Open Shirt Taunt
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. Alternatively, he doesn't really believe the other will harm them
, or is at least confident that the blow won't be fatal. Or he just wants to Face Death with Dignity
. Or it's a case of Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred
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.
Anime & 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.
- In Creature Tech, the last fight between Dr. Ong and Dr. Jameson ends with Ong baring his chest for Jameson to strike him. It's a Batman Gambit and it works. Jameson gained his powers for this fight from an alien symbiote, and Ong has figured out that the symbiote is an intelligent creature that would much rather bond with a moral host than an evil one. When Ong bares his chest, Jameson rips his heart out — and the symbiote immediately abandons Jameson (killing him in the process) to bond with Ong and save his life.
- One Sergio AragonÚs cartoon has a man who's due to execution doing this - and revealing a tattoo of himself mooning his executors.
- In Beowulf, our hero -now a king and becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the world- goes the whole-hog of taking off his armour, throwing away his sword, and ripping open his tunic to bear his chest to an enemy warrior, all the time telling him to kill him. The last time he yells 'Kill me', it doesn't seem so much a taunt, as a plea.
- 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!!"
- In the 1983 movie of The Pirates of Penzance, The Pirate King (Kevin Kline) does this in the scene before the "Paradox" song.
- In the How I Met Your Mother episode "Bagpipes", during Robin and Barney's fight over dirty dishes, Barney hands Robin a (butter) knife and then rips his shirt open.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After yet another double-cross Buffy turns up at Spike's crypt determined to stake him once and for all. A pissed-off Spike rips off his shirt to expose his manly body and tells her to Get It Over With, whereupon they start making out passionately. Cue Daydream Surprise Catapult Nightmare as Spike realises he's fallen in love with his Arch-Nemesis.
- In the Highlander episode, "Blackmail", lawyer Robert Waverly threatened to shoot Lyman Kurlow (Waverly had videotaped Duncan beheading Kurlow's friend/fellow Immortal and had been trying to blackmail Duncan into killing his wife. When Kurlow turned up, Waverly proposed a "Strangers on a Train" murder swap, which Duncan advised him against). Kurlow, being Immortal, just opened his jacket and smiled at him.
- In Farscape Commandant Grayza is all about the cleavage. In an interview with the actress, Rebecca Riggs, she notes that she didn't originally view Grayza's costume as titillating; rather, she thought it was more this trope, baring her vital organs for the enemy to see to show she's not afraid.
- In The Kill Point, at one point during negotiations, Mr. Wolf strips his shirt off in front of the bank to show that he's not afraid of getting shot.
- 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.
- 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.) Unfortunately for a lot of people (her included), she doesn't go through with it.
- In some performances of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney himself does this for Toby at the end after learning that he's killed his own wife not knowing just who she was and basically ruined himself in his quest for revenge on Turpin. It's less of a taunt and more of a way to Face Death with Dignity.
- 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 (rubber) dagger for him to stab him in the chest.
- 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.
- It's said Benito Mussolini did this right before he was shot to death.
- When founder of the LDS church Joseph Smith was once confronted by a would be assassin, he invoked this trope. The man immediately dropped his gun, thinking that Smith must have concealed bodyguards with weapons trained on him.
- Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa also did this during a police strike, daring the strikers to just shoot him and get it done with. This was of course all macho hyperbole, but it worked, given that as of 2016 he is still alive and in office.