A subtrope of Body Paint where, just before a conflict, a character will take some sort of paint -- or improvise with something closer to hand like mud or ashes -- and apply it just below the eyes. The effect is something like Tribal Face Paint or army camouflage, and the implication is clear: The Gloves are Off. Sports players, especially for American Football, often do this during matches. Ostensibly, this is to reduce glare from the sun (this was examined by the Mythbusters, who deemed it plausible) but its hard to imagine that it's entirely accidental that they're also making themselves look like warriors. Compare Lipstick and Load Montage, where the mouth gets painted.
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- In Princess Mononoke, just before the boars attack the mining town, there's a sequence of them using their snouts to warpaint each others' faces with mud.
- In The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, while traveling through the Land of Milk and Cookies, Max spreads blue and pink frosting across his cheeks before charging at plughounds.
- The Na'vi in Avatar, as well as their allies. Tracy even put warpaint around the cockpit of her stolen Black Helicopter.
- In The Lone Ranger, Tonto's Tribal Face Paint is revealed to be this. He first painted it on with ashes in the midst of a Heroic BSOD after his tribe was slaughtered, and has kept it up ever since.
- Tweety Pie daubs on eye black in the locker room during the Lock and Load Montage before the Ultimate Game in Space Jam.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic "Dragonshy", Rainbow Dash prepares to face a dragon by dipping her hooves into a puddle of liquid rainbow and applying it beneath her eyes.
- Sokka does this in Avatar: The Last Airbender, when Zuko's ship is approaching the village. The paint was actually pretty scary; too bad Sokka himself wasn't.
- Done on The Simpsons in that episode where they were parodying Lord of the Flies. Nelson and the rest of the tribe put on warpaint made out of ash before hunting Bart, Lisa and Milhouse.
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