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"Don't be shocked by the tone of my voice
Check out my new weapon – my Weapon of Choice."
Bootsy Collins' vocal from Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice"
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This is similar to Personality Powers, but with weapons. Basically, in various works of fiction, characters tend to possess weapons that are either a direct reflection of their personality or the traits commonly deemed to their character type.

This is why you don't see ogres with rapiers or ninjas with clubs. The martial arts allow this trope to survive as Pastimes Prove Personality.

Subtropes

For non-weapon examples, see Tell Me How You Fight. Contrast Choice of Two Weapons and Walking Armory. Compare Weapon Specialization, which involves the choice of weapon itself more so than what it says about the wielder's personality. See also Adaptational Weapon Swap, Good Weapon, Evil Weapon, and Character-Driven Strategy. See Weapon Jr. for when someone's shown with a weapon of choice before they've chosen it. For an entire culture or race's weapon of choice, see National Weapon and Fantastic Race Weapon Affinity.

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • From Berserk:
    • Guts, as The Hero, wields a greatsword, which he later upgrades to a BFS that is often compared to a "heap of raw iron," which is actually a subversion, since that implies a lack of subtlety and skill, whereas Guts is actually a master swordsman. At one point he refuses an enchanted axe, saying that his BFS is what he's used to.
    • Griffith, who is Wicked Cultured and Bishōnen as you like, wields an elegant rapier.
    • Casca wields a smallish longsword whose size (if not style) bears a resemblance to Griffith's rapier; she has a serious case of hero-worship for Griffith. The weapon's light weight makes it perfect for her She-Fu fighting style.
    • Judeau, The Smart Guy and sneaky one, favors throwing knives and a shortsword.
    • Pippin, the Big Guy, wields a warhammer.
    • Serpico, the bastard son of a nobleman and nearly as Bishōnen as Griffith, wields first a rapier and then an enchanted fan/sword.
    • Isidro, the small, sneaky Tagalong Kid, dual-wields first two knives and then a knife and an enchanted dagger with the power of fire.
    • Schierke, the group's caster, focuses her magic through a Magic Staff.
  • Black Lagoon has Revy, a flashy and aggressive pirate who wields a pair of custom-tooled pistols. Her sterner boss Dutch alternates between a revolver and a shotgun when he has to fight.
  • Blame's Anti-Hero Killy has the Gravitational Beam Emitter, which he uses in response to pretty much any kind of problem.
  • In Ghost in the Shell, Togusa, the only member of Section 9 who does not have any cybernetic implants and prefers to rely on good old-fashioned police work, carries a Mateba autorevolver (incorrectly transliterated as Matever) which the rest of the unit thinks is somewhat of an anachronism, much like he is in the franchise's setting.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords (2004) has distinct weapons for the four Links, although they are all trained swordsmen.
    • Green is a Master Swordsman and prioritizes his sword as the leader of the four. Even when he gets a boomerang, he uses it as a complement to his blade.
    • The hot-blooded, violent Blue wields a hammer.
    • Red is childish and immature, but able to keep up with the other three. He transitions from a slingshot to a magic wand.
    • The cool and calculating Vio is an expert with the bow.
  • Lyrical Nanoha has this with each of the main characters having a specific "device".
    • Nanoha has her magic staff, Raising Heart. (Still called Raging Heart by many. For good reason.) As the power of Nanoha's weapon improves, it increasingly comes to resemble a spear — which coincides with her increasingly sneaky and tacticalnote  fighting style.
    • The Wolkenritter aligns with this trope perfectly. Leader Signum wields a longsword, the wizardly Shamal thinks with portals using magic rings (wand-equivalents), and Cute Bruiser Vita has a hammer. That also turns into a rocket. And has a giant hammer/drill mode.
  • In the My-HiME/My-Otome universe, this is quite evident in the elements used by the main characters. The stoic loner Natsuki uses pistols or other guns, elegant Shizuru uses a naginata or a similar polearm, somewhat crazy Nao uses claws or wires, the Determinator Haruka uses a mace or a ball and chain if she has an element of her own but the original lead Mai has odd bangles/anklets with magatama beads. This is solved in Mai-Otome where new lead Arika has a double-bladed sword.
  • Shu from Now and Then, Here and There favors a simple wooden stick, reflecting his generally peaceable mindset. He doesn't want anyone to die and rejects knives and guns when they're offered to him or forced on him.
  • The powers and weapons of a Magical Girl in Puella Magi Madoka Magica tend to be extensions of their personalities and aspirations:
    • Madoka uses a bow and arrow. Of the five magical girls in the series, she is The Chick, the most reluctant to take up the Magical Girl mantle as well as the smallest physically. She still uses the bow and arrow in earlier timelines before Homura's wish and subsequent timelines made her more timid, though more as a fantasy-equivalent Friendly Sniper.
    • Sayaka uses a cutlass for close-quarters hack-and-slash, befitting both The Cape and the Swashbuckler archetypes she seeks to emulate as an "Ally of Justice".
    • Mami chiefly uses single-use flintlock muskets, each elegantly adorned and etched in their woodwork. Her ultimate Tiro Finale is essentially a huge gun about five times her size that delivers a world of pain to its target. She really likes to be the cool sempai to those she takes under her care (she is the oldest of the five) and is definitely The Big Girl of the group (if her chest wasn't a giveaway).
    • Kyouko uses a spear twice as tall as she is which can be broken into segments attached by chains. A very practical weapon to use for large masses of enemies, for a very practical outlook held by the wielder when it comes to one's wish. The manga further characterizes her spear with a cross-guard at the head - an intentional detail to her background.
    • Homura's magically granted "weapon" is noncombative, a small buckler shield that grants her unlimited storage space and controls her special ability. Therefore, she must rely on non-magical weapons from outside sources, like homemade pipe bombs, pistols, and shotguns stolen from the Yakuza, up to heavy machine guns and rocket launchers and actual rocket artillery stolen from the JSDF. It works quite well as a reflection of her very stoic, no-frills, no-nonsense attitude as well as her singular drive to accomplish her goal of defeating Walpurgistnacht and stopping Madoka from contracting and becoming a world-destroying Witch by any means necessary.
  • In Ronin Warriors, this trope partially applies to the heroes. The main hero has dual-wield katanas that also connect into a single double-sided sword, The Smart Guy is an archer, and the one whose powers come from water has a trident. The other two of the Five-Man Band are anomalies: the weapon of the quiet, mature Sage is a huge greatsword, while big-eating, hot-tempered Big Guy Kento uses a sectioned staff.
  • Tsukihime's protagonist Tohno Shiki only ever uses his knife, which has the symbols for '7 Nights' carved into it. The actual meaning of the characters is 'Nanaya,' it is an heirloom from his true family of demon-slaying assassins that was passed down to him.

    Comic Books 
  • The current and former Robins all have a favored weapon:
    • Dick Grayson, formerly the first Robin and currently Nightwing, prefers using two sticks in the Escrima martial arts style.
    • Jason Todd, formerly the second Robin and the current Red Hood, prefers dual-wielding pistols, showing just how far he's come from Batman's tutelage.
    • Tim Drake formerly the third Robin and current Red Robin who is The Smart Guy of the Batfamily expected to surpass Batman as the World's Greatest Detective, prefers to use a bo staff, often the telescoping staff Shiva gave him.
    • The Batfamily's Plucky Girl Stephanie Brown, formerly the fourth Robin and currently Spoiler, was becoming very fond of specialized Batarangs during her time as Batgirl and, post-Flashpoint, has a clear preference for nunchaku, though post-Flashpoint has also erased her history including her time as a Robin.
    • Damian Wayne, the fifth Robin, has a thing for katanas, befitting his past as an assassin and that he's more of a Blood Knight than other Robins.
  • When Captain America throws his mighty shield, all those who chose to oppose the shield must yield! (Although he used an M 1911 A 1 from time to time.) His use of a defensive item as a weapon is appropriate for a character who takes up arms to defend freedom.
  • Hawkeye:
    • Hawkeye is a hotshot archer whose real weapon isn't the bow so much as the bag of tricks he fires from it. He's shown to have the same accuracy hand-throwing his arsenal of arrowheads or firing them from improvised launchers. As Ronin, he shifts his weapon to a katana.
    • In the Ultimate Universe, he's even shown using his fingernails, but then that version of the character is borderline Ax-Crazy and a former black ops. As of Volume Three, he started showing a preference for guns.
  • The Huntress uses a crossbow as her signature weapon, although she has also been known to use knives, staves, boomerangs, guns, brass knuckles, etc. Not incidentally, at least with the Helena Bertinelli version of the character, the crossbow allows for sniping from concealment while also being extremely quiet, making it an ideal choice for an assassin.
  • Whiplash/Blacklash, an Iron Man foe best known as the partial basis for Whiplash in Iron Man 2, engineered his own electric whips and used them to wreck things up... until he was accidentally killed by his old enemy. He could also turn his whips into nunchucks. Anyway, since his death, a BDSM-loving couple adopted both the Whiplash and Blacklash identities, then his daughter stepped into the role, a version inspired by the movie character debuted, and the original's been seen in action again, too.
  • Meanwhile Thor, his fellow Avenger, sticks true to his mythological roots and wields Mjolnir, his hammer of thunder.
  • Subverted in Greg Rucka's Queen and Country. Secret agent Tara Chace is issued a gun for a mission; her contact comments, "Your file says you're a P99 girl," to which she replies, "I'm more of a stay-at-home-and-fancy-a-cuppa girl." As the series handles guns and gunplay very realistically, weapons are rarely issued, and when they are, it's usually a sign that Something Bad will happen.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • Leonardo, the heroic leader, uses swords (a ninja-to style katana)
    • Raphael, the pragmatic Loose Cannon who's just a little bit crazy at times, uses sais.
    • Donatello, the intellectual, uses a (bo) staff.
    • And Michaelangelo, being the cool party guy, uses the coolest ninja weapon of the '80s: nunchaku. A flashback has him practicing with a manriki-gusari and complaining that he'd prefer using his "'chucks".
    • The supporting cast gives another example: Casey Jones, the badass street-fighting vigilante armed with a variety of sports equipment: baseball bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks... he even produced a cricket bat in the first movie, prompting Raphael to mock him.
      Raphael: Cricket? Nobody understands cricket! You gotta know what a crumpet is to understand cricket!
      Casey: I'll teach you! [wham] See? Six runs.
    • The role of the weapons also becomes clear in the 2012 series episode "Pulverizer Returns!" when Splinter orders the turtles to switch weapons. Michelangelo lampshades the trope when Leonardo is making a plan of attack:
      Leonardo: All right. We'll follow up on his lead and then bust the poor guy out of the Foot.
      Michelangelo: Excuse me! I’m the sword guy. I make the decisions here.
    • Later, whilst preparing for battle, it's discussed again:
      Michelangelo: As the one with the swords, I say RETREAT!
      Leonardo Having the swords doesn't make you leader.
  • In The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016) Diana's mother and aunts are each Ladies of War who each prefer a different weapon. The sisters and their signature weapons are Hippolyta — the most heroic surviving sister — uses a sword, Antiope — who is the most muscular and violent — a mace, Menalippe — a timid magic user — a staff, Penthesiliea — a long dead war hero — a spear, and Glauce uses dual knives. Diana of course prefers a lasso for the non-lethal applications, turning down more practical weapons even before she receives the Lasso of Truth.
  • Atomic Robo: While Tesladyne as a whole has the trusty Lightning Gun, Robo himself tends to favour revolvers (or, if caught without one, cars). His mentor in the action side of Action Science, Jack Tarot, practiced Zen marksmanship, and Robo uses the revolver Jack gave him until it's rendered no longer fit for use by massive damage, at which point he upgrades to an anti-materiel version with highly explosive bullets. It fits him surprisingly well: since he's The Ageless and the entire world has changed tremendously, it makes sense that he sticks with a classic, familiar kind of gun; since it was the weapon of his mentor it shows that he still carries things he picked up from friends that are now long dead; and, of course, he actually did become a cowboy for a while, although that wasn't until after he'd been using the things for most of a century. (As for the cars, he fights a lot of really big robots and monsters and usually whatever weapon he's using is the first thing to break.)

    Fan Works 
  • Taken to extreme lengths in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fic, I Am What I Am. Prior to the climactic battle, Xander forges custom magic weapons for every member of the group except Willow (at her request). Each weapon's name, type, and special powers are explicitly designed to complement their personality and fighting style, particularly because the weapons' powers will only function for their intended wielder.
    • Buffy gets a short sword named "Companion" that enhances her secondary Slayer powers (prophetic dreams, sensing vampires, etc.), and provides a mental link to Faith.
    • The free-spirited Faith gets a pair of tomahawks — "Tommy" and "Tammy" — that come back to her when thrown and provide a mental link to Buffy.
    • Cordelia gets a greatsword named "Subtlety" that grants her minor healing powers, doubles as a lie detector, and is actually very light when in her hands.
    • The straitlaced Kendra gets a katana named "Honor's Grace" that allows her to stop time for a few seconds every time she draws it.
    • Angel gets a short sword, "Solitude," similar to Buffy's that can burst into flame, and will burn him up if he loses his soul.
    • Giles receives a rapier, "Wisdom" that enhances his casting abilities.
    • The Dungeons & Dragons-loving, spellcasting Jonathan gets a staff, "Backbone", that enhances his spells and can heal others.
    • Jenny gets a pair of daggers — "Twilight" and "Dusk" — that enable her to turn invisible.
    • Oz's weapon was originally a bastard sword named "Cool Sword" with frost powers. However, it spontaneously transformed into a pair of Wolverine-esque claws that gave him some measure of control over his werewolf.
  • Child of the Storm has several:
    • Steve wields a shield, underlining his nature as a protector first and foremost, and his creativity. Carol also ends up wielding one (appropriately, since she's his great-granddaughter), also emphasising her protective nature (and stubbornness), though she uses it as more of a hammer or an axe, emphasising her nature as a brawler - and since it's a Morph Weapon that can turn into a suit also able to absorb energy and release it, it demonstrates her flexibility and evens things up when she's out of her depth.
    • Thor wields Mjolnir, naturally.
    • Clint's an archer, with the typical rogue and ranger (and sniper) associations, fighting from a distance, though he's fine with guns if needs be.
    • Natasha favours guns when she needs them, though she'll also go hand to hand, as she prefers tying people in knots at close quarters and turning their strength against them.
    • Loki usually uses knives, which fit his predilection for invisibility, teleportation, and assassination.
    • Harry, as The Hero, uses a sword. Unusually, it's modelled close to a shashka the cavalry sabre of the Russian Cossacks. Lightweight, fast, and razor-sharp, it also serves as a means of channelling his magic - and thus, a Flaming Sword.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami usually explains the choice of weapons of their characters:
    • The titular character initially used no weapon at all but had to learn to use a shortsword to have a chance to win a Hopeless Boss Fight. This skill came in handy later on, as she wielded a giant sword with a giant magical hand instead of fighting herself.
    • Horned Reapers use Sinister Scythes, which fit their status as Awesome, but Impractical minions.
    • Cathy uses swords and frequently acts as The Leader of Mercury's troops, though she admits to having trained with polearms and blunt weapons as well.
    • Jered likes to deceive and trick his opponents, while attacking them by throwing daggers.
    • Boris uses a giant axe, mirroring his Ax-Crazy tendencies and brutish ways.
    • Baron Leopold uses a sword as a symbol of his noble status, but is not afraid to use improvised weapons, his bare fists, and even his teeth.
    • Eline and Venna use their crossbows with deadly accuracy. Being dark elves, they serve as a foil to normal elves, who use simple bows.
  • In Halloween Unspectacular, recurring character E350's go-to weapon is the Anti-Magic Tommy Gun. This weapon represents both his interest in history (Thompson submachine guns were used quite a lot during the early 1900s, largely by crime syndicates, and are sought out by collectors today for their historical significance) and the general weirdness he tends to get caught up in (the "Anti-Magic" part).
  • The Night Unfurls: The five hunters, a cool Badass Crew, use mix-and-match weaponry. The following are member-specific examples.
    • Kyril has a number of melee and ranged weapons at his disposal, symbolising his vast mastery and combat experience. His primary weapon, the Saw Cleaver, compliments his nature as a brutal, dreaded, and anti-heroic combatant.
    • Sanakan is a Hot-Blooded Screaming Warrior. Naturally, she wields the Kirkhammer (a Bifurcated Weapon of sword and large hammer), later exchanging it with Ludwig's Holy Blade (a Bifurcated Weapon of sword and BFS). With a twist, she's actually The Lancer of the five hunters rather than The Big Guy.
    • The weaponry currently under Hugh's possession includes a cane that can transform into a Whip Sword, a katana with a blood rite, an intricately designed pistol, and a curved sword that can transform into a bow. All these weapons are associated with grace and elegance, and fittingly, Hugh is a Dainty Combatant. With another twist, he's actually The Big Guy due to his muteness and specialisation in combat.
    • Lily, formerly a nun, is a Girly Bruiser Combat Medic. Her melee weapon is the Church Pick, a broad-bladed sword with a long hilt that can transform into a polearm. This, as well as her Flamesprayer, are weapons once used by members of the Healing Church, as per Bloodborne lore.
    • The Saw Spear has a tendency to be used by hunters in training, symbolising inexperience. Sanakan, Lily, and Soren have used it at least once. The former two later exchange it with other weapons, which shows their growth; Soren, despite having the Reiterpallasch (a rapier-gun hybrid) as his new weapon, still opts to keep the Saw Spear as a backup, which shows how green he is compared to the other three apprentices.
  • Thousand Shinji: Asuka — the blood-thirsty proud warrior — wields a chain-axe and Rei -the mentally unstable anti-hero- uses a giant machete. Subverting the trope, Shinji uses a staff, despite being The Leader and an Anti-Hero.
  • In The Wizard in the Shadows, Harry favors his wand and an elvish long knife and kicks all kinds of ass whilst being the Darker and Edgier Lancer to Aragorn. Then he gets the Sword of Gryffindor and becomes more of a straight-up hero with anti-heroic tendencies.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • An amusing example in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure: When Genghis Khan finds himself in a shopping mall, his first stop is the sporting goods store where he swaps his signature club for a baseball bat. (He also dons the armor of the modern brute: a football helmet and shoulder pads.)
  • Dirty Harry: Harry Callahan is famous for using a .44 Magnum revolver, and is responsible for popularizing the revolver as the Weapon Of Choice for badasses everywhere. The size of the weapon reflects his lack of subtlety.
  • Star Wars:
    • A Jedi or Sith's lightsaber, which is "not so clumsy nor random as a blaster; an Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Age." These are subdivided further by color of the focusing crystal.
      • Blue is for Guardian Jedi, who actively hunt down evil.
      • Green is for Consular Jedi, who prefer to teach, heal, or make peace.
      • Yellow is for the Sentinel Jedi, who are halfway between the two and rely on intellect and physical skills.
      • Red is for Sith, who are evil.
      • And purple for bad motherfuckers.
      • White is pretty much non-aligned but generally good.
    • Han Solo, as a rogue, has a DL-44 heavy blaster pistol, as in his own words, "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid."
    • Chewbacca has his bowcaster, a laser crossbow that makes a subversion of the Hunter of Monsters case. In this case, it's the monster wielding!

    Literature 
  • Blue Valentine: While Nicki Valentine carries her late grandfather’s ivory-handled straight razor primarily as a sort of symbolic totem of protection, she can also put it to vicious use in a scrape.
  • Burton & Swinburne Series: Sir Richard Burton favours a Sword Cane as befitting a weapon for someone who's a master swordsman and of at least upper-middle-class status. Burton especially likes using one sword cane in particular. This is a cane with a panther head top, which has a custom-made blade to give it unusually good balance. Besides its high quality, Burton favours it as a trophy from a defeated foe (as an explorer and scholar, he is a devoted Collector of the Strange).
  • The Dark Tower:
    • Badass Roland uses a pair of finely-wrought six-shooters, passed down from father to son for generations and said to have been made from the melted-down metal of Excalibur. Appears to be the in-universe equivalent of Heroes Prefer Swords.
    • In the back story, Roland's constantly joking best friend Cuthbert prefers a slingshot to a gun. In a possible subversion, the quiet, intelligent, and psychic Alain gets to use a machine gun at one point and enjoys it very much.
    • Earlier in the backstory, young Roland gains the edge of surprise when he earns his ascent to gunslinger status in a Curb-Stomp Battle against his sensei Cort, by choosing David the hawk as his weapon. He compares himself to David— a mindless killing machine, "God's gunslinger," but the creative choice of weapon also shows that despite Roland's straightforward nature, he has the ability to be a Guile Hero when necessary.
  • The Empirium Trilogy: Each element is closely associated with a particular weapon or armory: windsingers have arrows, sunspinners have swords, earthshakers use staffs, etc. Most elementals tend to create their castings in the shape of those weapons, though alternative castings can be made.
  • Harry Potter: Obviously wands are the weapon of choice for the wizarding world, but there are two specifics ones that stand out: The Elder Wand, which is the weapon of choice for Antioch Peverell, Gregorovitch, Gellert Grindelwald, Albus Dumbledore, and Lord Voldemort; and Harry's holly and phoenix feather wand, which he actually mourns when it is broken.
  • Jakub Wędrowycz: The closest thing the title character has to a Weapon Of Choice is a steel brake cable made into a small lasso. He mostly uses it to catch homeless dogs and cats for eating, but it comes in handy against supernatural threats as well, as featured on the cover of one of the books.
  • Kull the Conqueror: Proud barbarian warrior Kull uses a battle axe as his main weapon. After he becomes king, his advisors make several attempts to civilize him, including training him in swordsmanship. He never quite takes to it and goes back to his axe, showing he's truly a barbarian at heart.
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Pevensie siblings each have their own signature weapons, gifted to them by Father Christmas.
    • Peter, the leader by virtue of being the first-born and therefore The Hero, is given a sword and shield.
    • Susan, the mature, no-nonsense type, is given a bow and arrows.
    • Lucy, the youngest and not yet old enough to fight, is entrusted with the universal Magic Antidote and given a small dagger — just in case.
    • Edmund wasn't present to receive a gift from Father Christmasnote . A traitor and non-combatant at the time, he doesn't merit one.
    • The films show Edmund as very much a Combat Pragmatist when he steals a Telmarine falchion and crossbow, and proceeds to kick all kinds of ass.
  • Mission Earth: L. Ron Hubbard's series had the protagonist Jettero Heller (distinct from the antagonist narrator, Soltan Gris). Mr. Heller was a champion "bullet-ball" player back home and discovered that he could throw Earth "base-balls" with up to lethal speed. He also discovered that baseball cleats make for a deadly surprise against opponents since no one in these parts expects a cleat-wearer to kick with them.
  • In Mistborn, obsidian daggers are the titular magic users' weapon of choice, since the widespread use of Magnetism Manipulation makes metal weapons a liability and obsidian is too brittle to make longer weapons out of. Given the Crapsack World of the series, even the most positive of the protagonists bear some decidedly antiheroic qualities, though the most monstrous of the bunch usually have axes instead.
  • Protector of the Small: Kel is an exception to this trope: While she is the Hero, she uses a naginata (though she usually calls it a glaive for convenience) instead of the hero's traditional sword.
  • Ranger's Apprentice: the main characters all have a preferred weapon.
    • Halt and Will both favor longbows. Though that's partially because they're the signature weapon of the rangers, it's also reflective of the training and commitment required by the organization. A bow takes a long time to master, just like espionage, stealth, and social manipulation, all things rangers are meant to do. It also reflects how they're not confrontational people, preferring to shape situations to the point that even if conflict breaks out, they can decimate opponents without putting themselves in danger.
    • Horace prefers a simple one-handed sword and a buckler shield. The combo is pragmatic and effective, just like Horace. Ironically, it's the shield that gets more mention, fitting for someone whose main drive is to protect others.
    • Evelyn/Cassandra uses a sling. A hunting tool as much as a weapon, it's the only weapon she was able to sneak around and master while in the palace, showing how set she is on making sure she's not just a frilly, useless princess.
    • Alyss has a dagger. It's not balanced for throwing and is only meant as a weapon of last resort, for good reason. Alyss prefers negotiation and manipulation, and if a fight's broken out she's already failed.
  • Sharpe: The titular protagonist, a tough-as-nails British Army rifleman turned officer after he saved the life of The Duke of Wellington in India, also uses a Baker Rifle, but also uses a 1796 heavy cavalry sabre for fighting in close quarters. He prefers (and is much more skilled with) the rifle. Not only is the pairing very effective in combat as the cavalry sword is able to power through lighter officer swords and the rifle has more range and accuracy than either a musket or a pistol, but they serve as a reminder of the character's humble beginnings and where he is now. Sgt. Harper, Sharpe's second-in-command, uses a Nock gun, a seven-barrelled smoothbore developed in limited numbers by the Royal Navy; the gun has understandably immense firepower, especially at close range and with it, ridiculous recoil (in real life the British found the gun was Cool, but Inefficient as it was very heavy, very slow to reload and it would even often injure the operator by breaking or dislocating their shoulder; Harper never experiences this issue).
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Swords are among the most common weapons wielded, especially by traditionally "heroic" characters:
      • Two of the most straightforwardly heroic characters, Ned Stark and Jon Snow, wield swords named Ice and Longclaw respectively. Jon's is even a bastard sword.
      • Brienne of Tarth, another heroic character, also receives a signature sword, called Oathkeeper to reflect her loyal and steadfast nature, from Jaime Lannister, who is reputed to lack these traits.
      • Arya Stark wields Needle, a light fencing blade suitable to her small stature and stealthy nature.
      • Ser Barristan Selmy - one of the most morally upstanding characters - eventually discards his sword in favor of an epic staff, befitting his transition from general badass to Old Soldier.
    • Several of the "Sand Snakes" (bastard daughters of Prince Oberyn Martell) have signature weapons:
      • Obara, the eldest and most overtly martial, wields a spear, shield, and whip.
      • Nymeria, the most intelligent of the sisters, can wield multiple daggers with great skill.
      • Tyene, the most cunning and deceptive, favors poisons, which she can deliver in a variety of subtle ways.
      • Elia, named after Oberyn's deceased sister, is a skilled jouster and favors a lance as her primary weapon.
      • Dorea, although too young for combat, enjoys using a morningstar mace to knock fruit off of trees.
    • Tyrion Lannister, a "little person", favors an axe in battle, a subtle gag as he otherwise has very little in common with Tolkienesque dwarves.
    • King Robert Baratheon's signature weapon is a giant two-handed warhammer, befitting his status as the Big Guy and a Boisterous Bruiser.
    • King Joffrey of the Houses Baratheon and Lannister, the First of His Name, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, long may he reign, favors a crossbow, which is maligned in-universe as the weapon of weaklings and cowards.
  • Star Trek: Klingon Empire: Of the various Klingon weapons established in canon, Davok uses the qutluch, the signature dagger of an assassin. He throws it with fantastic accuracy even in close-quarters combat. He claims that he took it from an assassin who tried to use it on him. His leader Wol finds this claim to be dubious but has no trouble believing that Davok would piss someone off enough to have them put a hit on him.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Swords are considered upper-class weapons, meaning that Kaladin, who is lower-class, uses a spear as his Weapon Of Choice (toying in a minor but noticable ways with genre conventions). Heroic and villainous aristocratic characters use swords all the time as a status symbol, with the magical Shardblades being the most prized. Anti-Villain assassin Szeth also has a shardblade, which both makes him even more badass than he would be otherwise and, since he comes from an extremely pacifist society, using the most deadly weapon of all marks him as a disgraced outcast. Syl, Kaladin's Bond Creature eventually gains the ability to become a Shardblade, but it turns out that living Shardblades, wielded by a Radiant are Morph Weapons, so she mostly takes the form of a Shardspear.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Hobbit:
      • On their journey to the Lonely Mountain, the Company of Thorin Okenshield stumbled upon a troll hoard. Thorin himself found an ancient Elvish sword among the hoard - later revealed by Elrond to be the famous Orcrist, or “goblin-cleaver”. Thorin carried it with him the length of his journey and was entombed with it at the end.
    • The Lord of the Rings:
      • Gandalf: A wizard, he wields a Staff, natch, but pairs it with a broadsword (Glamdring), establishing him as a more down-to-earth wizard-of-the-people than Saruman in his ivory tower.
      • Aragorn: Broadsword (first the unnamed ranger's sword, and then Andúril post-Rivendell), fittingly for a heroic archetype (although not The Hero; he's the former Trope Namer for Supporting Leader).
      • Boromir, being hailed as The Hero of Gondor, also wields a sword - and a shield to highlight he's the defender of his kingdom.
      • Legolas: A longbow, fittingly as he's the calm, stoic, "zen" one.
      • Gimli: An axe — the most boisterous, fight-happy one. Something of a template for fantasy dwarves.
      • Sam, Merry. Pippin: Short sword (they are hobbits, after all).
      • Frodo: The short sword "Sting" which was passed down to him from Bilbo. Lacking any real training, he avoids fighting if possible — one of Sting's main uses is that it glows blue when orcs are near.
  • War of the Dreaming: The heroes' weapons mostly correspond to this, although they don't have the classical lineup...
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • Hero Rand, being The Hero, uses a crystal sword that conveniently jacks up his magic powers to an insane degree — sometimes literally, for which reason he generally prefers more modest swords made from unbreakable steel or summoned fire.
    • Mat started off with a bow as his Weapon Of Choice. This lasted for about half of the first book, before he switched to using a cursed dagger until it gets stolen at the beginning of book 2. He uses a staff for book three, then uses knives for book 4, and then switches to the naginata for the rest of the series (though he does still get plenty of mileage out of those knives...). He also acquires a good Two Rivers bow stave from an unsuspecting quarter staff salesman who didn't realise the quality of the wood or its purpose. He, like Perrin and Rand, also has skill with a bow and sling. All but Rand use their bows when the situation is best suited for it. Mat avoids combat the best he can, but is always drawn to it by fate which gives him a reputation of a great general (which he is) and unstoppable in battle, but that was not his choice.
    • Former blacksmith Perrin uses a is torn between his symbolically-potent axe and hammer, eventually abandoning the former so as to use a tool from his more innocent past to kill people in more disfiguring ways.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Follows this trope closely, particularly with smart guy Wesley in the later seasons. While the other characters stick with more traditional fantasy weapons like axes and swords, he starts bringing along shotguns, dual pistols, and a healthy dose of Gun Fu. Unfortunately, it doesn't often help.
  • Blue Bloods: In keeping with his Cowboy Cop attitude, Danny Reagan carries a noticeably different, silver pistol rather than the black Glocks used by the rest of the NYPD cast (other than Frank's ancient Fitz Special). IMFDB identifies it as a Smith & Wesson 5946, a pragmatic choice by the props department considering that the weapon, though not standard issue, is still allowed by NYPD regs in real life.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy has her Slayer Scythe during the last few episodes of Season 7, right up to the end of Season 8. She and every other Slayer within spitting distance.
    • The rest of the time, of course, she has her wooden stakes, especially earlier in the show when she fought vampires more often. She also has her crossbow for them.
  • Firefly: Follows the trope with Western-inspired (of course) weapons. Mal, The Hero has a gun based on a six-shooter and an old-fashioned mentality to go with it. Zoe carries a custom 1892 Winchester rifle (and, unusually, a bulletproof vest, befitting a consummate professional who's ready for trouble). Jayne, the other badass, has an assortment but favours an assault rifle and a BIG knife. Inara, the mysterious woman, uses a futuristic bow (she also holds a stolen laser pistol, but it doesn't work; when she then pulls one that she claims does, it is of course an ornate, delicate, and high-tech-looking one). The rest of the crew makes do with pistols and shotguns of varying accuracy. Though notably Wash uses a Mateba auto-revolver which considering their scarcity and quirky design fits his character quite well.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Swords
      • The Swords Are Heroic trope is in full view, as they are wielded by many morally-driven characters (Ned Stark, Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Robb Stark, Stannis Baratheon, and Brienne of Tarth). As such a ubiquitous weapon, however, they are also wielded by less "heroic" characters (Jaime Lannister, Ser Bronn of the Blackwater, Gregor, and Sandor Clegane, amongst others).
      • Joffrey owns ornate swords, often with pretentious names (Lion's Tooth, Hearteater, Widow's Wail), but displays no real ability to use them and prefers to kill helpless victims with a crossbow (much less skill and training involved).
    • Axes
      • Tyrion prefers to wield axes, which suit his short stature.
      • Yara and the other Ironborn also use axes, alluding to their Viking-esque culture.
    • Boisterous Bruiser Robert Baratheon favoured a warhammer, a weapon also favored by his unacknowledged bastard son Gendry (years of working as a blacksmith made him highly proficient, even with no formal combat training).
    • Like many Dornishmen, Oberyn Martell favours a spear as his weapon, as does his eldest daughter Obara.
    • In the North, some sigils are taken from or inspired by their respective House's preferred weapon. The flaying knife for House Bolton, an armored fist for House Glover, and an axe for House Cerwyn.
  • The Lone Ranger: In the TV version as well as others, the title character always shoots silver bullets. Though it's really too soft for bullets, it symbolized justice by law and his vow to shoot to wound, not kill.
  • Madan Senki Ryukendo shows this trope in both showing the Madan Warriors' personalities through the weapons, and by giving the weapons themselves personalities. Kenji/Ryukendo, the title Idiot Hero, uses a sword. The sword itself, GekiRyuKen is equally heroic, but a Trickster Mentor. Fudou/Ryugunou and his blaster, GouRyuGun, calculate their strategies, making Fudou the intelligent balance to Kenji's Determinator. Koichi/Ryujinou is an interesting case. His ZanRyuJin becomes an axe and a bow. Koichi himself is powerful and dangerous but does know how to fight controlled. ZanRyuJin itself is a wise guy, only on good terms with his partner.
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Phryne Fisher carries a pearl-handled pistol in her handbag and keeps throwing knives strapped in her garter. She is both glamorous and completely capable of Kicking Ass in All Her Finery.
  • The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg:
    • Rohan, the Knight of Fire and The Hero, uses a sword.
    • Deirdre, the Knight of Air and The Chick, uses a crossbow.
    • Ivar, the Knight of Water and The Big Guy/Lancer, uses a trident.
    • Angus, the Knight of Earth and The Smart Guy, uses a mace, probably just because it's round, and they had to show boulders shooting out of it.
    • Garrett, the Sixth Ranger with serious ego issues, uses an ax.
  • Star Trek: Despite living in a universe with lasers, Klingon warriors prefer the ancient bat'leth (a curved, two-handed sword) as a true test of combat prowess.
  • The Walking Dead: Many characters wield weapons that say a lot about them:
    • Rick uses a very large, nickel-plated Colt Python, showing that he's an idealist (nickel-plated = shining armor) field leader (pistols demonstrate leader, but the size implies he actually uses it. Very much contrasted to Shane's Mossberg 590. He stops using it when he starts going crazy, but uses it again when he starts getting his act back together.
    • Dale always has a scoped Remington 700 VLS in his hands, fitting since he is both the lookout and the one who spends his time watching the others.
    • Daryl uses a crossbow, representing his simple, country-folk nature.
    • Michonne uses a katana, demonstrating her foreign nature.
    • Merle’s bayonet hand symbolizes the fact that he himself has become little more than a tool for the Governor. Notably, he loses the bayonet at the same time he is betrayed by the Governor and reunited with his Morality Pet Daryl.
    • Morally-conflicted Gentle Giant Tyreese uses a hammer, which can be used both to destroy and to create.
    • Carol’s snub-nosed pistol is small, unassuming, and easily concealed, much like its owner. Also, it’s a revolver, just like Rick’s gun, but in a tinier package that is no less deadly.
    • After the deaths of those closest to her, Sasha begins using a silenced sniper rifle, which is fitting for a person who has become detached, cold and quiet.
    • Morgan Jones wields a staff, which reflects his newfound sturdiness and opposition to spilling blood.
    • The Wolves use various primitive weapons: knives, machetes, axes, spears, and sickles. This highlights their primal savagery and brings to mind a composite of various barbarian archetypes such as Horny Vikings, The Hashshashin, and Pirates.
    • Negan uses his barbed-wire-covered baseball bat "Lucille", which allows him to kill up close and as painfully as possible.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Pathfinder each class has proficiency in a few weapons related to their nature and playstyle.
    • Fighters have the largest selection of proficient weapons, demonstrating their skill with all manner of weapons. What weapons a particular fighter specializes in will tell you about his fighting style.
    • Arcane casters like wizards and sorcerers are proficient in only the simplest weapons. As magic users, they shouldn't be fighting with weapons at all and their meager weapon choices reflect this.
    • Clerics gain a weapon proficiency based on the god they follow, making their weapon choice an extension of their faith.
    • Rogues get knives, bows, and other weapons that are easy to conceal and meant to inflict precise wounds, much like how rogues themselves are best when making tactical attacks on unaware or vulnerable enemies.
    • Monks use either bare hands, staves, or specialized monk weapons. Being ascetic Warrior Monks, they don't need weapons, and those they do use either emphasize their ascetism or the exoticism of their style.
    • Brawlers specialize in fists and in the "close" weapon group, which are mostly punch enhancers with a couple of exotic clubs thrown in, as well as Shield Bash attacks. They're a Good Old Fisticuffs version of the Monk, and trade exotica for simple hitting power.
    • Gunslingers rely on all kinds of firearms and have the technical skill to maintain them, but they're not just defined as gunmen. They're also defined by grit and daring, performing Gun Fu tricks with dangerous and often explosive weapons.
    • Alchemists' special weapon is the bomb, and stereotypical alchemists are nutty and reckless Mad Scientists.
  • The various armies of Warhammer utilize different types and styles of weaponry in accordance with their culture and personalities. Even the designs of the same types of weapon vary in this way (for example, the spears used by High Elves are thin, elegant, leaf-bladed things with gentle, flowing curves, while their Dark Elf cousins use equally slender but jagged and spiked spears. Human spears tend to be a lot thicker and cruder, and Orc spears are thicker and cruder still).
    • The iconic weapon of the Empire, which the majority of its footsoldiers use, is the versatile halberd, which fits with the Empire army being the most versatile in the game (interestingly most other armies only give halberds to elite units). They also use spearmen and swordsmen, especially from more rural provinces, and missile support comes from a mix of archers, crossbowmen, and handgunners. Plus the Empire has large train of gunpowder artillery. There are also small numbers of young noblemen fighting on horseback with a brace of pistols, smaller numbers of engineers with experimental repeating handguns, and plenty of classic armoured knights with couched lances or cavalry hammers. Their elite infantry use Zweihander-style greatswords, just like the German Landesknechts who form their major inspiration. Basically the Empire is defined by its use of a wide variety of real-world early modern European weaponry.
    • Orcs and Goblins tend to use crude hacking swords and cleavers (called Choppas) that are little more than a sharp lump of metal on a stick, as well as equally crude spears and daggers. For missile fire, they rely on crude bows, cobbled-together trebuchets, and small bolt throwers. Savage Orc weapons are just as crude but knapped out of flint and bone, rather than pig iron. Orcs are basically low-tech barbarians with little time for art or craftsmanship, and their weapons reflect this.
    • Dwarfs, as peerless metalworkers, craftsmen, and engineers, use sturdy, reliable, and superlatively forged axes and hammers to fight with, paired with intricately carved round metal shields. They eschew swords, bows, and wooden-hafted weapons as feeble, their preference for solid metal axes and hammers fitting with their blunt, no-nonsense demeanour. They also craft rifled handguns (or crossbows) and more technologically advanced war machines than the humans of the Empire, but being far more naturally conservative don't tend to go in for the same levels of steampunk insanity that Imperial engineers do. Their miners, as would be expected, use pickaxes.
    • The High Elves, as a graceful, skilled, and artistic race, use slender spears, longbows, and elegant dueling swords as their primary weapons - all with leaf-shaped blades, intricate artistic flourishes, and curved, flowing lines. Most are encrusted with carved gemstones, and many are hung with ribbons. For war machines, they use similarly elegant bolt throwers, the bow-piece shaped to resemble the outstretched wings of an eagle and with a repeating mechanism to fire a hail of small darts. Their elites fight with larger, two-handed weapons - greatswords for the Swordmasters of Hoeth, halberds for the Phoenix Guard, and woodsman's axes for the White Lions - but these are also very slender examples of their kind, relying on perfect balance and swing rather than brute force for their effect (and the elves that use them are trained so superlatively that they can use them as dextrously as a human might use a regular sword). The Sisters of Avelorn use magical bows that fire arrows of searing blue flame, demonstrating that High Elves are the most magical of the races.
    • The Dark Elves are a twisted, corrupted mirror of the High Elves, and use similar weapons but styled with ripping spikes and blades and jagged, discordant edges. Instead of bows, they use repeating crossbows that fire a hail of barbed darts, and they supplement their armoury with vicious harpoons, hooked blades, whips, and razor nets.
    • The Wood Elves favor the longbow, and fight with it almost exclusively, though they do have some spearmen and sword-dancers as well. Wood Elf weapons are made from the wood of living trees, and just as intricately carved and crafted as those of their High Elf cousins, and in the same style - albeit with virtually no metal components, blades being made from obsidian, flint or at best beaten copper. Wood Elves are intimately connected to nature and thus prefer simpler, less industrially-produced weaponry.
    • The men of Bretonnia fight primarily as armoured knights, wearing a panoply of armor and using weapons drawn from the armouries of European knights from the 12th to 16th centuries - mainly lances and shields. Bretonnia, being a land of Arthurian chivalry and heroic adventure, could hardly be otherwise. Questing Knights, however, use greatswords instead of the lance, which they symbolically set aside to denote giving up their lands and duties in order to quest for the grail. The peasant men-at-arms in Bretonnia are a sorry lot, however, and use badly-kept spears, billhooks, and halberds or wooden longbows, like much medieval peasant militia. The contrast with the wide range of weaponry used by the other human army in the game - the Empire - is quite deliberate, and emphasises the distinct cultures of the two nations - chivalric and knightly on the one hand, pragmatic and technological on the other.
    • The Lizardmen use stone, gold, and obsidian clubs, and spears in Mayan, Aztec, and Inca style, with javelins and blowpipes for missile support. Their gear is well-crafted and intricately detailed though, in contrast to the crude weapons of Orcs or Beastmen. They also have access to ancient techno-magical devices that shoot laser beams or break open reality — the schizo tech juxtaposition of the lost technologies of the old ones and the barbarous state their lost children have descended into being a big part of the Lizardmen character and aesthetic.
    • Ogres use crude clubs, hefty iron-banded bludgeons, and pit-fighting fist spike gauntlets made of beaten iron. They also sometimes steal and re-purpose small cannons to fire a spray of debris (and larger cannons stolen from giants to spray cannonballs!). Ogres live in harsh, mountainous terrain, and know the value of self-sufficiency and scavenging (they're not too technologically capable either, but know a good idea when they see it). Pretty much everything they own is taken violently from others and repurposed.
    • The Tomb Kings of Khemri use bronze spears, wooden bows, and bronze Kopesh swords of various sizes and ride chariots, in keeping with their Bronze Age aesthetic. They also use sinister trebuchet catapults lashed together from bones because when you're undead it's just something you have to do...
    • The Vampire Counts themselves tend to use baroque medieval and early modern swords and daggers (when they're not fighting with bare claws and fangs), and their skeletal servants wield rusty, notched versions of the same, occasionally spears. Most zombies and ghouls fight with their bare hands, though zombies sometimes have the odd rusty knife or battered farm tool. Wraiths, however, wield gigantic reaping scythes, in keeping with their grim reaper imagery. The Vampire Counts army is more a magical force of nature than a proper military force, and decent equipment is rarely on their agenda - it's what you were buried with or nothing. They have no missile weapons at all.
    • The Skaven, as chaotic scavenging rat-men, use thin, nasty-looking blades, spears, and cleavers for the most part, usually notched and rusty and dull. They also have a variety of warpstone-powered mad science weapons such as warpfire throwers, ratling guns, and glass globes of poisonous gas used as grenades. Clan Eshin, the oriental clan who fight as ninjas, use traditional ninja weapons, such as throwing stars, fighting claws, and flat-bladed ninja swords. Clan Pestilens, the Plague Monks, use poison gas censers as makeshift flails!
    • Warriors of Chaos generally use hefty axes, swords, and hammers, as well as chain flails and large two-handed weapons. A fair number, especially those devoted to Khorne, use two weapons and eschew shields. They are no-nonsense born warriors and boisterous vikings, so close combat is what they're all about. They also have no traditional missile weapons beyond the odd throwing axe or throwing spear. Most of the weapons used by the Warriors of Chaos are forged by Chaos Dwarf smiths, and thus tend to be of high quality, and occasionally intricately detailed. Some of their heroes wield sentient weapons possessed by daemons.
    • Beastmen tend to use the same kinds of hefty axes, cleavers, and bludgeons as their Chaos Warrior fellows, though the scrawny, feeble Ungors use crude spears and shortbows instead to emphasise their sneakiness and lack of prowess.
    • Most Daemons of Chaos, being otherworldly spirit-entities, do not use weapons beyond their natural claws, teeth, and hooked appendages, but some use eldritch versions of swords and axes - classic weapons that inspire myths and archetypes because daemons assume forms derived from myth and archetype when they manifest. The martial daemons of Khorne, in particular, use nasty-looking blood-dripping Hellblades, while the sensuous, seductive daemons of slaanesh sometimes use barbed whips and lashes.
  • BattleTech doesn’t strictly stick to this, but there are factional tendencies, such as the Lyran Commonwealth/Alliance’s preferences for bigger guns like class 20 autocannons or regular or heavy gauss rifles, the Federated Suns preference for autocannons, or the Draconis Combine’s leaning toward the extremes of the light or heavy end of the scales when it comes to ‘Mechs.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE occasionally used this trope. Most notably, many of the Toa characters' weapons were not really used for direct combat, hence they were called "tools" rather than weapons. Toa used these to focus their Elemental Powers, usually targeting the area around their target to incapacitate or defeat them indirectly, as killing was against the Toa Code. The writers called this "Smart Heroic Thinking", though it was phased out by the end of the series.
    • Takanuva's staff was originally a sport tool that Takua grabbed when he stopped rejecting his fate and took responsibility for his actions. As Takua accepted his destiny to become the Toa Takanuva, his staff likewise became the Staff of Light, though he kept using it as sporting gear during his clash with the Makuta, even successfully performing the feat he previously failed at. The staff's blade has the exact same design as the carving tool Takua used to chronicle history, except its tips are "spread out", symbolizing how he has also metaphorically "opened up" but still carried part of his old self.
    • In his first appearance, the Makuta tried to discourage the Toa from battling him by proclaiming himself to be Destruction personified, a natural force that had to exist for Creation to take place. His lair was filled with debris and junk that looked like destroyed Toa body parts, an omen of what the Toa might become if they challenged him. To demonstrate his alleged purpose, he reformed this debris into Combat Tentacles, an act of creation built upon destruction. Much later, in his fight with Takanuva, Makuta used an evil version of Takanuva's staff to taunt him, challenging him to a much more dangerous version of the sport the staffs were originally for.
    • As a Toa, Vakama used a disk launcher, for which his fellow Toa initially mocked him as disk shooters were considered playthings. Vakama was a mask-maker in his private life, forging masks out of disks. Unlike the other Toa, he was reluctant to accept his life as a Toa, still obsessing over his former job and the disks he carried around. Thus, a disk launcher at least came in handy and let him keep a safe distance from whatever he was fighting, while the other Toa were more into taking direct action. He later found out the launcher doubled as a jetpack when used backwards, sort of mirroring his personal predicament of having to find his second purpose.
    • Kongu used to be a skilled bird pilot fighting giant insect swarms by shooting disks at them, as well as a pragmatic thinker. While raiding an armory cache after becoming a Toa Mahri, all his team members picked one ranged gatling gun and one close-combat weapon. Kongu opted for two gatling guns and no melee weapon.
    • Mata Nui, the Big Good of the series, after losing his original body, used a large sword and a living shield that was made from a beetle named Click he befriended and gave the ability to turn into a shield at will. Having previously lived as a deity who failed to value and protect his people, Mata Nui was quick to bond and trust his life with the first and smallest creature he met. His sword, made out of the tail of a Vorox beast he defeated together with Click, symbolized Mata Nui standing up for himself in a world where he wasn't a god, and fighting honorably.

    Video Games 
  • Air Force Delta Strike features Jamie, the oldest pilot in Delta Squadron. He only flies prop-fighters.
  • Chrono Cross has tons of characters, and their weapons usually relate to the character's origins or class: protagonist Serge has the Swallow, a double-sided boat oar, because he's a fisherman; villain Lynx has a scythe; the thief Kid has knives; swords are used by both a knight (Glenn) and a pirate (Fargo); instruments for a musician (Nikki, guitar) and a mermaid (Irenes, harp); a hammer for a blacksmith (Zappa), etc
  • Chrono Trigger has this as well. The hero, Crono, has his trusty katana (and starts, like all good swordsmen, with a bokken/wooden sword). Marle, instead of a staff, finds herself with a crossbow. Lucca, the mad genius, gets the guns of the game. The knightly Frog takes to Western weapons (oddly, the game's Masamune is this style and not a katana). Ayla, the primitive woman, gets her bare fists (cutscenes show her with a club). Robo uses robot parts. Finally, gothic and anti-hero Magus gets... yes, the scythe.
  • Dota 2's heroes use many types of weapons based on their main attributes. Strength heroes are melee weapon-users, Agility heroes are either bow or gun-users (some are melee), and Intelligence heroes use their staves. Weapons are also very popular as cosmetic items.
  • Dynasty Warriors. Simple one-handed swords are generally popular with the leaders of major factions and calm individuals while large polearms are fairly common with the tougher but not necessarily nuts enforcers. Women tend to get weapons that most men wouldn't dare carry. Lu Bu, the game's most feared character, tended to wield a halberd as if it were a one-handed sword. Dynasty Warriors 6 however changed things up a bit, as before that everyone had more or less always used the same weapon.
  • EarthBound (1994) has a variation where Ness, the hero, uses a baseball bat (which could be excused by his wearing a baseball cap) or a Killer Yoyo. However, Paula, the Black Mage, wields a frying pan, Jeff, the smart guy, uses guns, and Poo, the martial artist, uses either nothing or a sword. In general, the series gives baseball bats (or regular sticks, in Lucas's case) to the character that would get a sword in most other games of its type and frying pans to the character that would get a staff.
  • In Fallout 4, the weapon of choice for the Commonwealth Minutemen is, fittingly enough given their historical inspiration, the Laser Musket, a jury-rigged laser assembly from a standard Laser Rifle mounted on a wooden musket frame and "loaded" with a hand-crank. Despite the weapon's appearance eliciting "What a Piece of Junk" remarks, it's deceptively powerful as it can be charged multiple times to produce a single very powerful shot.
  • The Final Fantasy series loves this:
  • Irvine uses rifles, which becomes a plot point. He's supposed to be a military sniper, but he really doesn't have the heart to kill in cold blood.
  • Quina's only schtick is being a Big Eater, to the point where she uses dinner forks in battle.
  • Despite having four (or five to six depending on the game) types of melee weapons, Fire Emblem manages to do this; most axe fighters are obsessed with fighting in one way or another (and Kieran in Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn, who takes "Proud Warrior" to an extreme, is an Axe Knight), all but four (all but one of whom play second fiddle) of the lead characters use swords, and ALL thieves and assassins in the series use knives (at least in battle sprites). On the flip side, only two archers in the series qualify for the listed personality and spear-wielding units are just as competent as the other ones. It also subverts this slightly with weapons effective on certain types of foes (such as a large mallet being good on armored units) though.
    • Also of note that there are two different classes that wield swords. First is Mercenary/Hero (the sprites in the GBA games were broadswords regardless of sword used), the other being Myrmidon/Swordmaster (the sprites here used Eastern-style katanas). Swordmasters also generally get a specialized sword late game called the Wo Dao (which in the later games just is a Katana). Heroes are generally more manly and romantic-male-lead-ish when it comes to looks. While the majority of Swordmasters are females, or males that are very pretty, the animations for the Swordmaster attacks seem very graceful compared to the straight power of the Hero (graceful is badass). The rapier weapon (appears in most games) is usually usable only by the games leading character (who is always royal, giving them a proper societal weapon). The exceptions are Lyndis (Blazing Sword) and Ike (Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn). Lyndis has her own legendary katana, and Ike isn't actual royalty (and all his animations would fit way more with a Broadsword than a rapier).
    • THE Mook class in most Fire Emblem games, the Soldier, is a spear-wielding infantry class. Meanwhile, the Knight is the player's primary spear-wielding class and they ARE generally portrayed as calm and collected, although exceptions do exist. Mounted classes and Archers still avert this trope.
  • For most of A Hat in Time, Hat Kid favors her trusty, adorable umbrella as her weapon. It's perfect for a platformer character for whom combat is secondary; in addition to beating enemies with it, upgrades allow her to use it to avoid taking fall damage and/or use it as a Grappling-Hook Pistol. In short, it's a silly, light-hearted weapon for a silly, light-hearted girl that serves as much as a tool for exploration as combat. It's only in Nyakuza Metro that she gets an alternate weapon: the baseball bat preferred by the Nyakuza. (It can also use the aforementioned upgrades, though the fall damage prevention badge has Hat Kid flapping her arms to arrest her fall.) And even the bat soon ends up covered in cute stickers.
  • The Smith Syndicate, also known as the Killer7:
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Heroes Prefer Swords; hence, all playable characters starting with Sora wield the Keyblade. Others include deuteragonist Riku—who also wields a wicked-looking short sword called the Soul Eater—and King Mickey.
    • Donald Duck is Mickey's Royal Court Magician, using powerful spells that can be as explosive as his temper. His Magic Wand also acts as a bludgeoning weapon.
    • Goofy is Captain of the Royal Knights, but nevertheless isn't fond of violence; hence, his weapon is a shield.
    • Organization XIII:
      • Xemnas is the unfeeling leader of the Organization whose only memories of the heart are destructive emotions such as rage and hatred. He uses "Ethereal Blades," twin masses of Hard Light used mainly for bludgeoning, as though emphasizing that nothing good can come from nothingness.
      • Xigbar is a trash-talking know-it-all who keeps a bird's eye view of everything that's going on. He uses "Arrowguns", which act like Automatic Crossbows or a Sniper Rifle when combined together, picking off his opponents from whatever perspective suits him best with laser bullets.
      • Xaldin is a silver-tongued Manipulative Bastard. He wields six lances—half in his hands and half using his wind magic—that strike with as much cutting precision as his words.
      • Vexen is the resident Mad Scientist whose abilities lie mainly in his mind and his ice magic. He wields a large shield with prominent spikes along the top to guard against his opponents, allowing him to gauge their abilities at his leisure.
      • Lexaeus is the epitome of strong and silent, both his bulk and his earth magic being used in straightforward assault. The massive "Axesword" that he carries complements this: you know exactly what you're up against, and that won't make it any easier for you.
      • Zexion is a Master of Illusion who relies on mind games to avoid having to fight. But if it must come to straight-up combat, the fact that he channels his magic through a lexicon practically screams, "Don't judge a book by its cover."
      • Saïx is the second-in-command, the only one who seems as unfeeling as Xemnas. The weapon he uses is called a Claymore, a two-handed sword, but his variants are more like flat maces with spikes on the ends of them; like his stoically demonstrated knowledge of how to injure a heart, the strength it takes to wield it with only one hand emphasizes how much of a threat he really is.
      • Axel is the Wild Card, an assassin whose true agenda is as unpredictable as the fire magic he commands. He wields a pair of wind-and-fire wheels (called chakrams in-game), representing how he could lash out in any direction. Later, as Lea, he gets his own Keyblade.
      • Demyx is a lazy coward who would rather play his sitar than use it to fight. But push him to unleash his water magic and you'll find that he's nowhere close to a pushover.
      • Luxord is a gambler who makes a game out of fighting. His weapons are gigantic playing cards.
      • Marluxia is The Starscream who sought to take over the Organization. He wields a Sinister Scythe that references his ruthlessness as well as his flower-based magic.
      • Larxene is a sadist whose lightning strikes as quickly as her temper. She wields eight kunai knives that she either throws or holds between her fingers like Wolverine Claws to carve up her opponents.
      • Roxas is Sora's other half; hence, he carries the Keyblade.
      • Xion also uses a Keyblade, being an imperfect clone of Sora made from his memories.
  • Left 4 Dead has survivor AI picking weapons based mostly on preference. Francis uses shotguns, Louis and Bill use assault rifles, and Zoey uses sniper rifles. In Left 4 Dead 2, the same characters have their preferences changed due to using the same programming as the new characters. Bill still uses assault rifles, but now Zoey uses them too while Francis uses sniper rifles and Louis uses shotguns. For the new characters, Nick and Rochelle prefer assault rifles, Ellis uses sniper rifles, and Coach prefers shotguns. When human players are together with survivor bots, the AI will instead pick weapons based on what the players use, to avoid a full team using the same weapon.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • In the first LEGO Racers game, each boss racer favors a particular power-up that often but not always fits with their character.
    • Captain Redbeard prefers red bricks, especially the cannonball, as expected for a pirate.
    • King Kahuna prefers blue bricks, usually first-level shields and sometimes second-level shields.
    • Basil the Bat Lord uses them all dangerously well but appears to ever so slightly prefer green bricks and the occasional lighting wand.
    • Johnny Thunder prefers red bricks, particularly the grappling hook, fittingly for an adventurer.
    • Baron Von Barron prefers blue bricks. Especially the third-level shield.
    • Gypsy Moth uses red bricks the most, usually devastating the racers with Rockets, but will often go with anything she can get.
    • Rocket Racer only picks up green bricks unless you prevent him from getting any, which is when he'll use rockets instead. He prefers the infamous warp turbo boost. Good luck, you'll need it.
  • As a game where you play as Killizerk the Bladelord, a Demon Lord infamous for their ability to smith and wield immortal-slaying Maglam weapons, it's fitting that almost all of the characters in Maglam Lord specialize in one weapon type, fitting their personalities.
    • As mentioned, Killizerk is the Bladelord, so their preferred weapons are swords, axes, and spears. If it has a cutting edge, they can use it or forge it. It's mentioned that maglams could take the forms of bows and hammers but Killizerk can neither use nor forge either.
    • As a wannabe-Hero, Darius wields swords, especially since he's one of the last known living Heroes alongside his sister, Charme.
    • Charme is also a Hero but a more defensive type, so she favors spears, easy to use with shields and perfect for fending off enemies and keeping them at a distance, especially if you're defending someone else.
    • MOAV is a Robot Buddy and an artificial weapon, his metal Ars Magica frame gives him even more brute strength than most of the cast, so he uses axes and has skills that allow him to tank attacks and keep trucking.
  • Zero uses a katana and a wide array of weapons in Mega Man X8 to demonstrate his Person of Mass Destruction legacy, and the cocky, sneaky Axl gets a pair of pistols. There are two notable subversions, with the pacifist X being equipped with a powerful buster cannon and a massive array of weapons and armor, and the Big Bad Sigma using a sword in many of his boss fights — which makes sense he used to be a good guy.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Meryl Silverburgh in Metal Gear Solid demonstrates how she's a Hot-Blooded youngster who wants to be a hero by picking up a .50AE Desert Eagle. This is in contrast to Snake, who was left with the only slightly more reasonable .45 SOCOM pistol - demonstrating himself as a remorseful veteran who nevertheless is every bit the badass as Meryl thinks, no matter how much he tries to deny it. By Metal Gear Solid 4, Meryl's kept that Desert Eagle and uses it alongside a second one with a long barrel and a scope, using them to demonstrate when trouble comes knocking that, no matter what trauma she went through on Shadow Moses, she's ended up every bit as badass as she dreamed of.
    • Vulcan Raven had the M61 Vulcan he ripped from a downed F-16 to show he's an effin' giant.
    • Revolver Ocelot favours revolvers as he styles himself as a modern cowboy, he even enjoys the dangerous process of reloading a revolver in the middle of a fight. The player knows something is up when he ditches his signature guns in the 4th game.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Raiden receives the same SOCOM Snake had in the first game, some subtle foreshadowing as to how not only is Raiden deliberately trying to be just like Snake, but the entire Plant chapter is a simulated exercise designed to make Raiden into a super soldier as capable as Snake. By the end when everything is going completely off the rails, he takes up a high-frequency blade to symbolically distance himself from Snake, and while he still visibly has the SOCOM on him for MGS4, he nevertheless makes almost-exclusive use of various bladed weapons throughout MGS4 and Metal Gear Rising.
    • The bosses of Sons of Liberty had their own weapons of choice — Fatman had his bombs (he's a Mad Bomber), Fortune had her gigantic railgun (which she could use without problem because her luck allowed so), Vamp favored knives, and Solidus Snake had Combat Tentacles and a P90 machine gun. These are in turn recycled into the MGS4 Beauty and the Beast Unit: Raging Raven wields a grenade launcher, Crying Wolf had an attached railgun, Screaming Mantis shoots blades, and Laughing Octopus used both the tentacles and the gun.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater goes the foreshadowing route again with several characters:
      • EVA uses a Chinese copy of the Mauser C96 pistol, and uses a traditional Chinese technique to sweep an entire area; it turns out near the end she's not actually support sent to assist Snake, but a Chinese agent sent in to steal the same thing Snake came for.
      • Ocelot, as a Major in the GRU, starts off with a Makarov pistol, but Snake suggests he switches to revolvers based on his shooting style. When he does so a week later, he's switched to the Single Action Army, one of the most distinctly-American firearms ever. The whole time, he turns out to actually have been the CIA agent Snake was meant to meet, ADAM.
      • The Boss carries a heavily-modified and chopped-down M16, referred to as the "Patriot". Its base shows the Boss' origin as America's greatest hero; its name gives away that she never actually defected, being so fiercely patriotic that she was willing to die for her country, even for petty reasons.
  • Samus in the Metroid franchise has a large arsenal of weapons, but all of it's integrated into her signature arm cannon. As a weapon that can constantly upgrade and expand its capabilities, it reflects her versatility and willingness to adapt to the situation, while its chozo origins are indicative of her own past.
  • In Monster Hunter, this is actually the closest thing there is to a class system. Each weapon handles very differently and it might take some time to figure out which one is your favourite, but most players have at least one:
    • Great Swords are for the Mighty Glaciers. What they lack in speed or finesse, they make up for in overwhelmingly destructive power, enhanced by charged attacks. Mastery of these weapons requires patience and a good grasp of spacing.
    • Long Swords will feel natural for players who prefer hack-n-slash games like Dynasty Warriors, being overall nimble, yet powerful, and capable of performing super attacks after building up a meter. They tend to be preferred for solo play since it's all too easy to hit party members with its wide swings.
    • Sword and Shield is a Jack of All Stats weapon that is well-suited for beginners, but also favored by some veterans for its versatility. Although it doesn't excel in any one area like other weapons, it doesn't have any serious flaws, and it has the advantage of allowing wielders to use items even while brandished.
    • Dual Swords are small, quick, and capable of wracking up a ton of damage thanks to their lightning-fast combo attacks. Activating Demon Mode increases their lethality further.
    • Hammers are short and slow, so if you whiff your attacks, you're opening yourself up to serious injury. Conversely, they are very powerful weapons that can easily stun enemies if you can hit them in the head.
    • Hunting Horns are support-based weapons that resemble a long-handled hammer mixed with a bagpipe. Playing songs between attacks allows users to apply buffs to themselves and nearby teammates, making this an excellent choice for players who favor bard classes.
    • Lances are the weapon of choice for tanks: while they are cumbersome and not as powerful as other weapon types, they have excellent reach and come with a shield that is very useful in protecting the user from damage while allowing them to attack at the same time.
    • Gunlances are similar to lances, but exchange its counterpart's defensive prowess for devastating attack power with special cartridges that set off explosions when striking.
    • Switch Axes are one of two weapon types with a Stance System. In axe configuration, it has long reach for wailing on enemies while building up power that can be unleashed in sword mode for quick, deadly slashes.
    • Charge Blades are the second Stance System weapon, playing like a mix of Switch Axe and Sword & Shield, providing good protection in sword mode while building up power to unleash elementally charged strikes in axe mode. It is an extremely versatile and powerful weapon, hampered only by overwhelming complexity.
    • Insect Glaives are a Mechanically Unusual Weapon, using a Kinsect companion to gather buffs from monsters in conjunction with a spear that can be used to pole vault off the ground and unleash deadly attacks from the air. Its aerial capabilities make it ideal for mounting and stunning monsters.
    • Light Bowguns are a support-based long-ranged weapon that can be customized and outfitted with different types of ammo for almost any situation, along with traps to lay the hurt onto monsters. What it lacks in power, it makes up for in its light weight, allowing users to move with ease.
    • Heavy Bowguns are also customizable, but trade their light siblings' maneuverability and various ammo types with overwhelming explosive firepower.
    • Bows strike a balance between Light and Heavy Bowguns, offering a decent mix of maneuverability, supportive capacity, and attack power at medium ranges. Its one glaring weakness is that it's a stamina hog, so caution must be taken lest users find themselves unable to dodge an oncoming attack.
  • For No More Heroes, Travis Touchdown's weapon of choice is his Beam Katana (and obvious lightsaber Expy), a fitting weapon for an otaku obsessed with pop culture. The various bosses he faces have a variety of weapons, most of them improbable.
  • Though their actual equipment is at the discretion of the players, the official art of Omega Labyrinth Life show that the playable students each have a favoured type. Hinata prefers swords, Yukina tridents, and Mei scythes, for example.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 2:
      • In Innocent Sin: Tatsuya goes with swords because they're there (okay because he's a silent protagonist but still). Eikichi is the kind of person to think an assault rifle disguised as a guitar case is ridiculously cool (and a practical disguise since he's a musician). Maya is not-so-secretly a huge dork who just loves how flashy she looks with dual pistols. Meanwhile, Lisa already practices martial arts thanks to her father, and Yukino had used razors and thrown blades once upon a time as a former delinquent in the original Persona. Elegant and highly-cultured Jun is not only fluent in Japanese flower language, but can fight by throwing flowers that are somehow as damaging as bullets and blades, possibly as a magical leftover of his time as the Joker.
      • In Eternal Punishment: Maya is still dorky about her dual pistols. Katsuya only uses one pistol, because he's a professional police officer. Ulala is a hard-drinking lad-ette who is already very practiced in boxing. Baofu is a mysterious extortionist who claims to be Taiwanese and can somehow use qigong to throw coins and other small objects at ridiculously high (and lethal) speeds.
    • The characters in Persona 3 openly state the reasons for their specific weapons, whenever it isn't obvious. The male protagonist can use anything in the original release and FES, though he unsurprisingly defaults to a one-handed sword. Gung-ho everyman Junpei uses a two-handed sword that he holds like a baseball bat (which is to say, improperly). Yukari, a member of the Archery Club, uses a bow. Mitsuru, the rich girl, uses an "elegant" one-handed sword that she wields like a fencer. Akihiko, star boxer of the school and a bit of a Blood Knight, uses his fists. Aigis, a Robot Girl, uses attached guns of various types. Koromaru, a highly intelligent dog, uses a small knife held in his teeth, presumably to avoid actually biting the monsters. Ken, a Wise Beyond His Years ten-year-old, uses a spear to even the playing field between him and larger enemies. Shinjiro, the tough dude with issues, uses an axe or mace. In FES, Metis, Miss Exposition, also uses an axe, due to its power.
    • In the PlayStation Portable Updated Re-release of Persona 3, the new Heroine wields naginatas, presumably due to their historical association with women and famous female samurai in Japan. The Hero, though, is now restricted to one-handed swords, and Mitsuru's weapons are specifically referred to as "rapiers."
    • Although they don't state it outright like in 3, the heroes of Persona 4 use weapons that reflect their personalities. The Hero uses broadswords, symbolizing his leadership role. Yosuke tends to go to Dual Wielding whatever he can get his hands on, which shows his desire to be special, his goofiness given what he could wield (especially in Golden) and also his versatility showing he is more talented than he appears; additionally, his best weapons are a pair of wrenches, symbolizing his reliability and desire to help. Action Girl Chie has leg greaves to best utilize her powerful kicking prowess. Yamato Nadeshiko Yukiko uses fans, showing off her grace and power given her skill in Fire magic attacks. Delinquent Kanji relies on what the game classifies as shields but are really whatever blunt heavy objects he gets his hands on (including a desk and a folding chair). Teddie uses clawed gauntlets and usually fights in his bear outfit. Finally, Naoto uses a gun, which showcases her serious personality and efficiency, especially given the strict firearm rules of Japan.
    • The heroes of Persona 5 wield two weapons, one ranged and one melee, each reflecting their personality and circumstances: The Hero is a dual-faced trickster with a hammy Phantom Thief persona who uses knives and handguns. Delinquent outcast Ryuji Sakamoto uses shotguns and blunt instruments such as lead pipes. Tough-minded Heroic Seductress Ann Takamaki uses whips and sub-machine guns. Morgana, a smart-alecky cat-like entity who looks like a Wild West-style Puss in Boots, uses curved swords and slingshots. Flamboyant painter Yusuke Kitagawa had a traditional Japanese upbringing and wields katanas and assault rifles. Straight-laced Makoto Niijima, who has self-defense training, comes from a long line of police officers, and loves action movies, uses brass knuckles and revolvers in battle. Rebellious Ojou Haru Okumura opposes everything her father's corrupt fast-food corporation stands for, which makes her use of axes and grenade launchers look like deliberate defiance of her refined upbringing. Lastly, Goro Akechi looks to be a straight-laced Great Detective, but uses laser blades and ray guns which are stated to be based on "popular children's toys". Granted, this is likely to show off his belief in justice (especially given how his predecessor, Naoto also has her childish side), though, in the animation, it was shown he played hero a lot as a child. Also serves as evidence of being a Psychopathic Manchild when he reveals himself to be the murderer. On the other hand, in his true form, he uses serrated blades and silenced pistols, showing off his abrasiveness and ruthlessness. When he returns to the party in Royal, he continues to use the serrated blade (which appears to also be a toy laser blade) and switches the pistol out for an edgier black and red ray gun, highlighting his chuunibyou tendencies.
    • The new girl Kasumi Yoshizawa introduced in Royal continues this with her weapons to be an estoc (a type of rapier) and rifles, showing off her elegance and grace, evidence of her background as an accomplished gymnastics athlete. Additionally, it also shows off her admiration to Joker, especially compounded with how her thief attire is inspired by his own and choice of firearm, a lever-action rifle is wielded by Joker's Ultimate Persona, Satanael.
    • In the Dynasty Warriors-styled sequel, Persona 5 Strikers, we have two more newcomers. Sophia wields a pair of Killer Yo-Yos, referencing her childlike curiosity about everything as well as her versatility, while her ranged weapons are energy blasters straight out of science fiction, perfectly fitting for an AI. And Zenkichi wields a greatsword and a pair of pistols, symbolizing how he's lost his Jade-Colored Glasses and decided to take justice into his own hands once again.
  • Planetside: Each faction has one. The Terran Republic favours conventional gunpowder-based weapons and high explosives with a preference for More Dakka and Gatling Good. The New Conglomerate favours Magnetic Weapons with a focus on Shotguns Are Just Better that's more than strictly sane (shotgun pistols for their rank-and-file, triple-barreled shotguns for their assault troops, nose-mounted shotgun cannons for their aircraft, etc.). The Vanu Sovereignty favour Frickin' Laser Beams, Plasma Cannons and other energy weapons.
  • Pokémon: Many Gym Leaders and several other characters usually have a signature Pokémon on their team, the one they are the most heavily associated with.
    • Gen I:
      • Brock of the Pewter Gym has Onix as his signature Pokémon in the games. A massive snake of boulders that emphasizes the Rock-Type's straightforward yet effective power.
      • Misty of the Cerulean Gym's signature Pokémon is Starmie in the games. An enigmatic starfish, its tactical moves highlight the Water type's versatility and show that, like Misty herself, it's not to be taken lightly.
      • Lt. Surge of the Vermilion Gym has Raichu as his signature Pokémon in all of his incarnations. Surge favors overwhelming force, which burly Raichu shows off better than its speedier pre-evolution Pikachu.
      • Erika favors the Oddish family, particularly Vileplume. Quiet and unassuming like Erika herself, they can lash out with poison and energy-draining techniques at the slightest provocation.
      • Sabrina of the Saffron Gym is well-known for having Alakazam as her signature Pokémon. A stern-looking Psychic-type whose stoic face masks a wealth of unfathomable power, much like Sabrina herself.
    • Gen II:
      • If you're talking about Whitney, you're talking about her Miltank. A cute Pokémon with no overt special techniques...that packs so much of a punch that if you let your guard down, you'll lose your whole team as fast as you can say "Rollout."
      • Completely averted with Jasmine. What part of 'quiet, demure young woman who's more concerned about a sick Pokémon than running the Gym' equates to a big, angry Steelix?
      • Clair runs the Dragon-type Gym. The fact that her ace Pokémon are Dragonair and Kingdra seems to highlight that while she isn't someone to take lightly, she isn't a fully-fledged dragon tamer like her cousin, Champion Lance.
      • The True Final Boss, Pokémon Trainer Red, still has Pikachu as his strongest Pokémon, emphasizing his humble beginnings and just how far you can go without being fully developed.
    • Gen III:
      • Brawly's Pokémon—both the sage Meditite and the sumo Makuhita—represent his mindset to have a proper flow in battle rather than Attack! Attack! Attack! His techniques focus on decisive strikes and self-enhancement.
      • Flannery's Torkoal represents how she's a newly appointed Gym Leader who needs to take things at her own pace...and burns just as hot for it.
      • Norman's entire Gym represents the versatility of the Normal-type, and nothing shows that better than his ace, Slaking. It can only attack every other turn, but its stats are on par with Legendaries; underestimate it for its Ability and you'll get swatted down.
      • Tate and Liza, twin Psychics, use the meteorite Pokémon Solrock and Lunatone.
      • Wallace, a flamboyant Water-type trainer and artist obsessed with elegance, has the beautiful Milotic as his ace.
    • Pokémon Colosseum gives us a couple as well.
      • Miror B. uses sombrero-wearing pineapple ducks, properly known as Ludicolo. As rhythmic and flamboyant as he is and no less dangerous for it.
      • Venus, an idol and diva and one of the four Cipher Admins, has Milotic as her ace after Snagging her Shadow Pokémon.
    • Gen IV:
      • Volkner is the strongest of the Sinnoh Gym Leaders, to the extent that he's gotten bored of opponents who can't put up a fight. His ace, the black-furred lightning lion Luxray, matches him perfectly.
    • Gen VII:
      • For Big Bad Lusamine, we have Bewear, very fittingly. They both seem cute and innocent, but are actually incredibly dangerous and give people unwanted love that hurts them.
  • GLaDOS of the Portal-series is the sentient Master Computer that runs Aperture Science. She's a violent, toxic Deadpan Snarker, who killed her creators and spends her days performing tests on unwilling test subjects. Is it really that surprising that her favorite elimination method is flooding the room with deadly neurotoxin?
    GLaDOS: Good news. I just found out what that thing you just incinerated did. It was a Morality Core they installed when I flooded the Enrichment Centre with a deadly neurotoxin, to stop me from flooding the Enrichment Centre with a deadly neurotoxin. So get comfortable while I warm up the neurotoxin emitters...
  • In Sakura Wars, most of the girls (and the main characters) specialize in a specific weapon (which are often mirrored by their mecha):
    • The Tokyo team:
      • Main protagonist Ogami Dual Wields katanas, as befitting a dutiful member of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
      • Franchise poster girl Sakura is a Country Mouse from a samurai family who uses (what else) a katana.
      • Sumire, the Tsundere rich girl, is skilled in her family's Naginata school.
      • Maria, the Russian Revolutionary/ex-New York Mobster, carries a 6-shot pistol.
      • Kohran, the inventor, uses missiles and mini-attack robots.
      • Gentle Giant Kanna simply uses karate. Her Koubu is outfitted with Power Fists to complement her martial arts.
      • Reni, the German wünderkinden, uses a lance.
      • The exceptions are European aristocrats Iris and Orihime, neither of whom carry weapons on their person (Iris being far too gentle to, anyways). Iris's Koubu is built to harness her Psychic Powers, while Orihime's Koubu utilizes Finger Gun Beam Spam.
    • The theme continues to the Paris team:
      • Erica the clumsy nun uses an antique machine gun shaped like a cross.
      • Hanabi, the widowed Yamato Nadeshiko, is an archer.
      • Glycine is a proud noble of Viking origin who uses a halberd.
      • While infamous (and rather violent) criminal Lobelia prefers to just use fire, her mecha comes with a set of Wolverine Claws.
      • Upbeat and mature-for-her-age circus girl Coquelicot has a magic wand similar to what she uses on stage.
    • The New York Team:
      • Oogami's nephew and new player character, Shinjiro Taiga, is another dutiful IJN cadet who dual wields katanas.
      • Retired Badass Ratchet may be fairly mellow for someone who specializes in throwing knives, but Sakura Wars: The Movie shows that she used to be quite ruthless.
      • Texas Samurai Cowgirl Gemini (and her vengeful alter ego Geminine) wields a katana (taking her samurai master's teachings quite seriously) and carries a revolver on her hip (but never actually uses it).
      • Famed lawyer (and former biker gang leader) Sagitta Weinberg(Cheiron Archer) uses a chain (of justice).
      • The elegant and wealthy perfectionist Subaru uses Japanese war fans.
      • Diana, the Friend to All Living Things, uses robot birds and syringe-shaped water cannons.
      • Mexican bounty hunter Rika/Rosita has two revolvers.
    • The New Imperial Combat Revue
      • Like their predecessors before them, Seijuro Kamiyama and Sakura Amamiya use katana. Seijuro wields two in each hand like Ohgami, while Sakura only uses one like Sakura Shinguji.
      • Spunky Shrine Maiden Hatsuho Shinonomi uses a gargantuan mallet.
      • Ninja prodigy Azami Mochizuki uses a variety of ninja weaponry, including kunai and shuriken. Her mech is outfitted with a massive gauntlet that carries these implements, while her fighting style in her Mugen is primarily focused on hand-to-hand combat.
      • Aloof actress Anastasia Palma uses a combination of a handgun and an umbrella which contains a Hand Cannon.
      • Scholar and mage Clarissa "Claris" Snowflake uses a Spell Book. Her mech has one too, appropriately scaled to boot. Don't ask why, just roll with it.
  • Crime boss Mr. X of Streets of Rage 1 & 2 uses a tommy-gun, which not only signifies his lack of fair play(he's the only one with a gun) but carries a certain connotation of organized crime, thanks to its popularity in gangster films.
  • In weapon-based missions in the 3D brawler Urban Reign, both the enemy mooks and your helper character get weapons suited to their themes/personalities, so urban warriors tend to carry baseball bats and tire irons, the Yakuza-like gangsters use katanas, ex-military types use combat knives, and the corrupt mayor uses a handgun, etc. While every character can use every weapon, they have different movesets depending on their proficiency with it(only the soldiers get a throat-slit move with the knife, for example).
  • The Walking Dead:
    • In Season 2, Clem prefers to use a handgun against her enemies as she is still too small to go against both walkers and bandits in a straight-up fight unless she gets the drop on them. In addition, firing a gun larger than a pistol will have the recoil knock her down. She continues to hold a handgun at all times in season 3, but by Season 4 she starts using a knife — likely due to ammunition becoming scarce. She ends up using a crossbow for most of the season.
    • Lee seems to have a thing for axes. He uses a fire axe through the latter half of Episode 1. In Episode 2, set a few months later, he's shown to still be using it. In Episode 4, he uses a small hatchet.
    • Carley is a crack shot with her Glock 17 in Season 1, saving her friends several times with it.
    • Chuck exclusively used a shovel, except when he uses a gun to kill himself when he is surrounded by walkers.
    • Michonne's iconic katana is replaced by a machete for her miniseries. As shown in the comic, this is because she left it with Ezekiel at the Kingdom.
    • Javier likes to use a baseball bat, which is a callback to his professional baseball career.
    • Conrad uses a pump-action shotgun throughout A New Frontier. When he fires it off many times in the train tunnel, Tripp claims that "every walker in the damn county" would have heard it.
    • Marlon in The Final Season always uses a crossbow, until he dies at the end of Episode 1. Clem uses it after this point.
    • Violet carries around a butcher knife to fight off walkers and raiders alike.
    • Louis carries around a chair leg with nails in it that he names "Chairles".
  • Warframe:
    • All of the Syndicates have unique primary, secondary, and melee weapons. Gain enough reputation with them and they'll allow you to buy them.
    • Many warframes have specific weapons associated with them; this is more common for later 'frames, which are usually heavily advertised with all three.
    • The Stalker has Dread (his bow), Despair (his knives), and Hate (his scythe). After joining forces with Hunhow, he discards them in favor of War.
  • Wild ARMs 3: sunny heroine gets pistols akimbo (with flowery holsters). Wise, composed, always suggests the best course of action science guy has the sniper rifle. Impulsive ditz gets the sawed-off shotgun. Badass amnesiac loner gets machine gun and ammo bandoliers.
  • The core heroes in The Wonderful 101 each have different Unite Morphs associated with them and their personalities.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • Helluva Boss: Moxxie is a nebbish and intellectual but physically weak imp, and as such prefers to fight with ranged weapons, and lots of them. His wife Millie is a female Hot-Blooded Boisterous Bruiser and is very proficient with melee weapons.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Sarge almost exclusively uses his shotgun. He's a Blood Knight who loves killing up close and personal; he also enjoys threatening violence or emphasising his moods through dramatically loading the gun. The one time Washington mimics Sarge's likely reaction to the situation they're in, he picks up a shotgun to sell the imitation.
    • Caboose has a habit of getting allies killed in friendly fire and making friends with AI killing machines. He eventually ends up with an assault rifle controlled by his friend, killer AI "Freckles", who actively prevents friendly fire from being possible. Thanks to the AI, Caboose can let rip to his heart's content without harming allies.
    • Donut is freakishly good at throwing things and becomes increasingly associated with plasma grenades as the show progresses.
    • Tucker picks up an Energy Blade that becomes his signature, as along with Heroes Prefers Swords, a Cool Sword certainly feels natural with the resident pervert.
    • The Meta is a brutish fighter who wields a brutish weapon called the Brute Shot, a combination Grenade Launcher/sword taken from the Covenant and subsequently looted from a museum. Given his habit of stealing A.I.s and equipment to make himself more powerful, it's fitting that his weapon is stolen as well by Grif after his death, who renames it the "Grif Shot".
  • RWBY: Ruby Rose mentions that every weapon is an extension of the nature and personality of its wielder. However, only a few cases in the show have made the link between the wielder's choice and their personality explicit.
    • When Ren and Nora first meet, it's in Ren's home village where Nora is living as a starving, terrified street urchin. When the village is destroyed by a Grimm attack, Nora is soothed by Ren's Semblance, which also prevents the Grimm from finding them. Ren hands the frightened Nora a toy wooden hammer that is lying on the ground and tells her that, from now on, they will protect each other. Since that day, the two have been inseparable, to the point where Nora starts plotting on their first day in school to ensure that she and Ren make the same team as each other. Her weapon is a giant war-hammer, based on the toy war-hammer that Ren once gave her; it reflects her continued loyalty to Ren while allowing her to take full advantage of her Semblance, which makes her super-strong when hit by lightning.
    • Ren is an orphan survivor of a Grimm attack that destroyed his entire village. The village's symbol was a lotus flower, which is his personal symbol. His green tunic mimics the style of green dress his mother was wearing when she died and he wears a streak of colour in his hair, just like his father — although the pink colour reflects the eye colour he inherited from his mother. One of the last things he hears before his parents die is his father saying they need a Huntsman to deal with the threat they're facing. His weapon consists of green guns with strangely shaped, jagged blade attachments, and he's very keen on his school mission being to defend villages that are located outside the Kingdom. Flashbacks reveal that the last thing his father ever did was give him a knife and tell him to run. The knife is the exact shape of the blades on Ren's guns. Ren's entire motivation as a Huntsman, including his personal appearance and the colour and shape of his weapons, is designed to be a memorial to his lost parents, village, and why they died.
    • Qrow fights with a giant sword that can transform into both a gun and a scythe. The weapon is therefore designed to deal death at both range and close combat. Qrow is heavily associated with crows and the death and misfortune that crows are associated with. He was named "Qrow" because his Semblance brings bad luck to anyone he's near, making him the same harbinger of misfortune as a crow. His weapon is likewise designed to bring death and misfortune in multiple ways, and its strongest form is the scythe that is associated with death and the Grimm Reaper.
    • Adam uses Wilt and Blush, a chokuto and a shotgun-sheath, both of which are devastating in close quarters and are almost always fatal on the first blow when combined with his Semblance. Blush can fire Wilt out of its sheath, letting Adam attack even faster. Wilt is designed to channel his Semblance, the ability to absorb the energy of attacks so that he redirects that power back at the enemy. Adam is a man who wants to destroy his enemies as brutally as possible, but who has no tolerance for experiencing any suffering in return. When Yang learns that his Semblance gets channelled through his sword instead of him having to tank the damage with his body first like she does, she calls it cheap that he can gain power without having to earn it. Throwing his sword over a cliff symbolises the stripping of his power and his moral defeat, not just his physical one.
  • Shrapnel: While Reznya isn’t picky about what she uses to kill someone as long as it gets the job done, she tends to favor guns that fit with her no-nonsense, brutal style, like shotguns and the "BEDTIME STORY."

    Webcomics 
  • Harkovast: A lot of the characters fit into this trope, such as the (usually) peaceful Chen-Chen fighting unarmed and the giant nameless wielding two long chains.
  • Homestuck: Each character can allocate their STRIFE SPECIBUS, essentially selecting the type of weapon they can use, and their choices often reflect their personalities in some manner.
    • John Egbert, a computer geek and aspiring magician, uses the hammerKind Abstratus, which gives him access to such implements as the Pogo Hammer, Telescopic Sassacrusher, the Wrinklefucker, Fear No Anvil, and Warhammer of Zillyhoo. Much like his personality, his hammers start out clumsy and impractical but quickly become ridiculously powerful, while retaining a whimsical and silly appearance throughout.
    • Rose Lalonde, a sarcastic writer, uses needleKind. (The hollow, aluminum knitting kind.) After some Item Crafting, they function as dual-wielded Magic Wands that are essentially BFGs powered by Eldritch Abominations and are regarded as an Artifact of Doom.
    • Dave Strider, a badass rapper and sword collector, uses bladeKind, personally favouring his collection of katanas. However, when Dave's katana breaks thanks to his trouncing at the hands of Bro, his Specibus is automatically changed to 1/2bladeKind, which now only allows him to use broken swords, reflecting his feelings of inadequacy. That is, until he decides to Screw Destiny and builds a Morph Weapon that he keeps as a broken sword in storage.
    • Jade Harley, the series' resident semi-prophetic weird girl has the Riflekind Abstratus, reflecting her distance from the rest of humanity.
    • The Trolls also use this system.
    • The Cherubim use the system as well:
      • Calliope uses a magic wand that can turn into a revolver pistol, the wand referencing her joyful fantasizing personality, while the revolver is a highly precise weapon with limited ammo, fitting someone who recognizes the occasional need for killing but will do so only when necessary.
      • Caliborn uses a pimp cane that turns into an assault rifle, the cane form referencing his predilection for sheer brute force (and the "pimp" aspect referencing his misogyny), while an assault rifle is a highly destructive weapon that is likely to kill things other than the intended target, fitting Caliborn's bloodthirst and complete lack of concern for others' well-being.
    • The Midnight Crew's choice of weapons likewise ties into their characterization:
      • Jack Noir/Spades Slick is a Psycho Knife Nut, channeling his short temper and bloodlust by brutally stabbing people to death with his trusty switchblades and razors.
      • Draconian Dignitary/Diamonds Droog, the most intelligent and cautious member of the team, doesn't get his hands dirty often, but when he does he favors rifles and spears that can be used from a safe distance.
      • Hegemonic Brute/Hearts Boxcars, a towering brute notable more for his inhuman strength than for any particularly cleverness, uses an assortment of battleaxes, warhammers, and morningstars.
  • The title character in Schlock Mercenary uses a (lately archaic, but still highly effective) Strohl Munitions BH-250 Plasma Cannon far more than any other weapon (except possibly himself, since he's nigh-unkillable), since it is effective as both a weapon and a form of transport, and because it can be used to threaten as well as kill (a half-pressed trigger results in an "ominous hum" sound and a glow emanating from the barrel). As one person so threatened put it, "I can see a glow at the end of the barrel, and I'm not feeling ready to walk towards the light."

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Aang, the twelve-year-old peace-loving monk, has his trademark staff/glider.
    • Zuko, both the noble Determinator and selfish, troubled Anti-Villain, gets not one but two broadswords, indicative of his two sides.
    • Sokka, The Smart Guy, has a Precision-Guided Boomerang (indicating he's odd but effective).
    • The creators have also admitted that they got the idea for giving the Gothy Mai a Bottomless Magazine of stilettos by picturing her sulking in her room, throwing things at the walls in boredom.
    • Jet has hook swords, which in retrospect may well have been a hint towards the whole Well-Intentioned Extremist role and Zuko's Worthy Opponent.
      • To illustrate their Character Development, some characters have come to lose their weapons. For example, early on, when he was just the thick-headed male figure, Sokka retained a war club. Then there's the symbolic ending of the season three premiere episode, in which Aang burns his staff. On the reverse, as a sure sign of his growing into a capable leader, Sokka comes to receive a straight sword.
      • Then the Grand Finale has Sokka losing both of his weapons, and Aang never using his staff. This indicates that, indeed, it's all finally over.
    • The Legend of Korra has Asami Sato, Team Avatar's only non-bender member, who uses an Equalist shock glove to deliver One Hit KOs.
  • The Boondocks: Even against adult opponents, Granddad fights using his belt as an impromptu whip or lasso, as he's an old-fashioned parental figure who employs harsh disciplinary techniques.
  • Gravity Falls: Grunkle Stan's weapon of choice is brass knuckles, representative of his being the "brawn" half of Brains and Brawn. His brainy twin Stanford prefers a concealed handgun.
  • Harley Quinn (2019): Harley starts off with her iconic massive hammer, but when Joker blows it up after she breaks up with him, she switches out to a baseball bat, which she decorates in the next episode.
  • Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series:
  • All of the crystal gems in Steven Universe have a different magical weapon that they summon through their gems.
    • Garnet, the hands-on leader, has a pair of gauntlets.
    • Pearl, the elegant but neurotic Lady of War, gets a spear (plus a number of normal swords).
    • Amethyst, the fun-loving party animal, has a whip.
    • Steven, the Friend to All Living Things, has a shield inherited from his mother, Rose Quartz.
    • Jasper, a villainous Homeworld Gem, prefers to face her challenges head-on and overpower them. Her "weapon" is a Cool Helmet she uses as a bludgeon.
    • It's also worth noting that when two gems fuse they can use the weapons of their components or combine them into a new one, which also fits the new Gem's personality:
      • Opal, a calm compromise between two opposites, turns Pearl's spear and Amethyst's whip into the limbs and string of an Energy Bow.
      • Sugilite, the powerful but vicious giant, combines Garnet's gauntlets into a giant meteor hammer with Amethyst's whip as the chain.
      • Sardonyx, who is Fun Personified, turns Garnet's gauntlets into the oversized head of a hammer with Pearl's spear as the wobbly handle.
      • Smoky Quartz, a confident and fun-loving Pungeon Master, wraps Amethyst's whip around Steven's shield to make a giant Killer Yo-Yo.
      • Rainbow Quartz 2.0, who combines Pearl's elegance with Steven's fun to create a flamboyant personality, uses a magic parasol.
      • Sunstone, a parody of '90s PSA mascots that combines Steven's love with Garnet's motherly authority is probably the strangest example, using a pair of Tricked-Out Gloves with suction cups on them.
      • Obsidian, the fusion of all the crystal gems, can combine all four weapons into a sword hilt, which is then dipped in lava to form a flaming BFS.

Alternative Title(s): Weapon Based Characterisation

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