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A Mexican standoff is a confrontation in which no strategy exists that allows any party to achieve victory.[1][2] Any party initiating aggression might trigger its own demise. At the same time, the parties are unable to extricate themselves from the situation without suffering a loss. As a result, all participants need to maintain the strategic tension, which remains unresolved until some outside event or interparty dialogue makes it possible to resolve it.

Depiction of a Mexican standoff

The term Mexican standoff was originally used in the context of using firearms and it still commonly implies a situation in which the parties face some form of threat from the other parties. The Mexican standoff is a recurring trope in cinema, in which several armed characters hold each other at gunpoint.

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