[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/armor_8053.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:For [[MultiformBalance instant rebalance]], just add [[Franchise/{{Metroid}} Samus]] [[FanService fanservice]].]]

->'''[[Franchise/MetalGear Solid Snake]]''': Mei Ling, [[Franchise/{{Metroid}} Samus]] took her clothes off!\\
'''Mei Ling''': That's just her in the Zero Suit, Snake.\\
'''Snake''': Without that bulky Power Suit, she's gotten a lot more agile... You know, I bet if I took off all this heavy gear, I could catch her...
-->-- ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Brawl]]''

A subtrope of MultiformBalance, this is where a combatant sheds armor for the sake of speed. Unencumbered by weighty armor, they're less resilient, but much faster. This usually turns them from a MightyGlacier into a FragileSpeedster. In cases of extreme power level or where ArmorIsUseless, this can lead to the armor effectively being a PowerLimiter and[=/=]or invoking the BishonenLine. The ActionDressRip is related, in that they're both sacrificing clothing for mobility, though the circumstances are usually fairly different.

Compare DidntNeedThoseAnyway, which often overlaps with this trope when it comes to video game enemies. If it happens to a boss, it's probably a sign that he [[TurnsRed Turned Red]]. Compare also DisposableVehicleSection; sometimes overlaps when the thing being shed is the vehicle's protective armor.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Anime/GunXSword'', Priscilla does this in her introductory episode when she sheds her HumongousMecha's armor to increase its speed and mobility in a battle with the protagonist.
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam0080WarInThePocket'', the NT-1 "Alex" is outfitted with a special Chobam Armor which makes it incredible resilient, but kills its mobility and agility. Once it's ejected, the suit is ''much'' faster, having been designed to A) not be completely useless with all the extra weight, and B) keep up with Amuro Ray's Newtype reflexes. However, the very Oldtype Christina [=McKenzie=] is out of her league with it.
* Inverted in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamF91''. The titular Gundam's high output and use of its Biocomputer require tremendous cooling, and one solution turned out to be the Metal Peel-off Effect (MEPE). Basically it transfers heat up its outer layers of armor material and dissipates it, with the added effect of playing merry hell on an opponent's visual sensors as [[SpeedEchoes they continue to register a mobile suit where there are only dissipated armor particles]]. (Later versions of the F91 remove this by limiting its output and using more advanced cooling materials, but it's made clear that it ''can'' be restored.)
* In ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam'', [[{{Eagleland}} Neo-America]]'s [[BoxingBattler Gundam Maxter]] can eject its chest and shoulder armor for improved performance. Its shoulder armor actually mounts on its fists, improving its attack as well.
* The prototype Stark Jegan from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack''-MSV (basically canon mecha designs that didn't make it to the screen) had additional armor and armaments that it could eject in order to increase its speed.
** The one [[BadassNormal Stark Jegan]] that appears in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn'' ejects its missile pods once they are exhausted and becomes noticeably faster, enough to dogfight with the [[LightningBruiser Kshatriya]] without much trouble.
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'' the Virtue Gundam can eject most of its armor to become the more maneuverable Nadleeh Gundam. However, the Nadleeh was not intended as a combat unit - as most of its capacitors and weapons are in its armor, it's [[ClippedWingAngel much weaker than Virtue and never used in battle except as a last resort]].
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamIronBloodedOrphans'', Mikazuki shed Gumdam Barbatos' heavy armor and overclocks it in order to defeat Graze Ein.
* Chirico does this in the [[{{Anime/ArmoredTrooperVOTOMS}} Big Battle OVA]], shedding a full sixth of a standard Scopedog's weight off to create the Light Scopedog custom unit. (This sort of customization is also pretty standard in the setting.)
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure Part 3'', Jean-Pierre Polnareff's stand, the knight-like Silver Chariot can shed its armor for a more organic, much faster form.
* A power limiter example rather than a simple speed boost, but in one episode of ''Anime/YuGiOh'', Joey talks about how his card "Gearfried the Iron Knight" really wears its armor to control its own power, before removing that armor with a spell card to transform it into the powerful "Gearfried the Swordmaster."
%%* [[{{Badass}} Lord Boros]] from ''Manga/OnePunchMan'' is a power limiter example. His armour channels his power and when it's broken by Saitama's [[MegatonPunch punch]], his power goes out of control.
* In ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'', Bui's armor is used as a PowerLimiter. Before he takes it off he's a ponderous MightyGlacier, but upon shedding it he's a LightningBruiser and now capable of flight.
* ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'': During the battle with the Juppongatana, Hiko Seijuurou tells the giant Fuji to lose the armor because, though it protects him, it restricts his movements. Hiko then {{curbstomp|Battle}}s him anyway.
* Fate Testarossa from the ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' franchise is already a FragileSpeedster, but in ''[[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS StrikerS]]'', she adds the "True Sonic Form" to her armor, which essentially trades whatever meager defense it still provided for ''another'' speed boost. Her enemy at the time notes that she can be killed with a single blow in that form--but fails to take into account that you can't hit someone who moves so fast you can't ''see'' her.
* In ''LightNovel/FateZero'', Saber discovers during her fight with Lancer that his weapon can ignore magical objects (like her armor), so she removes it to gain a boost in speed with little cost since it wasn't actually protecting her. [[spoiler: Which he'd planned for, he actually had a second weapon that causes much more dangerous wounds but could be blocked by armor.]]
* In ''Manga/BreakBlade'', the [[AncientArtifact ancient]] [[HumongousMecha golem]] ''Tyrfing'' goes into battle wearing enormous plates of bolt-on armor, which only it is strong enough to carry. If those become too damaged to help anymore, Rygart drops them and gets about 200% faster.
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', the [[TheJuggernaut Armored Titan]] is able to go from a MightyGlacier to a (relative) FragileSpeedster by shedding the armor at its joints. This grants it increased mobility and speed, but creates an AchillesHeel that soldiers are already trained to exploit. As such, doing so is a risky gamble.
* In ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', when King Kai tells Goku to chase and catch his pet monkey to get acquainted to his home's gravity, which is much higher than that of Earth, Goku sheds his weighted training gear to better do so. After a while, King Kai tells him to put it back on, telling him that the other Saiyans-- who he's here to prepare to fight-- use the same gear while training in even ''higher'' gravity.
* In ''Anime/DragonBallGT'', Nouva Shenron discards his armor and his already impressive speed skyrockets.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'': Although he doesn't shed actual armor, Rob Lucci's use of the Life Return technique is essentially this trope. Using the technique in his half-leopard hybrid form, he turns his bulky and resistant body into a much slimmer form. What he loses in power and defense, he gains in agility and speed.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* A downplayed example, at the climax of ''Film/ThreeHundred'', Leonidas discards his shield and his helmet both to lull his enemy into a sense of security and give him the mobility he needed [[spoiler: to have a DefiantStoneThrow at the Persian king and wound him before Leonidas and the rest of the Spartans are killed]].
* In ''Film/ManOfSteel'', at the film's climax, Zod sheds his PoweredArmor. This allows him to gain FlyingBrick powers by exposing him to the Earth's atmosphere, giving him the ability to fly thus turning him from a MightyGlacier to a LightningBruiser, as his the exposure also gives him both SuperStrength and SuperToughness that compensates for the loss of his armor.
* ''Film/FirstKnight'': as part of the celebration of King Arthur's betrothal to Guinevere, several able-bodied young men tried braving the Gauntlet (a mechanical obstacle course). Everyone who went through the Gauntlet wore heavy protective padding, and promptly got pushed off the Gauntlet. When Guinevere agreed to give a kiss to the first man to clear the Gauntlet, Lancelot immediately braved the Gauntlet, but without the padded armor. Needless to say, he skated through the contraption, although he opted not to kiss Guinevere.

* ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'': ''The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels'' says that Rebel engineers would frequently strip off hull plating and extra weight from the Y-Wing in order to give it extra speed for some types of operations.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Parodied in the zombie episode of ''Series/{{Community}}''. At the climax, Troy dons his Halloween costume: a cardboard version of the power loader from ''Film/{{Aliens}}''. While it does give him a little bit of protection from the [[TechnicallyLivingZombie Technically Living Zombies]], it also gives them more to grab onto and slows him down. He quickly sheds it and wonders why he thought that it would be a good idea.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E8ColdWar "Cold War"]] Skaldak sneaks out of his Ice Warrior armor, gaining not just speed but more importantly maneuverability and stealth, allowing him to crawl around in ducts and attack people unexpectedly.
* Shurikenger from ''Series/NinpuuSentaiHurricaneger'' (and his American counterpart, the Green Samurai Ranger from ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm''). In their default morphed form, they can be seen wearing some sort of armor. However, they can remove the armor to go into their SuperMode, which granted them - among a new visor and a samurai saber - extra speed. Similarly, the mecha Senpuujin/Storm Megazord can do a similar transformation into its Lightning mode, trading its bulky frame for a sleeker, quicker form that however can only last for a few minutes.
* Occurs a few times in ''Franchise/KamenRider'':
** In ''Series/KamenRiderKabuto'', all Kamen Riders initially transform into a bulky Masked Form, which can shed its armor with the command "Cast Off" to become the sleek and [[SuperSpeed super-fast]] Rider Form.
** In ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'', Accel's Trial SuperMode has sleeker and less bulky armor to go with its SuperSpeed ability.

* A variant in ''Franchise/{{BIONICLE}}'': During the Bohrok arc, the Toa discovered armor suits called "Exo-Toa" that boosted their durability and physical strength. However, they soon discovered this came at the cost of reduced elemental powers, and ended up shedding the armor in order to defeat the Bahrag queens.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** ''Videogame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' and ''Videogame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' have a milder example, with Iron Knuckles gaining movement speed after losing their armor, but not attack speed.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', once you remove all of a Darknut's armor, it casts aside its {{BFS}} ([[ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks By chucking it at Link, mind you]]) and draws a longsword, making both its movement and attack speed much higher. They do the same thing if you damage one enough in the Smash Run mode of ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros for 3DS''
* ''VideoGame/{{Pokemon}}'':
** The move Autotomize causes the user to shed part of its body armor in order to gain speed. This raises speed by two levels and also lightens the user.
** The move Shell Smash is inspired by this trope. All of the user's defensive stats drop by one, but their offensive stats (including speed) increase by 2.
** The ability Weak Armor represents this similarly. Every time a Pokemon is hit with a physical attack, its defense drops a stage, but its Speed increases one. Its Japanese name Broken Armor makes it even more apparent.
** Shelmet and Karrablast exhibit this when they evolve. They only evolve when one is traded for the other; effectively, mid-trade, Karrablast swipes Shelmet's metal shell. Karrablast slows down and becomes the MightyGlacier Escavalier, while the newly-unencumbered Shelmet evolves into Accelgor, the second fastest non-legendary non-Mega Pokemon ever released.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'': Samus sheds her PoweredArmor and wears a skin-tight suit. Zero Suit Samus, as she is thus called, is much faster and lighter.
* In ''VideoGame/GodOfWarIII'', Hercules is decked in full armor that makes him move slowly, which Kratos knocks off bit by bit. When the armor's gone completely, Herc becomes much faster, but can be defeated in only a few more hits.
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', heavy armor offers the best protection, but is cumbersome and loud. It's not uncommon for players to don armor in close combat and then stash it in [[HammerSpace their inventory]] when moving across the landscape or sneaking.
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManX2'', if you remove Crystal Snail's protective shell with Magnet Mine, he'll move quickly and wildly around the arena until he gets hold of the shell again.
* Wild Wuerger from ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration''. As part of its finishing move it sheds its armor and reveals a pair of bladed wings, with which it launches [[AirJousting a series of blindingly-fast attacks]]. One of Arado's possible lines when using this maneuver is even a ShoutOut to ''Series/KamenRiderKabuto''.
* In ''VideoGame/VirtualOn Oratorio Tangram'', Raiden can sacrifice 90% of its health and all of its V-Armor in exchange for a massive boost to speed.
* In ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies 2: It's About Time'', the Pharaoh Zombie is initially the slowest zombie in the game since it's wearing its sarcophagus, but that makes him one of the toughest with an insane amount of health, immunity to being paralyzed, and the fact it can survive an explosive plant, which are usually a OHKO. Once it takes enough damage, the sarcophagus breaks and while he still has a ZombieGait, he's one of the fastest zombies in the game.
* ''VideoGame/LittleFighter2'': Louis, who wears full body armor, is one of the slowest characters in game. However, by executing a specific key combination he will eject his armor off his body and become Louis EX, ''the fastest'' character in game.
* In ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'', the Great Sacred Treasure used in the FinalBattle combines this with TransformingMecha. It starts by shedding a few weapons in transformation to Pursuit Mode. When [[spoiler: [[BigBad Hades]]]] bombards it, in morphs into the more naturally controlled Mech Armor Mode. When [[spoiler: Hades]] breaks off the top half, the two primary jet engines reattach into Ultra-Light Mode. [[spoiler: When Hades completely smashes the thing, Pit salvages its major cannon to deliver the Final Strike.]]
* In ''VideoGame/SpacePiratesAndZombies'', players can have their ships jettison their armor plates to increase their speed.
* In ''VideoGame/ShiningForceResurrectionOfTheDarkDragon'', promoting Zuika to the Terminator class gives him a chitinous armor. When his health drops below 30%, the armor breaks, dramatically increasing his movement speed and replacing his normal attack with a FlashStep strike that has increased range and deals double damage.
* In ''VideoGame/RobotechBattlecry'', you can choose to pilot an armored version of any given Veritech fighter in multiplayer--you start in your humanoid HumongousMecha mode and are forced to stay that way due to the heavy armor and numerous missile pods installed on your legs, chest, and shoulders disabling the Veritech's ability to [[TransformingMecha change modes]]. This leaves you in the slowest possible form, as the additional armaments and protection hamper the Battloid mode's mobility, but provides an exceptional defense boost as well as a ''lot'' of [[MacrossMissileMassacre missiles to throw around]]. In an emergency, however, you can execute the 'purge' command, which ejects all that extra armor and weaponry, reverting the Veritech to its standard model and re-enabling transformation.
* Played with in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles''. General Jaeger's tank the Lupus has extra armor plating, slowing it down. The speed it gains after they're destroyed isn't a "boost" so much as it finally being able to go its ''regular'' speed. Its no less durable than a heavy tank without them either. The only real drawback being that the radiator(every tank's weak spot) is finally exposed.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/KaijuAGogo'' with one of Ginormasaurus's tier 2 abilities, which gives a boost to armour in exchange for reduced speed.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'', Chroma can use the Effigy spell to animate his pelt into a fire-breathing dragon[[note]]or icebreathing, or lightningbreathing, or toxinbreathing, depending on your setup[[/note]]. As he's no longer wearing the pelt, this causes his Armor stat to drop but boosts his running speed.
* In ''VideoGame/XenobladeChronicles'', Dunban's skill trees contain abilities that increase his Agility and Evasion if he isn't wearing armor. This leads to the [[LethalJokeCharacter surprisingly deadly strategy]] fans term "[[NakedPeopleAreFunny Naked Dunban]]".
* Overlaps somewhat with DisposableVehicleSection in ''VideoGame/SpyHunter''. Once the Interceptor is reduced to 25% of its maximum health (or on player command in the sequels), it turns into a motorcycle. The two-wheeled Interceptor is lighter and faster, with better handling and acceleration, but loses a significant portion of its protective body panels, its [[MagneticWeapons Rail Gun]], [[NitroBoost Turbo Boost]], and all of its defensive weapons.

* ''Webcomic/ExterminatusNow'' has the team explain to a scientist that armor would slow them down and only be useful at close range. And if they let demons get into close range, they're dead, armor or not.
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Elan hears that taking off heavy armor increases speed. Not understanding that clothing and light armor have no movement penalties, Elan concludes that he'll obtain maximum speed by [[FullFrontalAssault stripping completely naked]].

* UsefulNotes/WorldWarII:
** In 1943 the Royal Air Force mounted an AirstrikeImpossible on several dams in Germany, codenamed Operation Chastise, which was later made into the book and film ''Film/TheDamBusters''. The preparations for the raid included removing armor plating and the amidships dorsal gun turret from the Avro Lancaster bombers used in the raid, in order to save weight and gain back some of the speed they'd lose by carrying the raid's purpose-built 10-ton bomb underneath.
** Similar changes were made to the "Silverplate" B-29 Superfortresses that were designed to drop the first atomic bombs.
** The Doolittle Raid took this UpToEleven, stripping most of the weapons, armor and bombs out of the B-25 to allow an army medium bomber to fly off a navy carrier.
* While not armor, this is the theory behind the use of drop tanks. They allow fighters (and the occasional light bomber) to carry additional fuel for extra range, then [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin drop them]] to decrease weight and drag for better speed and maneuverability.[[note]]Hopefully after the tanks are empty...[[/note]]
* A Spartan saying admonished soldiers to "come back with or on your shield," defying this trope. Spartan shields were large and sturdy enough to carry a human body, and thus they were extremely cumbersome; to run at full speed (i.e. to retreat from a battle), a soldier would have to throw away his shield. Hence the command to "come back with your shield," i.e. victorious, "or on it," i.e. dead.
* Knights on foot. If the knights were ordered to fight dismounted, they usually shed their greaves and sabatons in order to gain more agility and mobility. Some also wore lighter but more mobile brigandine cuirasses instead of plate cuirass, or left the back plate away altogether, insisting they would never turn their back to the enemy anyway. Since the foot combat with knightly weapons such as two-handed sword or poleaxe requires very much agility, this is a JustifiedTrope.
* A variant; Knights or similar warriors would sometimes remove one of their gauntlets (or, in the event that they had a very well designed set of gauntlets, just the plating, leaving a minor but still present defense on the hand) before a duel if they thought that they could use the extra agility of a free hand more than the protection of a gauntlet. Though it did not give them speed, it permitted more fine control of sword, which could make stabbing between the plates of an armoured opponent easier. This was not done in the middle of a duel or on the battlefield, but was a matter of preference and combat style in preparation of a duel.
* In American football, there has been a recent emphasis on slimming down, both in terms of padding and for the players themselves. Modern shoulder pads are sleek and slim, compared with the enormous pads of the 90s and earlier. And a lot of players are cutting weight in order to be faster in today's quick-hitting, pass-heavy game. Runningbacks are now better off if they're quicker and better able to run pass routes, and there aren't a whole lot of "battering ram" backs anymore. Offensive and defensive linemen are still big, but there's more of an emphasis on maintaining an athletic build rather than carrying around a bunch of dead weight.