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File:Donkey Kong flier cropped.jpg

Pauline: Oh no! Please don't beat my random plumber boyfriend to a pulp with your insanely powerful giant monkey arms of death!

Donkey Kong: Hell no! I'm gonna throw barrels at him!
Awesome Kong

The use of barrels or other large cylindrical objects as thrown weapons. Sometimes these are filled with volatile liquids. Barrels are rather heavy to the average person, and can weigh hundreds of pounds when filled. The act of picking them up and throwing them to cause damage is generally left to stronger characters, characters with special equipment or powers, and gorillas.

Typically this trope is implemented in video games. Mooks or bosses might throw barrels at the player's character. Quite often, the thrown barrells can be destroyed before they reach the character by shooting at them. Players' characters themselves may be able to utilize barrels if they fall into one of the categories listed above.

Examples of Throw a Barrel At It include:


  • In The Running Man, Ben Richards picks up and throws a barrel at the stalker Fireball. It just bounces off of him.
  • The Guns of Navarone. During the battle with the crew of the German E-boat, Andrea throws a barrel at a German sailor.
  • In the 2009 Sherlock Holmes film, Dredger throws a barrel at Holmes.
  • A few barrels got rolled and tossed around as improvised weapons while Jack and Angelica fight it out in the forth Pirates of the Caribbean film.
  • In Megamind, Megamind trains the very video-game-obsessed new super-hero-in-name-only Hal (aka Tighten) by having him run a platform course and jump over barrels that Minion (dressed in a gorilla suit) is tossing down at him.
  • The characters in Feast try to fight the monsters off with beer kegs, with Donkey Kong receiving a name drop.

Live Action TV

  • 1960's Batman show.
    • In "Ice Spy", one of Mr. Freeze's henchmen throws a barrel at Batman during a fight in Freeze's lair.
    • In "the Foggiest Notion", Batman throws a barrel at one of Lord Fogg's henchmen.
    • "Penguin's Disastrous End"
    • "A Riddling Controversy". Batman does this to one of the Riddler's minions during the final fight scene.

Newspaper Comics

  • One FoxTrot strip has Jason try to cash in on the success of the new King Kong movie by making his own, starring his brother as Kong (that is to say, he's wearing a Donkey Kong mask). Then comes the action scene: "Velociraptors are attacking! Quick, throw a barrel!"

Video Games

  • Goes back to the original Donkey Kong. Mastering the art of barrel throwing was a big part of the Donkey Kong Country games, including Donkey Kong 64.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess did this.
    • The Wind Waker did this too on those occasions where barrels were not used as objects to hide under. Case in point, the Forsaken Fortress, in which barrels were all over the place but were used as throwable objects when the player was not required to sneak past guards.
  • Kingdom Hearts too. For some reason, it's the only way to get rid of the gold aura around Hercules when you fight him in the first game.
  • House of the Dead. (And you can shoot them in the air before they hit you too. That's gotta be one badass pistol they gave you.)
  • Half-Life 2 has exploding barrels as tools of law enforcement. Which is to say, trying to kill that damn protagonist in that suit before he overthrows our Orwellian dystopia. They roll them at you from the top of stairs and from the sides of a canal you're traversing. (Even later, when you're in a hovercraft.) Naturally, a key strategy is shooting the barrels before they get close enough to you to do damage.
    • Furthermore, using barrels as simple projectile weapons is an option for the player once you obtain the Gravity Gun. And a few enemies do it too: zombies that encounter a barrel between themselves and the player character will toss the barrel at him. This is an unscripted behavior, unlike the flaming barrel ambushes by the metrocops, which are all preplanned.
  • New Super Mario Bros Wii has them in some levels, working in the same way as the Donkey Kong Country games.
  • Every Super Smash Bros. game. Like every other container in the series, they also have a tendency to explode on impact.
    • As noted above, Donkey Kong mastered barrel throwing long ago and is the only character that isn't slowed by carrying heavy items such as barrels.
  • The Borderlands "Zombie Island of Dr ZNed" DLC introduces "Suicide Zombies" and "Tankensteins" which both carry explosive barrels in their back. If they get close enough they will throw them at you but you can shoot them beforhand.
  • The Russian in The Punisher video game throws those at you. Since he is a bullet-proof Puzzle Boss, the answer is to detonate them in his hands.
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla put a Mining Charge on a yellow barrel for a bigger explosion. You can also put them on tiny blue ones, then throw them.
  • The Brewer Henchman in Beyond Dark Castle.
  • Crysis - of the various ways you can kill the Big Bad, this trope is one of the more satisfying ways to do it. Proof.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, throwing objects (including barrels) at enemies was Silver's main fighting mode. In Sonic Unleashed, throwing water-filled barrels was the only way to defeat certain fiery enemies in the were-hog levels.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, there's a scene where you knock barrels down from a church attic to stop the bad guys chasing after Aeris.
  • Barrels (as well as just about every piece of breakable world geometry) can be snagged and thrown at the enemy with the Whip in Dawn of Mana.
  • Robots in the Sargasso Space Hideout in Star Fox: Assault will throw metal barrels down on you as you're trying to walk up a ramp, but you can easily shoot them to pieces if you're careful.
  • Area 6 in Bionic Commando has barrel-throwing soldiers.
  • In Double Dragon, the Rowpers and the Abobos (as well as the Lee Brothers) can lift and throw oildrums among other large objects.
  • In Aladdin Virgin Games, the boss on the "Agrabah Rooftops" levels (a burly guard) does this.
  • In Game Boy's Kung Fu Master, third boss Strongman does this to attack. In Spartan X 2, his Expy Billy Beiry switches to throwing boxes, but the previous stage Mooks still resort to the good ol' barrel.
  • A bonus stage in the original Street Fighter II consisted of the player character having to smash barrels thrown at him/her from all directions. Later reused in some of the Street Fighter EX games.
  • A stack of barrels are usually found and thrown against the player during certain sections in the first stages of Time Crisis 2. At the beginning of the second area, you have to shoot and dodge through a cascade of rolling barrels.
  • The only obstacle in the level Toxic Waste in Crash Bandicoot, aside from the titular toxic waste, are barrels thrown by genetically modified monkeys, most likely mutated by toxic waste. Most the barrels roll, probably due to the toxic waste inside, but some bounce, either because they don't have any toxic waste inside, or because they have a different kind of toxic wasteinside.
  • Some enemies in Area 51(the Light Gun Game) throw Exploding Barrels.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution features throwable exploding barrels and gas canisters. On the plus side, they easily kill/knock out enemies with little to no effort on your part. On the downside, you get no EXP. This is, however, the best way to take out the first boss if you don't have a combat build.
  • In the NES version of Captain America and The Avengers, the Mini Boss Dynamite Napalm throws oil drums, which have to explode in his hands to make him vulnerable.
  • In Virtua Cop 2, Wolf's primary attack as the Beginner stage boss, besides firing Painfully Slow Rockets, is to throw a barrel at you; you must shoot it out of the air before it hits you. When you get him one shot away from death, he'll throw a van at you instead!
  • Growl - The player can life and throw barrels, among other large objects, at enemies. The red barrels are actually explosive that detonate when thrown.
  • Final Fight - Bred and his head swaps can kick oildrums towards the player, causing them to roll into the ground.

Western Animation

  • The Trope Namer is Dash O'Pepper in "Toby Danger in Doomsday Bet" from Freakazoid! A Race Bannon Captain Ersatz Who spent much of the episode throwing barrels at things, it's unclear where he gets them all from. "Just let me throw a barrel at it", is his response to a giant robot.
    • And it works!
  • Jonny Quest
    • In TOS episode "The Sea Haunt", the monster does this to Race Bannon while he's in the ship's Paint Room.
    • In The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest Race distracts a rampaging bull at a rodeo by throwing a barrel at it. He even says "Just let me throw a barrel at it" while he does it!
      • Given another parody in a faux episode of the original Jonny Quest created by Williams Street back when they ran Toonami (during the Moltar era)
  • The Simpsons had a scene parodying Donkey Kong in which Homer started throwing trash cans at Mario.
    • A scene in an earlier episode had an arcade with a real gorilla as a Donkey Kong marketing gimmick. The gorilla ends up throwing a barrel at the arcade owner, who exclaims "He's Still Got It!"
    • As did Futurama, which featured Mario and Donkey Kong themselves, doing what they do best.
      • Futurama's first episode opens with Fry playing a side-scrolling space shooter game...until he reaches the end, where a giant monkey pops out of a planet and starts throwing barrels at him.
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