A subtrope of Body Paint
where, just before a conflict, a character will take some sort of paint — or improvise with something closer to hand like mud or ashes — and apply it just below the eyes. The effect is something like Tribal Face Paint
or army camouflage, and the implication is clear: The Gloves are Off
Sports players, especially in American Football
, often do this before matches. Ostensibly, this is to reduce glare from the sun (this was examined by the MythBusters
, who deemed it plausible) but its hard to imagine that it's entirely
accidental that they're also making themselves look like warriors.
Compare Lipstick and Load Montage
, where ordinary makeup is applied as if
it were a preparation for battle, and Nose Art
, when this is applied to a Cool Plane
Anime & Manga
- The Road Warriors made warpaint fashionable among pro wrestlers, inspiring many clones.
- For a match against the Road Warriors, the Fabulous Freebirds painted Confederate flags on their faces.
- Demolition, Ax and Smash (and later, Crush)
- The Ultimate Warrior
- The Powers Of Pain
- For the 1990 Survivor Series, Sgt. Slaughter's team all wore camouflage paint.
- Played with in the second "That Which Redeems..." arc of Sluggy Freelance during a flashback. Dungeon guard Amospia's boyfriend runs into her home to tell her the demons have invaded, only to discover that she's already wearing her warpaint, which takes hours to put on. He quickly realizes she must have expected the attack, sees through her excuse, and demands to know where her dungeon key is. She gave it to the demons in an attempt to save her boyfriend from the frontlines so they could escape together. To say things didn't go as planned would be an understatement...