%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1302288249008284600
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
%%
[[quoteright:350:[[Series/{{Heroes}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SelfMutilationDemonstration_1663.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Really, Claire, at the dinner table?!]]

->"'Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.' ''Wheat, eh? There's enough of it, we can afford to waste as much as we want. Like my head, you see!''"
-->-- '''Albedo''', ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}''.

{{Immortality}} isn't exactly a superpower you can easily prove to the skeptic. Sure, you can ''say'' that you're ReallySevenHundredYearsOld, but who's to say that they'll believe you? And, while you may have that HealingFactor, you [[GoodThingYouCanHeal 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''.

Self Mutilation Demonstration is the favorite method of Immortals for proving to others their powers. The method is simple: grab a sharp object, slash open your arm (or any other body part), and let your HealingFactor kick in and amaze your guest. In other words, you take GoodThingYouCanHeal to its logical extreme, deliberately injuring yourself for the sole purpose of proving you have a HealingFactor. Let's hope you also have the superpower not to feel pain.

Sometimes, the empowered individual will ask someone to just HitMeDammit. This is either a stylistic variant of the same thing, or a character is using to mock {{Mook}}s by revealing that [[ShootingSuperman this is one thing they have in common with Superman]], particularly to justify hitting them back to much greater effect.

Not to be confused with SelfHarm.

Compare MachoMasochism, which is more about harming yourself just to demonstrate how tough you are, without the regeneration powers to back it up. Contrast ImpostorExposingTest, which may use a similar action to prove that the character ''isn't'' anything special. See also ImmortalLifeIsCheap, which can occasionally be used by other characters to nonchalantly display another's immortality by hurting them severely.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* This was a OnceAnEpisode trick for Yuta in ''MermaidSaga''. It even got so common that his girlfriend eventually started predicting when the "I'm [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld 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 ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' series.
** Firo uses his [[PullingThemselvesTogether ability to "bleed in reverse"]] as a ''party trick''. Hey, it's better than card tricks.
** Huey does it frequently too, though he tends to use more violent methods like setting himself on fire or ripping open his jugular. It's a good way of testing the witnessing "specimen"'s mental fortitude.
** Melvi performs this discreetly to Firo by biting through his lip as he introduces himself.
* Greed proves he has the HealingFactor in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' by asking a flunky to smash his head in with a giant, pointy mallet. It ''almost'' happens again later, but he waves down the flunky (already readying his hammer) because they don't have that kind of time.
** Lust also rips open her own chest to show [[ColonelBadass Mustang]] and [[BadassNormal Havoc]] her [[McGuffin Philosopher's Stone]].
* ''{{Phoenix}}'' - Masato does this after Phoenix the grants him immortality, first slicing his skin open with a knife, then shooting himself.
* In ''DGrayMan'', there's a scene where Road Kamelot tears her own face off using Allen's anti-Akuma weapon so she can show off her HealingFactor.
* In the [[CoolBoat Queen]] [[NastyParty Camillia]] arc of ''Manga/DescendantsOfDarkness,'' Hisoka stabs himself in the hand to prove to Tsubaki that he is indeed a {{Shinigami}}, and to try to get her to believe him when he says that [[DeadlyDoctor Muraki]] is ''not'' [[LightIsNotGood the angelic hero]] [[RapeAsBackstory she thinks he is.]]
* Ciel does this in differing ways between the manga and the visual novel of ''{{Tsukihime}}''. In the manga she stabs herself through her eye to the squicking of Akiha, and in the VN she slits her own throat to the amazement of Shiki.
* Kira Sakuya from ''AngelSanctuary'' repeatedly injures his arm to prove to his [[spoiler: host body's]] father that he is actually [[spoiler: a soul that has taken over his real son's dying body]].
* Anime/AngelBeats right off the bat in a variety. Otonashi asks Angel(Kanade) to prove him he's dead. She stabs him in the heart. He survives! ....Or not. Now he knows he's dead for sure.
* After [[spoiler:draining Joseph Joestar's blood]], Dio Brando of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' decides it'd be fun to demonstrate to Jotaro just how invincible he now is by casually ramming his finger through his own skull while he taunts him.
* ''Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam'' has Tobia doing this to Sharidon after she attempts to get him to join her Newtype supremacist movement. Tobia responds by [[WouldHitAGirl slugging her to the ground]], then cutting his own arm with a knife and splashing the blood on the ground in front of her before running off. Sharidon gets the message: "The blood is the same; there's no real difference between Newtypes and ordinary humans." It doesn't turn her away from her beliefs, but it does convince her that Tobia is never going to join her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* A member of ''{{Youngblood}}'' once cut off his own arm when asked what powers he had.
* In an issue of ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', an Indian fakir, seeking an audience with a powerful sultan, impresses the palace guards by severing his own hand at the wrist (a wound which, naturally, doesn't bleed) and then reattaching the hand with no loss of function afterwards. Subverted slightly in that [[spoiler:although he's immensely powerful, the fakir isn't immortal: he ''does'' possess a fruit which grants immortality to whoever eats it, but he refuses to use the fruit for himself]].
* There's a vampire comic by the Finnish artist Petri Hiltunen which starts with the vampire holding a pistol while facing his human guest. The human thinks he's going to get shot, but the vampire actually just wanted to prove to his skeptical visitor that he's a vampire - he shoots himself in the head, and the wound disappears in a couple of seconds. To clarify, the man assumes that the vampire is just a crazy person, and is trying to intimidate him with a gun into agreeing that he is what he says he is.
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' - "Contagion" features a man who ''thinks'' he can do this after walking through a plague zone and being unharmed. Turns out being immune to a disease does not translate into being immune from other harm.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/JennifersBody''. 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.
* ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'' has John 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.
* In ''Film/MenInBlack'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mndsvjYhr6Q K shoots Jeebs]] in the face mostly to unveil TheMasquerade to J.
--> '''Jeebs''': You insensitive prick! Do you have any idea how much that ''stings''?
* In ''Film/{{Highlander}}'', when Connor [=MacLeod=] decides to reveal his secret to the love interest, he clears up any lingering doubts about his immortality by stabbing himself in the chest with a dagger.
* In ''The Medallion'', JackieChan's character is made immortal by the eponymous artifact, and tries to prove this to his partner by asking said partner to first shoot (the partner refuses, saying there'd be a ton of paperwork if he discharged his weapon) and then stab him. After he refuses to do ''that'', Jackie stabs himself. On seeing he's unharmed, the partner then takes the knife and ''keeps stabbing him'' in awe of the regeneration.
* Freddy Krueger does this a few times in the ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'' series, mostly just to horrify his victims. In [[Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984 the first film]], for example, he says "Watch this!" before cutting his own fingers off, causing a strange green liquid to squirt from them. Later, he answer's Nancy's "What are you?" by cutting into his own chest, revealing more green pus and what looks like maggots under his skin. In [[Film/ANightmareOnElmStreetPart2FreddysRevenge the second movie]], he emphasizes his "You've got the body, I've got the brain" line by peeling back the skin on his own skull. In [[Film/FreddysDeadTheFinalNightmare the sixth]], he cuts off his fingers (again) while counting the ways people have tried and failed to put him down for good.
* In the first ''Film/{{Wishmaster}}'' movie the Djinn blows his brains out at the heroine's command, from which he automatically recovers, thereby demonstrating two things: he must do whatever she says, and he is not to be gotten rid of that easily. He does concede that it hurt like hell.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* It's not done to show immortality, so it might not count, but in one ''Literature/{{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 [[CrazyAwesome pull his head apart]] to show his own Yeerk-free brain. Tobias, the narrator of that particular book, points out "it's not like it didn't hurt him, either. I could see the pain on his face." He has a HealingFactor, but it doesn't make it any less awesome.
* In the ''WomenOfTheOtherworld'' novel ''Stolen'', Cassandra is [[ArbitrarySkepticism trying to convince Elena (a werewolf) 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.
* In ''InterviewWithAVampire'' Louis remembers when learning about his new attributes, he jammed a dagger in his arm, and before he could pull it out, the body had healed itself around the dagger.
* In the Popol Vuh (Maya mythology) the hero twins use this power to defeat the evil Lords of Xibalba. Xbalanque cut Hunahpu apart and offered him as a sacrifice, and Hunapu rose from the dead. The Lords demanded that the Hero Twins try it on them. The twins did half of the trick...
* In ''Literature/TuckEverlasting'' Tuck, after realizing he's immortal, to test it out he ''shoots himself through the heart''. It passes right through him like water.
* In ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'', a yeti invites Lobsang and Lu-Tze to chop off his head in order to demonstrate the yetis' SaveScumming abilities.
* Miles Hundredlives from ''Literature/TheAlloyOfLaw'' apparently once shot himself in the head with a shotgun to show off his insane HealingFactor.
* The title character of the MediochreQSethSeries, while technically not ''immortal'' and also susceptible to pain, demonstrates his HealingFactor to some villains * In the first book to prove that they will probably not win in a fight and should just back down. He opts to ''blow off his own finger'' and watch it regrow.
* In ''TheDanilovQuintet'' by Jasper Kent, this trope is inverted, when the protagonist sees a vampire's fingers get cut off and they ''don't'' grow back. (It turns out vampires can, with willpower, stave off regeneration. At at the time, several years before the events of the book, it wasn't known that he was a vampire.) Played straight when in the second book said vampire cuts of the same two fingers and lets them grow back, in order to jog the protagonist's memory. The protagonist's son, who at the time is unaware of the existence of vampires, is understandably freaked out.
* [[ThoseTwoBadGuys Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar]] do this in ''Literature/{{Neverwhere}}'' via a knife to Vandemar's hand.
-->''"Oh, Mister Vandemar," [Mr. Croup] said, enjoying the sound of the words, as he enjoyed the sound of all words, "if you cut us, do we not bleed?"\\
Mr. Vandemar pondered this for a moment, in the dark. Then he said, with perfect accuracy, "No."''
* The ghost kids in the ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}'' book ''Ghost Beach'' do this repeatedly.
* Not done to show immortality, but in ''Literature/TheColorOfDistance'' Juna cuts her arm open with a scalpel to show the doctors her healing powers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}''
** Claire, as shown in the picture above, has been known to do this quite a few times. 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. It was more to test how well she can heal, not that that makes it any less crazy.
** Adam, upon finding out about his HealingFactor, starts to mutilate himself just to watch his body heal within seconds.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', when [[spoiler:the mayor]] becomes invulnerable in human form, he has a demon-slaying knight slice his head from the top to his neck. The two side reattach almost immediately. He later catches a letter-opener hurled at him by Angel with his palm, leading to this exchange:
-->'''Angel:''' Can't be killed, but you don't like ''germs?''\\
'''Wilkins''': [[IronicFear Uck, eew, awful things]], unsanitary.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Highlander}}: The Series'' had Duncan doing this to an Immortal that had lost his memory. In another episode it's shown in flashback how he convinced Tessa of his imortality. [[spoiler: He shot himself]]
** Methos does it in another episode, cutting open his palm to demonstrate his immortality to a Watcher he knew.
* In ''Series/BloodTies'', Henry demonstrates his vampiric nature to Vicki by shoving a knife through his hand.
* Daisy did this once in an episode of ''DeadLikeMe''.
* Inverted in ''Series/FirstWave'', when Foster is captured by people claiming to be government agents who know the truth about the Gua. To prove he is really human, the agent in charge lets Foster stab him in the hand, as aliens have a HealingFactor. The hand doesn't heal, convincing Foster. Later, it is revealed that all this was an elaborate alien ploy. In fact, it was difficult for them to create an arm that ''wouldn't'' heal.
* In ''TheGates'', a werewolf slices his arm to reassure his succubus girlfriend that she doesn't need to worry about accidentally hurting him.
* In ''{{Eureka}}'', recently-fired scientist Carl Carlson sticks a knife through his hand to prove to his old boss that he has, in fact, finally created a process for [[HealingFactor spontaneous cellular regeneration]].
* ''Series/TheCollector'': One of the Devil's [[DealWithTheDevil clients]] doesn't remember or believe that she made a deal when the deadline approaches, so Morgan convinced her by cutting himself, showing his [[IncendiaryExponent hellfire-powered]] healing.
* Subverted in ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred'', when Kevin Burkhoff stabs himself in the hand (which heals) to prove that he has created a [[SuperSerum serum that can give people abilities]].
-->'''Diana:''' ''(astonished)'' You've successfully manifested a 4400 ability.
-->'''Burkhoff:''' It's getting there. It doesn't always work.
-->'''Diana:''' ...you just stabbed yourself in the hand.
-->'''Burkhoff:''' Yeah. I was a little worried about that.
* A variation in {{Jekyll}}. During his EstablishingCharacterMoment, an unfortunate teenager is [[MuggingTheMonster threatening Mr Hyde with a knife]], and saying he'll hurt him if he comes any closer. Hyde says "Ya think!?" and slowly stubs out his cigarette on his own palm. This is not to demonstrate healing abilities ([[spoiler: Hyde doesn't yet realise the full extent of his powers]]), and is simply to show how un-intimidated he is, but it is still a demonstration involving self-mutilation.
* Played with in an episode of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' where Clark demonstrates his NighInvulnerability by taking a pistol and firing it several times into his hand. He then drops the expended rounds and shows the other guy his sooty but otherwise completely unharmed hand.
* On an AlternateUniverse episode of ''Series/{{Misfits}}'', [[spoiler: Nathan]] proves to the world that he is immortal by shooting himself in the head and resurrecting on live TV.
* On the pilot episode of ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryCoven'', Queenie shows off her human VoodooDoll abilities (she can injure herself and cause it to appear on other people without harming her) by stabbing herself with a fork in order to injure Madison.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Nameless One in ''PlanescapeTorment'' does this rather often. You can even do it to convince someone not to commit suicide. Or you can have him break his neck just to scare people. You can also make good money by letting a jaded SenseFreak experience a sensation of consequence-free murder.
** [[spoiler:And then, later on, you discover that every time you did that during the game and died, you essentially killed an innocent consequence-free. YouBastard.]]
* Albedo from ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' on at least two occasions shows off his immortality through self-decapitation.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* A variation of this trope is used in ''{{Ever17}}''. [[spoiler:In the Jellyfish Gondola, Tsugumi shows that she has a disease that makes her immortal by killing her pet hamster Chami, which is also infected by the disease. After seeing Chami's shocking sudden death, Takeshi sees an even more shocking sight as the hamster just regenerates so quickly that it looks like he never died after only a minute.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Jurinjo of ''Webcomic/EmergencyExit'' makes a large cut in his arm to prove his healing powers to Jason so that he can [[spoiler:fix Karl's face.]] He still feels the pain though.
* Jin of ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'' uses a variation to show that she is indestructible [[http://wapsisquare.com/comic/screeeee/ here.]]
* Steve Weatherby in ''CaptainStupendous'' does this by [[http://www.captainexcelsior.com/?id=51 stabbing himself in the throat]]
* Retroactively occurs in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''. [[spoiler: [[MonsterClown Gamzee]], at one point, parries [[CatGirl Nepeta]]'s claw attack and decides to scrape it against his face. Later, we learnt that Gamzee is functionally immortal, not because he reached [[PhysicalGod God Tier]] as was initially believed, but because of [[ItMakesSenseInContext literal]] JokerImmunity.]]
* ''WebComic/DragonBallMultiverse'': Done by Cell and Gast Carcolh in one of the minicomics.
* In Lee's first appearance in ''Webcomic/{{SSDD}}'' he stabs himself with a fork to demonstrate what their new implants are capable of to Julian and Tessa.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Kenny ''tries'' this in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' by shooting himself in the head in front of a group of his friends, but because of his immortality's built-in WeirdnessCensor, everyone's forgotten about it by the next day.
[[/folder]]

----