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Blinded by Rage

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"Pissing Punchinello off was a dangerous game, but when people get mad, they make mistakes. I should know. That's where I wanted Punchinello — mad enough to trip over his own feet, preferably into a grave."

A subversion of You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry and Unstoppable Rage, this trope is when you want and actively try to make your opponent angry, because they can't fight or perform as well when driven by rage. How it usually works is that as your opponent gets angrier, his attacks will be stronger and more savage. But they also rely less on technique, overall accuracy drops, more mistakes get made, and/or he gets more careless, sloppy, reckless, or tunnel-visioned. This allows you to lead him into traps, get him to hit something he needs to avoid hitting, take advantage of wild swings that leave him wide open, or cause him to waste his ammo or stamina in his fury.

Other advantages to making your opponent angry include keeping his focus on you while your allies sneak up behind him to knife him In the Back or sabotage his plans, or simply make him blurt out something he wouldn't say while he was calm.


A common weakness for The Berserker, where his blind rage proves to be his undoing. May also be caused by a Hate Plague. Characters might also start speaking in Angrish.

A Sister Trope to Revenge Before Reason.

See also Berserk Button, Trash Talk, I Shall Taunt You, and You Fight Like a Cow, which is often meant to provoke this reaction, Villainous Breakdown, when the villains typically lose their composure right before their defeat, Rage Judo, another way to use someone's anger to your advantage, and Moment of Weakness, where getting angry causes a dramatic lapse in judgment. Fury-Fueled Foolishness is similar to this, but without the "intentionally invoked by someone else" angle. In non-physical contexts, this might result in a Misdirected Outburst.

Contrast Tranquil Fury when angering someone makes him more focused and calm instead, and Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!, for when you want them angry so they can show off better.


People who try to get this reaction out of others include the Warrior Therapist (evil version, specifically), the Batman Gambitter, and the Troll.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: When it's finally time to throw down with Aizen, he goads the Visoreds with a particularly spiteful taunt that sends Hiyori flying towards the ex-captain in a blind fury, despite Shinji's protests. Her recklessness gets her swiftly bifurcated by Gin Ichimaru, though it was suicide regardless of whether Gin intervened or not.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku uses this to get an edge against Nappa in Dragon Ball Z, until Vegeta calms him down.
      Vegeta: Nappa! Don't be a fool! Calm down! How do you expect to win when you're so mad, you can't even see straight?!
    • This is Vegeta's overall fatal flaw, coupled with his Pride. When he gets angry enough, he becomes extremely reckless, which leads to humiliating defeats against the Androids and Cell.
    • Cell succumbs to this during his fight with Gohan. He ends up so insane with rage that he resorts to Hulking Out in an attempt to even the odds and only results in making himself a Mighty Glacier, despite having mocked Trunks for doing the exact same thing previously. Trunks even lampshades it, remarking that Cell's so pissed off that he's getting careless and making the same mistake.
      Trunks: He's so focused on power, he's not paying attention to his speed! Cell's getting careless the same way I did. He's gone totally berserk!
    • Played for Drama in Dragon Ball Super: Broly. Broly's iconic transformation isn't brought forth by a simple uncontrollable outpour of ki like before; instead, it is triggered by intense sorrow at Paragus's death combined with the ensuing blind rage. While strong enough to easily pummel Goku, Vegeta, and Frieza, the moment Gogeta gets involved the fight takes a 180 as it becomes clear Broly's blind anger is no match for Gogeta's speed, skill, and power. By the end of the fight Broly is getting beaten to near-death and cannot stop himself from continuously charging Gogeta thanks to this trope, and ends up nearly killed as a result, if it weren't for Cheelai wishing him back to Vampa.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: A literal variant happens in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable during Josuke Higashikata's fight against Rohan Kishibe, though it's ultimately subverted. Rohan repeatedly presses Josuke's Berserk Buttoninsulting Josuke's hair. At the time, Rohan's Heaven's Door stand requires the victim to look at a page of his artwork to actually work, and Josuke fights with his eyes closed in an attempt to avoid this. While Rohan eventually succeeds in eventually making Josuke open his eyes, his Berserk Button has been pressed so hard that he can't actually see anything, artwork page included, since he's become literally blind with rage. Rohan goes from Smug Snake to terrified pleading with Josuke in the span of only a few seconds.
  • Ranma ½: A typical battle tactic of the eponymous character. With most of the cast having Hair Trigger Tempers and wanting him dead for various reasons (real and imagined), it's a pretty easy tactic to utilize.
  • Kill la Kill: This is the main tactic of Nui Harime, with her Faux Affably Evil facade. As a consummate Troll, she loves to piss people off however she can, as people tend not to fight at their best when pissed. She herself is also susceptible to it, as when she finally gets pissed off near the end of the series after losing her arms to Ryuko, her standard behavior completely vanishes and she'll even continue fighting a battle she can't possibly win.
  • One Piece:
    • When Luffy called Buggy "Big-Nose", the latter was enraged enough to fire a cannon at Luffy - something that Luffy's body can easily launch back.
    • During the Whitebeard War, Admiral Akainu goads the barely-escaped Ace into fighting him by insulting his captain and foster-father Whitebeard in front of him. This angers Ace enough to turn around and attack Akainu, leading directly to his death.
    • During the Law vs Doflamingo fight, Law knows that as Doffy is a former World Noble, he'd fear people with the middle name D (those people tend to be mysteriously exceptional), so he declares right to Doffy's face that he is also a D. Doffy angrily retorts with how he doesn't care about such superstitions, but Doffy's subordinate Trebol notes that Doffy's attacking recklessly and is walking right into Law's trap. Doffy got a nasty blow in the gut for his mistake. He wises up after that.
    • From the Wano Arc: After witnessing Kaido hurt Tama and vaporize the tower his allies were hiding in, Luffy, without so much as a second thought, jumps in the fray and starts a fight with the Emperor, something Law specifically warned him NOT to do. All Luffy's barrage of attacks (in Gear Fourth, no less!) ends up accomplishing is sobering Kaido up from his latest drinking binge; in stark contrast, Luffy is immediately one-shotted and imprisoned by Kaido.
  • In Mobile Fighter G Gundam this was the fatal flaw of Domon's Super Mode. Against a regular opponent the Unstoppable Rage factor guaranteed a win. Against stronger fighters like Master Asia he would be so blinded by rage that though he had the power to win, he could barely see straight and couldn't land a hit. He later mastered the true Super Mode which manifested as a golden colored Tranquil Fury.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, Shinn Asuka is normally a tactically inventive and brutally efficient Combat Pragmatist. When enraged, however, he's prone to making sloppy mistakes that lead to a curbstomping at the hands of returning Mobile Suit Gundam SEED protagonist Kira Yamato and Shinn's own former mentor Athrun Zala, both of whom Shinn had defeated in previous battles and despite his own extensive study of Kira's distinctive fighting style.
  • Soul Eater: Death the Kid is normally a cool-headed strategist. However he tends to get angry and then screwed up whenever he sees something asymmetrical. This actually worked to his advantage in his first appearance, as he could not bring himself to attack a perfectly symmetrical mummy's crypt, but the mummy itself turned out to be asymmetrical in several ways.
  • Pokémon: Unlike most members of its species, Iris's Dragonite has a terrible temper at the best of times. When Ash's newly-evolved Krookodile puts it on the ropes during their battle, Dragonite loses its mind with rage and starts wildly attacking everything around it, completely ignoring its foe. Krookodile capitalizes on its tantrum and attacks it while its guard is down, enraging Dragonite still further, and by the time Dragonite tries Dragon Rush it's so sloppily executed Krookodile easily escapes and counterattacks for the finish.

    Comic Books 
  • She-Hulk:
    • Jennifer (She-Hulk) tends to play with this trope, particularly following Avengers Disassembled, when getting angry caused her to go murderously insane.
    • Hulk's daughter Lyra, the second woman to claim the title of She-Hulk, had a variation of her dad's powers that caused her to get weaker as she got angrier.
  • The Incredible Hulk plays with this in the 1990s. After Dr. Samson cures Banner/Hulk of his split personality, creating a Hulk with Banner's brainpower, when he gets extraordinarily angry he turns into scrawny Bruce Banner but with the Hulk's brain. "Banner smash!"
  • Attempted by a mobster boss in The Punisher MAX arc "Up is Down, Black is White". He wanted Frank Castle pissed off and careless so he could hopefully take him down with ease, so he dug up the Castles' graves, pissed on the bodies, and recorded it and sent it out to the news. Unfortunately for him, the result was not this — instead, Frank got into a hyper-focused, hyper-violent Tranquil Fury and his rampage demolished all of the gangster's organization (not to mention a whole lot of real estate and so many random goons that the City of New York agreed to his demands to get his family buried again just to make him stop) in a single night. Oops.
  • Attempted by Lobo in Red Daughter of Krypton. He makes Supergirl so enraged that she can't think clearly. However, he can't capitalize on her mistakes because she is too tough to be easily taken down, and her superior speed means her sloppy but increasingly stronger blows eventually connect.

    Fan Works 
  • In the climax of Security!, Zion is so enraged at Michael Allen blowing up Eden's body and then blowing up a lifelike facsimile of her that when he finally gets his hands on him, he completely annihilates him and the land around him, leaving him blind to the Armor-Piercing Attack coming for him In the Back.
  • Juxtapose: Momo pulls off some pre-game Trash Talk before her match with Katsuki and fights a game of keep-away, keeping him so distracted and frustrated that when he finally gets a blind blast off, he does so in the middle of a cloud of aluminium dust. Cue dust explosion.
  • This Bites!: With his penchant for dancing on Berserk Buttons, Jeremiah Cross frequently uses this tactic. One example is when he goaded Corto of the Amigo Pirates with fat jokes, enraging him enough to run right into a knockout blow.
    • The Straw Hat Pirates themselves fell victim to this trope, when Shiki the Golden Lion called their crewmate Nami his "property". This infuriated the whole crew enough to lay a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Shiki, but it also made them sloppy enough that a veteran like Shiki could beat them easily.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Ash is prone to occasional angry outbursts, and they tend to hamper his performance in Pokémon battles:
    • In Chapter 18, he runs into Paul, who picks a fight with him after blasting Ash's Primeape into the sky, possibly with fatal consequences. After Pikachu loses to Paul's Nidoking, Misty manages to calm Ash down and help him regain his focus to win the battle.
    • Later in Chapter 31, he runs into a guy named Joshua who was responsible for getting Serena kicked out of Professor Oak's summer camp. In this case it's downplayed, as Ash completely trashes Joshua's entire team without losing a single Pokémon, despite having a few slip-ups, but Iris notices how it affects him and decides she will train Ash to Tame His Anger.
  • In A Force of Four, villainess Badra successfully baits Wonder Woman into charging blindly by threatening her mother and daughter.
    "Then deal with me a second time," said Badra. "If I get done with you soon enough, perhaps he'll let me help the boys deal with your daughter. And your mother."
    A second after she had done it, Diana realized she'd been goaded too well. She should have harnessed her fury, and tried a move with more finesse.
    Instead she just charged, with a war-cry on her lips and a face twisted in hate. Badra managed a sidestep, no easy feat considering Diana's velocity, and swung a knee into her abdomen.
  • Hans from A Brighter Dark goes ballistic when Mozu is hurt in a fight, but his rage causes him to expose his back to some enemies and get himself subdued instantly.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Supergirl tells her evil duplicate that the Legion of Super-Heroes killed her lover Mordru so she is too angry to fight efficiently.
  • Deconstructed in A Destiny of Ice and Steel. When someone just wildly hacks without thought for technique or finesse, Ser Rodrik calls it an "immature tantrum."
  • The Mountain and the Wolf:
    • Much like his canon counterpart, the Wolf insults his targets into attacking recklessly, which leads to them failing (even moreso if they didn't have much skill in the first place like Littlefinger), which leads to more mockery, which... The only ones who weren't afflcited by it were Euron (who despite being angered, actually manages to volley insults with the Wolf for a bit) and the Night King (who doesn't react in the slightest).
    • He also goads Cersei into executing prisoners rather than negotiating, ensuring King's Landing can only fall by siege, and later arranges for Daenerys to be struck by rage to torch the city, although she interrupts her attack earlier than in the show.
  • Zero Context: Taking Out the Trash:
    • Circe was already angry due to her friends and associates attacking her own wedding. When two of them damage her footwear and deprive her of her lightsaber, she remembers that something similar had been done to her once before; she completely flips her lid and breaks out a wide-angle disintegration beam, no longer caring if her friends died or not.
    • Later, her completely blinding rage at the saboteurs became immense enough that it broke the effects of a Love Potion she'd been under, restoring her senses.

    Film - Animated 
  • Big Hero 6: The Big Bad Yokai, motivated by Wrath and Revenge for his lost daughter, is so focused on getting Hiro and Baymax out of his way in the final fight that he doesn't notice that the others are removing his Microbots from play, until he effectively runs out.
  • In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Terry effectively heckles the Joker enough for the enraged Joker to choke Terry out with his bare hands as soon as he gets the chance - bringing him close enough for Terry to zap out the microchip containing Joker's personality controlling Tim Drake with the Joker's own electric buzzer.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990): Shredder uses this to his advantage by mocking the Turtles, claiming that he killed Splinter. Leo proceeds to recklessly charge Shredder in absolute rage... and is easily disarmed and pinned down. Then, a moment later, Splinter arrives and makes Shredder angry enough to charge at him recklessly, giving Splinter the opening he needs to quickly defeat Shredder.
  • In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Holmes is counting on Moriarty's rage at losing his fortune being a hindrance during the climactic fight at the end, as Holmes is too injured to fight properly. The two slug it out in a Combat Clairvoyance sequence in which Moriarty defeats Holmes, but this was all a ploy, because Holmes was planning on taking Moriarty off a cliff with him.
    Holmes: "His advantage: my injury. My advantage: his rage."
  • During the tournament in White Men Can't Jump, Billy spends the entire tournament Trash Talking everyone there, especially the team Sidney identified as their only major competition. When called on it by Sidney, Billy reveals that he's trying to invoke this trope. When Sidney says that Billy is embarrassing and pissing him off as well, (despite Sidney usually being the one to run his mouth on the court) Billy responds that unlike the other players and teams, he thinks Sidney will play better angry.

  • Captive Prince: The Big Bad provokes Damen into attacking him in a rigidly enforced Truce Zone by gloating that he raped Damen's lover in childhood, which brings about his Near-Villain Victory.
  • In Dragon Bones Ward, who is Obfuscating Stupidity at that time, uses this effect to win a training fight against a guardsman - the guy is so mad that he would kill Ward, but fortunately doesn't succeed. Later lampshaded by Stala, the woman in charge of the guard; one of her favourite sayings is that anger is of no use in battle.
  • Ender's Game highlights the difference between this and Tranquil Fury.
    Ender's anger was cold, and he could use it. Bonzo's anger was hot, and so it used him.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Mentalist combines this with Poor Communication Kills in the episode Red Alert. In the backstory, a man has been accused of murdering his wife, with a video apparently disproving his alibi. The Victim of the Week is a filmmaker who was interviewing him about it. During an interview, she tries to ask him a question about the video, only for him to fly into a rage. She was actually going to tell him that the metadata on the video showed it had been tampered with, proving he was framed, but she never gets to tell him this. Instead, she inadvertently tells the murderer.
  • In The Last Kingdom, when the Danish warlord Cnut hears that one of his young sons was killed by the Saxon warlord Uthred, Cnut charges off in a blind rage and not only leads his forces straight into a trap, but in his personal duel with Uthred, Uthred is easily able to sidestep all around Cnut and get the better of him. Cnut does more or less shrug off several serious, perhaps mortal wounds because of the sheer power of his rage and determination to kill Uthred, but the fight is very much a case of bull vs matador, with Cnut coming out on the losing side. Then Uhtred reveals that he didn't actually kill Cnut's son, only faked it, and Cnut's rage breaks and all of a sudden he starts feeling the effects of all the wounds he sustained just a few minutes prior and his body starts to give out.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Garou in Werewolf: The Apocalypse suffer from this hard. While their rage allows them to shapeshift into their terrifying crinos war-form, it also leaves many Garou extremely easy to piss off, especially in combination with their Honor Before Reason tendencies. Those that try to keep their rage in check to avoid this trope simply end to exploding much more violently once they reach their limit. Much of the What an Idiot! moments in the backstory, such as the aptly-named War of Rage or the eradication of the Camazotz were-bats, can be linked to the Garou being consummate rageaholics.
    • In-game, this is represented with the Rage attribute which allows the Garou to shapeshift instantly. However, the more rage points a character has, the more likely they are to experience Frenzy, especially during moments of intense stress or even a particularly harsh slight against them. During Frenzy, Garou are liable to turn against their packs while tearing at anything and everything around them.
  • Warhammer Fantasy: This is Wulfrik the Wanderer's modus operandi: using his Gift of Tongues, he's able to deliver an uninterruptable challenge (well, long list of insults) to an enemy, who then has to fight him no matter the difference in combat ability. In one case, he was able to get an Imperial baron to leave the safety of his fortress and charge out into Wulfrik's army unsupported (and leaving the gates open) just by making a comment on the baroness' supposed infidelity (said infidelity existing only in the baron's mind).

    Video Games 
  • Max Payne plays this card against Punchinello to get him mad enough to make mistakes. He tries to kill Max by trapping him in a burning restaurant, but Max escapes and takes the battle to the manor itself.
  • In the third episode of Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse, after Sammun-Mak warps reality when he gets into Max's body, Sam uses this strategy to take down Skun-ka'pe.
  • Somewhat literally in Asura's Wrath: One of his Super Mode is a Clipped-Wing Angel called "Wrath Mode" where he does more damage to himself than to enemies as he fights.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Knuckles is sometimes depicted as blundering and reckless as a result of his short temper.
  • Berserk/Fury is a standard status effect in Final Fantasy series, which makes its bearer unable to do anything else than physical attacks. If the character in question is more magic-oriented, that pretty much negates their main strengths. If they're suffering from other status ailments such as Poison or Confusion, (where they're as likely to attack themselves or members of the group as they are the enemies you're fighting) then you can have a pretty significant problem on your hands.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: as in Final Fantasy, Rage is a Status Ailment which causes a fighter to automatically only deal physical attacks.
  • Pokémon seems to have some attacks with this idea:
    • Swagger is a move that enrages the enemy, complete with animated Cross-Popping Veins, and the result is that the opponent's attack increases but it also gains the Confusion Status Ailment (the attack boost guaranteeing that if it does hit itself in confusion, it'll deal even more damage).
    • Taunt prevents an opponent from using any non-attacking moves.
    • The move Torment similarly prevents the opponent from using the same move twice in a row, by means of extreme heckling.
    • Outrage is a powerful Dragon-type Unstoppable Rage move, but the user cannot select targets and can hurt anyone, even allies in Double or Triple battles, not to mention it leaves the user so drained they become Confused after it runs its course: it's particularly fitting for this move, as now the user runs the risk of attacking itself in its blind frenzy.
  • Both Ragna the Bloodedge and Jin Kisaragi have this happen often in the BlazBlue series. In both cases their rage often leads to them doing things like letting themselves get captured, injured, or defeated, or worse, them fighting each other.
  • Used by Alchemist in Girls Frontline. Through an open channel broadcast during Chapter 6, she calls out Negev by name and taunts her in order to lure her behind Sangvis lines. This works, causing Negev to charge through in a bloodthirsty rage.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Helluva Boss episode "The Harvest Moon Festival", seeing Moxxie being choked by Striker made Millie savagely attack Striker, including with a knife to the back. However, her anger clouded her ability, as Striker was still able to get the upper hand after Millie got sloppy. She even lampshades it later when Striker throws Millie and Moxxie in a basement, saying that she was too angry to think clearly.
    • Admittedly, those stab wounds would have absolutely killed a normal imp like it was nothing; Striker was just a lot tougher than Millie gave him credit for.

    Western Animation 
  • Sylvia from Wander over Yonder suffers from this in the episode "The Timebomb". She has never won an intergalactic race because when she gets too competitive she loses control and ends up tripping herself (hence the nickname that gives the episode its title). Wander helps her win the race by getting her to calm down.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In one episode in Season 1 (which has Jeong Jeong in it) Zhao is fighting Aang. The latter knows that Zhao is an irritable person, so Aang just runs and dodges his fire attacks while taunting him... resulting in Zhao burning his own platoon's ships.
    • Throughout the series Azula had been an extremely composed fighter which is why she was virtually unmatched in combat. However, following a Villainous Breakdown her composure degraded and during her fight with Zuko she began to let her rage get the better of her. Azula being unable to think straight was the only reason Zuko agreed to fight her one on one.
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures, Jackie defeats a Dragon Talisman-enhanced Valmont by getting him angry enough that he keeps using telegraphed, easy-to-dodge blasts, which leads to Valmont accidentally sinking the boat they're on.
  • While Amberley's competence varies in The Dreamstone, she is at least shown capable of being The Strategist with a cool head. A recurring plot point however, is her running headfirst into the enemy whenever infuriated enough, usually leading to her getting captured (often still in a violent rage).

    Real Life 
  • Miyamoto Musashi was well known for his strategic brilliance. One of his most famous strategies (which could even be considered his trademark) was his tendency to show up rather late to scheduled duels in order to upset his opponents, resulting in them not being able to fight at their best. In his final duel with Sasaki Kojiro, it is speculated by some people that Musashi won the duel before he showed up. By timing his arrival so that he was not only late (infuriating Kojiro and taking the edge off his skill) but also so that upon finishing his duel he would leave as the tide was going out, he made a swift escape from Kojiro's followers and supporters who might have chased after him to avenge Kojiro's defeat.


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