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Jade: I had no idea those pliers came equipped with the "club" option.
Pey'j: Model D53, little lady. Slices, dices... and pounds.
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Wrenches are tools often associated with The Engineer and the Wrench Wench, using them to build and repair objects, whether by tightening bolts or Percussive Maintenance. Like other tools used in construction (hammers, nailguns, etc.), wrenches can be very effective weapons, even by the Improbable Weapon User.

Very much Truth in Television as a good monkey wrench (also known as a pipe wrench) can be made of very sturdy materials, and some can weigh quite a bit on top of that. So, in a pinch, you can very easily break someone's skull wide open if you hit'em hard enough.

Unrelated to Spanner in the Works, unless what derails your Evil Scheme is underestimating the combat potential of the Wrench Wench. See Crowbar Combatant for another tool used as an effective weapon.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Board Games 
  • One of the possible murder weapons in the game Clue (also known as Cluedo). Befitting their source, it also appeared in the related video games and books as a suitable blunt instrument.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #24, Indy battles a Giant Mook armed with a wrench atop a speeding truck.
  • In G.I. Joe comics, a large automechanic's wrench is the weapon of choice for the recent Deadnok recruit Heartwrencher. In spite of his name, the same doesn't apply to longtime Dreadnok Monkeywrench.
  • The Goon calls the chrome-plated adjustable pipe wrench "the finest monster-hunting technology 1932 had to offer."
  • A dead worker is shown with a wrench embedded in his face in Hatchet / Slash.
  • Rulah, Jungle Goddess: In "The Ice Beast" (Zoot Comics #10),an evil witch doctor kills the American engineer who built his Weather-Control Machine by smashing his head with a wrench. He soon regrets this act when he realises that he doesn't know how to operate the machine.
  • In Runaways, Gert once attacked Victor with a gigantic monkey wrench Nico had conjured up earlier in the issue.
  • In Secret Six #14, Ragdoll smashes Smythe the Slaver's hand and back with a wrench before lodging it in his head. It doesn't kill him, though.
  • In She-Hulk, during Byrne's run, the main character was being mind-controlled by Xemu, her BFF whacked him on his brain-dome.
  • One early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic issue has Raphael getting so angry at Michaelangelo's teasing that he tries to hit him with a wrench. The other turtles are shocked by this as he could have killed Mike, and so they order him to go cool off outside. Raph progressively realizes how his reaction was disproportionate, and feels guilty about it.
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    Fan Works 
  • Super Power Beat Down, episode "The Joker & Harley Quinn vs Deadpool & Domino": Harley Quinn takes out Domino by mean of a lucky throw with a wrench landing on her skull.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Referenced in Assault on a Queen. Tony was dishonourably discharged from the US Navy for hitting his superior officer with a wrench.
  • In Breakheart Pass, the engineer clobbers the trooper acting as his fireman with a wrench just before being shot by Deakin and Major Claremont.
  • The Cannonball Run: In the brawl with the bikers, J.J. punches a huge biker in the face several times to no effect in a Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh... moment. The biker mockingly points to the other side of his jaw and suggests J.J. try there. J.J. says "Thanks" and immediately smacks the biker across the face with a spanner.
  • In Cloud Atlas, a hitman played by Hugo Weaving gets a giant wrench to the back of the head courtesy of a tiny Hispanic woman played by (who else) Korean actress Doona Bae.
  • One of the murder weapons in Clue.
  • Death Bell: When searching the school for the killer, Mr. Kim grabs a pipe wrench from a storeroom and carries it as a weapon for the rest of the film (for all the good it does him).
  • From DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story: "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball."
  • Part of The Fast and the Furious protagonist Dominic Toreto's backstory. After a rival driver accidentally causes his father to die on the racetrack, Dom uses a wrench to savagely beat the man almost to death, leading to the predictable results and is implied to be what kick-started his criminal career.
    • Dom Dual Wield a pair large wrenches in his showdown with Decker Shaw in the climax of the seventh film.
  • A character gets impaled through the head by a wrench in Final Destination 5.
  • A sewer worker gets clobbered with his wrench in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.
  • Home Alone loves this trope - especially the second film.
  • Julia X: Before taking The Stranger out of the boot of her car, Julia whacks him over the head with a lug wrench to make sure he is unconscious.
  • Used for a Bait-and-Switch in The Living Daylights. A Brawn Hilda woman tells James Bond she's going to take care of the supervisor while hefting her wrench significantly, but she uses Marshmallow Hell tactics instead.
  • Dr. Igora in Monster Brawl aids Frankenstein in his match by entering the ring and whacking Zombie Man in the head with a wrench.
  • Primal: During the fight in the engine room, the assistant engineer Jerome attempts to clobber Loffler with a huge monkey wrench.
  • Rumble in the Bronx subverts this with Jackie Chan starting by hitting the Giant Mook, to no effect – then the Tagalong Kid passes him a bike helmet, which he whacks the guy's face with, still no effect - then the kid gives him a big wrench. One look at it and the mook caves.
  • During the epic training scene of Shaolin Soccer, the Shaolin goalie gets hit in the head by a wrench. The wrench bends without leaving a mark on his face.
  • In Shrooms, Bluto beats the wounded goat to death with a lug wrench.
  • The villain in Sorority Row is using a lug wrench with innumerable blades jutting out of it. And it's collapsible.
  • Speed Racer features a fight scene in which a monkey wrench is wielded by, appropriately enough, a monkey.
  • Frank/The Crimson Bolt's weapon in Super.
  • The Texas Vibrator Massacre ends with the main character being beat to death with a wrench by Porn!Leatherface's father and sister.
  • At the end of The Toolbox Murders remake, Coffin Baby tries to kill Nell with a wrench, but she fends him off long enough for the police to show up and shoot him out a window.
  • V for Vendetta: The revolution officially begins when a man does this to a policeman who just shot a little girl for wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.
  • In Raiders of the Lost Ark, while Indy's going for the pilot's seat of a still-grounded airplane, an on-hand Nazi mechanic innocently questions the jacketed figure with a wrench, then when Indy kicks him in the face for his troubles, gets up and starts swinging it.

    Literature 
  • The Bastard Operator from Hell once used a large Stilton wrench to sabotage the board's new secure room, first by smashing the comms panel and then to close a stopper and flood the secure room in sewage.
  • In one of the Doc Savage novels, Ham - having been on the receiving end of yet another one of Monk's practical jokes - picks up a monkey wrench and whacks Monk in the head hard enough to knock him out.
  • Sergeant Julio Poertena from the Prince Roger series uses a "big pocking wrench" to dismantle jammed power armour and hostile cannibalistic aliens with equal gusto. In the former case, Percussive Maintenance is, in actuality, better at unjamming powered armor than the official method.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes: In Red Leech, Grivens attempts to kill Sherlock with a large engineering spanner in the ship's engine room.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The A-Team, "Knights of the Road": when Tyler's men move in on her, Jenny picks up a wrench and swings at them. It ultimately does no good, and one of the men takes the wrench from her to bust up her and her father's tow truck.
  • In Battlestar Galactica (2003), a wrench is used to kill Laird.
  • On Boardwalk Empire, a stressed Eli gives George O’Neill a wrench whack right in the windpipe if that didn't kill him the repeated strikes to the head afterwards did.
  • The killer in the Criminal Minds episode "Painless" tries to attack Hotch and Prentiss with a wrench after being shot (he doesn't feel pain) but is stopped by a second shot, this one fatal.
  • CSI:
    • The Victim of the Week in "Mea Culpa" is a hardware store owner killed by a blow to the head by a monkey wrench.
    • In "Turn of the Screw", the killer beats the Victim of the Week to death with a pipe wrench he had just used to sabotage the roller coaster.
  • The Doctor Blake Mysteries: At the climax of "The Open Road", Jean grabs a wrench and clobbers the murderer who is attempting to crush Lucien beneath a car on a jack.
  • Doctor Who: In "Victory of the Daleks", the Eleventh Doctor attacks a Dalek with a large wrench, trying to provoke it into dropping the "helpful automaton" act in front of the supporting cast.
  • Father Brown: In "The Laws of Motion", the Victim of the Week is done in with a blow to the head from a lug wrench. The killers then plan to make it look like she died in a car accident.
  • In Firefly, Mal knocks out Jayne this way toward the end of "Ariel".
  • Midsomer Murders: The first Body of the Week in "The Flying Club" is done in by a blow to the back of the head with a wrench.
  • Red Dwarf: In the episode "Duct Soup", Kochanski coldbloodedly beats Kryten over the head with a wrench for his getting the crew trapped in Starbug's ducts (and almost getting the ship destroyed) just because he was jealous of her relationship with Lister.
  • Used more than once in Star Trek: The Original Series.
    • In "Court Martial", Finney uses a (20th-century) wrench in a fight with Kirk but doesn't get a good blow in.
    • Similarly, in "Operation: Annihilate!" one of the mind-controlled human colonists ineffectually attacks the away team with a large wrench.
    • In "Space Seed", Kirk surprises Khan with a whack from a (23rd-century) Space Wrench. Take that, superhuman!

    Music 
  • The video for a-ha's "Take On Me" shows the hero squaring off against two thugs, all of them holding wrenches. (The actual fight happens off-screen, though.)

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Moose was undefeated in Ring of Honor until Cedric Alexander hit him with a wrench. Alexander also ended his Tag Team with Caprice Coleman after Coleman prevented him from using it on War Machine.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Back In 1995: Kent can wield a monkey wrench as a weapon against the monsters.
  • In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Kazooie carries around a magic Wrench that, aside from carrying stuff around via Tractor Beams, can be used as a melee weapon.
    • And in Banjo Tooie's Grunty Indutries there were worker enemies who'd try to whack the bear and bird with their enormous wrenches.
  • Pey'j's weapon of choice in Beyond Good & Evil. His wrench even comes with a secondary wire cutter function.
  • Since BioShock is a spiritual successor to the System Shock, it would naturally feature a wrench as the first available weapon. With the right Tonics and Plasmids, the wrench goes from a weak Emergency Weapon to the sole weapon you use. Tonics can boost the wrench's damage, swing speed, and even give it Life Drain, meaning you can run headlong into a group of enemies swinging wildly and come out with more health than you had to go in. There are also Tonics intended for stealthy players that give huge damage boosts to the wrench on enemies that aren't aware of your presence... except no stealth is required, since stunning an enemy with either Electro Bolt or Insect Swarm will make the game count them as not being aware of you.
    • A wrench identical to the one in the first game shows up in Bioshock Infinite. Booker doesn't wield it though; Elizabeth knocks him out with it when she finds out he's actually kidnapping her, not rescuing her. Ironically Elizabeth is later beaten to death with a wrench in Burial at Sea.
  • Dark Cloud 2 features Max using wrenches as his primary melee weapon from the beginning of the game. It can be upgraded to many different, more combat-designed wrenches, including Smash Wrench, Drill Wrench, and Poison Wrench.
  • Wrenches appear in all Fallout games after the second one, but are only used as weapons in Fallout 2, Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel and Fallout 4
    • A typical wrench used by mechanics for hurting people.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas, a particular quest implies a wrench was used to murder an NCR Engineer for his outfit. Strangely, wrenches still aren't useable as weapons. You can use a lug wrench or a piece of piping but you can't use an adjustable wrench.
    • In Fallout 4, the pipe wrench is a fairly effective melee weapon at low to mid-levels, thanks to the weapon mod system, as it gains mods that not only boost its damage but also increase its chances of crippling a target or deal extra damage to limbs.
  • Cid uses wrenches as weapons in Final Fantasy IV. Hilariously, they're some of the strongest weapons in the game while he's in your party- even better than swords and karate.
  • Guild Wars 2's Engineer has the Tool Kit skill that replaces weapons with a wrench used to repair turrets and as a melee weapon, and the Heart of Thorns expansion adds the Scrapper elite specialization that allows the Engineer to use hammers and along with it two hammer skins in the shape of massive wrenches (that any other class that uses hammers can equip too).
  • Adrian Shephard in Half-Life: Opposing Force has one. It's stronger than Gordon Freeman's crowbar and can be raised perform a highly-damaging alt-fire attack, but has an overall slower swing speed. He later obtains a combat knife, which lacks an alt-fire attack but is compensated by having a faster swing speed.
  • Heimerdinger from League of Legends; he doesn't whack minions and champions with his wrench though, he throws them.
  • Lexis in Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals has wrenches as a primary weapon.
  • Wrenches are used by Engineers in Makai Kingdom with the Tech Bash skill, and possibly as an acquirable weapon.
  • One of the bosses in Mole Mania uses wrenches as throwing weapons.
  • Principal Takashi Hanya in Persona 2: Innocent Sin uses a giant wrench as a melee weapon.
  • Yosuke in Persona 4 usually has dual daggers/kunai, but can pick up a pair of spanners if you revisit the liquor shop in the TV world. They're also a great weapon for that early in the game thanks to its high critical ratio.
  • In the original Prey (2006) Tommy's first weapon is a pipe wrench. It isn't all that strong, but still good for the occasional head-bashing of weaker creatures like Fodder.
    • The only real resemblance Prey (2017) has to the original Prey is the first weapon being a wrench. This loop-handled hunk of steel is much more powerful than it looks, and Morgan Yu can deal some real damage to even the stronger Typhons with the right neuromod investments.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Ratchet uses the Omniwrench, which he uses for its actual purpose too.
  • Led from Septerra Core uses oversized wrenches, not only as a blunt weapon but also to dismantle robotic enemies.
  • Tinker Knight from Shovel Knight can toss his spanner like a boomerang in his desperate attempt to defeat the player. Knock his hit-points down enough and he starts throwing fountains of spanners.
  • Wave from the Sonic Riders series has this as her level 2 attack in the original and as her only attack in Zero Gravity.
  • Gremlin Thwackers in Spiral Knights.
  • Rocky Wrench from the Super Mario Bros. 3 airships and their subsequent appearances. Notably, when defeated in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, they sometimes drop a Wrench sticker that allows Mario to whack people with wrenches too.
  • In Super Robot Wars, Super Robot Gunleon carries a number of these, ranging from ones that are appropriately scaled to fit in its hand like humans would to a normal wrench, to wrench nunchucks, to a massive crescent wrench almost as tall as it is. Naturally, these are used to bash or crush enemies, but the largest wrench will occasionally become an enormous crushing clamp... with a Pile Bunker situated at the joint of its jaws.
  • Syndrome: Your melee weapon in the game is a clamp-like wrench.
  • System Shock 2 has a wrench as a weapon. On the harder difficulties, it's pretty much the best weapon available.
  • Team Fortress 2: the default melee weapon of the Engineer. It is used for repairing, upgrading and hastening the construction of the Engineer's buildings. Other uses include hurting people - and the wrench is good at it, hitting critically often because Sentries do a lot of damage - especially removing Spies and their sappers from the Engineer's buildings. Then we get unlockable variants: the Southern Hospitality, a pipe wrench modified with a sharp piece of metal affixed to the top and a spiked knuckle guard, which causes the hit enemy to bleed at the cost of a 20% fire damage vulnerability; the Jag, which hastens building construction rate in conjunction with its faster swing speed, at the cost of an increased building repair rate and reduced damage (more so against enemy buildings compared to players); and the Eureka Effect, which can teleport the Engineer back to spawn or his teleporter exit (and after the Meet Your Match Update, build teleporters at half cost) at the cost of half the construction speed and 20% less metal from ammo boxes and dispensers.
  • The Mechanic in Terraria can throw her wench like a boomerang at nearby enemies.
  • The Engineer in Torchlight 2 starts with a massive wrench and can find more of them optimized for their class-specific Whacking skills throughout the game.
  • Wheeljack uses Dual Wielding wrenches as his default melee weapon in Transformers: Devastation. Functionally, they're similar to dual-wielding swords but with slower attack speed.
  • In Trials of Mana, the animation for the Nightblade Ninja's "Deadly Weapon" skill has the Nightblade throwing a wrench at their enemy's head.
  • In Valkyria Chronicles II, the Armored Tech class carries an enormous wrench as a melee weapon and multipurpose tool.
  • Warframe has a deluxe skin for Hammer type weapons which reskins them into the Motherwrench, an enormous two-handed wrench commonly used as a maintenance tool by the Solaran debt-slaves. You can reskin the Wolf Sledge with it, allowing you to have a rocket-powered man-sized throwing wrench.
  • In Wasteland 2 NPC Angela Deth comes equipped with a wrench as a hand-to-hand weapon: it is very effective.

    Webcomics 
  • Ed, from Fake Knight carries a wrench.
  • In Girl Genius, Agatha clobbers Moloch, Vole and Prof.Tiktoffen with variety of wrenches. They're supposedly as good at breaking things as fixing them.
    • Gil whacks Othar.
    • Princess Zulenna is shown early on with a bent wrench after apparently having done this to a guard who was between the Castle Wulfenbach students and the lifegliders they wanted to use to get back to the main part of the castle.
  • In Skin Horse, Jonah sometimes tries to use his faithful companion Wrenchy as a weapon. It rarely works.
  • In the xkcd comic "Security", hypothetical bad guys who want access to someone's files figure that using a wrench for torture would be the mundane alternative to intensive hacking.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Meatwad can be seen beating a homeless man to death with a monkey wrench.
  • In the Code Lyoko episode "Mister Puck", Yumi wields one against a possessed Jeremie taking Aelita hostage.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: Dexter, particularly in Ego Trip, uses a large wrench as a weapon.
  • George of the Jungle: Baron Otto Matic of the Tom Slick segment usually uses a wrench to hit his henchman Clutcher with. It's done so often that, when he creates an Irish alter ego to violate a ban, Clutcher says people will figure out it's him if he keeps doing itnote  and he reacts by using a different object to hit Clutcher with.
  • In the Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode "Flipmode", there's a whole confused thing with a wrench and whether or not it was, at some point, used to kill someone ("That's when you tried to fix the, uh, gas-leak... and you made it leak"), including pummeling Zorak and then treating it as a murder mystery. "Do NOT! DISTURB! THE JUDGE!"
  • Star Wars Resistance: In "The First Order Occupation", Synara knocks out two stormtroopers who nearly had Kaz cornered with a wrench from behind.
  • Transformers: Ratchet has been known to throw wrenches at those who intrude in his med-bay.
  • Wacky Races: In one occasion, Muttley covers his head with a bucket under the belief that Dick Dastardly will hit him bare-handed (if the gloves he wears don't count) as usual but Dastardly uses a wrench instead.

    Real Life 
  • Around the turn of the 20th century, many manufacturers such as Bemis & Call designed their monkey wrenches to include a hammerhead on the backside of the wrench. They were meant to be multi-purpose tools rather than being overly specialized. They fell out of favour for lighter designs.
  • Someone made a rather James Bond esque wrench.
  • Yes, someone has actually done this in real life.


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