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Hooks and Crooks

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You'll be hooked on a feeling. That feeling will be pain.

"Hooks in you, hooks in me, hooks in the ceiling
For that well hung feeling
No big deal, no big sin, strung up on love
I Got the hooks screwed in."
Iron Maiden, "Hooks In You"
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A Sub-Trope of Improvised Weapon, a hook is a curved or bent device for catching, holding, or pulling, while a crook is an implement having a bent or hooked form, such as a shepherd's staff. These can be great weapons with the addition of tripping and catching things. Included are canes and fishing hooks. Hooks on a rope or chain can also be used as Grappling-Hook Pistol.

Meat hooks are quite common when this trope is applied. Especially in the hands of a butcher. (literal or otherwise) They can come in several varieties as well; such as a hand-held hook with a handle, just the meat hook itself or even attached to a length of chain (sort of turning it into an Epic Flail). The chain definitely helps when the hook is thrown, then snags onto somebody and that poor soul is being dragged back. Usually to their death.

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Sometimes often seen in situations (cartoons or comedies mostly) where a comedian is doing so poorly on stage, that a large wooden crook on a stick comes up from offstage and yanks him away: see Vaudeville Hook.

See also Hook Hand, Cane Fu, Parasol of Pain, Anchors Away, Crowbar Combatant and Sinister Scythe (if you're thinking of sickles). May or may not related to Hooking the Keys depending on the context.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • One member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad in Berserk uses a long two-headed crook with spikes on the inside as his weapon.
  • Giichi in Blade of the Immortal fights with a hook on a chain that grabs and breaks his enemies' swords.
  • Dokuro: Takeo's weapon, the Fangblade Wire, is a wire with a hook at the end.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Golden Wind: Pesci's Stand, Beach Boy, is a fishing rod capable of three things; it's capable of tracking people and literally fishing them out from other rooms, it can phase through any and all objects including skin, and attacking the line simply reflects all damage onto whoever it's hooked into.
    • Steel Ball Run: Pork Pie's Stand, Wired, has two hooked chains coming from his mouth which he can send through various objects to attack.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: Fitting its general "pirate" theme, the Gundam AGE-2 Dark Hound has two hooks at the end of cables mounted on its forearms. They are used as mid-range weapons and to yank the enemy around, throwing him off balance.
  • One Piece: Sir Crocodile sports a huge Hook Hand and at least one of Whitebeard's allies was armed with hooked sabers.
  • One of the Captain Hook's pirates in Peter Pan no Bouken has a hook shaped sword.

    Comic Books 
  • In "With This Ring Find Me Dead!" in Batman #305, a disguised Batman is attacked by a group of suspicious locals. Hearing one of them approaching behind him, Batman dodges but gets hit in the shoulder by a longshoreman hook. He later mentally chides himself for having dodged anticipating a knife and being caught by surprise when his attacker was wielding a hook.
  • Hook and chain is the weapons of choice of Lobo.
  • The Johnny Blaze version of Ghost Rider usually attaches a hook at the end of his Variable-Length Chain.

    Film — Animated 
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham: During his fight with Deadshot on the construction site, the Joker uses a hook on a chain as a weapon.
  • Moana: Deuteragonist Maui's weapon is a fishing hook almost six feet long. A formidable enough weapon on its own, it's also the source of his powers; as long as Maui is touching it, he can shapeshift into whatever animal he wants.
  • A rare heroic example - Jack Frost's Magic Staff in Rise of the Guardians comes complete with a hook, making this the shepherd's crook variant. He even uses it in the same manner a shepherd would when he ushers his sister to safety.

    Film — Live Action 
  • The killer in Blood Hook uses an oversized fishing lure to catch his victims and drag them away. At one point, the lure gets stuck and he has to finish the job with a gaff hook.
  • Camp Slaughter, the killer is frequently seen using a billhook on his victims, although entirely as a blunt/slashing weapon.
  • In Death Bell, the boy carrying the mobile phones is snagged through the ankle with a hook and then dragged up into the ceiling.
  • Since they were on a ship when they died, some of the ghosts in John Carpenter's The Fog (1980) wield hooks.
  • Ghost Ship: In the flashback to the 1962 sequence, Francesca experiences the final double cross of the night when Ferriman uses his telekinetic abilities to loosen a massive cargo hook which swings down and snags her under the jawbone. He "marks" her as she dies from the injury.
    • In a DVD special feature, when her backstory and motivation for taking part in the massacre are revealed, her death is foreshadowed with the line I'll admit, I'm hooked...
  • Cenobites in Hellraiser attack, incapacitate and kill their victims with hooks on chains that they can summon from anywhere.
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer: The serial killer uses a hook as a weapon. It later becomes a Hook Hand after his hand is torn off.
  • Left for Dead: One of Mobius' primary weapons is a wicked hook mounted on the the end of his old crucifix. Mary also uses a hook to torture Blake; inserting through the flesh on his back and jerking it cause him pain. She threatens to leave him hanging until his skin rips off.
  • Two of the killers have them as their main weapon in Lovers Lane. The third has an actual Hook Hand.
  • One of the weapons of the eponymous villain in The Mutilator. One infamous scene has a victim getting it in her vagina.
  • In Pig Hunt, Ricky carries a weapon called a 'California hook' which consists of two large hooks taped to a baseball bat which he uses to finish off wounded boar.
  • The Road Warrior. The Vermin uses grappling hooks to attack the big rig tanker Mad Max is driving. First Wez yanks off the cabin door, leaving Max exposed. Then another Desert Punk throws one which catches on the rig and causes his own vehicle to flip.
  • Jacob Goodnight, the villain of See No Evil, kills with hook on a chain.
  • In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Moriarty pierces Holmes's shoulder with a meathook and dangles him from a rope. Then sings a little song about fishing.
  • The killer in Sorority House Massacre II is armed with a hook.
  • When Beggar incites the dock workers to rise up against the Red Dragon Tong in The Terror of the Tongs, several tong members are killed by longshoremen wielding bale hooks.
  • A commonly seen and used in the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series. Especially by it's most iconic character, the cannibalistic, chainsaw-wielding and face wearing: Leatherface.
    • One of the most famous kills in the original film is of Leatherface hanging Pam on a giant meathook while she's still alive and screaming.
    • In The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Leatherface catches an escaping victim with a hook and drags her back to his family's house.
    • In Texas Chainsaw 3D after Leatherface scares Kenny when he accidentally finds himself in the former's turf. The former scares him off with a meat hook and makes use of it when the latter tries to escape from him. Stabbing him in the back and dragging him down.
  • Train: After finding Claire going through his desk, the conductor drives a set of ice tongs through her throat.
  • In Triangle, the Sackhead Slasher on the ocean liner attacks Jess with a boat hook.
  • One of Miller Hendrik's main weapons in The Windmill Massacre (the other is a Sinister Scythe). He scores his last kill of the film with it.
  • Main villain of Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead arms himself with a meathook during final 1/3 of the film.

    Literature 
  • In Night Watch, it is mentioned that the butchers on the rebel's side are particularly terrifying to the soldiers, as they wield a large number of meat hooks, normal weapons being in little use. In Thud!!, Vimes' butler Willikins suddenly reveals his Battle Butler side by carrying a few meat hooks with "worrying expertise".
  • A hermit demon from Journey to the West fights Sun Wukong with a crooked staff with the hook being made of precious materials: while the demon cannot defeat Sun Wukong, he can still use the hook to prevent him from collecting the sacred water he was guarding. Eventually, Sun Wukong has Sandy collect the water while he duels the hermit and manages to defeat him and snap his hook in half.
  • Inspektor Heinrich Osten in Nobody Lives for Ever got his nickname "Der Haken" because he favours a butcher's hook as a torture weapon.
  • The boatwoman in Jessica Salmonson's The Swordswoman uses a grappling hook as a weapon, both in melee and also dangling it from rooftops to catch necks.
  • This is how the victims in Village of the Vampire Cat are seemingly killed by claw attacks from a distance. The killer using a grappling hook thrown from a distance, painted black to make it almost invisible at night.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Coroner: At the end of "Pieces of Eight," Jane confronts one of the robbers on board a sailing ship. The robber grabs a cargo hook and attempts to kill Jane with it.
  • CSI: The weapon of choice for the Gig Harbor Killer is a fishing gaff (as seen in "The CSI Effect").
  • CSI: NY: In "Happily Never After," the killer uses a longshoreman's hook (that someone else had been using as part of a Captain Hook costume) as a murder weapon.
  • Deadliest Warrior: the Somali Pirates use grappling hooks as their close range weapon.
    • And the Shaolin Monk's hook swords.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: The Victim of the Week in "Ill-Bred" is a veterinarian done in by a bale hook through her throat.
  • The New Avengers: In The Teaser to "The Eagle's Nest," a pair of sentries disguised as anglers kill an intruder on the island by lashing him with poisoned fishing hooks.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons the "Gaff/Hook" as a typical Improvised Weapon in naval and quasi-naval settings got official weapon stats. Long before a crowbar or pry bar.
    • In the Eberron D&D setting, orcs of the Shadow Marches use crook-style implements to propel their shallow-bottomed marsh boats and to hook fishing nets from the water. They're also usable as quarterstaves in a pinch.
  • GURPS: Martial Arts has special rules for adding hooks to weapons along with a few things that already have integral hooks.
  • Ogres in Pathfinder use "ogre hooks" as their signature weapon. If you're lucky, they'll just use them to kill you. If you're unlucky, they'll use them to trip you and take you alive. Bragg the Gutsman has one of these called the "Great Gutgouger" that he handles so skillfully and so brutally (complete with deliberately aiming for disembowelment) even his fellow ogres are terrified of him.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Tyranids use a biological version of this, aptly named flesh hooks. These weapons are typically housed in the rib cage or abdomen and are fired by intercostal muscle spasms. Nominally, flesh hooks are used for scaling sheer surfaces, but they can also be used to impale or snare unfortunate victims and drag them to their doom Scorpion-style.

    Theatre 

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE: Gali used two, Gahlok Va has a Hook Hand, and Makuta Chirox has Hook Blades.
  • G.I. Joe: During the Valor Vs. Venom era, Storm Shadow, Cobra's resident ninja, tended to favor a pair of hookswords. At the end of the CGI movie for said arc, he is seem wielding them in place of his usual katanas.

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed: Revelations: The Turkish Assassins modify their hidden blades with a hook variation to assist in both combat and free running. When Ezio arrives in Constantinople he soons acquires a hook blade for himself.
  • BioShock has Spider Splicers that use hooks, and they even throw them at you.
  • Darkest Dungeon: The Bounty Hunter uses a hook as a unique weapon for one of his moves, which he uses to pull enemies from the rear into the heat of battle.
  • Defense of the Ancients: Pudge the Butcher uses a hook on a chain to drag enemies (or allies) towards him.
  • Diablo 3 has the demon boss, The Butcher, fight you with a giant cleaver and a sickle on a chain to reel you in. Both weapons can be found as Legendary items, so your character can also drag enemies to their doom with a hook.
  • Digimon: Piranimon is a Fiendish Fish with a giant fishhook wrapped in barbed wire instead of a tail. It uses this to snag creatures on the surface, dragging them underwater to devour.
  • In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, the Krook enemy throws boomeranging hooks at you.
  • Earthworm Jim: In the first game, the bounty hunter Psycrow wields a grappling gun with a large worm-hook, which he uses to try and pull Jim out of his Super Suit.
  • Eiyuden Chronicle Hundred Heroes: Marketing material and early gameplay presents Nowa as dual-wielding Chinese hookswords.
  • Fallout 4: The Far Harbor DLC adds the Meat Hook and Pole Hook as new melee weapons. The meat hook is a one-handed weapon consisting of a hook on a crossbar while the pole hook is a hook on a long pole. In the standard game, the wrench can be upgraded with a large hook for extra damage.
  • God of War: Hades has the Claws of Hades, a pair of hooks on chains that have the power to rip off one's soul. In the third game, after killing Hades, Kratos gets to use them himself. Disappointingly, they're not all that different from the default Blades of Exile.
  • Hitman: Contracts has a mission with the Meat King's Party in a slaughterhouse, so a meat hook was both used in a cutscene and given as a weapon.
  • In League of Legends, Thresh the Chain Warden has a hook on a chain, connected to his lantern. He mostly uses it to grapple his foes and pull them toward their doom.
  • In Medieval II: Total War, the English can field regiments of soldiers with billhooks (see Real Life below). They won't blunt a head-on cavalry charge like a formation of pikemen, but billmen do better in a protracted melee against horse units than more conventional spearmen, and are also effective against enemy infantry.
  • MediEvil: Some of the skeleton pirates in The Ghost Ship level fight with throwable hooks.
  • Mortal Kombat: The Kabal fights with chinese hook swords. You could even customize them by Mortal Kombat 11. As does Mavado. In canon, he almost killed Kabal to steal them, then Kabal returned the favor. Mavado also uses grappling hooks on bungie cords as a means of launching himself at opponents.
    • Interestingly, hook swords were packaged with the Liu Kang, Scorpion, Jade, and Shao Kahn 6-inch figures, as generic weapons in the toyline made by Toy Island.
  • Overwatch: Roadhog uses a hook as a melee weapon, as well as to grab faraway enemies to pull them closer via Chain Pain.
  • Resident Evil 4: One of the early ideas features a ghostly figure armed with a hook who chases Leon around.
  • Shank: The Butcher fights with a long hook-and-chain.
  • Sly Cooper: Sly's weapon of choice is a hook cane. The hook in general, be it part of a cane, a gun, or a propeller, is the tool of choice for the entire Cooper Clan.
  • Street Fighter Alpha: One of Rolento's super moves is hanging his opponent on a hook.
  • Warcraft: Undead Abominations use cleavers and meat hooks as weapons.

    Webcomics 
  • Girl Genius: A member of Captian Hawkins' crew fights with a pair of hooks attached by a chain. In this instance they're a group of rather obvious Sky Pirates who insist that they're perfectly legal merchants who dress that way because it's their heritage, later evidence shows that they're more like recovering pirates who are sort of trying to do legal business.

    Web Original 
  • RWBY: Emerald's kugarisama weapons when fired have hooked chains on the end of the blades.
  • Sanford in Madness Combat, has a hook on a rope as his Iconic Item and uses it to vicious effect. Using it in combat to either pull enemy towards him or pull himself towards enemies, closing the distance either way.
  • Ruby Quest: Ruby has a mean left hook.

    Western Animation 
  • Jet's hook-swords in Avatar: The Last Airbender which he uses very effectively in combat.
  • Corvus from The Dragon Prince also prefers to fight with this weapon, and he is a very good fighter. He is a good or at least righteous man. More or less, because he does not like elves, and accuses Rayla of a murder committed by her leader, and not by her.
  • In Godzilla: The Series, after incorporating a construction crane into its body, the Techno-Sapient uses it as an improvised grappling hook and flail.
  • A hook-tipped chain is also the weapon of choice for The Scorpion (and presumably the source of his nickname) in Ultimate Spider-Man (2012). The fact that he's also a ninja in this continuity is most likely a reference to another iconic character named Scorpion.

    Real Life 
  • The billhook is a farming implement, basically a hook-shaped blade on a stick that was used for pruning tree limbs. Like many peasants' tools during the medieval period, it was a common Improvised Weapon. The military bill was a purpose-built weapon which included a thrusting spike in addition to the hook blade, was one an English National Weapon (alongside the longbow), and was also popular in Italy as the roncone. Many other types of polearms included a hook or back spike among their various fixtures; usually they were used to unhorse and/or trip the foe before moving in for the kill.
  • The Chinese hook swords are pretty much What It Says On The Tin. Although there's more to it than that, they are pretty elaborate weapons that almost every single part of it can be considered a weapon. From the hooks, to the crescent guards and even the end of the hilt. The hooks have a variety of uses from the obvious way of hooking in enemies to come closer or even linking the two hooks together to give yourself some more reach when in a fight, by swinging the other sword around like a flail.

 
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Sanford's Meat Hook

From Madness Combat 7.5 onwards, Sanford wields a meat hook on a rope that he can use to slash, impale, and grapple.

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