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Poisoned Weapons

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6.5% increase in total damage dealt?
What do you mean "it's not deadly"?
Gingerly he drew the sword, and from it dripped a greenish liquid exactly like that which slavered from the scimitar-fangs of the reptile. The blade was steeped in the poison of the snake's own kind, and the obtaining of that venom from the fiend-haunted swamps of Zingara would have made a saga in itself.

When a weapon is poisoned for added lethality. The weapon is frequently a dagger, but often an arrow, dart, or even a sword. Expect from such a weapon to ooze a purple or green and possibly stone-melting liquid. The poison is likely to either act instantly or be timed to the Final Speech.

Poisoned weapons are typically used by villains (and Hungry Jungle natives, who get a free pass) since they allow an easy victory or a spiteful revenge despite losing, especially in a duel. The Hero is usually too honorable or stupid to use it himself. Heroes down the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism and Combat Pragmatists sometimes use poison. A literary device as old as time is to have a confrontation involving a poisoned weapon which the audience knows is poisoned, but the characters involved do not.

It should be noted that the poison being fatal isn't always the case. Often times, the poison will be nonlethal and merely intended to weaken, paralyze, or disorient the target instead. Reasons why vary from wanting to capture them alive, to avoid accidentally killing oneself, to wanting to actually kill them with their own hand but knowing they only stand a chance against them if they're weakened. It's almost never for safety's sake, where the villain doesn't want to risk killing themselves with an accidental nick of their own blade outside of combat. If the poison is actually lethal, it normally depends on who is hit with it whether or not the poison will actually kill them. If a hero is infected, the poison will normally be slow-acting enough to permit a Find the Cure! by his allies, but not always. If it's the villain, they're more likely to die. If an undead is infected, they are immune to poison so it doesn't matter.

See also Master Poisoner and Deadly Scratch. Snake Whips are often this. In a Video Game, these usually create Status Infliction Attacks of some kind.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Akame ga Kill!: Akame's katana Murasame is coated with a deadly poison that has no antidote. It only takes one nick to kill a man in seconds. She mentions that maintaining the sword is a real pain because she risks getting cut herself. However, the poison only affects living beings. If Akame faces robots or zombies, her sword is just a sword.
  • Bleach:
    • Little Miss Badass Loly's zanpakutou is a dagger that releases poison.
    • Evil bastard Mayuri Kurotsuchi's zanpakutou also effectively poisons (but don't say so in his hearing) its target upon wounding them; befitting his extraordinarily sadistic personality, it paralyzes the victim's limbs enough to prevent movement without affecting their ability to feel pain.
    • One Bankai is revealed to be hiding the ability to leave a piece of the blade behind in an opponent's body whereupon it breaks down into a poison that destroys the enemy's cellular structure. The Bankai belongs to Gin and he kept its true power secret in an attempt to ambush and kill Aizen.
  • Blood+: Saya's sword has a little groove in it for her blood, which is fatal to most chiropterans.
  • Blue Ramun: Fantastic Terrorists leader Rowan coats the claws of his dragon arm with "Scarlet Eyes" poison in preparation for his final battle with Guard Captain Eagle. Though Eagle manages to cut off the dangerous transplanted arm, he has to get close enough that Rowan is able to poison him with a slash of the claws. It takes a whole team of Blue Doctors and some very Intimate Healing from Jessie to make sure he pulls through.
  • Digimon Adventure: DemiDevimon tries to kill Sora with a poison dart, but Biyomon takes the bullet for her. Thankfully for her, while the poison is lethal to humans, it only makes Digimon severely ill for a time. Which is rather unfortunate because Myotismon shows up directly after that...
  • The Familiar of Zero: Jeanette's dagger is coated with a paralyzing potion.
  • Gamaran:
    • Shinobi from the Tamagakushi Ryuu use poisons in combat, but they're not allowed to use it during the Tournament.
    • Ippi Shibano, the necrophiliac archer of the Muhou Ryuu, coats his arrows in deadly poison which leads to an Undignified Death for the receiver.
    • In Shura, Momochi Sanpeita is a veteran shinobi whose hand is coated in a layer of poison which allows him to poison people with just a scratch.
    • During the third and final part of the Shogunate Tournament, the Shogun decides to test Gama's skills to the top and orders that he and his opponent Kyoyasai fight after coating their swords with lethal snake venom.
  • Goblin Slayer: Goblins are fond of poisoning their weapons, which results in Wizard of the Greenhorn Team having to have a Mercy Kill performed on her when the poison spreads too far for an antidote to be effective. The poison used is a mixture of the goblins' own spittle and excrement, along with herbs they find in the wild.
  • My Bride is a Mermaid: Maki may be six inches tall and wield a tiny sword, but it's coated with puffer fish toxin.
  • Naruto: Quite common given that the protagonists are Ninjas: Sasori tips every weapon he has with poison (which is a lot of weapons), Shizune and one of Kankuro's puppets have poison needles, the Demon Brothers that Team 7 run into on the way to the Land of Waves used poison claws, Sakura once poisoned a kunai (and she apparently learned to how to do so from Shizune), and Hanzo put some of his poison on his kusarigama.
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: God Warriors are biomechanical Humongous Mecha designed as radiological weapons platforms to sterilize all industrialized nations in order to prevent Global Warming. Their main armament consists of what appears to be a Casaba Howitzer (a nuclear bomb whose blast is focused entirely in one direction) in their mouths, backed up by a pair of X-ray lasers in their foreheads. And the flashbacks depicting the apocalyptic war known as the Seven Days of Fire also show them carrying gigantic polearms made from naked fuel rods. It doesn't get much more poisonous than that.
  • Noir: Shaoli delivers deadly poison with a mere scratch of her fingernails.
  • Omamori Himari: Kuesu pulls a gun on Himari and shoots at her. When Himari is grazed, Kuesu reveals the bullets have been coated with a potion that strips an ayakashi of their human mind and fills them with murderous bloodlust, the idea being that win or lose, Yuuto would reject Himari for turning into what he hates, a killer. Himari manages to resist the potion and escape.
  • One Piece:
    • Crocodile's trump card is a poisoned hook-hand.
    • Brook and his entire crew were killed by pirates with poisoned weapons.
    • In the same fashion, Don Krieg's most powerful weapon is a cannonball filled with (oddly) white coloured poison Gas.
    • Wanze from the CP7 wields a huge poisonous kitchen knife as his last resort.
    • Thanks to the Doku-Doku Fruit (Poison-Poison Fruit), Impel Down's Chief Warden Magellen can use his entire body as a poisoned weapon.
    • In a non-canon example, Wapol's brother Musshul ate the Noko Noko fruit (stands for kinoko, mushroom) and can manipulate poisonous spores. This includes bullets, a drill-like fungus on his arm, and poison clouds.
    • Hyouzou from the New Fishman Pirates is a Blue-Ringed Octopus Merman and can coat his swords with his venom.
  • Toriko: Coco can create poisoned weapons by combining the poison in his body with the clotting agents from his blood.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In the "God of War Legend" story arc from Season 7, the solders sent by Caesar wield dual-bladed daggers that are laced with purple poison that appears on the characters' resulting wounds.

    Comic Books 
  • In Dhampyr, Harlan Draka and his friends often dip their weapons and bullets in Harlan's blood, since he is a dhampyr and his blood is dangerous to vampires.
  • Dungeon Twilight: Fayez and his followers use poisoned needles that rot the victims and dissolve them in seconds.
  • In Lady Rawhide: Other People's Blood, the tip of Pirate Girl Scarlet Fever's sword contains traces of gangrene: designed to turn even a scratch from her blade into a lingering death for her victims. It nearly does for Lady Rawhide.
  • Planetary: Like the Lone Ranger he's based on, Planetary's Expy, the Dead Ranger, uses silver bullets; like the Lone Ranger he shoots to wound. And according to legend, while he never killed a man, most of those he fought died of shame. According to his grandson, however, no-one ever figured out that you also got mercury in a silver mine - the Ranger's bullets were poisonous.
  • Red Sonja: Utro the Needle smears dung on his daggers to turn scratches into lethal infections.
  • Robin (1993): Redback Spider's "fighting needles" are full of and covered in redback spider venom. The amount is much higher than what would be delivered in a spider bite and therefore much more dangerous.
  • In Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom, Kal and Kara travel to a distant alien planet. When returning to the camp, they find several crustacean humanoids taking their ship apart. Kara tries to scare them away from the ship, but one of them stretches its claw forward and shoots a tiny, poisoned barb which strikes Superman in the chest. Although Kara gets the antidote, Superman spends nearly three days struggling against the poison.
  • Teen Titans: Master Poisoner and Psycho for Hire Cheshire loves these. It's generally dangerous to let her so much as scratch you.
    Cheshire: Hand me one of your bullets. I have something agonizing to dip it in.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): The aforementioned Cheshire poisons Diana this way and had poisoned her temporary co-worker Cheetah's claws for her. Unbeknownst to Cheshire the reason this didn't work was due to Cheetah feeling she had a life debt to Diana at the time and removed the poison on her own weapons and treated Diana for Cheshire's poison before handing her over to their boss.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side:
    • A neanderthal prepares for the next day's festivities by trying small poisonous frogs to the face of his clubs.
    • A jungle explorer urgently warns his snacking colleague "Don't eat those!...Those are poison arrows!"
  • The Bandar Pygmy tribe, allies of The Phantom, are infamous for their envenomed arrows. A less polite term for them, used by their neighbours, is The Poison People.

    Fan Works 
  • The Accidental Warlord And His Pack: Agata attempts to murder Jaskier with a poisoned dagger but Eskel gets in the way and is cut instead. His mutagens ensure his survival.
  • In Aeon Entelechy Evangelion a human working for the Migou used tiny carbon-fibre syringes hidden in her knuckles to assassinate the Marshal.
  • A Darker Path: Atropos coats her shears in pure fentanyl to kill Hemorrhagia, who is immune to simple blood loss.
  • In Fate/Harem Antics, Hassan of Serenity can fill her throwing daggers with her poisons.
  • In Fate/Long Night, Queen Nymeria Martell's spear, Chrohea Thaiye, is imbued with several poisons and diseases that she can switch at will. One of the nastiest is Tanatha Rhoyne, aka Greyscale.
  • In The Fledgling Year, this is Gyneth’s apparent chosen method for her plan to seduce and assassinate Prince Cor.
  • Metro: Commentary on a stab wound in the first part:
    "I can't see that the epigenetic reactivation, or 'induced burnout' as you called it, helped make the situation much better. I do accept that the treatment may have lowered the risk from whatever toxins or enchantments that could have been on the blade... but still, here we are."
  • In Nightblade, the titular Nightblade is a physically weak weapon that imparts a deadly poison on a single wound.
  • In the Naruto fanfic Sugar Plums the protagonist Ume does this with her weapons, though she actually uses a strong sedative then anything lethal.
  • Vow of Nudity: After getting a venomous snake for a familiar, Kay'la begins milking it to coat her blades and deal extra damage.
  • In Winter War, Soi Fong and Ukitake finally manage to kill the Barragan Fragment by getting its corrosive blood on their swords. Unfortunately for them, the blood is also eating through their Empathic Weapons as they fight...

    Films — Animation 
  • In Rio 2, Nigel plans to shoot Blu with a porcupine quill tipped with poison-dart frog toxin. It turns out the frog from which he got the toxin is not actually poisonous, however.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Avatar: The Na'vi dip their arrows — which they use primarily for hunting Pandora's megafauna — in a neurotoxin that will stop a human's heart in a minute. The poison is the least of a human victim's concerns, though; the arrows are the size of broomsticks and the Na'vi are crack shots.
  • The Crimson Charm, a wuxia martial arts film, have it's main villain, the leader of the Crimson Charm gang, who wields a poisoned sword, who can even shoot poisoned darts and toxic gas for good measure. Appropriately he's the most villainous character in the film.
  • The local Amazonian headhunters in Five Came Back shoot and kill one of the plane crash survivors with a poisoned arrow.
  • In From Russia with Love Rosa Klebb has a poisoned dagger in the toe of her shoe. At the end, she has a kicking fight with James Bond who pushes her against the wall with a chair until Tatiana Romanova shoots her. (Compare with the novel)
  • In The Hobbit, Kíli gets shot with a Mordor arrow when opening the Mirkwood river gates to let the Dwarves in barrels through. Its effects take their toll on him later, putting him in increasingly agonizing pain.
  • Hudson Hawk. Almond Joy uses a blowgun with curare-tipped darts against the title character and Tommy Five-Tone.
  • The main villain of the wuxia The Iron Buddha, Xiao Tian-zhun, uses a broadsword whose blade is coated with a seemingly endless supply of poison, which can maximize the suffering of his victims. Given Xiao being a Sadist, it's an appropriate choice for him.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service has a shoe with a concealed poisoned blade in an obvious homage to From Russia With Love, albeit used by the good guys.
  • In the ending to A Million Ways to Die in the West, Albert laced his bullets with rattlesnake venom. He manages to graze Clinch's arm before getting disarmed, then stalled for time until the venom could take effect.
  • Ophelia: Claudius smears poison onto the blade of Laertes' sword to insure he'll kill Hamlet in their duel (which would be considered blatant rule-breaking under standard dueling rules).
  • Our Man Flint. Gila uses a poisoned dart propelled by a harp to try to assassinate Flint. When Flint is offered a silenced Walther PPK by his boss for the mission, he rejects it and demonstrates his blowgun which fires a curare-tipped dart to take out a fly.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Barbossa poisons his sword in order to insure even more suffering when he attempts (and succeeds) to kill Blackbeard.
  • That Man from Rio opens with a museum robbery, where the crook kills a guard with a poison dart gun. It initially looks like heart failure to the police, but the museum head notes the poison is a common weapon of the vanished Mesoamerican culture that made the stolen artifact.
  • In Transcendence, the assassin that targets Will uses bullets laced with polonium. If the bullet itself doesn't kill him, radioactive material flowing through his veins will finish the job.
  • In Underworld: Blood Wars, Varga slashes Selene with a knife laced with nightshade, which paralyzes her for a while.
  • Vengeful Beauty has the traitor who specializes in using poisoned needles, hidden in a secret compartment on his sword's hilt, which can fire away at opponents from close range.
  • In Web of Death, the titular web is a mechanism in the shape of a spider, which can shoot venomous mists, poisoned silks, and deadly needles at all directions. Upon being activated it is capable of killing an entire room full of faceless goons in mere seconds.
  • The Wild Geese. The mercenaries have to kill the soldiers in the guard towers without alerting the 200 soldiers in the barracks. They use a crossbow firing hardwood quarrels with cyanide phials attached to the tip, in order to kill them quickly so they won't make a noise. It works, but one dying man falls out of the tower, alerting another guard — fortunately, a cyanide-quarrel kills him before he can pull the trigger on his rifle.
  • In The Wolverine, some moronic hunters attack a bear with illegal poisoned arrows. The bear kills several of them and escapes but is left in agony. After Wolverine gives it a Mercy Kill, he angrily confronts the remaining hunters and stabs one of them with one of the arrows. Later, Wolverine is attacked by several ninjas with poisoned arrows.

  • Fighting Fantasy:
    • The Master of Spiders from Scorpion Swamp uses a poisoned wand as his weapon.
    • Deathmoor has an enemy, Baron Den Snau, who attacks you with a poisoned sword. His first hit will reduce your metabolism while dealing 3 points of damage to your Stamina, from which point onwards your Provisions can only regain 3 Stamina points instead of the usual 4. If you suffer two hits, you die instantly. Luckily the Baron's Skill isn't very high.
    • All over the place in Legend of Zagor, where you can encounter Hellhorns whose poisoned horns can deal extra damage (their leader, the Hellhorn Champion, is so toxic that you lose a single Skill point as you fight him), face a Dark Elf Wizard who slashes you with a poisoned dagger, encounter an Elven thief who uses a similar weapon (though the Elven thief is an ally and wouldn't attack you if you chose to talk to him), battle a hag who attacks you with a poisoned needle... to the point where one of the items you can purchase early in the game is Anti-Venom, which neutralizes damage by poison.
    • Legend of the Shadow Warriors has the fifth and deadliest of the warriors using poisoned throwing stars as his weapon of choice. Fail to kill him before he uses that weapon, and you're a goner.
    • In Curse of the Mummy, besides having a Stamina stat, you also start off with a Poison score which starts at zero. Naturally, that means you'll be facing loads and loads of foes armed with poisonous weapons, including bandits with toxic knives to mummies of cobras and poisonous insects throughout the game.
    • Revenge of the Vampire has two minor witch enemies who, when forced to fight without magic, uses poisonous weapons instead.
    • Night Dragon has enemy cultists who uses poison to deal additional damage on you as well, and once again early in the book you can purchase plenty of poison antidote to nullify their effects. Note that both Legend of Zagor and Night Dragon are written by the same author.
    • The Port of Peril finally turns this trope around, where you can obtain a poisonous weapon for once, called the Venom Sword, which deals additional damage in combat.
  • Lone Wolf:
    • In Book 4, Lone wolf can encounter a bandit patrol whose weapons are coated with gnadurn sap, a deadly poison. By identifying it beforehand, the Hunting discipline gives you a warning to avoid this dangerous combat.
    • The "Zejar-Dulaga" are magical poisoned arrows created by the Darklords. One is powerful enough to one-shot the hero... or a Darklord.
  • In Way of the Tiger, Avenger can spit out needles that have been poisoned with spiderfish venom if he has that skill. Avenger also carries a dose of the supernatural toxin, the Blood of Nil which is the most potent poison in the setting.

  • Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero: Phil's BFS is coated with poison. Akatsuki collapses with a terrible fever when the blade nicks him.
  • The Belgariad: Sadi, one of the heroic party members in The Mallorean, carries a variety of poisons, and his major weapon in battle is a poisoned dagger. When Belgarath asks the group to minimize casualties during a fight with Mooks, he's responsible for two of the three deaths at its close — "It's a little hard to unpoison a knife." (The third was Silk taking out an ambusher.)
  • Bulldog Drummond: In Paris investigating Peterson's plot, Drummond is attacked by "some sort of native" with a blowpipe and poisoned darts. Later, he uses one of the confiscated darts to kill one of Peterson's henchmen.
  • When the anti-hero protagonist of Altered Carbon goes to the armorer, among the weapons he buys is a poison-coated knife.
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities reveals that the thought to be Big Bad was poisoning weapons, clothing, and other objects in an effort to find an effective means of destroying humanity, research he stopped only because he felt the creation of Hydrogen Bomb made him think the rest of humanity was perfectly capable of destroying itself on its own.
  • The Chronicles of Dorsa: Some assassins in the books make use of poison darts.
  • In the Conan the Barbarian story Black Colossus, Shevatas poisoned his blade to deal with the snake.
  • The Daevabad Trilogy: The Geziri tribe of daeva use forked copper zulfiqar swords as their signature weapon, which exude a deadly poison when they erupt in flames. Their fighting style emphasizes mobility and shallow slashes to exploit this since a cut doesn't need to be deep to be lethal.
  • In Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil, the Huntress manages to capture Darth Bane by cutting him with knives coated in a fast-acting but non-lethal neurotoxin.
  • A prequel to Deptford Mice series has enemies who wear golden claws with an impossibly nasty poison that causes you to pretty much dissolve into goo. When one character finds an unconscious one of them, Hoist by His Own Petard is subverted when the guy decides to put on the claw and kill him with it, but accidentally scratches himself. He then runs away from the incurable poison already in his veins, and dies very quickly as opposed to using his remaining time to say, kill the one he poisoned himself getting ready to kill.
  • Dune loves this one:
    • The gom jabbar, a poisoned needle used by Bene Gesserit Proctors in their death-alternative test of human awareness, is a "specific poison needle tipped with meta-cyanide". It's also the weapon used by Alia to kill the Baron Harkonnen.
    • The first book has Paul facing Feyd Rautha at the end duel. Feyd has a poisoned spring needle in his belt. They both also have poisoned blades — Feyd's with a soporific and Paul's with acid.
    • Crysknives often have a groove in them where poison can be applied.
    • When fighting gladiators, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen was allowed to use a short knife with a poisoned blade. During his hundredth bout, he secretly put the poison on his long knife instead, which allowed him to win the match.
  • In Echo City from Tim Lebbon, when the stranger arrives from beyond the poisonous desert he brings with him a poison gun. This is a gun that shoots a droplet of contact poison which is nearly instantly and painfully lethal as one man found out.
  • Valeri Petrofsky of The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth carried a handgun that fired hollow-point bullets filled with cyanide.
  • In Fengshen Yanyi: the Immortal Yu Hua makes his return with a brand new Fabao (magic treasure tool) called the "Blood-Altering Divine Knife", a short curved blade which can grow longer and is coated in a lethal poison that clots the blood of the victims in their veins. Luckily, the only victims (Nezha and Leizhenzi) are immune to his instant-death effect, though they're still left out of the game. His master Yu Yua made the knife and, at the same time, three magic pills which are the only known antidote.
  • In From Russia with Love, Rosa Klebb had a poisoned dagger at the toe of her shoe. She nicks James Bond with it and he passes out from the poison in seconds. The novel ends at that point. (Compare with the film.)
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows it turns out that the sword of Godric Gryffindor is made from "goblin silver" that repels dirt and dust and "imbibes that which strengthens it", meaning that since Harry stabbed a Basilisk in the head with it back in Chamber of Secrets it is now imbued with basilisk venom, one of the few things that can destroy a Horcrux.
  • The Hunger Games: How Maysilee Donner got so far during her games; she fought using poison darts. She was good enough with them to be able to kill a Career.
  • In The Iron Teeth, Saeter and his slave/apprentice Blacknail occasionally use weapons coated with paralytic timber spider venom.
  • In Legends of the Red Sun, the conservatively religious Night Guard Nelum buys from a cultist (that setting's term for a Mad Scientist) a knife made out of the solidified toxin of the botullism bacteria. He intends to use it to kill his commander Brynd when he learns Brynd is a homosexual, but accidentally cuts himself instead. The concentrated botullism is so poisonous that even his Night Guard enhancements can't protect him and Nelum dies shortly after.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, the Witch-King stabs Frodo with a Morgul-blade; not technically poisoned but with essentially the same effect. If Elrond hadn't cured him, a shard of the blade would have dug its way to his heart and turned him into a wraith. It's also mentioned in the books that orcs sometimes put poison on their blades.
  • Man Plus, a science fiction novel by Frederik Pohl, has the U.S. Secret Service require women meeting the president to soak their hands in a solution first, in case their fingernails have a biochemical poison on them.
  • In Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Binabik carries a hollow walking stick, a small roll of poisoned needles, and a bundle of loose wool. When combined, these make a blowgun that shoots poison darts, allowing the diminutive troll to pack a lethal stealth attack.
  • In Michael Moorcock's Erekose/John Daker story The Eternal Champion, Erekose uses the poisonous (or radioactive) sword Kanajana. The toxicity of the blade will kill humans and eldren with a slight scratch. Kanajana is so dangerously "radioactive" (Erekose himself isn't sure if it's radioactive or supernatural) that it needs to be kept in sheathe and can only be safely used by him.
  • In the first book of The Night Angel Trilogy, Kylar uses a poisoned weapon to kill Durzo.
  • The Obsidian Trilogy: The Goblins have deadly poison on their claws and teeth (the Shadowed Elves often use them on weapons). Only the timely intervention of a unicorn can save someone from even a slight or incidental dose.
  • Redwall: Employed by villains. Cluny the Scourge has a poisoned barb on the end of his tail, which kills the Abbot slowly enough for him to deliver his Final Speech, and the minor villains Farran the Poisoner and the Wraith possess an instant-death poisoned dagger.
  • Sherlock Holmes:
    • The villain of The Adventure of the Dying Detective is a doctor who has killed his nephew by surreptitiously injecting him with a deadly illness. He later on tries to do Holmes in the same way by sending him a package with secret spring-loaded, virus-tipped needles, but Holmes is able to see through his scheme. (Having a lot of enemies tends to make the detective overly cautious of the mail he receives.) Holmes pretends to be infected, and he soon manages to lure the evil doctor over to his apartment and trick him into a confession in front of witnesses.
    • Another story involves an alleged case of vampirism, as a woman was caught sucking blood from the neck of her newborn baby. There is no vampire, the baby was injured by a poisonous dart, from a blowgun set hanging on the wall, used by an Amazon tribe and the mother was sucking the wound poison, she did not want to report the attack because the aggressor is the baby's teen half-brother.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Oberyn Martell (aka The Red Viper) is infamous for using poisoned weapons, and it allows him to deliver an ultimately fatal wound to the Brutish Gregor Clegane even though he himself dies at Gregor's hands.
    • The Crannogmen are also famous for fighting with poisoned arrows and utilizing the swamps that surround their lands when they fight. Their foes refer to them as bog devils because of this.
  • The Saint: The Saint himself discovered a poison-dart launcher built into a doorbell once. He avoided getting shot, kept the dart, and later used it in a booby-trapped parcel to prick the finger of the villain.
  • Hercules had arrows poisoned with hydra blood. Sophocles is the first author to mention this, making this one Older Than Feudalism. Similarly, a poisoned arrow was used to finally kill the otherwise Invincible Hero Achilles towards the end of the Trojan War.
  • In one of The Stainless Steel Rat stories, a character gets into a fight with an assassin, and the knife barely touches the assassin and he dies, it turns out not only did he have a very nasty knife but the knife was coated with a neurotoxin that would kill anyone on skin contact.
  • According to Star Wars: Phasma, the eponymous character is a fan of these, using a poisoned dagger to seemingly kill Cardinal, and also using a particularly nasty poison on Hux's father.
  • The Sword of Shannara: Menion Leah, a heroic protagonist, poisons some arrows when the opportunity arises, just in case. He uses them in the very next scene to try and kill a dragon.
  • The Tail of the Tip Off: A rather ingenious example is found in Rita Mae Brown's novel. When H. H. Donaldson drops dead after going to a basketball game, an autopsy shows he was poisoned through an injection in the neck, but the poison would have had to have been administered during the game for it to kill him when it did. No one saw anything despite the bleachers being packed, and Donaldson didn't react in any way as he would have had someone jabbed him in the neck with a needle. It turns out the killer froze the poison into an ice dart and was able to kill Donaldson by shooting it our of a noise maker into his neck. No weapon was found because the ice melted, releasing the poison.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's original Tarzan books, Tarzan uses poison arrows that he steals from the natives, at least until he scares them into leaving a bundle out with some food every so often as 'tribute' to the forest spirit they think they've angered.
  • This Immortal by Roger Zelazny: assassin Hasan (who has been forcibly disarmed) is forced to fight the Dead Man and spends the time filing his nails. To really sharp points. His bullets (which weren't taken away) had meta-cyanide on them. He scratched the Dead Man at the start of the fight and stalled until it dropped. Then he got the leader too.
  • In some versions of Tristan and Iseult, Tristan is poisoned by the Irish knight Morholt's spear (but wins the duel), and sent on a craft without oars or sail as a last-ditch effort. He lands in Ireland, where Morholt's niece Isolde cures him, not knowing he was Morholt's killer.
  • In The Wheel of Time, a form of dueling is mentioned as having existed shortly before the collapse of the Age of Legends which involved Dual Wielding daggers laced with a slow-acting poison. Most duels ended with both participants dying.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: Mentioned that the Drazi often poison their blade tips.
    • Centauri actually have jeweled hypodermic needles. In other words, they treasure poisons the way humans treasure swords.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Faith poisons Angel by shooting him with a poisoned arrow.
  • Charmed: Darklighters are the only beings capable of killing whitelighters. They use arrows coated with a substance that is toxic only to whitelighters.
  • Deadliest Warrior
    • Aztec Jaguar vs. Zande Warrior: The Zande warrior dips his arrowheads into strychnine (i.e. natural rat poison).
    • Vlad the Impaler vs. Sun Tzu: Sun Tzu covers the bolts of his repeating crossbow with the plant-derived poison aconitum.
  • The Defenders: Sometimes, the Hand's ninjas dip the blades of their weapons in a special poison that can kill their opponent.
    • Daredevil: Said poison is used to wound Elektra when she and Matt are attacked investigating Midland Circle. Stick is forced to revive her at Matt's apartment using various ingredients from his kitchen. Elektra spends several days bedridden as she recuperates.
    • Iron Fist: Said poison ends up getting into Colleen's body when she gets nicked in the shoulder by a ninja during a fight at one of Madame Gao's factories in China. It doesn't take effect until after she and Danny are back in New York City. Fortunately for Colleen, Bakuto is there to teach Danny how to use the Iron Fist to suck out the poison. That he knows the Iron Fist cures the Hand's poison is justified since he is one of the Hand's Five Fingers.
  • Doctor Who: Leela's trademark weapon is the Janis thorn, a thorn from a poisonous plant from her homeworld with paralytic properties. How she keeps a supply of them without returning is unclear.
  • Game of Thrones
    • Oberyn Martell is known as the "Red Viper", due to his habit of coating his weapons in poison.
    • Following in her father's footsteps, Oberyn's daughter Tyene anoints her daggers with a slow-acting poison that can kill with a single drop of exposure.
  • Get Smart: One episode had some Yellow Peril villain with long, poison coated fingernails. It probably best summarized that show, too, with him getting defeated because Agent 99 randomly had a bottled mosquito in her purse, which she used to get him to accidentally scratch himself upon swatting it.
  • Grimm: Monroe uses an elephant gun with bullets coated in a special poison to take a siegbarste.
  • The Hero Yoshihiko and the Devil King's Castle: Played for Laughs where a random Mook licks his very own poisoned knife. Too Dumb to Live indeed.
  • NCIS
    • In the Season 5 episode Tribes a Marine lance corporal is shot by a bullet laced with the venom from a blue-ringed octopus (the deadliest naturally-occuring neurotoxin on Earth).
  • Norsemen: Played with. It doesn't matter how deadly the poison on your sword is if you don't last long enough to touch your opponent.
  • Sliders: Remy is shot by a Kromagg particle weapon. The wound isn't fatal, but the radiation poisoning that comes with being shot would have been had he not been healed by a friendly Kromagg half-breed.
  • Stargate Atlantis: In the episode "The Tower", Sheppard ends up with the Evil Chancellor trying to kill him in the climax. When Sheppard disarms him, Otho is cut with his own poisoned dagger and dies in moments..
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: A futuristic variant. Dominion weapons carry an anti-coagulant with every shot. Anyone they don't kill bleeds to death unless they can get off the battlefield and to a doctor.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Gabrielle gets hit by a poisoned arrow. Xena has to look after her and find the antidote in time whilst fighting off an entire army.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Hercules uses arrows dipped in the blood of the Lernean Hydra; wounds from these arrows are deadly as there is no cure. He dies when he wears clothes his wife had drenched in the blood of the centaur Nessus (or in hydra blood in some versions), who had told her it would make Hercules faithful to her.
  • Paris used a poisoned arrow to kill Achilles when he shot him in the heel.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Fraggle Rock: Downplayed. In "The Cavern of Lost Dreams", Gobo and Cotterpin meet two ancient Doozers named Crusty and Yeaster. The spears they carry are covered with sap that causes an uncontrollable itch.
    Cotterpin: One drop of that sap on your skin, and you'll never stop itching!

  • Survival of the Fittest: Blood Boy's assigned weapons are an Ida (an African sword) and a vial of poison meant to be applied to the blade.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Essentially, virtually every action adventure-based tabletop RPG (which is to say, most of them) will have at least a few paragraphs on the effects of poison on player characters — from a simple "save or die" to lovingly detailed descriptions of a given poison's exact effects over time. Some systems (notably early editions of (A)D&D) then promptly go out of their way to make the use of poison by player characters in turn as impractical as possible or even ban it outright, while others won't bat an eye.
    • 3rd Edition has a 5% chance of accidentally poisoning yourself when applying venom to a blade, although certain classes, such as Assassins, are trained to avoid this. It's still not very practical, however, as the good stuff is expensive, and by the time you can afford it in mass quantities, most enemies will make their Saving Throw easily.
    • In D&D Fourth Edition, poison use is one of the main shticks of the Executioner Assassin player class. The class makes a certain number of uses of poison each day (determined by level) which can be applied to weapons or used directly on enemies. Other classes have access to poison-based powers as well, but since the poison damage type is resisted by more creatures than any other damage type, it's not the best type of damage to specialize in.
  • Exalted: Wood Aspected Dragon-Blooded are capable of producing a magical plant toxin from their anima. They can poison you with a simple touch or unarmed attack, or with a very basic Charm can also channel this toxin through a weapon.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Poisoned weapons are a game mechanic in both Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. How the rules for poisoned weapons work exactly varies according to the edition but normally involved giving the weapon a fixed roll to wound.
    • Blood Bowl: In the 5th Edition, models with the 'Weeping Dagger' Extraordinary Skill are armed with a hidden blade impregnated with warpstone that constantly drips a magical toxin that can incapacitate anyone. In-game, the Skill forces a Badly Hurt model that the player Blocked to miss the next game in League Play as they are recovering from the poisoning.
    • Chainsaw Warrior has some of the enemy C.H.A.O.S agents use envenomed weapons against you. These will eat away at your poison threshold and since the venom is from an Eldritch Abomination, dying from venom will turn the Chainsaw Warrior into a zombie. The Chainsaw Warrior himself isn't above using poison, one weapon he can have is a syringe full of poison. It'll kill most enemies in one use but there's a random amount of time before it happens.
    • Necromunda:
      • The Outlaw Trading Post from the 1st and 2nd Edition of the game had blade venom available to purchase. Brewed from mutant fungi, blade venom could be used to envenom any bladed weapon so that it caused more damage to an opponent, but the user had a chance of harming themselves if they fumbled their attack.
      • In 3rd Edition, any weapons with the 'Toxin' Weapon Trait are poisoned weapons. How effective such weapons are dependent, in part, on the victim’s Toughness characteristic but if it does take effect the victim will be taken Out of Action immediately. House Escher are particularly well known for their use of such weapons.
    • Warhammer: Poisoned weapons are used primarily by the more evil races, especially the cowardly and devious Skaven and Hobgoblins. However, they're also a speciality of the close-as-you-get-to-good Lizardmen and a favored choice of the Skinks, a physically weedy who prefer to outwit and outmaneuver stronger foes, and especially of the stealthy Chameleon Skink guerrilla fighters.
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • The shrieker cannon wielded by some Aeldari fires shuriken impregnated with an enzyme-based toxin so horrible it makes the target's blood explode.
      • The Drukhari faction of Aeldari specialise in the use of poison with many of their weapons coated with some form of toxic substance. While the background material mentions than many of these are nonlethal, as Drukhari want to take prisoners, in-game it just makes their weapons deadlier.
      • Imperial Adamus Assassins carry Needlespine Blasters, which fire needle-like projectiles of crystallized toxin.
      • Imperial Callidus assassins carry multiple poisoned knives and needles about their person as secondary weapons. The assassin will use these blades against particularly tough opponents as their poison is so lethal they will wound any living opponent.
      • Imperial Venenum Assassins specialize in using poison. Those sent to ply their trade in war zones are armed with wrist-mounted toxin injectors and with hookfangs, bladed weapons coated with especially virulent toxins.
      • Infamous Imperial Guardsman Sly Marbo carries a knife and pistol rounds which have been coated with venom from the local Catachan wildlife.
    • Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team:
      • In the 2016 rules, Dirty Fighter specialists were able to poison their weapons so that they always had at least a 50% chance of wounding any non-vehicle foe.
      • The Level 3 Medic Skill 'Toxin Synthesiser', from the 2018 Edition of the game, represents the specialist creating dangerous substances that his comrades can use to coat their weapons, giving them a better chance of wounding their enemies.
  • GURPS: Ultra-Tech has a shuriken made of "coherent sound" that can be used to deliver poison when it attacks.
  • Hc Svnt Dracones: Pretty much everything out of Spyglass's weapons division is poisonous. The Fang is a dagger with pores in the blade and a reservoir in the hilt, Shardshot a glove-dart launcher, while the Shrapnel Gun only has the "Poisonous" effect because it's close to having your body filled with shards of jagged metal. Though the description for "Poisonous" ammo notes that bullets would need to be too hard to shatter to be useful and the explosion and velocity would strip most coatings so only a few weapons can use Poisonous ammo, like Spyglass products, and compound bows.
  • The One Ring: Heroic adventurers don't have the option, but some orcs and other creatures of darkness wield weapons that inflict the status Poisoned on a Critical Hit. That duplicates the effect of a serious Wound and can cause other penalties, like temporary partial blindness from orc-poison.


  • The Sectaurs line of toys which involves somewhat Insectoid Aliens (they're really just Human Aliens with antennae and bug eyes) and Big Creepy-Crawlies on a planet where the Precursors had been tampering with life. Besides swords, the other main weapon of the warriors is the vengun which fires poisoned darts.

    Video Games 
  • In Assassin's Creed II, Ezio can get a poison upgrade for his hidden blade. It's the quietest weapon in the game, and because it has a delayed effect, you can poison a target and then get long gone before the target finally dies. An interesting bug in the game means that if the poisoned target, while flailing around uncontrollably, hits anyone, all the guards will blame you and go into high alert.
  • The Assassin class in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn can poison their weapons. There are also poisoned arrows. The poison is also applied to any traps the assassin deploys while under the 'poisoned weapon' effect.
  • Battle for Wesnoth has a Poison weapon special, used (in mainline) on Orcish Assassins' throwing knives, and Ghouls' claws. This ability turns both, especially Orcish assassins, into Demonic Spiders.
  • Certain Battle Realms units have weapons that have poisoned. The Serpent Clan's Zen Master Shinja dual-wields poisoned swords, while the Crossbowman and Bandit can have their crossbow bolts tipped with poison. Lotus Clan Diseased Ones exude a poisonous gas to attack.
  • From Bayonetta 2 there's the Kafka, a large bow crafted from a demonic dragonfly that can shoot out venomous spears or even infernal insects, all of which can poison an enemy and slow their movement. Also, when she uses the Tetsuzankou technique when wielding the Rodin the weapon will turn into a poisonous whip that can hit multiple enemies at once.
  • Bounty of One: The "Fanged Arrows" legendary item is depicted as an arrow tipped in poison. It makes all your shots poison enemies, which deals 10% of your current damage at a rapid rate and makes them explode if the DoT kills them, poisoning other enemies in range.
  • Castlevania
    • The Hrunting in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is an example of a poisoned sword.
    • For Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the great sword Terminus Est is the poisoned weapon as it's filled with mercury. In actuality, Terminus Est from its source material is an executioner's sword with a channel for some flowing hydragarum (mercury) to quickly alter its balance and allow for a more forceful strike.
    • If you have the right combination in Circle of the Moon (Manticore and Mercury), you can make your whip poisonous. Another combination (Manticore and Mars) turns it into poisonous claws.
  • Chantelise: As the Flavor Text for the Poison Crystal says:
    Coats your sword in poison.
  • Command & Conquer: Generals: The GLA can infect their tank shells with toxins given the proper upgrade. Dr. Thrax, in the Zero Hour expansion, places poison on everything in his arsenal.
  • Conqueror's Blade features several types of poisoned weapons:
    • The Shortbow hero weapon can shoot poisoned arrows with its Poison Arrow and Angry Hornets skills.
    • Dual-Blade heroes can throw Bo-Shurikens (poisoned daggers).
    • All units from the Rattan Army have poisoned weapons (usually arrows) or can obtain them through mastery upgrades.
  • Dark Souls has some poisoned weapons, throwing knives, and arrows. Also, enemies in Blighttown use poison darts and giant clubs. Rotten Pine Resin can also be applied to almost any weapon to temporarily add a poison effect.
  • Deus Ex features poisoned crossbow bolts, which serve as tranquilizer darts (though they kill you). In the sequel there is a similar dart gun, but also a hidden, poisoned dagger. Striking your enemies with it makes them cough from the poison in addition to extra damage. This is especially useful as continuous strikes will have your opponent hacking so much he won't have the chance to fight back.
  • Diablo II allows low-level Necromancers to enchant daggers with poison. Poison enchantments on weapons was also quite common, even though these enchantments were generally far from lethal in any way.
  • In Dota 2 any hero can buy the Orb of Venom to add (very minor) damage-over-time and (minor, but still useful) slow effects to their auto-attack. Some heroes have their own venomous abilities, most notably Venomancer, an alchemist who turned himself into a snake-like creature. Literally all his abilities inflict poison in some form or another, it's not uncommon for him to get killed early in a teamfight, only to score multiple kills shortly thereafter as the enemies succumb to the damage-over-time effects.
  • Dragon's Crown
    • The Toxic Extract skill of the Elf allows her to add poison to her arrows and daggers. The Dragon's Crown artbook mentions that elves specifically use poison harvested from Hydeland's cat-sized scorpions for their weapons.
    • The Cranequin crossbow the characters could pick up use poisoned bolts as ammo.
  • The Poison Needle has been a staple of the Dragon Quest games since the third installment. The weakest stated weapon in the game, it can rarely do more than one hitpoint of damage even on a critical, but it also has the chance of striking a vital spot on a non-boss enemy, insta-killing them. The typical strategy is to give it to the party mage, thereby allowing the normally weak character to contribute if their more arcane methods of attack are exhausted. It also is extremely useful when hunting metal slimes, babbles, and king slimes, against which even the toughest warriors only ever do one damage, because the insta-kill works just as well on them as anything else, meaning you can rake in ludicrous amounts of xp in a single fight. Very satisfying if you've watched the little buggers run away before they can be killed one time too many.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online features weapons with the poison trait, doing extra 'poison' damage and some kind of ability damage. Rogues also have an enhancement available that adds additional 'poison' damage to their attacks. The Master Poisoner Ninja Spies are the most dangerous with their own brand of poison that increases in toxicity while worsening damage from stock poison weapons. Enemies are worse; one poisonous sting or bite from some medusas or demon will outright kill you if not immediately treated.
  • Dwarf Fortress has various syndromes that can be carried by monsters. !!Science!! has shown that these syndromes can be applied to weapons for lots of fun for both your enemies and your dwarves.
  • An Egyptian Tale have plenty of poisonous weapons the princess can collect to use on her foes, including the poisoned bow which fires asps on her targets and a serpent spear ending in a fanged head that bites and poisons her enemies. For the villains, the second boss, the High Priestess, uses a Snake Whip which can poison the princess if hit.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Morrowind allows you to Enchant the Poison spell effect onto your weapons. Unlike most instances of this trope (where one dips or coats the weapon in poison), including those from later games in the series, this makes the Poison effect permanent (as long as the weapon has Charge).
    • Oblivion, in a more traditional use of the trope, lets you apply poisons to your weapons which will deliver the poison's effects on the next enemy it strikes. Poisons can be found or purchased, and you can also create them yourself through the Alchemy Potion-Brewing Mechanic. This causes some confusion as to how a warhammeror other blunt weapon, which has no method of actually transmitting the poison into the host's body — can be poisoned in the same manner as, say, a sword or an axe. (It can also be applied to a bow, although it's implied that you're actually applying to the next arrow fired.) Further, "poisons" can have effects beyond simply dealing damage. Poisons can drain Magicka and Stamina, or inflict "weakness to" certain elements, or inflict other status effects such as Silence or Paralysis.
    • In Skyrim, poisons are used similarly to Oblivion. In addition, one can apply them directly to NPCs by, for example, reverse pickpocketing the poison vial into their inventory without them noticing.
    • Poison also appears in the MMORPG spin-off prequel, The Elder Scrolls Online, where yet again, it delivers another case of Fridge Logic. Poison is made with the Alchemy skill line, which creates vials to be equipped neatly next to your weapon of choice, which in turn are consumed 20% of the time you attack with your weapon to apply their effects. This happens even if you are equipped with a magical staff that shoots fire and lasers. Some learnable skills also include poison in their attack; the Bow line, for instance, has three skills morphable into poison versions.
  • In Evolve, Val and Abe's adaptations both carry guns that inflict poison damage. in addition, both hunters and monsters have access to perks that add a poison DOT to their attacks.
  • Exile and Avernum give players the ability to poison melee weapons or arrows. Handy for taking out that nasty spellcaster hanging out in the back, as multiple hits from poisoned weapons make the poison worse. There's also the Alien Blade, which constantly drips poison. There are enough enemies dealing poisoned attacks to make poison resistances and cures necessary. Same with the Geneforge series.
  • The Dart Gun from Fallout 3 utilizes Radscorpion venom, and will instantly cripple the victim's legs as well as causing damage over time; the effect stacks up with the number of darts hitting the enemy. Interestingly enough, a sting from an actual Rad-Scorpion does not cause the crippling effect, only the initial damage and HP drain.
    • The Ant-Agonizer's Ant Sting knife also has a poison effect.
    • Point Lookout has the Fertilizer Shovel.
    • Fallout: New Vegas ups the ante, by allowing you to craft numerous types of poison and apply them to any melee weapon. It wears off after one use, making it less useful on standard weapons, but kickass on thrown ones.
  • Some Status Infliction Attack-dealing weapons in the Final Fantasy series inflict "Poisoned" on enemies when they hit.
    • In Final Fantasy V, Sword Mages/Mystics can enchant their swords with the poisonous Bio spell, adding magical poison to their attacks.
    • In Final Fantasy VII, any weapon with two linked materia slots could be associated with an element or status effect, including poison.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, you can do this by junctioning the Bio spell to your Status Attack, allowing you to inflict Poison status with your physical attacks. Even better is using the Pain spell, which adds Blind and Silence, as well as Poison.
    • In Final Fantasy IX, the Rune Tooth and the Poison Knuckles can both inflict poison, while the Scissor Fangs can inflict the more dangerous venom.
    • In Final Fantasy X, you can give any weapon this ability.
    • Final Fantasy XI has poisoned weapons as well, but they're generally not that useful.
    • In Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, Ninja Tristam's shuriken are imbued with poison and paralysis abilities. The various claw weapons you find on your journey also inflict poison and paralysis, with the stronger ones adding even more status effects.
  • Poisoned weapons are featured frequently in Fire Emblem. There's usually no way for you to get one though, making them Unusable Enemy Equipment (or rather, Unobtainable Enemy Equipment).
  • Fortune Summoners: In the Story Within a Story, Magical Girl Merrin, Part 4/12:
    goblins descended on Merrin from all directions. Their swords were bent and rusty, their bows and arrows small and ridiculous... but even these could be deadly when coated in terrible poison, and the weapons lashing out at Merrin were.
  • In Gigantic Voden can poison his arrows with toxic spores, while Ramsay can coat his Whipblade with the poisonous juices of a Juju fruit. In both cases the enemy struck with a poisoned weapon is inflicted with the Poison status effect which deals damage over time and makes healing less effective.
  • Hades: Dionysus, God of Wine, grants Zagreus' weapons the ability to inflict stacks of 'hungover' on enemies when they hit, which deals a set amount of damage per second per stack on that enemy. It functions like a poison effect in all but name and was referred to as such during the game's early access before being renamed.
  • One of the targets in Hitman: Codename 47 and it's "remake" Hitman: Contracts (The same target) wields a poisoned sword that he will use in combat if he spots 47. This acts as a one-hit kill in the first game and deals a lot of damage in the remake. In the remake, 47 can take the sword, and use it against guards, although it's not a very good idea, as the sword cannot be hidden or taken into other levels. In addition, the target's personal bodyguard is immune to the sword, either for unexplained reasons or Kevlard.
  • The Game Breaking Nightglow Sword in Jade Cocoon delivers a guaranteed poison status to nearly any enemy and all but one of the bosses.
  • One of the robots in The Journeyman Project shoots the player with a tranquilizer dart that will kill them if they try to leave the laboratory without finding an antidote first. The same dart gun is used to neutralize the Big Bad at the end.
    • In the second game, Buried in Time, Agent 5 has to open a Mayan puzzle box in the Chichen Itza time zone. Trying to open it with the wrong combination makes poisoned needles jut out of the box, fatally stabbing Agent 5 through his hands.
  • The Viper Blade and Scorpio Staff can inflict poison on targets in Kid Icarus: Uprising. And any weapon can be made poisonous with powers and customized abilities.
  • In League of Legends Teemo uses a blowgun with poisoned darts, Twitch uses poisoned crossbow bolts, and Gangplank soaks his blades in grog — which is apparently pretty strong stuff because it deals damage over time and slows enemies it hits. Cassiopeia and Singed cut out the middleman and simply blast people with contact poison or gas.
  • Magicka has several poisoned weapons. They also are the only way to create poison elementals.
  • March of War: The Latin Junta have a similar combat philosophy to Dr. Thrax.
  • Mass Effect: Possible hero example: Commander Shepard can equip his/her weapons with Polonium rounds (if you can handle enemies breaking down into green vapor after death). Noticeably, polonium rounds are unavailable in the sequels due to them being banned by the Citadel Conventions.
  • In Minecraft, it is possible to tip arrows with potion effects, which naturally extends to Poison.
    • Minecraft Dungeons: You can invoke this with the Poison Cloud enchantment, which provides a chance of spawning poisonous clouds upon hit.
  • Monster Hunter series: Poisoned weapons do exist, but they behave a little differently from the norm. First, each monster has its own tolerance to poison — Bnahabra die instantly from poison smoke, while bigger monsters tend to resist it more readily. Also, each monster takes a given amount of damage maximum from the poison, and no weapon can inflict more or less. That said, a weapon's Poison attribute is in fact its virulence — a higher attribute means that the poison starts doing damage with fewer blows. Neurotoxins (paralysis) and sleeping agents (sleep) behave in the same way.
  • In Mordheim: City of the Damned, this is the other specialty of the Skaven warband besides being the Fragile Speedster choice. Their unique racial skills allow any of their troops to poison their weapons, and their heroes can also equip Weeping Blades (sinister curved blades dripping with a sickly glowing poison) and Warplock Pistols (matchlock pistols which fire poison-coated bullets). Yes, they do stack. A Night Runner with Warplock Pistols and mastered poisons and pinning or crippling shot is a nasty combo that can leave even a mighty Impressive to die slowly, powerless to move or fight back, round after round.
  • Myst IV: Revelation: According to Achenar's journal, he used poisoned spears to kill the two large sea monsters (known as Cerpatees) in Haven.
  • Arrows in NetHack can be poisoned, which can lead to much frustration since poison can sometimes cause instant death. Characters are also able to coat their own weapons with poison.
  • Anyone in Nexus Clash can use weapons coated with lesser poisons regardless of their position on the Karma Meter, including a variant in armors that poison anyone who hits the wearer. The truly nasty poisons are the exclusive domain of Defiler demons, who don't need weapons.
  • Nobody Saves the World: The Rat form's basic attack builds poison in enemies, as does any attack while the Ranger's Poison Tipped passive ability is equipped. Once enough poison is built into an enemy, they gain the poisoned status and take constant damage while it lasts. Some enemies also have attacks that build poison into Nobody in the same manner.
  • Pirate Hunter has pirate enemies who wield poisoned cutlasses, which can drain health from you (or your Ai-controlled redcoats) when hit. Though you could collect a poisoned mace to use on pirates.
  • Resident Evil Village has the Dagger of Death's Flowers, and antique dagger described as "coated in a concoction of poisons from across the continent".
  • RuneScape:
    • Players can create poisons to use on daggers, arrows, spears, and a few throwing weapons using the Herblore skill. There are three poisons, each stronger than the previous, and they're made from a herb and a dragon scale, a cactus spine and spider eggs, and poison ivy berries and belladonna respectively, from weakest to strongest. Belladonna is potent enough to strongly damage the player just when it's touched with bare hands.
    • In addition to the three above, there is also karambwan paste, made from a small octopus caught on a tropical island. It's the strongest poison out there, but it can only be applied to spears and hastae. The reason? There is no real one.
  • In Scrutinized, the antagonist is a Mad Doctor serial killer who uses a syringe to kill you. It's not clear if the syringer contains a cocktail of poison, or simply air (causing an embolism-induced heart attack). The ending reveals it's Midazolam, a drug used for anathesia, procedural sedation and insomnia treatment. By this point Tanner came to respect the protagonist and did not want to kill her.
  • The Silent from Slay the Spire has several poisoned weapons in her arsenal to dispatch her foes. Most notable are the cards "poisoned stab", which deals both normal and poison damage and "envenom", which makes all attacks to deal poison damage.
  • Early FPS/RPG Strife allows you to use poisoned bolts for your crossbow, turning it from your weakest weapon to a One-Hit Kill weapon on grunts.
  • Suikoden II: In a flashback, it is revealed that a previous border-skirmish between the Highlands and the Jowston Alliance was to be settled with a contest of champions — a duel between the greatest hero of both sides. That those two happened to be personal friends was supposed to make it into an honorable fight. However, when the battle was joined, the hero of Jowston, Genkaku, refused to even lift his sword. Eventually, Highland's hero had no choice but to simply disarm him and claim victory. Genkaku was condemned as a traitor and banished to Highland... but later, it was revealed that the Major of Jowston had surreptitiously poisoned Genkaku's weapon in order to ensure a victory — but Genkaku had realized this. If he had let this subterfuge be known, it would have triggered renewed hostilities between Jowston and Highland, so instead, he simply refused to swing his poisoned blade...
  • In Suikoden V Lyon is stabbed and near-killed with a poisoned dagger.
  • In Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, Lian Xing gets to use poisoned shurikens while on a ninja-style stealth mission disguised as a Sherpa.
  • Bruno from Quest for Glory I and the same Bruno in Quest for Glory V. The poisoned daggers were a plot point in the second. The hero could obtain and even use one. Not recommended if you're playing a paladin.
  • Kingdom Rush Vengeance has Asra. Her Limit Break "Toxic Rain" drops a hail of poisoned arrows onto an area of the battlefield to deal armor-piercing poison damage over a period of time. Another of her skills, "Spider Bite" causes her to coat her knife in deadly, high-damage poison and slash an enemy with it, and unlike other poison effects in the entire series which are temporary, this one lasts until the enemy either dies or leaves the screen.
  • Warcraft III has two main kinds of poison: Envenomed Weapons does damage over time (but can only reduce HP to 1 if the target runs away) and Slow Poison slows the target's movements. The Undead's Disease Cloud also deals low damage for a long time without killing, the Night Elves' Orb of Venom gives the hero Envenomed Weapons (and an anti-air attack if melee) and the Warden's Shadow Strike hurls a poisoned dagger for massive damage, damage over time, and slow.
  • World of Warcraft has a number of notable examples:
    • Rogues can apply various poisons to their weapons, granting extra damage or certain special effects when an attack lands.
    • Hunters have special shots called "Stings" which are loaded with various toxins that can cause Instant Sedation, Damage Over Time, Mana Drain or loss of accuracy. These work like the Rogue's poisons, but unlike them, only one Sting can be in effect on a target. In Warlords of Draenor, Stings were largely removed except for the sedative version, although a new optional ability called Exotic Munitions was added, which plays with this trope.
    • During a duel between Garrosh and Cairne for leadership of the Horde, Magatha Grimtotem poisoned Garrosh's weapon (taking advantage of his ignorance of the pre-fight blessing tradition) so that a single lucky blow defeated the almost victorious Cairne. Garrosh was less than pleased, as he felt Magatha had cheated him out of a fair victory, and exiled her from the Horde.
    • Some of the buffs you can get from the Mantid Paragons while questing in the Dread Wastes poison your weapons. For example, Xaril the Poisoned Mind coats your weapons with a poison that after eight hits on a target, severely damages the target and stuns nearby enemies.
    • In Mists of Pandaria, Vol'jin gets stabbed with a weapon that interferes with his regeneration capabilities. It's up to you to find the herbs necessary to heal him.

    Web Animation 
  • The pilot animatic for Knights of All Realms focuses on the "Sick Sabre", a weapon owned by the legendary bandit Burdis the Butcher. He never took the time to properly clean the blade after every fight and would rub it with mud and garbage. Covered with centuries worth of filth and bacteria, it is so potent that the slightest touch of the blade will leave a man violently and perhaps fatally ill.

  • In Digger, Boneclaw Mother augmented her Natural Weapon by coating the claws of her left paw in poison, in case things got desperate. Afterwards, she had to clip them down to the quick to remove the poison.
  • Girl Genius:
    • It not only hints that Smoke Knight's weapons are poisoned, but shows how it can be used for an insult (what with those poisonous frogs and all):
      Tarvek: Violetta — have you been licking your knives again?
    • Violetta also uses a variation. Zola, high on "Movit #11", receives a blowdart in the back and mocks the attempt... until Violetta explains the nature of the poison.
      Violetta: Tsk, I know that. That wasn't poison, that was more Movit #11. Now all I have to do is watch you combust.
    • While they're fighting, Zola (who uses anything available as a weapon) sticks Agatha with one of her hairpins, which is, of course, poisoned. Violetta identifies the poison as "Auntie Mehitabel's Natural Causes", a slow and insidious poison that requires a specific antidote. Which, fortunately, Violetta has.
    • More people with Smoke Knight training have shown up, and every time anyone has been hurt by them, a poison was involved. It's like they don't have any non-poisoned blade.
    • Wulfenbach commandos have poisoned dirks. Fast-acting stuff, apparently.
    • During the Mechanicsburg plot-arc, Tweedle skewers Tarvek with a poisoned throwing blade.
  • The Order of the Stick has Daimyo Kubota using a poisoned ring to kill Therkla after she decides to act in a way that is not in his best interests.
  • In Rice Boy, T-O-E (one of the good guys) carries a poison blade, possibly anticipating that he would have to fight Golgo, and that poison was the only thing that could kill Golgo.
  • In Rusty and Co., Malevolus the Blackguard tries to attack the Doogan brothers with a poisoned dagger, but ends up the one being victim of it.
  • In Strays, Feral's foe uses them.

    Web Original 
  • Serina: In their second battle against the warmongers, the gravediggers give their daydreamer allies spears tipped with paralytic poison derived from the fireslime lumpus, a terrestrial tribbet, which means the sea-dwelling warmongers have no resistance to it. This also leads to a Cruel and Unusual Death for these warmongers, as their large size and ability to hold their breath for extended periods means that they sink to the bottom and slowly drown while remaining fully cognizant the entire time, something that traumatizes the daydreamers doing the stabbing.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Phase (Ayla Goodkind) is now carrying some poisoned throwing darts. When chided for it by an instructor, she shows she also carries a syringe of antidote.
    • By way of contrast, the instructors never bothered to even ask Master Poisoner Jobe about this; it's simply assumed by everyone that any of the dozens of holdouts she is carrying is coating in something potentially lethal, and the fact that she's known to carry antidotes for them only goes so far given the sort of nastiness she uses.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: To persuade Team Avatar to assist his group of Freedom Fighters, Jet plants a poisoned knife on an innocent bystander and claims the man was sent as an assassin.
  • Sandokan – The Tiger of Malaysia: One evil tribe uses poisoned spears.
  • The Simpsons: In a round of thank-you gifts to the Simpson family, Homer's half-brother Herb gives Bart a membership card to the NRA so he can buy a machinegun when he's older. Bart asks if he can get armor-piercing cyanide-tipped bullets to go with it, to which Herb replies, "It's in the constitution, son."

    Real Life 
  • Generally speaking, poisoned weapons were not very commonly used in warfare, as they were an unreliable and overly complicated way of killing a person. Any injury inflicted with a poisoned weapon is more than likely to bleed out faster than the poison could be absorbed; even if were to be absorbed in sufficient amounts, it would take some time before the effects actually come into play. Typically, poisoned weapons were mainly used for hunting, in which case the poison can be given enough time to take hold and debilitate an animal so that a hunter can catch up and deliver the final blow. For obvious reasons, this requires a poison that is relatively benign and/or destroyed by the heat of cooking. For example, Curare, mentioned below, can't be absorbed through the digestive system - it needs to hit the bloodstream directly through a wound to have an effect.
  • In exception to the above, poisoning darts and arrows was a fairly common practice in ancient times; in fact, the word toxic comes from the Greek toxikon, a poison made from yew extract for use on arrows (toxa). However, this was mainly done to make up for their lack of power and wounding potential: as projectile weapons became more powerful and more deadly, the practice became less and less necessary for warfare. The only place where poisoned projectile weapons remain in widespread use today is the Amazon, where local tribes use poisoned blowdarts to hunt small animals; popular toxins of choice include curare, as well as the secretions of certain frogs called... well... poison dart frogs.
  • Though poison itself is a common method of discreetly killing people, poisoned weapons have been rarely employed for assassinations. However, there are noticeable exceptions: Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was assassinated in 1978 by a ricin-filled pellet, which may have been shot into his leg by a KGB agent using a modified umbrella.
  • Prior to the 20th century, most casualties in warfare were not caused by enemy action, but rather by secondary causes. Wounds could easily get infected, leading to illness and eventually, death; unsanitary conditions in cramped conditions allowed for illness to spread easily. Some people realized that the risk of infection through injury could be increased by smearing their weapons with feces, which was employed by the Viet Cong during The Vietnam War in combination with traps using sharpened bamboo poles, commonly known as Punji sticks. Likewise, corpses were often used as projectiles during medieval sieges, in hopes of spreading disease.
  • One particularly nasty variant is the "prison cocktail" used by some of the more vicious prisoners against guards or fellow inmates. It consists of a cup filled with a mixture of urine, feces, and ground-up glass. The prisoner throws it in the victim's face. When the victim tries to wipe off the disgusting mess, the bits of broken glass will deliver a bunch of small cuts which makes serious infection and/or illness all but certain.
  • Beloved professional wrestling icon Rikidozan was stabbed in the abdomen by a yakuza in a night club, and the wound became infected because the yakuza had pissed on the weapon first. His condition was worsened by his refusal to stop drinking or eating sushi after treatment despite his doctor's orders, leading to the peritonitus that claimed his life.
  • In 1973, an African-American school superintendent by the name of Marcus Foster was shot multiple times by the Symbionese Liberation Army. During the coroner's examination, it was discovered that all eight bullets contained cyanide. Somewhat unsurprisingly, however, the cause of death was from being shot eight times.
  • British scientists during World War II worked upon a grenade shooting dozens of poisoned needles instead of your common shrapnel. The project was scrapped; the sadism-to-usefulness ratio was too wide.
  • Early bullets were usually made entirely out of lead, which is a toxic metal. Assuming that a gunshot victim lived long enough, secondary poisoning from the bullet lodged in their body may become an issue. It is for this that "lead poisoning" became a common euphemism for getting shot. Modern bullets are generally made out of lead as well, but are fully or mostly coated with copper alloy (which tends to make them less toxic).
    • Some jurisdictions have entirely banned lead ammunition for hunting. The motivation here is not to prevent poisoning of the animal being shot, but to prevent poisoning of whatever eats that animal - be it a human, a scavenger eating remains left by a hunter, or a predator that eventually eats an animal that is shot but escapes.
  • Depleted uranium, a byproduct of enriching uranium for weapons or nuclear reactors, is used by a number of countries for military purposes. The density of uranium (which is much higher than steel or lead), along with its propensity for spontaneous ignition and self-sharpening on impact, are all ideal qualities for armor-piercing ammunition. Depleted uranium is chemically toxic and (very very) mildly radioactive; while the residue from a single round is unlikely to do lasting harm, firing thousands of them across the battlefield can leave enough toxic uranium oxide dust to cause long-term health problems in those exposed to it.
  • A development called Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) uses powderized tungsten alloys to limit the size of an explosion while maintaining lethality. While intended to reduce collateral damage, there are concerns that the metal particles ejected by the explosion could potentially be highly carcinogenic.
  • Poison bullets exist but aren't very popular. They would be illegal to use in war and are intended for varmint control. They reach major Master of None territory since there really isn't a reason to use them over poison traps or just normal bullets.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Poisoned Weapon, Poison Dart


Poison Knife Bandit

Yoshihiko and his adventuring party encounter a thief on their travels who threatens them with a highly poisonous knife. He is built up to be a big threat only to be humiliated twice and then ends up killing himself by licking his own knife. He dies shortly after realizing how much he fucked up.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / FakeUltimateMook

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