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Sinister Scythe

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You reap what you sow.

"Although the scythe isn't pre-eminent among the weapons of war, anyone who has been on the wrong end of, say, a peasants' revolt will know that in skilled hands it is fearsome."

The scythe is a farming tool whose primary purpose is to mow grass and harvest grain. But in the arms of a skilled fighter—especially one whose social class forbids him from owning conventional weaponry—it's as lethal as any sword or mace. It is also likely to mark the special or dangerous enemy, as well as the macabre touch brought on by evoking The Grim Reaper.

Scythes have been used as polearms before in real life, though this usually involved straightening the blade into something more like a large Blade on a Stick. But even keeping the blade perpendicular to the haft has its own benefits, such as being harder for the opponent to predict and building armor-piercing momentum in its swing, with the added bonus of being able to cut an opponent in half once you've impaled them. While farming scythes will only have the sharp edge on the inner curve, a war scythe will likely be sharp on both sides. Like its cousin the battle axe, don't be surprised if a fictional scythe is several times larger than anything you'd find in the real world.


A related weapon is the sickle, also known as the kama in Japan: a smaller, handheld scythe that is often duel-wielded in combat. What they lack in weight, they compensate with their ability to trap a sword with one blade and deliver the killing blow with the other. In Japan they're commonly associated with ninjas due to being a mundane tool that happens to be great for killing, perfect for deadly assassins masquerading as peasants beneath notice.

Because scythes and sickles have such specific connotations in fiction nowadays, simple farmers are rarely depicted using them, so pitchforks are their melee weapon of choice in most armed-serf situations. See Real Life examples below for when they've been weaponized in real life.

Kamaitachi and Slaying Mantis will often be portrayed with a pair of these. Hammer and Sickle when paired with Drop the Hammer. See also Sinister Switchblade and Sinister Shiv, other bladed weapons associated with unsavory people.


A sub-trope of Weapon of Choice.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The title characters of 07-Ghost each carry a BFS (Big Fucking Scythe).
  • Once Aoi House gets around to parodying action/horror, Elle Mathers gets a scythe...and immediately makes an extremely corny pun.
  • Chikuma Koshirou from Basilisk dual wields two kama scythes that return to his hands when thrown.
  • Among the supposed members of the Shinigami Dispatch Association in Black Butler, only one has an actual scythe in possession — a rogue shinigami named Undertaker.
  • Black Clover: The blades formed from Jack the Ripper's Severing Magic resemble the curved blades of a scythe. His spells are named "Death Scythe", and they can adapt to cut through anything by changing the blades' nature and sharpness.
  • Dead Master wields the black Dead Scythe in Black★Rock Shooter.
  • Tsutomu Nihei (The creator of Blame) made a one-shot manga called Digimortal. The protagonist was a merc in a super-powered black armor with a toothy grin and skeleton-like features. Weapon of choice? A scythe.
  • Bleach:
    • Shuhei Hisagi's Zanpakuto Kazeshini, which is a pair of chained together sickle-like weapons. He specifically states that he actually dislikes the weapon for its Sinister Scythe connotations. Its activation command is "Reap".
    • There is also Nnoitra. His original weapon isn't really a scythe so much as a pair of opposite-facing crescent blade stuck to the end of a long pole. It's a truly impractical weapon. However, after powering up he grows six arms and his own strange scythe-like weapons becomes six double-bladed scythes, that he wields all at once. That can be regrown and shot out of his arm. Rule of Cool obviously applies. His resurrection activation command is "Pray, Santa Teresa" and refers to praying mantis — probably the scariest and most badass insect.
    • In the third movie the younger sibling Shizuku wield one of these that was later passed on to Rukia after the siblings fused with her.
  • Buso Renkin: Tokiko's buso renkin, the Valkyrie Skirt, is classified as a Death-Scythe buso renkin but is actually Downplayed as it has very little resemblance to a traditional agricultural scythe, consisting of four leg-mounted mechanical arms, each with an angular blade at the end that are similar to the blade of a straight war scythe.
  • In Campione!, Athena and her mother Metis wield scythes as in this verse, they are also death goddesses.
  • The cover art of the Death Note manga show Light Yagami wielding a scythe; this is a mix of Covers Always Lie and Rule of Symbolism. Also, several minor Shinigami characters are drawn with scythes.
  • The Digimon Phantomon (Digimon Adventure) and MetalPhantomon (Digimon Data Squad) wielded scythes.
  • Upon further improvement in Dragon Ball Super, Goku Black demonstrates the ability to convert his Laser Blade into one and use it to open a portal to create copies of himself to overwhelm his enemies.
  • In Durarara!!, Celty can manipulate the darkness flowing from her neck to form a scythe. As expected from something based on the Grim Reaper. Or a CYBORG Grim Reaper...
  • Gamaran has the Kasanemanji School, whose weapon is the kusari gama. However, they use it only as a melee, last resort weapon while swinging the weight around. Sasuke's spear Beninuki resembles a scythe thanks to the curved blade jutting from the side, which he can use to behead his opponents when required.
  • At least one incarnation of Getter Robo carries as its main weapon a curious type of double-edged poleaxe with one blade that extends into a scythe-like shape with a more conventional axe-head behind it.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing:
      • The Gundam Deathscythe (*cough*) wields a Beam Scythe. Its pilot, Duo Maxwell, even refers to himself as the Shinigami, or God of Death. When his mecha is upgraded in the TV series, it gets a double beam scythe; The Movie's version gets a scythe with a bigger blade.
      • In Frozen Teardrop, the Deathscythe's successor, Warlock Gundam, dual-wields beam scythes.
      • Duo has a personal beam scythe he pulls out ONCE in the series to use as a helicopter after breaking Heero out of a really tall building.
      • The Kunio Okawara designed incarnations actually avert many of the potential problems with using a scythe as a weapon by having the beam emitter mounted on a pivot, allowing its angle to be adjusted, though this only comes up in the show once.
    • Other Gundam scythe-users include the Abigor from Victory and Ghirarga from AGE (two beam scythes which combine into a double-ender), and the Forbidden from SEED (metal scythe).
    • Gundam Build Divers featuers Magee, a Camp Gay Nice Guy who also happens to be an extremely talented builder and pilot... whose Gundam, the Love Phantom, features a Deathscythe-model Beam Scythe, and the ability to throw it like a Precision-Guided Boomerang, bisecting whole squads of enemies at range.
  • Zorin Blitz from Hellsing. An evil (female) Nazi with a scythe and illusion and mind powers.
  • The Grim Reaper (natch) in Hell Teacher Nube. It even has "Death" engraved in lovely cursive letters on the blade.
  • Zwei from Hiiro no Kakera wields one in addition to eating people's souls.
  • Kohaku's weapon of choice in Inuyasha is a kusarigama made of demon bones; its blade is closer to the crescent curve of a western scythe.
  • Fate's Bardiche from Lyrical Nanoha has an energy scythe form.
    • The Scythe Form is later replaced by another scythe-looking form: the Haken Form in the main continuity, and the Crescent Form in the movie continuity.
  • Elise from Magical Witch Punie-chan wields a huge, menacing-looking scythe. Strangely, she hardly uses it for actual combat, which is very unwise against the protagonist of the show.
  • Yama Rikudo from Makaryuudo Demon Hunter fights with a large crimson scythe. It seems to be made out of her own hair.
  • Mazinger Z:
    • Several Mechanical Beasts were armed with scythes: Garada K7 (two scythe blade were mounted on its skull and they could be used like boomerangs or like weapons in hand-to-hand combat), Brutus M3 (one scythe replaced its right arm), Karma K5 (he was armed with a more normal-looking)...
  • Dominikov in Murder Princess. He is a Shinigami, too.
  • Both of Fumi's incarnations in My-HiME and My-Otome use a scythe as their primary weapon.
  • Naruto:
    • Hidan: Three. Bladed. Scythe. On the end of a retractable cord that lets him swing it around in an incredibly unpredictable manner to attack and deflect projectiles. Justified in that its purpose is merely to draw blood for his ritual; he even admits that it is not very good for inflicting fatal injuries.
    • Also, Temari's summon wields a scythe, it being a kamaitachi (a "sickle-weasel").
    • Hanzo wields a traditional Kusarigama.
  • The leader of the Loyard clan in Noblesse wields a scythe. In-universe, this scythe is the inspiration of The Grim Reaper myth.
  • Doc Q of the Blackbeard Pirates in One Piece wields a scythe. A double-bladed scythe. Appropriate, as his epithet is "Shinigami".
  • A scythe gets major use as a murder weapon in Ookamikakushi.
  • Oz of PandoraHearts fame is capable of summoning a good one. Originally believed to belong to Alice, later chapters have revealed him to be the original owner of it. And it's not just a good sinister scythe, but an indicator of awesome action. Whenever the B-rabbit's Scythe is in his hands, shit's about to go down. After all, when he calls on the power the scythe represents, his nature as an incarnation of destruction shows itself.
  • Kneesocks of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt transforms her socks into a pair of large golden scythes for combat.
  • In the first of many unstoppable rages, Ivan Isaacs of Priest decimates a horde of zombies with an ordinary farm scythe.
  • Kirika Kure, of Puella Magi Oriko Magica, uses Wolverine Claws shaped like sickles.
  • In the Reborn! (2004) manga, this is Daemon Spade's weapon of choice-as opposed to the anime only episodes, where he used a gentleman's cane-like Simple Staff.
  • ReiQ from the third Rebuild of Evangelion movie wields a mecha-sized one, probably for the Death implications.
  • Kamatari of Rurouni Kenshin is a scythe wielder. Notably, he usually uses it not to cut, but rather to smash enemies, and the sheer weight of the weapon is actually used effectively in battle. FYI, this is actually a subtle pun. He calls his weapon an ogama, and a common Japanese word for a gay man is okama. (Kamatari is a very feminine transsexual in love with a man.) Also, most of the smashing was done with a large ball and chain on the other end of the pole, making it kind of a giant, mutant kusuri-gama.
  • Umanosuke, leader of the three brothers trailing Mugen in Samurai Champloo had a kusarigama with an Absurdly Sharp Blade. Mugen actually beats him by getting in really close and manipulating the chain into cutting the guy's head off.
  • In Symphogear G, Kirika Akatsuki's Armed Gear is a scythe with a green blade, fitting Kirika's Shinigami theme. Her Armed Gear can also change its appearance, but it's always a scythe.
  • Ikuto from Shugo Chara! turns his violin into a big scythe when transformed into Death Rebel.
  • Soul Eater:
    • The eponymous character is a white-haired, red-eyed human who can turn into a Sinister Scythe.
    • And one cannot forget the wielder of said eponymous character and main protagonist of the series, Maka Albarn. Although the scythe is supposed an impractical weapon to use, Maka is able to swing, spin and slice all things possible with apparent ease and agility (this also being a contributing factor to the fact that Soul Eater is very popular for its fight scenes). Incidentally, "Maka" is also an anagram of "kama", which is a kind of sickle-like weapon. Not to mention in the anime, because of her parentage she can also turn into a scythe.
    • Another example is Maka's father, Spirit Albarn, who is also a scythe and, appropriately enough, the personal Weapon of the Shinigami. Stein is horrifyingly effective as Spirit's meister.
  • Soul Eater Not!: Main character Tsugumi Harudori can turn into a halberd and functions as three types of weapons at once: spear, axe, and, you guessed it, scythe. She has a Meister for each weapon type, with Last Episode, New Character Ao Hoshino being the scythe specialist.
  • Gilmer in Transformers: Super-God Masterforce is armed with a small, double-bladed scythe.
  • Abel Nightroad, also known as Crusnik 02 from Trinity Blood wields an especially wicked, multi-bladed scythe. Made of his own blood.
  • One of the four candidates to the Beast Spear, Kirio Inasa from Ushio and Tora can fight monsters with the weapon crafted by his father, the Elzaar Scythe, which he thinks it can be mass produced and used against Hakumen herself , not knowing that it's just a plot from Hakumen to destroy the Spear. The scythe is collapsible and sports an axe-like blade in the back, resembling some sort of halberd.
  • Yuki eventually gains one in Vampire Knight. She only uses it to help people.
  • Sizer from Violinist of Hameln wields a giant scythe with her name engraved on the blade and a flute embedded in the handle.
  • In Virgin Ripper, this trope is played straight with most shinigamis, but notably averted by Hikari, whose "scythe" is in fact a giant spoon.
  • The World God Only Knows has the so-called "Scythe of Testament", which has a black-on-red color scheme and three spikes at the back of the head. Awarded to top graduates of New Hell's Runaway Spirit Squad, so far only Haqua and Akari have been seen with one; the latter has one of its spikes broken due to wear and tear.
  • In Yaiba there are some scythe users, including Kotaro Fuuma who used a kusarigama, Basho Matsuo who wielded a large scythe with some kanji written on the handle and last but not least Diamond. In her case is justified since her scythe was an Energy Weapon and thus able to cut almost everything.

    Comic Books 
  • The weapon of choice for the Reaper, the Big Bad of Batman: Year Two.
  • Nekron, the Big Bad of the Blackest Night, wields a scythe that has a Power Battery built in.
  • The Hooded One from Bone.
  • Chuckles from Burlap wields a sickle.
  • In Cavewoman: The Zombie Situation, Meriem uses a scythe to mow down a horde of zombies.
  • Bernie in Death Vigil wields an ornate scythe, but she uses it more for its inherent magical properties than for its blade. The scythe itself can revive people and create veilrippers, but it's, in her words, finicky to use.
  • Isaac of Reaper 7 wields a scythe, and is even called "Grim Reaper" by mooks for doing so. Later battle sequences seem to indicate that the scythe has an inward and outward blade.
  • The Mosaic Man from Hack/Slash used a scythe constructed from the bones of his early victims.
  • The Brazilian Comic Book Holy Avenger had a troglodyte character who wielded a scythe... but called it an Axe. Interestingly enough, it was later revealed the scythe had the advantages of both an Axe and a Scythe by D&D rules (as the Comic Book took place in a world that worked under the Rules of Dungeons & Dragons... and Defenders of Tokyo... don't ask). Also intriguingly the character's name was Tork, a reference to Torque, stated below as one of the Scythe's main actual advantages.
  • One of Lady Death's weapons is the Scythe of Eternity which originally belonged to Reaper, the eternal personification of Death in the Chaos Comics universe. He gave Lady Death the scythe after he appointed her as his chosen avatar.
  • Reaper of Marvel Comics has always used one. Even after losing both of his hands.
  • The Red Robin villain codenamed "Sac" wields a pair of sickles in addition to his devastating and horrifying use of his Pest Controller abilities.
  • The demonic wheat scarecrow wields one in the Wynonna Earp story "Blood is the Harvest".

    Fan Works 
  • In The Bridge, King Sombra wields a black bladed scythe sharp enough to slice through walls of crystals and a Kaiju's hide. When Xenilla manages to shatter the blade, Sombra is undaunted and tries to stab him in the throat with the broken handle.
  • In The Butcher Bird, this is Grigori Vinci's Weapon of Choice, though the blade is reattached to be parallel to the shaft, making it more practical than most examples.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Ami is given a spell to conjure a scythe, intended as an insult, since it's a completely impractical weapon for her size and build. She makes use of it anyway, teaching an army of goblins to cast the spell, training them in scythe combat, and then letting them remotely pilot her scythe-wielding "Reaperbots".
  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls:
    • Luna's Zanpakuto takes the form of dual scythes in Shikai, complete with Casting a Shadow powers. And when she goes all out, she creates a single giant two-handed scythe with dual blades at both ends and covered along the shaft with smaller blades to swing with reckless abandon while her werewolf form has literal scythes for claws.
    • Cheese Sandwich's Shikai takes the form of a kusarigama (chain-sickle) with multiple scythe blades at one end reminiscent of a rooster head and a large incense orb replacing an iron ball at the other.
  • This is Sombra's Weapon of Choice in The Equestrian Wind Mage.
  • Likewise, Sunset Shimmer's choice weapon in Friendship Is Magical Girls.
  • Alice of the Sword Art Online fic I Will Not Bow wields a scythe.
  • In Light, Darkness and Paradox, both Ruby and Nero wield enormous scythes as weapons. Ruby's scythe also functions as a sniper rifle, while the latter's looks so impractical (it has a handle on the inner edge of the blade) that it shocks Ruby when she first sees it.
  • Rep-Stallion's weapon in My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic.
  • Kurosaki Karin's zanpakuto Ongetsu from the Bleach fanfic Phases of the Moon is one of these. It overlaps with Four Is Death at the end when she becomes fourth seat of the Eleventh Division. Ongetsu is also an example of Anti-Magic.
  • In the Pony POV Series:
    • Luna has used a scythe. Given she's a deity, the magic probably overrides the impracticality (which is lampshaded).
    • Mortis, being the God of Death, has been depicted with one on occasion. Though the sinister part doesn't apply.
    • Starlight (the MLPT version) became an Angel of Death after dying and wields a scythe. Though it can also transform into a sword.
    • Chrysalis (now an Evil Twin of Cadence after becoming complete) briefly wields one made of crystal while fighting Cadence in the Final Battle.
  • Light gets one as an Empathic Weapon in The Prince Of Death.
  • Principal Celestia Hunts the Undead: Luna is given one by Zecora and wields it during the final battle with Cinch, and uses it to finish her.
  • Quicken: Super-villain Cricket's weapons were two kamas. After defeating her, Emma took them.
  • The Pyrefrost Beowolf in Raindrop's Hearth's Warming Eve Miracle owns two massive ones carved of ice and has fire emanating off of them.
  • Ruby in RWBY: Dark plays it straight unlike her canon counterpart. This version is a malevolent, Ax-Crazy Serial Killer who lives for nothing but bloodlust. Crescent Rose is often stained in blood.
  • Drayke Blackwood of the Shattered Dimensions series usually wields one.
  • Ruby, in Through Her Eyes naturally still has her Crescent Rose. However, Ruby's Grimm powers in this story also let pull a black scythe from the portals she uses to summon Grimm, described in-story as so dark it doesn't reflect light at all.
    • One chapter also does some Worldbuilding on why scythes have a reputation as sinister on Remnant: The fighting style that accompanies the weapon itself utilizes odd angles and unusual attacks make them both very hard to defend against and equally hard to master, making for a very intimidating weapon in the right hands. The intimidation factor is only helped by the tendency for them to have been the Weapon of Choice of many of the more... unheroic Huntsmen over the years.
  • Baphomet, one of the "boss" Beasts, in Warriors of the World: Soldiers of Fortune uses an eight-foot-long black scythe.
  • The World Is Ours. Airi's main weapon is a scythe.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Andalites in Animorphs have scythe-like blades built into their tail anatomy.
  • In The Bartimaeus Trilogy, the eponymous character is confronted by an afrit wielding a scythe who uses it to deflect Bartimaeus's magical attacks.
  • Cradle Series: Ozriel the Reaper, Eighth Judge of the Abidan Court, earned his mantle when he forged The Scythe. It was such an ultimate tool of destruction that the universe itself marked him as the avatar of Death, manifesting a new aspect of reality beyond the seven the Abidan already had. The Scythe, ironically, is mostly not used as a weapon (even though Ozriel did originally create it for defense), but closer to the purpose of an actual scythe: It can destroy an Iteration outright, leaving no corrupted fragments behind. With Ozriel's help, the Abidan entered an unprecedented era of expansion. Makiel, who never trusted Ozriel, attempted to create a Scythe of his own, but failed. When Ozriel disappeared, Makiel's prototypes were stolen, and someone finally managed to forge them into a reasonable facsimile of the true Scythe... and then sold it to the Mad King, who used it to try to cut down the Abidan one world at a time.
  • In one of the Dark Sun books, one of the wraiths of Boris' warriors wielded a dual bladed scythe. Whether it is a Double Weapon or a scythe with two blades on the same side is not clear.
  • Discworld:
    • Commented on in Mort: "Although the scythe isn't pre-eminent among the weapons of war, anyone who has been on the wrong end of, say, a peasant's revolt will know that in skilled hands it is fearsome." In this instance, those hands belong to The Grim Reaper who, as you might imagine, has some practice with it.
    • On a possibly related note, the novel Reaper Man is one of the few, if not only, fictional portrayal of scythes which notes that the traditional Grim Reaper scythe is slightly different from the standard agricultural scythe. It also shows how Death makes his scythe. It's made of iron, sharpened on a whetstone, then an oilstone, then a steel, then hessian, then calico, linen, satin, silk, cobweb, a breeze, and finally daylight. At this point it's so sharp that it can cut sound and the edge glows faintly from the plasma created by random air molecules bumping against it and getting sliced in half. That wasn't the "official" scythe, though, just an improvised scythe. His actual scythe is even sharper.
    • Although in Carpe Jugulum, a vampire lord's Shaming the Mob strategy involves criticising the angry mob's choice of weapons "Pitchforks, yes, good mob weapon — but scythes? The way you're waving them about you'll do more harm to each other. May I recommend sickles if you want to go down that route — much more manageable."
  • In Justina Ireland's post-American Civil War Zombie Apocalypse Dread Nation, the combat schools teach their students the following melee weapons for dealing with Shamblers: scythe, dual-wielded sickles and dual-wielded dual-edged short swords known as "Mollies" (cavalry sabres aren't that great on Shamblers). The scythe does a lot of damage, but main character Jane McKeene dislikes it as even combat-specced scythes are unwieldy and tiring to use. She favours the sickles and her Weapon of Choice are a pair given to her as a break-up gift by her ex-boyfriend. These sickles are much wider than the traditional sickle—almost a half-moon instead of crescent moon shape. Made of high-quality steel, they're finely balanced, very durable and extremely sharp—easily capable of decapitating a shambler in a single swipe.
  • Eclipse Hunter: Dark Sun uses this in the end of book one.
  • In Expedition Z, The Hero Adam equips himself with a scythe for the titular expedition despite its impracticality as he assumes that he's not going to be under constant threat by zombies.
  • In the fantasy novel A Gathering of Heroes from Paul Edwin Zimmer, one of the heroes uses a "battle scythe" to literally mow down rows and rows of attacking Goblins. Before the battle, he carefully takes notes of the range and politely asks his companions to stay away from him, as he "doesn't like to cut down his friends too".
  • The Great Balloon Race: In a Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat moment, Count Pommodoro steals a scythe to disguise himself as peasant and then uses the scythe to cut through the mooring lines on the Soaring Sylvia, setting the balloon adrift.
  • Unsurprisingly, it is the weapon of choice for Zane, the incarnation of Death, in Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series. His scythe is a switchblade model, with the blade (magically?) concealed in the shaft. It even comes with built-in snorkel.
  • Journey to Chaos: Scythes are used by reapers and the death priests that assist them. They're as much a symbol of office as a weapon.
  • Mercy Thompson: Mercy uses a scythe to behead some vampires.
  • In Paradise Lost, Cain is described as using a scythe to reap his fields shortly before he murders Abel, both to indicate his role as a farmer and as an indication that Cain is about to cause the first death in history.
  • Kronos in Percy Jackson and the Olympians carries a scythe. It's actually Luke's Cool Sword Backbiter reforged into a scythe, able to hurt both gods and men - and guess what our hero Percy Jackson is.
  • In the Rigante novels, Huntsekker has one as his signature weapon. It's a European-style scythe blade, but with a shortened hilt so it's wielded like a kama and worn like a sword.
  • The, uhm, magic police in Skulduggery Pleasant uses scythes.
  • In the Tunnels series, the Styx villains use scythes as their primary weapons.
  • Vigor Mortis: Played with. Vita, infamous necromancer, starts using a scythe when she goes to war. But since her society doesn't have any "Death uses a scythe" stories, it's used to represent her workmanlike devotion to duty. She just picked it up from where a farmer abandoned it (and almost knocked the blade off because a simple stick would probably have been more useful). She embraces the idea, however, and later creates an indestructible scythe made from monster bones and animated by a dead soul.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The demonic warrior Vocah Wolfram and Hart summoned in Angel possessed the ability to pull scythes out of Hammerspace. Eventually Angel killed him using one of the scythes he'd discarded.
  • Blackadder:
    • Loosely parodied with Nursie believing lots of ideas make one's foot fall off. This is due to a friend who had the "good idea" to cut his toenails with a scythe, causing his foot to fall off.
    • In the same season Blackadder is imprisoned by some inquisitors who threaten to castrate him with a farming implement that's name none of them can recall. It turns out to be a scythe, of course.
  • Although frequently referred to as such, the mystical "Scythe" in the last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is technically a combination of axe, spear, and mace.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Visitation", The Black Death is sweeping across the land so all strangers are being killed in the belief that they're carrying the plague, which is bad news for the Doctor and Richard Mace as they're nearly decapitated by a peasant with a scythe. Then an android disguised as the Grim Reaper enters and takes the scythe off the peasant—naturally they all run for their lives at the sight.
  • Game of Thrones
    • The arakhs that are the Weapon of Choice of the Dothraki, given that they do most of their fighting from horseback.
      Ser Jorah Mormont: Their blades are more scythe than sword... the better to cull the infantry ranks without breaking stride.
    • Karsi is one of the Wildling leaders from the episode "Hardhome", and her weapon of choice is a pair of sickles.
  • The Reapers in Grimm, use Sinister Scythes to murder Grimms.
  • Jikuu Senshi Spielban's sidekick Helen, while in her battle outfit, occasionally used a double-ended sickle weapon; this was carried over when the series was adapted as part of VR Troopers.
  • Subverted in Supernatural when Dean gets his hands on Death's scythe — it's a rusty hand tool like you'd use for gardening. But then it soon becomes obvious that The Grim Reaper does not need props to be scary.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Ankou of Breton/Cornish/Welsh/Norman French folklore is a death god often depicted with a scythe with a reverse blade, thus making it more of a thrust weapon.
  • Yarikh, lord of the sickle, the ancient Hebrew Mythology moon god. The crescent star symbol that would later be appropriated by the Arab god Hubal and later still, Mohammad's Islam, used to be associated with him.
  • Older Than Feudalism: Cronos/Saturnus from Classical Mythology was probably a major Trope Codifier, fittingly as he was originally a harvest god who later got mashed together with Chronos (with a 'h'), the personification of time, specifically of time as a universal destroyer.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In 3rd/3.5 edition and Pathfinder, Scythes do a relatively small amount of damage for a large weapon (2d4 compared to 1d10, 1d12, or 2d6) but make up for it by having a whopping x4 critical modifier, meaning they do quadruple damage on a critical hit in comparison to most weapons, which do double. So while they don't do very much damage on most swings, when they hit big, they really hit big. Their effectiveness is rather reduced by the changes in critical damage rules in 4th edition.
    • The favored weapon of Chauntea, God of Good and of agriculture in the Forgotten Realms is the scythe.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Champions of the Chaos God Nurgle in Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 often wield scythes. Notable is the special character Typhus, who swings a nasty weapon called a Manreaper. Mortarion, Daemon Prince of Nurlge and Primarch of the Death Guard, also wields a massive scythe named "Silence".
    • Necromunda: The Spyrer Matriarch uses a Chainscythe. Yes, as in a scythe with a chainsaw blade. She also wields it one-handed, carrying a monomolecular sword in the other hand.
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • The Nightbringer also tends to carry a scythe, although his is purely ornamental. Many of his Necron minions, however, are armed with Warscythes, which are very powerful close-combat weapons. Technically, though, the warscythe is a glaive, not a military scythe. That's more due to their blades phasing in and out of existence as needed. They are however shaped like the above mentioned kosa bojowa rather than normal scythes... did we mention kosa bojowa translates to battlescythe or, oh, warscythe?
      • The Tyranids are particularly fond of adding scythes to their biologically-constructed arsenal. So much so that most Tyranids carry a pair! Or two pairs!
    • Warhammer: Wizards of the Amethyst Order often carry scythes. In this case they are purely for show, functioning like Magic Staffs instead of melee weapons (the wizards of the order specialize in death magic, and the scythe has the usual connotations with the grim reaper).
  • Of course Exalted brings us the scythe version of the BFS, creatively called a Grand Grimscythe.
  • Ponyfinder: The Night Mare, a goddess of tyranny, darkness and monsters, has the scythe as her favored weapon.
  • In Scion Japanese Shinigami are shown to wield massive scythes whose blades are nearly three-quarters the length of the actual handle, and are mentioned to cut not with actual blade-edges, but with the literal supernatural essence of death — making the act of hitting one with his own weapon entirely pointless, as they are already dead.
  • SLA Industries gives us the 'Dynamic Precision Blades' company's product, the 'flick scythe' - a staff with an extendable scythe blade that oscillates for extra damage.
  • The Skeleton monsters in the board game HeroQuest wield scythes in combat. Possibly justified by the fact that Skeletons are mindless warriors who don't need more sophisticated weapons.
  • Scythes in GURPS are equally lethal and ridiculously unwieldy.
    • Sickles also exist, but are much easier to use. One of their benefits comes from the fact that you can hook enemies with them, and the sharp blade will constantly hurt them. They can also be swung to either slash or to impale the enemy.
  • The warlock Moshar the Desertwalker from Hordes has himself a nasty-looking scythe.
  • In Demon: The Fallen (from the Old World of Darkness), Lucifer fends off Michael with a scythe because it's what's on hand when Michael comes down to break up the fallen's agriculture lesson to the humans. Yes, Michael the Archangel, with a sword, was beaten by Lucifer, with a scythe. Part of that is the symbolism — angels are very big on that sort of thing, and a scythe freely given to defend oneself from oppression carries a lot of weight. The scythe in question appears again in the sourcebook Houses of the Fallen, where it's gotten significantly stronger because Lucifer touched it.

    Theme Parks 

  • In LEGO's BIONICLE series, Nidhiki wielded a big scythe during his days as a Toa of Air. It was destroyed when he was mutated by Roodaka.

    Video Games 
  • .hack//G.U. Games
    • Haseo has a scythe as his special weapon. "Ticking Death". Subtle, eh? His badass AI alter ego, Skeith, uses one too.
    • Despite so, in-game, scythe-wielders are just a job-class. In this game, scythes are actually defensive weapons, with a respectable range (behind spears and guns) and can take on multiple enemies to boot. A player would swing it in a circular arc, thereby affecting any enemies caught in its swipe. Charged attacks would throw enemies away before they can get too close, hence the class's name, Flick Reapers.
  • The Executioner from Alice: Madness Returns chase the eponymous heroine with a gargantuan scythe, swinging it at a ludicrous speed and chopping even his own minions in the path.
  • Paula from Arc Rise Fantasia wields a rather awesome one.
  • Being the Arcana of Death in Arcana Heart, Dieu Mort naturally has one that he uses for his Arcana Blaze.
  • Pendles the snake assassin from Battleborn wields two small different looking handheld scythes kamas. According to his lore challenges, the left handed kama is made from the bones of a Kormiri Aviant while his right handed one is a modified BlissTek™ ice-climbing axe.
  • In Bayonetta 2 there's the Chernobog, a three bladed scythe powered by the souls captured by the God of Death of the same name. There's also an enemy scythe wielded by an Infernal Demon named Hideous and a double-ended scythe used another demon named Hatred that is available as temporary Exclusive Enemy Equipment.
  • There's a secret scythe that can appear as an Easter Egg in Bendy and the Ink Machine Chapter 5. Henry can use it to kill a bunch of Searchers in the Administration area, including Sammy Lawrence.
  • BlazBlue's Ragna the Bloodedge, aka The Grim Reaper, has a BFS called Blood Scythe that unfolds into a scythe with a red energy blade for a couple of his attacks (most notably his Finishing Move).
  • In Bloodborne, by refusing and subsequently killing Gehrman, the First Hunter, you gain access to the Burial Blade, a scythe with a detachable blade utilizable as a sword, and the basis for all other Trick Weapons in-universe.
  • One of Miriam's subweapons in Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon and its sequel is a thrown double-bladed scythe that flies like a boomerang, reminiscent of the Cross from Castlevania.
  • Vivi of Brain Dead 13 uses this freaking sickle as a barber's razor to try to kill Lance in a Dangerously Close Shave.
  • Mad Monarch Dryst from Brigandine.
  • Castlevania:
    • Although somewhat expected of Death in the series, his main unique method is to make mini-scythes appear from nowhere and rain down on you. In some games he does use the scythe for melee attacks, or even turns it into a spinning buzzsaw that he sends after you.
    • Castlevania: Chronicles of Sorrow allow you to equip Death's Scythe. It's insanely powerful but very, very awkward to use, and often difficult to score a hit with. Death himself wields a double-bladed scythe when he engages you directly in Aria.
    • Shanoa, via the Falcis series of glyphs, can use sickles as a weapon in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. By magically combining two of them, she creates a large enough scythe to make Death envious.
    • You get to use one in Curse of Darkness, but you have to create it yourself.
    • Another hatchet-type weapon is Zaghnol, which is described as a war pick, but looks like a small scythe.
  • Used by Lord Mortimer, the Big Bad of Charlie Murder. He's always seen carrying it, and usually wipes the blood off it. His phantom clone also uses one.
  • Chrono Trigger:
  • The Tall Man in the Chzo Mythos series by Ben Croshaw carries around a sinister spike with four very wide scythe blades. He uses it more like a club than anything else. That, or he just stabs things with the other end (which basically acts like a spear)
  • One of these becomes a vital weapon in Clive Barker's Undying, both for plot reasons and as an emergency healing source (it's a vampiric weapon). You probably won't use it unless you have to, though.
  • Anesha from Cross Edge favors this kind of weapon.
  • Kureha Yamisaka from the game Daemon Bride.
  • In Dante's Inferno, Dante defeats Death and takes his scythe as his personal weapon. Or so he thinks. The handle is made from a giant spinal column and flexes for special attacks or swinging, and the blade is hinged so it can act more like a glaive or spear.
  • Dark Age of Camelot has the Valewalker, a fighter-mage who specializes in the use of the war scythe.
  • Gaspard in Dark Cloud 2 used to wield a blood-red sword, but after being defeated by Monica he took the blade and attached it to a pole, giving him even greater range. The skull at the base only adds to the menace.
  • Darksiders:
    • War can obtain a scythe said to be used by his brother Death. However, in Darksiders II, Death's scythes (it's a standard weapon type he acquires many examples of) are different in appearance and functionality. While it can still be a two-handed scythe, it also has the ability to split into two smaller scythes for extra badassery. It's likely the wielder rather than the weapon — War won't separate it or never learned to. War's fighting style emphasizes power moves for every attack, hard blocks, and practiced-but-still-limited Flash Step usage. Death is more versatile overall with weapons, as reinforced by their respective performances with their brother Strife's guns.
    • It's also explained in background and various expanded universe materials that Death's main weapon (Harvester) is actually a Morph Weapon, but his preferred form for it is the giant two-handed scythe form wielded by War and Death's own Reaper Form and split into two smaller hand-held scythes in his own normal form.
  • Dark Souls and Demon's Souls have several weapons like this.
    • The Demon's Souls scythe-weapon is aptly named "War Scythe," and is an exact reproduction of the Polish Kosa Bojowa, with the blade parallel with the shaft and being treated more like a polearm than anything. See Real Life entry below.
    • Dark Souls has the Great and Lifehunt Scythes, which more resemble the fictional, perpendicular-bladed version of this trope, and are classified as halberds. Somewhat matching the real abilities of a scythe, they are very capable of hitting an opponent facing you from the side or back, bypassing their shield (this is called "dead angling" by the game's community). Naturally this is difficult to pull off, but holding the scythe with two hands and performing the strong attack swings it in a wide arc. Holding it one-handed is ineffective at best and its regular attacks are situational and hard to hit enemies with.
    • Dark Souls II expands "reapers" into a new weapon type, including several sickles and a large, inwardly curved sword chained to a pole.
    • Strangely, both Dark Souls I and II have a weapon that is called a "Scythe" but is clearly a bardiche and is classified in II as a halberd instead of a reaper (it's suspected this is one of several translation errors; Dark Souls III finally made the name "Glaive").
    • Yurt the Silent Chief and his Dark Souls counterpart Knight Lautrec of Carim are both known to wield shotels (one-handed sickles) for their signature weapons. These weapons are classified under the "Curved Swords" category, and are a recurring weapon in the series. Like their pole-armed counterparts, they can bypass shields, but this is a property of their strong attack rather than an actual technique like dead angling.
  • The Scythe Claws in Dead Cells are a pair of massive scythes bigger than your body. They're uniquely a melee weapon that takes up both weapon slots, and alternating attacks between its slow and strong left claw and the even slower and stronger right claw makes them deal critical damage.
  • Dead Rising:
    • In Dead Rising you can find a scythe as one of your various Breakable Weapons. It is a favored melee weapon due to its high durability and its ability to one shot zombies (you hook their neck on the blade and then pull, cutting their head off and earning bonus PP) and do crowd control. However, it's less useful against cultists and soldiers due being unable to one-shot them.
    • Makes its return in Case West and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record with its instant kill and crowd control capabilities still intact. But with the added bonus of combining with the katana to make one of the deadliest combination weapons in the game. Aptly named: Reaper.
    • Dead Rising 3 brings back the Reaper and allows you to combine it with a grim reaper mask and gasoline to form the Ultimate Grim Reaper, a flaming scythe that lobs exploding skulls everywhere when it's swung, making it one of, if not the most effective non-vehicular zombie killing melee weapon in the series.
  • In the Deadly Rooms of Death series, the second game introduces Slayers who use these (called "hooks" because of graphical constraints on the area they can occupy). The first Slayer you encounter is the second boss-class enemy in the series, and the very first enemy that's actually a serious threat one-on-one. Despite being (like you) a One-Hit-Point Wonder, Slayers are the puzzle game's version of a Perfect-Play A.I..
  • Devil May Cry:
    • In the games where it can be wielded by the playable character, the Sparda sword transforms into a scythe when you throw it via the Round Trip skill.
    • The original Devil May Cry featured these guys; first there was the Sin Scythe, a ghost wielding one scythe. Its bigger brother is the Death Scythe, who usually uses one but will often quadruple wield scythes.
    • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening features a large number of enemies with scythes, including one Laserblade and one made of fire.
    • There's also Nevan in DMC3, an electric guitar scythe that shoots bats and lightning.
    • Dante has this as one of his main weapons in the reboot. Interestingly enough, it's an angelic holy weapon called "Osiris".
  • Diablo:
    • Lots of demons in Diablo II use scythes as primary weapons and scythes are available as equippable weapons, powerful but not that effective.
    • Also, some of the Uniques aimed for the Necromancer were Scythes adorned with skulls. And the lack of effectiveness from the scythes come more from the fact that slow weapons with heavy damage are largely useless in the game, due to the fact it means you take a long time to recover and thus are incapable of effectively dodging insta-kill attacks (like some creatures' ability to cast an uber powered version of the Sorceress inferno, and some bosses' attacks). Still, it is said a Concentration specced Barbarian would be able to pull it off...
    • Scythes (particularly War Scythes) are effective weapons for Druids since they get a Fast (or Very Fast) attack speed. They work especially well with the Shapeshifting skill tree.
    • Median XL's Necromancers are quite fond of using scythes as their Weapon of Choice, and have some nice attacks such as Angel of Death that do nasty damage.
    • While Malthael, the Big Bad of the Diablo III expansion Reaper of Souls, is the Angel of Death, his Weapon of Choice are two wickedly-sharp sickle-like swords known as shotels rather than a scythe.
    • Xul, representing the Necromancer class from Diablo II in Heroes of the Storm, wields a Sinister Scythe. Literally.
  • Dragon Project has Soul Spears, which are massive scythes that allow the wielder to steal hit-points from Behemoths by using Rend, which also offers iframes for ample time. While their damage and survivability are decent, Soul Spears are cumbersome and slow to attack, although the dodge-roll can drastically improve the Soul Spear's mobility issues, along with filling up the Soul Meter quickly. Subverted with the Sinister part, as you're The Hero who will save Heiland from Tiamat's wrath while keeping denizens safe from Behemoth attacks.
    • Two of the Behemoths, Leider Reaper and Void Necroth carry Scythes as big as themselves. It helps that the former is both the first SS-Rank Spear Behemoth and SS-Rank Thunder-Elemented Behemoth, while the latter is not only the first Soul Spear Behemoth; Necroth is also the first Dark-Elemented Behemoth.
  • Dragon Quest VIII:
    • Scythes are one of the weapon types Yangus can use. Building his skill with them lets him learn stealing techniques, for some reason.
    • Also the Dark Druids enemies can summon a red scythe made of energy to attack.
  • In Drankensang 2: The River of Time and its expansion you can find two examples: the Marus War Scythe (which looks more like a real world Polish war scythe and is used as a polearm) and Kazak's weapon of choice. In the latter's case, the scythe itself looks more like a traditional farming tool (curved shaft and handle included), has a smaller blade on the other end and mostly use it like a sort of pickaxe to skewer your characters.
  • A polearm choice in Dungeon Crawl. Actually pretty terrible, generally agreed to be the worst weapon in the Polearm category, but it's also associated with Wake-Up Call Boss Sigmund, a terrifying Magic Knight who has reaped an astounding number of playthroughs early with it.
  • The Horned Reaper from Dungeon Keeper wields one. In the intro to the second game, it's revealed to be a switchblade scythe. Badass.
  • Dungeons II has the Black Deaths, female ghosts in black ballgowns armed with huge scythes to go with their death motif, and can deliver massive damage to enemies.
  • Dynasty Warriors:
    • Dynasty Warriors includes the Dagger Axe, the Real Life "ge" in the game.
    • Yue Ying wields a fairly viable-looking scythe in Dynasty Warriors 4 and 5, as (at lower levels) it's simply a short staff with a small perpendicular blade at the end. Higher level weapons fall towards the trope, as the blades get progressively larger and more, well, scythe-like.
    • In Samurai Warriors, the Ninja Hanzo Hattori wields a kusarigama, which combines sinister scythe and Epic Flail.
    • In the crossover series Warriors Orochi, Orochi (and Orochi X) wields a massive scythe.
    • And now there is Kiyomasa Kato, whose weapon is called "steel halbeard" but it's clearly a scythe with a straight handle and a spear tip.
  • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth introduces scythe weapons, which are mainly used by the Harbinger class (Reaper in the Japanese version) to make use of their "Reap" skills.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Dark Knights in Final Fantasy XI have this as one of their best rated weapons (the other, also rated A+, is Great Swords). A running joke in the Final Fantasy community about Dark Knight accuracy is largely because Scythes have high damage but very high delay, so a single miss means it takes a long time to get a hit in, compared to other classes using faster weapons: a one-hand sword can hit four times in the time it takes a Scythe to hit twice, with the advantage that missing one of those four attacks reduces damage output by 25% instead of 50% for the Scythe.
      • Ark Angel TT gets a special mention for wielding a scythe that's bigger than he is. Bonus points for materializing it in the boss fight cutscene.
    • Reapers in Final Fantasy XIV fight using scythes in combination with ghostly Avatars. It's also the chosen job of Zenos yae Galvus going into his final battle with the Warrior of Light.
    • Sice from Final Fantasy Type-0 wields a scythe and has abilities reminiscent of a Dark Knight.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the Death Knight wields a huge scythe called the Scythe of Sariel as his weapon of choice. It's classified as a lance in gameplay terms. Some of his subordinates wield less-powerful Crescent Sickles, and drop them so you can use them yourself.
    • In Fire Emblem Heroes Surtr and Hel (as befitting the Queen of the Dead) wield scythes called Sinmara and Hel's Reaper, respectively. Perplexingly enough though, in gameplay terms they are classified as an axe. (Especially perplexing considering the Death Knight is also in Heroes and his scythe is still classified as a lance.)
  • The God Eater series has a set of melee weapon options called Variant Scythes. With their special wide-sweeping attacks, they have the longest range of any melee weapon and can strike multiple times internally upon the same target, provided the distance and angle are just right. As it is standard weapon choice used by the sympathetic main character and NPCs, some of the motifs and blade designs might look sinister and cruel, but the use is purely to help defend against Aragami.
  • Menardi and her sister Karst both use scythes in the Golden Sun games: this may be standard practice among female Fire Clan warriors. These scythes even have their own Unleash powers, although the player can't obtain enemy weapons.
  • In Grim Fandango Manny Calavera, being a Grim Reaper carries a retractable scythe throughout the game. He's not all that great at using it in combat; it's mostly a tool to solve puzzles.
  • Guild Wars:
    • While Guild Wars 2 lacks scythes as a distinct weapon type, a few of their staves are scythes and any staff equipped by a necromancer becomes a shadowy scythe when they attack with it. This is however played straight by the necromancer Reaper specialization; their Reaper's Shroud ability transforms their weapon into an oversized scythe for its duration.
    • Scythes are the weapon of choice for the Dervish class in Guild Wars Nightfall. This makes a return with several NPCs in Path of Fire, whose abilities reference the original Dervish.
  • Guilty Gear: Two mainstay characters wield scythes; the first, Axl Low, is a cheerful British Time Master who uses two small scythes attached by a cord to attack at long ranges. The second, Testament, is a moody Person of Mass Destruction, who wields a gigantic two-handed scythe whose blade is composed of Testament's own blood.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic:
    • In Heroes of Might and Magic V, wights and wraiths wield scythes.
    • Also, in Heroes of Might and Magic 3, the Devils and Archdevils wield scythes.
  • In King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, Alexander makes use of a scythe for its intended purpose: to cut down foliage — in his case, a regenerating bush.
  • Marluxia from Kingdom Hearts. It's worth it to mention not only that his scythe is huge and sinister-looking, but also that the blade is PEPTO-BISMOL PINK. Marluxia also backed this with some serious pink thumb flower magic. Originally it was specifically Cherry Blossoms, which also angled his power towards death, fitting of his weapon. Later versions changed this to roses.
  • One of Kingdom of Loathing's most powerful weapons, the Villainous Scythe, is crafted from a shovel, for two Improvised Weapon tropes in one.
  • League of Legends features Kayn, who wields a living, evil scythe named Rhaast. Kayn in gameplay is an assassin-fighter with large, sweeping scythe attacks, but the twist is that the two are constantly struggling for control, with Rhaast attempting to possess Kayn's body and Kayn attempting to purge the Rhaast from the blade for himself. Depending on who you target and kill, one of them will succeed, with two different potential upgrade paths that stay for the rest of the game: Rhaast prefers harsh blows and siphoning blood out of his victims, while Kayn prefers precision assassinations and reaping targets from the shadows.
  • The weapon of choice of Renne in The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, who seems perfectly innocent until pulling a scythe as big as she is out of nowhere. At which point the nom de guerre Angel of Slaughter suddenly makes sense.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Vanessa, the Witch of Immolation, uses scythes in Luminous Arc.
  • In Lunar Knights Lucian is able to get the scythe Hel, which can split into four blades forming a claw that he can use in a spin attack.
  • Magic Rampage: The Player can purchase the Death Scythe, appropriately named. Subverted in that it's considered a magic staff and throws spheres of Darkness around.
  • Majesty, building a Temple to Fervus, the God of Chaos and Nature, will allow you to train the Warriors of Discord from your Warrior's Guild: they are massive, completely insane behemoths with a skimpy leather armor, face-concealing helmet and a crazy attitude. They fight with "bladesticks", which are pretty much giant scythes with a smalle backward-pointing blade, allowing them to deal massive damage at expense of precision.
  • MechRunner: A heroic example, as the XP-41 can wield scythes in mecha form.
  • Mega Man:
    • Prometheus of the Mega Man ZX series uses the energy scythe variant. It's so awesome he can shoot Sword Beams and block/deflect blaster fire with it.
    • He was preceded by Sigma in Mega Man X4, while disguised as a Grim Reaper, and Red of X7, who had a double-ended scythe.
  • The final boss of Metal Slug 5 wields a scythe so large, its edge is as wide as your character.
  • The Fiend enemies and their Terror Fiend variant from Miitopia are clear Grim Reaper ersatzes that use a scythe to One-Hit Kill one Mii.
  • You can use a hoe as a weapon in Minecraft, but even a netherite hoe is the same as your bare fists when it comes to combat. Their best use is for farming and breaking blocks.
  • In Minecraft Dungeons, one of the randomly found melee weapon types is a Soul Scythe, which allows you to collect souls, which can be used to power certain Artifacts.
  • The Joker species from Monster Rancher uses scythes. However, their scythes tend not to resemble actual scythes so much as enormous, hooked axes, since they're bladed on all sides and are considerably thicker than real scythes.
  • Noob Saibot uses a scythe as his Weapon of Choice in Mortal Kombat 4.
  • Mount & Blade features five such weapons, but does so with its trademark realism for the genre. The sickle and military sickle are one-handed weapons, the former being the traditional harvesting tool and latter resembling a kusarigama sans chain. Peasants will often carry a traditional field scythe, with an inward-curving blade mounted parallel to the shaft of the weapon. The military scythe is essentially a basic Blade on a Stick with a straight blade, whereas the shortened military scythe is the same weapon with its haft cut down to become a two-handed weapon, resembling a sword with a long wooden grip. With Fire And Sword actually has a unit type dedicated to the use of scythes, known as Scythe Wielders. Unfortunately, they are using agricultural scythes and are thus the weakest Polish conscripts available.
  • Ryu Hayabusa in the Xbox remake of Ninja Gaiden can use a pair of kama chained together nunchaku-style and known as the "Vigoorian Flails". Probably the only reason why he isn't cutting himself up with them by accident, given their actually high usefulness, is because he is a Charles Atlas Superpower-ed Highly Visible Ninja Badass. Ninja Gaiden II, the 360 one that is, sees a proper Big F-ing Scythe in Ryu's hands, as well as a kusarigama.
  • Nioh has the Kusarigama as one of the possible weapons, though it's mostly used by swinging the chain and the sickle sometimes resemble a hook, a claw or even an hatchet. Nioh 2 introduces the "Switchglaive", which essentially are foldable polearms which are usually employed as scythes but can also turn into more naginata-like glaives.
  • Margaret (Is Greek, you geek / it means "a pearl"...) Moonlight from No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle has two anti-tank rifle scythes.
  • There's a type of enemy in Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi that wields these, giving them an annoyingly long reach.
  • In Painkiller, both the Devil Monk and Psycho Nun monsters use scythes.
  • A scythe customized for military use is one of the wieldable weapons in Pandora's Tower. Its main use is for hitting multiple Mooks at once.
  • In Patapon the Zigoton boss Gong wields a powerful scythe, which can be retrieved when he is defeated. In Patapon 3, Ravenous uses a very ornate and oversized magical scythe.
  • There are a few scythe weapons in Phantasy Star Online, notably Soul Eater and Soul Banish. Naturally, they're sinister, cursed weapons that drain the user's health over time, but possess powerful special attacks such as a ranged one-hit-kill spell, in the case of Soul Banish.
  • Many Rod and Partisan weapons (and Weapon Camos for these weapon types) on Phantasy Star Online 2 have the appearance of scythes. The Phantom Class wields Rods more like scythes and comes with camos for this purpose.
  • The Pokémon Scyther and Kabutops have scythes for hands. Naturally, they're considered to be two of the more badass Pokémon. Absol has one on its head.
  • Postal 2 has a scythe as one of the few weapons capable of cutting people in two, although it's slow to use.
  • The MMORPG Ragnarok Online has the Crescent Scythe, a MVP drop.
  • Present in Resident Evil 4. While the villagers wield small sickles, many monks in the castle have scythes as their weapon of choice. Unusually for this trope, they aren't really very good with them, as their attacks (even more than the other Ganados) are quite easy to predict. Although if you get hit by one at that's been thrown at shoulder height, well, hope you weren't too far from a save point.
  • Serene from Riviera: The Promised Land is best with scythes. Some other characters can use them, too, but they're not quite as proficient.
  • Aunas' Clone from Romancing SaGa 3 has a one-hit-kill move: Deathgod Stove, Naturally there is an Evade skill that can be learned for it; Death Sickle Evade.
  • Formed of a giant spider's reconstituted leg and one of its massive fangs, RuneScape's Noxious Scythe is, at present, the second best melee weapon in the game. It features a purely cosmetic effect of an endless spout of green acid gushing from the base of the blade.
  • Angela from Rusty Hearts can choose to specialize in these once you hit lvl 10 with her. It also seems to be her signature weapon given that most of the art depicts her with one.
  • If we're letting kusari-gama in, then Earthquake's rig from the Samurai Shodown games belongs here. Of course, a sickle for him is about scythe-sized for the rest of the cast. Even doubly odd, his seems to be sharpened on the outside of the curve, given the animation of his heavy slashes.
  • The Gliding Ghouls wield scythes in Episode 2 of Scooby-Doo: First Frights.
  • In the Sengoku Basara series, Akechi Mitsuhide wields two of them. He's a pretty damn creepy character in this series, possibly reflecting his status as betrayer of Nobunaga.
  • Shining Series:
    • Shining Force III:
      • Basanda one of the powerful leaders of the antagonists, has an oversized red scythe but with a short handle making it no longer than a sword in artwork, she's a magic user through so rarely will she attempt to hit you with it. In addition Lizard Men use scythes with enlarged blades much like an axe.
      • Also the Lizard-men wield come scary scythes.
    • Shining the Holy Ark features wraiths that carry scythes, they look a lot like Death.
    • Shining Soul has many enemies that carry around scythes notably in the Glaybull Temple.
  • Specter Knight of Shovel Knight has The Grim Reaper motif, wielding a scythe just as one would expect. When he's resized as a playable character, the blade alone is almost as tall as he is.
  • One of the monster types in Silence of the Sleep, possesses a powerful scythe-like appendage.
  • Piastol from Skies of Arcadia Legends.
  • Smite: Two death deities come armed with scythes. Thanatos evokes the classical Grim Reaper style and wields a massive scythe that deals huge damage. Izanami has a pair of kamas (which are smaller than a scythe), but she throws them around like boomerangs and being a Hunter, is capable of dealing continuous damage that hurts a lot.
  • Zasalamel and Abyss of SoulCalibur. Astaroth's ultimate weapon in SC 2 was also a scythe (appropriately named Thanatos), although all his other weapons were axes and the occasional hammer.
  • Gig from Soul Nomad & the World Eaters. Being the master of death, he has the ability to morph his arms into scythes as well, should he wish to.
  • Hiro from Spectral Souls particularly stands out because of that fact that, perhaps in homage to the fact that they're so impractical, she's the only character in a cast of 45 playable characters that can actually use them. It's explained in other Neverland games that scythes are weapons made of material native of the demon realm, which is why only demon units can use them, and not even all of them. Humans will literally die if they use one of those, and they deal damage because of their alien, demonic nature rather than because they are effective weapons. Hiro's trademark scythe in particular, Gate of Hell, can rip an opponent's soul out instantly and send it straight to Hell when used on someone with an evil heart.
  • In Standstill Girl, two of the bosses are armed with scythes. One is a Grim Reaper-like Time Scar created from some of Alice's memories. The other is a Bonus Boss that can be fought at the mental hospital: he's a former highly decorated soldier who's now consumed by melancholy and depression, and the scythe is his treasured weapon from the times of war. You defeating him (which is very difficult to achieve) actually breaks his scythe instead of killing him, impacting him enough to let the hospital's Shadeling doctors take care of him.
  • Also in Blizzard's Starcraft II, it is fitting to see on the macabre-sounding Protoss Dark Templar unit a particularly wicked double-scythe as the weapon of choice.
  • The Dis Astranagant from Super Robot Wars Alpha 3. Naturally, the Gundam Deathscythe also makes a number of appearances throughout the series.
  • Yeager in Tales of Vesperia uses a scythe where the handle is also a gun. It can also collapse into a crossbow.
  • Touhou Project:
    • Komachi Onozuka, the resident shinigami. However, she usually attacks by firing coin danmaku at you. In the second fighting game, however, Komachi DOES use her scythe occasionally, especially when forced into physical combat. Komachi is in fact so good with her scythe that she can do Razor Wind attacks with it. Which is clearly impossible to do with that kind of weapon.
    • In the PC-98 era, Elly from Lotus Land Story, who actually threw the scythe at you like a boomerang. Worth mentioning that Elly's scythe is curved around herself and that it's one of the few things in the series that can destroy your bullets.
  • The Grim Reaper-themed Mr.Grimm from Twisted Metal: Black throws flaming scythes from his motorcycle, instead of the skulls from previous games. Ironically, this is an incarnation where he isn't literally the grim reaper.
  • Gordeau from Under Night In-Birth uses a large scythe with impressive reach.
  • The Grim Reaper Boss Battle from Venture Kid has the titular grim reaper wielding said weapon against Andy.
  • Like the Gundam Deathscythe and Dis Astragant, most of the Specineff-class Humongous Mecha in the Virtual-ON series wield scythes that can release energy-based Razor Wind attacks.
  • A class of weapons in Warframe. The Ether Reaper uses a blade made of plasma, though it the blade is straight and perpendicular to the handle, making it look more like a massively stretched tomahawk. The Reaper Prime is slightly more orthodox in appearance, looking like a regular scythe, albeit with a smaller secondary blade beneath the primary and small reverse-face blades. The Hate, the calling card of the Stalker, has a relatively normal scythe blade with what appears to be a bottle opener in it. The Kamas are miniature hatchet-like scythes, which can be dual-wielded. The "Reaping Spiral" melee stance allows you to throw scythes as a Precision-Guided Boomerang.
  • Lady Harken from Wild ARMs and its remake.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • A class quest allows one to gain a Scythe. Different then most in that it's a class quest for Warlocks and it functions as a magic staff.
    • Other classes can get a frost-themed scythe from the seasonal bonus boss Ahune. Like the warlock scythe, it's also classified as a staff.
    • Also, there is a polearm version of the Warlock scythe/staff, wieldable by the Hunter, Death Knight, Warrior, Druid, and Paladin classes.
    • A druidic artifact known as the Scythe of Elune is referred to several times throughout the game. Most of the references to the Scythe were before any expansions; due to Cataclysm, many of these references are lost. A blink-and-you-miss-it reference to the Scythe was made in Northrend, but the Scythe seems to have finally come to a resting place of sorts in Gilneas, AKA the worgen starting zone. Which makes sense, as the Scythe of Elune only pops up in storylines involving worgen. In Legion, Druids can obtain the Scythe as their Class Weapon.
    • Furthermore, in the Legion expansion, Affliction Warlocks obtain a scythe called "Ulthalesh, the Deadwind Harvester" as their artifact weapon. This scythe was the weapon which drained the land around Karazhan of life and turned it into Deadwind Pass.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Vandham wields two hand sickles borrowed from his Blade Roc.
  • Yggdra Union makes scythes incredibly powerful—they're strong against all other melee weapons. Two characters use them, of whom one's the Big Bad, Gulcasa, and the other is Nerfed with a mere garden scythe. She's a housewife.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the Higurashi: When They Cry fighting game, Daybreak, Rika Furude's standard weapon is a standard hoe. However, in the expansion, she can switch to a scythe, which gives her a number of magical attacks as well as being very quick.
  • Umineko: When They Cry has Erika Furudo, who wields a scythe of Truth. As in, literally made out of Truth. Her master has a similar one herself, with the ability to reap miracles. This is potentially a major clue about her true origins. Erika also uses this weapon in the Ougon Musou fighting games.

    Web Animation 
  • The Daily Object Show: Cobalt Blue's vase soldiers carry these on their person though they have yet to use it for lethal purposes, one did knock out Computer using the back side.
  • Dreamscape: Keela can summon one at will, although her version is far less sinister than the Master of the Dammed's.
    • The Possessor Ghost's scythe is the length of its body and has spikes on it.
    • The scythe of the Master of the Dammed himself, however, makes the Possessor Ghost's look puny by comparison.
  • RWBY:
    • Protagonist Ruby Rose subverts the usual expectations for scythe wielders. Her personally customized weapon, Crescent Rose, is a scythe/sniper rifle hybrid (officially called an HCSS; High Caliber Sniper Scythe), people predicted that she was going to be a grim Anti-Hero. However, she's the show's resident cheerful, energetic Wide-Eyed Idealist.
    • Her teammate, the mysterious and dour Blake Belladonna, can turn her weapon, Gambol Shroud, into a makeshift kusarigama with the cleaver attached to the weapon as the blade and a ribbon as the chain.
    • Ruby's uncle/mentor Qrow, meanwhile, wields a scythe/greatsword/shotgun hybrid called Harbinger. He is a bit more grim in his demeanor, though that's not really his fault.
    • Maria Calavera was once a legendary huntress known as "the Grimm Reaper". Fitting her title, she wielded twin kamas called Life and Death that could merge together with gravity Dust to form a double-ended scythe. Qrow, the above example, even modeled his weapon after hers because he wanted to be just like her. Like the previous three examples, however, she's not evil or even mean-spirited.


    Web Original 
  • Usually exists in Chaos Fighters. There is even a job class assigned to it, the slayers, who uses knight equipment but uses scythes.
  • Corah from Elemental wields one. This one is unique in the fact that the scythe is collapsible, complete with fold-in blade.
  • Ark'hen from Noob, the Physical God of death in a Fictional Video Game has one.
  • In a Springhole article on misconceptions about bladed weapons, Syera points out that, as scythes are farming tools, they were designed to cut hay and the like, but not thick objects like the human body.
  • Survival of the Fittest:
  • Darkstar from Trinton Chronicles IS a sinister scythe.
  • Whateley Universe: The Grim Reaper motif supervillain, Professor/Doctor Reaper has a scythe which "was a horrific amalgam of necrotic and destroying energy. No wound inflicted by the blade would ever heal naturally, and even magic would be touch and go."

    Western Animation 
  • The supervillain Grim Reaper in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! has a serrated cybernetic scythe that extends from his right arm.
  • Calendar Girl (a.k.a. Page Monroe) in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Mean Seasons", wields a scythe in her winter incarnation. Of course, as is often the case with Bat-villains (especially in this show), she's more "highly disturbed" than evil. What she says to her prisoners is rather chilling:
    Calendar Girl: Now I only have one holiday left to celebrate. (coldly) The Day of the Dead. And you're going to celebrate it with me. (swings scythe within inches of their heads)
  • Being a more action-based show than the above, Batman: The Brave and the Bold has Scarecrow use one in his appearance in a Cold Open.
  • Cronus' weapon of choice in Class of the Titans.
  • Grim, from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy has one since he is The Grim Reaper. His scythe is a magical object capable of doing any number of sinister supernatural things. Most of the hijinks in the show is the result of Billy stealing it. When Mandy steals it, it's used as a quick fix for the plot complication.
  • In an episode of Jackie Chan Adventures, the Monkey King attacks Jackie with one. Jackie points out that killing someone with a scythe isn't very funny. Being a villain obsessed with comedy, the Monkey King agrees and discards it.
  • Season 2 Big Bad Qilby in Wakfu can create and wield a scythe made of pure wakfu.

    Real Life 
  • Scythe blades mounted on a straight pole like a spear or glaive have been used as weapons and have been made specifically for warfare as far back as 400 BC by the Thracians north of Greece, called rhomphaia. Blades that curve forwards were quite common in antiquity, and were very effective against armor of the day; Roman soldiers encountering Dacian warriors, who were commonly equipped with a similar weapon called a falx soon found themselves needing to modify and reinforce their armor, virtually unheard of at the time. They can still be found in Kukris, various forms of machetes, and even some knives such as hawkbills and karambits.
  • Actual combat-training for regular scythes was invented. A fellow by the name Paulus Hector Mair preserved mysteries of this art for us in his fencing manual. It also contains techniques for sickles (though, unfortunately, no hammer). That guide pretty much takes advantage on how a scythe can screw enemies hard simply due to its shape which makes it unpredictable. You can block a sword, an axe, and any other polearm, but since the scythe's blade is mounted perpendicular to the shaft, it can easily reach around a shield or a sword parry to strike a person.
  • The museum in Dumfries, Scotland has a couple of war scythes dating from 1715. When you needed to arm a bunch of troops that were also farmers quickly it was a cheap and pretty effective away. Plus they were scary. See The Other Wiki for a few more examples.
  • The Polish kosa bojowa (meaning just "combat scythe"), was used as a weapon in several Polish uprisings. It involved modifying the blade so that it extends upright and outward from the pole, making it an improvised glaive. Nowadays "setting the scythe upright" is an expression used metaphorically to symbolise militancy. Fun fact: there are manuals.
  • The Chinese ge (戈) or dagger-axe, is essentially a scythe. It consisted of a bronze blade attached to a pole at 100°, which allowed for slashing attacks and hooking moves to disarm an opponent or drag cavalrymen off their horses. National Geographic had a demonstration here. Originally developed from a farming implement, the ge came to be a dedicated weapon used by all warriors, noblemen and peasants alike. As warfare in China became increasingly professionalized, the ge was eventually replaced by the ji (戟), which is essentially the same thing but with a pointy-headed tip for thrusting.
  • The Japanese kama, a one-handed sickle-like implement, and was used to harvest rice, and later adapted by peasants during a revolt; the fighting style used with these weapons use the weapon's unusual design to catch, entangle, and sweep limbs and weaponry (most fiction depict scythe fighting in much the same way). In fiction, it's often seen in the hands of Ninja, as a farming implement was frequently beneath suspicion of those looking for potential assassins. A kusarigama is a scythe with a long weighted chain attached. It still looks quite inconspicuous but the combination allows to swing the chain with both hands without taking your hand off the kama.
  • The Ethiopian shotel is the Sinister Scimitar version of this trope. Because of its shape, it can be used to hook around an opponent's shield before going in for the kill, while still being usable in one hand. Like most weapons, its origins as an agricultural tool also made it ideal for cutting through the thick vegetation of Africa.
  • It is believed that the iconic image of the agricultural scythe as a weapon has its origins in certain war hammers with a pronounced back spike like the bec de corbin.
  • Therizinosaurs were theropod dinosaurs with the largest claws of any dinosaur, which were used for defense agaist tyrannosaurs as much as they were used for gathering plants to eat. They're name even means Scythe lizard.


Video Example(s):


Mike Shadow - Scythe of Death

The first unlocked special is the Scythe of Death, which is used for a few quick slices.

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Example of:

Main / SinisterScythe

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