• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

Accept no substitutes!

Sometimes, horrifically dangerous objects are obvious — with nasty-looking spikes, painted dark and foreboding colors, covered in Schmuck Bait, and generally like something straight from a 12-year old's Dungeons and Dragons game.

And then, it sometimes looks like a cute kitten statue. Aww... nothing that cute could be dangerous. Until it adorably comes to life and claws your face off. Adorably.

A Happy Fun Ball is something extraordinarily dangerous that looks completely innocent. It might destroy the entire universe, or it might just rip a single person to shreds while looking oh so precious. The fact is, it's incredibly deadly, despite its packaging. A living version of a Happy Fun Ball is a Killer Rabbit.

Contrast with Nerf Arm, which is only potentially dangerous because of who uses it, and Improbable Weapon User, the one who uses it. Compare with Excalibur in the Rust, which is also about weapons that don't look like much at first. See also Lethal Joke Item for the video game equivalent, Super Fun Happy Thing of Doom, and The Not-So-Harmless Punishment.

Not to be confused with a Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball, though it might well be one.

Examples of Happy Fun Ball include:

Anime And Manga

  • From Digimon, there is the super adorable cuteypie Belphemon Sleep Mode. That is, until he's woken up by some unaware or unwary sod, and he becomes his apocalypse causing Rage Mode.
    • Even before he's woken, though, he's still capable of causing a very large amount of destruction.
  • Bleach: The Hougyoku is a simple, tarnished orb when it's first introduced. Aizen even remarks that it's strange that such a simple object could be so powerful.
  • Inuyasha: If it's a simple-looking orb you're looking for, look no further than the Shikon no Tama (Jewel of the Four Souls), which is the size of a large marble. Sealed within it are the souls of a demonic horde and priestess trapped in an eternal battle. Even a tiny shard of it can make give a demon or human a powerful upgrade, and the first time we see it it's represented as a tacky key-chain. It's eventually revealed to be the true villain of the series, manipulating even Naraku (Naraku already knew that but the others only realised at the end of the manga).
  • In the Orichalcos arc of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Joey inherits a card that can fuse with a monster to create never-before-seen equipment cards. During its first use, it creates a winged gold croquet hammer with chibi wings. Turns out it has the power to send all of his opponent's monsters forward in time by a random amount. His opponent is left defenseless, which earns a raw beatdown, and the monsters only come back one by one, allowing the members of the former army to be picked off.
  • Unzen, an Enfant Terrible Knight Templar high school enforcer, uses actual rubber balls that are Made of Explodium. His sister uses less-fun giant metal balls on chains.
  • The Legendary Orbs from Yaiba may or may not count, but they're still small, simple glass-like balls which holds great elemental powers within. Expecially the Raijin Orb and the Fujin Orb
  • Much of the Lost Technology in Galaxy Angel invokes this trope.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, one of Eriol's many needlessly complicated plots involves turning Sakura's homemade teddy bear into a booby trap.
    • The Clow cards, themselves, are Happy Fun Balls. They look harmless, but can cause destruction if they're not controlled by a magician.

Comic Books

  • The Joker resorts to these all the time, when he's not directly using a clown- or comedy motif. Even then, it's pretty common he'll resort to something that actually is harmless as a fakeout, knowing people will assume the worst anyway.
  • In the comic version of The Tick, one villain incapacitates The Tick with a device called "the Happy Apple".
  • The "Lok-nar", the evil green sphere in Heavy Metal, had a tendency to melt the flesh from the bones of people who happened to touch it, when it wasn't busy animating corpses.
    • To be fair, it glows. That should have been a giveaway.
  • The Superman villain Toyman is basically a professional Happy Fun Ball manufacturer.
    • In the DCAU cartoon, he once used a literal happy fun ball, which totalled an armored car.
  • The Ultimate Nullifier of the Marvel Comics universe is about the size and shape of a cell phone, curved on three sides and flat on the fourth, with a couple widdly little protusions. It could destroy the universe if used right, and will likely destroy the user whether used wrong or right.
    • (In contrast with, for example, the Infinity Gauntlet, which looks exactly like a glove you use for punching gods in the face.)


  • Childs Play is built around this premise, with a serial killer's soul trapped inside a "My Buddy"-esque doll.
  • Transformers movie: An innocuous-looking radio proved to be the Decepticon Frenzy. And the movieverse version of Frenzy... let me put it this way: he's got an entry under Nightmare Fuel. When he's eventually knocked in half, what's left of him is enough to, with a bit of shifting as parts, function as a killer robot and hide as an equally innocent-looking cell phone. More Than Meets the Eye, indeed.
  • The Continuum Transfunctioner from Dude, Where's My Car?, a device with the power to destroy the entire universe, spends most of the film disguised as an ordinary Rubik's Cube.
  • The puzzle box from Hellraiser.
  • The climactic battle scene in Toys is built around this premise.
  • In Kentucky Fried Movie, during the kung-fu spoof, the main character sends a seemingly-innocent toy robot into the room. Most of the bad-guy scientists jump out the windows, screaming. "Toy Robot? Ah! A toy robot!" (This is a reference to Enter the Dragon, where Bruce Lee uses a snake to much the same purpose.) When one of the scientists realizes it's just a toy robot, a machine gun pops out of its torso and riddles him with bullets.
  • In Men in Black, when J is getting a tour of the office, he sees a small ball floating above a machine. When he touches the ball, it goes careening at high speed through the whole building, smashing windows and knocking people over before K catches it and puts it back, explaining that it had caused the 1977 blackout in New York.
    • The ball was meant for fun, apparently a alien ambassador released it as part of a practical joke likely not realizing it would cause a massive blackout. He thought it was funny as hell.
    • To a lesser extent, the Noisy Cricket is one as well. It looks like a child's toy Ray Gun and is smaller than J's hand ("I feel like I'ma break dis damn thang!"), but it is apparently the most powerful sidearm in the film.
      • According to the powers that be, the Noisy Cricket was originally designed as a concealable weapon, but proved to be easily modified to the magnitude it exhibits in the movie. This was done as a form of hazing for new recruits.
    • And don't forget about The Galaxy itself.
  • In Castle In The Sky, Sheeta's Laputan grandmother taught her the "Spell of Destruction" as a Nursery Rhyme on condition she never use it. Which she inevitably does when duly provoked by the Big Bad.
  • In Dark Star, there is the Happy Fun Beach Ball. An (almost adorable) precursor for the alien in Alien and technically a Killer Rabbit, but still ...
  • In Day Watch, Yegor, a powerful dark magician uses a foil ball as his weapon of choice. Seems harmless, right? Until he uses it to slaughter almost everyone at his birthday party, blind his light equivalent and pretty much destroys all of Moscow.
  • In the Korean horror film The Red Shoes, the titular shoes look like just an ordinary pair of women's high heeled shoes, but the shoes are haunted by a murderous ghost. Whoever touches or wears the shoes is driven to insanity and murder.
  • In The Rock, the opening scene is the hero and a colleague attempting to defuse a child's doll stuffed with C4 and spewing poison gas.
  • In the Tank Girl movie, there is a murder-ball - a harmless little mental ball but if you hold it wrong, spikes will come out and shred your hand, pretty much putting you out of the rest of the fight.


  • One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
  • Older Than Feudalism: Pandora's Box (or Jar) from Greek Mythology was designed to look fun, exciting, and interesting. The gods wanted her to open it.
  • Interstellar Pig has "The Piggy", a small grinning pig statue. Cute and harmless-looking, but it will destroy every planet in the universe except the one it's on when the time is right. ( Or maybe not. It's possible The Piggy itself made up that legend so that the universe would fight over it.)
    • Quite the opposite, really: the Piggy did in fact make up that legend, and it only destroys the planet it's on... when it hiccups. Poor piggy, it just wanted friends...
      • At the end of the story, we learn that the Piggy is nothing but a recording device that made up the stories to be passed around and record everything. It can't destroy anything — although it can teleport anything touching it away if it becomes bored.
  • In Stephen King's Desperation, a hand-held statuette of a poorly-carved coyote, touched by the Big Bad, has the adverse effect of causing those in contact with it to give into their savage, normally restrained instincts.
  • The Culling Song in Chuck Palahniuk's 'Lullaby' is first found in a book of nursery rhymes.
  • The first Gaunt's Ghosts novel, First And Only, plays with this. In one scene, an enraged Ghost shoots an innocuous but blasphemous Chaos idol to pieces; one of the pieces lodges into another Ghost's skin. A while later, that same Ghost goes insane, starts shooting his comrades, and then mutates into a horrific spawn of Chaos, created by the corruption embedded into the idol's fragments.
  • In the Liaden Universe books, a Bowli ball is a ball with a gyroscopic randomizer that can send it flying off in random directions. It is used as a combination game and exercise for pilots, and has been known to lead to physical injuries.
  • In Louis Sachar's Sideways Stories From Wayside School, Todd brings a sickeningly adorable toy puppy to school for show-n'-tell. The puppy can be manipulated into a terrifying, twisted creature that resembles a werewolf. Joy steals the puppy, not knowing this, and is bitten by it. The puppy toy doesn't let go.
  • Wizard's First Rule mentions a curse that turned all red fruit in the region into deadly poison, "because children like red fruit." Richard, who was unaware of this, got (more) death threats from Kahlan by innocently offering her an apple.
  • Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy: a harmless-looking cricket ball is a hyperspace bomb that will destroy the entire universe when hit.
  • In Keys to the Kingdom, the most powerful Key is... well, a simple skeleton key, albeit gold-colored & probably glowing impressively.
  • In Soon I Will Be Invincible, the villain Dollface is said to have specialized in innocuous-looking dolls full of powerful miniaturized super technology. Dollface herself is only mentioned, but her work - a gravity manipulating doll to be more precise - is used in Doctor Impossible's doomsday device to move the moon at will, controlling the Earth's orbit and thus the temperature of the Earth.

Live Action TV

  • The Trope Namer comes from the "Happy Fun Ball" sketch on Saturday Night Live. It was a kid's toy with an increasingly bizarre disclaimer, containing warnings such as "May suddenly accelerate to unsafe speeds", "If Happy Fun Ball begins to smoke, seek shelter and cover head", "Happy Fun Ball is being shipped to Saudi Arabia and is being dropped by our troops on Iraq," and the immortal "Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball."
    • In a later episode, they had an Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer sketch which included Happy Fun Ball among its humorously fictitious sponsors: "Still legal in 12 states!"
    • This trope may stick to certain kinds of skin.
  • Power Rangers Zeo had a cute little dog statue that turned out to be the Midas Hound, an artifact that turned things (and people) to gold at random. It was eventually made larger, gilded the good guys' Humongous Mecha, and then became a Transforming Mecha of its own!
  • Warehouse 13 gives us the Baylor Dodgeball, a fairly innocuous-looking dodgeball previously used in military training exercises. It bounces under its own power and plays dodgeball with whoever happens to be nearby. Sounds harmless, right? Wrong. First, it "throws" itself only when its victim isn't looking, so there's no chance the person will catch it without a partner. Second, it creates a copy of itself when it connects, and each of those copies acts exactly like the original. That means you'll have dozens of them in no time flat. To stress why this is bad, it bludgeoned five soldiers to death before it was caught. However, all you have to do is catch one of them and it returns to being a single, inert dodgeball.
    • Come to think of it, almost everything in the Warehouse is a happy fun ball/artifact of doom. Some...not so much, like the Mayan idol from the first episode.
  • The Autons in the Doctor Who stories Spearhead from Space, Terror of the Autons and "Rose". When you're facing the Nestene Consciousness, any plastic object is fairly likely to be possessed and out to murder you. Shop-window mannequins have guns in their arms, plastic flowers try to suffocate people, and someone gets eaten by an armchair.
    • The Weeping Angels, innocent looking statues of angels with their hands held up to their face as if they're weeping. But when nobody's watching, they spring to life and start killing indiscriminately. That's why you must never Blink.
      • Oh, and you can't ever film, draw or otherwise depict them or else the depiction will become one. And if you look into one's eyes for too long, your visual memory of it will become one and murder you from inside your brain.
  • Reaper had a super-soaker. The key difference between this soaker and any other water-gun is that this thing could send anything to Hell. Extra emphasis on the word anything.
  • In Space Cases, a girl brought on board a cute little teddy bear and gave it to a friend. It turns out that the bear is a trap that has a deadly virus on it.
  • Firefly has Zoe explain why she always cuts her apples up with a knife before eating by telling a story from the war. They were in trench warfare, and were running low on food. Their lack of food came up while talking with the enemies in the other trenches, and shortly afterwords apples started falling into their trenches. Apples with grenades in them.

Tabletop Games

  • Ask any veteran Dungeons and Dragons player about the Deck of Many Things. Doom of the multiverse, in an innocuous deck of tarot cards.
    • The Necklace of Strangulation is a particularly infamous example, to the point where Genre Savvy players won't loot a necklace from a corpse until it's been identified. Indeed, players accustomed to the older editions of the game won't touch any item that radiates magic until they've had it examined by a sage... and even then, using an unfamiliar item for the first time is a moment of some trepidation.
      • The same item shows up in Nethack, but it doesn't stand out quite as much; this is because you get used to being paranoid about everything in NetHack.
    • There is even a golem type in the Second Edition Monstrous Manual called a "doll golem." It is an enchanted child's toy that can be designed to do various different things. Common roles are either to murder the child in question... or far more amusingly, murder anyone attempting to harm said child.
      • Ravenloft has an entire town of this trope called Odiare, where Evil Pinocchio regularly murders all the adults too old to play with him.
    • There's also the Bag of Devouring - seems to be an ordinary sack, or possibly a Bag of Holding. It's actually the mouth of an extradimensional Eldritch Abomination. Store your magic items in it? You'll be very disappointed when you try to retrieve them. Stick your hand in it? You'd better have a damn good Grapple modifier.
  • The card game Munchkin has a card called "Duck of Doom" which immediately drops the affected player by two levels (the point of said game is to reach level 10). The card's caption reads, "You should know better than to pick up a duck in a dungeon".
  • West End Games' TORG had "Conjure The Bouncing Hordes Of Doom", found in the supplement, "Pixaud's Practical Grimoire". The material component for the spell was a rubber ball with arcane symbols carved into the surface. When the caster tossed the ball while saying "I invoke you", the ball would split into six armed and armored Munchkins with Speedball's... I mean Penance's bouncing powers and resistance to kinetic damage, combined with Wolverine's skills with blades AND a gremlin's sheer nastiness.
  • Mage: The Ascension's final supplement, Judgment, features a scenario concerning the ultimate fate of the universe. To avert the destruction of the natural flow of reality, the players must discover what sort of catastrophe damaged the world to this degree and the weapon that destroyed the universe once before named the First Tool... which is an obsidian hand axe of the simplest form.[1]

Video Games

  • Square-Enix' video games are filled with "weapons" that are otherwise harmless objects. The trend started in Final Fantasy III with harps, books and bells; Final Fantasy VI added the paintbrush, dice, and cards; Final Fantasy VII contributed the megaphone and comb; Final Fantasy IX had forks (really big forks, but still...); and Final Fantasy X contained dolls and blitzballs (basically lumpy soccer balls). The Dragon Quest series gave you the option of using items such as tarot cards or an abacus to attack.
    • Have you ever been smacked in the head by a football at close range? That hurts.
    • Those blitzballs have to be freaking heavy to stay both stay underwater and move like they do when someone takes a shot, their value as weapons are somewhat understandable with some logic.
    • Don't forget about the strongest optional boss in Final Fantasy IX, Ozma. It is a giant floating ball that spins...and casts Meteor, among other things.
      • The idea is that summons in the game are given form by the people who believe in it. Ozma is "the forgotten summon", hence its just kind of a blob.
    • Books are weird. In Final Fantasy III you simply bop enemies on the head with them. In Final Fantasy Tactics it's a ranged weapon where you read a paragraph or two and your target flinches in pain.
    • There's a literal one in Final Fantasy VI. The superball item deals a fair bit of damage when used.
  • The strategy/RPG Vandal Hearts II has, in addition to swords, spears, et cetera, an entire class of "oddball" weapons like baseball bats, scythes, and so forth. Most of them are genuinely threatening, if weird...until you get the "Evil Doll," which is a simple children's doll. Wearing a dress. Not only is it one of the most powerful weapons in the game (characters attack by holding the doll in front of them by the head; it shakes once and enemies die, complete with huge gouts of blood), but it teaches its holder a spell that sets your entire party on fire, bringing horrible death to allies and enemies alike.
  • In Planescape: Torment, one of the player's past incarnations kept a journal disguised as a pretty, dodecahedron-shaped puzzle box. The puzzle box was loaded with blades that slit a user's wrist, canisters that unleashed the fantasy equivalent of nerve gas, and other delightful traps for the would-be diary snooper. Imagine a Rubik's Dodecahedron that punished you lethally when you made a move that did not get you closer to solving it and had no visual clues to tell you when you were going the right way. Since you play an immortal with massive regenerative abilities, you are the only one who can open it.
  • Parodied in Portal: The Enrichment Center reminds you that the Weighted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you and, in fact, cannot speak.
  • The Familiar Spell in Ironsword summons a tiny little happy face that flies around and turns enemies into coins. One can only hope that this process is lethal, lest it become a case of And I Must Scream for the unfortunate wildlife.
  • The Flak Cannon from the Unreal series fires giant explosive shells with a friendly looking yellow smiley face on the front.
    • Unreal Tournament 2004 displays the message "Player A played with Player B's happy fun ball..." whenever someone killed another player with the Grenade Launcher.
    • "Happy Fun Ball" is also the Fan Nickname of the bouncing, giggling, spherical, smiley-face adorned Proximity Mines in the Chaos UT mod, included with the Game of the Year Edition of the original UT.
  • The Superheros Quake mod had this as a selectable power. It was activated on the player's death, which would be followed by a handful of bouncing yellow happy-face spheres bursting from the body, bouncing and swooping with Diabolical Laughter, and exploding lethally on all nearby opponents (and sometimes allies.)
  • One of Total Overdose's special attacks is a pinata. When thrown all enemies are lured running to it with giddy excitement. Its confetti-showering explosion is instantly deadly.
  • In Persona 3,, there is a weapon called the "Toy Bow", a plastic bow that fires suction-cup toy arrows. It is one of the most powerful ranged weapons in the game. It's very accurate and depending on your stats and when you get it, can be incredibly overpowered (or an amusing piece of junk).
  • In Rakugaki Showtime you have the Smiley Ball — a doodly smiley face you throw at people. Throw it at enough people and it gets angrier and angrier looking — until it turns rainbow colored with a look of awe on its face, and becomes the most powerful item in the game.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy has Delicious Fruit, whose rationale for crushing you (sometimes even flying upwards) is that they're "more like giant cherries" than apples.
  • Worms has... well, there's the Banana Bomb, which explodes spectacularly; the Super Banana Bomb, which explodes more spectacularly; the Salvation Army, which explodes spectacularly; various animals, which explode spectacularly; and the MB Bomb, a large balloon, which... yeah.
    • Liero, a real-time remake of Worms 1 in which you have lives as opposed to multiple worms, goes Serial Esclation as it allows fan-made weapons to be imported. For obvious reasons the Warhammer40k and Dune mods trump the above, but one particular 'strange weapon collection' has something called the Crazy Cannon which is a bazooka that fires a small slow-moving orb. Just as you finish thinking "That was lame" it flips out and begins bouncing around the screen like Ball Kirby, WHILE rapidly spamming rockets at max charge speed for a FULL MINUTE. 90% of the time, using this clears out all land on the stage and makes everyone die repeatedly. Also will absolutely CRUSH the processor of any computer made before 2001. Thankfully recharge time is so long that it will almost never recharge during a match, so it appears to be meant as a screw you option. If your ninja rope can reach the ceiling however, it's actually possible to survive it with some bullet hell dodging skills. Oh, what I said before? Roll that up to 2003 if you pick one for all 5 weapon slots. Bwuahahahahaha!
  • Shadow Madness had an item that was tricky to find, requiring a couple of minigames to access. When you found this item, Pandora's Cauldron, its only description was "Do not use. EVER!" Actually using the item anyway led to the longest video Cutscene in the game and a "Game Over (Insert Coin)" message.
  • Fallout 3 has "rigged baby carriages," which appear to be normal baby carriages from a distance. However, get too close and a distorted lullaby plays, along with the rather creepy sound of a baby crying. Then the carriage explodes spectacularly.
  • Subverted in World of Warcraft with the Happy Fun Rock. You toss it to other players...and it does nothing. Really. No, really.
  • Nethack has musical instruments that cause large earthquakes and shoot fire and ice beams (even better than wands that do the same things, though much more rare). Anything can be equipped as a weapon but it won't hurt your opponent unless it performs damage calculations (with the exception of the cream pie: it goes "splat" if you try to hit something with it, blinding things with eyes). There's also the loadstone; small and innocuous, one of four types of grey stone items in the game, back-breakingly heavy and usually cursed if you accidentally pick it up.
  • Guilty Gear features the infamous Bridget. Less famous is the fact that Bridget's weapons included a yo-yo and a teddy bear, both capable of sprouting sawblades or shooting out jets of flames.
  • In Disgaea 3 Absence of Justice, Princess Sapphire finds a cutesy teddy bear... laced with poison. Almaz grabs it instead.
  • MDK featured the World's Most Interesting Bomb.
  • In the backstory of The Seventh Guest, villain Stauf is a toymaker who specializes in Happy Fun Balls. His beautiful toys are snapped up by local children, all of whom become mysteriously and fatally he can fulfill his half of a Deal with the Devil and steal their souls.
  • In The Last Express, the Firebird seems to just be a golden jewelled egg with the curious ability to transform into a falcon that can sing when you play a whistle. What you don't know is that, if you do this at night, it becomes a deadly weapon...
  • In Metroid: Other M the Little Birdie is a cute little white bird-looking creature, first seen unsuccessfully and humorously attempting to get on top of a large fruit, but turns out to be the juvenile form of a clone of Ridley, the Space Pirate general who decimated her home planet of K-2L, and had been kept as a pet by oblivious researchers until it dismembered one and escaped. Wow. Although the more perceptive players (and Samus herself) will suspect that it's not as it seems, especially with regard to how it appears to apparate behind Samus before she goes through the door into the Navigation Room, staring at her with its beady little eyes.
  • In the Dadgame, defeating Mecha Death earns you... a cat launcher. Which deals damage. And is the longest range weapon of the game, especially if you charge it up - the cat gets sent flying across the screen.
  • Ogre Battle has Doll Mages / Masters who, while capable of throwing the dangerous Acid spell from the rear of the formation, use a marionette to attack from the front row.
  • This is more or less Dr. Eggman's entire modus operandi when it comes to enemy grunts. Colorful, googly-eyed robots based on things like caterpillars and crabs seem to do as much damage as his more threatening creations. Particular examples include Ribbot from Sonic 3, whom despite being a small bright green frog with twin flails, was assigned to the Launch Base Zone, and Asteron, a bright yellow sea star, can easily mess you up really badly with its explosion attack in hard to reach places.

Web Comics

  • It's Walky! has the Power Booster Rod, which looks like a large tree branch, but could potentially destroy the entire universe.
  • Largo's "Cool Thing" from Megatokyo looks like a toy ball with lights and buttons.
    • Note that the Cool Thing (TM) has not been established as any sort of universe-destroying artefact of doom, though it does emit alarmingly loud noises when provoked (what Largo does to the Thing can in no way be called "use").
  • Order of the Stick: "Follow the bouncing ball, children!"
  • The Planet Devourer from Casey and Andy.
  • The unimpressive little box from Buck Godot. Also, possibly the Winslow. "Hi!"
    • Castle Heterodyne houses the Mobile Fun Units, bison-sized, murderous cat-like clockworks. When the castle is fully functional, it has complete control of them. When the Castle isn't fully functional, then you'd best hope the Mobile Fun Units are confined to one room and don't know you're around.
  • Hannelore in Questionable Content has a roomba. At first the most heinous thing it does is threaten the standing of Winslow. Then Marten comforts Hanners. The thing somehow pulls a knife, believing Marten was making a move on "its woman".
  • Planet Zebeth has the "Super Happy fun slide": Enemies slide down into a hidden deep-frier, and are then served as meals in the adjacent bar.
  • Luke Surl managed to turn a shredder into this just by explaining labels on it (see also Alt Text).

  Any attempt to destroy the shredder by aerial bombardment would be futile.

  • In Rusty and Co Presti combines several apparently harmless items (including a funnel and a Bag of Tricks) together to form a deadly "Badger Launcher".

Web Original

  • As expected, a lot of the stuff contained by the SCP Foundation, such as SCP-018.
  • At the Super-Hero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe, there's a deviser codenamed Knick-Knack who makes these all the time. We've seen a fake 'Harry Potter' wand which has been turned into a real laser weapon, suspicious snow globes, lava lamps that are now attack devices a la 'Rover' of The Prisoner, and a conch shell with something inside it that you don't want to know about.

Western Animation

  • In an episode of the Earthworm Jim cartoon, a page containing a spell that could destroy the universe was, due to a grievous printer's error, placed in a children's pop-up book that happened to be owned by the protagonist.
  • In Ben 10, the Omnitrix appears to most to be a regular wristwatch. It's a Clingy MacGuffin that calls up obscenely powerful monster forms for the wearer.
  • In the cartoon version of The Tick The Tick is incapacitated by "The World's Comfiest Chair". (No one expects a reference to Monty Python's Flying Circus in a children's animated series...)
    • Subverted when the Tick encounters the Infinity Ball (which looks just like an 8-ball), supposedly an "ultimate weapon". It bumped into the Tick and fell.
      • "Where I come from, we hit these into pockets with sticks." "GASP!" "And we have higher numbers, too!"
  • DuckTales had an item that was similar to the Power Rangers example above, but infinitely worse: a small goose idol that turned things into gold... at first. Then it started a chain reaction that was turning the entire world into gold.
    • To elaborate, the golden goose was held in a magic fountain that neutralized its gold-turning powers. If the goose was taken and kept away from the fountain's water for too long, it will awaken and turn things and people to gold on its own accord. And if allowed to remain awakened for too long, the goose's gold-turning powers escape from its body, leaving it as a normal goose, while the powers proceed to turn the world to gold, referred to as "The Golden Death". The only way to stop this scenario, obviously, is to return the goose to the fountain.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Prof. Frink discusses the possibility of turning a souvenir he found at the airport (a motorized ball with a toy weasel attached) into a weapon. At the end of the episode, the toy rolls onscreen; Frink panics but Homer, convinced it's just a "cute little weasel", goes to pick it up. Cut to a "The End" title card as we hear zapping sounds and Homer screaming.
  • The Futurama episode "Mother's Day" had a younger Professor Farnsworth invent the adorable children's toy "Q.T. McWhiskers" for Mom's Friendly Robot Company. Mom subsequently turned the toy into a laser-firing death machine for the intergalactic arms market.
  • Batman: The Animated Series villain Baby Doll has a variety of deadly weapons disguised as toys, including a doll with a gun inside it and explosive bouncy balls.
    • Joker occasionally uses these as well. His trademark lapel flower usually contains acid, and he's been known to use marble grenades.
  • An episode of Jimmy Neutron had Jimmy's father working as a toy inventor-- between Jimmy "tweaking" his dad's gizmos (such as adding real lasers), and then one of them (a duck/tank hybrid) being weaponized and turned gigantic by Jimmy's renegade Nanobots, Hilarity, and large repair bills, ensue.
  • The Venture Brothers has The Nozzle, an innocuous yet fear-inspiring doodad that not even its owners understand the purpose of. Its engagement is accompanied by an unsettling mechanical voice warning the patient; "Do not move while The Nozzle is engaging. Moving will interrupt calibration of The Nozzle. Please do not look away while The Nozzle is calibrating."
    • "..."
      • "...The Nozzle is calibrating..."
  • Quackerjack in Darkwing Duck tends to use these. Hell, Mr. Banana Brain is the only mundane toy of the lot, and he's still got some pretty distressing ideas.
    • Which become even more distressing when he is possessed by Paddywhack.
    • Of course, don't forget that one version of Mr. Banana Brain was an inflatable failsafe device meant to destroy Quackerjack's toy kingdom, and several other versions were *cough* grenades.
  • Perhaps in a direct reference to the SNL sketch, Superman animated series villain The Toyman uses a happy fun ball on some Mooks that eventually moved so fast, and hits so hard that it dented the armored car it bounced against. And being Toyman, most of his gimmicks are Happy Fun Balls.

 "Uh, maybe you should read the warning? Dopey Dough is a lethal biogenic organism. Contact with the skin can prove fatal. It won't stop growing until it asphyxiates its host. NOT for children under three."

    • In the Grand Finale of Justice League Unlimited, Toyman is surrounded by Parademons. He promptly shoots them with...suction cups from his Nerf gun. One beat later they explode. (No no, not the suction cups...)
      • Prior to this, he achieves his crowning moment playing with a Yo-Yo.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force featured the Broodwich, a delicious sandwich(in spite of having no bacon). However, eating it will forever condemn you to a hellish dimension.
  • Robot Chicken featured the Phyllis Diller Spray & Play, a bunch of hoses coming out of a plastic Phillis Diller head, which quickly killed all the kids playing with it.


Real Life

  • Some landmines look unfortunately toylike.
    • During the Cold War it was often alleged in the U.S. press that the Soviet Union built landmines to look like toys on purpose, especially in Afghanistan, though photographs hardly ever accompanied such allegations.
      • Soviet press, on the other hand was busy blaming Americans (who supported the local rebels) for the same. The most probable reason was that the antipersonnel mines widely used by the both sides were, first, virtually indistinguishable from each other, and, second, designed to be airdropped, so they had plastic wings to aid dispersal, which made them look vaguely as a toy butterfly for unsuspecting and uneducated eye.
    • From the 213 things Skippy is no longer allowed to do in the U.S. Army, "Claymore mines are not filled with yummy candy and it is wrong to tell new soldiers that they are."
    • How does an Afghan child tell the difference between a cluster bomb and a humanitarian food pack? It's not always easy, since both are bright yellow, about the same size and labeled in a language — English — that few Afghans understand.
      • To quote Robin Williams, "Now you're playing Survivor, the real game."
      • "The Pentagon announced last week that it will change the color of air-dropped food parcels so they won't be mistaken for unexploded cluster bombs."
  • Then there are the booby trap bombs, which are intentionally made to look harmless/fun to play around with. Popular designs include letter envelopes, food cans, and landmines made to look like bathroom scales (the design was quite popular in Vietnam, apparently)
  • Lawn darts. These foot-long mini-javelins with fins were supposed to be lobbed into the air in an attempt to hit target circles on laid on the ground. This was much like playing horseshoes with throwing knives, since the metal-tipped toys were essentially identical to Irish war darts. After forty or more years on the market, they were finally discontinued in the 1990s because of the obvious safety issues (and a string of hundreds of injuries per year).
    • Older sets are still out there, of course, and other countries might not ban them (of course, many other countries might have had the sense not to make the damn things in the first place). Also, you can buy the parts legally in the U.S. and still assemble them yourself. There are also all-plastic models which can be sold in both countries - still hurt if you throw them at people, but no more likely to cause bleeding than any other weighted plastic toy you can buy legally.
      • Human nature also plays a part. One article also points out that lawn darts are almost completely safe-if you play by the rules. It goes on to point out (needlessly if you know anything about children) that few were the children who were actually liable to do so for long, and it was only a matter of time before some bright spark decided to try catching it with their teeth.
    • "One of your bunnies is impaled by a stray lawn dart during a family outing!"
    • Jeff Foxworthy included lawn darts in his set about dangerous toys that aren't allowed anymore. He also mentioned B.B. guns, wood-burning kits, and chemistry sets.

 Foxworthy: [Lawn darts] didn't come with instructions, they just came in a box of eight! We used to take them out and just throw them straight up in the air! You catch one of those with your head you're getting coloring books for Christmas the rest of your life.

  • A horrific example: In 1999, 39 people were literally cremated in one of the worst tunnel fires in history in the Mont Blanc tunnel in France. The main fuel for the fire? Ordinary Margarine. Apparently Margarine burns as violently as gasoline.
    • Not helped by the truck's other cargo, flour, which as mentioned just below, is quite explosive when aerosolized.
  • The Great Molasses Tidal Wave in Boston in 1919.
    • In that vein, the London Beer Flood of 1814.
      • The Banbury Custard Explosion of 1981.
  • In a similar vein, aerosolized flour is a huge explosion hazard.
  1. However, the very final events of the story includes the First Tool becoming reunited with its spiritual counterpart, which is the concept of violence. Once restored, it can destroy the universe once again. Perhaps a subversion?