Knives in Fiction

There are literally hundreds of famous, fictional pieces of cutlery--from Excalibur to that weird thing He-Man used to transform from Prince Adam to He-Man (though, so far as I can tell, it just changed his clothes--everything else looked exactly the same), but they all happen to be swords.  Fictional knives...well that is a much smaller group.  In fact, I couldn't find a list anywhere on the Internet (come on Internet, you have pages upon pages of pictures of kittens wearing helmets made of melon rinds but not a single list of famous fictional knives?).  So, I thought it was time to rectify that glaring omission.  Without further ado, famous knives in fiction: 

Crocodile Dundee's Fixed Blade

Probably the most famous knife quote ever, and one that seems to be near and dear to the knife designers working at Cold Steel, this blade was positively massive.  Of course, it had to be for the joke to work, you know backwater tough guy that wrestles alligators shows an inner city thug a thing or two about bein' tough and real knives.  As a kid born in more the country than the city, my inner rube was cheering when I first saw this scene.   


Those elves, masters of the light & saber, made an object that is both--Sting glows blue when orcs are around, which, conveniently enough for filmmaker Peter Jackson seemed to happen only in the dark or near dark.  I am not sure how effective this feature would be in the clear daylight of Hobbiton (Does this town name strike anyone else as a bit on the nose, especially in a book series written by a linguist that made up multiple complete languages?  "Hi, I am Tony, I am from Humanville.").  Still as an orc slaying machine, Sting is awesome.  It sorta cheats being on the list because its only a knife if carried by a human.  When carried by a hobbit, you know, the ones from Hobbiton, its more of a sword.  But this list is so short, I figured I'd cheat a little bit.   

MacGuyver's Swiss Army Knife

Of all the fake knives, this is the most real, because, well, it is real.  You and I may not be able to make a car from two tires and a battery, but MacGuyver could thanks to this magic knife.  If you were like me, you saw this happen once on TV and had to have a Swiss Army Knife.  This played a large role in my first knife purchase, which I made at age 9.  I walked into a Dayton, Ohio's General Surplus store, went to the knife counter, and found an array of SAKs.  I bought a Super Tinker and despite the TV show I did not instantly grow a mullet nor could I make a computer from glass and cardboard.  Still, I loved that knife.  And yes, I know it is a multitool.  Remember, I have to cheat because there are few famous knives.

The Subtle Knife

This blade is featured prominently in Philip Pullman's first trilogy set in the His Dark Material universe (I write first, because he has just released the first book in a second trilogy).  Created in a parallel universe that seems a lot like Italy with extra scary ghosts and philosophers that have a side hobby of knifemaking, this knife is unquestionably the most powerful of any on this list.  MacGuyver might be able to make a bomb out of a paper clip and chewing gum with his trusty SAK, but Will, the character that wields the Subtle Knife, can slice through the fabric of spacetime with his trusty dagger.  Unfortunately, it seems like the Subtle Knife is made of ceramic because it shattered pretty easily.  Fortunately, Will knew a sapient polar bear that was a great metalworker and he fixed it.  Then some evil lady stole it and used it to help kill God.  Yeah, His Dark Materials was pretty out there.  

Rambo Knives

You could also include in this group knives from the Stallone vehicle The Expendables.  They all fall into the same category--huge, gauche, compensation devices.  If you are a huge fan you can buy an autograph version for $1,635.  I still remember the day that Danny Sullivan came over to my house and showed me his Rambo survival knife with its hollow handle.  I was sitting in the sandbox, because, you know I was like 8, and he dumped out the handle and told me he could live in the woods forever with this knife alone.  I believed him because it had a compass, a fish hook, and some fishing line.  You know, all of the things necessary to build that treehouse from Swiss Family Robinsons.   

If you have any suggestions, post them in the comments below.