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Signature Device

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A Signature Device is a tool, weapon, or object that all members of a certain group (usually Differently Powered Individuals) possess and marks them all as similar in some way.

They often serve as a Transformation Trinket or other kind of distinctive weapon. They might also be Counterpart Artifacts of some kind.

Most stock costumes include some, generally examples of Truth in Television. Particularly:

  • Scrubs, stethoscopes and clipboards for doctors
  • Guns and badges for police officers
  • Cellphones, PDAs or headsets for businessmen

Compare Mark of the Supernatural.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, members of the Survey Corps have the 3D Maneuver Gear and the dual swords. The intro demonstrates the Gear in action just to drill this in. (3D Maneuver Gear allows the user to get airborne at a moment's notice - useful given they fight giants that can only be killed by cutting out the back of their necks.)
  • The Zanpakouto in Bleach are unique blades weapons that all shinigami, Arrancar, and Visoreds use.
  • Digivices for the Digidestined from Digimon
  • The Diaries (of all sorts from phones to coloring books) in Future Diary, are used by the 12 Diary holders to compete in a battle royale competition for who becomes the next god. Each Diary tells the future in a unique way based on their owner's personality.
  • In Eden of the East, each of the Seleção is given a distinctive cellphone which connects them to the concierge service to execute their commands and serve as a credit card. They are each numbered from 1-12.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: State alchemists have standard-issue pocket watches, which are often used to identify them as such.
  • Soul Gems in Puella Magi Madoka Magica are Soul Jars that the magical girls obtain after agreeing to the Magical Girl contract Kyuubey offers. They have to maintain its purity lest it turns dark with corruption. Unfortunately, corruption is inevitable, and in fact the Soul Gem is designed to eventually go corrupt.
  • The transformation wands from Sailor Moon, which are used to activate a Sailor Guardian's Transformation Sequence.
  • The Guns from Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee that the Letter Bees all use.
  • Every incarnation of Yu-Gi-Oh! has a form of Duel Disks, a device worn on the arm that allows the wearer to play Duel Monsters with the full holograms-and-LP-counters trappings no matter where they are. The original introduced them in the Battle City arc, and they proved so convenient that they became de rigeur for later installments.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's has the Duel Runners, which are... well, the fandom meme is "CARD GAMES ON MOTORCYCLES!" for a reason. It's possible to detach the dueling part from a Duel Runner and use it as a Duel Disk by itself, but most of the dueling in the series is done in motion.
  • The spell books from Zatch Bell! are used by Mamono owners to command their mons in battle. If the books are destroyed, the Mamonos are banished back to their home realm.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman has a wide variety of these in Batman. The most famous is easily the Batarang, which despite the "-rang" part of the name are more like bat-shaped shuriken. He also made the Utility Belt a commonplace concept.
  • If you are a Green Lantern, you will have two elements: the Green Lantern uniform and the Green Lantern Ring. The latter sometimes creates the former when you put it on. This was later spun off into an entire spectrum of different-colored Lanterns, all of which have their own rings.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars: Lightsabers indicate that a wielder is a Jedi or force-sensitive, and red ones specifically indicate a Sith.

  • In The Powder Mage Trilogy, Privileged, the setting's most prominent type of magic users, wear special gloves without which they cannot cast their spells.

    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • The Belmonts from Castlevania almost always have the same set of secondary weapons: throwing knives, throwing axes, cross, holy water, and stopwatch. Even moreso, all Belmonts wield the whip Vampire Killer. Allies will wield all sorts of weapons though.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokéballs, which are used to catch the titular pokemon and the Pokédex, which is a digital pokemon encyclopedia for the Pokemon trainers, or at the very least skilled and/or important ones. Receiving on at the beginning of the game indicates you're now a trainer.
    • Gym badges also indicate someone is taking the gym challenge.