show (one's) (true) stripes

(redirected from show their stripes)

show (one's) (true) stripes

To reveal what one really believes, thinks, or wants; to act in accordance with one's real personality, character, or disposition. (A less common variant of "show one's (true) colors/colours.") Dave said all along that he only wanted this deal because it was in the company's best interest, but he showed his true stripes once he realized that he wouldn't get any special commission for his efforts. It's only in times of crisis that your friends will really show their stripes.
See also: show, stripe
References in periodicals archive ?
Now A-listers show their stripes by getting a part in US show Glee.
Kellogg's Frosted Flakes will recognize young athletes who Show their Stripes, and a television commercial spotlighting authentic "Show Your Stripes" moments will air during the Little League Baseball World Series broadcast.
This is a big deal for our state, and I urge my fellow mascots across Michigan to show their stripes and join me in supporting our Detroit Tigers.