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Throwing Your Shield Always Works

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"When Captain America throws his mighty shield
All those who chose to oppose his shield must yield!"

A Sub-Trope of Throwing Your Sword Always Works and Improbable Use of a Weapon, a shield is thrown at a target. Varies from just hitting to slicing. Almost always expect shields used this way to be circular or disc-like shields, essentially turning them into giant metal frisbees.

In truth, normal shields are often far too large, heavy, and aerodynamically inept to be thrown effectively, and most of the time don't return to the user, so your major defensive tool is now halfway across the room. In fiction, Applied Phlebotinum, Acceptable Breaks from Reality, and Rule of Cool can be thanked for this actually working.

See also Shield Bash and Deadly Disc.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Inuyasha: While it's not a shield per se but rather a giant magical Battle Boomerang by technicality, the Hirokaitsu used by Sango is so large she also uses it as a literal shield when the need arises. It even has a strap that can be used to carry it on one's back and a handle which is needed to throw it because of its sheer size and weight thus literally simulating a kite or tower shield when Sango uses it in a defensive manner. Primarily used as an offensive weapon, she can even use other functions associated with shields using the Hirokaitsu such as Shield Bash.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED:
    • Athrun kills Tolle by throwing his mech's enormous shield through his aircraft's cockpit, decapitating him in the process. Ouch.
    • Then in Gundam SEED Destiny, Shinn one-ups him in by throwing his shield at the Freedom and firing at the shield. Since the shield has anti-beam coating, the shot ricochets off the shield and hits the Freedom. Needless to say, Kira really didn't expect that.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, the Shenlong Gundam throws its shield at a few enemies in space, whilst the Deathscythe's (rocket-powered, Laser Blade-tipped) shield is actually its primary ranged weapon.
    • Shenlong's shield (either the TV or Endless Waltz version) can likewise be thrown in Gundam Breaker 2, where it has the added benefit of causing stun on hit.
  • The Pretty Cure franchise:
    • Cure Mint's Emerald Saucer is primarily used as a thrown shield.
    • Cure Rosetta's Rosetta Reflection can also be thrown, but it's primarily used as... a shield. Though, she can fire a Kamehame Hadouken with it, too.
    • Cure Moonlight subverts this trope. Her Moonlight Reflection allows her to summon two shields and she shoots one of them to the enemy. Though, she does not aim the enemy, rather she reflects the enemy attack with her other shield, and if the enemy dodges, the first shield reflects it back and hits the enemy from behind.
  • In Saint Seiya, the "weighing pans" of the Gold Cloth of Libra become huge dual shields when assembled as armor. The chains from which they hang in its "balanced scales" form spool into the shields themselves. When using one as a weapon, the wielder holds onto the chain and flings the shield at its target, edge-first, and then he reels it back with the chain (taking care not to be plowed over by it on its return trip). Aside from their unsurpassed defensive power, the Shields (like all Libra weapons) are impossibly destructive regardless of the user's personal strength, capable of shattering the legendary Pillars that hold up the Seven Seas... but not the Main Breadwinner, the principal support at the center of Poseidon's Shrine.
  • My Hero Academia: Crust, one of the Top 10 heroes, is a Barrier Warrior who does this move a lot, bordering on When All You Have Is a Hammer… degrees. Its useful for a surprisingly large amount of situations; amongst other things, we see him use it to bring down High-End Nomus, protect his allies from attacks, and launch Aizawa into air to save him from Shigaraki's "Decay" attack (at the cost of his own life).

    Comic Books 
  • Captain America, the patron saint of this trope, does this with the addition of his shield being a Precision-Guided Boomerang. Justified by the shield's round frisbee-like shape and unique metallurgical properties, but stories have occasionally shown Cap throwing his original "heater" style shield with almost as much effectiveness.
    • Some stories made clear it's more a case of the wielder's skill: it only always works with Steve Rogers or similarly skilled wielders. Steve's temporary replacement John Walker only got it to fly in a straight line (even with Taskmaster's training, though he eventually got a little better with his own shield as US Agent). After Cap's temporary death, Iron Man looked for somebody else to take up the shield. Everybody who tried to throw the thing accomplished little more than making themselves look like idiots. Hawkeye was skilled enough, but refused the role. Then Bucky Barnes, whose cyborg enhancements amplified his skills, became the new Captain America.
    • Lampshaded in the DC vs. Marvel crossover when Cap does battle with Bane.
      Captain America: Don't force me to have to hurt you, Bane!
      Bane: The warnings of the shield-slinger are much appreciated...
      <Cap throws his shield, missing Bane>
      Bane: ...Almost as much as his abysmal aim.
      <Bane lifts Cap over his head>
      Bane: You have thrown away what slight advantage your weapon might have provided, exposing yourself to a back-breaking attack that will leave you crippled and useless. I wonder, stranger, what sort of pathetic strategy you call that.
      <Cap's shield comes back on a return trajectory, hitting Bane in the back of the head with a loud BLAANNG! and driving his face into the pavement>
      Captain America: The kind that works. Now… no more back talk from you.
  • Paperinik New Adventures: Among many other nice features, Paperinik's Extransformer shield can be launched and then transformed into a boomerang to return to the sender. Justified by the advanced technology involved.
  • Captain America's take on this is parodied twice in Rat-Man (1989):
    • In a fanzine-era story, the actual Cap (transformed in a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo in later reprints) shows up to teach Rat-Man, and when he does it the shield does a lot of things among bounces, including cleaning with the vacuum. But he wasn't always that good, as Nick Fury's missing eye can testify.
      • Rat-Man is obviously a disaster with it, and nearly hits Fury's remaining eye during training. Then, when he's the last hope against Hydra's take over of the world, he has an Imagine Spot in which he finally succeeds (and also hits a cat. He hates cats), then he actually launches... And then cut to old Rat-Man, who once again didn't end the story of his adventure with Cap and the blind colonel, and then salutes them with "Heil Hydra".
    • In a later story, Valker muses on the many superheroes he killed, all of which either believed themselves bulletproof or believed he wouldn't shoot and of which he has gloves or masks with a hole in them as trophies. Then he remembers the one who carried a shield... And wonders why the hell he threw it (Valker shot him, and then took the Captain America-like shield as a trophy).
  • Laura Kinney / Wolverine II pulls this off in an issue of All-New Wolverine, to her sidekick Gabby's utter delight.
  • In Big Bang Comics, the Badge—who is an Captain Ersatz of the Guardian with elements of Captain America (both creations of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby)—sometimes throws his shield (although it does not generally return).
  • Explicitly defied with The Fighting American. Due to a lawsuit from Marvel, the character is LEGALLY BARRED from throwing his shield.

    Comic Strips 
  • Judges Guild's The Dungeoneer magazine #9, strip "The Valley of Black Death". When a warrior is threatened by a female warlock he throws his shield at her. It breaks the pendant around her neck (the source of her power) and then chops right into her, killing her. She suffers Rapid Aging and is reduced to a skeleton and dust within seconds.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Child of the Storm has Captain America, naturally, while Carol Danvers learns to do this in the sequel with her own shield - the first time she tries, with a classic knightly shield, it more or less hits the mark, before very pointedly not coming back to her hand. Her later shield justifies the trope as it's made of Uru (the same stuff as Mjolnir) and shaped the same way as Steve's shield, as well as being enchanted to come back to her hand with a thought - plus, she's Steve's great-granddaughter and a Super-Soldier. And even then, she needs several months of training before she's any good at it.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines features a Chesnaught that can use Spiky Shield this way to attack. Notable since in Pokémon canon, Spiky Shield is a Counter-Attack move that only damages opponents when they use a physical attack.


  • Used by Derfel in The Warlord Chronicles during a pre-battle single combat. He spots that the Saxon champion he's about to fight is going to charge and overwhelm him with speed and brute force, and counters by throwing his shield into the other man's face and then gutting him while he's knocking it aside.

    Live Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pathfinder includes an archetype for the Brawler class called the Shield Champion that lets you use your shield as a Pinball Projectile. It's very clearly inspired by Captain America. The defense-focused Iron Tortoise discipline from the Path of War supplement also includes some shield-hurling moves.

    • A normal Skrall throws its Saw Blade Shield at Gresh during an Arena Match.
    • Inverted in the Mata Nui Online Game, where a Disk, a projectile weapon, is used to shield the holder against Rahi attacks.

    Video Games 
  • Possible in Ancient Domains of Mystery and Dwarf Fortress alike. Both games allow throwing of nearly any item, with shields not being excluded. ADOM even has a single Shield skill, which matters and is trained by both blocking attacks with a shield and throwing one from the missile slot. Due to shields' high mass, severally times higher than an arrow's, and lack of reusability, it generally isn't worth the weight.
  • One of Brynn's moves in Atlas Reactor, complete with bouncing off walls and returning to her hand afterwards.
  • In the Battle Clash/Metal Combat duology, Carlos is able to do this with both his mechs, the ST Baron and later the ST Viscount.
  • In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, Athena can toss her Kinetic Aspis when she has it out. It can eventually be upgraded to pinball between targets. Lampshaded in one of the trailers, where Handsome Jack notes that she's just like someone whose name rhymes with "Schmaptain Schmamerica"
  • In The Darkness II, it works darn well because the eponymous creature's Combat Tentacles throw shields, car doors, steel plates, and the like with enough force to slice opponents in half.
  • In DC Universe Online, you can have a shield as a melee weapon if you have access to The Last Laugh DLC. Throwing it is your character's default block breaker attack.
  • Some of the Finis enemies in Devil May Cry 2 fight with razor-lined shields that they throw at you.
  • In Destiny 2, the Titan Subclass "Sentinel" has an attack which involves throwing its shield during its super.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy:
    • The Warrior of Light starts off half of his combos by throwing his shield at the enemy, pulling them in with it, and then following up with magic or a sword slash sequence.
    • And, in Duodecim, he gets an HP attack that uses only his shield.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II has the skill "Bouncing Shield" under the Warfare skill. It's a little unusual in that it just deals damage without the ability to inflict a status effect. However, the damage it deals is based on the defensive properties of the character's shield instead of their weapon, meaning there are many stages of the game where it deals more than double the damage of other attacks.
  • In Doom mod GMOTA, there is the Warding Shield subweapon, and you can throw it to enemies like a boomerang.
  • The Dynasty Warriors franchise has several examples.
    • In the main series, Xingcai wields the standard sword and shield moveset. One of her moves involves throwing her shield forward and having it fly back to her, damaging any enemies in its path. Lu Lingqi will also receive this move in the 9th main iteration, where she also wields a sword and shield.
    • In Samurai Warriors, Muneshige Tachibana has this as one of his Hyper Attack finishers, starting from the 4th main iteration.
    • In Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, Johnny Ridden's Gelgoog can throw its shield as a boomerang.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, one of the Gladiator's/Paladin's signatures moves is the Shield Lob, their only ranged attack which has a trait of granting extra enmity, enduring the enemy focuses on the tanking character. Used as an opening move usually.
  • The Ghosts 'n Goblins video game had a shield... it was intended to be a short-range throwing weapon.
  • The Gladiatorial SRPG Gladius features this with the shield focused Myrmidon class as one of its more powerful set of skills.
  • Grim Dawn: The Oathkeeper's Aegis of Menhir skill throws their equipped shield to damage and stun an enemy, sometimes hitting additional foes before boomeranging back; it's a skill explicitly granted by the earth god Menhir, whose blessings normally veer towards making their faithful damn near unkillable. The Avenging Shield passive causes the Aegis to chain to more enemies and gives it a blast radius.
  • Hades: This is the special attack of Aegis, with this trope functioning story-wise due to it explicitly being a divine artefact. When used, the shield will fly off to strike the closest foe and return to Zagreus no matter where he is, and can be upgraded to strike multiple enemies in a row. Gameplay-wise this option is generally little more than a Ranged Emergency Weapon unless upgraded, being one of the least damaging attacks in the game in terms of DPS.
  • An ability of Nariko in Heavenly Sword when she comes across any applicable shields, which she retains in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. She can throw them to solve puzzles, and is able to make them ricochet off surfaces.
  • Some of Goofy's attacks in the Kingdom Hearts series have him throwing his shield.
  • In the computer game Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos, chucking shields at a certain boss kills it faster than either throwing actual weapons or using the weapon you're supposed to kill it with.
  • Poppy, the Keeper of the Hammer in League of Legends uses this occasionally as part of her reworked kit. Every few seconds, rather than attacking with her gigantic warhammer, she will instead throw her buckler at her target at significantly further range, doing bonus damage. It then lands on the ground nearby for her to pick up to gain a shield. If it kills the target, it returns to her hand, automatically granting the shield.
  • Early on in Maximo: Ghosts to Glory, Maximo learns a shield-tossing skill that allows him to hit distant enemies. A successful hit chips away at the shield's durability, and if used too often, it will break.
  • Mega Man:
  • Path of Exile: The Skill Gem Spectral Shield Throw allows a character to throw a ghostly copy of their shield that on impact, deals physical damage to the enemy and releases shards that deals damage to nearby enemies. Unlike most attack skills, Spectral Shield Throw uses your shield's stats to calculate damage.
  • Kanji Tatsumi's Critical Hit animation in Persona 4 starts with him tossing his weapon (usually a shield of some sort) edge-first at the enemy, kicking it while it's stunned and then decking it with a right cross.
  • The skill Shield Boomerang in Ragnarok Online, which is exclusive to the Crusader class.
  • Azai Nagamasa from Sengoku Basara.
  • Shieldmaiden Remix, an indie platformer action-game, is made of this trope. Your titular cyber-warrior wields a shield made of energy, and runs around throwing it at incoming enemies as well as bosses, and the shield is digitally programmed to return to you instantly after each throw.
  • Both Sophitia and Cassandra of Soul Calibur have throws that involve shoving their opponent away and hurling their shield at them.
  • Rygar's Diskarmor, a shield with a chain attached to it to use as a yo-yo attack, is the video game grandpappy of this trope.
  • The Buckler shield in Tribes: Vengeance can be thrown (and guided with the mouse) at enemies. It's very useful for killing enemies in midair.
  • The Way of Cinnamon: Cinnamon can throw his shield at enemies to defeat them. It also acts as a temporary mid-air platform for him.
  • Protection-specced Paladins in World of Warcraft can do this with their Avenger's Shield talent, in a clear Shout-Out to Captain America, leading member of the Avengers. Warriors prefer the use of the other trope instead.
  • Zero K, The Felon unit shoots its own shield and its allies' shields with its shield gun.

    Web Animation 
  • This shows up in many of Monty Oum's works:
    • Haloid: During the battle between the Covenant and MC/Samus Aran, MC throws a Covenant shield at a Covenant Elite and cuts its off.
    • In Dead Fantasy II, Rinoa throws her shield/boomerang/buzzsaw Silenced Tear at an opponent.
    • In RWBY, Pyrrha Nikos's shield can be thrown and returns like a boomerang. Justified in that she has control over magnetism, and can remotely control the flight path of her shield to some degree.


    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • In the The Three Musketeers (part of The Banana Splits show) episode "The Haunted Castle", d'Artagnan throws a shield at a mook.
  • In The Herculoids, Zandor often used his shield as a weapon.
  • As a Shout-Out to the character that inspired him, Captain America Expy Commander Steel does this in the Grand Finale of Justice League Unlimited.
  • In the Samurai Jack season 2 episode "Jack and The Spartans". One of the Spartan soldiers throws their shields to cut through swathes of robot minotaurs. Curiously the Spartan's shields are futuristic, as they are able to turn into deadly discs, as parts of it extend and spin, essentially turning them into buzzsaws, making it slightly more plausible why it could fly through the air easily and slice through robots.
  • Enoch from Ben 10 can throw his shield that acts as boomerang.
  • The titular character of Steven Universe can generate a magic shield, which turned out to be throwable. It doesn't do much damage, but, being an Actual Pacifist, he's perfectly fine with that. And since it's made of Hard Light and summoned from his gem, he can always make it disappear and come back.
  • PJ Masks: the shields that Gekko gains due to his Mid-Season Upgrade can double as throwing weapons.
  • In the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Cry Freedom Fighters!", Batman does this with a round Qwardian shield. While posessing the powers (and therefore the colour scheme) of the Freedom Fighters' Uncle Sam.


Video Example(s):


Melon Defender

When Ryugen tries to cut and run from their battle, Zangetsu stops his escape cold by flinging the Melon Defender at him, which then returns to his hand.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / ThrowingYourShieldAlwaysWorks

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