In an early episode, Oliver is said to be carrying a loadout of 24 arrows. Beyond the standard arrow, we've also seen (not inclusive, just off the top of my head):

  • Computer hacking arrows
  • Bug/listening device arrows
  • Net/bolo arrows
  • Explosive arrows
  • Nano-particle tracer arrows
  • Poison/cure arrows

In Streets of Fire (S02E21), Oliver asks another person to find the explosive arrow in his quiver after he had been separated from it, meaning that at least some of the special utility arrows are not kept separate on his body/armor.

Given how quickly he often fires the arrows at enemies, how is he able to correctly identify which arrow he has pulled from the quiver?

  • this was greatly graphicly represented in Avenger on how "HawkEye" choses his arrows... but i agree that it as never been shown how does Oliver choses his arrows.
    – Rocket
    Jan 6, 2015 at 19:00
  • 8
    "Hey, I'll shoot this bolo/net arrow and capture the bad guy! WHOOPS THAT WAS THE EXPLOSIVE ONE!"
    – phantom42
    Jan 6, 2015 at 19:14
  • @phantom42 You can do better than that. "I'll plant a listening device inside that bad guy's office!" (boxing glove bounces off the wall)
    – KSmarts
    Jan 6, 2015 at 20:05
  • I swear I remember Pit/Kid Icarus having a boxing glove arrow in Captain N.
    – phantom42
    Jan 6, 2015 at 20:15

1 Answer 1


In the comics, at least, Green Arrow differentiated his arrows by a series of bumps on the shaft near the fletching.

This was used against him once when a villain knocked him out and changed his arrowheads - they swapped his standard arrowheads (the ones with actual points) for some of his nonlethal arrows, leading him to accidentally kill a minor villain when he fired what he thought was a knockout arrow. Instead of knockout gas, it hit him in the chest and through the heart.

On the TV show, it isn't as clear how he does it, though in season 1 he rarely used trick arrows, using them at most once every few episodes. It's certainly possible he placed them specially in his quiver or otherwise made them feel different to allow him to draw them at the anticipated point of need.

In later seasons, it is not clear, but he could use the same comic trick of bumps/ridges on his arrow shafts.

  • 1
    There is no need to change a good thing now is there... Jan 6, 2015 at 23:48

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