Rytex on Jan 12th 2018 at 8:07:31 AM
Last Edited By:
Rytex on Jan 15th 2018 at 10:15:14 AM
Page Type: trope
In a Staring Contest, two people lock eyes and stare at each other for as long as possible without blinking. The one who blinks first is the loser. In a Game of Chicken, two people get in vehicles and race towards each other at top speed. Like the staring contest, whoever backs down first is the loser.
Which brings us to this more metaphorical interpretation. Rather than literal games of chicken or staring contests, this is when two or more characters find themselves locked in some sort of competition (not necessarily a game), be it for fun or with some kind of actual stake, and attempt to just out-do each other until the other(s) all back down.
Film - Live-Action
- In The Dark Knight, the Joker continues to up the ante with his scale of crimes in the hope of getting Batman to take off his mask and reveal himself to the public, or making other heroic characters fall. A good portion of the film involves the lengths that this "game" goes, including Batman's allies taking bullets or turning themselves in for him to keep Batman from giving in, but the Joker succeeds when he kills Rachel Dawes and sends Harvey Dent over the Despair Event Horizon, unleashing Two-Face on Gotham. Batman continues the game to the very end, taking the blame for Harvey's murders, all so that the Joker would not win.
- The Prestige follows two rival magicians attempting gradually more dangerous tricks to scare each other into backing down.
- In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Tien/Tenshinhan notes that after several episodes of antagonizing Vegeta, it's become a game between the two of them. Tien will continue to antagonize Vegeta, and if he can get Vegeta to attack/kill him, Vegeta will have blinked. If he can't get Vegeta to do that, he simply continues antagonizing Vegeta, which he clearly enjoys doing.
- In Sword Art Online Abridged, Kirito and Asuna get married, and both seriously regret it. Rather than talk it out, they both get into a contest to try and make the other "blink" first by taking on as many children as possible in the hope of overwhelming each other. The "game" never finishes due to Yui's arc, and they eventually talk it out.
- A common invocation involving British Royal Guards (or expies thereof). People (usually tourists) will walk up to them and try all manner of actions or phrases to get them to laugh or break composure. Anything short of laying hands on them is usually fair game. More often than not, they fail.
- Auctions. All about people trying to outbid others on how much they will pay for a "lot." The game of this one is to bid enough to get others to back down, while still keeping it as low as possible. Ofttimes it will come down to two or three people who continue to raise the price until one of them stands down.
- Liar's Dice, where players take turns trying to correctly bid how many dice of what face there are, while also trying to bait their opponents into calling their bluff, or trying to bluff their opponents without them calling it.
- The card game "BS", where players take turns sliding cards facedown into a pile and saying how many of what face value the cards are. The catch here is that if someone's bluff is called, or a called bluff is incorrect, they have to take the entire pile, which turns the game into a multi-faceted staredown of who can bait their opponents into blinking as well.
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