Follow TV Tropes


Shovel Strike

Go To

"Lucille, God gave me a gift. I shovel well. I shovel very well."
The Shoveler, Mystery Men

A Sub-Trope of Improvised Weapon and closely related to the Powerful Pick, shovels are primarily used for excavation but can instantly become a weapon if the need arises. The handle gives the weapon a good reach while the head provides a weight allowing it to function as an oddly-shaped mace. With proper sharpening of the blade, the shovel can even work as an oddly-balanced polearm. Especially dexterous individuals can even use the flat of the shovel as a shield, which can be quite comedic if the blocked blow was a punch.

Can either be used as an easy way to render an enemy unconscious or as a lethal weapon depending on the user and media. Not to mention, it carries the advantage of being something inconspicuous in any home and useful if you need to get rid of a body. Indeed, if a gravedigger is presented as a combatant, he usually uses a shovel this way.

Truth in Television: after studying the infantry dynamics of the World Wars, most modern military forces have been giving their entrenching tools a semi-sharp tool edge that can easily be honed further before a battle to increase its cutting power. Plus, it takes training to become proficient with bayonet, knife or sword combat — but practically everyone on Earth have used shovels sometime in their lives. In the bloody house-to-house fighting in the WWII Battle of Stalingrad, the entrenching shovel was often used in close quarters combat.

It is also frequently used as a Real Life Emergency Weapon against dangerous animals, since it can provide good reach and hitting power and a surprisingly effective cutting edge, making it an effective axe/spear hybrid.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Touma Kamijou throws a shovel full of dust onto Etzali to blind him, then at one point throws said shovel towards him.
  • In Delicious in Dungeon, Senshi takes down three earth golems using a shovel. Appropriate since he was using them as gardens for growing vegetables!
  • GTO: The Early Years:
    • After being forced to betray his friends, Makoto hits Saejima in the head with a shovel.
    • Joey swings a shovel at Eikichi's head, but misses.
  • Leaky-Eye Luka uses a shovel as his weapon of choice in the Golden Wind segment of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. He winds up hurting himself when he tries to slam a frog with it. Reason? The frog was a creation of Gold Experience—meaning that any injuries it would have suffered are instead sustained by the attacker...
    • In Part 8, the main protagonist uses a shovel to fend off a zombiefied woman in order to prevent himself from being infected by the enemy stand.
  • MÄR designated plant user Jack wields the Battle Scoop as his main weapon, given to him by his father, who, like Jack, was a farmer.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, the Mobile Worker Desperado has a heat shovel, which is a mecha-sized shovel with a heat-induced tip used for digging. It uses its shovel to great effect when one unit gets caught up against a group of Vagan Mobile Suits. It should be noted that it did a lot better than its "successor" the Genoace, who doesn't get any kills until they mass-produce the AGE-1's DODS Rifle.
  • Aizawa Nagisa in My Monster Secret uses a "sleep induction device" as her close-quarters weapon of choice. In a later chapter, she gets in a shovel duel with her future self, who is capable of using her own shovel to slice Aizawa's in half.
  • Dalton in One Piece wields a large weapon that can only be described as a "Battle Shovel": that means the handle of a shovel and a large, flat blade similar to a sword.
    • In the 4Kids version, Bellemere also infamously used a shovel instead of a shotgun to threaten Arlong during Nami's flashback in the Arlong arc.
  • Oyaji used a shovel to annihilate the yakuza that tried to burn his home down, with him and his family inside, the thugs are reduced to crying and screaming in fear of such an insane display of strength as they get killed.
  • Pumpkin Scissors is set shortly after a Fantasy Conflict Counterpart of World War I, and one of the heroes scares some would-be terrorists into backing down by mentioning that shovels (like the one he's holding) killed more people in the trenches than guns or knives did.
  • Chiri Kitsu of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei uses a shovel as one of her preferred ways of inflicting violence (although she sometimes goes for knives instead). She also uses it to bury her kills, and "to bury" is one implication of her Meaningful Name.
  • Kurumi of School-Live! uses a shovel to fend off the zombies.
  • Shovels are both the magical tools and weapons of choice for Gravekeepers in Sunday Without God.
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs: Leon's mecha Arroganz includes a shovel among its armaments. The first time it appeared was during the duel between Leon and the five idiots, when Leon requested the sword and Luxion gave him the shovel instead. Naturally, it brought the laughs of everyone watching the duel, until he proceeded to trash his opponents' mechas with it.

    Comic Books 
  • In Batman/TMNT Adventures, the Scarecrow takes Batman down with a shovel to the side of the head after Batman gets a lungful of the Scarecrow's fear gas.
  • In a story set during The Clone Saga, a mercenary villain called the Pro forced Peter (who was suffering from a temporary loss of his powers) to unearth the skeleton of another clone (long story) and specifically warned him not to try this against him. However, when he got what he wanted, Ben Reilly (who was currently Spider-Man) jumped in, and after a free-for-all battle with a mob of other third-rate villains, the Pro was the only one left standing, pointing a gun at the now-exhausted Ben... At which point Peter let him have it with the shovel from behind, who then said, "I've been waiting for that all day, pal..."
  • Code Name: Gravedigger: In keeping with is background (he was formerly stuck on permanent graves detail) and code name, Captain Ulysses Hazard carries a shovel with him on missions, and it sees plenty of service as a weapon.
  • The Final Plague: Helen uses a shovel to crush an undead rat. It's still twitching a bit after that.
  • The Goon uses one as his weapon of choice against zombies.
  • Bobby Brunswick, the first Hack/Slash villain, used a shovel as his main weapon.
    • In Entry Wound, Vlad attempts to take down the Candlemas Killer with a shovel. He fails.
  • One character in Halloween: Nightdance is killed when he is surprised from behind with two blows from a shovel, which are then followed by a third one that finishes him off.
  • Piledriver of the Marvel Comics' villain team Wrecking Crew had a son who ran with the group at one point — Excavator. Excavator's weapon of choice was a long shovel complete with a handle at the end.
  • Roderick "Digger" Krupp used a shovel as a weapon after he stopped being a Horror Host for Marvel's horror comics, and became a villain.
  • To quote Elsa Bloodstone of Nextwave:
    "I've got two Uzis and a shovel. Which, I suppose, means I can shoot things and bury them afterwards".
    A short time later she's attacked by a bunch of samurai robots.
    "Samurai robots beat guns. No question. So it's just me and a shovel." *Badass pose* "Rock."
  • Frank Castle, in the final issue of The Punisher: Born, uses a sharpened shovel to brain a soldier trying to get payback on Goodwin for disrupting his drug business, as well as using it to deadly effect when he is the last man standing against the NVA overrunning Valley Forge.
  • We Kill Monsters: When Jake is attacked by a monster in Issue #1, Andrew saves him by driving a shovel blade into the creature's skull.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "Little Otik", an old farmer uses a hoe to kill the titular monster by ripping its belly open.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Discworld, the Assassins' Guild School teaches a strictly optional module in Unorthodox Combat Techniques, stressing that it deals with ungentlemanly and certainly unladylike techniques of grappling, brawling, and proletarian street fighting. It is taught by somebody who has lots of combat experience and who has never claimed to be a lady. Whilst unarmed combat that makes krav maga look like a playground slap-fight is taught, the instructress asserts that Rule One of unarmed combat is what it always was - first make sure you find a weapon. And that anything will serve if handled correctly. The Guild School's botany teacher has indeed used rakes, trowels, a specially sharpened dibbler - and a spade - as her combat weapons of first choice. As she points out, she teaches gardening - for Assassins.
  • In DNMC, Nara swings a shovel around that doubles as a grenade launcher.
  • Shadows over Meridian: After Amelia loses her sword in the crystal mines, she ends up using a shovel to fight off a Ninja Khan.

    Films — Animated 
  • Happens offscreen in The Addams Family (2019). Wednesday has tricked Pugsley into digging his own grave, and she's about to push him in when a red balloon floats by and momentarily distracts them. As the camera leaves them to follow the balloon, a loud "Thunk!" sound is heard.
  • At the end of Monsters, Inc., Randall is beaten with a shovel offscreen.
    Trailer Son: Mama, another gator got in the house!
    Trailer Mom: Another gator? Gimme that shovel!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 3:10 to Yuma (2007), Doc Potter does this to a prospector and then enthusiastically declares "Did you see me hit that guy with the shovel?"
  • 5 Card Stud: During their fight in the graveyard, Nick grabs the shovel that had been used to dig Mace's grave and hits Van with it.
  • The ABCs of Death: In "H is for Hydroelectric Diffusion", when Bertie starts getting the upper hand, Frau Scheisse pulls a shovel off the side of the control unit and attempts to clobber him.
  • Act of Vengeance: During the final fight in the zoo, Linda uses a shovel to knock Jack down and then beat him to death with it.
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) is set in the trenches of WWI. Kat, Paul's mentor tells him not to use a knife during trench raids since they often get stuck; in the time it takes to kick the enemy hard enough to free the knife he'd be dead. He is told to instead use a sharpened entrenching tool between neck and shoulder: faster, cleaner and safer for him. Truth in Television, disturbingly enough. The famous scene of the French attack on the German trench shows many soldiers swinging shovels.
    • The 2022 film adaptation has a disturbing trench warfare scene where Paul goes diving into an enemy trench and attacks a French soldier with a sharpened shovel.
  • Bad Kids Go to Hell: Dr. Day smacks Tarvek with a shovel when he emerges from the vents.
  • Albert Dupontel's Bernie: the mother "rescue" scene.
  • Billy Club (2013): Alison knocks Billy unconscious with a shovel to the head.
  • Blazing Saddles: Taggart gets clobbered by a shovel-wielding Bart near the beginning of the movie.
    Taggart: Send a wire to the main office, and tell them I said... [CLONG] OW!
    Lyle: "Send wire, main office, tell them I said 'ow'." Gotcha!
  • In the climax of Blood Diamond, Captain Poison gets brutally beaten to death with a shovel by Papa Wolf Solomon Vandy. It says something about the Black-and-Gray Morality of the film that administering a lethal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown with a shovel is a Moment of Awesome rather than a Moral Event Horizon.
  • In Bloody Reunion, Myung-Ho knocks Mi-Ja out by hitting her in the head with a shovel before he drags Mrs Park into the basement and attempts to set her on fire.
  • Boar: During the fight at the shed, Bernie attempts to attack the boar with a shovel. This is not successful.
  • When Gray the grave robber in The Body Snatcher comes across a barking dog that threatens to give him away during a night trip to the cemetery, he silences it with his shovel.
  • During the climax of Bride of Chucky, Tiffany and Chucky each grab a shovel and fight each other.
  • The Bunker: During the final between Schenke and Baumann, Heydrich intervenes by hitting Schenke over the head with an entrenching tool. This ends badly for Heydrich, but does allow Baumann to escape.
  • In The Cabin in the Woods, one of the Zombie Redneck Torture Family uses a trowel as a weapon... and has it used against him.
    Yeah, uh, I had to dismember that guy with a trowel. What have you been up to?
  • In Carry On Behind, Clive uses a shovel to hit a loudspeaker broadcasting unwelcome announcements from Major Leep throughout the caravan site, causing an explosion at the speaker, and in Major Leep's office.
  • In Cemetery Man, zombies can only be destroyed by splitting their skulls. Over the course of the film, several zombies have their skulls cleaved by the gravedigger's shovel.
  • Clown Kill: Charlie Boy kills the boss in the office building by hitting him in the head with a shovel. He continues to do so even after the boss is already dead until his head is crushed completely.
  • In Cold Comes the Night, Chloe carries a snow shovel around the motel when she anticipates trouble.
  • In the John Wayne film The Commancheros, Texas Ranger Jake Cutter (Wayne) gets clocked with a shovel by "Monsoor" Paul Regret (Stuart Whitman) during an escape attempt.
  • During the climax of Crimson Peak, Edith proves to be no match for her murderous sister-in-law Lucille during their confrontation while both are armed with more conventional deadly weapons, (Edith has a knife, while Lucille is wielding a large cleaver that she's used for murder before) but Edith has better luck when she grabs a shovel as an Improvised Weapon. Two blows to the head and Lucille is dead.
  • In the made-for-TV movie Dark Night of the Scarecrow, small-town bully Otis and his cronies dish out vigilante justice to a retarded Gentle Giant who turns out to be innocent - the posse later start dying horribly one by one. When Otis's last friend freaks out and is ready to turn himself in, Otis soothes him — and then brains him with a shovel from behind.
  • Dead Again in Tombstone: After digging up the fake box, Guerrero uses the shovel to knock down the soldier guarding him before smashing his head with the box.
  • A Deadly Secret has a shovel-vs-sword fight when the hero, unarmed in the middle of a graveyard, uses a shovel as an impromptu weapon against the main villain.
  • In Death Line, the 'Man' buries a shovel halfway down the skull of own of the cleaners on Russell Square Station.
  • Deewaar: When the racketeers fight Vijay, one of them uses a shovel as a weapon. When Vijay gets his hands on it and starts using it himself, they're quickly curb-stomped.
  • Don't Breathe: The Blind Man attempts to kill Alex with a shovel during the fight in the laundry.
  • Ash, the hero of The Evil Dead (1981), takes a mighty swipe at his possessed girlfriend, Linda, with a shovel and manages to knock her head clean off.
  • In Firestorm (1998), Shaye's fellow escapees use shovels to knock out the guards when they escape from the fire crew.
  • At the start of Fist of Fury, Bruce Lee's character is mad with grief after arriving late to his teacher's funeral and starts desperately trying to dig up the coffin. The officiating priest subdues him with a shovel to the head.
  • At the start of Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, the bodysnatcher (played by Patrick Troughton) is stealing a body from a grave when his surprised by the local police sergeant. He throws his shovel at the sergeant, knocking him into the open grave.
  • Friday the 13th
  • Two grave diggers in Girls Nite Out are ambushed by the killer, who offs them with repeated slams and stabs from one of their shovels. They are then buried in the grave they had dug moments before.
  • Grandmother's House: When the grandparents have the woman in the blue dress unconscious at their feet, the grandfather smacks her a couple times with a shovel.
  • In Hell's Highway, Lucinda kills the preacher by splitting his head in half with the shovel he used to bury her.
  • Hitchcock opens with Serial Killer Ed Gein beginning his life of crime by whacking his brother over the head with a shovel.
  • Hitchhiker Massacre: The killer knocks Sally unconscious with a shovel near the end so he can recapture her.
  • In Holes, Zero hits Mr. Pendanski in the face with a shovel.
  • In Home Alone, when the burglars finally catch Kevin, Old Man Marley saves him by beating them senseless with his snow shovel.
  • Horrific: In Masters of Death, Roz kills Len with a shovel in the graveyard. Later, the resurrected Len uses the same shovel to beat her to death.
  • In the obscure Taiwanese king fu film An Insanity Being, the movie climaxed with a lengthy shovel fight, where the protagonist and mooks fight using shovels in place where swords would normally be featured.
  • Keeping Mum: Grace murders Lance in this way.
  • At the end of Killer Workout, Lt. Morgan is planning to execute Rhonda and bury her body. However, while he is monologue-ing, she grabs the shovel and hits him with it.
  • In The Last Rites of Ransom Pride, Champ is checking the barn when he sees the silhouettes of the Bruja's men sneaking through the house. He grabs a shovel and sneaks in to rescue Juliette; using the shovel to knock out Shep.
  • A gardener gets his head smashed in with his own shovel in Las Vegas Bloodbath.
  • During a brief scene about 20 minutes into The Legend of Zorro , Catherine Zeta-Jones' character attempts to fend off some attackers with a shovel.
  • The Locals: After being pushed into Bill's grave, Grant grabs the shovel used to open it and smashes Bill's skull.
  • In The Lone Ranger when Tonto is about to finish off Butch, Reid knocks him out with a shovel to do things by the book and let the court handle things.
  • Main Street Meats: When Neddy corners his third victim, he stabs him through the face with his own shovel.
  • The Man Who Came Back: When Delbert attacks Paxton with an axe at Caleb's place, Paxton grabs a shovel to defend himself. After knocking he axe out of Delbert's hand, Paxton kills him with a shovel strike to the head.
  • In Motorcycle Gang, the heroine's WW2 veteran father sharpens the edge of his trench shovel and uses it to kill several of the gang who kidnapped her.
  • Shovels appear prominently in My Bloody Valentine and its remake, with The Remake featuring a girl getting beheaded at the jawline with one.
  • My Little Sister: When the Little Sister has Tom and Sheila as his prisoners, Sheila knocks the Little Sister unconscious with a shovel to the back of his head.
  • Mystery Men: The Shoveler. He hits people with shovels. He hits people with shovels very well. He also has a smaller trowel in case he gets disarmed. In the original comic, he used a magical singing shovel.
  • A groundskeeper gets his head whacked off with a shovel in the first Nekromantik.
  • In Nightworld: Lost Souls, Graham Scofield attempts to knock Victor out with a shovel. Victor grabs the shovel and pushes him against the wall.
  • Pet Sematary: During the fight in the Pet Sematary, Louis attempts to behead Ellie with a shovel.
  • At the end of Psycho II, Norman casually brains Mrs. Spool with his shovel.
  • In Purgatory, Lefty stabs a bandit with his shovel.
  • In Re-Animator, Herbert kills and beheads Dr. Hill with a shovel after Hill threatens to steal Herbert's work.
  • In the third film of The Santa Clause, Jack Frost hits Scott Calvin with the latter's snow shovel after the Escape Clause is invoked so that Jack can become Santa.
  • Shaun of the Dead: Ed uses one.
  • Starship Troopers 3: Marauder: After a propaganda segment extolling the virtues of the humble shovel in the war against the bugs, a bug bomb goes off in the trench they're digging and one poor grunt gets impaled by a flying shovel.
  • The eponymous villain of Stepfather III beats and stabs a man to death with a shovel, in a particularly gory instance of this trope.
  • Tamara: When Allison is attacked by Shawn in the basement, she grabs a shovel to defends herself. When Shawn snaps the head off it, she uses the handle as Broomstick Quarterstaff.
  • During the climax of Terror Train, the conductor hits Kenny twice a shovel, knocking him out of the car, where he falls off a bridge and into the frozen river.
  • That Man from Rio: Adrian faces off against a huge mook, trying to smack him with a shovel — but the mook easily dodges it before grabbing it and snapping it in two.
  • In Tiger House, Mark's stepfather hits Kelly over the head from behind with a shovel when she is about to kill Callum.
  • Timber Falls: When Ida is trying to wrestle with Mike on the floor of the cellar, Sheryl picks up the shovel Ida had dropped earlier and brains her with it.
  • Torture Garden: In "Enoch", the cat commands Colin to kill Nurse Parker. After she discovers the headless body of the tramp, Colin kills her with a shovel.
  • Trick 'r Treat: When Wilkins realises the body he is burying is Not Quite Dead, he pounds it several times with his shovel to finish the job. All the while, he is trying not to attract Mr. Kreeg's attention.
  • In one of the endings of Unfriended: Dark Web, Matias is knocked unconscious with a shovel before being Buried Alive.
  • V for Vendetta: A montage showing the Norsefire regime beginning to collapse has a Fingerman shoot a preteen girl dead for graffitiing V's symbol. He then gets surrounded by angry townsfolk who couldn't care less about his badge and gun. Cue Gory Discretion Shot as one particularly burly man swings a shovel at his head.
  • Karl, Jr. stabs a girl in the face with a shovel in Violent Shit II: Mother Hold My Hand.
  • Werewolves Within: Emerson shows up to save Finn from Werewolf Cecily by striking her in the back of the head with a shovel.
  • Whiteout: When Carrie catches up with the murderer after he has killed Rubin, she brings him down with a blow from a shovel, and then hits him several times while he is on the ground for good measure.
  • During the final battle of Wild Wild West, Jim faces a man who does a number of flashy martial arts moves and brags that he learned them from a Chinaman. Jim knocks the man out with a shovel to the face and counters that he just made that up.
  • When the junkies try to flee out the backdoor of trailer in Wind River, Cory stops them by slamming them in the face with a snow shovel.
  • In You Might Be the Killer, one of the counselors, Jaime, ends up with a shovel as her improvised weapon of choice.

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: The Grave Robbing scene, where Dr. Robinson strikes Muff Potter with a shovel.
  • All Quiet on the Western Front: It's stated that veterans of both sides preferred sharpened entrenching spades as close-quarters weapons over their bayonets because bayonets tended to get stuck in the enemy, leaving you vulnerable to follow-up attacks. This is based on actual accounts.
  • CHERUB Series: Lauren Adams becomes legendary among CHERUB agents for knocking out the notoriously sadistic training instructor Mr. Large with a shovel. Twice.
  • In Codex Alera, a young Knight Terra (really, really strong when he needs to be) prefers using his shovel over a heavy mace because he grew up on a farm and that's what he knows. He even sharpens the edge and lines it with salt to take out wind furies.
    • It was a spade, and he insists it to be called so.
  • The Crowner John Mysteries: In Crowner's Quest, John and Gwyn get the drop on a group of men; two of whom are in a hole. One of the men in the hole uses his shovel to knock Gwyn's legs out from under him. He then spends the rest of the fight trying to kill Gwyn with the shovel.
  • Discworld: In Raising Steam, Lord Vetinari assumes an alias to take part in a short, bitter, war. He may have encountered the Assassins' School's unorthodox combat tutor, or at the least read her course syllabus, as he poses as a railway stoker and wields a shovel to deadly effect.
  • In Dracula, Jonathan Harker strikes the Count with a workman's shovel while he is in his coffin. This proves ineffective at slaying the vampire, merely creating a large scar on Dracula's forehead.
  • Part of the military training in Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War. At the very beginning, one recruit isn't impressed by the "eight silent ways to kill a man": "(K)illing a man with a blow to the kidneys, from an entrenching tool (looks... kind of silly). I mean, when would you actually have only an entrenching tool, and no gun or knife? And why not just bash him over the head with it?" note 
  • The novels by Sven Hassel also sing the praises of the entrenching tool. You can use it to dig foxholes against artillery, to shit on when you're inside a tank, and with the edge sharpened it's great for hand-to-hand combat.
  • Garrett, P.I.: In Deadly Quicksilver Lies, Slither kills a Super-Speed-endowed flying killer bug by swatting it Home-Run Hitter-style with the blade of a shovel.
  • Griffin, aka The Invisible Man, was mortally wounded with a shovel.
  • In Journey to the West, Sha Wujing's weapon of choice in most modern media is a Monk's Spade, known as the "Monster-Conquering Precious Rod" (said weapon is also known as "Zen Rod", explaining the shift from staff to polearm). That being said, some versions averts this by giving his weapon only the crescent blade. Antagonists armed with a Spade include the Nine-Headed Monster (again, sometimes he only has the crescent blade) and the Tawny Lion Spirit, who brandishes a scraper/spade known as the Four Light Spade.
  • Several times in Lisey’s Story, Lisey uses a commemorative shovel of her late husband's as a weapon. At one point it's referred to as 'Little Lisey's Trusty Maniac Swatter, Copyright 1988, Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.'
  • Merkabah Rider: In "The Shomer Express", the Rider uses the fireman's shovel to batter the ghul into the firebox of the locomotive: the only way to destroy it being to Kill It with Fire.
  • In Moby-Dick, whaling spadesnote  are used for killing sharks who are trying to scavenge on the whale carcass chained to the Pequod.
  • Used with devastating effect in The Nightingale (Kristin Hannah), complete with the resultant Squick. Vianne reluctantly sends a shovel through Captain Beck's skull, after he discovers her sister hiding an Allied airman. His Last Words ("Tell... my family...") provide both a Tear Jerker and potent Nightmare Fuel.
  • World War Z has the U.S. Marines making use of this trope via their standard-issue entrenching shovels, as they are credited with creating "the Lobotomizer": sharpened along the edge, the shovels made great battle axes for lopping off zombie heads. Surprisingly effective, and rather common by the end of the war, thanks of their ease of production and utility. The before-mentioned Monk's spade is also used by a old blind man to great effect in defending himself.
  • In World Without End, Sam uses one as an Improvised Weapon and actually kills his target with it.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes: In Red Leech, when Sherlock is cornered in the ship's engine room by the murderous Grivens, he defends himself with stoker's shovel.
  • The Zombie Survival Guide stresses that the Monk's Spade is an invaluable weapon against zombies as it can easily decapitates them and has good length. Granted, the real world weapon described in the book is more thrusting polearm than actual spade, but it did indeed evolve from a shovel.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In 24, Behrooz Araz strikes his would-be killer with the shovel he was supposed to use to dig his own grave.
  • In the 2018 one-off BBC adaptation of The ABC Murders, Sir Carmichael Clarke is beaten to death with a spade, when it was a different blunt instrument in the original novel.
  • Agatha Raisin: In "Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley", the Victim of the Week is struck down with a spade while walking across a field.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • In Le cœur a ses raisons, Madge gets hit in the face twice in the same night respectively by Criquette and Brett, just after being woken up. Coincidentally, during the previous season, Criquette mentioned in a letter (that she had Madge herself writing) the possibility of murdering her the exact same way.
    Criquette: [to a sleeping Madge] Madge! Maaadge!
    Madge: [waking up] What, madam...?
    Criquette: [knocks Madge out with a shovel] Go to sleep, Madge. Go to sleep.
  • CSI: The Victim of the Week in the B plot in "Turn of the Screws" is a 13-year-old girl who gits hit with a shovel. The blade severs her spinal column causing her to asphyxiate.
  • CSI: Miami: In "Nothing to Lose", one Victim of the Week is a convict firefighter who is nailed to a tree with a folding shovel by an escaping convict during a fire in the Everglades.
  • On Deadliest Warrior, the US Army Green Berets used their entrenching tool (a folding shovel) as their melee weapon vs. the Russian Spetznaz' spring-loaded ballistic knife. The knife won that particular showdown.
  • Dead Man's Gun: In "Death Warrant", a farmer attempts to claim the bounty of Pike's head by attempting to smash his head in with a shovel while Pike is sleeping in his barn.
  • The Doctor Blake Mysteries: In "My Brother's Keeper'', the killer bludgeons the Victim of the Week with a shovel and then causes him to be trampled by cattle.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Eldorado Ka De We (in English-speaking markets, KaDeWe Our Time Is Now): Main character Harry returns to his family's department store after being demobilised from the German army in 1918 to discover four armed robbers holding the place up. With Dissonant Serenity, he shoots the four men in about twice that number of seconds, and seeing one is still alive, stabs him with a cake slice until he dies. Dialogue in the following episode suggests that he was wielding the cake slice in precisely the same way that he used entrenching tools during hand-to-hand combat in the war.
  • Endeavour: A flashback in "Harvest" reveals that the Victim of the Week woke up as the killer was attempting to bury him, and was finished off by a blow to the head from a shovel.
  • FBI: Most Wanted: In "Patent Pending", when Jake steals his mother's ashes from the cemetery, he steals a shovel from the gravedigger's truck to break open her vault. When the gravedigger confronts him, Jake beats him with the shovel and then steals his truck.
  • In the first episode of Garth Marenghis Darkplace, Dr. Rick Dagless, M.D. euthanizes his former friend's disembodied head after he explodes, by hitting him with a shovel. This is viewed as highly unorthodox medical practice.
  • The Grand Tour: While on a special forces training course, Clarkson is stuck in a window where terrorists are doing... unpleasant things to him. He begs for death; Hammond eventually complies with a blow to the head with a shovel.
  • Horrible Histories: A sketch on the Saxon weregild features a Saxon woman who keeps killing members of the family she is involved in a blood feud with by hitting them in the head with a shovel; much to the frustration of the king who is attempting to explain the new law.
  • Major Crimes: In "Fifth Dynasty", the Victim of the Week is killed by a shovel strike that almost severs his head off his body.
  • Monk:
    • In "Mr. Monk vs. the Cobra", gravedigger Chris Downey knocks Monk out with a shovel before putting him in a coffin and burying him alive.
    • In "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing", Eddie Murdoch walks into a firehouse to steal a firefighter's coat and helmet. As he is grabbing it, a firefighter named Rusty comes around the parked fire engine to confront him. Murdoch responds by grabbing a shovel and striking Rusty over the head, killing him. Seconds later, Monk comes around investigating the audible clang caused by the first hit, and Murdoch swings the shovel at him, though Monk dodges a would-be-lethal blow so that it hits him over the back. There is a struggle, and Monk grabs the shovel, but before he can swing it at Murdoch, Murdoch throws a container of acid in his face, blinding him. Monk drops the shovel and staggers backwards against the fire engine screaming in pain.
  • Motive: In "Fallen Angel", the Victim of the Week is killed with a shovel: first a blow to the head that does not drop him, followed by a slash with the blade that cuts his throat.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: The Victim of the Week in "Child's Play" is struck down with a shovel.
  • In the One Piece episode "The Girl With the Sawfish Tattoo", Nojiko discovers Nami has been taking the cache of berries out of Belle Mere's grave and tries hitting her with a shovel.
  • On Pretty Little Liars, Alison (actually Bethany) was knocked out by a shovel before being Buried Alive.
  • In the Pushing Daisies episode "Girth", Emerson knocks out the Murderer of the Week with a shovel. And then tells the shovel that he loves it.
  • A slapstick variant in "The Stag Party" episode of The Red Green Show when Bill accidentally hits Red in the face with a shovel while digging a hole.
  • In the third season finale of Revenge, Emily whacks Victoria in the face with a shovel after Victoria catches her digging up Amanda Clarke's grave. Victoria wakes up in a mental hospital, framed for digging up Amanda's grave in the deluded belief that Emily is Amanda Clarke.
  • Riverdale: In "Silent Night, Deadly Night", Black Hood holds Archie and Betty at gunpoint. He orders Betty to bury Archie alive or else he will kill her. While she is doing this, Black Hood gets distracted when he hears police sirens. As soon as he looks away, Betty whacks him in the head with her shovel, making him drop his gun and run away.
  • The Sopranos episode "Pine Barrens" showcased gangsters Paulie Walnuts and Chris Moltisanti taking Russian mobster Valery out to the woods of New Jersey to kill him and discreetly dispose of the body. To that end, they have him dig his own grave. But the former Russian special forces operative turns the tables on them by striking Christopher with a shovel and (possibly) escaping.
  • Super Sentai/Power Rangers:
  • Vera: The Victim of the Week in "Telling Tales" is done in by a blow to the head with a shovel.
  • The Walking Dead has Rick Grimes using an entrenching tool to distract a zombie as he escapes the army tank he was trapped in.
  • The opening tag to one episode of The X-Files showed a guy burying the man he had just killed. He then walks into the kitchen, sees the same man standing at the sink, and promptly takes a swing with the shovel killing his wife; the episode dealt with hallucination-inducing subliminal messages.
  • Rick did this to Neil once in an episode of The Young Ones.

    Pro Wrestling 


    Tabletop Games 
  • Dead Reign prominently features several human survivors wielding shovels as weapons against the zombies in the artwork. The actual game also allows them to be used like this during gameplay.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 3.5 Edition and older had the Mattock of the Titans, a magical digging implement that was so large only an extremely big giant or an actual Titan could wield it. In addition to digging, which allowed the use to excavate ridiculous amounts of dirt in a single round, it also counted as a +3 morningstar, and thus was the shovel a Storm Giant brought when he went to kill a dragon. Its insane size meant that it was completely unusable by normal player characters barring the use of extremely powerful magic.
    • 5th Edition adds the Adze of Annam, a magic artifact said to have been used by Annam, the chief diety of the giants before he disappeared millenia ago. In addition to being a potent digging implement, it functions as a magical greataxe with substantial enchantements. It's left to a GM's discretion whether or not it's useable only by giant-sized creatures or if it will magically resize itself to fit a smaller being.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Death Korps of Kreig specialize in trench and siege warfare, so have a special affinity for the "entrenching tools" that every single soldier carries. In-Universe, they're trained to use it as a weapons, as befits their inspiration (see the German Army entry in Real Life below). Memetically, however, the fandom has the Kreigers treat any type of shovel with religious awe, and charging Chaos Space Marines and Tyranid Tyrants with naught but a sharpened spade.
    • On the Chaotic side, Warsmith Honsou of the Iron Warriors states in one of the short stories about him that his personal shovel was crafted in forges run by a specific Warsmith who favoured shorter handles...because that made them more convenient for trench-fighting, a thing the Iron Warriors do a lot of.

  • In Eugene O'Neill's play The Emperor Jones, Brutus Jones escaped from a chain gang after killing the overseer who struck him with a whip by bringing down his work shovel on his head. When Jones returns to the chain gang in a hallucination, he relives the incident until realizing that he doesn't have a shovel.

    Video Games 
  • In the free online FPS Ace Of Spades the spade can be used as a melee weapon as well as a entrenching tool.
  • Age of Wonders 2 basic Frostling unit Snowscaper uses his shovel for melee attack.
  • Alliance of Valiant Arms has a trench shovel as an available melee weapon the player can purchase in place of the default combat knife.
  • In Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book, Oskar Behlmer is a playable character, a grocer, gardener, and friend of plants who uses his shovel as a weapon. He has attacks such as Spinning Shovel, Skyfall Shovel, and Meteor Shovel.
  • Basingstoke: A shovel is one of the types of weapons you can pick up and use in the game.
  • The Trench Shovel is featured as a melee weapon in Battlefield 1 and Battlefield V. These shovels purposely have short handles and sharp edges, allowing them to be used similarly to an axe.
  • In The Bourne Conspiracy, Jason Bourne uses a graveyard shovel twice in the Manhiem fight, once as the arena Action Command weapon, and finally to knock him to his death in the final Press X to Not Die sequence.
  • Brütal Legend: the Grave Digger units fight with these.
  • In Cadence of Hyrule, Cadence's special ability is a shovel strike that clears walls and harms enemies in a rectangle in front of her, and her special weapon slot is the Greatshovel (which slashes enemies and digs nearby soft walls in a single strike). This is new to the game, she previously only ever used shovels for digging.
  • City of Heroes lets players use a shovel as either a club or an axe.
  • Clash of Clans and Clash Royale both feature the Miner, a troop that is capable into barging into key areas and out-of-bounds territory respectively and smacking nearby foes using his shovel.
  • In the Yuri's Revenge expansion to Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, Yuri's mining vehicle is a mobile refinery which collects ore by sending unarmored slaves out to dig it up with shovels. Destroying the miner frees the slaves, who join the other side and attack with their shovels, though they are extremely weak (then again, nobody said shovel versus tank was a good idea.
  • The Shovel is one of the best melee weapons in Darkwood. It's very slow and doesn't do as much damage as the Axe, but makes up for it in durability (especially if you give it the Sturdy Blade upgrade), swing arc and reach. You can also dig up scrap piles with it, though at a huge cost to its integrity.
  • In Day of Defeat, the melee weapon for the Germans is a shovel.
  • One of the "fun" weapons in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice and Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten. It's treated as a spear for gameplay purposes.
  • Dead Rising: The shovel shows up repeatedly in the first three installments of this franchise. It is one of the few weapons that is not a component in a combo weapon.
  • The Flash MMO DOFUS has shovels as one of its base weapon types, being the preferred class weapon of the Enutrof utility loot-finding class, and occasionally used by other classes with Water builds.
  • In Don't Starve, while almost any dedicated weapon will do much more damage than a tool and even an axe or pickaxe will take fewer hits to kill an enemy, a shovel is adequate against weaker enemies and can also be used to dig things up.
  • Meepo in Dota 2 uses shovel as his weapon. Doesn't sound dangerous? Well, that's until you see two or more Meepos alongside him and start bashing you with those shovels.
  • The Dragon Quest series has a group of mole-type enemies that hit people with their shovels.
  • The very first melee weapon Ash acquires in Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick is a shovel.
  • Fallout:
  • Flesh Birds: The ground of the forest you're in is littered with shovels. They can splat the birds in one strike, but break with repeated use.
  • Shovels are a melee weapon in the videogame adaptation of The Godfather.
  • The Grave-Digger's weapon in God of War: Ghost of Sparta. Of course, being Zeus he can turn it into the Sword of Olympus at will.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, shovels can be found and used as melee weaponry. Farmers are often equipped with it. There's also a cut scene in which a character is beaten with one.
  • The fan-made Game Mod for Half-Life 2 called SMOD gives Gordon Freeman several new weapons, one of which is a surprisingly powerful shovel, which makes his crowbar look like a rolled-up newspaper by comparison. For instance, hitting a lunging headcrab with the crowbar will simply make it fall to the ground, dead. Hit a lunging headcrab with the shovel, on the other hand, and it will be launched into the distance, and if it hits a wall, the headcrab will explode in a gruesome green splatter like a bug hitting a windshield.
  • In Hell Let Loose, the Germans are issued the Feldspaten as their melee weapon.
  • Keiichi has this as one of his weapons in Higurashi Daybreak, alongside a baseball bat and a golf club.
  • In the first Kane & Lynch game, Kane beats the man who just shot his wife to death with a shovel in a moment of Unstoppable Rage.
  • Killing Floor 2 combines Shovel Strike and Crowbar Combatant into one weapon, the Berserker's "crovel".
  • The champion Yorick of League of Legends uses some kind of shovel as his weapon before and after his redesign, both used for pummeling enemies. With his initial design, he was an undead gravedigger who wielded a traditionally-recognized dirt shovel, but with his current design where he's instead the last of an ancient monk order, he wields what looks more like a stylized "monk's spade".
  • A shovel can be acquired as a melee weapon in Left 4 Dead 2, with exclusive sound effects when bashing the Infected with. The only downside is the swing animation is different from other melee weapons, so it takes a bit of getting used to. Killing a certain number of Jockeys with the shovel (or the pitchfork, either counts) nets you an achievement.
  • In LEGO Indiana Jones, several characters have a shovel as their special item, allowing them to dig, which is necessary to solve a lot of puzzles. They will also use their shovel in combat, because they don't have a short-range weapon and it looks cooler than punching.
  • This is one weapon that Greenies use in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. (Mostly in Haunted Towers and Old Clockworks, two places you'd likely expect to find shovels; they tend to use weapons that fit the places they're in.)
  • Makai Kingdom has the shovel weapon type. It does extra damage to buildings and using mostly digging attacks, including finding a hot spring under your opponent.
  • A shovel appears in Manhunt 2 as one of many weapons that the player can use to execute a foe (including one where they give a victim a rather vicious Groin Attack). In the story, the shovel is notable as it's the weapon Daniel uses to kill Leo with.
  • In a pinch, you can use your shovel as a weapon in Minecraft, though it doesn't do as much damage as a sword, or even other tools like the axe or pick-axe.
  • One of the weapons in Neverwinter Nights 2 is a gardener's shovel blessed by the goddess of agriculture.
  • No More Heroes: Holly Summers uses a shovel as a weapon, and probably also used it to dig all the holes on the beach where you fight her.
  • No More Room In Hell: The spade is one of many weapons in the game that can be picked up and used by the player. It is a two-handed weapon with medium speed and deals medium damage.
  • The Shovel in Nuclear Throne has the widest swing arc of all melee weapons. Since melee weapons can reflect or destroy most projectiles, it makes for a fantastic defensive weapon. It also deals a decent amount of damage; its only downside is its slow swing speed. The Ultra version increases the damage and swing speed, at the cost of some rads per swing.
  • PAYDAY 2 includes the K.L.A.S. Shovel as a melee weapon for owners of the Gage Shotgun Pack DLC. It has low damage, but a decent knockdown chance, and it makes a satisfying *clang!* sound upon hitting enemies.
  • In Persona 4 Golden, you're given the quest "100% Inaba-Grown Cabbage," where you help a local, freelance vegetable merchant/housewife ride out a cabbage shortage by growing your own to compensate for the deficit and she'll give you the 'Sharp Shovel' weapon for the MC as a reward. Not only does the shovel deal great damage when you get it, its special effect is a free casting of Auto-Tarukaja, meaning it does even more damage during the first three turns of any fight where it's used.
  • Postal 2 gives you a shovel as a melee weapon. It can not only be swung with a loud CLANG as it whacks someone in the skull, it can be thrust forward with enough force to decapitate the victim.
  • The shovel is just one of many household items you can choose to fight zombies with in Project Zomboid. Probably better not to, though. Shovels are hard to find, and they're the only way to move dirt, sand, and gravel for landscaping.
  • Resident Evil:
    • A Majini enemy type in Resident Evil 5 attacks you with shovels. It does some serious damage if it connects.
    • Jack attacks Ethan with a shovel in the early parts of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, and later uses it to murder the Deputy.
  • Scribblenauts lets you use a shovel as a weapon, though considering the wide variety of weapons you can use, there's never really any advantage in using it.
  • Shovel Knight's main character is a knight who uses a "Shovel Blade", which is essentially a giant shovel. His rival Black Knight also uses the same weapon while Polar Knight uses a giant snow shovel. Their unusual choice of weaponry is connected: Black Knight and Shovel Knight used to be friends, while Polar Knight has an unexplained history with Shovel Knight and considers him a Worthy Opponent.
  • Silent Hill 4 has a shovel as a weapon. If you down an opponent with it, instead of stomping them as a follow-up attack as usual, you jab it into their chest and stomp on the shovel.
  • Super Punch Patrol have the boss Russel whose preferred weapon is a gigantic shovel larger than your playable characters, which he'll use for smashing heads or shoveling rocks at your direction as a ranged attack.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • A character mod for Brawl from Brawl Vault turns Ness into the boy villager from Animal Crossing: City Folk. The front smash becomes a shovel.
    • In his official appearance as a playable character, the Villager also uses the shovel as a weapon, but rather then hitting them directly, he digs out the ground from beneath them.
    • As of Ultimate, Shovel Knight joins the battle as an Assist Trophy. He's able to use his shovel blade to either throw chunks of dirt at an enemy, or shovel drop onto them from above.
  • Team Fortress 2: the Soldier's default melee weapon is a folding trench Shovel. In "Meet the Soldier" he's seen backhanding an enemy Spy with it, and in game you can earn an achievement for getting revenge with it. In a tactical sense, the Shovel is more a formality to fall back on if you don't have time to reload your rocket launcher and shotgun. Due to the class' stats and other weapons, the Soldier is probably tied with the Pyro and Heavy as the least likely to use his default melee weapon, and thus most likely to replace it with an unlockable weapon with a special effect.
    • The Soldier can also unlock the Market Gardener, another trench shovel that scores an automatic Critical Hit if you melee an opponent while Rocket Jumping, at the expense of not scoring any random Criticals while on the ground. There are entire Difficult, but Awesome builds based around the "Trolldier," involving using a combination of the Rocket Jumper launcher and the Market Gardener to bounce around the battlefield bonking skulls while airborne.
  • Terraria, the Gravedigger's Shovel is as powerful as a tungsten broadsword but has autoswing and greater range, making it a very servicable early game weapon.
  • Emile in the later stages of Valiant Hearts, likewise set during World War I, uses this as his main weapon (which he also uses to tunnel past enemy lines). It's how he inadvertently kills his commanding officer for sending countless men to their deaths.
  • In Verdun, one of the many weapons you can get is a shovel. Considering that it's a game set in World War I, this isn't surprising. It also guarantees a One-Hit Kill.
  • In Viva Piñata, the shovel is one of the first tools you're given. Among other things, it can be used to whack things you don't want in your garden, such as predatory or Sour piñatas.
  • Dean's initial equipment in Wild ARMs 5 is a shovel. Sadly, he switches to boring tonfa-gun things after an hour or so.
  • Wild West Guns, a Light Gun Game set in the Old West, have most of your enemies using firearms, save for the gravediggers in the cemetery levels who use gigantic shovels instead. Somehow getting hit by their shovels deals roughly the same health damage as bullets, arrows or flung knives.
  • A certain polearm-class weapon in World of Warcraft is called "The Shoveler." No points for guessing its model.
  • zOMG!: players can make the item "Shovel Blade" with the proper recipe, loot components, and gold.


    Web Original 
  • Used by Shovel Knight, of course, in his battle against Scrooge McDuck in DEATH BATTLE!. And it's ultimately how he gets killed when Scrooge immobilizes him before chopping his head off with his own Shovel Blade.
  • The National Novel Writing Month forums have for some years featured the Traveling Shovel of Death, a memetic item that as many novelists as possible aim to work into their stories.
  • Shovel Man from the Wizards with Guns video "They Said This Superhero was too "Shovel-Themed" for the Avengers" is a super-hero that's deadly-proficient with a shovel, managing to defeat a group of heavily armed criminals with nothing but his shovel.
  • Xombie: Dirge's weapon of choice is a sharpened shovel, not only useful against rogue zombies and robots, but also to salvage for spare parts to fix himself up.
  • In Zombie Go Boom, a shovel is shown to be rather effective at cracking skulls. The damage inflicted is described as something like a cross between the injuries inflicted by baseball bat and that of a machete.

    Western Animation 
  • In the "Die Fly, Die!" episode of Beavis and Butt-Head, Beavis accidentally hits Butt-Head with a shovel while trying to kill the fly.
  • Boo Boom! The Long Way Home: Episode 25, Viola knocks out a German soldier with a shovel.
  • Futurama: To quote Bender Bending Rodriguez:
    "This one time, I pounded a guy into the ground like a stake with a shovel."
  • In the first episode of Gravity Falls, Soos offers Dipper a shovel as a weapon to save Mabel from her zombie boyfriend Norman. Soos also throws in a baseball bat "in case you see a piñata."
  • In the Looney Tunes cartoon "The Bee-Deviled Bruin", Junyer Bear takes care of a bee on his pop's nose by hitting it with a shovel - hard enough to leave a face-shaped imprint in the blade. Pop sets the dead bee on Junyer's nose, takes the shovel, and lets him have it. And Pop gets it again at the very end.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Rockhoof, a legendary hero from Equestrian history, used a shovel as his weapon. In fact, his first act of heroism was to dig a trench in order to divert lava from an erupting volcano away from his hometown.
  • Regular Show:
    • When a wereskunk tries to beat up Rigby in an episode, Mordecai gets him to back off by threatening him with a shovel.
    • The video game Dig Champs has one of the player characters wielding a shovel, and the other wielding a Pick-axe.
  • Total Drama:
    • Gwen's shovel strike of doom in season two has become a Memetic Mutation among the fanbase.
    • An accidental example, but Mike is hit in the head by Scott in season five, freeing his evil Split Personality Mal.
  • The Enutrofs of Dofus are still around 1000 years later in Wakfu, where Cool Old Guy Ruel Stroud regularly demonstrates the effectiveness of crazy shovel kung fu.

    Real Life 
  • During WWI trench raids, soldiers preferred using sharpened entrenching tools and variety of other improvised weapons over their bayonets. A rifle with an attached bayonet proved too long and unwieldy in the extreme close quarters of trench combat, and the stabbing wounds caused by bayonets did not have the immediate stopping power of clubbing strikes to the head and neck.
  • Usage of entrenching tools as improvised weapons carried on for decades after WWI, to the point that soldiers even trained in their usage.
  • Winnipeg has seen a spate of cases where shovels were the preferred weapon for assaults.
  • In Swedish military parlance the entrenching tool is referred to (even in fairly official contexts) as the "short light assault shovel."
  • The Monk's Spade used to be an actual spade.
  • The Chinese Military Shovel is a Swiss-Army Weapon, which can be used, among other mundane things, as a bludgeon and even a shield.
  • The German Army started its love affair with the 'Kampfspaten' (literaly: combat spade) in WWI and never looked back. It was a used in that capacity in the interwar struggles (the Freicorps battles with Poland and the inter-German conflicts) and it was used that way in WW2. The Bundeswehr only got a bayonet in 1990 (!) when they inherited (from East Germany) a number of AK bayonets that got converted to use for the new G36, but even today, and through all of the cold war, the primary melee weapon of the German soldier was the Kampfspaten: sharped on one side, saw tooth on the other, foldable and weighing in at less than one and a half kilogram.
  • This trope may be Older Than Feudalism. The kunai of ninja fame was a multiple-use tool that could be used for, amongst other things, a trowel for gardening purposes, yet it's famed as an improvised weapon.
  • During the 2011 riots in Britain, the sales of folding shovels from Amazon rose by 284,100%. A coincidence, surely.
  • Shovels are an ideal self-defense weapon against snakes, to the point that they're the go-to weapon for killing poisonous snakes and other small but dangerous animals. The long reach of a typical shovel, coupled with the heavy weight, makes it an effective improvised axe and spear, and it especially deadly against an animal low to the ground, like a snake, komodo dragon, or small alligator or crocodile. A single thrust or swing will strike the animal and pin it against the ground, and can usually cut off a head or limb in a single blow.
  • Enterprising Australian youths note  have been known to dispose of the invasive cane toad by virtue of blatting the offending creature with a shovel, typically resulting in an amphibian that has been flattened, bisected, or launched several yards into the distance. Given the cane toad's toughness and destructive effect on the native ecosystem, this is not overkill. When a spade is not handy, a golf club works just as well.