I'm asking this because I commonly see scythes in fiction. and people in fiction use them to cut people into bacon bits, but in reality, it is utterly useless. I've already been exposed to how bad of a weapon scythes really are, but my question is how did it even start? I understand the image of death holding a scythe in front of a full moon, but that doesn't speak "amazing weapon", that just speaks "threatening skeleton guy". it could be used for magic, but by then why not just use a mildly more efficient staff, or spear, or even a war scythe? just where did all the "scythe is a good weapon" come from?
It probably has more to do with symbolism of death. In western culture, death/ grim reaper has a scythe with which it reaps the lives of people like farmers cut wheat. This is symbolical connection. Scythe thus becomes symbol of death, and thus also deadly event like plagues and more on topic war. From there, it becomes a deadly weapon in our mind.
Of course, scythes were sometimes used by farmers after basic modifications, but as weapons, they were mediocre, and for example farming flail conversions were more sucessful. Yet converted farming flails have been pushed into background by far less historical 'war flails', while for scythes, opposite is the truth, the real successful war scythes being pushed into the background by militarily far less sucessful farmer scythe.
Thus I think the idea of a scythe as a deadly weapon has far more to do with symbolism of Death, reaping the souls, than with the real historical military use in wars.
Scythes are the weapon of Peasant Revolts
They aren't bad weapons! As good as a sword - no, not really. But they're good weapons! An average farmer was perfectly capable of using one with practiced expertise (because they used them day in and day out), and they were sharp and kept in good condition. They had decent range if you weren't using a hand scythe, and if you were using one of those, then you were basically using a wicked knife. And, most important, a traditional scythe just had a very odd angle of cut, which the standing army wasn't trained against. A knight in full plate would cut down scythe-wielding farmers like stalks before a ... well, a scythe. But a lord's militia in leather armor with spear or short swords? They'd be in trouble, especially when you consider that they weren't trained against the scythe's odd angle of cut, but were in fact trained against normal weapons. And that's not even getting the variant which is the war scythe, which are very good weapons. (Link is to Shadiversity, fantastic content.)