show (one's) (true) stripes

(redirected from show their true 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 ?
Actually, the case of general managers is where the black proponents show their true stripes.
Students, alumni and fans of Missouri, Auburn and Clemson Universities can show their true stripes by helping to end tiger farming and the illegal trade in tiger parts," said John Donoghue, senior vice president of World Wildlife Fund.