The Pen is Mightier: Pens and Pencils Used as Weapons in Movies


Pens and pencils are no joke when used as weapons.  It doesn’t take an action hero or a spy to puncture skin with a writing utensil, as I had the misfortune of finding out in fourth grade.  Sometimes, all it takes is a second-grader holding a pencil under your seat before you sit down.  And it hurts.

Anyway, I got to thinking about scenes in movies where pens or pencils are used as weapons, and a few definitely stuck out in my mind.  I know I never want to be on the receiving end of a pencil again.



Come on, Joker.  You’re above puns.

The Dark Knight


The most famous magic trick since sawing a woman in half.  And maybe Joker isn’t above puns (Let’s not “blow” this out of proportion).

Red Eye



Grosse Point Blank


A classic fight scene with some great improvisation by Martin Blank.

The Running Man


I can’t embed the video, but you can click through to see Ben Richards sign his name emphatically.



Nicky Santoro is an absolute maniac.  But I suppose a pen beats a vice on the head.

The Bourne Identity


Jason Bourne can use pretty much anything as a weapon, and he uses a ball-point pen at 1:06 in the above clip.

Any scenes you can think of that I left out?  I’m pretty sure Jason from the Friday the 13th movies takes a pen in the eye at some point…

  • Nattyb

    Awesome topic here. Nicely done sir.

  • Laura

    I’m totally calling out my nerdiness, but there is a movie coming out in February based on the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books and Percy has a pen that transforms in to a sword. It’s pretty badass.

  • Uncoolaidman

    There is also a scene in Rock n’ Rolla where Johnny Quid kills a bouncer with a pencil and garbage can lid.

  • Madison

    @ Laura

    My girlfriend reads those books, so I’m sure I’ll be going with her to see the movie once it comes out. I’ll keep an eye out for that.

    @ Uncoolaidman

    Nice call – a nice weapon combo.

  • AhzeeDahak

    Terminator 2: “How’s the knee, Dr. Silberman?”

  • Madison

    @ AhzeeDahak

    Ahhh….I’m kind of mad at myself for missing that one. Sarah was pretty efficient – I also liked the syringe filled with Draino (I think it was Draino).

  • Ted

    Doesn’t Wesley Snipes use one in Demo Man? Or Judge Dredd? One or the other?

  • Laura

    @ Madison

    Yeah I went to Barnes and Noble to get one of the books and the sales lady took me to the CHILDRENS section…under the ages 7-12 section. I cracked under pressure and said it was for my 9 year old neighbor.

  • Madison

    @ Laura

    Ha! Trust me, I give my girl plenty of shit about it. How about reading a book for grown-ups, babe?

  • Feej

    How about the pencil through the ankle in Evil Dead?

  • Laura

    @ Madison

    Hey, they are pretty good…I tell myself that I’m getting a lesson about Greek Mythology…aimed at children. Grown up books can be draining. I read Shutter Island recently, and I was reeling after the ending. And freaked the hell out.

  • cameron

    What about golden eye? classic bomb pen

  • Mat

    You forgot the awesome pencil-stab in RocknRolla!

  • Mr. john

    U forgot the scene from indiana jones and the last crusade, When sean connery is stuck in the tank and he sprays some nazi-soldier with ink from his pen. 🙂

  • Madison

    @ mr. john

    Actually, that was one of the first ones I thought of for this list. Problem is, I couldn’t find the video ANYWHERE.

    One of my favorite movies.

  • Tim?

    I’m surprised there wasn’t a clip of that one movie where some female street urchin turns into an assassin. I can’t think of the name of the flick, but female protagonist gets arrested early in the movie and stabs the cop in the hand with a pencil. Hurt my brain when I saw it as an 8 year old.

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  • Mike

    Good list.

    One more:
    Bond (Sean Connery) used an exploding rocket pen in Never Say Never Again to dispatch Fatima Blush (Barbara Carrera). Blew her up real good, yeah.

  • Victor

    What about Rock N Rolla? A pencil was used to kill (or at least fuck up) a bouncer by a junkie.

  • Ben

    Jon Stewart gets a pen in the eye in ‘The Faculty’

  • Ben

    A true classic:

  • Paul

    @Tim you’re thinking about Nikita

  • Madison

    @ Ben

    Nice! Thanks for the clip.

  • livebackwards

    Pen to Jon Stewart’s eye in The Faculty.

    Pencil through a vampire’s hand in Fright Night, and into a vampire’s torn-out heart in From Dusk ‘Til Dawn.

    Ink-squirt into a Nazi’s eyes in Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade.

  • Madison

    @ livebackwards

    Ah yes! How could I forget the pencil in the heart from From Dusk Till Dawn? Great call!

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  • phil

    i would recommend the bouncer fight from Rock n Rolla. it is brutal

  • Lindsey

    @ Tim It was “Point of No Return” and it was one of the first ones to come to mind.

    Also, remember in the 1989 Batman when Joker has the pen with the huge feather at the end? He stabs the guy right in the throat and even says “the pen truly is mightier than the sword” but I could be wrong…

  • Jake

    What about Bullseye taking out the Kingpin’s guard and olive with a pencil in Daredevil, as he says, For Fun. He was the only decent thing about that movie.

  • Great clips!

  • Frank

    Point of no return was the american version of Nikita , which was made by Luc Besson in 1990 , who also made The fifth Element. It is a french classic and thats why they made an american version with Bridget Fonda,which i love. Point of no return didn’t have the same success as Nikita , which starred Anne Parilleaux !!

  • chryodem

    What about in house on haunted hill, when in the beginning the mental patient stabs the nurse/secretary person through the neck with the multiple pencils that the nurse/secretary had just spent his very precious pre-shift time sharpening. Great.