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What do you get when you combine IKEA Weaponry with your Shoe Phone? A really bad hotfoot. Also, a Scaramanga Special, aka the infamous Golden Gun. A custom weapon which is designed such that it can pass for a collection of mundane items when taken apart. A device like this is a step above a concealed weapon, as it is intended to pass even a full security screening and frisking.
Reality check: any weapon based on the principle of the gun is going to contain chemical explosives, and any good security checkpoint will test for those. Want to look smart? Base it on gas pressure, springs, or a tiny crossbow, and have it rely on poison rather than impact.
These special weapons are designed in one of two different ways:
Type 1 Version: Various components which may either be functional (eg: a cigarette lighter) or merely cosmetic (eg: a hood ornament) by themselves but they can be put together so it will function as a weapon.
Type 2 Version: The weapon can be adjusted by either disassembling it or by manual manipulation to become something else (functional or cosmetic).
Despite the name, this trope does NOT refer to the ability of the Golden Gun in the Golden Eye 1997 FPS to kill in a single shot, even though the Golden Gun in question is named in honor of the Trope Namer. The gun itself was only really lethal because Christopher Lee's character was hyper-accurate. For golden guns in general, see Bling Bling Bang.
Differs from Improvised Weapon: these are things used as weapons which may or may not normally be used in that fashion.
Type 1 Examples
- Duke Togo, AKA Golgo 13, has been known to use one of these on rare occasions, usually when dealing with particularly paranoid individuals. In Episode 34, he carries out an assassination with a gun created by combining a fountain-pen and several pieces that he had cast on the spot, using a building-model as containers and a specially-prepared bulletproof vest for the material - and just for added kicks, the soft alloy could be dissolved in a conveniently-placed bucket of hot soup. Thus, he took this trope a step farther than the rest of the examples, by assembling and disassembling his gun on the MOLECULAR level...
- The James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun is the Trope Namer and Trope Maker. Scaramanga has a gun which can be assembled from a pen, a cigarette case, a lighter and a gold cuff link. This allows him to carry his weapon of choice on commercial flights. It was custom made by an underground gunsmith, and fires gold bullets in a non-standard caliber. The material allows him to carry it through metal detectors.
- In In the Line of Fire, John Malkovitch plays an assassin who sneaks a gun made out of plastic to a dinner speech by the president. The only metal parts were two bullets that he hid in a rabbit's foot keychain and two springs hidden in a pen. He trained himself to put it together without looking too, so he could appear even more non-threatening as he assembled it under the table.
- The FBI had the prop destroyed after filming out of concern that it could be converted into a live assassination weapon.
- The bone gun in eXistenZ (called "gristle gun" in the commentary), assembled from the bones of an Alien Lunch and the protagonist's false teeth.
- Alien: Resurrection featured a number of hidden weapons, including a shotgun assembled from components concealed as parts of high-tech wheelchair.
- Perhaps the Ur-example on film is in The Day of the Jackal. See the literature example for details.
- The ending sequence of Mission Impossible features one of these wielded by Jim Phelps.
- In Déjà Vu the Career Killer Johnny Pollack had an umbrella convertible into a gun (the handle turns into the butt stock), with attached scope and suppressor. Until it got bent.
- Darksaber, one of the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels, has an Imperial warlord attempt to kill Admiral Daala with a knife after she poisoned an entire gathering of other such warlords with neurotoxic gas. Impressive, not only for having the knife be made up of several of his "decorative" medals, but for him having the presence of mind to immediately start assembling it as soon as he realizes he, and everyone but Daala and her assistant, have been gassed. She even gives him an appreciative look of respect as he approaches. He manages to make it to within a single step of her, but by that point it is too late.
- The Jackal's gun from the original novel and first film of The Day of the Jackal was built into and assembled from parts of the crutch that formed part of his disguise as a war veteran, which he used to get close enough to, and try to assassinate General de Gaulle. The later film remake just had a big machine gun built into the back of an estate car.
- The Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Demontage featured, as part of its James Bond pastiche, an assassin disguised as a wineglass salesman, whose sample glasses could be transformed into a knife and a single-shot gun — neither of which would set off metal detectors.
- The Gordon R. Dickson SF story Hilifter (1963) has this pre-Scaramanga pistol: "Whistling a little mournfully, he began to make the next best use of his pile of property. He unscrewed the nib and cap of his long, gold fountain pen, took out the ink cartridge, and laid the tube remaining aside. He removed his belt, and the buckle from the belt. The buckle, it appeared, clipped on to the fountain pen tube in somewhat the manner of a pistol grip. He reached in his mouth, removed a bridge covering from the second premolar to the second molar, and combined this with a small metal throwaway dispenser of the sort designed to contain antacid tablets. The two together had a remarkable resemblance to the magazine and miniaturized trigger assembly of a small handgun; and when he attached them to the buckle-fountain-pen-tube combination the resemblance became so marked as to be practically inarguable."
- Frederick Forsyth thriller novel The Fourth Protocol (1984) features a Nuclear Bomb fitting this trope. Components are either concealed in or disguised as everyday items (including a rubber ball and a transistor radio, as shown in the film version) as they are smuggled in.
- Scaramanga's gun in the James Bond novel The Man With the Golden Gun is actually an aversion. The "Golden Gun" is simply a gold-plated Colt Peacemaker revolver, though Scaramanga uses it to fire silver-jacketed bullets with a gold core.
- Investigator Arkady Renko finds a gun disguised as various innocent-looking objects packed in a visiting American's baggage. Of course, he never would have thought to try piecing random objects together into a gun if it weren't for the fact that the American chose such an odd selection to pack.
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Heart of Glory", the Klingons Korris and Konmel were able to break out of the Enterprise brig by assembling a kit-form phaser from their belts and other parts of their uniforms.
- In the Babylon 5 episode Midnight on the Firing Line, Londo had one of these disguised component weapons which he assembled to kill G'Kar. Garibaldi finds out and convinces him not to go through with it. Furthermore, Garibaldi warns him that he will search the ambassador's quarters for weapons and you don't doubt that he would be able to spot the parts assembly of the gun if he found the pieces.
- One appears in CSI:NY.
- The Rider Gears from Kamen Rider Faiz. A cell phone serves as both a gun and a Transformation Trinket, a digital camera turns into a Power Fist, the handle on a motorcycle becomes the hilt for a Laser Blade, and a laser pointer shoots out an energy drill for the Rider Kick. Kamen Rider Delta has the Transformation Trinket, gun, and energy drill-shooter all combined into a single unit made out of a voice-activated cell phone and a miniature camcorder.
- Shadowrun Ka•Ge magazine Volume 1 Issue 12. The Century 220ZX is a 9mm light pistol that disassembles into a cigarette case, a pen, a lighter, a ring and either a brooch or a cufflink. It can be assembled in under 10 seconds.
- Liege Fablulo of the Insecticomics is actually a sentient version of this. By himself he's a fluffy dancer with no common sense at all, but when combined with his Mini-Cons he becomes a cold killer.
- In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Task Force X", Deadshot carries a ceramic pistol whose parts were carried in candy bar wrappers.
Type 2 Examples
- Alien: Resurrection again, this time with a gun concealed as a thermos.
- The juvenile drug dealer's submachine gun in RoboCop 2. the gun is real.
- Judge Dredd, the movie, has a small picture holder box that, if you pull it sideways, becomes a small gun. It's smuggled inside a maximum security prison.
- Darkman features a villain with a submachinegun built into his artificial leg.
- The Jackal from The Day of the Jackal is able to smuggle a weapon in a form of a crutch which is then disassembled and reassembled as a sniper rifle.
- The sequel to The Teddy Bear Habit involves a crutch loaded with a spring-loaded dart launcher.
- Robert A. Heinlein's The Cat Who Walked Through Walls has the storyteller, Richard, carrying a cane that has a secret knifeblade which can be released to use as a long dagger.
- The Laptop Gun from Perfect Dark can turn into a laptop. However, it can also turn into a wall sentry. Very useful in multiplayer games.
- According to the in-game description, it's an imperfect disguise. The laptop works, but has only a fraction of the memory it should. Just enough to foil the 'please turn it on' test, as well as some minor poking about. The game itself admits that under serious examination the facade will fall apart in short order.
- Though it doesn't appear in the game proper, the manual for Crusader: No Regret mentioned a nanotech pistol that could turn into a functioning cell phone and back. In the game, this was used to turn furniture into hostile mechs.
- The sword-cane. The sword and sheath are combined to make a cane. There were also cane-guns.
- The CIA had some weird and wonderful concealed weapons, including:
- A cigarette gun.
- A pen gun.
- A suitcase gun.
- Exploding flour which, when made into bread or cakes,could be kneaded back down into plastic explosive once you got past Customs. — read "CIA Special Weapons & Equipment: Spy Devices of the Cold War".
- A foiled terror plot reported a few years back was based around a chemical explosive that was to be mixed in-flight from chemicals carried in toiletry bottles. While it wasn't successful in blowing up a plane, it did cause some terror: airlines and the TSA are now afraid of soap.
- Bulgarian dissident writer Georgi Markov was assassinated while in exile in London when someone (most likely an agent of the Bulgarian Secret Police) poked him with an umbrella. To this day, "Bulgarian umbrellas" are something of a running joke in political and intelligence circles.
- There is a reasonably convincing-looking cell phone gun.
- It's a spin-off of the early 90s Beeper Gun, which got its inventor arrested when he tried to market it to businessmen as a hold-out piece because he didn't have the correct permits.