.
- In Grand Theft Auto IV it's not uncommon to blast policemen's hats away with headshots, explosives, fistfighting or driving into them; it possibly even works with other hat-wearing people.
- The epilogue of Halo: Reach shows helmet damage from first-person view to convey the hopelessness of the situation. After a certain amount of damage, Noble Six discards the helmet and the camera continues to run from there as the Elites deliver the death blow. Also occurs when Kat is killed with a headshot by the Elite Field Marshal.
- L.A. Noire has the hat's not only being shot down, but also knocked off by fistfights.
Cole Phelps: That was a $12 hat!
- Medal of Honor has done this since the first game.
- The online mode for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater actually uses this as a gameplay mechanic. If you play as Revolver Ocelot, a headshot will only knock off his beret, protecting him from death just once.
- Red Dead Redemption: it's possible to remove people's hats with well-placed shots. A slight error quickly turns the target's head into Pink Mist, but the hat comes off that way, too.
- Red Dead Redemption II: Hats can get shot or knocked off in combat, so it's not uncommon for you to have to retrieve your hat after a fight. You can also pick up and wear enemies' hats. If the player character's hat gets shot off, all of your hats will display bullet holes until you save and reload.
- In the Resident Evil 2 (Remake), some enemies are wearing hats that can be shot off for an Achievement. Then there's Mr.X and his Fedora of Asskicking. Shooting his hat off gives you an Achievement.....and a very annoyed Tyrant.
- Several enemies in Resonance of Fate wear hats as armor, which can be shot off with the right type of attack. For basic gangsters, a hat can survive sustained machinegun fire indefinitely, but a single handgun shot will remove it. In addition, destroying/removing hats and other pieces of clothing/armor is a key gameplay mechanic.
- The first two Soldier of Fortune games made it possible, if not difficult, to shoot off an enemies hat without harming them. An enemy that has that happen to them will often stop in their tracks from the surprise, giving you a chance to shoot the gun out of their hands and cause them to beg for mercy.
- Even more difficult but still possible is shooting someones sunglasses off without hurting them.
- An important game mechanic in SteamWorld Heist. Shots that just miss the head can knock a character's hat off. This allows one of your characters to collect the hat and add it to your collection.
- Team Fortress 2: the description for Ritzy Rick's Hair Fixative on the Sniper's hat, which was shot by a bullet. Oddly enough, for a game that sells itself as a "War-Themed Hat Simulator", the trope is averted in gameplay.
- In Time Crisis 2 Area 1 Stage 2, when chasing the first boss, you can shoot his head causing his hat to fall off. Do this each time he shows up will let you skip fighting the APC with a machine gun sequence. Instead, you will fight a number of bonus-point-awarding soldiers.
- All of the player characters in Towerfall Ascension wear headgear of some kind; for instance, The Last of the Order wears a hood, the Vigilante Thief has a bandana, the Turncloak Soldier has a helmet, and so on. Additionally, any characters in the lead over a set will bear a crown instead of their normal headgear. If you shoot just over the head of another character in a match, their headgear will be knocked off, and they can even pick it back up if they crouch over it before the match ends. In the case of the Ancient Exile, her Slipknot Ponytail will be cut loose, thus letting her hair down.
- We Who Are About to Die: Enough repeated head strikes on an enemy combatant and you can send their helmet careening right off their heads in an almost comical fashion. Amusing, and convenient if you can keep striking the head for extra damage afterwards.
- In the cinematic trailer for World of Warcraft: Mists Of Pandaria, Chen Stormstout engages Alliance and Horde sailors. While he beats both of them with no effort they were only able to notch his hat.
- In 8-Bit Theater, Red Mage's hat is often stabbed by Black Mage, who leaves the daggers in because it looks silly.
- In the Western arc of Arthur, King of Time and Space, when the Orkney boys are hassling Guenevere, Lancelot shoots off Agrivaine's hat. When Gawaine complains "You coulda shot him in the head!" Lancelot just says "No." Agravaine then claims he couldn't do it again if he tried, so he shoots off all their hats.
- In El Goonish Shive, Mr. Raven cuts through Abraham's hat during their duel.
- Exterminatus Now: Two dragons fire off a burst of flame, reducing Lothar's hat to cinders. As the rest of the Inquisition runs for cover, Lothar heads for the two dragons, each of whom is now pointing at the other as being responsible for the loss of the hat. Death, pain and rage ensue.
- Girl Genius: During their spar Zeetha manages to cut Bang's hat in half without harming a hair on her head.
- In Farce of the Three Kingdoms, Cao Cao threatens to execute Chen Gong for doing this. When he has time to cool down, though, he changes his mind.
- During her first encounter with Paper Star, Carmen Sandiego's hat gets a piece of it sliced off. Carmen claims that Paper Star owes her a new hat.
- In the Donald Duck cartoon "Sea Scouts", Donald's attempts flee from a Threatening Shark results in him bumping into the side of his ship, which results in his head smashing through his admiral's hat. In retaliation, Donald stops fleeing the shark and instead, driven by Unstoppable Rage, charges at the shark and lays it out cold with a single Megaton Punch.
- Gravity Falls: Subverted in "Weirdmageddon, Part 1." Ford shoots through Bill Cipher's hat... revealing it to be a part of his actual body, as the hole graphically shows some meaty innards before he regenerates.
- Happens on occasion in Looney Tunes, usually to Yosemite Sam.
- Daffy Duck gets his miner's cap chopped neatly in two by a scimitar in "Ali Baba Bunny."
- In "Bugsy and Mugsy", Rocky manages to cut Mugsy's hat in half as well as part of the couch he was sleeping on when Rocky thought Mugsy was going to axe him.
- In "Speedy Gonzales", Speedy is working as a living target in a shooting gallery when he gets distracted and gets a bullet through his hat.
- In "Wild and Woolly Hare", Bugs makes a wild trick shot that parts Yosemite Sam's hair "right down the middle", splitting Sam's hat in half in the process.
- In "Forward March Hare," the drill sergeant's superior gets a whopper of an artillery shell through his helmet.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Made in Manehattan", Applejack's hat falls off her head and she accidentally runs it over with a lawnmower. Then what remains is flattened by a falling statue.
- The Real Ghostbusters: In the episode "Play Them Ragtime Boos", the Ghostbusters are briefly transported back to The American Civil War, and Egon's top hat is shot off in the crossfire.
- Samurai Jack: many times to Jack's straw hat, such as being split in two in Jack's first encounter with the Scotsman.
- Though, in that encounter, Jack did strike back. Those poor bagpipes.
- In one episode Jack is shown weaving a new hat, and reminiscing on his mother teaching him how, to explain where he gets all those hats.
- In the Seven Little Monsters episode "It's A Wonder-Four Life", Four's hat gets damaged when One accidentally sucks it up in the vacuum cleaner.
- In an episode of the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, Leonardo manages to slice Karai's Shredder helmet into several pieces to get her attention.
- In Tex Avery's "Drag-a-Long Droopy" (1954), the Wolf puts his cowboy hat up on a stick during a shootout with Droopy. After it takes several shots, he brings it back down into frame to find that it's turned into a propeller beanie! He glares at the camera, slaps it on his head, and sticks out his tongue.
- In The Wrong Trousers, Gromit is being shot at by Feathers the penguin, but the bullets bounce off the hat-like lampshade on Gromit's head.
- In Xiaolin Showdown, Clay has his hat shot at, leaving a hole in it.
Clay: That's the second hat this week! Now I'm mad!
- This soldier loses his beret when a gun prematurely goes off behind him, blasting it off his head.
- Abraham Lincoln was fired at during an attempted assassination. His horse bolted and caused him to lose his iconic hat. When the hat was retrieved from the scene, a bullet hole was found in it.
- In many cultures throughout history, knocking off a man's hat was sure-fire way to start a fight.
- In post-war Germany due to lack of metal, Wehrmacht helmets were recycled as colanders.
- Baroque poet and Badass Bookworm Francisco de Quevedo fought a duel with the noted Master Swordsman Luis Pacheco de Narvaez and knocked off his hat in the first pass. Quevedo later lampooned the encounter in his novel El Buscon.