Created By: Sparkysharps on December 17, 2009
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Mutilation Demonstration

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He's not Emo; he's just immortal.

(Rolling Updates)

Immortality isn't exactly a superpower you can easily prove to the skeptic. Sure, you can say that you're Really 700 Years Old, but whose to say that they'll believe you? And, while you may have that Healing Factor, you need to be injured for that to work. It's not like you can have your arm sliced open on demand just to prove that you-

Wait a sec, you can.

Mutilation Demonstration is the favorite method of Immortals for proving to others their powers. The method is simple: grab a sharp object, slash open you arm (or any other body part), and let your Healing Factor kick in and amaze your guest. In other words, you take Good Thing You Can Heal to its logical extreme, deliberately injuring yourself for the sole purpose of proving you have a Healing Factor.

Expect more cynical fans to note its similarity to the practice of wrist cutting/self-harm synonymous with Emo Teens, especially since immortals tend to complain a lot about their immortality
Examples:
  • This was a Once an Episode trick for Yuta in Mermaid Saga. It even got so common that his girlfriend eventually started predicting when the "I'm really five hundred years old..." speech was about to occur and started inconspicuously searching for the nearest pointy object to use.
  • Happens occasionally in the Baccano!! series, such as in the scene pictured above.
  • Claire in Heroes has been known to do this quite a few times.
  • The Nameless One in Planescape: Torment does this rather often. You can even do it to convince someone not to commit suicide.
  • Albedo from Xenosaga on at least two occasions shows off his immortality through self-decapitation.
  • Jennifer's Body. Jennifer burns her own tongue with a cigarette lighter, and slashes herself in front of Needy when she decides to share her 'secret' with her.
  • Obligatory Buffy example: when the mayor becomes invulnerable in human form, he has a vampire slice his head from the top to his neck. The two side reattach almost immediately.
  • A member of Youngblood once cut off his own arm when asked what powers he had.
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • December 16, 2009
    Earnest
    • Terminator 2 has Connor order the T-800 to show Dyson he really is a robot. The T-800 peels off the skin and muscle of his arm, only to look at the exposed endoskeleton dispassionately.
  • December 16, 2009
    CodeMan38
    Claire in Heroes has been known to do this quite a few times.
  • December 16, 2009
    Game_Fan
    A member of Youngblood once cut off his own arm when asked what powers he had.
  • December 16, 2009
    Magus
    Greed proves he has the Healing Factor in Fullmetal Alchemist by asking a flunky to smash his head in with a giant, pointy mallet.
  • December 16, 2009
    Frodo Goofball CoTV
    Not sure if these count:
    • In Men In Black, K shoots Jeebs mostly to unveil The Maquerade to J.
    • In X Men, Wolverine. In one scene, after Professor X threatens him if he doesn't stop smoking in the lab, he calmly smothers the cigar by burning his hand.
  • December 16, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Immortal Showoff? Invulnerable Showoff?

    A good picture/quote to use would be Claire from Heroes making the video tape where she jumps off the bridge.
  • December 16, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Variant: In Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The T-800 cuts away his arm to show the terrified Dysons that he is a robot.
  • December 16, 2009
    Chabal 2
    It's not done to show immortality, so it might not count, but in one Animorphs, a recently freed Hork-Bajir is suspected of being controlled by a Yeerk (parasitic alien brain-living slug). His response is to ram his arm blades into his skull and pull his head apart to show his own Yeerk-free brain. He has a Healing Factor, but it doesn't make it any less awesome.
  • December 17, 2009
    Arilou
    The Nameless One in Planescape Torment does this rather often. You can even do it to convince someone not to commit suicide.
  • December 17, 2009
    sgamer82
    An episode of Highlander had Duncan doing this to an Immortal that had lost his memory.
  • December 17, 2009
    Lurkerson
    Albedo from Xenosaga on at least two occasions shows off his immortality through self-decapitation.
  • December 17, 2009
    OmegaMetroid
    • One of the Heroes examples needs clarification. To prove to herself that she really can heal, Claire cuts off her own toe and watches her foot grow a new one to replace it.
  • December 17, 2009
    Sceptre
    I personally make it a drinking game when watching Heroes.
  • December 17, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Jennifers Body. Jennifer burns her own tongue with a cigarette lighter, and slashes herself in front of Needy when she decides to share her 'secret' with her.
  • December 17, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Is this limited to specifically wrist slashing?

    Because one of the most important things to know about any superpowers is that "It's better to show than tell." Most immortals (in action & horror series anyway) WILL at some point have to show their ability, whether voluntary or not. I'm guess this trope is at the very least about voluntary demonstrations?
  • December 17, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Obligatory Buffy example: when the mayor becomes invulnerable in human form, he has a vampire slice his head from the top to his neck. The two side reattach almost immediately. I'm pretty sure he demonstrates this again to someone, but I can't remember who or how.
  • December 17, 2009
    Sparkysharps
    ^^ No, it doesn't have to be wrist slashing (although that is by far the most common variation I've seen) but it does have to be an example of voluntary self-injury in order to demonstrate a healing factor.
  • December 17, 2009
    SylviaSybil
    In the Women Of The Otherworld novel Stolen, Cassandra is trying to convince Elena that vampires are real, despite standing in broad daylight and wearing perfect makeup (which she would have needed a reflection to apply). So she takes a ballpoint pen and stabs her own hand. The wound doesn't bleed and heals almost instantly.
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