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Net Gun

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The archetypal non-laser (possibly even low-tech) type of Family-Friendly Firearms, the net gun is a thing which actually exists, though in reality they're not useful for much beyond catching relatively small animals such as birds and dogs (or, more recently, drones). This is because real nets tend to be heavy and bulky, and it's very hard to pack a net capable of covering a target of any respectable size into a projectile with any amount of range. But in fiction, the net gun can capture a full-sized person or more, and may fire an Inescapable Net. It may be a component of a Swiss-Army Gun. Sister trope to Projectile Webbing.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Gantz, the Y-Gun is a combination of this trope and a Teleport Gun. It captures its victims with an Inescapable Net, then teleports them to an unknown location.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team: One of the Gundam Ground Type's equipment is a net gun scaled up to Humongous Mecha sizes used in ambush and capture missions. The same gun is used by the Ground-type GM. Later in the UC timeline it seems that the idea gets replaced by the Clay Bazooka, which fires clay rounds to ensnare mobile suits.
  • In One Piece, Don Krieg can fire a weighted net from his gun, which is used to send people into the water. Doesn't stop Luffy.
  • The Mooks in Patema Inverted are armed with these. (The Big Bad uses a conventional (lethal) pistol to clarify to show how bad he is.)
  • Steamboy is riding in a railroad car when Elite Mooks attempt to kidnap him. They try using a giant claw lowered from a dirigible. It succeeds in crushing the middle of the car, and almost derails the entire train. The mooks then use a Net Gun on the boy, capturing him and the steam ball before being lifted along with the claw aboard the dirigible.

    Comic Books 
  • Jupiter Jet: Praetor Pluto fires a net at Jacky in a battle at a baseball field.
  • Spider-Man routinely uses his web shooters to capture villains, often delivering them to justice bagged in a net of webbing. (Notably, in some variations, Spider-Man's webbing is organic and produced by him biologically, but in most versions it is simply a form of technology — a Super Wrist-Gadget that shoots nets.)

    Films — Animation 
  • Lilo & Stitch: Captain Gantu bags both titular characters with a net gun. His target was Experiment 626, a.k.a. Stitch; Lilo was an incidental capture that Gantu regards as "a little snack". Notably, Stitch is unable to break this netting despite his inordinate strength. It later becomes his signature weapon thanks to Lilo & Stitch: The Series.
  • In The Rescuers Down Under, McLeach uses a gigantic one to capture Marahute the giant eagle.
  • In the Ratchet & Clank movie, Big Bad Alonzo Drek uses the Mag-Net Launcher from Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction to capture the duo as they try and infiltrate the Deplanetizer. (See the games' entry below for further details)
  • Up: Charles Muntz uses one to catch Kevin the bird from his blimp.
  • In Zootopia, net guns are used to capture at least one savage animal (probably all of the others, too, but we only see one onscreen).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Toombs the bounty hunter has a ship equipped with these. They have spikes to pin them and their target to a surface, and Riddick gets wounded by one.
  • Escape from L.A.: The plastic surgery cult uses a net gun to trap Snake Plissken.
  • The Fifth Element: Zorg highlights "our famous net launcher" in his Q Speech lauding the features of his Swiss-Army Gun.
  • Hatari!: after the crew repeatedly fails to catch some monkeys using more conventional methods, gadget-master Pockets invents a way to launch a net using rockets.
  • Predator: Predator 2, Alien vs. Predator and Prey (2022) showcase the Yautja's idea of netting as a hunting tool — namely, mono-molecular wire nets that flay whatever is unlucky enough to get caught in them.
  • Race for the Yankee Zephyr. The protagonists who are bush helicopter pilots use these to capture deer in the mountains of New Zealand. Later one of them is running from the villains who are apparently about to shoot him with a rifle, only it's a deer net and he gets captured instead.
  • The Running Man: A CODA All-Purpose Netgun is used to trap Ben Richards when he attempts to escape through an airport.
  • The Shaggy Dog: Shaggy, a dog in China is captured with a net launcher in the beginning of his film to be brought to America.
  • In Thor: Ragnarok, the Mighty Thor is felled by a high-tech looking one that can be used to give the captive an electric shock.
  • The Martians from War God can use their energy rifles to generate gigantic nets instead or projectile weapons, which they use in an attempt (a ridiculously unsuccessful one) to ensnare the titular hero.

  • Logan's Run: The Sandman guns have six attack methods, including the tangler (a sticky net).
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The Stun Net Launcher fires an electrified net.
    • The Electronet Grenade launcher throws grenades that release similar nets.
    • The Stokhli Spray Stick fires a mist that solidifies into an electric net.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrowverse:
  • Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom: Marlin Perkins or Jim Fowler would regularly use a net gun on the show to catch animals such as gazelles in order to outfit them with radio collars. Other nature documentaries from the same era would also do this, though the practice has fallen out of favor in recent decades due to the stress and risk of harm it presents to the animals.
  • MythBusters once needed a bunch of pigeons for a test, and Jamie and Adam initially tried catching their own with one of these. It worked on Adam, but not on any of the birds.
  • In Power Rangers Dino Fury, Amelia has one called the "Spook Snare", which is (supposedly) meant to catch ghosts. The net can be electrified as well, which comes in handy when she turns it on Void Knight.
  • Prehistoric Park: Nigel wields one to trap small dinosaurs such as Microraptor.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Paranoia has tanglers, firing sticky nets that contract and immobilize part of the target's body. One of the setting's few non-lethal weapons (unless it hits their neck).

    Video Games 
  • The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout: Elmer Fudd fires a net from his hunting rifle during the boss fights with him. Should it catch Bugs, Elmer will immediately beeline to Bugs in order to inflict Collision Damage. The player has to wiggle Bugs free from the net.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: The Ropecaster weapon is a variation: it fires heavy ropes that hook onto a machine's plates and anchor into the ground on the other end. Hitting a machine with multiple ropes can tie them down for a short time, but damage inflicted on them while their tied down reduces the time remaining.
  • Caitlyn of League of Legends is able to fire a "90 Caliber Net" from her Sniper Rifle in a pinch, which comes with enough kick that it launches her backwards. The ability slows whatever enemy that it hits and gives her a free Critical Hit on them, but it's most primarily used as an escape tool for if someone decides to pounce on her (given how how high-priority she is as a target, players will need to use it that way).
  • Legend (1994) have the medieval version of this trope. At the beginning of one stage, you're attacked by a bandit armed with a net-shooting crossbow, which will entangle you alive so you're taken to the dungeons.
  • Mortal Kombat 3: All cyborgs in the game have a gun in their "stomachs" where they shoot various kind of projectiles. One of these cyborgs, Cyrax, can throw bombs, but also a green net used to catch and bring in the opponent, being the robot counterpart of Scorpion (or at least until you unlock Robot Smoke and the comeback of Scorpion and Human Smoke for Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3).
  • Ratchet & Clank has the Mag-Net Launcher (or the Mag-Net Cannon when it's upgraded) from Tools of Destruction and A Crack in Time, a weapon that stuns enemies by locking them into an electric web allowing Ratchet to more easily take them down. It works on most enemies and bosses, though it doesn't stun larger/stronger enemies for very long at all, and it does a very small amount of damage since it's meant to be used in tandem with other weapons. The weapon would also make a very brief appearance in the PlayStation 4 reimagining in a scene taken straight from the movie, however it doesn't appear as a weapon the player can use.

    Web Animation 
  • In Helluva Boss, this is one of the few weapons in D.H.O.R.K.S' arsenal that isn't from the Edo Period.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Centurions has a variation of this trope; Silent Arrow, one of John Thunder's Assault Weapon Systems, launches a giant arrow that opens to reveal a capture net.
  • Hilda: In episode 13, The safety patrol officers use these against the black hound. The nets are too small however and just bounce off him.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In the episode "Sandy's Rocket", Sandy has net guns to gather rock specimens in her trip to the moon. When SpongeBob and Patrick take the rocket on a joyride, they use the guns to capture "aliens", which are actually their friends and neighbors since they never left Earth.
  • Teen Titans: One of Red-X's gadgets is a net that fires at an enemy.