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File:InglouriousBasterds bartender 1602.jpg

When he said "last call for shots", he wasn't kidding.

So the hero wanders into a seedy bar. Maybe he brushes against a less-than-reputable goon. Maybe the goon is just looking to pick a fight. Maybe the hero can't afford to pay the tab. Whatever the case, this scenario can only end in bloodshed.

The bartender quickly dives behind the bar. A cowardly move... but then he emerges, shotgun in tow and ready to quell any disturbances to his business.

This action is not necessarily limited to bartenders, although it is a common occurrence. Similarly, while the shotgun is a common firearm used, other firearms such as rifles or pistols may be used. The key point is that the firearm is retrieved specifically from the bar.

Examples of Two Shots From Behind the Bar include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Black Lagoon, Bao, the owner of the Yellow Flag, keeps a shotgun behind the bar handy for inevitable shootouts. It doesn't hurt that the bar itself is fully armored to withstand gunfire.


  • In most Western films where there's a gunfight in a saloon, the bartender will produce a gun from behind the bar and join in. The trope probably originated in that genre.
  • The Winchester in Shaun of the Dead has the gun hidden in plain sight, but Shaun and the others initially think it's just a prop.
  • The shotgun-wielding bartender is among the victims of the bar Blast Out in Inglourious Basterds.
  • After the T-800 in Terminator 2 beats up several bikers in a bar, the bartender confronts him outside with a shotgun to prevent him from stealing one of their motorbikes. The terminator proves his Bad to the Bone credentials by snatching the loaded shotgun off him, as well as some Cool Shades.
  • In Dirty Harry it was a liquor store and this was how the villain, an ex-con, was able to get a gun to battle with Dirty Harry.
  • The opening shootout from Desperado ends with the bartender pulling a shotgun to try to take out the Mariachi as he was walking away. As for how it turned out...

 Buscemi: ...No, man. The bartender got it worse than anybody.

  • The opening shootout from The Killer featured a bartender with a shotgun. Needless to say, it didn't end well for him.
  • When Logan threatened a customer with his claws in the first X-Men 1 film, the bartender quickly aimed a shotgun point blank at his head. Logan promptly sliced the shotgun in half, demonstrating why you should never bring a gun to a clawfight.

Live Action TV

  • Happens several times in Supernatural.
  • In an episode of The Mentalist, Rigsby's father (an ex-con) is "helping" on a case, and goes into a Bad Guy Bar. Moments later several people run out. Rigsby enters and finds his father with a shiv pointed at some guy's throat and the bartender with a shotgun pointed at Rigsby Sr.
  • When a barfight erupted in Ten Forward, Guinan pulled a phaser rifle from behind the bar and fired a shot into the ceiling.

 Guinan: That was setting one. Anyone want to see setting two?



  • The Dresden Files: Artemis Bock, the bookstore owner, keeps a sawn-off 10-gauge wired underneath the counter. Mac Anally the bartender has one as well as two M1911s, but they're only placed easily accessible when there's trouble brewing.

Video Games

  • The bartender in Deus Ex has a sawed-off shotgun behind the counter. However, she also carries her own.
  • After Bond crashes the Kiss Kiss Club in James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, he automatically takes cover behind the bar and acquires a shotgun.
  • During Mafia's mid-mission stages, Luigi the bartender packs a shotgun behind the bar and will not hesitate to gun Tommy down if he attacks any of his allies.
  • Bartenders in Mafia II will pull a shotgun on Vito if he tries to rob them.
  • After Jenny in Gun is taken hostage at the Alhambra Saloon, the bartender unlocks a cabinet behind the bar and pulls out what appears to be a rifle. However, after the cutscene ends he actually uses a pistol instead.
  • In the "Massacre at Cheung Chau Fish Restaurant" level of Hitman, if 47 pulls a weapon on the bartender, he will duck behind the bar and unload a sawed-off shotgun on him.
  • In Bio Shock Infinite, after the player blunders into his bar, the bartender screams "WE'RE CLOSED!" and proceeds to shoot the crap out of you.
  • In Max Payne, there is a shotgun tucked behind the (unmanned) reception desk in one of Vinnie's apartments, near the laundromat.
  • In Dirge of Cerberus, Vincent can retrieve the Hydra rifle in Edge from behind a bar inside a deserted building.
  • The player can do this in Poke 646: Vendetta. In Nation City, there is a empty bar the player has to pass through. Picking up the shotgun makes Aliens telepot in, as convenient target practise.

Western Animation

  • Bartender Moe Szyslak keeps a sawed-off shotgun handy in case of cheapskate customers or when he loses his temper, which happens all the time. Or when he just wants to rob people.