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Water Guns and Balloons

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It's all fun and games until the water's yellow.
The preferred weapon for the Bratty Half-Pint and Youngsters. Water Balloons may be used alongside slingshots.

The contents will not always be water — it could be jelly, ink, a drink, or something more... foul. Either that or some jerk will bring out the hose.

Expect college science geeks and/or medical students with too much time on their hands to build a water balloon slingshot out of lab materials, or some other ridiculous contraption. They might also fill their water guns with liquid chemicals.

Wet T-shirts and swim suits may lead to Sexy Soaked Shirt. If the water in question happens to be in any specific way lethal to an adversary (and what better way to wield it), see also Kill It with Water.

Compare Bubble Gun. For the winter equivalent, see Snowball Fight.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Cowboy Bebop: Ed uses water guns filled with "stinky gas" in "Mushroom Samba".
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Galaxy Super-express have a weaponized version of this trope: the villains are a race of Puppeteer Parasite aliens who can infect humans, but have a Weaksauce Weakness in the form of shriveling instantly after contact with soap solution (even if they're controlling a human host). Cue the final battle, where the heroes grab dozens of water pistols loaded with soap solution and blasting aliens and possessed humans left and right. Nobita even gets to go Guns Akimbo with water pistols and take down hordes and hordes of alien parasites in a G-Rated shootout.
  • The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya: Haruhi subconsciously modified model guns into firing pressurized water balls with unimaginably explosive firepower. Dual squirt guns turned dual mini water-grenade launchers/pistols.
  • Yotsuba&!: Yotsuba, Jumbo, and Yanda held a water balloon fight inside the house. When Yotsuba was supposed to be housesitting no less. And she even started it by ambushing Yanda with her water pistol.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In one episode, the school students have a water gun fight with paper taped to their chests, the idea being that you're "out" if someone is able to squirt your paper with water. This works out poorly when its starts raining.

    Comic Books 
  • A Beach Episode of Exiles ends with Morph shapeshifting himself into a catapult in order to launch a massive number of water balloons at his companions as a prank. Only he didn't fill them with water, he filled them with beer.

    Comic Strips 
  • Regular feature on Calvin and Hobbes. An Escalating War usually follows, with the local weapons-of-mass-destruction equivalent being the garden hose, or on one occasion a filled kiddy pool. In the Print Bonus story of The Lazy Sunday Book, Spaceman Spiff's Zorcher and Demise-O Bomb are in Calvin's reality a water pistol and water balloon, and only succeed in making their respective targets, Susie and Calvin's mom, wet and angry, though the grounded Calvin is still plotting a new watery prank in the last panel: a Bucket Booby-Trap.
  • Appears in some Garfield strips.
  • FoxTrot: Water guns are the weapons for Jason whenever he's tormenting his siblings in warmer weather. In one strip, he and Marcus were firing squirt guns filled with fruit punch at each other; when they stopped to refill, they were swarmed by flies.
  • The Far Side shows the aftermath of a Noodle Incident where someone filled the water guns with acid.

    Fan Works 
  • Anger Management: Lynn and Luan get Lincoln with a water balloon.
  • In Black Crayons, they serve as the ideal weapons whenever Annabelle decides to team up with Ironhide against Sam, Wheelie, or the Twins.
  • In the Star Wars fic ''It's a Jedi Thing, You Wouldn't Understand", Han and Luke are both annoyed about having to go to a diplomatic dinner with Leia. And they're acting worse than Leia's toddler twins. She catches them at the hotel in the midst of a water gun fight. When she interrupts them, Luke already emptied his on Han's head, and Han had his pointed at Luke's crotch, going for the "wet his pants" look.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom book 2, Eddie shows up with Power Soakers filled with tabasco sauce.
  • Shiro ends up with one in one of the The Adventures of Samurai Cat novels. Against a vampire.
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm:
    • Taue fruits tend to be be so water-gorged when summer arrives that they basically work as natural water balloons. They are popular to throw at newlyweds in the lower city, as all marriages are held during the same yearly summer festival.
    • In Part 4 Volume 6, Rozemyne accidentally invents a water gun form for her schtappe. Instead of water, she can shoot mana with it, and the weapon becomes deadly when she imagines the mana as a rain of arrows like the one Ferdinand used back in Part 2 Volume 2.
  • Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files once used water balloons filled with holy water against an attacking Black Court vampire.
  • In The Nekropolis Archives, Matthew Richter carries a water gun filled with holy water for use against vampires and demons. Holy water is actually illegal in Nekropolis because of its potency as a weapon against certain Darkfolk.
  • Some mean upperclassmen in Paper Towns throw urine-filled water balloons at freshmen before Q intervenes.
  • Roys Bedoys:
    • In “Do Your Homework, Roys Bedoys!”, the kids want to have a water balloon fight, but everyone except Roys becomes too busy studying. Roys tries to fight with Loys instead but Loys isn’t very good at it.
    • In "Don't Spoil Surprises, Roys Bedoys!", Wen's friends think of buying her some water balloons, but they can't afford it, so they just use the hose.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Fires of Pompeii", the Tenth Doctor uses a water gun against the lead Pyrovile.
    • At the end of "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe", Amy is carrying a squirt gun to hit annoying Christmas carolers when she opens the door and sees the Doctor. She squirts him because he's been away for two years.
  • When Ross is trying to convince himself his student-girlfriend isn't too immature for him in Friends, he arrives at the dorm to find she's having a water-balloon fight. After they split up, he thinks "She handled that really maturely. Was this a mistake?" and then she drops a balloon on him from the window while yelling "you suck!"
    • In "The One Where Joey Moves Out", Rachel finds one of her bras in the guys' apartment and asks what the hell it's doing there. Joey explains that he and Chandler were having a water-balloon fight with some junior high kids and they used the bra to fling their balloons off the roof.
  • MythBusters: one myth they tested was a combination of a water gun and a Static Stun Gun.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • The episode "Bane" has Teal'c befriend a young girl who carries a Super Soaker around. After she helps save him, he gives her a "superior model"...which she immediately uses to shoot Daniel Jackson. The good doctor remarks that maybe they shouldn't have loaded it. Teal'c answers if they hadn't, she would be unable to defend herself, before he pulls out an even bigger water gun to chase after her.
    • Played for Drama in "The Devil You Know". When Apophis interrogates O'Neill using a Fantastic Drug, O'Neill hallucinates that he's talking to his dead son Charlie. Charlie comes up behind Jack with a water pistol a friend gave him, but Jack gets angry at Charlie because he has a "no guns" rule.
      Charlie: You have a gun.
      Jack: That's different.
  • The West Wing: after noting that Josh is the kind of guy who has to be hit over the head to notice that a girl is interested in him, Amy tosses a water balloon at him from the balcony of her office as he's leaving the building, that almost hit him in the head.
  • One episode of Boy Meets World had Cory trying to earn enough money to buy a high-end squirt gun in time for an upcoming water war. After his dad helps him finish his job so he doesn't miss the fun, Cory ends up trading the new gun for two smaller ones, which he and his dad then gleefully turn on the rest of the family.
  • On "And the Window of Opportunity", the second-season finale of 2 Broke Girls, Caroline and Max augment their verbal fight with the water-cleaning guns they're using.
  • Used in multiple sketches of The Whitest Kids U' Know. The Water Balloon sketch is about a man selling water balloons in the old west and Booger Blasters is an advertisement for a variation of squirt guns that uses boogers. Both Booger Blasters and the Nerf Nuke sketch also mentions another product from the same in-universe company: the Cum Bomb.
  • The prank that pushes the girls over the limit during "Prank Week" in Zoey 101.
  • CSI: NY featured an adult version called Water Gun Wars, based on the real life Streetwars game. Players try to 'kill' each other with water guns or balloons to become the last one standing in the game and win a cash prize. But one player got angry at the guy who knocked him out of the game and thought he'd pull a scare with a blank gun. He didn't know that blanks can be as dangerous as bullets at close range.
  • The Mickey Mouse Club: One of the gong gags at the end of the theme song has Donald Duck being squirted with water pistols by two of his nephews, sending him on one of his trademark temper tantrums.
  • First episode of season 4 of The Wire introduces the new cast of teen characters getting into a fight with a neighboring crew, and they decide to get their revenge by pelting them with water balloons filled with urine. What happens during the fight foreshadows the boys plots for the rest of the series, including Namond having a balloon explode in his hands, and later him dodging the enemy gang and hurrying home to change clothes, while Michael stands and fights but also gets beat down, and while Randy initially escapes, he gets his money taken by Officer Walker.

  • In the video for Madonna's "What It Feels Like For A Girl", Madonna's character uses a realistic-looking water pistol on a couple of cops as she's going out on a violent joy ride with an elderly passenger.
  • In the video for OK Go's "The One Moment", lead singer Damian Kulash gets hit on the head with two large water balloons, while rows of smaller water balloons pop in synchronized order behind him, in super-slow motion.

    Pro Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: The Fluid Gun is basically a mech-scale water gun. It's not common (having been developed for use in the gladiator games of Solaris VII rather than the battlefield), but it can be used to spray a target with water, mech coolant, or dangerous substances like Inferno gel or acid.
  • GURPS High Tech has rules for using a Super Soaker. GURPS being GURPS, it mentions loading it with paint to blind enemies wearing faceplate helmets, or with holy water.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • The filthy version involving bodily fluids appears in 77p: Eggwife. For instance, your first firearm is a Pisstol... guess what it shoots. There's also a less disgusting alternative, a Bleach gun.
  • Borderlands 3: The Dahl corporation, which is an intergalactic gun manufacturer, sells water pistols. One gun is used to cool down Children of the Vault pistols when they overheat.
  • Bully features water balloons. Not one of the stronger weapons.
  • Dead Rising 2 has normal ones and improvised ones that work like flamethrowers.
  • Certain fire-based bosses in Dynamite Dux can only be harmed by water guns, which are always found right before the bosses in question.
  • Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard features these as the only weapons really effective against the Soak'em commandos. Hilariously, they're just as effective against every other enemy.
  • Fallout 4's "Nuka-World" DLC has a water gun weapon called the Thirst Zapper. It normally fires harmless blobs of water until you find the Project Cobalt schematics, at which point you can modify it to fire weaponized Nuka-Cola at your foes, which cause explosions on impact.
  • In Luigi's Mansion 3, Kruller's weapon is a water pistol he happens to find in a nearby cardboard box. It would be rather useless against Luigi, but since only Gooigi (who melts upon contact with water) can access the combat zone, it ends up being an effective weapon.
  • A number of Mega Man's acquired weapons have been water-shooters which often are strong against fire bosses. Mega Man (Classic) has Water Balloon (from Aqua Man) and Salt Water (from Neptune) while Mega Man X has Splash Laser (from Splash Warfly), Goo Shaver that sends small water waves along the ground (from Duff Mc Whalen) and Meteor Rain that sends a big water blob up which then goes down (from Rainy Turtloid).
  • The Weird Autumn Edition of Night in the Woods has two minigames at Harfest, one of which involves throwing water balloons at the City Council of Possum Springs who pose as Halloween monsters respectively.
  • One of the power-ups you can shoot at your opponents in Re-Volt.
  • The Senran Kagura series has Peach Beach Splash, the installment that has the girls fight each other with water-based weapons.
  • Adults seem keen to start water balloon fights in The Sims 2.
  • Splatoon is a Third-Person Shooter series where you use guns and other weaponry fueled by ink to attack opponents and claim territory. Burst bombs are one of the available secondary weapons and are essentially ink-filled balloons.
  • Super Mario Sunshine equips Mario with F.L.U.D.D.note , a high pressure water cannon with interchangeable nozzles. It comes in handy because a doppelganger of his has covered large parts of the island in a gunk like paint.
  • Warframe: The Soaktron is a gun modified for the Dog Days Tactical Alert to spray water instead of toxins. It was originally going to shoot Acid, until Kela De Thaym suffered from some sort of gas leak, causing her to replace all the weapons with water guns and host Rathuum on a beach instead of an Arena.
  • Water Warfare is a Lighter and Softer First-Person Shooter based around water gun combat.
  • Your starting weapons in Zombies Ate My Neighbors are water guns, specifically Entertech motorized water guns, although The game doesn't actually call them that. As most of your enemies are the undead, the guns are presumably filled with holy water.
  • zOMG!: the Heavy Water Balloon. Higher Rage Ranks will use larger balloons and slingshots.

    Web Original 
  • "The Squirt Gun Wars" episode of Counter Monkey has Spoony recounting how a Shadowrun campaign became taken over by this trope after the players came up with a specific Game Breaking cocktail of poisons.

    Web Comics 
  • Housepets! had an entire story arc based on a water balloon war, "The Great Water Balloon War", between the titular creatures that was used to parody military and wartime tropes, starting here.
  • Loserz once had a story arc about this.
  • Ozy and Millie indulge in a few of these. Both involve Millie, a favored target of the artist, and More Dakka.
  • Sam Starfall and Helix from Freefall have from time to time engaged in water balloon wars, often to the annoyance of Florence when she gets hit by a stray shot.
    Sam: How can a species consider itself advanced if it's willing to travel between the stars and not bring water balloons?

    Western Animation 
  • Bob's Burgers:
    • When the kids go trick-or-treating on the rich families' island in "Full Bars", they're warned about "Hell Hunt", where the local teens on bicycles terrorize the younger kids with, among other things, water balloons filled with pee.
    • The season 5 finale "The Oeder Games" has Mr. Fischoeder baiting his tenants into a water balloon fight with the prospect of the winner not only being exempt from the rent hike, but getting a rent cut.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: one episode involving the tree house has the Eds using water balloons. Another has them selling turkey basters as water squirters. Also Eddy's El Mundo Stink Bomb.
  • On The Fairly OddParents!, Timmy, Chester, and AJ use these on Tootie when she tries to come over. At the end, Tootie uses one on Timmy.
  • Inspector Gadget has one of these equipped. For some reason.
    • It's more like a miniature fire hose, and he's able to put out a fire with it quite handily. So that's probably the reason — putting out fires.
  • Invader Zim: "The Wettening". When Dib discovers that Zim is harmed by water, he uses his super-scientist father's lab to engineer more and more advanced water weapons. Once Zim discovers that he can waterproof himself with glue, he retaliates with a satellite-mounted balloon filled with all the water on earth.
  • Johnny Bravo episode "Balloon Buffoon" has Johnny and his friends trying to defend against youngsters armed with water balloons, which is treated by Johnny as a military campaign.
  • Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil: Kick and Gunthar fight Kick's older brother, Brad, for their hangout. Kick uses water balloons and Brad uses mudballs.
  • Phineas and Ferb has Phineas, Ferb, and their friends using these to weaken and disintegrate a giant gelatin monster who came to life thanks to Doofenshmirtz's latest invention. The song accompanying the scene summarizes it as such:
    "Come on, kids! Let's squirt that gelatin monster!
  • Recess: School's Out: During the final battle, the student body pummels Benedict's Mooks with water balloons and silly string.
  • Buster and Babs' story arc in Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation begins with Buster going after a sunbathing Babs with a squirt pistol loaded with ice water. She retaliates with her own, resulting in an Escalating War of water balloons, kiddy pools, Babs opening the floodgates on a dam, Buster setting off a volcano with high explosives to create a tidal wave...
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Bart the General" culminates to an all-water balloon Patton parody.
    • In "Lady Bouvier's Lover", Bart used two water guns filled with ketchup and mustard to threaten Mr. Burns when he went on a date with Marge's mother. Burns tests Bart's willingness to go through with it, which costs him.
  • This skit from Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! takes this trope to extreme measures. Here, Wubbzy and Widget are playing "water-fight" by using water balloons, with each one seen getting bigger and bigger. Hilarity ensues and they later on begin using hoses, and a gigantic water-hose/water balloon combination, which eventually leads to the whole town ending up underwater.
    Widget: [underwater] That wasn't supposed to happen!

    Real Life 
  • Streetwars, a tournament where adults try to 'assassinate' each other with water guns and balloons. Become the last one standing and win a cash prize.
  • Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee had a routine at conventions where they would go at each other with ever-larger water pistols.
  • The Super Soaker CPS 2000, is a Super Prototype water-gun released in 1996 and was the first Constant Pressure System (CPS) water gun ever made but is to this day the most powerful water gun ever sold in stores. It released a quart of water in one second in a consistent stream that went up to 53 feet. It was so powerful it hurt kids and due to multiple complaints by parents the later CPS models were made less powerful. Due to its rarity it sells on eBay for $100s of dollars and specialized home-brew water guns are specifically designed to be compared against the CPS 2000 to determine if they can beat it.


Video Example(s):


Splatoon 2 - Splattershot

Splatoon 2's most basic weapon, the Splattershot, is a water gun designed to shoot ink.

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / WaterGunsAndBalloons

Media sources: