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Once Killed a Man with a Noodle Implement

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"I once saw him kill three men in a bar... with a pencil. With a fucking. Pencil."
Viggo on John Wick

"This trope once killed a man with a pair of galoshes."

"This trope once killed a man with a harmonica."

"This trope once killed a man with a bowl of chicken soup!"

"This trope once killed a man with a ballpoint pen!"

"Yeah? Well this trope once killed a man... with two paper clips, some fishing line, and a rubber band!"

Few things can establish one's badass cred quite like claiming to have killed someone with something no one would think of as a weapon of any sort, let alone a lethal one.

Compare Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon and Improvised Weapon. May overlap with The Pen Is Mightier.

A Badass Boast Trope. Can also be a Stock Phrase.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Used in the English dub of Hetalia: Axis Powers, when Germany is angry with Italy for sleeping late.
    Germany: I once killed a man in his sleep with his own mustache and a grape.
  • In Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, Nozomu has heard of a soldier who once took down an enemy battalion with only a volume of Kimagure Orange Road.
  • Lina's sister Luna Inverse from Slayers is often said to have slain a dragon with a butter knife.
  • In 50% OFF, an Abridged Series of Free!, Thugisa claims to have once killed a man with a Speak-N-Spell.
  • While Kirika Yumura of Noir prefers to use her gun, if necessary, she will use anything she can get her hands on to take her enemies down. The list of non-weapon items she has killed people with includes neckties, forks, her student ID, and a toy truck. She has also wounded a man with his own sunglasses and used popcorn as a targeting aid.
  • Some murder cases in Case Closed involve impossible weapons. In Shinichi's very first case, the murder weapon turned out to be a bra wire.
  • Mercenary Tao Pai Pai from Dragon Ball is so skilled he can kill anyone with anything, when he is ordered to execute General Blue for his failures he tells him he'll only use his tongue, Blue finds this ridiculous, until he uses his tongue to pierce his skull, later he kills a tailor by poking him in the forehead.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix in Corsica: One Corsican is said to be so dumb that before he could grasp anything one could "stone a donkey to death with ripe figs".
  • Daredevil: Being both an Improbable Weapon User and a Psycho for Hire, Bullseye has used pretty much every weapon available, including toothpicks and his own teeth.
    Bullseye: They keep me on a liquid diet and stool softeners because they're afraid if I have a solid bowel movement I'd kill someone with it. And I would, too. Just to say I did it.
  • In The Darkness, Jackie once kills a guy with chopsticks.
  • Doom Patrol: The Beard-Hunter in Grant Morrison's run at one point boasts that he knows 100 ways to kill a man using a box of matches and a TV remote control.
  • Actually happens in Michael Fleisher's In Name Only sequel to Harlem Heroes when Slice kills a man by throwing his ID card at his throat.
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac apparently did "horrible things with salad tongs".
  • The Punisher MAX:
    • One mook is called Inky because he killed a man with a pen. Subverted in that they describe, in great detail, how it happened.
    • In the comic proper, Frank once kills a man with nothing but his lunch (club sandwich, Mai Tai, and very hot salsa). Take the toothpick from the sandwich and leave it to soak in the salsa, insert it into the straw from the cocktail, and fire the improvised blowdart into a mobster's ear as you're walking past.
    • This continuity's version of Bullseye is mentioned to have actually done this to somebody.
      Bullseye: I once tracked an Eskimo huntsman across 200 miles of frozen tundra on foot and killed him with an icicle made of my own frozen feces.
  • In Shadow War, this is referenced in Deathstroke Inc. #8.
    Slade: Those are instruments of death and destruction, Respawn. Nothing that can take a life is ever a toy.
    Respawn: You telling me you've never killed someone with an action figure?
    Slade: Okay, maybe.
  • X-Men: Played for Laughs in Professor Xavier and the X-Men #5, with a pair of random mercenaries' dialogue before the X-Men show up.
    Mercenary A: I hate this! I'm a trained mercenary! I know 64 ways to kill a guy with a spoon and I'm stuck guarding an electric generator.
    Mercenary B: D'you mean you can kill a guy who has a spoon — or that you can kill a guy with your own personal spoon?
    [Three pages later, after Iceman has dropped a huge slab of ice on them...]
    Mercenary A: Must... reach... spoon.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In an Azumanga Daioh and Battle Royale crossover. Sakaki's weapon of choice was a plush cat (she didn't really think it through), but at least she picked up a sickle from a fallen opponent later. Osaka chose a paper fan. She won - and that despite her not realizing that she was allowed to take better weapons from those she'd killed. She also makes a remark about considering using a rubber band, and is infamous as the dreaded 'Ayumu "Paper-clip" Kasuga'. Really.
  • A variation of this occurs in Love and the Art of War in a more casual setting than normally seen.
    Nanao: You could probably kill someone with a paper crane...
    Zaraki: Only by ramming it down their throat.
  • In the Harry Potter Dark Fic A Shattered Prophecy Harry, the Dark Lord's assassin, kills one of the Aurors guarding him by shoving a feather quill into his throat.
  • In Housemates, Loki decides that Coulson could kill someone with a Swiss army knife... or Jane Foster's bunny slippers.
  • In New Hope University: Major In Murder, Ashley Coelho kills Eugene Alameda by having the latter choke to death on a meatball sub.
  • Sam Wilson asserts in Selfies From The Underground that Bucky Barnes once killed a man with a shoe and a rubber band.
  • The Somewhat Cracked Mind Of Uchiha Itachi: Yoshino Nara (Shikamaru's mother), during the Invasion, kills a guy with her sandal.
  • In The Winx Club Loops the Patchamen once killed a skilled warrior by beating him to death with napkins-and that's without being Loopers. Justified because they're ninja, and insanely good ones at that.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Ratatouille, Sous-Chef Horst is said to have served time in prison, but every time someone asks him why he tells a different story. These include robbing a bank with only a ballpoint pen, creating a hole in the ozone layer over Avignon, or having "killed a man...with this thumb!" We never know for sure which story (if any) is true, but simply showing that thumb to Skinner is enough to scare him off.
  • In The Secret Life of Pets, when Max and Duke are forced to make up a story about how they "killed" their previous owners, they claim to have used a spoon. Subverted when Snowball doesn't believe them, claiming it's impossible to kill someone with a spoon, and they hurriedly change their story to explain that they used the spoon to turn on a blender.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick, upon coming across several guys menacing his friend Kyra, Riddick threatens to kill the ringleader with a teacup. And he does it. As the dead guy's friends stare in disbelief, he takes out a sardine can key, and sets it, slowly and meaningfully, on the same rock where the teacup was, then gives them a look that clearly says, "Who's next?"
  • Del Preston's story from Wayne's World 2.
    "But the shop owner and his son, that's a different story altogether... I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business, really."
  • In Daredevil Bullseye kills a guy with "darts" made from straightened paper clips. Later he kills someone with a peanut (slightly subverted in that she dies from the peanut being thrown into her mouth where she chokes on it, not from the peanut impacting her or severing something).
  • The Dark Knight: The Joker's magic trick. He claims he will make a pencil disappear… and does by slamming a mook's head into the table it is standing upright on, sending the pencil into his eye and killing him instantly.
    Joker: I'm going to make this pencil disappear… TA-DA! It's gone.
  • The two jerkass agents in Get Smart once threatened this.
    Agent #1: You know, I can kill you with anything in this room. You wanna die by Post-It? Because I can make that happen.
    Agent #2: And that's a slow death.
  • In The Glimmer Man, Steven Seagal's character kills a man with a credit card (although a camera close-up reveals the actual weapon is a razor blade concealed by the card).
  • The protagonist of Grosse Pointe Blank once killed the President of Paraguay with a fork. Later, he kills an assassin sent for him with a fountain pen.
  • Played for Laughs in the (really quite awful) film Student Bodies where the (at this point) faceless killer searches through a drawer of guns, knives, garrotes, and implements of destruction and comes up with... a paperclip, which he then uses to kill his first (or thereabouts) victim.
  • In Shoot 'Em Up, Clive Owen kills two men with a carrot. One of which happens in the first two minutes, it just gets crazier from there.
  • John Wick:
    • In the first movie, Viggo claims to have seen John kill three men with a pencil during a bar fight.
      "With a fucking pencil."
    • In the sequel, we get a Call-Back when two men have that conversation again, and one of them Lampshades the improbability of it: "Who the fuck can do that?!" Later, we get to see him do this to two guys. It's not pretty.
  • From Sleeper: "I just beat a man insensible with a strawberry!" Granted, it was a giant strawberry...
  • Played for Laughs in Kiler: the protagonist , a taxi driver named Jerzy Kiler is jailed after being mistaken for an infamous hitman, while in prison a hulking prisoner bullies him, steals his food in the cafeteria and accidentally chokes to death on the lid of a salt shaker Kiler was using a moment before leading everyone to believe the protagonist did it on purpose and made it look like an accident.
  • Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels: "Hatchet" Harry beat a man to death with a 12-inch black rubber dildo. This anecdote is told specifically as a means of underline that "Hatchet Harry is a man you pay, when you owe".
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: Apparently, Xenk once fended off a Beholder with nothing but a sharpened gourd. Edgin doesn't believe this.
    Simon: Something sharp.

  • In Animorphs' The Separation, Mean Rachel happily tells Nice Rachel how she beat up an army of Hork-Bajir with her own severed (bear) arm.
  • In the literary chronicle of Truman Capote, In Cold Blood, Dick Hickock decided to ask Perry Smith to help him with his "hit" because Perry told him that once he killed a black man by hitting him with a bicycle chain, "just for fun".
  • The protagonist of Trevanian's novel Shibumi, Nicholaï Hel is skilled in a martial art which involves the use of ordinary objects as lethal weapons.
  • In Melody Malone, River Song tells the reader that she once killed someone with a fedora.
  • Discworld:
    • In Sourcery, Conina inherited her Barbarian Hero father's combat instincts, but her personal choice of profession is hairdresser. Thus, she has a long history of using crimps, bobby pins, combs and other tonsorial implements as weapons. Her entry in the Discworld encyclopedia goes even farther, and claims she can turn absolutely anything - a hairgrip, a piece of paper, a hamster - into a deadly weapon.
    • In Making Money, Mr. Bent performs Assassin Outclassin'. With balloon animals. It turns out "battle clowning", a martial art that incorporates slapstick staples, is an ancient tradition in the fools guild and he's something of a savant in it despite not being a member.
    • The Assassins Guild Yearbook diary lists Famous Instruments of Dispatch. Some of the odder ones are explained, others aren't. These include a teddy bear (students have been known to stay awake worrying about this), a teaspoon ("Details are sketchy, and perhaps this is just as well"), and an occasion when both assassin and client killed each other with fish (one frozen, one live), in the middle of a desert ("There are many aspects of this fight that remain a mystery").
  • In Mr Blank, the notorious assassin Tariq Suliman, once stabbed a guy to death with a pillow.
  • In Iron Fist, Wraith Squadron medic Ton Phanan is shown killing someone with a laser scalpel. That much at least gets explained (he cut the victim's throat), but he then mentions that, under the right circumstances, he could also kill with his bandages, disinfectant sprays, tranquilizers, and even bacta treatments.
  • In The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Bobbin claims to know five ways of killing someone with a sewing needle.
  • In The Empyrean, Violet defeats a longtime rival by analyzing his diet and realizing he is deathly allergic to oranges. The next time they fight, she breaks a vial of orange extract against his teeth, crippling him just before he can choke her to death.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun: "I should warn you that I have killed men with everything, from a steak knife to a penny dropped from a skyscraper!"
  • From Angel:
    Spike: I had a wee spat with a werewolf myself once. Fought for over an hour. Brutal, vicious. Almost lost my -
    Fred: Angel killed him with a pen.
  • In the second episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy mentions having once killed a vampire using only an exacto knife.
    • She also uses a pencil once, somewhere along the line.
  • In the Leverage episode "The Wedding Job," Eliot takes down The Butcher of Kiev by shoving stuffed mushrooms (spritzed with lemon juice) into his eyes.
    Nate: You just kill a guy with an appetizer?
    Eliot: I don't know. Maybe.
    • In "The Cross My Hearts Job" he claims to have fought a man with a Nerf sword in Damascus in 2002, though we don't get to hear details.
    • In "The Two Live Crew Job," Mikel Dayan is said to have killed a man with a mop.
  • On NCIS, Ziva David boasted that she can kill a man eighteen different ways with a paperclip. Safety recommends she be believed.
    • And from the episode "Jet Lag":
    Ziva David: And plastic silverware is not as safe as you may think. I once killed a man with a credit card.
    • In the same episode, she also states earphone cables could serve as a garrotte.
    • She also told Tony, after he would not stop eating, that she would kill him with his spoon.
  • In Xena: Warrior Princess, assassin Sinteres is said to be deadly with any weapon. King of Thieves Autolycus, posing as Sinteres, has to demonstrate this by killing a man with a thrown toothpick although Xena's use of a grappling hook helped.
  • This exchange from Castle:
    Castle: This man is a machine. I've interviewed serial killers, hitmen. Agent Gray? By far, the most dangerous man I've ever met. He once killed a North Korean agent with a melonballer.
    Agent Gray: It was an ice cream scoop, Castle. And that information was supposed to remain private.
  • Victorious: In the episode "Tori Fixes beck and Jade", Jade West corners Tori and Andre in a broom closet and threatens to kill them with a roll of toilet paper. Andre is left wondering how that's even possible, but he believes it enough to grab as many toilet paper rolls as he can hold.
  • This conversation from Yes, Dear:
    Man: I'm really sorry to bother you, but my son Ronnie goes to school with your son Dominic.
    Jimmy: I don't ever remember Dominic mentioning a Ronnie, have you?
    Christine: No. He mentioned a Donnie, but that's just because his father is some ex-Marine who came to school and bragged about how he killed a man with a single bullet. No gun, just a single bullet.
  • Captain Archer of Star Trek: Enterprise once stabs a Xindi with a statue of Zefram Cochrane.
  • Titus: "Look in your medicine cabinet. Anything in there, my mom can kill you with it. Well, except moist towelettes, you know, with those, she can just MAIM YOU."

  • Tom Waits, "Black Wings" from Bone Machine, which is his take on a Randall Flagg sort of a character:
    Some say he once killed a man with a guitar string
  • Meat Loaf in "Wasted Youth" from Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell:
    ...I was barely 17, and I once killed a boy with a Fender Guitar.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Samson from The Bible killed a thousand Philistine soldiers with a jawbone of an ass.
    • This is less improbable than it sounds however. This was a real weapon used by pre-Bronze Age humans. Sharpened flint blades were bound into the tooth sockets, and then it was used as a sort of club. Although prone to breaking, it is highly likely to be lethal.
  • Loki of Norse Mythology tricked the blind Hodur into killing Baldur with a mistletoe twig. Granted, Baldur was immune to everything else...
    • Also mistletoe is in fact highly poisonous. The berries though, not the wood.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In an early Dilbert strip, Dilbert unintentionally killed the vice president of his company with an ear of corn when the other guy started a food fight. Dilbert apparently threw the corn hard enough to knock him out and he drowned in his soup. Later in jail, Dilbert's burly cellmate asks him why he's stuck there. Dilbert tells him that he killed a man with an ear of corn after being provoked. Cue the cellmate's Oh, Crap! expression when they get corn on the cob for lunch.

    Tabletop Games 

  • Stories abound in the tabletop RPG community about characters killing dangerous monsters with improbable implements due to the player pulling a Critical Hit when making an attack roll in desperation/spite.
  • Cards Against Humanity has a black card that reads "That's right, I killed ________. How, you ask? ________."

    Video Games 
  • In Alpha Protocol, Steven Heck casually mentions that at sufficient velocity, soccer balls can decapitate people. He's also apparently killed Vatican officials using communion wafers, and at one point killed a man by impaling him with a ten-speed mountain bike.
  • A minor NPC from Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, a Deadly Doctor, used a pen to stab a man to death.
  • Danganronpa has had some odd improvised weapons, but Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony chapter 4 takes the cake; the victim was killed with toilet paper. For context, the characters were in a virtual reality program at the time. In that world, all objects are unbreakable, so the toilet paper was as good as a real rope for strangling, and anything that was obviously a weapon had been deleted beforehand.
  • Dwarf Fortress: A player once killed a bronze colossus by throwing a fluffy wambler at its head, resulting in the head being torn clean off (see this forum thread for details). Actually you can kill something with just about anything if you are creative and/or persistent enough.
  • In Half-Life 2: Episode 2, a Rebel-in-Training at the White Forest Base first claims to have used AR3s (which don't exist), then claims to have killed Hunters (alien tripod cyborgs that are rather deadly) "with his own hands."
  • Professor Mordin from Mass Effect 2 once killed somebody with "farming equipment."
    • Later revealed, according to the Shadow Broker's file on him, to be a pitchfork. Less odd of a weapon considering the namesake of the Torches and Pitchforks trope, but how and who he killed makes up for it... through a charging Krogan's eye.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: Cora Harper can mention she once saw an asari kill a krogan with a pack of cards. "Choking hazard", apparently.
  • In Max Payne, when you finally meet Rico Muerte face to face, he's getting a blowjob from a hooker while telling a story about this trope. Canon never directly addresses the question of whether or not it's actually true, but given the guy barely even qualifies as an Elite Mook in gameplay terms (the only thing that makes him more dangerous than average is the fact he's the first enemy you encounter who has a fully automatic weapon) it's reasonable to assume he's full of crap.
    Rico: Two mad dog killers, ready to murder each other. They step into the next room, an' I'm thinkin', now they gonna do it. But no! They sit down in front of a tv an' solve their differences with a Kung-Fu fightin' videogame. I tell you, Candy, I was so depressed, I strangled them both with the videogame cables.
  • In Psychonauts, if Raz shows Coach Oleander a button:
    Raz: If you had a button, we could play tiddly-winks.
    Oleander: If I had that button, I could kill you in six different ways.
  • Wait long enough around the Dark Brotherhood in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and the radiant conversation engine will eventually lead to a discussion of one of the other assassins' rather...unique methods. Nothing is ever stated outright, but judging by the implements it's very heavily implied they suspended, then suddenly dropped the equivalent of a walrus onto three people and killed them.
    A horker, some twine, three wood elves, and a hatchet? Points for creativity, if nothing else.
  • Some of the murder weapons in the Ace Attorney series can be very strange things no killer in their right mind would ever think of using to off someone. Of course, in the Ace Attorney universe, barely anyone is in their right mind.
    • A notable example is the final murder weapon of Investigations 2, which is a hot air balloon. And even that isn't as strange as what everyone originally thought killed the victim: A Kaiju stepped on him.
    • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the first two murders are committed using a miniature statue of "The Thinker" with a built-in clock. Granted, it can be used as a blunt weapon, and the statue part doubles as a handle, but it's one of the stranger murder weapons.
    • The third killer in Justice for All used a metal bust of the defendant to kill the victim. The reason Phoenix gets involved is because a series of coincidences then led a witness to mistake the bust for the actual defendant, who Phoenix then has to represent in court.
    • The Big Bad of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney committed murder with a grape juice bottle, a poisoned stamp, and attempts murder with poisoned nail polish.
    • Candice Arme's murder is an odd one. She's killed by a bomb, but not in the obvious way; her killer hit her over the head with it.
    • The murder in Spirit of Justice's fourth case was committed by smothering the victim with udon dough. Because the murderer killed the victim in a fit of blind rage, and the dough was the closest thing available.
  • The home-built Rock-It Launcher in Fallout 3 is a high-velocity Noodle Implement launcher that turns ordinary Wasteland junk into lethal projectiles. Cutlery, books, spare parts, and even teddy bears can be used as Rock-It Launcher ammo. But the most useful ammo for it is pre-war money, because it weighs nothing in your inventory. It returns in Fallout 4, renamed the Junk Jet.
  • Silent Hill 4: The Room antagonist Walter Sullivan once killed someone (himself) with a soup spoon.
  • In Shadowrun Returns: Hong Kong Gaichû has a pair of chopsticks in his box of memorabilia. If you ask him about them he tells the player character that he once killed an enemy executive with them during an assassination Gone Horribly Wrong (the executive's girlfriend was a mage and disarmed him of his other weapons, so Gaichû stabbed him in the eye with the chopsticks).

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • In The Dragon Doctors, when Blue finally forces Frankie to spill the beans about his mobster boss Cary, he says she once boasted of killing a roomful of rival mobsters using only pocket change. It later turns out that this was literally true, thanks to a Super-Strength that somehow bypasses anti-magic fields.
  • Azrael from the webcomic Life and Death once killed Cthulhu with a gopher and a damp sponge.
  • Fairbanks of Sore Thumbs is proud of the fact that he killed two terrorists with a bowl of soup.
  • Doythaban, from Schlock Mercenary, has killed people by spitting on them. And also by urinating on them. It helps that he was medically altered to have exploding saliva and to urinate high-strength acid. Don't ask about the shaped charges...
  • In Erfworld, Wanda refuses to let prisoner Jillian eat her sushi with chopsticks:
    Wanda: You could croak a small army with them. And we only have a small army.
  • Dan from DMFA has claimed twice to taken on deathknights (undead powered automations) with only a spork. One character implies that she may have even witnessed at least one of these incidents but offered no details.

    Web Original 
  • The Chronicles of Taras mentions that Taras Jacobs once killed a man with a Bowl of Old Nachos and a Golden Retriever Puppy.
    Sandra: "How?"
    Taras: "Huh? Oh, Uh, I don't know. I wasn't really paying much attention."
  • Many Chuck Norris Facts.
    There are 1,214 objects in an average room that Chuck Norris can kill you with, including the room itself.
  • Ursula Vernon's House of Red Fireflies setting makes passing reference to a brothel madam who "once killed a god with a broken beer bottle".
  • SCP Foundation provides us with SCP-076-2 aka. "Able" (who apparently is an Abel who Came Back Wrong), who is, among his other incredibly lethal skills, capable of "breaking a man's jaw using a Nerf sword."
  • The Navy SEAL Copypasta, an infamous Wall of Text parodying Internet jerks, includes the boast: "...I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that's just with my bare hands."

    Western Animation 
  • The Boondocks episode "Granddad's Fight":
    Uncle Ruckus: Jean-Claude Van Damme's the best martial artist in the world. He killed a man with his butt cheek power.
  • In Dan Vs. "The Salvation Armed Forces," Dan tells his friend Chris that the bell ringer knows twelve ways to kill a man with a bell. Chris thinks about it, but can only come up with one.
  • Futurama: Roberto to Bender: "You ever killed a man with a sock? It ain't so hard..."
  • The Venture Brothers: Rusty Venture once killed a man with a housekey. His father forced him to. He was ten.
    Dean: Oh, that's Brock. He's my dad's bodyguard. One time, I saw him kill a guy with a sock full of party snaps!
    Triana: Did the guy's head get blown off?
    Dean: Yes it did.
  • In the Miraculous Ladybug episode "Dark Owl", the titular villain traps the heroes in a Drowning Pit which he begins to fill with whipped cream, explaining that it is too thick to breathe in, yet not thick enough to swim or float in.

Alternative Title(s): Once Noodled A Man To Death