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Open Shirt Taunt
Character bares a body part and dares another to wound it.
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(permanent link) added: 2011-11-27 08:48:48 sponsor: chelonianmobile edited by: 69BookWorM69 (last reply: 2013-08-09 14:06:17)

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Usually seen with the character unbuttoning or removing a shirt, this trope involves a character baring a vital region of their body to provide an easy target and daring another character to stab or shoot them. In the same manner as a Shameful Strip, the removal of clothing signifies vulnerability and defenselessness. In some cases, the character welcomes the injury thinking it's deserved. More often, the character baring themselves either has a backup reason for the other not to harm them, or is otherwise confident that the blow they're soliciting won't be fatal.

May have some overlap with Battle Strip, in which a character disrobes for ease of movement, displaying Badass credentials and possibly Fanservice; the display may be a kind of taunt directed toward an opponent before actual combat begins.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Bleach. Kenpachi does this for Ichigo in their first encounter. Not like Ichigo's first strike does much since Kenpachi is the soul equivalent of Made of Iron.

Film
  • The Big Bad of Dogma does this, because he's "a fucking demon" and has no reason to expect it to work.
  • Bloodsport has a legendary example that has Frank Dux bait Paco this way, during the climax of the semi finals of the Kumite. Begins with, "Come on! Come on!!"

Literature
  • In the original Peter Pan novel, after Tootles shot Wendy down with an arrow:
    Tootles did not flinch. He bared his breast. "Strike, Peter," he said firmly, "strike true."
  • In High Deryni, Morgan, Duncan, Kelson and Cardiel slip into Morgan's Castle Coroth to retake it from rebel leader Warin deGrey. They secretly watch Warin heal an injured man before confronting Warin and his officers. Morgan informs Warin that he and Duncan can Heal just as he does, and Warin refuses to believe him. Duncan suggests a demonstration of Deryni Healing and volunteers to take the injury to be Healed; he removes his shirt and is shown to have the training scars typical of a nobleman on his pale torso. Duncan's vulnerability is heightened when he tells Warin to choose the weapon and inflict the injury himself to be certain there is no trickery.
  • Happens a couple of times in Redwall. In Salamandastron, Klitch strips off his shirt and dares Urthstripe to shoot him, pointing out that the prisoners Sapwood and Oxeye will die if Klitch or Ferahgo are harmed. In Lord Brocktree, Fleetscut opens his shirt during his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Jukka, shouting that if she kills him instead of coming back to help defend Salamandastron her home will be invaded next.

Tabletop Games
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the gladiatorial Wych cults of the Dark Eldar tend to wear skimpy clothing into combat. This serves a triple purpose: to evoke this trope (it is explicitly stated that one purpose of wearing skimpy clothes is to dare their opponents to hit them), to provide Fanservice for the crowds, and display their unscarred bodies as testament to their combat prowess. The higher up in the rankings you go, the less clothing you typically wear.

Theatre
  • In the original text of Richard III the stage directions explicitly say Richard "layes his brest open" [sic] - that is, he opens his shirt/jerkin for Anne to run him through with his sword, which he has given her for the express purpose after she says she wants to see him dead. (In the 1995 film adaptation of the scene, the title character does this after giving her a dagger.) She doesn't go through with it.

Western Animation
  • In the Disney version of Ferdinand the Bull, the matador wants Ferdinand to fight him, and opens his shirt to dare him to gore him. Then Ferdinand sees the flower tattoo on the matador's chest and licks it.
  • In The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "Stimpy's Fan Club", Ren is so distraught at disappointing Stimpy that he tears open his fur and hands Stimpy a dagger for him to stab him in the chest.

Real Life
  • Truth in Television: The baring of the chest as a symbolic move has happened a few times in Real Life historical events.
    • According to some versions, Nero's mother Agripinna confronted the assassins her son sent to kill her by showing her abdomen, telling them to strike the place her son had come from.
    • Napoleon Bonaparte famously did it after he escaped the island of Elba and stepped on the French soil again. A troop of king's soldiers was dispatched to stop him, but he bared his chest and shouted: "Who wants to shoot his Emperor?" The soldiers still had fond memories of Napoleon's reign, and immediately defected to his side.

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