Created By: chelonianmobile on November 27, 2011 Last Edited By: 69BookWorM69 on August 9, 2013
Troped

Open Shirt Taunt

Character bares a body part and dares another to wound it.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Title crowner here.


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.

Community Feedback Replies: 74
  • November 27, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    In High Deryni, Morgan, Duncan, Kelson and Cardiel slip into Morgan's Castle Coroth to confront 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.
  • November 27, 2011
    TonyG
    • 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 And 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.
  • November 27, 2011
    PaulA
    • Babylon 5, "Midnight on the Firing Line"
      Londo: We made a mistake, I'm sorry. Here, open my wrists.
      Garibaldi: Centauri don't have major arteries in their wrists.
      Londo: Of course not! What do you think I am -- stupid?

  • November 27, 2011
    billybobfred
    • The Big Bad of Dogma does this, because he's "a fucking demon" and has no reason to expect it to work.
  • November 27, 2011
    MiinU

    Film

    • 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!!"
  • November 28, 2011
    KZN02
    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.
  • November 28, 2011
    Lore
    Not sure if I'm correct, but doesn't this overlap with I Am Not Left Handed in that the character gives himself a deliberate weakness in a fight?
  • November 28, 2011
    Chabal2
    According to some versions, Nero's mother Agripinna confronted the assassins her son sent to kill her by showing her abdomen, telling him to strike the place her son had come from.
  • November 28, 2011
    TBTabby
    In Punch-Out!!, Don Flamenco will sometimes dare you to punch him in the face. If you try, he'll block and counter with an uppercut.
  • November 29, 2011
    NetMonster
    Truth In Television: The baring of the chest as a symbolic move has happened a few times in Real Life historical events.
  • December 16, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Bump.
  • December 16, 2011
    ArtyMorty
    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."
  • December 16, 2011
    cityofmist
    Parodied in How I Met Your Mother: Barney rips open his shirt and screams at Robin to stab him, while they're arguing over the washing-up.
  • December 17, 2011
    aurora369
    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 yelled: Who wants to shoot his Emperor? The soldiers still had fond memories of Napoleon's reign, and immediately defected to his side.
  • December 17, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Peter Pan is Not An Example. Tootles was not daring Peter to harm him (with the intent of fighting back), he was asking Peter to punish him for having nearly killed Wendy.

    Punch Out probably counts, but it should be noted that Flamenco's entire routine consists of dodge-and-countering your moves.
  • December 17, 2011
    surgoshan
    • In an early episode of Buffy, she walks up to a vampire, exposes her neck, and says, "Go on... bite me." That's not the last time she does it, either.
  • January 11, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Bump.
  • January 18, 2012
    Stratadrake
  • January 19, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Am open to title suggestions.

    I think Peter Pan as cited is an example. Fighting back is not a necessary condition for this trope, just baring some portion of the body and inviting an attack. Perhaps the character welcomes the injury thinking it's deserved (see the Ren & Stimpy example), they think it won't happen (see Napoleon and Agrippina), they think it flat out won't work (see Buffy and Dogma), or they have a backup plan or other knowledge (see High Deryni).
  • January 30, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Hats? Examples?
  • January 30, 2012
    KevinKlawitter
    In the 1995 film adaptation of Richard III, the title character does this during his wooing of Lady Anne after she says she wants him dead.
  • February 1, 2012
    KingZeal
    This name is terrible, IMO. The name isn't very indicative unless you stop and think about it, and the word "Bare" tends to have loaded meaning amongst internet lurkers (usually sexual). I think we should pick a new name before launch.
  • February 1, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    ^ "Soliciting a Blow" isn't much better on that score, and "Hit Me Gesture" might be cut for sounding like dialogue. What do you suggest?
  • February 1, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Agree on name being terrible. Maybe Attack Invitation?

    • 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, to provide Fan Service 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.
  • February 1, 2012
    randomsurfer
    I'd read Attack Invitation as a trope with "I dare you to knock this off my shoulder" as a potential example, which this isn't.
  • February 2, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    ^Agreed. It also lacks any allusion the exposure of flesh that this trope requires.
  • February 2, 2012
    chicagomel
    Real life: The legend of how Harry Houdin died is this-supposedly, a guy asked about his boast he could take any punch, and Houdini invited him to try. Apparently whether or not it really exacerbated his problem with appendicitis that killed him or not is less clear.
  • February 4, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Hmm. Did Houdini open/remove his shirt when soliciting the blow? I've heard references to this incident, but I don't know the details.
  • February 5, 2012
    randomsurfer
    As the story goes, he didn't in that particular instance. As a part of his stage act he would let people punch him in the stomach as hard as they could to demonstrate his ab muscles. One time while offstage someone asked if they could punch him and he said yes (which he meant as "yes, as soon as I prepare myself"). The person immediately whalloped Houdini before he was ready, which ruptured his appendix.
  • February 16, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Well, if Houdini opened/removed clothing as a part of the act, it would count. If not, then not.
  • February 16, 2012
    chicagomel
    Oh, ok. Understood.
  • February 16, 2012
    Sackett
  • February 17, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    I'm open for ideas. This needs a nudity/undressing reference plus soliciting a blow, and succinct would be good.
  • February 25, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Bump for hats. Current title stays, since there are no better ideas.
  • February 25, 2012
    Sackett
    No, the current name is misleading and unacceptable. Come up with a better name.

    The problems are as follows:

    1: Insufficiently clear that it's inviting a blow "Dare" alone does not bring to mind the image of a person daring another to strike him. Besides that's not even what this trope usually is.

    2: "Bare" tends to suggest that it's about nudity, when that is not the focus of the trope.

    Now the 2nd issue might be overcome if the name is clear enough in other areas, but the 1st has to be corrected before launch.

    Strike Me Gesture seems the best to be. It's not perfect, but far far better than Bare To Dare. I like alliteration, but alliteration that misleads is not acceptable.

    Bare To Invite A Blow might be acceptable if you insist on including "Bare" in the name, but it stikes me as rather clunky.

  • February 26, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    At last, somebody spoke up.

    Nudity, or some suggestion of it, is part of this trope, partly because of the vulnerability. The offer to the opponent involves demonstrating the likely success of the solicited blow, and demonstrated vulnerability (even if that demonstration is false) adds to the appeal. The gesture signals the offer. Something like Strike Me Strip doesn't quite work because garments need not be fully removed; several examples (Napoleon, Ferdinand the Bull, Richard III, Peter Pan, etc.) involve the character merely opening his shirt.

    BTW I think the Warhammer example is actually a Battle Strip, since it describes a standard practice rather than soliciting a specific blow from one or more specific persons.
  • July 23, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Bump.
  • July 23, 2012
    nitrokitty
    I think this is launch worthy if it just had a better name.
  • July 24, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Yeah, that's why I bumped it again. I'm trying to get the nudity/vulnerability and the blow solicitation into a pithy title, and it's not easy. It also needs to be distinct from Battle Strip, which is done for different reasons and as a general practice rather than as an explicit offer to a particular opponent.

    Strike Me Gesture is too general (though it might do for a supertrope involving this trope and similar behaviours). Same goes for Attack Invitation. And I agree Bare To Invite A Blow is too clunky.
  • July 31, 2012
    MiinU
    bump.
  • July 31, 2012
    randomsurfer
    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. She doesn't go through with it.
  • August 1, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    ^ Thanks. I'll move it to Theatre.
  • August 5, 2012
    nitrokitty
    I think the warhammer example does fit, since it says explicitly that part of wearing skimpy clothes is to dare their opponents to hit them. It overlaps with Battle Strip, but it's not mutually exclusive.
  • August 5, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    I see. You want to call it "some overlap" then?
  • August 6, 2012
    nitrokitty
    ^ Seems reasonable.
  • August 6, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    ^ Right that's done.

    Tell me what you think of this possible mythological example:

    Clytemnestra faces Orestes when he's come back to kill her for taking a lover and killing her husband (Orestes' father Agamemnon). She shows him her breast to remind him of the fact that she is his mother in a last-ditch effort to dissuade him. I don't have a full translation (maybe there are stage directions in a play on this story?), but I think she had an axe in her hand to defend herself, then tried this on her son to make him think twice.
  • September 4, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Bump.
  • September 4, 2012
    KarjamP
    Added "Better Name" tag.
  • September 4, 2012
    Tallens
    The Courtship of Princess Leia has this while a Nightsister is taunting one of the Dathomir witches, opening her robe, revealing shriveled breasts (think female versions of the emperor), and dares the girl, who is apparently her niece, to kill her. She then mocks her for "not being goaded into it."
  • September 5, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    @ KarjamP Thanks, but I'm thinking of launching it as is soon, since nobody seems to be able to improve on the current name in terms of succinctly and accurately summing up this trope. They can't all be perfect, and nothing here is set in stone anyway.
  • November 6, 2012
    Tallens
  • November 6, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Under the Real Life section, this is (at least according to historical tradition) one reason why Roman gladiators didn't wear chest armor in the arena.
  • November 6, 2012
    Momochi
  • July 11, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    @ Tallens Hmm...maybe, though in some cases the shirt in question comes completely off.
  • July 11, 2013
    Tallens
    True, but I think this is what most people think of in regards to this; someone holding a shirt, vest, jacket or whatever open and inviting an opponent to strike.
  • July 11, 2013
    DAN004
    I guess "Bare AND Dare" works better than "Bare to Dare".

    Related to Fisticuffs Boss, btw (when the player is forced to fight a boss with little to no equipment)
  • July 11, 2013
    RedheadedRapunzel
    Baring for the Blow? Accurate. Also sort of sounds like a double entendre.
  • July 12, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ Yes, yes it does. Would someone clutch their pearls and object, d'you think?

    @ DAN 400 I suppose so. I think the original title is from the OP.

    Either way, I still think the nudity has to be part of the title, since the vulnerability of the nudity is key to this trope.
  • July 12, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Changed this Bloodsport to this Bloodsport.
  • July 12, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ TYVM
  • July 15, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    Shall we have a crowner for the name?

    Also, hats, anyone?
  • July 17, 2013
    DAN004
    Crowner plz.
  • July 21, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ Ask and ye shall receive: title crowner here.
  • July 22, 2013
    Tallens
    Well, so far it's even.
  • July 24, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    Three days in, and the current title has a slight edge. Should we give it a full week?
  • July 24, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ you should put the crowner link in the trope description.
  • August 1, 2013
    Tallens
    Still need a couple more hats.
  • August 3, 2013
    Tallens
    This ready for launch then?
  • August 3, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Change the title to Open Shirt Taunt. Then launch plz.
  • August 5, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    Do I have to do a second crowner to actually change the title? That's the idea I got from the crowner instructions.
  • August 5, 2013
    DAN004
    At least change the title first, but don't launch.
  • August 7, 2013
    Tallens
    Now we have to wait for one of them to pull ahead again.
  • August 9, 2013
    Tallens
  • August 9, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    Open Shirt Taunt is ahead by one, and has been for a couple of days, I'll change the name and launch.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=a58r0ty0lrnef4qgbv1haboe&trope=OpenShirtTaunt