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Trigger Happy

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This also solves the question of who does the dishes.

Border Guard: Recreational shooting? There's a hundred thousand bullets here!
Yuri Orlov: I'm a little trigger happy.


Some people really, really like guns. Maybe they're Compensating for Something. Maybe they see all problems as solvable with More Dakka. Maybe they just prefer to shoot first and ask questions later.

Mr. (or Ms.) Trigger Happy tends to have some (or all) of the following traits:

See also the whole family of people who have a little too much fun murdering people, i.e., Ax-Crazy, Chainsaw Good, Gatling Good, Knife Nut... Of course, even a mellow and sane person can sometimes find himself in a situation where the only thing to do is Shoot Everything That Moves. But if you're Trigger Happy, you'll enjoy it more. Despite being a commonly-seen trait of fictional Gun Nuts, Gunslingers and Crazy Survivalists, those tropes and this one are by no means mutually inclusive (famous movie Gun Nut Burt Gummer, for instance, is very, very strict when it comes to gun safety).


Compare/Contrast Orgasmic Combat and Combat Sadomasochist. Not to be confused with Trigger Happy TV or Trigger Happy Havoc. If the character in-question is trying to get retribution, and is willing to be rude and mean to get it, then they may be a Pushy Gun-Toting Villain. See also Hair-Trigger Temper, whose name is derived from gun triggers but doesn't always involve literal triggers.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Revy from Black Lagoon is the Sociopathic Hero version of this trope. When she goes into "Whitman Fever," though...
  • Full Metal Panic!:
    • Gauron. He actually had to be restrained from shooting a pilot (who was the only one who even knew how to operate the plane everyone was on), all because he just likes shooting and killing so much.
    • Sōsuke is also very Trigger Happy but in the more non-lethal way. He just really seems to like shooting and blowing things up. In the Full Metal Panic! Overload manga, this is taken to an extreme, where it might very well have been the lethal way, but is played for laughs. In fact, it's so bad that in one of the stories, he's actually shown having withdrawal symptoms because he hadn't shot a gun that day (due to promising Chidori he wouldn't bring his guns or shoot anyone). He Lampshades it by thinking that he shouldn't feel this way since it would make him a Gun Nut. To put it in his thoughts: "The recoil and muzzle flash when I fire, the lingering smell of gunpowder... experiencing these on the battlefield truly makes me feel alive!" Sōsuke is also lampshaded as "The Trigger-Happiest S.O.B." in Full Metal Panic! — so in other words, in canon, yes, he is indeed moreso than everyone including Gauron. (Though this actually makes a bit more sense when one takes into account that knives are Gauron's chosen weapon and specialty, not guns... since he enjoys slashing and cutting people up close and personal.)
    • Sōsuke meets his match when he encounters the mad policewoman in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, who gets into a shootout with Sōsuke in his Bonta-kun costume. In a later episode where she hears the gun-toting Bonta-kun is on the loose again, her fellow police officers have to physically restrain her from going berserk with Guns Akimbo FN-P90's.
  • Robert from Haré+Guu. He's even shooting it off in the opening.
  • Reborn from Reborn! (2004), who, as Tsuna notes, looks ridiculously happy at the thought of being able to shoot people. Of course, the person he ends up shooting is always Tsuna.
  • Train Heartnet from Black Cat is this, somewhat. His gun has a name, "Hades", and he's shown to get a bit restless when he hasn't shot anything for a while. Although being a Technical Pacifist, he's forced to not kill people with it, that doesn't prevent him from shooting things out of their hands or simply wounding them.
  • Leena from Zoids: New Century, only on a Humongous Mecha gun caliber (her preferred method of choice to try to deal with a problem? Fire all of her Zoid's guns in the general direction of the target and hope it drops dead. And her Zoid packs many guns).
  • Most notable in Digimon: Gargomon, a trigger happy Rambo bunny (Dog actually, but who cares?) with gatling guns for hands.
  • Of course, we can't forget Alucard, from Hellsing. He carries two impossibly heavy guns, Jackel and his Casull Joshua. And the ever-popular image of him resting his vampire canines on the barrel of the gun.
  • Genkaku from Deadman Wonderland. Wielding a double-machine gun-electric guitar, he really really loves to use it. He expresses great disappointment when Mouzuri restrains him from shooting Ganta. Not to mention that he even has an affectionate name for it, calling it "Flying V." He generally treats it with a lot more compassion and love than any human he encounters in the series, and the only time he's shown crying is when it's broken by Shiro. He keeps a grudge towards Shiro because of it and is shown saying he'll hold a funeral service for it (something he'd never do for a human).
  • Giroro of Sgt. Frog is hardly ever seen without his gun. When not firing it, he's either wearing it, polishing it, or messing around with a different weapon.

    Comic Books 
  • Pig's militaristic Guard Duck from Pearls Before Swine. He constantly believes that everyone besides Pig and his friends are the enemy and his first solution to problems is to shoot like crazy.
  • Sin City characters are over this trope. Marv certainly laughs when he kills his enemies and calls his gun Gladys. The Cool Gun love is there as well. Dwight and the Old Town girls are also quite fond of mowing down enemies as seen in the climax of Big Fat Kill.
  • Spider-Man once asked The Punisher if he has his own private lead mine after the latter goes trigger happy in a fight. Given an Ironic Echo later on when Punisher asked Spidey if he buys his web fluid wholesale after the web-head completely cocoons some mooks.
  • In the Lucky Luke episode that introduced the Dalton brothers, Jack Dalton was this, to the point where he scared his own brothers. Ironically this is also his downfall; had he waited until he had a clearer shot he might have gotten Luke without warning him, and he is ultimately defeated when he accidentally sets fire to his own bullet supply. In later comics, Joe Dalton is also this, but only towards Lucky Luke.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney, oddly enough, seems to love this trope.
    • Panchito from The Three Caballeros is the Ur-Example Disney-wise. He displays his excitement by discharging a fusillade of shots from the two six-shooters he always carries: firing off way more than six shots from each of them.
    • Pecos Bill in Melody Time who — amongst other acts — shoots out all the stars in the sky but one, which is why Texas is the 'Lone Star State'.
    • Trigger from Robin Hood (1973). It doesn't help that Trigger's crossbow "Old Betsy" is notoriously unreliable and goes off at the slightest provocation. The Sheriff starts making Trigger go first to reduce the risk of being shot by mistake.
    • Madame Medusa in The Rescuers, combined with Reckless Gun Usage, blasting with her shotgun when she has no clear target in sight.
  • EVE in WALL•E, given that her job is to go into possibly hostile territory, carries a laser grun and (at first) responds to the slightest sound or movement with shooting in its general direction.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Tommy DeVito from Goodfellas, who is more than willing to shoot dead whoever insults him.
  • Emilio Estevez' Cowboy Cop character in Loaded Weapon 1, named Jack Colt. At one point the Police Psychiatrist claims he's "gun happy." He points his gun at her.
  • Eugene Tackleberry from Police Academy, who enthusiastically demolishes a shooting range and has to engage in Extended Disarming when sleeping with a female Cowboy Cop who shares his liking for firearms.
  • Baby Face Nelson in Public Enemies. Truth in Television, because in real life, Baby Face used to work for Al Capone, but was kicked out for his itchy trigger finger and even John Dillinger disliked having to work with him (the feeling was mutual). Paradoxically, he was a devoted husband and father who often had his wife and children with him while he was on the run. Nelson is known to have killed more federal agents than any one person.
  • In O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Nelson is portrayed as manic-depressive, and he's very trigger-happy when he's feeling good.
    Nelson: (while hanging out the door of a moving vehicle) Han' me dat choppah!
    Delmar: Say, what line o' work ya in, George?
    Nelson: (firing the Thompson at the cops) Ha ha ha ha! Come and get me, coppers! You flatfooted, lame-brained, soft-ass sonsabitches!
  • Jim West in Wild Wild West, as lampshaded by President Grant: "Shoot first, shoot later, shoot some more and then when everybody's dead try to ask a question or two!"
  • Ironhide in the Transformers live-action films is extremely trigger happy. In the first film, he recommends that they kill Sam's parents simply to expedite Sam's search for the MacGuffin. In the first video game, it's implied he blew up a planet, though he insists it would have blown up anyway.
  • Dear Wendy: Happens gradually over the space of the film. The protagonist actually hates guns at first.
  • In Kelly's Heroes, there's a scene during the mission where the platoon's corporal is going among the men to see if they need more ammunition. Most of the men merely say they need just one or two magazines, but one soldier says he needs eight. The corporal tells him he's trigger-happy, gives him two magazines, and tells him to watch it. When the private gives a non-committal answer, the corporal gets serious, punches him in the shoulder, and repeats the order. This is very much Truth in Television, small-unit Sergeants and officers know very well it's a good idea to keep a close eye on trigger-happy personnel. Impulsive behavior like this is a sign of both a lack of discipline and perhaps something deeper...
  • One of the generals in Pixels keeps on saying "so let's attack (whatever nation/game is considered a culprit at the moment)!", to the annoyance of others.
  • Mabel "Madea" Simmons carries a handgun in her purse, and is not at all reluctant to whip it out and start shooting. Just ask the folks who have a party in her house.
    Mr. Brown: SHE GOT A GUN!
  • Dr. Watson in Holmes & Watson, who uses just about any excuse to reach for his pistol, including trying to kill a mosquito, and who announces Holmes' arrival in court with a fusillade of gunshots.
  • Bob in Jungle Goddess, whose reaction to anything unexpected is to shoot it. This includes him shooting a coconut dropped by a very lost orangutan.
  • Rufus Clements in Hannie Caulder. Pretty much every one of the Clements brothers problems stems from Rufus' propensity to open up with his Sawed-Off Shotgun at the drop of a hat. Dialogue reveals that he shot their father in the face, and while Rufus swears that was an accident, his brothers don't believe him.
  • Walter in The Big Lebowski carries a pistol and doesn't hesitate to pull it out when there is a dispute over a bowling score.
  • In Mistress of the Apes, Evil Poacher Thurston is a Gun Nut with a fondness for large calibre hunting rifles. He has a habit of starting shooting without warning, and usually without a clear target.
  • Batman Forever: On multiple occasions, Two-Face shoots off his gun into the air or readily draws it during a berserker motif. His very first impulse when Riddler enters his hideout is to threaten to blow his head off, and his preferred method of getting Riddler to stop with the flattering and get to the point is a "Shut Up!" Gunshot.
  • The Danish movie Flickering Lights has this scene where Mads Mikkelsen gets annoyed at a cow and decides to shoot it dead.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Addams Family: Uncle Fester is fond of solving problems with his blunderbuss. In "Cousin Itt Visits the Addams Family", having heard about an escaped animal and not realizing it's Cousin Itt, the Addamses arm themselves with shotguns. Uncle Fester takes a shot at Gomez's safari hat when he peeks over the back of the sofa. Gomez immediately tells everyone that they should shoot the beast, not simply anything moving. Later, when the family finds out that the commissioner locked Itt up in a zoo exhibit, Fester jumps to the solution of shooting the man in the back, politely asking him to turn around so he can do so.
  • In what might be the only nonlethal variation, Parker on Leverage is trigger happy with various stun guns and tasers.
  • Flash Point: A wanna-be SRU member doesn't pass the exam when he's a little too eager to shoot a perp, or possibly a guy who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • Deadliest Catch: The Hillstrands mark special occasions with automatic rifle fire (plus fireworks and flare guns).
  • Carlton Lassiter on Psych is the butt of many wisecracks from everyone in the SBPD for being this (especially when shooting inanimate objects that he mistook for an attacker).
  • How I Met Your Mother: Robin calls herself a "gun enthusiast". She took Marshall to the range to blow off a little steam when Lily left him.
  • Frank from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has a habit of pulling out his pistol when he gets angry or threatened (which happens easily). Usually the gang has to physically hold him down from actually shooting a person with it.


  • Our Miss Brooks: In "New School Bus", Mr. Boynton buys an old paddy wagon for use as a school bus. Mrs. Davis uses the opportunity to drive around in the wagon, pretending to be a trigger happy cop. Fortunately, she's using a toy gun and shooting blanks!

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Orks are the Trope Namers for More Dakka. Enuff said.
    • Chaos Dreadnoughts have a chance to go completely nuts, firing every single one of their weapons in a single turn.
  • In Warhammer the Skaven Doomwheel must be fired at someone every turn. If there are enemies within range, all the better.
  • Dark Champions includes a villain called Trigger Happy who certainly lives up to his name. Several other Dark Champions villains also qualify.


    Video Games 
  • Forte Stollen of the Galaxy Angel gameverse. Her personal Cool Ship is equipped with a pair of starfighter-sized gatling guns and enough missiles to shame your average UN Spacy pilot. Heck, the name of this flying death machine is even Happy Trigger.
    • Forte's anime counterpart is obsessed with military hardware, practically living for rare and antique firearms and never hesitating to try them out on people. Fortunately for everyone else, she exhibits A-Team Firing on pretty much anybody who isn't Normad.
  • Revolver Ocelot from Metal Gear Solid. To put it in his words, "There's nothing like the feeling of slamming a long, silver bullet into a well-greased chamber." The man loves his guns.
  • One of the Shadow Master's goons from the Double Dragon animated series is named Trigger Happy. True to his name, he's got a big gun.
    • Willy, the Big Bad of the original arcade game, is nicknamed "Machine Gun" Willy for his favorite Weapon of Choice.
  • Big Bad Mr. X from Streets of Rage isn't shy of firing his gun either, even if he hits his own Mooks most of the time.
  • The Heavy from Team Fortress 2 really, really loves his miniguns. He has given them names, they have their own cradles to lie on, he gets ticked off if someone other than him touches them, he's proud of how much it costs to shoot them, and in the final seconds of his introductory video "Meet the Heavy", he's laughing like a madman as he unleashes said minigun on the opposing team.
  • Both Jak and Daxter follow this trope, though Jak uses the BFG more often.
  • In Dead Rising, Cletus Samson and both Roger Hall and his son Jack have a policy of "shoot first, ask questions later" in dealing with humans that they seem to enjoy. Perhaps somewhat understandable as the zombie outbreak did turn a number of human survivors homicidally insane. Then again, that they take it to an extreme that makes them obviously Trigger Happy is what makes them among those humans themselves.
  • Axl of the Mega Man X series, especially compared to Technical Pacifist X and Shell-Shocked Veteran Zero.
  • Final Fantasy VII: The typical response of Barret Wallace to any problem he faces is to let loose with the drill/chainsaw/BFG he's got hooked up to the end of his arm. It's Justified later in the game when you find out just why Barret's so Trigger Happy to begin with.
  • In Jagged Alliance 2, any mercenary with the "Psycho" trait can and will, when armed with a weapon capable of automatic fire, fire it on automatic. Even if you told them to fire a single shot or a burst.
  • Trigger Happy from Skylanders. He's a crazy gremlin goldslinger whose main weapons are a pair of golden guns that shoot golden coins. His personality is described as gunplay being his solution to every problem and he "will take down any bad guy... usually without bothering to aim."
  • Red Dead Redemption: John Marston is trying to get over his problem of being one of these, but the time where he shot up three Mexican troublemakers for stealing his hat comes to mind.
  • Salvador the Gunzerker from Borderlands 2.
    • Anyone with a gun on Pandora is likely this.
  • Marisa from Touhou Project is a variant; she doesn't have a gun but is mentioned to be trigger-happy, and the gun is just replaced with magic missiles and giant lasers most of the time.
  • Crash Bandicoot has Pinstripe Potoroo, the head of the potoroo mafia that is really fond of his Tommy Gun. In the first game, he practically shoots at you almost nonstop while laughing wildly. In Crash Team Racing, in the epilogue, he's mentioned to become a used car salesman who's fond of using his Tommy Gun to "make his customers decide faster".
  • In The Feeble Files, SAM is a robot specifically designed for mass destruction and tries to find every possible excuse to try solving every problem he comes across by shooting at it. He's not happy that other characters, especially Feeble, do not share the same sentiment and keep ordering him to stay civil.

    Web Comics 
  • Craze from Building 12.
  • Freckle of Lackadaisy fame is this, though he generally only becomes so when he has a gun in hand, to the point where he got booted out of the police force for being too enthusiastic.
  • Vaarsuvius of The Order of the Stick would be this if s/he had a gun. As it is, s/he just uses spell spam.
  • In Commander Kitty, the normally goofy and harmless (but egotistical) CK can get surprisingly trigger-happy when the Triple-I are on his case.
  • Mell from Narbonic is a clear example. Not only did she get kicked out of both heaven and hell quite quickly, she seemed very happy when she found a recording of herself from the future, stating that she has/was/is going to destroy the universe.
  • The first thing Tabbi does in We Are The Wyrecats when the team walks in on her unexpectedly? Start shooting at everyone, naturally.
  • Schlock Mercenary: Schlock himself takes every possible to intimidate or incinerate any and all available targets with the plasma cannon he keeps in his mouth. Most of the other mercenaries are also itching for a fight at all times.

    Web Original 
  • That Guy with the Glasses:
  • Caddicarus uses a gun in nearly every episode. It's even part of his gimmick — if a game is bad, he "slaughters" it by shooting it with a gun (good games get the "salvage" when they are beamed with a transporter). He also shoots off secondary characters left and right, including other reviewers who join him for a crossover.
  • Joe the skeleton from Professor Shadow is rarely seen without some type of gun in his hands. It is common for him to shoot at random people or just shoot his guns around in the air like crazy.

    Western Animation 
  • Scrooge McDuck's New Old Flame Glittering Goldie on DuckTales (1987).
  • Heinrich "Herr Trigger" Triggermensch, one of the three assassins sent after Brock Samson during the Season Three Finale of The Venture Bros., is one of these, complete with licking his gun-barrel in sexual ecstasy during his fight scene.
  • Minor Decepticon Triggerhappy in Transformers: Generation 1 lives up to his name. Apparently while goofing around at the military academy he accidentally vaporized his entire squad of trainees and his instructor. This earned him an immediate graduation and field promotion. However, some theorize that his crazed affection for heavy automatic weaponry isn't due to pride at this defining moment, but because he happened to bump his head pretty bad in said accident.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Hasbro's other popular boy's toy franchise, features Metal-Head, a loud, goofy, talkative moron with dual missile launchers on his back and a tendency to fire them at every opportunity, usually just because he likes bright lights and loud noises. He might as well be Triggerhappy's squishy human cousin. Surprisingly for a series where A-Team Firing was common, he actually turned out to be a pretty good shot.
  • The Simpsons
  • Meanwhile, another character voiced by Dan Castellaneta, Earthworm Jim, has this as his modus operandi- "EAT DIRT, EVERYONE IN THE VICINITY! AH-HA-HAHAHAHAHA!"
  • Futurama: Mom's Friendly Killbots will automatically shoot whenever anyone mentions anything resembling gun terminology, like getting howitzer out of "how it's her." They usually shoot the person or Killbot that says the gun term. This is in addition to shooting anything that moves.
  • Stan Smith of American Dad! has hundreds of guns behind every wall of his house, including one in his pillow. "200 thread count, 200 dead count." Interestingly, despite his gun obsession, it's revealed that he never actually killed anybody in "The 42-Year-Old Virgin".


Video Example(s):


South Park - R.Kelly

In South Park, R. Kelly is portrayed as constantly drawing out his gun and threatening to shot people, if Tom Cruise & later John Travolta, don't come out of the closet.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / TriggerHappy

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