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Killer Yo-Yo

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Ness demonstrates, at the expense of Sheik.

A variation on throwing weapons, yo-yos allow you to both throw the weapon a short distance and then have it come back to you, without any antigravity generators or built in homing devices.
1001 Science Fiction Weapons

According to legend the ancient, simple child's toy known as a yo-yo took on use as a deadly weapon in the hands of Filipino tribesmen centuries ago.note  Whether it's true or not, if you see a yo-yo in a series with combat, particularly in an anime or video game and particularly in the hands of a young child, it's a safe bet that it will be slung with deadly intent and accuracy.

The legend may stem partially from the fact that as a weapon, the yo-yo bears a resemblance to a few hunting tools and weapons such as the Chinese meteor-hammer, the Argeninian bolas, and the maritime slugshot. The mundane yo-yo makes a cute and fancy stand-in for these types of weapons. It's also no joke that some yo-yo toys, from the traditional Chinese yo-yo to moddern metal, weighted ones, can cause serious injuries purely bby accident. Even the small plastic modern yo-yo's, in the hands of a small child, can, and sometimes will, cause major harm to anyone and anything in the yo-yo's vicinity without the need of any magic or special training at all.


A type of Epic Flail. See also Improbable Weapon User. Compare Battle Tops. Your Killer Yoyo is likely to be wielded by a Badass Adorable or a Little Miss Badass, if the writer is playing up the "deadly yet cute" aspect of this trope.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Saki Asamiya in Sukeban Deka was armed with a special metal yo-yo, which became her signature weapon — so much so that it's an integral element in the logo for the 2006 Live-Action Adaptation (now available in the United States under the title Yo-Yo Girl Cop).
  • Akashiya Moka flings a yo-yo at a Tengu-masked thug during their field trip to the human world in Rosario + Vampire season 2. The yo-yo cracks the mask in half to reveal a face that is nearly identical.
  • Princess Sparkle from Spider Riders liturally kicked Grasshop's but with hers, several dozen times.
  • Momoko "Blossom" Akatsutsumi in Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z.
  • Jun from Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. Of course, hers explode, so their effectiveness as a weapon is never in doubt.
  • One of the first and most well-known examples in anime is the Choudenji Yoyo (Super Electromagnetic Yo-Yo), the signature weapon of the Super Robot Combattler V.
  • Kiyone Makibi from Tenchi Muyo!.
  • A storyline in the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga (and the first series of the Yu-Gi-Oh anime) features an entire gang of yo-yo thugs, lead by one of Jounouchi's/Joey's middle school rivals. Yami Yugi is so good with it he brought down the roof of a shed!
    • In the anime, one of the yo-yos even has spikes.
  • Parodied in the anime series Bakuen Campus Guardress: one of the characters fights with a kendama.
    • Genis of Tales of Symphonia does this seriously. Understandably, he's a magic-user, but still...
      • To be fair, there's a series of skits dedicated to just how improbable it is.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho features Rinku, a child demon who uses psychically controlled yo-yos as his favored weapon. When he's first seen, he has them on each of his fingers. By the time of the Makai Tournament, he has them on his toes, too.
  • Hunter × Hunter, has Killua occasionally using super-yo-yos on wires as his preferred weapon, on those occasions he uses any weapon at all — he's shown knocking chunks out of trees with them (he's super-strong, and the things weigh 40 kilograms each).
  • Employed by Super Doll★Licca-chan in one of her forms.
  • Cirucci Thunderwitch in Bleach wields a huge yoyo-like weapon in its unreleased shape.
  • Mamiya in Fist of the North Star uses a yo-yo that suddenly produces blades in mid-air, which makes her a competent normal human fighter, but still nowhere near as strong as martial arts practitioners.
  • Chikusa Kakimoto of Katekyō Hitman Reborn! wields a pair of metal yo-yos that shoot poisonous needles.
  • Nanaho Kinjo of Best Student Council.
  • Carmen 99 uses a bladed yo-yo in GUN×SWORD.
  • From the anime Machine Robo Rescue, Ninja Mama is a Captain Ersatz of the Saki/Yoko archetype, complete with Killer Yoyo.
  • The Ryuuseisui-wielding Suboshi is Fushigi Yuugi's resident Psycho Yoyo Boy. He doesn't use an actual yoyo, but it counts.
  • Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam has the Quavarze, which uses a beam saw mounted on the end of a "chain" of whip-like segments; again, not exactly a yoyo, but close enough.
  • Sylvain Clark from Marginal Prince uses a yoyo to fight off bad guys during the last episode. He tends to fanboy over it in an earlier episode, as it is some merchandise from his favourite anime.
  • Nofix uses this as a weapon in B.Ichi. His power as the King of Spin allows him to accelerate its rotation, making it all the more deadly.
  • Sarina from Mahou Shoujo Site has one, and in this case, the "killer" part is taken Up to Eleven. To elaborate, the yoyo has an Absurdly Sharp Blade that is capable of cutting just about anything it comes in contact with; at one point, it's used to cut a man in half vertically. Ouch.
  • Shirabe adds these to her gear’s repertoire in season 3 of Senki Zesshou Symphogear. They have lasers for strings and, like most of her arsenal, can turn into giant circular saws at will.

    Comic Books 
  • Comic book example: Frank Einstein, the titular Madman, uses a lead weighted yo-yo among other toy-based weapons.
  • The Simpsons Comics #131 featured a manga-styled segment. Lisa appears at the end, wielding two yo-yos and sporting understandably Super Saiyan-like hair. Pretty much a general Shout-Out to Sukeban Deka.
  • The Trickster, from The Flash's Rogues Gallery, has included yo-yos in his arsenal.
    • While under the Top's influence, his near obsessive use of the yo-yo (commented on by one of the G-men) is probably also a tell for the normally playful James being buried under the stern, serious Agent Jesse, possibly as a bit of a slip in Top's mind screw.
  • Comics example: In the Marvel Universe, Daredevil foe the Jester wields a weighted yo-yo as a weapon.
  • In the Norwegian fantasy series Miranda, the eponymous heroine wields a so-called "coil" with great success — it is easily hidden, and nobody expects it from such a pretty girl.
  • The Joker once pulled one of these in a fight and was ridiculed for using such a cliched weapon. The intended victim asked him "let me guess, it's really heavy or it explodes or shoots acid or something?" Joker proceeds to unwind the cord of the perfectly normal yo-yo and strangle the guy with it.
  • Showed up in a special issue of The Punisher, where the villain wielded one and made a reference to the aforementioned Filipino arts.
  • In his origin story, a young Bullseye was shown throwing a yo-yo and killing a bird with it.
  • An issue tying into the Justice League cartoon has Speedy playing with a yo-yo in the Watchtower; he's able to hold off the villain at one point using it.
  • In Flashpoint, the Alternate Universe Joker's sidekick, Yo-Yo, uses a pair of these when fighting against Batman. In the animated adaptation, her yoyos glow yellow and pink.
  • The Astro City sidekick Bravo wielded bolas in combat, using them as both melee and thrown weapons.

    Eastern Animation 
  • We have, well, Yo-Yo Man.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Octopussy, James Bond is attacked by a gang of Indian thugs who have been hired to kill him. One of them wields a yo-yo buzzsaw.
  • While it doesn't kill, Michelangelo knocks out several hooligans with a yoyo at the beginning of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.
  • Hansel (He is so hot right now!) in Zoolander uses a yo-yo to disarm an opponent
  • Obviously, Yo-Yo Girl Cop is based on this trope.
  • Egor in the Day Watch movie is seen playing with a YoYo like object. It turns out to be a magical weapon. The user flings it like a YoYo but upon impact, the object shatters into hundreds of pellets that continue attacking the target, do not suffer any loss of momentum and can multiply themselves by shattering as well. Needless to say it goes out of control and eventually wipes out Moscow.
  • Master of the Flying Guillotine features a yoyo/hat-like device attached to a string that, as you can imagine, acts like a guillotine when it lands.
  • A character is attacked with a yo-yo, among other things, in Child's Play 3.
  • The bladed lug wrench is upgraded to this when some rope is attached to it at the end of Sorority Row.
  • In Avengers Grimm, Rapunzel has turned her ridiculously long hair into a meteor hammer by braiding it and tying a steel ball to the end.

  • Cadderly Bonaduce, a character in the Forgotten Realms novel series The Cleric Quintet, uses a halfling "spindle disk" to great effect.
    • They became even more effective when he coated them in filled them with oil of impact...
    • Their original incarnation, before the aforementioned addition to their firepower, wasn't all that strong and effective, as they were made from rock crystal. (In fact, Cadderly was aware of that from the start — he simply pulled an Ain't No Rule to have his toy classified as a 'weapon' for training purposes, being more interested in tinkering and occasionally fooling around than actual fighting at the time.) However, when Ivan makes him a new pair out of Adamantite, even he admits that they're a good weapon (while having to remove a piece of someone's face before giving them to Cadderly).
  • The The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson claims the Filipinos had bladed yo-yos, and gives one to the enigmatic Enoch Root.
  • The Marvel Comics novel Time's Arrow: The Present has Taskmaster attempting to decapitate Jean Grey with a yo-yo that has a monofilament string and an automatic circuit to ensure it constricts. He also takes the time to give a brief lecture on their use in the Philippines.
  • A brief passage in the final book of The Demonata describes a small girl using a yo-yo to fight off demons. No, really.
  • Subverted in the first Alex Rider book: one of Alex's "gadgets" is a modified yo-yo. He expects it to be weaponised somehow, but instead it has an extendable and extremely strong cord.
  • In Elven Star, the second book of The Death Gate Cycle, a character uses a weapon called a "raztar" that appears to be a yo-yo with extendable razor blades.
  • In Anno Dracula 1999: Daikaiju, the police in the Bund, Tokyo's vampire Fantastic Ghetto, consists of girls in Powered Armor armed with monofiliment yo-yos, presumably in reference to the anime examples. (It is later mentioned that they are all named Saki.)

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Kamen Rider Ryuki, Kamen Rider Verde wields a yo-yo.
  • Power Rangers Dino Thunder has Conner and his Battlizer armor, the main weapon of which is the Dragon Yo-Yo. A killer yo-yo made of fire. Silly, but it works.
  • One of the entries in the Syfy channel's Face/Off makeup-F/X game show, submitted for a challenge to design an original horror movie character, used a yo-yo as a lethal weapon.
  • The mooks who is known by the alias as "Yo Yo" in Healer has a yo-yo that has a rather sharp string, though it only comes into play when its wrapped around something like an arm and pulled. It has the benefit of being something counted as a toy even if it is only about as effective as you'd expect a weighted yo-yo to be and he prefers a gun when he can get away with it.
  • In Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger, Trigger Machine Biker functions as one of the auxiliary arms for Pat Kaiser. Its front wheel can extend out on a long cable and not only deliver punishing blows, but can also grapple and launch enemies into the air to be finished off.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 1001 Science Fiction Weapons has a chapter on combat yo-yos. There is a complaint it's uncommon outside anime.
  • An article in Pyramid magazine had a 'Delinquent Schoolgirl Cop' archetype (an obvious homage to Sukeban Deka) for the Feng Shui role-playing game. One of the weapon choices available for the character was the combat yoyo.

    Video Games 
  • Bridget from Guilty Gear XX wields a standard yo-yo as a weapon; this is likely part of the joke, as it goes nicely with the nun habit, in-line skates and teddy bear.
    • And giant handcuff belt-hula hoop thing.
      • Which according to one of his win animations, also doubles as a yo-yo holster.
      • (Yes. His. Likely part of the same joke, at least via culture context).
  • In The Adventures of Willy Beamish, a yo-yo is the weapon you finally beat the Big Bad with. Since you begin the game with it and only get to use it at the end, if also serves as a Chekhov's Gun.
  • Mike Jones' primary weapon in StarTropics is a yo-yo. You upgrade the weapon as the game progresses.
    • There's also a bola weapon.
  • "Yoyo Yoko" Koshibojin from the fighting game Ehrgeiz uses one in most of her attacks; hence the nickname.
  • In The Goonies II, Mikey's primary weapon is a yo-yo, which isn't found in the movie to which the game is an unofficial sequel.
  • One of the ranged weapons in EarthBound is a yo-yo. It's practically useless, but all ranged weapons (except Jeff's best ones) suck in this game. Strangely enough, in his appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series, his yo-yo attacks are much more useful: in the first game, they do massive damage, and in Melee, can be used in a Ness-only glitch to make him virtually-untouchable.
    • Justified, as Ness uses his PSI to manipulate the force and motion of the yo-yo (and his other weaponry).
  • Mother 3 has the "Friend's Yoyo" as an optional weapon. It's actually quite powerful, raises speed, and can be given to any of the party members except for Boney. It's all but stated that the Friend's Yoyo used to belong to Ness, and Porky keeps it well guarded. Hmmm.... And then on Tanetane Island, you can buy a Spiky Weapon, which is basically a yo-yo, with spikes.
  • In Kirby Super Star and Kirby Star Allies, one of Kirby's exclusive copy abilities is Yo-Yo, taken from the Gim enemy. It consists of breakdancing with a yo-yo (and a backward baseball cap).
  • One of the weapon sets available to Acrobats in Fly FF is a yo-yo.
  • Yo-Yo is a chip starting from Mega Man Battle Network 2. It deploys spinning blades from the disk as it's fired 3 panels ahead and deals double damage to any enemy in its way and triple damage to the enemy on the third panel and stuns the enemy instead of making them flinch allowing Mega Man to attack again. They also count as sword chips, making them useful against the Shadow viruses.
    • The Spinning Blade from Mega Man X3 becomes this when charged.
  • Malin from The King of Fighters.
  • Megumi Taktsuki from Rumble! @ the Campus.
    • One of the prototypes show Kiyo wielding one.
  • A massive, bladed yo-yo called a "Diskarmer" is the signature weapon of the Rygar series.
  • In Data East's arcade Fighting Game Hippodrome, the Final Boss is a giant taking up half the screen wielding a Killer Yo-Yo of Doom simply called "!@#$%!@!".
  • Captain Blue Jr. from Viewtiful Joe.
  • The ancient terrifying Disney game Nightmare Ned.
  • In Superfrog, the titular character fights enemies with a yo-yo, but sadly, it has use only against flying enemies.
  • In the SNES game Legend of the Mystical Ninja, the best weapon is the bladed "Yokohama Yo Yo." This yo-yo is not seen in any other Ganbare Goemon games, though the chain pipe serves a similar purpose as a long-range weapon.
  • Enough yo-yo weapons were implemented in Kingdom of Loathing to make its own weapon type. Examples range from the yo (a primitive yo-yo which does half damage) to the yohohoyo, a multi-elemental weapon wielded by the wacky pirate.
  • The Toy Story game fills Sid's room with spiked yo-yos hanging from the ceiling.
  • Rita from Tales of Vesperia gets a yoyo as a weapon.
  • In the Super Mario Bros. games, the term "Hammer Bro" originally referred to an elite group of Koopa Troopas that specialized in throwing hammers, but their ranks have since expanded to include Troopas with other weapon specialties. One such specialty, seen in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, is the yo-yo, wielded by a species called "Yo Bro".
  • Gotcha Force's Spinner Girl uses a spiked yo-yo.
  • The "Yo-yo of Death" from Neopets is a powerful battledome item. How powerful? It's sold in the Hidden Tower.
  • In Super Robot Wars, the R-2 wields a Beam Chakram attached to a cable. The Huckebein Mk II also has an exploding one as a weapon.
  • Mid-90s third-person fighter/shooter Time Commando had a weaponized yoyo in the 'future' levels.
  • The washed up superhero Captain Rainbow duel wields yo-yos. No, really.
  • One of Jupis Tooki McGanel's special attacks is Yo-Yo Shock, where he swings an electrified yo-yo in a circular arc to damage all enemies.
  • One of the weapons in the game adaptation of TaleSpin was a yo-yo.
  • Samurai Warriors 3 - Hanbei Takenaka wields a giant bladed yo-yo that he also uses as a one-man helicopter.
  • In Sengoku Basara, Sarutobi Sasuke uses two of these as his weapons. Kasuga and Kotaro originally used these due to being character clones, but were later given weapons of their own.
  • A much more serious-looking variant occurs in the Castlevania series, where multiple titles feature animated suits of armor that wield large spinning spiked discs, usually known as "disc armor" or "discus armor".
  • Another discus-style weapon wielder is Bunny from Bunny Must Die! Chelsea and the 7 Devils.
  • Candi Roll from Kung Fu Chaos wields twin yoyos.
  • Spinmaster had yo-yos as the player characters' main weapon.
  • The Yobobot in Shatterhand flings a large white ball around itself.
  • One of the two styles of melee weapon available to Dawn in Lemegeton, the "rotary knife" (actually more like a meteor hammer with blades attached), has yo-yo-like animations during some of its attacks.
  • Frak! for the BBC Micro starred a caveman armed with a yo-yo.
  • Domino's Pizza's commercials had a character called the Pizza Noid, who had a couple of his own video games. In one of them he was the protagonist and his primary weapon was a yo-yo.
  • Yo-yo Man's weapon in Mega Man Unlimited, the Yo-yo Cutter. When obtained by Mega Man, it fires out a yo-yo that can be aimed and can also move along the floor and walls before returning to him.
  • Gustav, the third boss of Einhänder has spinning disks connected by a chain on each shoulder that he can send out. They act like deadly razor yo-yos.
  • Terraria introduces yo-yos as a melee weapon type. They can be thrown out to attack, follow the mouse for a set period of time, then retract. They do continuous damage as long as they make contact with an enemy. They can be difficult to master, but the fact that they follow the mouse allows the player to attack from behind cover. They also have accessories that can increase their length, create a counterweight, and even send out a second yo-yo.
  • Meru's primary weapons in Super Heroine Chronicle include yo-yos.
  • One of Browny's weapons in Contra Hard Corps is the "Super Electromagnetic Yo-yo". It's surprisingly powerful and one of the best weapons in the game, dealing heavy continuous damage on contact with enemies as well as homing in on them.
  • In Tomato Adventure, the first weapon the player character DeMille receives is a mechanized yoyo with a gear where the yoyo would be, simply called the "Gear Yoyo".
  • In Watch_Dogs 2 the protagonist's melee weapon of choice is an 8-Ball attached to a rope that he uses in a fashion similar to this.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The yo-yo is pretty well-documented as one of the oldest toys in the world, but there's just about no historical evidence that it was ever used as a serious weapon. It might have been used as an anti-snake device in Filipino farm fields, but that's about it.
  • While not identical in style to a yo-yo, the boleadoras used in the Argentinian pampas, and a type of weapon known as the Slungshot, are certainly reminiscent of Killer Yo-yo's.
  • The Chinese yo-yo, while not an actual weapon, can be spun to dangerous speeds that can result in the loss of teeth or eye(s) if the wielder loses control of it.
  • A standard Western yo-yo, as noted above, can become the bane of babysitters and parents everywhere. Those fancy trick yo-yos that were briefly fashionable around the turn of the millennium are even worse. And ones made of aluminum, especially the ones with weighted inserts, are even more dangerous. Anyone just starting to learn tricks would be wise to use a mouthguard and mind their hands/wrists when throwing/returning the yoyo with any significant amount of force.


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