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Taking the Fight Outside

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Moss: [slaps Roy] How dare you call my sexy wife a bitch!
Roy: Do you want to take this outside?
Moss: With pleasure, Sir!

When two or more characters are about to fight or in the middle of fighting, a bystander will interrupt and ask them to take the fight outside. Alternatively, as an overlap with Let's Fight Like Gentlemen, one of the fighters could suggest settling the score outside. Either way, the usual concern is to avoid unnecessary damage to Innocent Bystanders and the building's interior. This makes it a textbook solution to any No-Harm Requirement that's in play due to one or multiple parties not wanting to inflict any harm to something or someone in the vicinity. Once the fight has been taken to an area where nothing valuable or important is threatened, The Gloves Come Off.

The idea of taking a fight outside comes from the practice of Sacred Hospitality. Centuries before the existence of Hiltons or Motel 6, travelers would bunk down in the homes/tents/stables of those who had spare room. This could also mean two men who had bad blood between them could end up in the same house for the night. It would be considered a violation of guest right if they came to blows inside and damaged the hosts' property with a wrestling match or sword fight. So if the pair did come to blows, you would take it off the property to do so.

This can overlap with Do Wrong, Right if the interrupter starts with seemingly disapproving of fighting at all, only to switch to shooing the fighters outside.

Compare and contrast Get Out!, which declares someone to be no longer welcome but doesn't have to involve physical fighting. Compare and contrast Getting the Boot, which involves physical removal of unwelcome characters regardless of the reason they're unwelcome. When this trope is averted, see Fighting in All the Wrong Places Index.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece: Sanji meets his estranged father Judge, and they get into a heated argument about how Sanji doesn't fit into the family. In the end, Judge tells Sanji that they'll settle things outside. Cue fight scene.
  • In Ranma :
    • Kuno attacks Ranma in the highschool hallway, before Ranma points out this was no place for a fight and convinces him to head outside. But Ranma decides on the fastest way out, jumping out of a second floor window.
    • When Ranma and Pantyhose Taro are in the Cat Cafe and both ready to tear each other apart, Cologne has them take the fight outside by sending them both flying out of the building with a strike of her staff.
  • Various of the Dragon Ball Z movies and OVAs are about the new enemies taking cities and wreaking havok. Then, the Z-Warriors convince them to fight outside the city, thus saving the citizens from an imminent destruction. In at least one case, the villains chose to destroy the city around them instead.
  • In Digimon Ghost Game, the human protagonists are able to use their Digivices to transport themselves and nearby Digimon to a Digital World overlay of their surroundings to avoid harming bystanders and property during their fights.
  • In Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Mord causes trouble for Bell's group, trying to get him to join up with his party so he'd have access to his waitress friends. Lyu tells him to get lost and when he keeps persisting while insulting Bell, Lyu painfully clamps his fingers down. Angered, Mord tries to attack while declaring he wouldn't go easy on her just because she was a woman. However Mama Mia, the tavern head, slams her fist down on the table, breaking it, and tells them if they were going to fight they were to take it outside. Not wanting to incite her wrath, Mord and his party leaves.
  • Played with in Hellsing. Alexander Anderson storms Hellsing HQ ready to tear Alucard apart, with the feelings mutual on Alucard's side. However Seras intentionally escorts a group of tourist bystanders through the hall inbetween the two Blood Knights. Alucard then muses this wasn't an appropriate location for a fight, so the two of them put away their weapons and call it off for another day.
  • Happens a few times in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, between Tohru and Elma.
    • When Elma first debuts she challenges Tohru to a battle in Kobayashi's home and Kobayashi, taking note of Tohru's initial reaction and having just been informed that those two sank a few islands when last they came to blows, promptly demands they do this. At that point Tohru manages to trick Elma by invoking this, opening up a portal to where they were supposed to fight and after Elma steps through she closes the portal. Elma finds she's on another continent and spends all day finding her way back to Kobayashi's house.
    • While the main cast are on a train, Tohru and Elma start bickering again for no reason and look like they're about to tear each other apart, to which Lucoa tells them to fight outside.
  • Ayakashi Triangle: After Shadow Mei creates an enormous omokage, Matoi hits her with a tornado to send her opponent out of town and into the mountains to avoid civilian casualties.
  • Bleach: When Ichigo and Aizen are about to have their final battle, Ichigo asks that they move out of the city so they don't endanger the civilians. Aizen mocks him by saying he's too weak to be making demands. Ichigo responds by grabbing him and dragging him out of the city.
  • Parodied in Buso Renkin. Kazuki's Duel to the Death with Shusui Hayasaka starts in the school gymnasium after dark. The two of them promptly spam Flash Steps to get behind each other until they've moved the battlefield entirely out of the gym and into the school courtyard.
    Shusui: Good idea, it'll be easier to clean your blood up out here.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In Harry Potter and the Dream Come True, chapter 19, Harry skips Dolores Umbridge's detention and goes to the library instead. When Umbridge shows up to confront him about it, Madam Pince shoos them out of the library (but not out of Hogwarts altogether).
    Madam Pince (yelling): I WILL NOT HAVE YELLING IN THIS LIBRARY! If you have a problem with Mister Potter, then take it outside, Dolores, because this is my library, and you will not disturb it!

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Superman II. Superman asks to redirect fights twice, once as Clark Kent and once as Superman.
    • After Superman has been de-powered, he travels with Lois Lane in Clark Kent guise. When a man acts rudely toward them in a diner, he asks the man "Excuse me, sir, would you care to step outside?" twice. As they start to go outside to fight, the man hits him from behind and knocks him down. The man then brutally beats him up inside the diner.
    • While the three Kryptonian supervillains are inside the Daily Planet building, Superman appears outside a window and says to General Zod, "General, would you care to step outside?" Zod and his minions leave the building and engage Superman in a battle that ends in a draw and Superman flying away.
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: When Wolverine finds his brother in a bar, the bartender nervously says, "Guys, whatever this is, take it outside." The brothers don't listen and a Bar Brawl ensues. They wreck the place, which is exactly what the bartender was trying to prevent (although most of the patrons had the sense to run when the Wolverine Claws came out).
  • Road House (1989): Subverted in the opening. Dalton is attacked by an unruly patron with a knife, so he suggests that they "take it outside". As soon as they set foot out the door, Dalton simply instructs his bouncers to form a human wall to keep them out. More generally, Dalton later advises the bouncers working under him in his new job at the Double Deuce to never start a fight inside the bar to deal with troublemakers unless it's absolutely necessary.
  • "Hey, outside," barks Jeb to Jack Reacher after Jack blew off town trollop Sandy. She responds by rallying her regulars into a band of five mooks to issue Jack a comeuppance. As a courtesy, Jack gives the thugs a chance to stand down, since they're about to engage a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer. Bullying a Dragon proves a big mistake, so the floozy flees.
  • John Wick: Chapter 2: John and Cassian's fight takes them crashing into the Continental, a ruthlessly enforced Truce Zone hotel. The manager politely requires them to enjoy a drink at the bar and then complete their altercation somewhere else.
  • Slipstream (1989). Tasker is determined to bring Byron back to the Settlement for punishment. As he's a robot, Byron goes along placidly until Tasker shoots a woman he's fallen for. Tasker then just says, "I knew it would come to this. Let's do it." He then walks outside and Byron follows, intent on revenge.
  • 10 Things I Hate About You: During the boring party Bogey threw that quickly became a raging house party, he tells two drunken men to take their fighting outside... which they do by crashing through his window. A very dejected Bogey thanks them.
  • Undeclared War has a Bar Brawl between the two leads, Gary Redner and Officer Bong, about to break out, but the bar's owner tells them if they're gonna fight, don't do it in his bar. The two leads obliged.

  • Played With in Life, the Universe and Everything. Thor takes offense at Arthur interrupting his conversation with Trillian at the flying party. As the situation escalates, Arthur asks Thor if he wants to step outside. Thor agrees and does so. Arthur does not follow, and resumes talking with Trillian.
  • In the first chapter of Trapped, Philemon and the other Misfits are enjoying a drink when they are accosted by a bunch of drunk sailors who take exception to being told that they smell bad. Mindful of the damage they could do, the Misfits lead the sailors outside for the ensuing fight, telling the barkeep to keep their drinks for them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Cheers, Woody gets into an argument with a snooty attendee at a high society function and they agree to settle it with a fight at Cheers. When they decide that they can't hold the fight in the main room, they move the pool room. (Note: this is where Woody's relationship with Kelly begins.)
  • The Australian comedy series Full Frontal had a spoof involving a politically correct remake of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly called "The Good, The Bad, and the Unpleasant Person". The Clint Eastwood character is facing off with the Unpleasant Person, who is blowing smoke from a cheroot into his face.
    The Good: I think we'd better step outside.
    Unpleasant Person: You wanna fight with guns?!
    The Good: No. I have an adverse reaction to passive smoking.
  • The IT Crowd provides the page quote. When Jen (who is single) is invited to a party hosted by an old friend from school, Moss pretends to be her husband. Roy later shows up at the party in an attempt to convince an Abhorrent Admirer that he's dating Jen and the two men get into an argument; each man tries to convince the crowd that Jen is their partner. Roy eventually calls Jen a "bitch" for 'cheating' on him, which causes Moss to slap him in defense of his 'wife's' honour. Roy asks Moss whether he wants to take the fight outside, and when the pair step outside they decide keeping up their ruses is too difficult and they sprint home.
    Moss: [slaps Roy] How dare you call my sexy wife a bitch!
    Roy: Do you want to take this outside?
    Moss: With pleasure, Sir!
  • Jikuu Senshi Spielban can invoke this trope as part of his skillset. When an army of enemies decide to invade the heavily populated city, he can teleport himself and the entire enemy army to an unpopulated quarry, so the fight can take place without any casualties.
  • In Kamen Rider Double, Shotaro is having a friendly conversation with another patron at the barbershop. They keep just missing getting to see each other's faces for some time. When Shotaro realizes he's been chatting with The Dragon, we get the following as the poor owner can only look on in confusion:
    Kirihiko/Nazca Dopant: You!
    Shotaro: YOU!
    Kirihiko: Let's take this outside!
  • M*A*S*H: In the season nine episode "Death Takes a Holiday, Charles donates candy to a Korean orphanage. When he finds out the head of the orphanage sold the candy, he's furious, and confronts him at the camp Christmas party. When the head of the orphanage suggests they step outside, Charles thinks he means this trope and responds, "You took the words right out of my mouth!"
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: In the season two episode "Scott of the Antarctic", Mr. Praline (John Cleese) tries to obtain a fish license for his pet halibut, Eric. When the license clerk calls him a "looney", Mr. Praline protests a number of famous people owned pet fish, including Marcel Proust, who had a haddock, and he concludes, "So, if you're calling the author of A la recherche du temps perdu a looney, I shall have to ask you to step outside!"
  • Attempted by Mr. Boynton and new gym teacher Mr. Greeley in "Angela's Wedding", an episode of Our Miss Brooks. They had been invited to a small party to welcome Angela's fiance. Greeley, who had been mocking Boynton in the episode, is on the verge of provoking a fight - much to Miss Brooks' disdain. Boynton and Greeley are about to step outside, when, to Greeley's amusement, Mr. Boynton is drafted by Mrs. Davis to help her toss a salad.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "The Bewitchin' Pool", Sport and Jeb Sharewood enter the titular pool at the behest of a boy named Whitt, who appeared there suddenly while their parents were arguing. They descend to a place for unloved children and meet Aunt T, an elderly, loving matriarch. Wit makes a comment that upsets Sport and she resolves to fight him. Aunt T calmly hands them each a pair of boxing gloves and tells them to go outside, fight fair and to avoid hitting below the belt. She then turns to Jeb and asks for help frosting the cake she's made. Sport asks to help too only for Aunt T to reply "But I thought you two were gonna beat each other up." Whitt and Sport inform her that they'd rather frost the cake instead.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons. In the 1st Ed. AD&D module T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil, it's possible for the opposing deities Iuz and St. Cuthbert to both be summoned to the same area. If this happens, they will not fight inside the Temple (and in front of their followers). Instead, they will mutually agree to leave the area and settle their differences elsewhere.

  • In Der Rosenkavalier, Octavian offers to settle his argument with the Baron over Sophie in a garden outside. After the Baron, who just wants to get on with his wedding to Sophie, brushes the boy aside again, Octavian tries to incite a duel on the spot, but the Baron still refuses to take Octavian seriously until he has drawn his sword and wounded him.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Web Animation 
  • Played with in ASDF Movie, which features two rowdy types in a bar with drinks looking like they're about to get into a fight. One of them, in a very serious tone, suggests 'taking this outside', to which the other replies in just as serious a tone 'Sure!'. One cut later, with both of them outside, and the Bait-and-Switch is apparent:
    Rowdy guy #1: [still in pre-fight tone of voice] Wow! What a lovely evening!
    Rowdy guy #2: [also still in pre-fight voice] This was a really good idea!

    Western Animation 
  • In Ben 10: Omniverse, it's a bit of a Running Gag for Ben to get into fights with aliens while he's in the store of either Mr. Baumann or Pakmar, where he predictably ends up wrecking the whole store in the process. It got to the point where both shopkeepers not only want him to take the fight outside, but don't want him setting foot in their stores period.
  • In "Back to the Moon" in Steven Universe, the Rubies are enraged when they realize they've been tricked again and fuse to fight the Crystal Gems. However, Steven presses the button to open the door and tells the Rubies that if they want to fight, they should "take it outside". Unfortunately for them, "outside" happens to be the empty vacuum of space, and the fusion is Thrown Out the Airlock, unfusing as they are sucked out. However, one of them (Eyeball) grabs Steven and pulls him out with her, which is problematic because, unlike full Gems, he can't survive exposed in a vacuum (his bubble saves him).
  • Rugrats: In "Party Animals", Stu and Drew fight over whether Tarzan or King Kong (who they're respectively dressed up as for a costume party) is "king of the jungle", and Drew suggests they settle it outside. However, it turns out to be a trick to lock Stu out of his house.
  • The Simpsons: In the episode "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?" Homer is at Moe's Tavern lamenting the loss of his couch after Bart breaks it doing a stunt. Guest star Smokin' Joe Frazier tries to cheer Homer up, but Barney tells him to shut up. Frazier gets in Barney's face, and Barney challenges him to step outside. The next time we see Barney, he's upside down in a trash can and there's blood on Moe's door.



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Main / TakingTheFightOutside

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