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"Bones heal, chicks dig scars, pain is temporary, glory is forever."
Evel Knievel

Normally, getting hurt isn't a very glorious thing. After all, if you were really that cool nothing could touch you, right? Well, sometimes getting hurt is cool, and serves to prove just how Badass a character really is.

How someone deals with injury can give insight into the character, and show that their awesomeness incarnate is not just a facade. Executed well, this can also provide a dose of realism into an otherwise unbelievable character. Or, it can simply exist to show just how much punishment the character can take or is willing to take. May come paired with Major Injury Underreaction, but just as often the character is in quite apparent pain. Sometimes they try to brush it off, others they're actually incapacitated, but in every case they look awesome for it.

This is probably the reason for Macho Masochism. May result in Good Scars, Evil Scars, which, in turn, may hint back at this trope.

To qualify for this trope a character must actually be injured. Shrugging off damage physically may be Made of Iron or Nigh Invulnerability. Despite the name, this trope is not limited to males or bullet wounds.

Compare: I Can Still Fight

Examples of Real Men Get Shot include:


  • Whenever Spike gets shot or falls from a great height in Cowboy Bebop, which is a lot.



Live Action TV

 Inara: Are you in pain?

Mal: Absolutely. I got stabbed, you know! [points to bandage] Right here!

Video Games

  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake gets shot, beaten, thrown off a cliff, breaks bones, hell, there's an entire game mechanic revolving around removing foreign objects from your flesh and not bleeding to death. All it does is reaffirm just how tough as nails this guy is.
    • How much damage you've taken changes one of Volgin's lines when Snake is captured. If you've done well, he comments on how Snake takes great care of his body. If you've taken a beating, he comments that a lesser man would be dead by now.
  • Certainly hinted at in Aliens Vs Predator 2 with General Rykov.
  • Red Dead Revolver and it's Spiritual Successor Red Dead Redemption has both protagonists' sporting several scars on one side of their face.

Web Original

  • In Red vs. Blue, episode 4 of season 9, North was riddled with bullets but is still able to climb out of a Pelican in flight and activate his dome shield to save the ship.

Real Life

 Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.

  • The Purple Heart award is essentially a patriotic incarnation of this. It's generally not a medal anyone particularly wants to get.


  1. Jokingly though. He's just trying to milk it for all the sympathy it's worth
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