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Sticks to the Back

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Sometimes not so much "sticks to" as "floats on".

"Putting Velcro on your sword is an old adventurer's trick."

When you're an Action-Adventure Hero, lacking a Hyperspace Arsenal can be somewhat problematic: carrying that BFS around is not only tiresome, it also takes away a free hand that would see much better use in the complex acrobatics that are so common in your line of work. Luckily, Trope Co. has the next best thing to offer: a form of Hand Waving that lets the badass just slide his pointy tool along his dorsum and have it held in place by some invisible force.

One could even say that like how cartoon characters can pick stuff up without fingers, sometimes a sword just Sticks to the Back.

This phenomenon also allows characters to draw swords that outstrip their entire arm — after all, there's no actual scabbard to get in the way. Note that though the words "sword" and "back" are used a lot throughout this article, this trope covers any and all situations where a character's equipment is held in place without a viable sheathing mechanism, be it by the hip or on the back, a BFG or a shield, by a diminutive sash or someone's bare skin, et cetera.

Compare to Magnet Hands. Can be considered a form of Impossibly Cool Clothes. If the weapon is stuck to the back and rarely actually used, then it's an Ornamental Weapon. Has nothing to do with something being stuck to one's back. If the weapon in question shows a proper scabbard that actually holds it on the back (whether or not drawing it would actually be feasible to do in reality), see Unorthodox Sheathing.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk: Averted by Guts, who wears his sword across his back but has an actual suspension mechanism to hold it there. His early BFS has a flexible leather sheath that only holds the blade at the point, middle, and base, and flaps behind him like a pointed devil's tail while his sword is drawn. His even larger BFS the Dragon Slayer has no scabbard but instead is held up by a ring on the hilt that engages a hook on his baldric. It is kept from swaying by a leather strap on a chain that wraps around the opposite side. When he draws his sword, all he needs to do is release the security chain and lift the sword clear of the hook.
  • Bleach has some examples of this with zanpakuto.
    • Ichigo can keep his BFS in place surprisingly well with a tiny sash. Justified by his BFS not being an actual physical object but a sentient familiar spirit, and close inspection shows that the cloth that wraps around his sword to form a makeshift sheath does so while also wrapping itself around the sash he wears. In the Fullbring arc, Ichigo's new intermediate Fullbring form allows him to magically clasp his sword to his back.
    • Subverted by Hitsugaya: His sword, held across his back in a sheath, is too long for him to unsheathe normally, so he draws it by simply pulling it off his back and letting the scabbard tear apart. Though it's more like he's too short rather than the sword is too long. Since the zanpakuto is part of his soul and the scabbard is part of the zanpakuto, the scabbard repairs itself so Hitsugaya can sheathe his sword again.
  • The martial artists of Chivalric Tornado (小俠龍捲風) all tend to wear their swords on their backs while doing long-distance travel, but only the ones capable of remotely operating their swords via telekinesis don't bother to switch to wearing their swords on their waist when they're expecting a fight.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Future Trunks has a sword he wears on his back, sheathe and all, the length of which seems just barely short enough to draw without problems. The one time we see him sheathe it, he tosses it up in the air and then angles himself to catch the blade on its way back down.
  • Coon in Free Collars Kingdom carries his anchor around like this.
  • The Keyblade in Shiro Amano's Kingdom Hearts manga doesn't appear and disappear as needed as it does in the games, but instead sticks to Sora's back. One panel in the Chain of Memories manga shows that it's actually jutting out of his pants' belt.
  • Zabuza in Naruto exhibits this with his rather sizable sword, as Zabuza carries no visible strap on him. Suigestu averts this, as you can see the strap from his front, and it's shown quite clearly how it wraps around (which also explains the functional purpose of the huge semicircular notch in the Decapitating Carving Knife). Likewise, Samehada, being a giant mass of hooks/spikes, is "sheathed" in a cloth wrapping and has a strap (or in Killer Bee's case, a rope) that goes around that, though it's often very hard to see. Being an Empathic Weapon with some degree of shapeshifting, Samehada presumably assists its wielding by staying in place. The ninjas in Naruto world are also able to stick to the walls, so using their magical powers to simply hold swords onto their backs would not be too far-fetched.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi has Negi doing this with his staff. Of course, he's a mage.
  • Ukyō Kuonji of Ranma ½ carries a huge spatula (or rather, a baker peel) on her back most of the time, as part of her Okonomiyaki Martial Art. A tiny strap linking it to her bandolier can eventually be spotted, but most of the time it just seems to stick to her back.
  • Haru Glory from Rave Master does this with the Ten Powers. There appears to be a leather strap near his shoulder that holds the blade but how he sheaths/draws it is anyone's guess.
  • Seen sometimes with the Sword and Lance Heroes in The Rising of the Shield Hero, who carry their weapons this way when not in use. Somewhat justified given that said weapons are Clingy MacGuffins and they're permanently stuck to their wielders.
  • Serial Experiments Lain has a scene where Taro has a sword stick in his back with an audible click. Justified since it was in an online computer game.
  • In both the Violinist of Hameln manga and anime, Hamel's big violin seems to hang off his back with a strap that's only pictured in four panels in all 37 volumes.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has Marik and his Millennium Rod. (Though Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series points out the possibility that it could just be clenched between his buttocks.)

    Comic Books 
  • Seems to apply to the MMORPG in which Noob is set. However, due to the work being adapted from a webseries in which actors just took the habit of somewhat using staffs as walking sticks and had appropriate holders for anything else as part of their costume, only one regular character actually benefits from it (the sword lost the hilt it had in the webseries and seems attached to his capelet rather than his knife strap).
  • Some versions of DC Comics character Steel have him just sticking his huge hammer to his back. Justified, usually, with the explanation that magnets (which do often play a role in his arsenal) are involved.

    Films — Animation 
  • In 9, Eight uses a magnet to keep his BFS attached to his back. Which he also uses to get high off of.
  • The BIONICLE films:
    • The first three opted to give everyone Hammerspace, which still involved reaching behind their backs. This was just an animation shortcut rather than a canonical power, though (tie-in books explained that the characters actually carried around bags). Jaller was the only one in the films wearing a backpack, which likewise stuck to his back without straps of any kind. This made some amount of sense: BIONICLE characters can stick anything to themselves via some vague energy, as Takua demonstrates by "magnetizing" a metallic-wooden pole to his palm in one scene, causing a bright discharge. When it was necessary to show tools on someone's back, like Matau's blade-wings, they'd appear in a flash of light or vanish between shots, but they'd keep sticking to their backs.
    • The fourth movie had characters walking around with their weapons held on their backs, attached to nothing.
  • Unlike in the games, this is averted in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, where Cloud is seen with a very complex set of scabbards for carrying around his six swords.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier has the titular antagonist stick a submachine gun to his back. But then, Cap himself also sticks his shield to his back in various media, including this movie.
  • Happens literally in the 1979 Disney comedy A Spaceman In King Arthurs Court. The eponymous astronaut magnetizes Sir Mordred's sword so when he takes a mighty swing to chop our hero's head off, the sword sticks to the back of his armor and he can't get it free without help.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): A scene where Diana infiltrates a reception with the God-Killer sword tucked down the back of her revealing dress caused fans to joke that she was gripping it with her buttocks.

  • Earlier BIONICLE promotional animations showed Toa with obvious weapons as doing this, though it wasn't until 2004 that the actual sets regularly were designed to really do this (and that functionality was promptly discarded the next year anyway).

    Video Games 
  • Many games, particularly role-playing games, that show the player's equipped weapons will likely have them be holstered this way. From axes to rocket launchers, whatever large weapon or tool the player character is armed with will appear floating a few centimetres off their back or hip when not in active use. This becomes especially obvious with any game where characters can strip down to their underwear or birthday suit — you have gear sticking to the back or hips of a completely naked body, with no trace of any belt or strap to hold them.
  • 7.62 High Caliber lets weapons be slung onto both shoulders and around the neck (for a total of four weapons: one in the hands and three on the back). There's no actual sling model, so the weapons just magically stick to your fatigues, and only the gun in the first shoulder slot or hands is actually visible on your model. All other items, however, are invisible except when being held; putting a pistol in a holster simply causes it to evaporate into the visible belt on the character model.
  • Almost averted by Age of Conan. Sheaths existed during the game's beta, but they were removed at the last minute due to clipping bugs.
  • The Angelic Rifle in Baroque sticks to the protagonist's back when he's not using it. Interestingly, any swords he's carrying don't; if a sword isn't in his hands, it's in his Hyperspace Arsenal.
  • Rayne of BloodRayne usually keeps her weapons in her Hyperspace Arsenal, but a cheat in the first game sticks her weapons (somewhat arbitrarily) all over her body. Since she can hold a very large amount of guns at a given moment, it looks ridiculous (probably why it's not on by default). But also pretty awesome since she discards any guns that are out of ammo and grabs new ones as you fight. In slow motion, no less. The exception are her dedicated melee weapons, which are attached to her arms with visible straps.
  • Counter-Strike Global Offensive inverts this: most characters have their primary weapon hanging on their front while having equipped something else, as if held by a sling. Characters with backpacks like the Anarchists and the Pirates have their weapon stuck next to their backpack. Also, terrorists who do not have holsters have their pistols tucked in their belts.
  • In Darkened Skye, Skye can stow her staff by sticking it on her back, and doing so has an additional feature of letting her run faster.
  • In Demon's Souls and the Dark Souls series, you can equip a weapon or shield in each hand. By pressing Y/Triangle, you hold your right-hand weapon with both hands for extra damage while your left-hand weapon/shield sticks onto your back, or if it's small enough, your hip (which is how literally everybody plays these games, with a weapon in both hands and a Stat Stick of their choice permanently glued to their back). Some weapons do have sheaths, but there's nothing attaching the sheath itself to you, so the trope still applies. If you go naked, weapons sheathed at the hip will often be floating in midair a noticeable distance away from your body.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Dante is another necessary example, sometimes carrying his sword just on his naked back. Maybe it's a nifty feature of his magical blade or something. Considering that a lot of his weapons can literally merge with him for his Devil Trigger, this isn't that implausible... for, y'know, the DMC universe.
    • Averted in regards to the second game, namely the second novel — one illustration shows that the leather belt/harness he's wearing across his chest (in official game art, at that) holsters Rebellion.
    • Also averted in the third game, where he wears a harness with holsters for his guns and the back of his trenchcoat has a strap for holding in Rebellion. Played straight with all his other weapons, though.
    • Trish, who doesn't have any sort of harness on her, does it with the sword Sparda in 2 and Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Nero, who does have a harness, does it in 4 with his Red Queen — and in one cutscene, with Sparda crossed on top of Red Queen, which no one in the said cutscene even seems to notice.
    • Though, despite any justifications, there are numerous cutscenes showing Dante simply touching his sword to his back and having it stick there, without him putting it in anything.
    • DmC: Devil May Cry handwaves it by having the weapon being conjured from Dante's tattoo on his back (thus a case of Hyperspace Arsenal).
  • In Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, everyone's weapons and shields hover a couple of inches away from their backs: swords, shields, daggers, staffs, axes, maces... everything. Can be pretty jarring if seen from the side. Or when the weapons are on fire.
  • Throughout The Elder Scrolls series, whenever a weapon isn't being pulled from Hammerspace, it is this trope instead. Large two-handed weapons (claymores, battle axes, bows, etc.) typically just stick to the back, while smaller weapons like daggers and one-handed axes appear to be stuck to the hip. Starting with Oblivion, most one-handed swords gain a sheath, but these sheaths still appear to simply be stuck to the character's hip (and often clip through the character's leg when crouching).
  • Fable does this as well. And by "does this", we mean that you can run around completely barechested, with no sign of a leather strap on you, and no scabbard for the sword even and the sword sticks to your back. Oddly enough, you still hear Audible Sharpness when you draw your sword. Or whatever you happen to have equipped.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout 3 follows this trope, although for the bigger weapons, this only applies to the ammo reservoir; the gun itself is presumably kept in the Hyperspace Arsenal. Except for most one-handed weapons, which stick to the hip.
    • Continued in Fallout: New Vegas, except with most of the Badass Longcoat armors, where the guns clip into the back instead.
    • Cut from Fallout 4 late in development. The weapon modding system changes weapons' in-game models, and many possible permutations caused clipping issues. Bethesda opted to remove this trope rather than constrict weapon/armor mod geometry to avoid the clipping.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII, of course. The joke in the fandom goes that the small ring on the back of his outfit is actually a powerful magnet. Which may not be a joke: it's reportedly All There in the Manual (that is, the thousand or so encyclopedias Square have released for VII and its Compilation).
    • The trope is taken to absurd new heights in the prequel Crisis Core. Shirtless Zack wields an umbrella that does as much damage as the Buster Sword, and when the "DMW" Finishing Move associated with Angeal is activated, the umbrella is magically attached to his half-naked body while he does uppercuts and roundhouse kicks. To clarify, the round thing is a magnet. Angeal's being an Artificial Human might explain how he can easily overcome the pull of a magnet strong enough to carry a Buster Sword, and both of its successive wielders are Empowered Badass Normals. Furthermore, cosplayers have replicated the effect in Real Life, just see here.
    • In Final Fantasy XI, whichever melee weapon (or weapons) your character currently has equipped seems to simply hover a few inches from the character's hip (if one-handed) or back (if two-handed) when not in use. (Ranged weapons, by contrast, go into your Hyperspace Arsenal.) Made even more glaring by the fact that you hear unsheathing or unbuckling sounds anyway. Interestingly, despite being two-handed weapons, Great Katanas are hip-mounted instead of back-mounted. Don't get the wrong idea, there is a practical reason for this: it's to accommodate the various weapon textures so that none of them clip through your character's body, which most would agree looks worse.
    • In Final Fantasy XII is much like its predecessor XI, for example, all the great swords stick right to your back, with a slight clang, suggesting they're stuck there with magnets.
    • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Lightning's currently equipped weapon floats on her back not unlike in Final Fantasy XI, where in the previous two games she either had a visible holster or simply used a Hyperspace Arsenal. Again, this is likely to keep the outfits and weapons from clipping to obviously, and makes it so she can easily sheath and unsheath her weapon. But one must wonder why she didn't get a Hyperspace Arsenal again.
    • Final Fantasy XIV goes the same route as XI and has the characters weapons hover slightly above their backs or waists, unless you turn on the option to hide it entirely.
  • Averted in Freedom Fighters, where your longarm is strapped to your back when not in use.
  • All the guns except the pistol in Gears of War stick on the back of the characters. Makes even less sense when shirtless Locust have their guns sticking on bare skin.
  • Justified in-universe in Genshin Impact: It's clear that all player characters use magic to access a Hyperspace Arsenal. When you attack, a weapon will materialize in your hand, and as soon as the attack ends, the weapon will be essentially sheathed; many characters "throw" the weapon out of their hand with a flourish, and it will teleport to float behind their back. It will then disappear entirely after not attacking for a while. Uniquely, the weapon isn't actually "stuck" to the character's model; they noticeably lag behind as you walk, and drift through the air as though they're floating.
  • In God of War, the Blades of Chaos/Athena/Exile just stick to Kratos' back, but then it is a divine artifact. Averted with Kratos's Leviathan Axe in the fourth game as it clearly attaches to a hoop on the straps that he's wearing. The Blades of Chaos, however, still play this trope straight once he retrieves them.
  • Averted in .hack, where in The World R:1, weapons only appear outside towns, and they never appear inside towns for some unexplained unknown reason. Kinda jarring when BlackRose is carrying a sword that is as tall as she is. In R:2, they decided to sod the issue entirely by giving everyone the ability to pull said weapons from a flash of light from their backs. Justified that The World is an online game, and it's the kind of game where small things like that is simply glossed over for cool points.
  • Justified in Halo, where the official explanation is that the Master Chief's armor is literally magnetized, even causing weapons to stick with a distinct *clunk* noise. On the other hand, a Bungie employee who explained the magnetization holstering also gave this as the answer to where the ammo and grenades go: "Who knows? It's magic." One of the novels describes the armor having thigh compartments for holding grenades, a clamp system for sticking rifles to the back, and double-sided tape for gluing on ammo.
  • This trope has turned up in some of the cinematics of Hellgate: London, namely the game's intro and the initial announcement trailer. In both videos, a character draws a large two-handed sword from their back, despite clearly not having any sheath for it. Though it could be an unexplained version in the game's intro; because if you look closely, you can see a pair of metal... clamps is the only thing I can describe them as, on his back right where the sword's blade goes and it wouldn't be inconceivable that there are magnets in there as well (you could also say that it's held by magic considering the story).
  • Infinite Undiscovery both averts this trope and plays it straight: Edward, the resident BFS user, has his sword stick to his back, but Sigmund, "The Man", sheaths his sword in a holder at the back of his shield.
  • Melee weapons in Jurassic Park: Trespasser are stored on the player character's back and can be seen hovering behind her character in the Dummied Out third-person viewmode. Sadly, this caused a glitch where the player would be constantly taking damage because the weapon's hitbox would collide with the character's, so they fixed this by removing all mass from melee weapons, making them completely useless... apart from Nedry's mace.
  • In Left 4 Dead, the large firearms curiously and conveniently attach to the characters' backs when they're not being used, with no straps apparent. The same applies to the medical kits. Straps are shown on the guns in the characters' official art, though. Still doesn't explain how to have one for a baseball bat or frying pan...
  • Link's shield and sword both Stick to the Back in some games of The Legend of Zelda series. Though scabbards and such are usually shown in art, graphical limitations often caused them not to appear in actual gameplay.
    • He has an actual scabbard in Ocarina of Time (except for the Biggorron's Sword/Giant's Knife), but the scabbard itself appears to stick to his back. Majora's Mask and subsequent "realistic" games give him a proper belt with which to hold his scabbard. The baldric disappears again in The Wind Waker, and other games that share the "Toon Link" Cel Shaded art style. Link was supposed to have the baldric in Ocarina of Time, according to promotional art; its absence was an oversight and was corrected in the 3DS version, which also gave the Biggoron's Sword/Giant's Knife its own, larger scabbard. This lack led to a player asking Nintendo Power how Link keeps his sword attached to his back. The response? Hylian Velcro.
    • Breath of the Wild is all over the place with this one. One-handed swords and such get proper sheaths. BFSes like claymores get rings through which the blade slides, while spears and halberds have two-strapped holsters. Bokoblin/Moblin weapons like Boko Clubs, or Improvised Weapons like sticks and mops lack fastens entirely. However, all outfits have a belt or chain going around Link's torso, and if you decide to forego those, Link automatically equips one after the first time he picks up a weapon, so it's safe to assume Hylian Velcro survived the Great Calamity.
    • Tears of the Kingdom shares most of the same treatment for weapons on their own as Breath of the Wild (and the first thing you do after the intro is pick up a weapon, which guarantees a belt to put your gear on). When you use Fuse to attach an added material to a weapon, however, any sheathes vanish to leave it sticking to the belt, which prevents the Fused material from clipping through things. The exception is the Master Sword: materials Fused to the Master Sword only appear as glowing phantoms when the blade is swung, and are otherwise invisible with only a glowing pattern on the blade to show that something's attached, allowing it to always be sheathed properly no matter what has been affixed.
  • The stronger swords in MapleStory actually have scabbards that appear on a character's back when he or she is climbing a ladder. This trope is still played straight in that there is no sheathing animation and the swords just kind of "teleport" themselves to their storage position. Weaker swords just disappear under the same circumstances. A content patch altered the idle stances for the bulk of the particularly large weapon classes from holding the weapon in front of the player to sticking it to the back, regardless of if it has a proper scabbard sprite.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Present with Shepard and his/her party members carrying a shotgun, assault rifle, and sniper rifle on their backs simultaneously using a futuristic harness, and having a pistol in a side holster. Justified in that their weapons reduce in size when not in use due to advanced futuristic design. Though it makes one question why they don't just keep them in the same Hyperspace Arsenal as the other 150 weapons they can carry. Less justified with Jack, who despite not wearing a shirt, can still stick a shotgun to her lower back. She is a powerful biotic, though...
    • In Mass Effect 2 the Sub-Machine Guns are also in holsters.
    • Somewhat Handwaved in that the armor (even Jack's strap ensemble) has glowing bits right where the weapons attach, suggesting some sort of mechanism to hold them there.
  • The namesakes of Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction do seem to be using a type of harness for the weapons they carry, but on the other hand not only will it accept anything from a light submachine gun to an anti-tank missile launcher, they also appear to attach them with Velcro. The player models generally have visible clips and straps to hold the guns; at least they tried.
  • Metal Gear Solid has The Ninja "sheathe" his sword as though expecting it to stick to his back, though it simply vanishes. Stealth camouflage?
  • This trope even sometimes occurs with Humongous Mecha; in Mobile Suit Gundam Crossfire, your suit's weapons are stuck to the back while you have your melee weapon out. Said melee weapons usually avert this trope, though, as mobile suit designs usually include dedicated holding spots for their melee weapons.
  • Played perfectly straight in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer. Any secondary weapon that the player has in his weapon class will show up on the character's back, regardless if it's a pistol, shotgun, or grenade launcher. Taken to further lengths with the FIM-92 Stinger anti-air missile launcher — the thing is so long that it will stick up above the character's head when put on the back. As expected, this can be a problem if you're using a stealthier loadout.
  • The Monster Hunter series exhibits this in every game made so far. The games' various BFSs, bows, lances, gunlances, and hammers all stick to the player's back or hips when not in use. Slightly averted with the Longsword as it is held in a sheathe, although the sheath itself Sticks To The Back. Shields however are attached firmly to the arm. Furthermore, the bigger weapons actually have smaller models when you're carrying them on your back, as they'd clip through the ground otherwise.
  • Nearly averted in Mount & Blade by a variety of visible sheaths, belt straps, quivers, and bow cases to hold equipped items. Most two-handed weapons and shorter polearms simply stick to the back, though.
  • Particularly ridiculous in NieR, where the main character tucks away his weapon by literally sticking it to his back — whether it's a reasonably-sized one-handed sword, a two meter-long polearm, or a two-handed sword bigger than he is. The weapons even "click" audibly when they attach to... something on his back.
  • NieR: Automata: Electromagnets keep weapons hovering behind the androids' backs, represented by a little ring of light around them.
  • Ōkami's Amaterasu does this when she wields a glaive or reflector. The rosaries kind of float around her neck. Same goes for Chibiterasu, who gets another divine instrument: a pair of crystals that float by his sides. Technically, they never really "wield" them; they just fly off their back/neck/sides and attack.
  • Present in Operation Flashpoint and ARMA, though as per the series' focus on realism, weapons are still treated as though they're actually attached via a strap — for instance, swimming for too long causes your character to drop your primary weapon and lose it.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 indulges in this with the exception of Katanas, which do have a scabbard for the sole purpose of being able to base their fighting style around drawing from it. The scabbard itself still has no visible fastening mechanism. Notably, the Episode 4 update lets you choose exactly where on your character's back the weapons go.
  • Pikmin Bloom: Some Decor Pikmin wear items that just cling to their backs, such as fishing lures for ones found by watersides and dental hygiene products like toothbrushes for ones near pharmacies.
  • Done in PlanetSide, where there is an animation but they don't even look backwards to see if it's on right. One possible justification is that the Exo-suits have a built-in Ancient-tech Device that keeps the Weapons from falling off.
  • The Prince of Persia series plays with this, with Sands of Time being an aversion and both Warrior Within and Two Thrones playing it straight. Two Thrones features the "by the hip" variation.
  • In both Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5 long guns just stick to your character's back. Averted in the Resident Evil 2 (Remake) however, where you can actually see the sling on the weapon that wraps around your character's torso.
  • Non-RPG variant example: The guitars in Rock Band 1 and 2 have no shoulder straps. Yet they don't move... apparently because they stick to your belt buckle. The characters even have animations for removing the guitar after completing a song yet they don't actually pull anything off their shoulder. This has been done since the original Guitar Hero game. Supposedly this is due to odd collision physics that can occur with trying to animate a real-time guitar strap while the characters are moving.
  • Occasionally when sprinting while equipping anything larger than a pistol in Saints Row: The Third, the Boss will move the gun onto his/her back as s/he starts doing so, and then pull it back into his/her hands after the player releases the sprint button or runs out of stamina.
  • In Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden, the hero Ayden's sword sticks to his back even without a sheathe. Which he can remove and holster instantly.
  • Sea of Thieves has a pretty drastic example. Instead of weapons sticking to your person, anything that requires two hands to carry (treasure chests, loot, storage crates, gunpowder barrels) will teleport to the player's back when they climb a ladder.
  • In Sniper Elite V2, your rifle and SMG are both stored on your back when not in your hands. This means that if you have your pistol out, you're wearing your rifle on your back and your SMG on your rifle.
  • Averted in the Soulcalibur series, where the characters simply never let go of their weapons. Unless they're deliberately throwing them. Or having them explode into a dozen tiny blades and shredding you with a whirlwind of evil-powered steel. Mitsurugi plays the exception-to-the-exception, having moves based upon drawing his sword from its scabbard (or just hitting you with the scabbard). Not actually that ridiculous: Samurai (like Mitsurugi) were regularly trained in Iaijutsu. See that trope for details. Played straight with Taki though. While the art shows otherwise, the scabbard for her right-hand kodachi looks more like this trope.
  • Splinter Cell: If Sam Fisher's toting the "SC-20K" (the F2000) in a mission but doesn't have it equipped and thus in his hands, this applies. Depending on which game is being played, he may actually have a fully-modeled holster for both rifle and pistol.
  • Star Trek Online lets you choose whether you want your weapon to stick to the character's back or disappear into Hyperspace Arsenal when not being used.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Blaster rifles, staffs, vibroswords, lightsaber pikes, and a limited number of double-bladed lightsabers stick to the character's back when not in use. Other double-bladed sabers stick to the hip, like normal sabers and blaster pistols.
  • In Threads of Fate, Rue's weapon the Arc Edge — a large circular axe — is stuck to his back when not in use. Somewhat less noticeable but still just as odd is Mint's weapons, a pair of hoops called the Dual Halos, levitate at the small of her back. If you look closely, there is a loop in the sash around her waist where the rings hook onto. How they connect and disconnect from that, who knows? She is a spellcaster, a Ring trick maybe?
  • In the Tomb Raider series, any two-handed weapons such as shotguns seem to stick to Lara's back without any obvious unclipping mechanism. In Legend, Excalibur does this, with sheathing and unsheathing sounds to boot.
  • In Ultima IX all weapons from staffs to huge lightning swords Stick to the Back.
  • In the first three Uncharted games, none of the rifles and shotguns Nate picks up have slings on them. But it doesn't matter because they just stick to his back until he needs to use them, the implication being that he has a magnet in his chest holster. The exceptions are the fourth game in the series, A Thief's End, where the long guns have slings, and all the multiplayer modes, where characters feature leg holsters (but only for their handguns).
  • The Wind Road depicts you travelling with your sword sheathed to your back, and you can draw and sheathe it in two seconds despite its length. Later on, you can obtain a Neptunian Blade, both of which attach conveniently to your back no problem.
  • The Witcher was originally going to avert this —- pre-release screenshots show both of Geralt's swords in sheaths on his back — but the sheaths were dropped not long before release, making the game fall square into this trope. There is a third-party mod however that adds the sheaths back into the game (although they don't clip properly during the sheathing/unsheathing animations). This is also shown by how he draws his sword: rather than just removing it from his back like a fridge magnet he pulls it up and out, keeping it straight as if it were in a scabbard. He does the same when putting it away again, holding it partially by the blade. Proper back sheaths for Geralt's swords did manage to make it into The Witcher 2 and The Witcher 3.
  • World of Warcraft: two-handed weapons and shields use the classic "on the back" version, while the rest just stick to the hip.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1 has this particularly blatantly, given the size of some weapons. Something interesting is the two characters who don't use something with a sheathe (Sharla's Ether rifles and Reyn's massive shields with gun and sword attachments) visibly duck under their weapons as they put them away, suggesting the presence of an invisible strap. Shulk uses the Monado for a great portion of the game, which makes it all the more blatant when some camera angles show you that the thing isn't even touching his back at all.

    Web Animation 


    Western Animation 
  • Phantom 2040 has the title hero wielding twin pistols that magnetically attached to his thighs.
  • In ReBoot, accessories like Guardian Keytools like Bob's Glitch, Matrix's gun, and even everyday items like zip boards or Enzo's yo-yo are simply stuck to their owner's wrist or hip without any form of strap or holster. Fully justified, as the series takes place inside a computer-based world and might even be considered akin to attaching a file to an e-mail. Looking at how common this trope is in video games nowadays, it's also a case of Accidentally-Correct Writing.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: The Sword of Protection regularly sticks to Adora's back throughout the first few seasons. Sometimes, she'll even drop it or otherwise have it end up on the ground, and then without her seeming to go back for it, it'll reappear on her back offscreen. In season 4, she figures out how to convert it into a stylish gold bracelet instead. And in season 5, when the Sword has been destroyed and manifests as part of the regained She-Ra transformation, she no longer needs to worry about even having it; it just pops into existence when she transforms.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • Zeb and Agent Kallus both carry their bo-rifles on their backs with magnets.
    • All of the Inquisitors save the Seventh Sister carry their double-bladed lightsabers via magnets on their backs.
  • In ThunderCats, while the Sword of Omens is actually sheathed in the clawshield, the clawshield just stuck to Lion-o's leg, often with a glowing effect. Similarly, Cheetara's bo-staff stuck to her armband, and WilyKit's capsules just stuck to her belt (her brother's were at least in a pouch).
  • In Xcalibur, the 2nd episode has Herrik provide Princess Djana with a magical scabbard for the eponymous sword. All she has to do is place it on her back, and the scabbard will form around it, essentially sticking it to her back. She doesn't even have to de-sheathe her sword either: she takes it off her back and the sheath disappears.


Video Example(s):


Noble Six

In Halo, guns are stored for later by literally sticking to the wielder's back, as seen here with Noble Six holstering a rifle. Though the official line per Word of God is that Spartan Armour is magnetic.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / SticksToTheBack

Media sources: