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Blood Upgrade
Oh, Ken! When will you learn?

"It's my BLOOOOD!"
Gaara from Naruto

Some people become a little squeamish when they see blood. Others... well, let's just say they don't take it nearly as well.

This trope applies to whenever a character becomes incredibly deranged and/or powerful at the sight of their own blood. Perhaps their agility increases, or they become more alert, or they begin to realize their opponent is a serious threat and decide to go all out. In any case, their skills suddenly increase when they realize THEY are the one who's bleeding.

The most cliched way this is depicted is for a man to take a blow to the face, causing his lower lip to bleed slightly at the corner. He wipes the blood with one finger, looks at it, and smiles, right before kicking ass.

Often Truth in Television. Fighting males tend to restrain themselves until one of them is injured at which point the fight becomes "serious" and they use potentially lethal force. Females have a tendency to avoid fighting until seriously provoked, which causes them to engage in seriously injurious fights without a ritualistic or build-up phase.

Somewhat related to Minor Injury Overreaction. Compare Critical Status Buff, which is a similar concept in Video Games.


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     Anime & Manga 
  • Mr. Heart, the Giant Mook from Fist of the North Star, who goes utterly ballistic when Kenshiro draws his blood during their major fight.
  • As in the quote above, Gaara exhibits this trope when Sasuke lands a blow on him and manages to draw blood. Justified since, due to being constantly protected by his own sand powers, this is the first time Gaara has bled. Ever. He panics so much that at first he aborts his original upgrade and was in a funk for a good while afterwards. But once he adjusted to having been injured...
  • One Piece does this with the character "Pearl" from Don Krieg's crew. When he find out that he has a small nosebleed he overreacts and starts becoming more frantic and uses more powerful moves.
    • According to the crewmen, he grew up in "the jungle" where his instinctive response to any danger was to light a fire. He perceives the loss of any blood to be a sign of great danger and thus powers up.
  • "Prince the Ripper" Belphegor from Katekyo Hitman Reborn! becomes more deranged and powerful at the sight of his own blood.
    • "Ushishishi, the blood of the royal clan is flowing!"
  • As the example pictures show, T.K./Takeru Takaishi reacts this way in Digimon Adventure 02 to Ken Ichijoji whipping in the face. To drive the point home, it was also mentioned in earlier episodes that Ken had martial arts training. TK doesn't. However, judging by TK's reaction to Ken's master plan, he was probably planning on punching his teeth in regardless.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Vegeta's response to Goku drawing blood on him during their first major battle was an attempt to destroy the entire damned planet, leading to a spectacular Beam-O-War between him and Goku.
    "Blood! My noble blood, spilled by the sheer luck of such - such trash?! No, I will not allow this to stand....I CANNOT ALLOW THIS TO STAND! YOUR INSOLENCE JUST COST YOU THIS WORLD! I'LL BLOW IT ALL TO PIECES, AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP ME!!!"
    • It shows up again when Trunks attacks Vegeta to stop him from interfering in the fight against Cell. He's initially just stunned that Trunks followed through, but once he sees blood on his glove he becomes furious.
  • Jean Jacquemonde from Spriggan turns into a werewolf and kills everything he sees moves when he sees his own blood.
  • Whenever Leo Aoi of the manga Beast Master sees blood, his animalistic alter-ego emerges.
  • At one point of Bus Gamer, Nakajou Nobuto gets his Achilles' tendon cut off by a random gamer. After explicitly stating blood fascinated him, he proceeded to beat the crap out of his attacker. Saitou asked why he was soaked in blood after he caught up with him. Nakajou told him it was mostly not his own blood, so he shouldn't worry. Did I mention he's a doctor?
  • In Gamaran there's Sakon Daimaru. Normally he's a deadly warrior, but when he gets wounded and bleeds he becomes "scared" of his opponent... and puts much more effort in eradicating the source of his fear. Partly justified as Sakon's not quite right in the head.
    • Later Shingo of the Myojin Ryuu (a huge guy wielding a 48 pounds spear) becomes even more dangerous and faster after being wounded twice by Gama.

  • Carnage from Spider-Man. His symbiote, while similar to Venom's, has bonded to him by becoming part of his bloodstream. When beaten and reduced to normal, Kasady is a weakling (albeit homicidal), but the tiniest scratch will release the symbiote. For this reason he keeps one of his teeth filed to a sharp point.
  • When Nico Minoru from Runaways bleeds, the Staff of One emerges from her body and leaves her well equipped to kick some ass. Of course, she's just as likely to summon it by making herself bleed.
  • Cyborg, in his first origin issue, describes to his teammates how he got into a gang fight as a young man and got cut with a knife. In his words, "Man, I freaked out when I got cut an' saw my blood drippin' out. I fought back with everythin' I had..."


  • Dodgeball's Big Bad only starts to get really upset once he's been made to bleed.
    White Goodman: "It's over between us, Kate. Nobody makes me bleed my own blood - nobody."
  • In many a Bruce Lee movie, when you manage to wound him and draw blood, you'll have stunned him, then you see him taste his own blood, and then you can prepare your will because you've really pissed him off now!

     Live Action TV 
  • Gibby from iCarly fights to save his friends with ruthless abandon, but only after his opponent bloodies his lip does he take off his shirt and begin really kicking ass.

     Professional Wrestling 
  • Part of Tazz's gimmick was him going into rages when he found himself bleeding. Tazz actually said it was a feeling he enjoyed having, even though he did fight better when he got it. In TNA he hypothesizes Kenny King might go through the same thing.
  • Matt Hardy, as part of his "Version 1.0" gimmick, fought harder when he bled.
  • TNA did an extended storyline where their masked monster, Abyss, had gone missing. His nerdy lawyer brother, Joseph Parks, came looking for him and pretty much abandoned the search when he got involved in the Ace's and 8's storyline. In storyline, Joseph trained to become a wrestler, but was fairly inept at it until he would see blood and go psycho and beat up his opponents. Eventually it was revealed to the surprise of no one in the audience that Joseph Parks was, in fact, Abyss.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Hong Kong Action Theatre, the Signature Move "Blood Rage" owes its existence to Bruce Lee above. If a character with this signature takes a wound without defending at all, his or her next attack on whoever delivered the wound is made at a +5 bonus to hit and does double damage if it connects.
  • 4e Dungeons and Dragons has the "Bloodied" status, after losing enough hit points. Depends on the creature or character in question, this could trigger new and exciting effects. For both the bloodied victim, or someone fighting them.

     Video Games 

     Web Original 

     Western Animation 

Blood-Stained LetterBloody TropesBloodless Carnage
Bloody MurderCombat TropesBoarding Party
Digimon Adventure 02ImageSource/Anime and MangaDigimon Tamers

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