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Pipe Pain

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You're about to spring a bloody leak.

"Fireballs? Teleports? Fancy ninja shit? Naw son, we do pipes to the spine. All day."
frankzerofour on Cody's Ultra Combo
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Segments of piping that are usually used to channel liquids or gases also make for effective clubs. Use of them as a weapon is especially common in derelict or war-torn zones where the piping is not in use and in poor repair, allowing easy acquisition. When not in the hands of a criminal or simpleton, this is generally a weapon of last resort. Even then it is also just generally used by thugs due to its decent sturdiness, being able to easily hurt somebody and also being rather easy to get one's hands on. Lead, iron or steel as long as it's sturdy enough to bust heads with it's definitely going to be used. Sizes and lengths can vary too which helps make pipes more of a practical choice than it sounds.

Even if the piping is still installed, pipes can still be used as weapons. Broken pipe ends can be used to impale a careless enemy, valves can release scalding liquids or gases, and they can make for a good surface to crack heads against.

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While most piping is generally featureless, weaponized pipes tend to feature elbow joints, valves and other types of plumping fittings or adapters in order to emphasize that they are, in fact, from a plumbing system. It can also maybe be used to increase a pipe's effectiveness as a weapon. Such as using an elbow joint as a hook and such. It all depends on the user's creativity.

Subtrope of Improvised Weapon, and related to Carry a Big Stick, 2xFore, Simple Staff and Wrench Whack.


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Examples:

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     Anime & Manga  
  • Otcho of 20th Century Boys was trained to use a bo, but since he's mostly in an urban environment his usual weapon is a pipe.
  • Used a couple of times in the film adaptation of AKIRA first when Yamagata uses one to fight Joker of the Clown gang, then when Tetsuo kills a Clown by bashing him over the head with one as he drives by on his motorcycle.
  • In the second episode of Digimon Frontier, Kouji proceeds to use this against a horde of Pagumon. And wins. At least until one of them digivolves into Raremon.
  • Erza uses a pipe in a fight with delinquentsnote  in the Fairy Tail High School A.U. story.
  • Russia from Hetalia: Axis Powers carries around a lead pipe as an Improvised Weapon. He makes a habit of pulling it out of nowhere, puts things like food in it to take out later, and calls it his "magical stick" when he uses it to go after Estonia after he wrongfully accuses him of hacking his blog. According to Word of God, he has it because of Russian soldiers during World War II taking lead pipes as trophies.
  • In Naruto, Tobi once used a jagged pipe as a spear instead of a club when fighting Konan.
  • In One Piece, as a child, Luffy, Ace, and Sabo's primary weapons were steel pipes, which they used as staffs. And while his brothers grew to rely more on their Devil Fruit powers, Sabo still uses his pipe as an adult.
  • Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva: In his animated movie, Professor Layton picks up a pipe to defend himself from the villain Jean Descole's sword as they battle on top of his Humongous Mecha. Because the professor is incapable of doing anything in an unclassy way, he actually fences with a lead pipe and sucessfully disarms his opponent.
  • In the Sands of Destruction manga, Taupy attempts to train Kyrie using scraps of pipe. Naja interrupts them, and so Kyrie is forced to fight using nothing but his pipe.
  • In the Super Dimension Fortress Macross episode where Hikaru and his wingmen board the Zentradi flagship, Breetai beats down two Valkyries with a pipe. After walking along the surface of his ship to find an airlock after being thrown out of a gaping hole.
  • In the virtual world arc of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Kaiba uses one of these against Nezbit/Tristan.

     Board Games  
  • Clue, famously has one of the possible murder weapons be a lead pipe.

     Comic Books  
  • The Goon uses one as one of his weapons as a kid.
  • It's well-known to the general population of V for Vendetta that the government's "retirement homes" are nothing more than gas chambers. Except it's not even that, it's just a couple of men with lead pipes.

     Fanfic  
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality gives us "lead-pipe Legilimency", a Hold Your Hippogriffs variant of the Real Life idiom "rubber-hose cryptanalysis".
  • In Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail, Chloe obtains a steel pipe (or "donut holer") from Randallnote  which she jokes that she'll use to fight off the Ghoms. This becomes her signature weapon throughout her trip across the Infinity Train to the point that One-One allows her to bring it back to the real world where she uses it to attack the madman who is putting her former class hostage and kidnapped her best friend. In fact, this is such an Iconic Item that every story in the Infinity Train: Blossomverse that has her on the Train makes it her go-to weapon.
    • In the sequel, Infinity Train: Voyage of Wisteria, Hazel has her own copper pipe but doesn't use it as a weapon. Rather it's to channel Mad Ben when he's in a lightning form via an improvised lightning rod.
  • Luffy relearns to fight with a pipe as his full time weapon thanks to Cross's intervention in This Bites!. He's developed a few new techniques with it including Gum Gum Home Run, Grand Slam and Ballista.

     Film  
  • In After the Thin Man, the bad guy has fashioned pipe into a makeshift ladder and cosh. The detective Nick speculates this way they can then be thrown into a nearby urban trash bin and not be noticed.
  • In Blade Runner, Decker attacks Batty with a length of pipe during their final confrontation.
  • Cloverfield features Marlena using a broken pipe as a weapon against the giant parasites.
  • A lead pipe is one of the possible murder weapons in Clue. Actually seen used on the officer while he's on the phone during the blackout.
  • Commando: Let off some steam, Benett!
  • In The Experiment (the US remake of Das Experiment), Travis carries a length of pipe (with elbow joint) when he leads an assault against the guard's room after he finds that Benjy has been chained up and left to die rather than be given medical treatment.
  • In Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Tommy beats Michael with a pipe until green slime starts bleeding out of his head.
  • In The Hunt (2020), Crystal uses a steel pipe she rips from the ceiling to pummel Captain Dale.
  • In Miami Connection various characters weld pipes as weapons. Some of them seem to cut like swords.
    Mike Nelson: Why is your pipe so sharp?! Why?!
  • In Pulp Fiction, Marcellus Wallace informs Zed that he is going to be dealt with by some associates Marcellus describes as "Pipe Hittin' ". He also tells him that said associates will go to work with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch, so pipes are probably going to be the least of the man's problems.
  • In The Return of the Living Dead, the character Burt uses a length of pipe to try and beat back the zombie horde trying to get into the mortuary.
  • In Taken after managing to break the supports of the pipe he was handcuffed to the hero opens the valve and sprays a bad guy in the face with what turns out to be high-pressure steam.
  • Jason from Terkel In Trouble always has an iron pipe on his person. He doesn't actually use it for something at first, and a Running Gag is that he constantly drops it, making others ask why he bothers carrying it around. His reply is: "You never know when you'll need an iron pipe". Of course, it ends up being useful when he has to use it in a fight against a psychotic teacher.
  • The Warriors: When our eponymous heroes are preparing to face down the Rogues, Comanche wrenches a pipe from beneath the boardwalk to arm himself. He won't need it.

     Live Action TV  

     Music  
  • In The Protomen's Act II, Joe used one when attempting to fight the Sniper. It didn't help much.

     Tabletop RPG  
  • Iron Crown Enterprises' Cyberspace RPG had a "heavy alloy" pipe as an available weapon.

     Video Games  
  • 64th Street: A Detective Story have pipes as a secondary melee weapon (after wrenches). They're better in range and can smash the skulls of mooks with ease.
  • One of the many improvised weapons available in Action Doom 2: Urban Brawl.
  • Georg in Agarest Senki 2 uses a lead pipe as a Joke Weapon.
  • In AI: The Somnium Files, Mizuki is strangely obsessed with iron pipes. She can use them as a weapon, as shown when she takes out several of So Sejima's bodyguards. Helps that she's also a Pint-Sized Powerhouse.
  • Pipes are a very common weapon use by the convicts, thugs, mooks and lowlifes in Batman: Arkham Series. That can leave Batman and other playable characters dazed if they are hit.
  • Oddly the pipe in Beneath a Steel Sky was not used as a weapon till very end, and only to damage one minor vein of Linc so you can enter a secret lab.
  • Borderlands 1: Quite strangely for a character whose action skill is going Blood Knight with his Good Old Fisticuffs, Brick uses a piece of pipe as his normal melee weapon.
  • As is fitting for its After the End setting, one of Nina's staffs in Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter is a metal pipe with a tap still attached to it, which naturally gives her water-elemental attacks a damage boost.
  • Bully has Edgar, the Townie's leader, who tears a large pipe out of the wall of the steam plant when you fight him.
  • Different pipes are one of the most common Improvised Weapons that can be used. Usually by ripping them off the wall in Condemned: Criminal Origins and Condemned 2: Bloodshot. In fact you can even see some of your opponents rip one out if they are disarmed or need a weapon upon seeing you.
  • Naturally for the Fallout series, lead pipes are a very common weapon especially after it's debut in the third game.
    • In Fallout 3and Fallout: New Vegas (due to sharing the same model), the lead pipe is a short heavily corroded and/or bloodstained pipe, with one of the ends having tape wrapped around it to improve grip and topped with a pipe fitting on the other.
      • Speaking of NV, in the game it's Boring, but Practical weapon for low-level players as it can't compete with a supersledge or other unique melee weapons. But its weight is low and DPS is high, especially compared other early-game melee weapons. Raul one of the many companions, uses the lead pipe as his default melee weapon.
      • Alongside that there's also a special variant of the lead pipe called "The Humble Cudgel" which is less corroded, and has a T fitting on one end making it similar to a mallet. Its middle section is also slightly bent.
  • In Far Cry 5 there are two types of long pipe weapons with different business ends. One is called Socketed Pipe which has sockets on both sides of its business end, its Flavor Text is “One of six possible murder weapons you'd find in a mansion. "Whodunit?" is the real question.” obviously referencing Clue. While the other weapon is the Bolted Pipe, which as the name suggests just has a bolt on its business end. Both pipes have different paint schemes to snazz things up a bit too.
  • In Final Fight, pipes can be used as weapons, their slow attack speed is mitigated by damage and long striking range. When some of the characters from the series were ported over to other games set in the same universe (mainly Street Fighter), the pipe made occasional appearances alongside them. It's brandished by Cody in a baseball-like fashion at the end of his Last Dread Dust Ultra Combo in Super Street Fighter IV as well as during his Dirty Coach V-Trigger in V, and is used as a special by Haggar in Marvel vs. Capcom 3note ; the (former) Trope Namer comes from seeing Haggar use the pipe in competitive play.
  • Pipes are also featured as melee weapons in the Grand Theft Auto games.
  • The first time you encounter Manhacks in Half-Life 2 the civilian in the room picks up a pipe to defend himself, doing a fairly good job at it too.
  • The first melee weapon in Kingpin: Life of Crime. The main character digs it out of the trash after being left for dead in Skid Row. It's hilariously small and short, almost as long as a knife.
  • Pipes are a common as well as powerful, melee weapons featured in The Last of Us. You can even upgrade it to further increase the durability and lethality.
  • These are the default weapons for students in the Assault class in Last Year: The Nightmare. They can also be upgraded by wrapping them in barbed wire and attaching nails.
  • Max Payne uses a lead pipe as his only melee weapon in the first act of the first game, before picking up a baseball bat from Frank Niagara.
  • In NieR's prologue, the title character fends off an attack by Shades with a pipe. 1,317 years later you can revisit the scene in a trippy sidequest and recover the very same pipe, which... isn't a very effective weapon when it's competing against the likes of Iron Will.
  • In NieR: Automata, fishing in a sewer can net you Nier's iron pipe. This time around it's a Lethal Joke Weapon that when fully-upgraded is capable of dealing massive damage and stunning enemies.
  • Lots of fragile mooks in No More Heroes come at you with pipes.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 3: Mitsuru has one as a Joke Weapon, considering that she fights like a fencer.
    • Persona 5: As a blunt weapon user, Player Party member Ryuji Sakamoto can equip a large pipe segment with a 90 degree turn on the business end.
  • Phoning Home: The first weapon ION can collect in the game is a pipe from the wreckage of the ship.
  • Pigsaw: You can find several pipes in the game (they're all basically the same though) to defend yourself against the enemies. It takes several hits to put an enemy down, though.
  • The tutorial case in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is for assault with a pipe (and also for stealing a stuffed toy).
  • In Resident Evil 2 and the Remake when first encountering the G-Virus mutated William Birkin. He makes good use of it by ripping off a rather huge section of piping and using it to bludgeon Leon/Claire to death. Kinda crossing this with Carry a Big Stick due to said pipe's size. In the remake, he gets a slight dose of irony when his eye is impaled with a huge steel pipe. Causing him to recoil back just enough for the protagonists to disconnect the wagons. Then send him to his doom, from the massive fireball caused by a self-destruct system.
    • In Resident Evil: Outbreak and its sequel, Outbreak File #2. The players can make use of an iron pipe as a melee weapon. It has a total of three forms due to taking enough structural damage. If they are playing as David King, he can combine the iron pipe with a piece of concrete, creating an makeshift sledgehammer or even combine it with a battery to create a stun rod.
  • Also one of the weapons that can be found in River City Ransom. With high damage and a long range, it's a good one.
  • In SAW's video games, to defend yourself, one weapon of choice is a pipe.
  • Most Silent Hill games, except Shattered Memories, 0rigins and Downpour feature the Steel Pipe as the first decent melee weapon. It often remains as the weapon with the longest reach, and therefore the safest to beat the monsters with, throughout the game.
  • Both Sonny games start you off with a pipe, that looks a bit like a car muffler. The Flavor Text in the second game is "Me and the pipe... we go way back".
  • The first weapon Fayt uses outside of his games in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is a pipe. Defeating certain bosses with it earns you Battle Trophies.
  • Streets of Rage: Pipes are one of the most common weapon type through the series, and they work pretty much exactly like they do in Final Fight. The Xbox Live Arcade rerelease of Streets of Rage 2 also has an achievement for killing enemies with a pipe.
  • A pipe is the starting weapon in the first System Shock. Does less damage than a basic pistol bullet, but with greater Critical Hit chance and armor penetration.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Project: During the boss fight with Groundchuck he starts out unarmed. After taking several hits he rips a large pipe out of the wall and uses it as a weapon.
  • Various mooks in the Beat 'em Up game, Tough Turf, will come at you while swinging iron pipes. You can actually pick up pipes from defeated enemies to bash skulls in.
  • Urban Dead: Metal Poles are possible weapons obtainable, although their base 2 damage and 10% accuracy is overshadowed by stronger, more accurate weapons.
  • War Dogs: Red's Return: Red can pick up L pipes to use as temporary weapons.
  • Withstand: You can either find, or craft, a metal pipe.
  • B.J.'s pipe from Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, probably takes the cake as one of the most versatile and unique instances of this trope. After being captured by Rudie Jager and thrown into a prison cell. Our hero attempts to climb out via pipe but due to his weight, it immediately breaks down and falls. However, said broken pipe splits into two pieces that somehow create a deadly Swiss Army Weapon with multitude of uses, from stabbing or bludgeoning enemies, to climbing certain wall sections, to smashing open boxes and prying and propping open doors. One pipe has a tapered sharp end and is usable as a shiv-like weapon, while the other pipe has a curved hook-like joint allowing its use as a grappling tool and a bludgeon. The two pipes can be connected or disconnected to create some type of strange club-like weapon or be used in Dual Wielding respectively.
  • The Yakuza games feature these as weapons that the player or their enemies can use.
    • Special note for minor boss Hiroshi Hayashi in Yakuza 2, whose memetic fame comes from (amongst other things) one incident where he tears two of them out of a wall to beat Kiryu with.
    • He is then one-upped by Daisuke Kuze in Yakuza 0. In the second boss fight with the Dojima Lieutenant, he charges straight at Kiryu riding a motorcycle and carrying a large metal pipe engaging in some Motorycle Jousting before crashing. The boss fight is considered one of the most memorable boss fights in the series by that dynamic intro alone.

     Web Comics  

     Western Animation  
  • The "donut holer" in Infinity Train is used by Tulip to duel the Conductor at the end of Book 1.
  • Kelsey of Craig of the Creek constantly totes around a prop sword made from a PVC pipe. It's less lethal than a metal pipe, but she's quite able and eager to break things with it.
  • The Clue weapon was also used for a gay-joke on Family Guy.
    Jasper (to Stewie): Sorry little guy, we were playing Clue and he got me in the bedroom with a lead pipe.
  • In Frisky Dingo, Killface is impaled by a pipe after a rather nasty fall. After trying and failing to get medical aid for himself and his party in an emergency room, he finally snaps, tears the pipe from his chest, and kills a doctor with it. It's funnier than it sounds.
  • In the Robot Chicken sketch "Iron Man Cheney" the terrorists order the vice-president to build them weapons. He says he already has one and knocks one out with a pipe, calling it the "Cheney Special." The terrorists say they'll take a thousand.
  • Pops up from time to time in Sealab 2021. In the episode Green Fever, Sparks and Stormy get pipes from "pipe storage" (which apparently offers museum-style tours and an informational video about pipe history) to defend themselves against the infected.
  • The "Intensive Care Bear" from The Simpsons.
    Homer: Why does a bear need a crowbar?
    Bear: Eh, I don't like to get my hands dirty.
  • One episode of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon saw Shredder rip a drainpipe off of a wall to use as a weapon. Directly inspired one of Leonardo's few wisecracks: "Why, Shredder. You look very distinguished with a pipe."

Alternative Title(s): Respect The Pipe

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