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 I ripped a page from my textbook, what will I do? Just use some tape, it will fix it.

I broke my favourite pot, what will I do? Just use some tape, it will fix it.

The house is on fire, aliens are attacking and Chuck Norris is in front of my door, pissed. WHAT WILL I DO?!? Just use some tape, it will fix it.

When All You Have Is a Hammer meets Running Gag.

Some people, when facing a problem, any problem, will suggest X, without even trying to consider some of the other, probably better, and usually more rational solutions. Why? Maybe they had a difficult past, maybe they were trained that way, or maybe they just can't think of anything else. The fact is, they have one and only one answer for everything, and it's not like it usually works.

This is a Super-Trope of Spot of Tea, Kill It with Fire, Murder Is the Best Solution, Duct Tape for Everything, More Dakka, Nuke'Em, Your Answer to Everything and others. If examples fit better on one of those pages, please list it there rather than here. Sometimes used in conjunction with Percussive Maintenance.

Examples of The All Solving Hammer include:

Anime and Manga

  • The title character in Asu no Yoichi, when facing a problem that can't be solved with a Sword Fight, will resort to seppuku. Since the story needs a hero, he never succeeds.
  • Zoro has a troubling habit of suggesting cutting off body parts as the solution to a number of problems. Sometimes, this is a case of a Life or Limb Decision, but he is also inclined to suggest this before it becomes a matter of life or death. Including one time when Luffy's finger was stuck in a bottle, and another time when he was handcuffed to Usopp.
  • Spike isn't the most technical-minded of hotshot bounty hunters. If something mechanical is broken, he'll kick it until it works. Even if it's a hundred-year-old Betamax player that may or may not be the last functional one in existence. With someone over his shoulder YELLING AT HIM TO STOP.


  • In My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the main character's father's response to any ailment is to put some Windex on it. At the end, we find out that the groom was inspired by his father-in-law to treat some acne with Windex. It worked. The groom may have simply been making a joke, too.


  • In The Last Continent, Rincewind notes the Ecksian term "no worries" can fix just about any problem.

 It was an amazing phrase. It was practically magical all by itself. It just ...made things better. A shark's got your leg? No worries. You've been stung by a jellyfish? No worries! You're dead? She'll be right! No worries!

Live Action TV

 Buffy: Why don't I just put a stake through her heart?

Giles: She's not a vampire.

Buffy: Yeah, well, you'd be surprised how many things that'll kill.

  • On The Red Green Show, while Red himself relied on duct tape to deal with any situation, Edgar Montrose inevitably tried explosives.
  • Myth Busters: Grant Imahara often suggests building a robot for a myth. Usually it's viable, but sometimes the suggestion is clearly there as a gag.

Real Life

  • There's an Irish saying along these lines;
    • "Advice for Builders.
    1. Always use the right tool for the job.
    2. The right tool for the job is always a Hammer.
    3. Anything can be used as a Hammer."
  • The advice "If you can't fix it by hitting it with a hammer then it must be an electrical problem."
    • And the corollary, "If hitting it with a hammer doesn't work, hit it with a bigger hammer."
  • A true handyman only needs two tools: Duct tape for things that move when they shouldn't and WD-40 for things that don't move when they should.
  • There is a theory popular with Aberdeen University Engineers: There is no problem anywhere that cannot be solved through creative application of: Duct tape, WD-40, ice-cream, and a brick.
  • Engineering Solution 1: Hit it with a hammer. Solution 2: Hit it with a bigger hammer.
  • Millwright joke: What does a millwright call his hammer? Wrench. What does a millwright call all the other tools in the box? Hammers.
  • Damage Controlmen (essentially plumbers/general repairmen) in the US Navy and Coast Guard have a nickname for a mallet: The make-fit. Guess why.
    • Also a wrench is referred to as a "Bosun's Hammer"
  • From a Certain Point of View, when in the proper quantity and with the proper application, Playing with Fire fixes everything. Need to cook some eggs? Use fire to heat them. Al Queda attacking? Kill It with Fire. Nothing cannot be solved by it!
    • Hungry? Set yourself on fire!
      • Give a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life!

Tabletop Games

  • Yozis in Exalted tend to pull this. At any strategy meeting, the Ebon Dragon will suggest a sneaky course of action and Malfeas will recommend killing or breaking something.
  • Players in general. Whatever the nature of the problem, many of them will try to use whatever their character is good at to solve it. Often, this means Murder Is the Best Solution.

Video Games

  • In Mass Effect, Wrex's first suggestion for solving any conflict or situation: "Eat them."
  • In Overlord, you can count problems that can't be solved with minions in one hand. Pretty much everything is fixed trough creative use of minions or just swarming the problem with the minions until it goes away.
  • In The Sims, pretty much any broken thing in your house can be fixed with a wrench.
  • In the Dwarf Fortress community, it is commonly agreed upon that magma can solve any problem. Invaders at your door? Magma. Troublesome nobles? Magma. !!Dwarf!! on fire? Not for long if you use enough magma.
  • Got a problems? Use a gun. That didn't fix it? Use more gun.
  • Link's sword in Link's Awakening, and the Oracle games. Aside from using it as a weapon or hedge trimmer, its uses include: deflecting a ball into breakable blocks in a minigame in Ages (even the Biggoron sword is used for this), poking at walls to figure out if they're hollow, grabbing items from a distance, hitting switches, harvesting seeds from trees, and of course, posing.

Web Comics

  • Eight Bit Theater: The Light Warriors' (especially Black Mage) approach to anything: try to kill everything in sight. Including each other. If they don't do the first, then they stand around arguing until their enemies' stupidity makes them self-destruct. It's usually one or the other.
  • Darths and Droids: "I cast Summon Bigger Fish", although even though Jim keeps mentioning it, it never really gets used - aside from the small bonus comic that was done once.
  • Vaarsuvius from The Order of the Stick has been known to engage in this line of thinking regarding his/her arcane powers. He/she even had to go through some major angst and character development to get over it (debatably crossing the Moral Event Horizon in the process), but still struggles with it sometimes like in this strip.

Web Original

  • In AH Dot Com the Series, Thande will always suggest "Daring Commando Raid(TM)?" as a plan to solve any crisis the crew find themselves in; this is almost invariably treated by the others as though it is a complex and tailor-made plan for the specific situation, and always works.
  • This Let's Play-style article on Galactic Civilizations II...well...

 God, look at me. This was supposed to be my quest for peace, and I've become addicted to destroying suns. How did I try to mend relations with the Terrans? I blew up a sun. How did I vanquish the Dread Lords? I destroyed their sun. How did I tackle the volatile Drengin? Destroyed all their suns. Drath relations dodgy? Gear up to destroy some suns. It was spreading to real life, too. Deputy Editor Tim called just now to ask how this diary was coming along, and all I could say was "It's taking a while. Couldn't we just destroy the sun?"

  • Kickassia shows Doctor Smith exhibiting this, even though "Nobody likes the plan with the spiders."
    • Hell, just about any That Guy With The Glasses sketch Dr. Smith appears in involves him suggesting an army of spiders for something.
  • An inversion: Essentially any time the SCP Foundation finds anything at all, someone will suggest using it to try to kill SCP-682.

Western Animation

  • King of the Hill
    • When Kahn and family moved in, after they came over for dinner Minh suggested some improvements to Peggy's recipies, all of which were "add nutmeg."
    • In another episode, Hank gets his old football coach to coach Bobby's team. His solution for anything is "take a salt tablet".
  • On Bobby's World, Uncle Ted was coaching Bobby's T-Ball team; one of them got hit with a ball and Ted said "Walk it off." This leads to an Imagine Spot where Bobby imagines Uncle Ted confronted with various other medical conditions:

 Broken leg? Walk it off.

Heart attack? Walk it off.

Pregnant? Walk it off.

  • In the South Park episode "My Future Self 'n' Me," Cartman runs a Parental Revenge Center and claims to come up with plans tailored to each child's parents, but all his plans just involve smearing poop on the walls of their house. The "tailoring" is what kind of poop is used.
  • In a later episode of The Simpsons

 Betsy: It's all about little substitutions. If you want to eat something, eat a bell pepper. Crave something sweet? Eat a bell pepper. Want a beer? Bell pepper.

Homer: It tastes good like pepper, but crunchy like a bell!

Betsy: Bell pepper!

    • Another episode has the new gym teacher respond to anything with a dodgeball to the face. "Bombardment!"
  • An episode of The Venture Brothers features a cleaning lady at the White House who prescribes club soda for cleaning up anything. She tries it on an indestructable forcefield and it works.
  • This is lampshaded in Avatar the Abridged Series Episode 4.

  Katara: Have this magical plot-solving acorn. It has the power to resolve the plot of any episode.

  • In Futurama, the Neptunian master chef Elzar augments every dish he touches with a blast from a spice weasel. BAM!
  • In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Pinkie Pie's solution to a given situation seems to involve either throwing a party or bursting into song. Sometimes she does both.
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