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Open Shirt Taunt

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There is my dagger,
And here my naked breast; within, a heart
Dearer than Plutus' mine, richer than gold:
If that thou be'st a Roman, take it forth;
I, that denied thee gold, will give my heart.
Cassius, Julius Caesar

Usually seen with the character unbuttoning or removing a shirt, this trope involves a character baring a vital region of their body to provide an easy target and daring another character to stab or shoot them. In the same manner as a Shameful Strip, the removal of clothing signifies vulnerability and defenselessness.

In some cases, the character welcomes the injury, thinking it's deserved. Alternatively, they don't really believe the other will harm them, or are at least confident that the blow won't be fatal. Or they just want to Face Death with Dignity. Or it's a case of Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred!.

May have some overlap with Battle Strip or Defiant Strip.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • One Sergio Aragonés cartoon has a man who's due to execution doing this - and revealing a tattoo of himself mooning his executors.
  • Barracuda: In "Scars", Raffy corners Maria and aims a pistol at her chest. She responds by ripping open the bodice of her dress to expose her breast and begging him to shoot.
  • Batman: The Tally Man comes seeking revenge for the injuries he suffered at the hands of Jean-Paul Valley (a.k.a. Azrael) when Azrael was wearing the Bat-suit. He confronts Dick (Nightwing) Grayson, who had taken over the mantle of Batman from Valley, who has no idea who Tally Man is or why he is gunning for him. During his Motive Rant, he rips open his shirt to show the large bat-shaped scar Valley had carved into his chest.
  • In Creature Tech, the last fight between Dr. Ong and Dr. Jameson ends with Ong baring his chest for Jameson to strike him. It's a Batman Gambit and it works. Jameson gained his powers for this fight from an alien symbiote, and Ong has figured out that the symbiote is an intelligent creature that would much rather bond with a moral host than an evil one. When Ong bares his chest, Jameson rips his heart out — and the symbiote immediately abandons Jameson (killing him in the process) to bond with Ong and save his life.

    Film — Animation 
  • In Beowulf, our hero — now a king and becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the world — goes the whole-hog of taking off his armor, throwing away his sword, and ripping open his tunic to bear his chest to an enemy warrior, all the time telling him to kill him. The last time he yells "Kill me!", it doesn't seem so much a taunt, as a plea.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Soviet-Ukrainian silent war film Arsenal features this at the end: the White Russian soldiers have the revolutionary hero, Tymish Stoyan, dead to rights and simultaneously shoot him. However, Tymish still stands after the barrage and opens his shirt to show that he is unscathed. Turns out that he's a metaphor for the power of Marxist ideals, and as such cannot be killed.
  • Bloodsport has a legendary example that has Frank Dux bait Paco this way, during the climax of the semi finals of the Kumite. Begins with, "Come on! Come on!!"
  • Azrael, the Big Bad of Dogma, does this when he thinks Silent Bob's going to try and kill him with a golf club, because he's "a fucking demon" and has no reason to expect it to work. Unbeknownst to him (but suspected by Silent Bob), the golf club was blessed by Cardinal Glick, and it acts as a Holy Hand Grenade, killing him instantly.
  • In House of 9, Francis pulls off his shirt while daring Father Duffy to shoot him.
  • In Interview with the Vampire, Louis wins a hand of poker against a very temperamental opponent, who immediately accuses Louis of cheating and aims a pistol at his chest. Caught in a self-destructive downward spiral following the death of his wife and child, Louis opens his shirt and demands that the man follow through with his threat. Instead, he lowers his weapon and allows Louis to leave.
  • Sam in The Magnificent Seven (2016) wears his shirt almost completely buttoned up for most of the film. When he's confronted with the villain, he opens it up revealing a scar from a noose - from when said villain raided his village and lynched him.
  • Rare female example in Nine (Musical). At the end of the "Take It All" number, Luisa gradually strips off to symbolise how her husband has taken everything from her. The end of the song has her ripping her bra open, which coincides with her breaking it off with him in real life.
  • In the 1983 movie of The Pirates of Penzance, The Pirate King (Kevin Kline) does this in the scene before the "Paradox" song.

  • In High Deryni, Morgan, Duncan, Kelson and Cardiel slip into Morgan's Castle Coroth to retake it from rebel leader Warin deGrey. They secretly watch Warin heal an injured man before confronting Warin and his officers. Morgan informs Warin that he and Duncan can Heal just as he does, and Warin refuses to believe him. Duncan suggests a demonstration of Deryni Healing and volunteers to take the injury to be Healed; he removes his shirt and is shown to have the training scars typical of a nobleman on his pale torso. Duncan's vulnerability is heightened when he tells Warin to choose the weapon and inflict the injury himself to be certain there is no trickery.
  • In the original Peter Pan novel, after Tootles shot Wendy down with an arrow:
    Tootles did not flinch. He bared his breast. "Strike, Peter," he said firmly, "strike true."
  • Happens a couple of times in Redwall. In Salamandastron, Klitch strips off his shirt and dares Urthstripe to shoot him, pointing out that the prisoners Sapwood and Oxeye will die if Klitch or Ferahgo are harmed. In Lord Brocktree, Fleetscut opens his shirt during his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Jukka, shouting that if she kills him instead of coming back to help defend Salamandastron her home will be invaded next.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After yet another double-cross Buffy turns up at Spike's crypt determined to stake him once and for all. A pissed-off Spike rips off his shirt to expose his manly body and tells her to Get It Over With, whereupon they start making out passionately. Cue Daydream Surprise Catapult Nightmare as Spike realises he's fallen in love with his Arch-Nemesis.
  • Coronation Street had Charlie Stubbs do this when he realised that his girlfriend Tracy Barlow was planning to murder him. He ripped shirt open while she held a kitchen knife and dared her to do it then and there. She did - but not until later.
  • In Farscape Commandant Grayza is all about the cleavage. In an interview with the actress, Rebecca Riggs, she notes that she didn't originally view Grayza's costume as titillating; rather, she thought it was more this trope, baring her vital organs for the enemy to see to show she's not afraid.
  • In the Highlander episode, "Blackmail", lawyer Robert Waverly threatened to shoot Lyman Kurlow (Waverly had videotaped Duncan beheading Kurlow's friend/fellow Immortal and had been trying to blackmail Duncan into killing his wife. When Kurlow turned up, Waverly proposed a "Strangers on a Train" murder swap, which Duncan advised him against). Kurlow, being Immortal, just opened his jacket and smiled at him.
  • In the How I Met Your Mother episode "Bagpipes", during Robin and Barney's fight over dirty dishes, Barney hands Robin a (butter) knife and then rips his shirt open.
  • In The Kill Point, at one point during negotiations, Mr. Wolf strips his shirt off in front of the bank to show that he's not afraid of getting shot. It also shows off his extensive war scars to the public, as he's cleverly using his military service to rouse support for himself and the other hostage takers.

  • The nationalist Boer anthem Afrikanerhart, by Bok van Blerk, celebrating the heroes of The Second Boer War, has this repeating chorus, where the proud Boer indicates his chest to the hated perfidious British: note 
    Maar as jy skiet, skiet my deur
    As jy skiet, skiet my deur
    As jy skiet, skiet my deur my Afrikanerhart!

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Around 2011 there was Running Gag going on the WWC shows of no one selling. the chops of Orlando, Eddie or Carlito Colón. At Euphoria MVP even unzipped his body suit after Orlando's first few attempts failed to phase him, to give Orlando a better shot.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the gladiatorial Wych cults of the Dark Eldar tend to wear skimpy clothing into combat. This serves a triple purpose: to evoke this trope (it is explicitly stated that one purpose of wearing skimpy clothes is to dare their opponents to hit them), to provide Fanservice for the crowds, and display their unscarred bodies as testament to their combat prowess. The higher up in the rankings you go, the less clothing you typically wear.

  • Shakespeare would later re-use this trope in Julius Caesar. Cassius dramatically escalates an argument with Brutus by throwing open his toga, presenting a dagger, and taunting Brutus to kill him, just as he had killed Caesar.
  • In the original text of Richard III the stage directions explicitly say Richard "layes his brest open" [sic] - that is, he opens his shirt/jerkin for Anne to run him through with his sword, which he has given her for the express purpose after she says she wants to see him dead. (In the 1995 film adaptation of the scene, the title character does this after giving her a dagger.) Unfortunately for a lot of people (her included), she doesn't go through with it.
  • In some performances of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney himself does this for Toby at the end after learning that he's killed his own wife not knowing just who she was and basically ruined himself in his quest for revenge on Turpin. It's less of a taunt and more of a way to Face Death with Dignity.

  • The Order of the Stick has a serious version: after Durkon's trapped soul overwhelms the vampiric spirit possessing his body, he opens his robes, dimisses his Protective Charms, and sits still so Belkar can drive a stake through his heart.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: In "Checkmate", the Vampire King rips his shirt open as he dares Marceline to stake him. Later turns into a Defiant Strip when he rips off his pants as well.
  • Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake: In "Destiny", Little Destiny learns that her bouts with cold and cough were from wearing the ruby that Jay gave to her as a gift (it came from the Ice Crown), and Big Destiny convinces her that he did it on purpose to cripple the Destiny Gang. After Little D is given a sword to finish him with, Jay tears open his shirt and tells her she's free to do so if she really believes it.
  • Ferdinand the Bull: When the outraged matador tries to incite the flower-sniffing Ferdinand into fighting him, he opens his shirt and shouts "Give it to me!". Ferdinand then sees the flower tattoo on the his chest and licks it.
  • Private Snafu: In "Fighting Tools", a German soldier opens his shirt to taunt Snafu when he sees that his improperly-maintained rifle is leaking mud.
    Hmm, that rifle looks just a bit gooey
    If you t'ink I am scared, you're plum screwy
    Go on, fire away, buck, your damn gun's full of muck
    Und nothing comes out but just hooey
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: In "Stimpy's Fan Club", Ren is so distraught at disappointing Stimpy that he tears open his fur and hands Stimpy a (rubber) dagger for him to stab him in the chest.

    Real Life 
  • According to some versions, Nero's mother Agripinna confronted the assassins her son sent to kill her by showing her abdomen, telling them to strike the place her son had come from.
  • Napoléon Bonaparte famously did it after he escaped the island of Elba and stepped on the French soil again. A troop of king's soldiers was dispatched to stop him, but he bared his chest and shouted: "Who wants to shoot his Emperor?" The soldiers still had fond memories of Napoleon's reign, and immediately defected to his side.
  • It's said Benito Mussolini did this right before he was shot to death.
  • When founder of the LDS church Joseph Smith was once confronted by a would be assassin, he invoked this trope. The man immediately dropped his gun, thinking that Smith must have concealed bodyguards with weapons trained on him.
  • Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa also did this during a police strike, daring the strikers to just shoot him and get it done with. This was of course all macho hyperbole, but it worked, given that as of 2016 he is still alive and in office.
  • This guy taunting the Red Army during the Prague Spring.