A harpoon gun is a gunlike weapon which shoots long, pointed, spear-like arrows upon the trigger being pulled. Being shot by a harpoon gun is, generally, an unpleasant experience for most people, as it usually involves physical pain, bleeding, and potential organ puncture.
In A Series of Unfortunate Events, the harpoon gun appears various times:
- In the Netflix adaptation of The Bad Beginning, it is used by Jacquelyn, a member of V.F.D., to threaten Count Olaf aboard the Prospero.
- In The Vile Village, it was used by Esmé Squalor to destroy the ladder on Hector's self-sustaining hot air mobile home, as well as the Quagmires' research.
- In The Penultimate Peril, a harpoon gun is intended to be used on the roof of Hotel Denouement to shoot down a V.F.D. crow to obtain The Sugar Bowl. As part of her concierge disguise, Violet Baudelaire has little choice but to give it to Carmelita Spats as part of her disguise. Count Olaf takes it from Carmelita and threatens to kill Dewey Denouement. The Baudelaires beg him not to, he forfeits it, and tosses it into the Baudelaires' hands. They accidentally slip it and it kills Dewey.
- In The Penultimate Peril, it is implied a harpoon gun kills Arthur Poe. Lemony Snicket says "it wasn't Mr. Poe's destiny to be killed by a harpoon gun, at least not this evening in particular." This could mean that Mr. Poe will eventually be killed by a harpoon gun on a different occasion or simply, he just did not die on this particular evening.
- In The End, on the Island, it was used to lethally wound and murder Count Olaf.