Well, you can knock me down,
Step in my face,
Slander my name
All over the place.
Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh,
Honey, lay off of my shoes
Don't you step on my blue suede shoes.
Somewhere in between the Law of Disproportionate Response
and Berserk Button
Alice and Bob
are fighting. Alice manages to destroy/ruin/mangle Bob's shirt/sunglasses/hair/whatever. This unhinges Bob and he suddenly goes into Determinator
mode. While the destroyed item is often a Number One Dime
, the reaction usually comes out of the blue.
Not necessarily something to make him go berserk, but to Bob, it's like she kicked the dog
. If Alice was bad before, now she's unforgivable
Can be a Stock Phrase
. Compare Lost Food Grievance
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Anime and Manga
- Grenadier - The manga opens with a bunch of mooks damaging Rushuna's hat. She goes ballistic, shoots them, and gets repaid for it by the dazed goons.
- Tower of God: Androssi Zahard is incredibly protective of
her face "humanity's greatest cultural heritage". When Hwa Ryun aims a kick at it, she loses her cool and quite literally slips up. Of course, we are talking of her face.
- Luffy of One Piece knocks Buggy the Clown into next week after Buggy damages Luffy's straw hat.
- The first episode of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's has Nanoha damaging Vita's Nice Hat. Two minutes later, Nanoha's Deflector Shields are shattered, her Barrier Jacket's destroyed, her weapon's wrecked, and she's been smashed through a building and into a wall, completely defeated.
- In Ranma and Ryouga's first duel in Ranma ½, Ryouga rips a tear across Ranma's shirt. The latter complains about it being his favorite shirt, and the former calls him "a girl" for whining about it in the middle of a man-to-man fight. That was about the last thing Ryouga should have called him. Later on, that same rip gives Ryouga quite an eyeful when Ranma inevitably transforms.
- In the Pokémon anime, Ash used to get rather worked up anytime something would happen to his hat (usually being stolen by a simian Pokémon), but he appears to have since mellowed out about it.
- When Super Boy had to capture the former Intergang boss Steelhand (to have it televised by the WGBS chanel), a bus hits him against a building and causes an explosion. He is unscathed, save for... "Okay, one thing is trying to kill me... but that was my ONLY jacket!" He even brought it again during Tana Moon's interview. Luckily, WGBS agreed to provide him of a supply of jackets as part of his contract.
- The Matrix- Neo kicks Agent Smith in the face, breaking his sunglasses. Agent Smith does not look happy.
- Also in The Matrix Reloaded, a normal agent does this when Morpheus cuts his tie.
- The Pacifier - A slice of bologna covered with mustard falls on Agent Wolf's shirt. He even replies, "this is my favorite shirt," invoking the Stock Phrase part of the trope.
- Mortal Kombat: The Movie- Goro took Johnny Cage's sunglasses and crushed them. Johnny Cage says later "Those were $500 sunglasses, asshole!" before beating the crap out of Goro.
- Undercover Brother. While fighting the title character, Mr. Feather cuts out part of his afro. Undercover Brother calmly says "You mess with the 'fro, you got to go", and proceed to give Mr. Feather a righteous buttkicking.
- Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls: "All right...that's it! This 'White Devil' thing has gone far enough. Nobody! Messes! With The 'DO!"
- He then proceeds to get his butt kicked.
- Spaceballs- Lonestar, Barf, Vespa and Dot are running for Lonestar's ship to get off of Spaceball 1.
Princess Vespa: I ain't shootin' this thing, I hate guns!
[Vespa's hair gets singed]
Princess Vespa: My hair! He shot my hair! That son of a bitch!
[takes takes the gun and takes out upwards of 8 guards]
Barf: Holy shit!
- In the otherwise eminently forgettable horror movie Seven Days To Live, the main character attempts at one point to defend herself from her (driven insane by the movie's evil house) husband by stabbing him in the midsection with a screwdriver. Later in the movie he has her tied up and gagged and one of the things he tells her during his mad ramblings is, "Look at this. You ruined my favourite shirt and a perfectly good kidney."
- Maverick. The title character gets angry (or possibly pretends to) when his shirt is damaged during a fight.
Maverick: All right! My shirt's damaged! Damn! What the hell else bad can happen?
- Used without the Berserk Button in a Star Wars NJO novel. Barabel Jedi Tesar Sebatyne gets shot during a boarding action. Leia asks how bad it is. The response? "Bad... my best robe. This really burns me." Then he laughs and goes to kick all kinds of rear, since that's how Barabels are.
- Used as a Major Injury Underreaction in The Truth, by Otto Chriek. When he's stabbing in the chest by William's father in the climax, his response is irritation that he can't keep his nice shirts clean.
- Wizards and Witches on Discworld love their hats. Don't ever damage them or even ask them to take them off. Not even if a witch is sitting in front of you at the theater.
- In the Discworld novel Thief of Time, the History Monk Sato believes in peace to all living things, UNLESS you touch his hair. Some very luckless (and now dead) individuals find this out at the end of the book.
- Psmith's hat gets destroyed by gun-toting gangsters in Psmith, Journalist. To Psmith, this is just as bad as the fact that one of his friends lost part of his ear in the same shoot-out, and being Psmith, he ends up literally making the guy who hired them pay for the hat.
Live Action TV
- "This is my best top, dammit!" ~ Ace Rimmer, Red Dwarf episode "Stoke Me a Clipper", directly after being fatally shot in the chest, and directly before killing the Nazis responsible. What a guy!
- On Friends, Chandler does this to Joey by pulling on the back of his jersey during their thanksgiving football game.
"That was my favorite shirt!"
"Well, now you have two!"
- Kendra from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "What's My Line Part 2".
"That's me favorite shirt. That's me only shirt!"
- In The Beverly Hillbillies, Mr. Dreisdale's (Jed's Banker who wishes to keep the titular Hillbillies happy) first introduction to Jed Clampet (the patriarch) is when he grabs a ruffian who was holding up the workers at the Clampet estate and asks if he knew of Jed Clampet. Jed's response is along the lines of "I am Jed Clampet and I'd appreciate it if you let go of my Sunday shirt." In a very (uncharacteristically) angry tone.
- Played with in an episode of Get Smart. Max is losing a fencing duel against wheelchair-bound evil mastermind Leadside, until Leadside slices one of the buttons off Max's shirt.
Max: "99 gave me that button! Thanks, Leadside, I needed that!"
Fight continues, but now with Max winning.
Max throws one of Leadside's lackeys out the window.
Leadside: "My mother gave me that henchman! Thank you, Mr. Smart, I needed that!"
- Related, though not quite fitting as it's not a human destroying it: one Seinfeld episode features Jerry lamenting the slow death of "Golden Boy", his best shirt, slowly fading to the point of being unwearable due to overwashing.
- How about The Doctor from Doctor Who? The Ninth doctor had an amazing passion for his black leather jacket, and the Tenth Doctor was very attached to the coat he got from Janis Joplin, always making sure to tell people not to "hurt" it, since well it was a present.
- The Rock was extremely protective of his "$5000 shirts".
- This xkcd strip has a character use a stolen Russian submarine to retrieve his Nice Hat.
- Girly Subverted it here
- In Sluggy Freelance Bun-Bun has this reaction when Aylee accidentally erases his Baywatch tapes. He goes even more homicidal than usual. "I'm going to hunt you all down if it takes forever! I'm going to be the freaking Terminator on your collective butts! I will never stop! Never! NEVER!"
- When Yajirobe breaks Vegeta's armor in Dragon Ball Abridged, Vegeta gets pissed.
That armor was a gift from my father! Yajirobe:
Oh, uh, I'm sorry. I'm sure your father was a great man! Vegeta:
my father! Yajirobe:
Oh, well, I'm sure your father was a total prick then! Vegeta: How dare you talk about my father that way!