Two people who are established enemies come into contact with each other, there is an intense verbal battle, and a fight is the next logical step. The preparation begins: Maybe they'll psych each other out a bit, circle each other and spout insults, perhaps. But before the brawl goes down, they must remove items of clothing that would impede them. In this aspect, the trope is closely related to The Coats Are Off. Usually earrings, glasses or other such items are removed.
This is where Hold My Glasses comes in. One or possibly both opponents will calmly remove the aforementioned articles (most likely, earrings will come off first), and they will hand those articles off to the nearest bystander. This is usually the evidence that supports the suspicions of an impending battle.
Note that this doesn't always have to happen after a verbal battle. It can happen as a reaction to a particularly offensive statement, or it can be used as a threat. This works for any accessory/prop, and it is also used for comedic effect. The opponents are also almost Always Female, as it is usually a part of a Cat Fight or Designated Girl Fight.
Contrast You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses?. Not to be confused with the expression "Hold my beer" or "Hold my drink" — though, sure, that could be expressed as "Hold my glass" — which started out as part of a stock joke format and then turned into an Internet meme, although the ideas involved are similar. ("Hold my beer" is said by someone in a joke or story just before they do something suicidally foolish, usually not getting into a fight.)
Naturally, a sister trope for this is The Glasses Come Off.
- In One Piece, whenever Monkey D. Luffy gets really, really pissed off, he'll sometimes hand his prized straw hat to Nami before going off to battle.
- Played with in Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Blart comes into a women's clothing store to help with an altercation between two women. He makes some... unflattering remarks to one of the ladies, and she takes off her earrings, asks him to hold them... then beats him up.
- Free Jimmy had Hudma Specs, an ill-tempered dude with a Scottish accent. His Catchphrase? "Hud ma specs!", before beating someone up.
- The character Mike in SLC Punk! does this before walking through a mosh pit to keep a friend of his from being beaten by two bouncers.
- In Jackie Chan's Who Am I?, Jackie eventually gets into a fight with some villains on a rooftop. As Jackie takes advantage of how one of them is wearing a jacket, tie, earrings, etc., the other guy immediately starts removing them.
- Used in Scary Movie with the Ambiguously Gay character:
Ray: what, you wanna get butt naked and wrestle?! (turns to girlfriend) Here, Brenda, hold my earrings.
Shorty: Hold my tooth!
- Also, from the sequel:
- Inverted in The Man with the Golden Arm, when a man asks someone else to take off his glasses so that he could punch the other guy in the face.
- Don't Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea's Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life
- Played with in an Encyclopedia Brown mystery. Encyclopedia's friend Sally is on a date, and the boy gets in a fight to defend Sally's honor and removes his glasses before he starts. However, Encyclopedia deduces that the fight was staged since he put them in his shirt/coat pocket, where they would have been broken in a real fight. He tips Sally off to the ruse, who beats her suitor up until he fakes unconsciousness to get her to back off.
- How I Met Your Mother:
- One of Marshall's female coworkers admits to Lily that she kissed Marshall. Lily seems to take it well as she has a calm, pleasant conversation with the woman. It isn't until she takes off her earrings that there is any warning of her knocking the woman out.
- When a bartender goads Ted and Barney into joining him in a back-alley rumble, Barney sheds his suit jacket and gives it to Robin to hold (he is trying to impress her with his willingness to fight). He asks her to find a wooden hanger for it.
- Shows up in the Glee episode titled "Silly Love Songs", Lauren hands her glasses to Puck before beating up Santana.
- A variation of this occurs in the Victorious episode "A film by Dave Squires". Andre's cousin removes her earrings and simply drops them on the floor before fighting with the eponymous Dave Squires.
- Played for laughs in an episode of Six Feet Under, when Vanessa and her sister are spying on Rico's stripper girlfriend. Eventually Vanessa snaps and takes off her earrings (and puts Vaseline on her face like a catfight veteran) before going to pick a fight with her.
- The 'AIDS Burger' scene in season one of True Blood, where Lafayette removes his earrings before giving a group of homophobic redneck diners a beatdown.
- Happy Endings: Some ill-considered beans spilling by Max causes the Kerkovich Sisters' usually cattiness to escalate to a war of words, then another ill-considered attempt to patch things ups further escalates almost to the point of fisticuffs. Jane remove her earrings, while Alex practically slathers her face with Vaseline! When Jane snaps a mop handle in half, Max and Brad wisely decide that it's time to physically separate the two.
- Jennifer Lopez appears in Saturday Night Live for a sketch about a cheap commercial for hoop earrings, bringing up how you have to take them off before you get into a fight. Just a week later, a Cold Open about the Democratic candidates' debate leads up to The Reveal that Donald Trump had been backstage and hearing them badmouthing him the whole time - cue Alec Baldwin as Trump storming onto the stage while taking off his hoop earrings.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: When Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv confront the racist cops that arrested Will and Carlton the cops insist they're "too busy" to deal with them. Viv responds by removing her earrings and telling them things are about to get very busy in here.
- One episode of Season 3's The Masked Singer features guest panelist Yvette Nicole Brown. At one point she decides to take one of her hoop earrings off as she's speaking, which makes Nick Cannon nervous a fight's about to happen.
Nick Cannon: When a black woman starts taking her earrings off that means it's turnt up!
- Owen on Gargoyles didn't have anyone to hand his glasses to, but when the gargoyles dared him to stop them from taking the Grimorum Arcanorum from Xanatos' possession he calmly took them off, put them in his breast pocket and tried to do just that. It didn't work, yet he still managed to firmly establish himself as a Badass Normal.