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Apr 17th 2013 at 1:43:00 PM •••

TRS discussion on misuse of BFG. Short version, kill any examples you find that are not a carried weapon that is enormous for its wielder.

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Oct 10th 2018 at 8:36:59 PM •••

If so, then which trope would a giant cannon like the Great Turkish Bombard fall under?

Oct 16th 2012 at 5:48:19 PM •••

This article would be a lot more useful if it stated what "BFG" stands for, preferably right at the beginning. It has a list of things BFG does NOT stand for, but not what it does.

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Telcontar MOD
Oct 17th 2012 at 1:29:33 AM •••

No it wouldn't, and Eddie has stated to not expand the acronym. It's completely obvious what it means.

Dec 23rd 2013 at 11:56:45 AM •••

To be honest, when I first joined the wiki I'd see BFG potholed from other articles and have no idea what it meant. I only understood when I finally followed the link to the main article.

Feb 5th 2014 at 12:28:43 AM •••

I was going to ask if a censored version would be acceptable, but then I realized that technically that would probably violate several rules. How about "a.k.a. Ludicrously Huge Firearm" as an acceptable alternate trope name? Gets the point across without using (or alluding to) profanity.

Feb 5th 2014 at 1:50:52 AM •••

Another issue is that the trope is frequently used. We usually leave trope names alone if they are much usage. It's even got a mention on Wikipedia.

Jun 29th 2011 at 8:52:30 AM •••

What happened to the folders? I remember there being more than there is now.

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Jul 17th 2011 at 2:35:52 PM •••

The real life folder was deleted entirely...for...some reason...

Jul 12th 2012 at 1:17:05 AM •••

like the Dakka Page. Someone removed the RL folder and typed "No real life examples please." Without explanation on whats wrong.

Jul 27th 2012 at 6:52:07 AM •••

Do not add Real Life. This is about a trope used in storytelling, not an inventory of the world's weapons.

  • Ripped straight from the logs.

Edited by manhandled
Nov 15th 2013 at 2:12:13 AM •••

Then why is BFS allowed to have real life example but not BFG(there are large hand-held gun)?

Edited by
Oct 28th 2014 at 12:34:08 PM •••

Added Real Life example before I read this. I think this one's justified in that it's not just any big gun; it may be the biggest man-wieldable firearm ever seriously proposed as a workable weapon. It looks like something out of anime.

Edited by
Mar 15th 2011 at 9:55:10 AM •••

Why remove "Big. Fucking. Gun."? Because of the profanity? Shouldn't there be something in the description of the page that says what "BFG" actually stands for?

Mar 7th 2011 at 11:34:09 AM •••

I'm wondering if there's any "in proportion to operator" restriction in this trope. Obviously, if you pilot a Humungous Mecha, it's going to have a big gun. In Evangelion, the spent shell casings from some of the guns are big enough to crush cars, but in proportion to the Evas, they're not that different from standard-issue submachine guns.

Edited by wendygoerl Hide/Show Replies
Apr 17th 2013 at 1:18:23 PM •••

That's been decided to be the key distinction, actually. "Ridiculously huge for the wielder" versus "ridiculously huge".

Mar 1st 2011 at 9:23:33 AM •••

I´d like to have the simple editing reason "no" by evilist_tim a little further explained please. It seems a rather rude comment on what might be a completely understandable reason. I went out of my explaining how the one-man use of MG-42s is not simply a handwave, but an actual technique they might have learned in universe by the very same people whom they got the things from... They don´t grab any "added foregrips" in Jin Roh, they grab the bipod, which is part of the technique... There is even a video, showing it CAN actually be done. Now add a bit Rule Of Cool and Power Armor and it seems completely reasonable.

Or maybe there was another reason. I wouldn´t know, since I was only supplied with a simple "no".

Edited by Chrinik Hide/Show Replies
Mar 1st 2011 at 9:27:19 AM •••

Sorry, deleted because doubleposts suck.

Edited by Chrinik
Feb 17th 2011 at 10:54:42 AM •••

Please add: land-shark gun (i think from beyond good and evil 2) whatever the plasma launcher from halo:reach is called. (it shoots 4 projectiles per trigger pull. the projectiles are homing grenades that stick to people). gears of war 3 (not out yet). the C.O.G. 1-shot, and the digger launcher

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Dec 31st 2012 at 1:34:06 PM •••

How about NOOOO...... ya crazy Dutch bastard!

Dec 10th 2010 at 9:48:09 AM •••

The first paragraph has "Get some" as what the BFG user says, but I've always heard it as "Come get some" (a la Ash in Army of Darkness, Hudson in Aliens, and others). Okay to revise?

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Dec 31st 2012 at 1:35:01 PM •••

It's "GET SOME" in Full Metal Jacket. You lose! Good day sir!

Jul 1st 2010 at 5:14:09 PM •••

Well, I changed the picture again...I didn't realize that this had been such a contentious issue, so I'm going to explain why.

In my opinion, the picture for BFG should be, well, an absurdly large gun. The picture I put up is, well, this gun is roughly the size of four people, and the picture has been edited in such a way that it makes up the focus of the entire frame. Contrast the Men in Black picture where, big as the guns are, don't really draw much attention in the shot. The agents take up more space than they do.

I've no interest in starting an Edit War over this- I just casually saw the picture and thought "that gun is so ridiculously large I can't believe someone was actually paid to draw it". As is such, if people prefer the Men in Black picture, by all means, put it back. But I'd like to ask that we not keep the Men in Black picture solely because of a crowner vote that took place several weeks ago. If you replace it, replace it because you genuinely believe the Men in Black picture does a better job conveying the trope. And if at all possible, please provide an explanation for that here because I can't think of any reason how it does.

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Jul 1st 2010 at 5:45:12 PM •••

It fits the intention of the trope better, the Man In Black one, as it's the gun causing the character to look more badass. Something absurdly extreme like that.. thing you switched it to is more a parody of the BFG than a straight example. The image should be a straighter example than that quad-gatling-whatsit monstrosity. You need to see the agents as well in order to get a feel for how the size of the gun relates to the person carrying it.

Plus there was the discussion thread and crowner, I don't see how you can just discount that as irrelevant.

Jul 1st 2010 at 6:00:04 PM •••

I think a more extreme version of this trope as the page picture works better, personally, since BFGs in general tend to be Rule of Cool Up to Eleven. And you can get a size comparison- you can see just enough of the guy holding the gun to make that determination.

Note that I didn't even realize there was a discussion thread and crowner until you reverted the change. Not everyone goes to the forums, you know. "I think this picture is better than the one we have right now" is pretty standard operating procedure most of the time barring an Edit War, and as I mentioned, I'm not interested in engaging in one of those.

Jul 1st 2010 at 6:15:55 PM •••

I'd rather get some more input from other people who were involved in the original discussion before I switch it back, but my opinion is that the MIB picture is more suitable.

FastEddie MOD
Jul 1st 2010 at 6:39:40 PM •••

We have been over and over this. The MIB picture is the pick. The latest attempt was not an improvement. Couldn't even tell if it was man-carried.

Jul 2nd 2010 at 8:36:32 PM •••

I doubt a gun only Superman could even pick up is a good pick. Also, the gun itself looks totally stupid.

Dec 10th 2010 at 9:51:08 AM •••

Looks like this discussion has moved elsewhere or simply ended. Just have to add my $0.02: the current pic ( is awesome and seems to capture the idea of a BFG perfectly. Short of finding a good Doom screen cap showing the big ball of energy blowing away big baddies, I say keep "bfg_for_real.jpg".

Jun 4th 2010 at 9:49:31 PM •••

Putting this here until I can find something else to do with it.

  • Similarly, since the age of castles ended with the introduction of heavy cannon, nations have always prided themselves on owning various pieces of suitably horrible weaponry to scare each other with; primarily battleships, with nuclear weapons picking up the torch after 1945.
  • Many weapons have been built on the principle that Bigger Is Better, though the actual results have varied:
  • At the turn of the 20th century, most battleships were armed with a selection of weapons; typically, around four large guns, with many smaller turrets for secondary guns along their sides. However, this proved wasteful and overly complex. In 1906, the British hit on the plan of using only the biggest calibre of anti-ship guns, building HMS Dreadnought. This proved such a good idea that every other battleship afloat was basically rendered obsolete overnight.
  • In 1916, having apparently taken leave of their senses, the British Admiralty decided what the Royal Navy really needed was submarines equipped with really, really big guns. Three M-Class Submarines were built, each armed with a 12-inch gun which could fire while partially surfaced, with the hope being they could sidle up to unsuspecting enemy vessels and fire their great big cannons right where they least expected it. This proved about as good an idea as it sounds.
  • The Americans, faced with the formidable defences of the German Siegfried Line, decided a really big gun would be needed. The T28 Super Heavy Tank was an assault gun mounting a then-huge 105mm main gun, the whole thing tipping the scales at 95 tons; two were built. Unfortunately, they were powered by a standard Sherman engine, granting them an astoundingly unimpressive 6 horsepower per ton.
  • Similarly, the British built six A39 Tortoise Heavy Assault Tanks, each armed with a 96mm main gun adapated from a 3.75-inch anti-aircraft gun. They proved similarly useless in practice; at ten feet tall and weighing almost 80 tons, they were incredibly hard to transport.
  • Those Wacky Nazis came up with a whole list of huge weapons due to Adolf Hitler's well-documented obsession with size.
    • One of the biggest gun batteries ever built was the V-3 cannon, a series of giant sequential charge sustained-pressure guns built at an angle in a cliffside to shell London. Supposedly capable of hitting London with a 150mm round every twelve seconds, the system was put into production despite some rather unfortunate issues with exploding that the designers hadn't really cleared up yet, and the RAF cheerfully bombed it before it was anywhere close to firing.
    • Similarly, Nazi Germany built the heaviest mobile guns in history, the two Schwerer Gustav cannons, each half as heavy as a contemporary destroyer and requiring two parallel railway tracks, along with a staff of over two thousand commanded by a Major General. The 31.5-inch cannons could fire a 7-ton shell with an effective range of 24 miles, and one managed to destroy a supposedly invincible bunker under the harbour at Sevastopol.
    • The Karl-Gerät mortars are among the only vehicles to look more like they belong in Warhammer 40000 than most things in Warhammer 40000 do. Each was a self-propelled 24-inch super-mortar weighing in at over 120 tons.
    • That Tiger tank is nice and all, Hans, but it'll look even nicer once we stick this 15-inch naval depth charge launcher on it.
    • The Maus Tank was the heaviest tank ever built, weighing in at 192 tons and packing a 128mm main gun with a 75mm secondary (the size of most contemporary tanks' main guns). Two prototypes were built, but found to be rather too heavy; just driving one down a road would cause poorly-supported buildings to collapse. Hitler wanted it to have an even bigger 150mm gun if it entered production, complaining that the 128mm weapon looked like a "toy gun" on the huge vehicle.
    • The Jagdtiger was the final evolution of the Jagd- series of assault guns and tank destroyers, a 72-ton behemoth based on the Tiger II chassis and armed with the 128mm main gun developed for the Maus. Mounting such a big gun on a chassis known for being underpowered and mechanically unreliable proved a bad idea; more Jagdtigers were lost due to mechanical breakdowns than enemy action.
    • The Luftwaffe, apparently not wanting to miss out on the insanity, developed a series of ridiculously huge aircraft cannons, some of which were actually fielded. Sanity was almost in play with the 50mm BK 5 Bordkanone, but went out the window as 75mm and 88mm versions came into play, the latter with a tendency to make the carrying plane's landing gear collapse. But hey, there's no insanity like total insanity, so they went ahead and experimented with a 14-inch recoilless aircraft cannon. Apparently this was written off only because "damage to the airframe due to firing could not be minimised."
  • During WWII, the US Army Air Force realized it had no dedicated ground-attack planes (other than fighter-bombers like the Airacobra, which was a poor dogfighter but whose 37mm nose cannon made a fine tankbuster). So it converted twin-engine light and medium bombers to ground attack by dropping most of the crew and gun turrets, and instead mounting six, eight or more .50 cal machine guns in the nose. The A-26 Invader was purpose-built as an attack bomber, but the A-20 Havoc, B-25 Mitchell, and B-26 Marauder all made fine conversions. Some B-25s were armed not just with nose HMGs but with 75mm Sherman tank cannons which could hack cargo ships to pieces.
  • While aircraft cannon are no longer quite as insane as the above, in Vietnam it seemed the modified C-47 Skytrain gunships with their 7.62mm miniguns just weren't cutting it. So, Bigger Is Better firmly in mind, the US military threw a huge stack of firepower into a surprised C-130 and created the AC-130 gunship. Various upgrades have resulted in this carrying two 20mm gatling guns, a 40mm Bofors gun and a 105mm howitzer.
  • One prime example of an aircraft built on the Liefeld plan is the A-10 Thunderbolt II, built around the heaviest aircraft gun in the US arsenal, the GAU-8 Avenger. This is a 30mm, three-ton anti-tank gun that fires rounds the size of milk bottles at 3,900 RPM.

Edited by Evilest_Tim Hide/Show Replies
Jun 4th 2010 at 11:39:22 PM •••

It's part of it that Fast Eddie deleted, along with an earlier part he missed. Took me quite a while to research and write, so I'll have to find a new home for it at some point.

Edited by Evilest_Tim
Jul 1st 2012 at 10:46:10 PM •••

Could probably use a reference to the Barrett M82/M107, especially since they seem to be the go-to weapon whenever someone wants to give their Cold Sniper a BFG.

May 9th 2010 at 12:42:50 AM •••

Regarding the real-life example section; I think it could stand a rewrite. At the moment it's about guns that are big, when really it ought to be more guns that are good because they are big (such as Carlos Hathcock sniping with an M2), or cases where it was assumed big guns = better, such as the Nazi railway guns, the Royal Navy's more than slightly ridiculous M-Class submarines, HMS Dreadnought and so on. It'd avoid having the illogical setup we currently have where perfectly good examples are removed for no real reason.

Edited by Evilest_Tim Hide/Show Replies
May 9th 2010 at 12:57:28 PM •••

I agree, but if I were to fix this problem that's probably exactly what I'd do (accidentally remove perfectly good examples for no real reason). Someone who knows more about the nuances of this trope and Real Life examples would be better suited for this task than me.

I'm writing about you.

Mar 14th 2010 at 1:58:16 PM •••

Evilest_Tim originally and someone unnamed changed it back once again. I personally think the clone wars picture is better but that's what the discussion page is for.

Mar 15th 2010 at 12:56:04 AM •••

I changed it because the new image represents a better depiction; the weapon is larger and is the focus of the image rather than being something held by a guy in armour as in the other pic. It's been the page image for about a month. The only person who's objected is DragonQuestZ based on his made-up rule that if you put a gun on a tripod or mounting it isn't a BFG anymore, even though in terms of the trope as a literary device it can still have exactly the same function (eg Gruber's Dragon used a massive recoilless cannon in Die Hard; he could have been using a shoulder-fired rocket launcher and the scene wouldn't have changed at all) and therefore be the same trope. Even when you get to light artillery, they have you control a FlaK 37 solo (when the normal crew is ten) in Call Of Duty for the same reason they give you a Panzerfaust; because they want to have a spectacular moment and so you need a spectacular weapon.

I actually have some interest in asking just how far this trope should go; clearly the line that allows a weapon to start and stop being a BFG depending on whether or not you're holding it is arbitrary, but is there really any difference between, say, the gun used by Gruber's henchman and, say, Frankie Lideo's giant mountain-laser in Moonwalker or Hein's Zeus Cannon in the Final Fantasy movie, or even the scene where the Emperor is using the Death Star to make Luke angry? Do we actually have a trope for "even bigger fucking gun?"

In all four cases the logic is the same; the villain is shown to be a huge threat because he has huge firepower; only the magnitude of the firepower differs. While the latter two could be seen as non-examples because more than one person is operating the weapon, I'd think BFG could still go up to Lideo's gun since he's controlling it directly from a chair with hand cranks (and thus you might also count the scene in Spirits Within where Hein is firing Zeus manually).

I'd say that like Cool Guns this trope is more about how a weapon is shown than its actual scale; if the size is a visual shorthand for power and usefulness and the weapon the focus of the scene, it's a BFG, if not it's just a big gun as with most background depictions of artillery and crew-served weapons. This makes it more clearly a subtrope of Bigger Is Better, and means the greater focus on the weapon (it almost seems to be shunting the gunner out of the picture, which is perfect) makes the NSV / Kord image a better page pic than the clonetroopers.

Edited by Evilest_Tim
May 9th 2010 at 1:46:28 PM •••

Discussion on image picking


EDIT: Fix'd

Edited by Ghilz
May 9th 2010 at 1:50:47 PM •••

Seems to be an incorrect link as I'm only getting a line of text saying it doesn't exist.

May 10th 2010 at 1:25:38 AM •••

My problem with the Clone Trooper picture isn't so much the image but the caption. The caption doesn't really make any sense or have anything to do with BFG as a trope. If we could come up with a better caption I think that image can work. At least, the gatling laser thing fits as a BFG, though I'm not sure about that quad whatsit harness thing. Though, personally, I'd suggest digging up a good picture of Hellboy's "Big Baby" from that movie, as I think that fits ab it better. I'm just having trouble finding a good image that shows off the scale properly.

May 6th 2011 at 5:40:34 PM •••

I was going to link the caption "Well, at least it's not a concealed weapon." to ArsonMurderAndJaywalking, but seeing as it's under discussion, I'll just put that suggestion on the table. [EDIT] I'll just link it, as in hindsight, the caption seems to be independent of the specific image itself.

Edited by saveyourself007
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