Two characters confront each other in a showdown. Sometimes it's a showdown to the death, but other times, it's something a little less elaborate. The best way to settle it is to see who can endure something the longest, whether it's laughter or even quicksand, or maybe enduring a whole swarm of bees.
Essentially, this is what's known as an Endurance Duel.
Sometimes, it can be just one character who has to endure the danger that befalls him. This can be used to show the character's prowess, which can impress the person who had him endure the danger in the first place.
Compare: Duel to the Death
Anime and Manga
- Tubby was forced to endure the harshness of hunger while on an all-day hike with Lulu and the others in an episode of the Little Lulu anime.
- In Cromartie High School, the toughest badass in the class is decided by seeing who could hold a hot flame on their back the longest.
- In the Dark Tournament of YuYu Hakusho, Yusuke wins his first fight after he and his opponent nearly kill each other, and just decide to Attack! Attack! Attack! until one of them falls.
- In Fairy Tail, Elfman is put up against Baccus, who has a reputation of being Erza's equal in combat. He loses badly until he uses a Lizardman transformation, giving him hard spiked scales over his body. The fight then becomes a test of wills to see who will fall first; Elfman from getting beat up, or Bacchus from having his hands sliced up by the scales. Elfman wins, barely.
- One Piece has a great one where Franky and Senor Pink have a "Manly Battle" of endurance. Senor Pink swims Franky up a building to do a major suplex, but Franky gets up and pounds his face in.
- You Obey turns into a battle between a prisoner and an interrogator to break the other's will.
- The fist fight between George Nada and Frank Armitage in They Live is a long, drawn-out, exhausting experience that is only "won" by the man who has the willpower and endurance to remain (shakily) standing at the end.
- The Hank the Cowdog book, "The Case Of The Deadly Ha-Ha Game".
- In Lords and Ladies, two witches have a competition to see who can stare at the sun longest without blinking or looking away.
- Piers Anthony's Virtual Mode had something like this in the beginning.
- The Outsiders:
"What happened to Shepard?" I asked, remembering Tim Shepard's kid brother. Curly, who was a tough, cool, hard-as-nails Tim in miniature, and I had once played chicken by holding our cigarette ends against each other's fingers. We had stood there, clenching our teeth and grimacing, with sweat pouring down our faces and the smell of burning flesh making us sick, each refusing to holler, until Tim happened to stroll by. When he saw that we were really burning holes in each other he cracked our heads together, swearing to kill us both if we ever pulled a stunt like that again. I still have the scar on my forefinger. Curly was an average downtown hood, tough and not real bright, but I liked him. He could take anything.
- The Trial of the Long Knives in Brisingr, which is fought by making cuts on one's own arms. First one who lacks the nerve to make another cut loses.
- There was an episode of Cheyenne where the titular hero faces off against an indian warrior by seeing who could stand in a pit of quicksand the longest.
- Cougar Town had a comic version of this, with Andy and Bobby forced to look into each other's eyes while "Cat's in the Cradle" plays. First to cry loses.
- Another episode had Jules and Bobby in a "white shirt" standoff. First to get a stain on their shirt loses.
- The Minbari's Star-fire wheel in Babylon 5. The way the Minbari picked their leaders in the past was that the candidates would be placed in a beam of intense heat. The heat would be slowly cranked up. The one who stayed in the beam, risking death for their cause, got to be the winner.
- Comes up from time to time in Survivor; the less contestants that are left, the more likely a given immunity challenge will involve enduring something simple but difficult.
- This Garfield strip had Garfield and Jon seeing who would endure the hotness of each pepper they ate. Garfield lost after eating a Peruvian Death Pepper.
- The whole point of Spank-Offs in the Collar 6 universe.
- There's few real life games like this, like electric shock duel joysticks.
- Staring contests are essentially this.
- A properly conducted Five Test Cricket series played at first class (4-5 days) level will become this.