First Blood

The Hero and the Villain face off in battle. They both pull their weapons and charge at each other. After the first blow we see a shot of the floor beneath one of the combatants. A stream of blood trickles down. This is a common way to show that the battle is serious and one of the characters is injured. Often the next shot will be of the injured party touching their wound and saying "I'm bleeding?" A common trope in any show that involves a lot of bleeding. Sometimes a Blood Upgrade results from this.

Got jack all to do with the first installment of the same name in the Rambo franchise, or the sequel, Rambo: First Blood Part II.


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     Anime and Manga  

  • In an old issue of Spider-Man, Peter slugs Venom in the face after being abandoned on a deserted island with his enemy. Venom actually bleeds and tells Spidey that he has "first blood".

  • The Mark of Zorro:
    Don Diego: I needed that scratch to awaken me.
  • Instead of finding horror in this, Bruce Lee gathers berserk strength by touching the wound licking his own blood off his fingers.
  • Played for laughs in Kung Pow! Enter the Fist. When The Chosen One and Wimp Lo's fight is stopped, Wimp Lo declares "he is bleeding, making him the victor."
  • Most Errol Flynn swashbucklers had moments like this.
  • In The Matrix Reloaded, after Neo stops a slew bullets, the Mooks whip out swords and start fighting Neo. After Neo performs a Bare-Handed Blade Block, a drop of blood goes from his hand to the floor, causing the Merovengian to say "You see? He's just a man!" Cue Neo trashing all of Merovengian's Mooks within minutes.
  • In Rocky IV, after a long fight, Rocky lands a good punch, causing Draco to bleed for the first time, showing Draco is not invincible.
  • In The Great Race, the great sword fight had a moment like this.


     Live Action TV  
  • In Firefly in the episode Out Of Gas it opens with a deserted ship and Mal staggering through the hold and falling to the ground. We only find out he's wounded when we see blood dripping through the deck underneath him.

     Professional Wrestling  
  • This is the name of a gimmick match type in professional wrestling, in which the first person to bleed is declared the loser. This ruling makes them potentially less brutal than basic matches can become, since they usually continue whether someone bleeds or not. TNA has a variation called "Sadistic Madness", where pin falls, submissions and such can only end the match after the recipient bleeds.

    Real Life 
  • Kids in the united states of America have a game called "bloody knuckles", where two of them punch each other in the fist, the loser being the first one to bleed from their knuckles.

  • In some fencing matches, the first person to draw blood is declared victor and the match ends.
    • The epee was created in response to laws that duels be to first blood instead of to the death, removing the sharp tip. Instead they had three prongs to gouge out a chunk of flesh. They did still want it to be obvious when someone was struck.
    • Other matches require that the blood be drawn from the torso to count as victory.
  • Unlike predecessors such as boxing, kick boxing and even professional wrestling, mixed martial arts bouts tend to be lost by anyone unfortunate enough to be split open. Some leagues cite heightened awareness of blood borne diseases.

     Tabletop Games  

     Video Games  

     Web Original  
  • Noka is slashed by Abel of all people, and with a sharpened stick that was ripped from a bed frame.