Blood Is the New Black

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Someone's looking faaaabulooous!

Boss: Is that your blood?
The Narrator: Some of it, yeah.

A battle, be it for honor, a one-sided fight, for getting even, or just plain killing people, can be a very messy affair. The victim may have accidentally sprayed some of their blood all over their attacker and others, or the attacker may have become covered in their own blood from retaliation. Fortunately, the attacker doesn't seem to mind and will eventually walk around covered in blood as if it's no big deal. It may even result in them becoming even more excited and send them into a frenzy.

It is important to note that people who have seen them in action or immediately following may mention them to others as a figure to avoid if that character is particularly efficient or particularly insane. The Blood Knight and the Combat Sadomasochist have a high probability of invoking this, since they're both known to revel in the feeling.

Highly likely to show up in Gorn. Related tropes include Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress for the special day gone horribly wrong, Bring My Red Jacket for people that prefer not to show off too much and White Shirt of Death who love showing off their new iron-themed attire. See also Blood-Splattered Warrior.

Not to be confused with Black Blood.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ladd Russo and the Rail Tracer Claire Stanfield from Baccano! invoke this increasingly over the course of the Flying Pussyfoot arc. Ladd brings it up verbally and it's why he wears white; Claire just manages to become so coated it's the Rail Tracer's most notable feature.
  • Lucy from Elfen Lied.
  • Shizuo Heiwajima and Masaomi Kida from Durarara!!
  • Grell from Black Butler. loves blood because of its color and relishes painting his victims in pretty red blood.
  • Nearly every member of the cast in High School of the Dead has this happen at least once.
  • Ichigo and a few other characters in Bleach have invoked this on a couple of occasions.
  • Hellsing: Seras Victoria seems to acquire a coat of blood whenever her true vampiric power kicks in. In this work, every major combatant probably qualifies at some point or another.
  • Saya in Blood+ when in her Berserk Mode. Same for her Blood-C and Blood: The Last Vampire Counterparts.
  • Nicholas D. Wolfwood finally dies this way in the manga. A majority of the blood is his, but still.
  • Tsukiyama from Tokyo Ghoul takes it to an entirely new level, when he tears the Scrapper apart with his bare hands. In the process, blood rains down on him and soaks his pristine white suit completely.....revealing a hidden pattern on the fabric. That's right, his suit is designed to look fancier when soaked in blood.
  • The White Blood Cells in Cells at Work! are known to walk around in the blood of a freshly-killed antigen.

    Comic Books 

    Films Live Action 
  • The title character from Carrie was covered in pig blood, the result of a heartless prank by the Alpha Bitch, and she wore it when she went on her rampage.
  • One of many famous scenes in American Psycho is Patrick Bateman killing an annoying co-worker just as he finishes lecturing him about Huey Lewis and the News. Then, with his face covered in blood, he takes off the raincoat that was keeping his suit clean and casually sits down in a chair facing the co-worker's hacked-up corpse to smoke a cigar.
  • Braindead by Peter Jackson had most of the cast drenched in blood and gory chunks. Lionel (after the lawnmover scene) shows us the interior design version of this trope.
  • Mel Gibson in both Braveheart and The Patriot.
  • Kill Bill: O-ren Ishii covers herself in blood after killing her parent's murderer.
    • And the Bride herself, after the battle with the Crazy 88.
  • Sin City has red blood splattering into the faces of Devon Aioki and Mickey Rourke in two different scenes.
  • In Mad Max: Fury Road, Max offs the Bullet Farmer in an Offscreen Moment of Awesome. When he returns to the group, his face is covered in his opponent's blood.
  • In Pulp Fiction Vincent's face and Jules's hair get covered in blood when Vincent shoots Marvin in the face. It's the third story's premise as well, as the characters end up in a car splattered in blood and brain matter in broad daylight on the street.
  • In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the title character's face and clothes are covered in blood in the immediate aftermath of his final vengeance against Judge Turpin, making for a terrifying scene when he finds and almost kills his own daughter unrecognized.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Altered Carbon many of the Methuselahs tend to get covered in blood. Nominally more often than what would be acceptable for polite company. But, between everybody being equipped with a cortical stack making them almost indefinitely resurrectable, and the Methuselahs having the money and influence to openly defy social norms, it's something they practically ignore. Takeshi Kovacs's "patron", Laurens Bancroft, is seen getting covered in blood the most often, due to the story's particular focus on him and the actions stemming from his megalomania.
  • In the CSI episode, "Bad to the Bone", a particularly nasty murderer is caught almost immediately when he casually walks into a diner to wash his hands after beating a man to death.
  • In the Masters of Horror episode "Cigarette Burns", Annie is covered head to toe in blood when she emerges out of the theater screen at the end.
    • Downplayed with Dalibor after he decapitates the taxi driver.
  • In Supernatural, Sam uses blood to paint his and Dean's faces to hide from a powerful demon, Samhain. His reasoning was that people wear masks to protect themselves from its wrath, and blood was the only thing on hand.
  • In True Blood, the vampire goddess appears as a naked woman covered head to toe in blood.
  • The Walking Dead: Besides the general mess that occurs from fighting zombies, the characters also use this for camouflage.

    Music 
  • The protagonist of The Birthday Massacre's song "Happy Birthday." Midway through the song, her "black and white dress" becomes a "black and red dress".
  • Variant: the music video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Scar Tissue" has the band all bloodied and battered (which fits the injury-related title and lyrics).

    Print Media 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Ric Flair has been doing this since the 70's and never stopped, resorting to punching himself to a bloody mess even after "retiring".
  • A go to standard to see what this looks like in Real Life, is a 1992 The Great Muta vs. Hiroshi Hase New Japan Pro-Wrestling match. To this day, Smarks measure how profusely a wrestler bleeds on the "Muta Scale".
  • Invoking this trope(and having it invoked on her) is the gimmick of Shira, the Mexican independent circuit's Queen Of Blood.
  • Any Hell in a Cell match prior to 2009 was practically mandated as this.
  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's bloodstained screams while in the Sharpshooter in his Wrestlemania XIII match against Bret Hart made him a superstar and one of the biggest faces ever because he just wouldn't give up.
  • To win CZW's "tournament of death" you must compete in at least three garbage matches favoring sharp objects in a single day, leading to a lot of guys walking around, skin caked brown with dried blood.
  • Then at Judgment Day 2004 JBL and Eddie Guerrero wrestled a "Texas Bull Rope" match where the later redefined the Muta Scale (which was usually measured in such terms as "half a Muta, three quarters Muta")
  • In 2006, Tyler Black signified that he had sold out to All American Wrestling's Jim Jesus by smearing his body with the blood of former tag team partner Marek Brave. Sorry, too hard not to include.
  • Jimmy Jacobs smeared himself with BJ Whitmer's blood at ROH The Fifth Year Festival: Finale after hitting him with a rail road spike during their falls count anywhere match.
    • Jacobs upped it a step further with the Age of the Fall's debut, cutting a bitter promo about how "love doesn't save, nothing saves!" while Jay Briscoe was strung up above him, dripping blood all over him.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000:
    • This can be expected for an army or a particular unit the focuses on melee. Orks, Chaos, certain Empire/Imperial elements...
    • Followers of Khorne especially. One of the most notable was the World Eaters; pre-heresy, they had white and blue armour, but it would get "repainted" in red often enough when at war. Now after their falling to worship of Khorne, thier armor blood-red and bronze; the only official repainting effort was swapping the blue trim for bronze.
      • There was a popular rumor in-universe that the oldest among them had never in fact repainted their armor.
      • The World Eaters Primarch[[note]]Both their general and "father," since Space Marines have serious bioengineered enhancement derived from extra organs cloned from their Primarch's body.[[/not]], a fellow named Angron, was told that he should just repaint his armor red so often that he eventually did, which set the template for his sons to do so when they would eventually worship Khorne. He was seen this way so often, it earned him the epithet of "the Red Angel."
    • The Blood Angels of 40k are this way too, since they have a particular focus on close combat. They also have occasional psychological breaks that drive them to drink blood or go into a permanent, hallucinatory psychotic rage. Despite their...faults, they happen to be one of the nobler chapters within the Imperium, though some of their offshoots have earned a terrible reputation for not handling those same faults without nearly enough grace or discretion.
    • A deity that appears in both settings is Kaela Mensha Khaine, or "Khaine the Bloody Handed," the Elven/Eldar god of war and murder. In 40k particularly, there's a myth in which he murdered an Eldar hero who spurned him. For his crime Khaine's punishment would be that the hero's blood would drip from his hands for all time, so that all who would look at him would know of the god's sin.
  • In Nobilis, Lord Entropy's hands are perpetually bloodstained. Given that he's the commander of the setting's Forever War, the blood is only partially a metaphor.
  • Used for one of the Thaumaturgy powers in Vampire: The Masquerade: a vampire can extrude some of its own blood to use as magical body armour.
  • In the New World of Darkness, one of the powers granted by a demon of Wrath invokes this trope: while the deal-maker is smeared with the fresh blood of a living enemy, they are completely unaffected by any direct, intentional attack.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, there's a prestige class called the Blood Magus, who, obviously, uses blood to fuel their magic. At first, it's mostly just cutting themselves and whatnot, but their capstone ability, called 'Bloodwalk', is basically using people as conduits for teleportation. If the magus wishes, they make their victim explode in a gory mess as the magus pops out the other side.

    Theater 
  • Certain productions of Titus Andronicus.
  • Padraic and Mairead in The Lieutenant of Inishmore. Mairead specifically changes from a tomboyish outfit into a pretty sundress that looks even lovelier drenched in blood.
  • In William Shakespeare's Theatre/Coriolanus, Cominius describes Caius Martius Coriolanus as being thus attired. Ralph Fiennes and Tom Hiddleston have both appeared like this in recent stage productions.

    Video Games 
  • The "Rage" sections of Wet occur when Rubi shoots a mook at close range in a cut scene and gets blood splashed on her face, triggering Rubi-Vision.
  • Characters get covered in blood after virtually every fight in Dragon Age: Origins, not to mention that your progress on the map screen is marked by a literal trail of blood. (BioWare would like you to know that this game is edgy.)
  • In Mass Effect 3 several Krogans end up covered in so much blood it drips off them. And they like it that way.
  • When Ezio of Assassin's Creed II kills his first target, the man who sentenced his brothers and father to death, he stabs the guy over and over in grief-stricken rage and then screams at the shocked onlookers while covered in the target's blood. Later, calmer kills have the blood fade quickly from Ezio's hands and clothes, but it lingers in that scene to add to the emotional charge.
  • In Bioshock Infinite, after killing Jeremiah Fink, Daisy Fitzroy deliberately smears his blood across her face.
  • The Conqueror's Coat from The Last Remnant was not originally red.
  • This is actually a game mechanic in Drakengard 3. As Zero kills enemies, her outfit gets covered in more and more blood. This fills a gauge, which activates the Intoner Mode when full. The Intoner Mode draws on the blood as a power source and ends when her outfit is clean again.
  • In The Last of Us as well, blood splattering everywhere when people get shot, bludgeoned or cut is coded pretty realistically, to the point that even the characters' models can receive it. Messy, close-range kills easily get Joel's clothes, hands or face bloody.
  • In Tales of Xillia 2, the Bad Ending depicts protagonist Ludger with slight but noticeable blood spattering his face after having killed the cast of Xillia to protect his brother.
  • Hunters in Bloodborne. Understandable, since "blood" is half the game's title; the pseudo-Victorian styled clothing makes the copious amounts of blood staining them stand out even more. It comes in two main flavors: beasts, humans, and animals have red blood, while Great Ones and Kin of the Cosmos bleed grey. It's possible for a skilled player to go about slaughtering enemies for quite a while and become almost completely coated.
  • Happens to Martin Walker in Spec Ops: The Line, representing his deteriorating mental state. At one point, he suffers a massive burn across one side of his face, bloodying it even further.

     Web Comic 
  • Independent from morphE is always depicted as being coated in blood splatters from top to bottom. During the one nightmare sequence where a character has a brief conversation with her this is not brought up by either party. It's just how she rolls. The first nightmare sequence depicted her slashing someone's throat open, so the blood is probably not hers.
  • Tag Dream has the Touhou characters take up wrestling. Memetic Psychopath Yuuka goes in the ring wearing a white swimsuit which is dyed red by the time she goes out.

    Web Original 
  • Played for laughs in A Very Potter Sequel. After his transformations, Remus Lupin walks around for several scenes at a time wearing nothing but tighty-whiteys and the blood of his (animal) victims. He keeps having to come up with lame excuses as to why he's covered in blood.
    Lupin: Uh... it's tradition! Yes, it's tradition that every game, before the match, the Gryffindor... pee-wee Quidditch team kill a defenceless doe... and devour it! In doing so, we are able to absorb the power and ferocity... of a doe.
  • Sacrifice of When the Hunting Party Came does this often, and frequently makes detours to give herself a fresh coat of blood.
  • Kevin in Welcome to Night Vale is always seen with bloodstains on his shirt, likely due to his tastes in "decorating" (which in fact consists of killing humans and animals and smearing their remains all over the place). A particularly disturbing moment in Episode 70A seems to imply that he finds blood . . . exciting.

    Western Animation 


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