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Improvised Weapon

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"Anything can be a weapon, if the man or woman who holds it has the nerve and will to make it so."
Lan, The Wheel of Time, The Eye of the World


A creative fighting tactic useful by unarmed people in any situation: Make what's around you a weapon. Even outside the dangerous environments, there's a lot of stuff to try. Anything can be used as a club if it's sturdy enough, and most hard materials will develop a sharp edge if properly coaxed. For comedy value, go as wacky as you like.

Compare MacGyvering.

Depending on the setting or the characters, there's a lot of options:

More and more video games, especially those with Ragdoll Physics, allow the use of environment items as a weapon. Even in early Brawlers, it was a very useful tactic. In many Platform Games, even grabbing the enemies themselves is an effective tactic.

Superheroes and Humongous Mecha have a penchant for using even larger objects, like light poles, road signs and mailboxes.

A person who uses one of these as their standard weapon may be an Improbable Weapon User. Or a Ninja. Or someone with Homemade Inventions. Improv Fu consists of using this as your main style of fight.

On a larger scale, tools and machines not intended as weaponry can be converted into such, making a Superweapon Surprise. Combat Breakdown may involve this.

Compare Improvised Armour. Also compare Martial Arts and Crafts, which is like this, only sillier, and Abnormal Ammo, where the gun is a normal weapon, but the "bullets" it shoots may be improvised. Revive Kills Zombie is a subversion where normally helpful things like White Magic, medicine, or boo-boo kisses are used offensively.

Example subpages

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    Fan Works 
  • In The Mouse of Konoha, always being prepared this is one of the three shinobi lessons Naruto learns when he starts trading scavenged weaponry for tutelage.
  • The protagonist of Toy Hammer is an artist with no combat training whatsoever, but when he needs to put out a fire, he subsequently discovers that the extinguisher works as both a bludgeon and (when sprayed) a stunning weapon. He wields it in almost every fight, to the point that it becomes a part of his mental landscape for more than one Battle in the Center of the Mind.
  • In With Strings Attached, Ringo whacks Grynun over the head with a guitar to prevent her from castrating George.
  • In The Eye of Argon, Grignr sharpens the pelvic bone of a rat and slashes one of the guards with it during his escape.
  • Somewhat overlaps with environmental kills in Diamond's Cut, as 007 kills two final villains with sticks lying around: the arms’ dealer gets throttled with a fallen tree limb, while final villain gets stabbed through the stomach with a branch.
    • Also, the chase scene at the supermarket earlier. The second arms’ dealer is running away and Bond would need a car to catch up, but he doesn’t have one. So what does he do? He picks up a shopping trolley and rides it downwards to catch up while staring directly at the camera as the Bond music is played out loud. This is Played for Laughs taken Up to Eleven.
    • Terrorists throwing empty boxes at Bond, which he catches and throws back even as they both have guns.
  • In Forward, during a fight inside an infirmary, Jayne kills an opponent who is strangling him (and wearing low-profile Power Armor) by braining him with a bedpan and cutting his throat with a scalpel. Jayne improvising weapons is something he keeps doing over the course of the story as well; in his flashback to when six men tried to kill him, he ends up taking out one of them by rigging a massive incendiary bomb using gasoline and small explosives. Also, the whole crew ends up improvising an anti-ship missile out of a disused drone, shuttle engines, and a repurposed flight computer.
  • In Crowns of the Kingdom, the Disney Princesses storm the Matterhorn to rescue their boyfriends armed with sports equipment and kitchen utensils.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog fanfic Prison Island Break, Shadow is highly skilled at creating shivs out of anything, and tends to pick things up on his way in and out of rooms even directly after shakedowns.
  • A chair leg becomes the weapon of choice in Home Is Where the Haunt Is.
  • Inverted in the bizarre Half-Life 2 fic Quarter-Life: Halfway To Destruction. Gordon's signature improvised weapon, the crowbarb, is missing, so he instead uses a claymore sword.
  • In Not In Kansas, Kara accidentally slays a vampire with a house. More accurately, she tried to force it into said house without first inviting it in, slaying it and leaving behind a pile of dust (which Kara noted didn't enter the house either).
  • The main characters of FREAKIN GENSOKYO fight primarily with scissors and plant hangers. These later turn out to be viable melee weapon classes, with dozens of enchanted variants available for the collector.
    • Byakuren occasionally uses her motorbike as a bludgeon.
  • In Dreaming of Sunshine, Sakura knocks out an escaped prisoner with a vase, and Shikako wins a fight by strangling her opponent with her braid until he passes out.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Tamaki says he once beat a known drug lord unconscious with a coconut after being separated from all sources of help.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: In chapter 7 of the sequel Diplomat at Large, near the end of the fight, Twilight utilizes a piece of the Storm King's broken armor as a makeshift shuriken to impale his wrist so he drops his staff.
  • Viridian: The Green Guide: When Izuku is fighting somebody who was about to rape a reporter, he uses a pencil in his jeans' back pocket to stab him in the hand and then grabs a nearby can of beans and beats the attacker in the head with it until he is unconscious. After the incident, Izuku starts carrying around a box cutter and some wooden dowels, and in chapter 7, he decides to go to a hardware store to get some actual weapons and a tool belt to safely carry them in. While he upgrades to a foldable knife and a hunting slingshot, he also buys two steel 30cm pipes to use as batons. Izuku also buys a large amount of marbles in bulk at a toy store to use as slingshot ammunition.

  • In Doctor Steel's song, "Lament for a Toy Factory", Steel goes insane after being fired by a toy factory. He invades the factory with an army of toys and gasoline-filled Super Soakers.
  • In Kevin "Bloody" Wilson's song about The Front Bar Featherbrain Non-Title Fight, a pool cue, broken off pool table legs and a toilet are all employed.
  • The video clip for Operator Please's "Leave It Alone" sees this happen right near the end of an otherwise regular fistfight in a small warehouse (well, regular save for the paint in place of blood). Tim Commandeur uses his cymbals (taking an hand and a foot) and a drumstick (taking an eye) until his arms are ripped off by Amandah Wilkinson. Taylor Henderson ends the fight using her violin like a bow and arrow.
  • In ''The Coconut Nut," the narrators relatives use coconuts as cannonballs when fighting off "theives."

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible has several examples:
    • Cain used a rock to kill Abel.
    • Samson killed an army with a donkey's jawbone.
    • Judges 3:31: Shamgar kills six hundred heavily armed spearmen with an oxgoad (a stick with a nail in it).
    • Although not exactly a weapon in the usual sense, during a period of righteous fury, Jesus cleared out the temple in Jerusalem with a whip made out of belts.
  • In The Cattle Raid of Cooley, the Irish boy hero Cu Chulainn kills Cur MacDalath with a thrown apple. One hurled with such force that it pulverises through his head like a modern bullet. Cu Chulainn is really badass like that.
  • In Norse Mythology, Frey (or Freyr) didn't have his sword when he went to face the jotunn Beli (the brother of Frey's future bride Gerd)... so he improvised and killed him with a deer antler, which would become his signature weapon.

    Theme Parks 

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • In Broken Saints, Raimi defeats a deranged Kamimura by picking up a mirror off the ground in the alleyway and smashing it over his head.
  • Tifa in Dead Fantasy. Hold on this might take a while... Ether bottles, bits of lava stuck to her shoes, a table, a garage jack, the same garage jack cut in half, and lastly the chains that where used to try and restrain her.
  • Red vs. Blue: "Protect me cone!"
  • Volume 2, Episode 1of RWBY had Teams RWBY and JNPR utilize various foodstuffs as analogues for their traditional weapons. Nora uses a watermelon on a pole, Yang uses turkeys as gauntlets, Pyrrha uses a baguette as a spear, Weiss uses a swordfish, and… stop laughing!
  • Flippy from Happy Tree Friends has a knack for this when he's not using his bowie knife. His list of killing methods includes stabbing someone through the heart with a drinking straw, stabbing someone through the head with a rose, and even disemboweling someone with a christmas cookie.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Improvised Weapon User, Attack With A Battery


Gurren Lagann Yoko vs Adiane

Adiane is beating down Yoko with her scorpiont tail, even ripping off her top, before Yoko improvises her hairpins as needles to pin down Adiane's tail to the floor.

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Example of:

Main / CombatHaircomb

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