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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 get wilder, his accuracy drops, he makes more mistakes, and/or he gets more careless, sloppy, reckless, or tunnel-visioned, allowing you to lead him into traps, get him to hit something to your advantage, take advantage of wild swings that leave him open, or cause him to waste his ammo or stamina. 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 calm.

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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.

Contrast Tranquil Fury when angering someone makes him more focused and calm instead.

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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Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • 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 quite literal variant happens in Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Diamond Is Unbreakable during Josuke Higashikata's fight against Rohan Kishibe, where the latter eventually repeatedly presses the former's Berserk Button. 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. This is also one of the few instances where being blinded by rage is actually beneficial, as in most other cases it would have done more harm than good.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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) 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."
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    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: In the first film, 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.
  • In Sherlock Holmes: 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.

    Literature 
  • 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's 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.

    Videogames 
  • 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 Sam & Max: Freelance Police episode 303, They Stole Max's Brain, after Sammun-Mak warps reality after 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.
  • Knuckles of Sonic the Hedgehog is sometimes depicted as blundering and reckless as a result of his short temper. Amy Rose to a lesser degree has moments of this as well. Sonic X provides key examples.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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).
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