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. No sooner had the New York Yankees won the 1996 World Series than Bob Watson was addressing a post-game press conference saying how proud he was to be the first black GM in history to guide a championship team.