"Bones heal, chicks dig scars, pain is temporary, glory is forever."
— Evel Knievel
Normally, getting hurt isn't a very glorious thing. After all, if you were really that cool nothing could touch you, right? Well, sometimes getting hurt is
cool, and serves to prove just how Badass
a character really is.
How someone deals with injury can give insight into the character, and show that their awesomeness incarnate is not just a facade. Executed well, this can also provide a dose of realism into an otherwise unbelievable character. Or, it can simply exist to show just how much punishment the character can take or is willing to take
. May come paired with Major Injury Underreaction
, but just as often the character is in quite apparent pain. Sometimes they try to brush it off, others they're actually incapacitated, but in every case they look awesome for it.
This is probably the reason for Macho Masochism
. May result in Good Scars, Evil Scars
, which, in turn, may hint back at this trope.
To qualify for this trope a character must actually be injured. Shrugging off damage physically may be Made of Iron
or Nigh Invulnerability
. Despite the name, this trope is not limited to males or bullet wounds.
Compare: I Can Still Fight
- Whenever Spike gets shot or falls from a great height in Cowboy Bebop, which is a lot.
- Abraham Sapien, of Hellboy and BPRD, can basically walk off any injury.
- Every injury every sustained by John McClane. Ever.
- Patrick Swayze's character from Road House.
- Boromir in The Fellowship of the Ring. He gets shot in the chest three times... and keeps fighting until he dies.
- Indiana Jones. The man is pretty regularly rode hard and put away wet, yet as the old commercials used to say, he takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
- In The Raid: Redemption, after killing the last of the Machete Gang, Rama collapses in a badly-bruised heap, and only by thinking of his pregnant wife can he find the will to get back up. Which he does, and then he kills more bad guys. The final fight between him, Mad Dog, and Andi is basically a grueling test of endurance.
- The Red Badge Of Courage gets its name from the idea that being shot is proof of manhood.
- Sharpe. He takes enough punishment to kill a lesser Sean Bean character, but always makes it to the end of the novel.
- Among the Axumites in Belisarius Series, getting one's first battle scar is a rite of passage.
- In The Good The Bad And The Mediochre, the only two heroic characters to get shot without instantly recovering due to magic are Joseph and Dhampinella, respectively the most Badass male and female characters in the book. Joseph yells a bit but goes on to bind the wound himself in a way that implies he's used to this sort of thing, while Dhampinella's only concession to showing pain is that she holds that arm uncomfortably for a while.
- Chris Cagle, "Chicks Dig It"
Scars heal... glory fades
And all we're left with are the memories made, oh yeah
Pain hurts, but only for a minute
Life is short so go on and live it
'Cause the chicks dig it
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake gets shot, beaten, thrown off a cliff, breaks bones, hell, there's an entire game mechanic revolving around removing foreign objects from your flesh and not bleeding to death. All it does is reaffirm just how tough as nails this guy is.
- How much damage you've taken changes one of Volgin's lines when Snake is captured. If you've done well, he comments on how Snake takes great care of his body. If you've taken a beating, he comments that a lesser man would be dead by now.
- Certainly hinted at in Aliens Vs Predator 2 with General Rykov.
- Red Dead Revolver and it's Spiritual Successor Red Dead Redemption has both protagonists' sporting several scars on one side of their face.
- In Red vs. Blue, episode 4 of season 9, North was riddled with bullets but is still able to climb out of a Pelican in flight and activate his dome shield to save the ship.
- Without an AI. Which is later revealed to have stood a good chance of killing him on its own.