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.
Depending on the setting or the characters, there's a lot of options:
- Bar Brawl — Pool cues (and balls!), beer bottles, darts, chairs, stools, Flipping the Table, anything that isn't nailed down.
- School - Eraser dust, erasers, pointers, AV carts, heavy textbooks, cafeteria food, writing implements, scissors, wooden or aluminum bats or any equipment from the gym, brooms from the janitor's closet, instruments from the music classes and/or marching band, desks and chairs, and even note paper. There's also the term 'the loaded backpack' for swinging a backpack weighted with books. Let's not forget tools from automotive shop class, carpentry class, or even chemistry class if there is one.
- Prison - Real knives are hard to get and quickly confiscated. So convicts improvise a lot. All of the above is used, with the addition of mirror glass, plastic bags, elastic bands, gum, toothbrushes, and many, many other things. Notably, ingenious inmates have been known to make usable shivs out of papier-mache toilet paper (you can literally flush the evidence), a shotgun out of iron bedposts, lead gunpowder, crafted from curtain tape and match-heads, and a firing mechanism from AA batteries and a broken light bulb. (which was used to blow out a pane of bulletproof glass before they held a guard hostage), and best of all, a fully functioning crossbow (the components included rubber gloves, a wire coathanger, and ten toothbrushes).
- Kitchen - knives and lots of 'em, hot pots of coffee, toasters (whacking opponents with the toaster is an option), bones from meat cuts, frying pans, rolling pins, any large, solid mass of frozen food (which gives a whole new meaning to Lethal Chef), Meat Tenderizers; when applying to silverware specifically, it's Fork Fencing, A fridge, the microwave (bonus point for stuffing it with tin foil and oil and turn it on), deep-fat fryers , a hot stovetop (those things burn a LOT, as will the fryers), china dishes, plates (break one upon the opponent's head, then use the shards as makeshift knives or throwing stars). And don't forget loaves of bread. Food can also be used as Edible Ammunition if it's hard enough and propelled at lethal speeds.
- The Wilderness - branches, fire, rocks, avalanches, bears, sharks and other local wildlife, fishing poles and hooks.
- Construction Sites — wrenches, shovels, hammers, hatchets, pipes, bricks, iron bars, boards, pickaxes, paint buckets, blowtorches, aerosol flamethrowers, crowbars, hacksaws, portable drills, power cutters, rivet guns, sharpened metallic roadsign, welding equipment, bulldozers, excavators, trucks, forklifts, chains, gas cylinders, and many other tools.
- Farmland — pitchforks, hoes, shovels, rakes. Even a tractor.
- If you're a Distressed Damsel, always a vase. Maybe a small statue. Or a high heeled shoe. Or a handbag. Or a pen (we're looking at you, McAdams).
- If you have a spare stocking and a few blunt objects, you might as well Sock It To Them. Though a scarf, cloak or sash might also do.
- At the store — Fresh produce, pop caps, anything in a can or glass bottle, cash registers, depending on the store TVs, furniture, VCRs, heavy electronics, candy balls, toys. The Home and Garden and Hardware departments are veritable arsenals of melee weapons. Bee Spray makes a great alternative to mace and can shoot 15+ feet in a wide swath.
- Car Fu. Slow or fast, as long as it's undodgeable, it's quite dangerous.
- Anywhere in your own home - cameras (those flash bulbs are always a handy distraction), the couch, the golf caddy, pet cages (especially if Fido or Fluffy is inside), the indoor fireplace (HOT HOT HOOOOT!!!), or towels, blankets, and curtains. The flashlight at the garage is also useful both as a blinding light and as a club. Hoses are useful with or without a water stream. Also beware anyone who shouts, "Batter Up!"
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.
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.
- Anime & Manga
- Comic Books
- Live-Action TV
- Professional Wrestling
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
- Web Comics
- Web Original
- Western Animation
- Real Life
- 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 Diamonds 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 doesnt 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 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.
- 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 second Hatoful Boyfriend Hiyoko can uproot a mailbox to use against a tank.
- 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.