Created By: MoPete on August 29, 2012 Last Edited By: MoPete on January 15, 2013
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Kicking My Own Butt

A Mirror Match Taken to the Next Level.

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Strong Bad: Man, man, we should start putting those Homestar Vs. Homestar fights on pay-per-view. Instant classics!

This isn't a case where you're fighting an evil twin or a clone of yourself, but you are literally fighting yourself. As in, you're hitting yourself or otherwise trying to inflict damage to yourself.

Sometimes this is used to set up a Wounded Gazelle Gambit, or for Playing the Victim Card.

Compare Mirror Match.

Examples:

Film
  • Fight Club: The narrator blackmails his boss into paying him for no work, and to seal the deal beats himself up in front of the boss, threatening to blame him for the beating if he doesn't comply, and of course in order to show how serious and nuts he is.
  • Liar Liar: Fletcher Reede desperately needs an excuse to get out of a court case since he's stuck with a curse so that he Can Not Tell A Lie. After hurting himself in the bathroom (by knocking his head against the wall), he comes up with the idea of beating himself up to get out of the case.
    Fletcher Reede: I'm kicking my ass! Do you mind?!

Live-Action TV
  • Malcolm in the Middle: Dewey hits himself so Lois will think Reese did it and ground him.
  • In a sketch from a Monty Python live stage show, Graham Chapman plays Colin "Bomber" Harris, a wrestler who goes up against...Colin "Bomber" Harris.
  • Night Gallery: In "The Hand of Borgus Weems", Peter Lacland smashes his own hand because he believes it belongs to Borgus Weems.
  • The Office: As Dwight is giving a martial arts demonstration, Jim states that "the only one who can defeat you is yourself", which leads to Dwight trying moves on himself.
  • Saved by the Bell: Screech wrestles himself in order to get out of a match with another character.

Web Animation
  • The quote above comes from the Strong Bad Email strong badathlon, where one of the events is "Greco-Roman Homestar Crud-Out-Of-Beating." The reigning champion is none other than Homestar, who is shown beating the crud out of himself.

Western Animation
  • In the Regular Show Episode Rigby's Body, after eating too much junk food, Rigby's body turns on him, and he ends up fighting himself until his body rips Rigby's consciousness out.
  • In The Fairly Oddparents episode Movie Magic, Sylvester Calzone criticizes Timmy's Amateur Movie, to which Timmy retorts, asking if he's some kind of critic. Since Sylvester had built an image of being a "Critic Punching Movie Star," he punches himself out, and throughout the rest of the episode, can be occasionally seen in the background continuing to punch himself.
  • Comes up several times in The Amazing Worldof Gumball.
    • In The Ghost, Gumball ends up in a fight with himself as he's trying to get Carrie to stop possessing him and using his body to go on eating sprees.
    • In The Refund, Gumball repeatedly slaps himself in order to pressure Larry into giving him a refund. It doesn't work.
    • In The Banana, Banana Joe's attempt to attack Gumball and Darwin results in him slipping and bruising himself. Knowing they'd be seen as bullies if anyone saw this, Gumball and Darwin proceed to beat themselves (and each other) up to make it look like it was an even fight.

Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • August 29, 2012
    TonyG
    • The Office: As Dwight is giving a martial arts demonstration, Jim states that "the only one who can defeat you is yourself", which leads to Dwight trying moves on himself.
    • Liar Liar: Because he Will Not Tell A Lie, Fletcher can't make up an excuse to get dismissed from a case, so he goes to the restroom and starts beating himself up so that he can have an excuse.
  • August 29, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Are you sure we don't have this? I coulda sworn I saw the following somewhere. But if not:
    • In Fight Club, the narrator blackmails his boss into paying him for no work, and to seal the deal beats himself up in front of the boss, threatening to blame him for the beating if he doesn't comply, and of course in order to show how serious and nuts he is.
  • August 29, 2012
    NimmerStill
    If we were still allowed dialog titles, Fletcher's "I'm Kickin' My Ass" would be a great title. As it is, maybe "Kicking One's Own Ass"? Also, a dialog reminder of "I'm kickin' my ass. Do ya mind?" wouldn't hurt for the example itself.
  • August 29, 2012
    MoPete
    Does this one count?

    • In Kid Icarus Uprising, in one chapter, Pit wakes up and realizes that his mind is inside a ring for some reason, and if someone picks it up and puts it on, he can control their body. When controlling Magnus, Pit finds his own body and fights it until it's weak enough that he can go over and put the ring on it, getting back in control of his own body.

    Sadly, no, this one doesn't count. This trope is when someone beats themselves up with their own body.
  • August 29, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • In a sketch from Monty Python's live stage shows, Graham Chapman plays Colin "Bomber" Harris, a wrestler who goes up against...Colin "Bomber" Harris.
    • Saved By The Bell: Screech wrestles himself in order to get out of a match with another character.
  • August 30, 2012
    Arivne
    When creating a heading for the work type, don't enclose it in double single quotes, as this puts it in italics.

    ''{{Literature}}'' -> Literature

    Instead, put it in Big Caps like so:

    [[AC:{{Literature}}]] -> Literature

    I have altered the example list to correct this.
  • August 30, 2012
    MoPete
    I think the Homestar example's a Parodied Trope.

    • Parody or otherwise, it's still a straight example of the Trope in question.
  • August 30, 2012
    polarbear2217
    In the Night Gallery "The Hand of Borgus Weems", Peter Lacland smashes his own hand because he believes it belongs to Borgus Weems.
  • August 30, 2012
    TonyG
    On Malcolm In The Middle, Dewey hits himself so that Lois would think Reese did it and ground him.
  • August 30, 2012
    NimmerStill
    There's actually another spoilery example from Fight Club; It turns out that the narrator's first fight with Tyler was, of course, really a fight with himself.
  • August 30, 2012
    MoPete
    • Real Life: Older brothers and sisters routinely torment their younger siblings by grabbing the sibling's arm and forcing them to to hit themselves, all the while saying "Stop hitting yourself!"

      • That would probably be a different trope. This is more meant to be the trope where someone hits themselves because they want to for some reason, like to set up a Wounded Gazelle Gambit.
  • August 30, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In the film Looper Joe (Bruce Willis) goes back in time to talk to his younger self (Joseph Gordon Levitt) and has a fight with himself. (Actually, reading the other wiki's recap of the film, the fight between him appears to be the main plot of the movie; but not having seen it I wouldn't know for sure.)

    ^^^^^@Mo Pete re above replies: don't edit someone else's reply, it's considered rude. Make a new reply saying "@ [whoever] re [whatever]" or use up arrows (like ^^^^^) or something like that. And a Parody example can't be a straight example, by definition.
  • August 30, 2012
    MoPete
    @randomsurfer Wouldn't that one be more a case of I Hate Past Me?
  • August 31, 2012
    Arivne
    MoPete/OP: Twice up above you edited someone else's post to respond to it.

    When you edit another troper's post, the system puts your name on the post and erases the name of the original poster. This is considered rude.

    Instead, make a new post that references the post you're responding to.
  • August 31, 2012
    MoPete
    @Arivne: I have picked up on that now. I apologize. I intend to.
  • October 11, 2012
    Chernoskill
    In Fightclub (as stated in the OP), this is also the case for every other instance where the character is beaten by "Tyler Durden" (in front of the bar and in the final fight).
  • October 11, 2012
    NimmerStill
    • In Battlestar Galactica Reimagined, the cases where Head Six seems to the audience to slam Baltar into walls and mirrors probably count, at least to In Universe observers and to what his physical body is doing.
  • January 10, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Would something like Looper count, where he's fighting himself from the future (or past, depending on which "he" you want to look at)?
  • January 10, 2013
    Chernoskill
    Note that the whole of Fight Club is basically this trope, not only the office sequence.
  • January 12, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Quantum Leap: The Evil Leaper scratches her own face and tears her clothes to make it look like the mentally challenged man Sam leapt into tried to rape her.
  • January 12, 2013
    peccantis
    So... basically just Self Harm For Any Reason?
  • January 15, 2013
    SharleeD
    • A perp on one of the CSI shows smacked his own forehead into the interrogation-room table, thinking he could claim police brutality by his interrogators. The cops just laugh, pointing out that he'd also have a palm-shaped bruise on the back of his head if someone pushed his head forcibly into the tabletop, so he gave himself a beatdown for nothing.
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