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"It's anime law: whenever a male shōnen protagonist takes off his shirt, all of his attributes increase exponentially."

Jacob the Strong is going to be in a major fight, like with The Dragon or the Big Bad, or just with a huge amount of Mooks. As he approaches the enemy, he-

Wait, he's taking off his shirt?

Battle Strip is when a character, especially one who is modest, either has a Stripperific battle uniform (for the girls), or doesn't wear a shirt in a fight (for the guys). The main reason is because clothing could restrict movement/attacks, or it's also a sign of Badass. It also gives the opponent fewer things to grab and pin the fighter down with. However, sometimes it's just plain Fan Service.

Related to The Coats Are Off, when a character takes off his coat before joining battle, and Full-Frontal Assault. Not to be confused with Clothing Damage, when the character's clothing gets destroyed during a battle.


Anime & Manga

  • In Naruto, the Raikage whips off his long coat in battle. Not that it covers a lot in the first place...
    • It is also somewhat memetric that all male members of Akasuki tended to lose their cloaks before their deaths, either by voluntary removal or regular Clothing Damage.
  • In Shaman King, during the Tournament, Horo-Horo's outfit includes an open long-coat, but no shirt.
  • In Hunter X Hunter, several of the main characters will drop some of their clothes when they need to "get serious" -- usually stripping down to either bare-chested (Leorio) or undershirt (Gon, Killua, Kurapica).
  • Mecha Mode in the manga Ultimo. The doji masters are in their underwear (at least in the American edition).
  • Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Her summonable combat gear has been optimized for her favored combat style of a Fragile Speedster, so she is not exactly wearing much in her most powerful forms.
  • Bleach
    • when the leader and former leader of Soul Society's stealth specialist squad fight, it just so happens that their most powerful moves blast off any clothing on their shoulder blades. Did we mention they were both extremely attractive female ninja (ghost samurai, and one is also a Catgirl)?
    • Yamamoto is an even better example.
      • Though, Yamamoto's sword has a tendency to set everything around it on fire, so this might be justified, as it would be somewhat hard to fight when Yamamoto himself is on fire.
  • Crying Freeman often took it a step further. Before many battles, Yoh would strip completely naked.
  • Yakitate!! Japan shows two contestants of a cooking competition taking off their clothes to freak each other out. Definite Fan Service.
  • Fairy Tail
    • Gray has a habit of stripping to his boxers because his training in ice magic involved running through a blizzard in his underwear.
    • When he and Leon (his fellow student) prepare to fight Racer, they strip simultaneously, much to Racer's confusion and Sherry's delight.
    • In the anime version of the Natsu vs. Gajeel fight, they take off their shirts.

 Konoka: Why'd he take his shirt off?

Setsuna: I don't know.

 Ulube: It's a good thing I prepared for this by continuing to work on my body!

  • The Dragon Ball series mostly uses Clothing Damage as an excuse to get its male leads naked, but there are a few occasions where the heroes take off their clothes before battle.
    • One such occasion is the fight with Raditz at the beginning of Dragonball Z, where both Goku and Piccolo were wearing weighted clothes, and stripping increased their power levels.
    • Tenshinhan also always removes his shirt before battle, and eventually stops wearing a shirt altogether.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Alex Louis Armstrong does this all the time, to the point of lampshading.

 Hawkeye: Did he have to strip?

Havoc: You surprised? He's clearly insane...

  • New Grappler Baki
    • Before a fight with Speck, Hanayama Kaoru calmly removes his shoes, grabs the hems of his pants legs, pulls up, and tears off his entire suit. He proceeds to fight wearing only a Fundoshi.
    • Don't forget Doppo's fight with Dorian, where the two men first face off in suits. While the latter discards his jacket, tie and shirt to fight bare-chested, and the former strips down to a pair of trunks.
  • Most fights in Yu Yu Hakusho end with at least one fighter shirtless, but Kuwabara is the most likely to remove his shirt before the fight begins, rather than have it shredded mid-fight as many others prefer.
  • The Tournament Arc in Cynthia the Mission has a few examples:

Comic Books

  • The Hulk is a common example. No fanservice involved. Unless...
  • Sara Pezzini of Witchblade often strips to her underwear learning from prior experience that her powers damages her clothes.
  • Angela Spica or The Engineer from Wildstorm Comics mostly goes nude as her nanites in her blood makes clothing unnecessary.

Fan Works

 Raditz: So, nudity makes you stronger on this planet!

Films -- Animation

  • Beowulf fights Grendel completely naked. While this is intended to make him look Badass, the gratuitous use of Scenery Censor makes it come off as a bit silly.
  • Inverted in the film Heavy Metal. Taarna, the Last Taarakian, starts out naked and gets dressed in extremely stripperific armor to go after the Loc-Nar.
  • The princesses in Shrek the Third actually tear off parts of their dresses before taking down Prince Charming's henchmen.

Films -- Live-Action

  • Fight Club: No shirts, no shoes.
    • Except for Bob, who is exempt from the rule without comment or debate.
  • In Way of the Dragon, Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris prepare for their big fight by taking off their shirts. Then Knuckle-Cracking.
  • Borderline example: In Rob Roy, the deadly fop Cunningham prepares for sword fights by removing his elaborate wig, revealing his near-naked scalp.
  • Done quite ridiculously in Future War, where the Runaway somehow peels off his fully buttoned and tucked dress shirt in about half a second in the middle of the final fight. Well, not quite that he peels it off; it looks more like the shirt just accidentally fell off somehow.
  • Done in Undefeatable during the infamous final battle.
  • During the Corridor fight scene in Oldboy, one mook does it, after seeing his buddies get their butts kicked.
  • In Mortal Kombat, Liu Kang prepares for his battle with Shang Tsung by slipping off the robe he was disguised in, revealing his bare upper body. Tsung responds by casting off his own Badass Longcoat, revealing his somewhat less badass waistcoat.
  • in Jackie Chan's Who Am I? the final fight features Chan in a tag-team battle with two skilled martial artists. When Chan uses the first one's jacket and tie against him, the second one sensibly removes his before he jumps into the fight.
  • Predator
    • Dutch strips down to some scraps of clothing and a lot of mud for his final fight with the eponymous monster.
    • Billy Sole strips to the waist and then cuts a slash in his own chest with his Bowie knife while waiting to try and delay the Predator for his friends to escape. Sure, the next we see of him is the Predator ripping out his spine and skull as a trophy, but it was still AWESOME.
  • The spiritual successor, Predators duplicates the Shirtless Scene (with some changes) using Royce, as the capstone homage in a movie filled with them.
  • Spoofed in The Naked Gun 33 1/3 during the prison riot at the beginning, when two fat convicts rip off their uniforms... turning into two sumo fighters.


  • In one Dragonlance story, Caramon has to fight a half-ogre bandit chief. Since he doesn't have any armour, he strips down to his loincloth.
  • Modesty Blaise does this a lot in her novels, going topless to duel the fencer Wenczel in A Taste for Death, and facing the lethal Mr. Sexton not only completely naked but also greased up in The Silver Mistress. She also practices a move she calls The Nailer, where she gains extra time when she has to go through a door into a room full of thugs by walking in topless, guaranteeing that she gets the first move while most or all of the thugs are still looking at her chest. Yeah, despite the name, Modesty Blaise is pretty much made of Fan Service.
  • Neanderthal Parallax: Humans by Robert J Sawyer, has Luise Benoit stripping to her underwear to rescue a caveman trapped in a neutrino tank.

Live-Action TV

  • Parodied in Monty Python's Flying Circus, with Ensign Oates from "Scott of the Sahara" stripping all his clothes off as he fights the giant electric penguin.
  • In the Scrubs episode "My Day at the Races", both Turk and Todd rip off their tops (with hilarious ease) during JD's Kung Fu Imagine Spot.
  • In Power Rangers, we've had Leo and Cole showing off their well sculpted physique for climatic fights, ripping their shirts off for extra appeal. Interestingly, both are Red Rangers with a lion motif - and Leo morphed just a few seconds after tearing off his shirt.
  • Parodied also in an episode of Tenacious D in which the two members of the band square off in the style of a kung-fu movie. Kyle Gass tears off his shirt to reveal a second, identical shirt.
  • Baywatch episode "Liquid Visions" where Jessie and Allie tag along to help a lonely Kekoa find her perfect mate. While enjoying a triple date the three have to make a rescue of a capsized sailboat in the water off Wakiki. The three ladies strip their clothes to their underwear to rescue the passengers.

Pro Wrestling

  • This is one of Hulk Hogan's trademarks, as shown at the top of this page.
  • Jeff Hardy does this sometimes.

Tabletop Games

  • GURPS includes an optional rule called "Bulletproof Nudity", which allows greater defensive bonuses depending on how much clothing is revealed, ranging from sleeveless to total nudity.

Video Games

Web Original

  • Parodied in Girlchan in Paradise with the character of Swirly Glasses, who takes off his shirt despite being extremely scrawny and not that good in a fight.

Western Animation

 Finn: No more games. No more PAJAMAS!!! (rips pajamas)

Real Life

  • Bruce Lee.
  • The Celts, specifically Picts, believed that nudity conferred powers of invincibility. They used woad as Body Paint.

 Random Celtic warrior: I am not afraid of you, and to prove it, I have just laid my dong on your sword.

  • Most wrestlers and boxers do this.
  • One of Pablo Francisco's jokes is how men should take off their pants instead of their shirts when they get into fights to freak out their opponents.
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