troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Pink Mist
"Everything above yer' neck's gonna be a FINE red mist!"
The Sniper, Team Fortress 2

This is the polar opposite of Pretty Little Headshots, usually found in military fiction and gorier video games. As the above quote says, it's after a sniper has shot someone, and all that delicious blood-jelly bursts into a bloody cloud, which, from a distance, appears to be pink. Usually some part of the cranium is blown off in the process. This type of headshot is almost invariably seen from the sniper's point of view.

The thing that keeps this from falling into Ludicrous Gibs is that it actually happens, although it requires a sufficiently high-velocity bullet to produce the effect. Typical pistol bullets can (and often do) produce a blood-splattering exit wound in headshots, but the vaporization of enough blood and brain tissue to produce an actual mist requires a supersonic velocity of the sort most typically found in rifle bullets (thus partially validating the Pretty Little Headshot, at least if the shooter is using a pistol). The .357 revolver suicide of R. Budd Dwyer on live TV could be clearly seen to produce no visible pink mist, despite involving a powerful pistol caliber to the brain at point-blank range.

The most easily accessible real-world evidence for Pink Mist is surely the Gross-Up Close-Up provided by the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination: a 10.5 gram rifle bullet traveling at 2,300 feet per second into a large, homogenous mass with the consistency of a custard pie can be clearly seen to support the trope, although not quite as strikingly as one might expect.

See also Chunky Salsa Rule, Gorn and Boom, Headshot. Compare Your Head A Splode and Ludicrous Gibs. Contrast, of course, Bloodless Carnage and Pretty Little Headshots.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  

  • Baccano!! features many headshots, at least two of which are animated in all their gory glory. The conductor who takes a bullet to the head splashes blood all over the place and is later shown with a substantial hole in the back of his head. Poor Czeslaw, who takes two shots to the head with a shotgun, gets his head blown off completely. At least temporarily.
  • Black Lagoon during Robert's Blood Trail, several FARC troops get shot by Roberta while she's wielding an anti-material rifle that was previously shown blowing large holes into a stone building. Against the FARC troops, it more or less vaporized everything above the navel.

     Comics  

     Fan Fiction 
  • In the Harry Potter fanfic Jamie Evan's and Fate's Bitch, in the final chapter, after The House of Yaxley kidnaps Jamie's adopted daughter, she goes after them in a truly magnificent Roaring Rampageof Revenge. One of the wizards is turned into a full-body version of this trope, with the use of a modified paint stripping charm. She puts enough power behind it that he turns into nothing but a skeleton and a large cloud of pink mist.

     Film  
  • The memorable restaurant scene in The Godfather has Michael Corleone turning both Virgil "The Turk" Solozzo & Captain McKlusky's brains into this.
  • The ending of Chinatown has a disturbingly realistic exit wound where somebody's eye used to be.
  • The first Young Guns has a scene in which Emilio Estevez shoots an accused traitor in the head. Unlike the usual modest blood-splats found in Westerns, another character flinches when a huge splash of gore hits his hat from about ten feet away.
  • David Mamet's Spartan has someone's head do this after being hit by a sniper's bullet.
  • Sadly (maybe) the lead characters of Jarhead never got to see the pink mist they so longed to see due to a airstrike taking out their targets just before they took the shot.
  • In the Jodie Foster film Anna and the King, a Thai servant is beheaded for treason against a king. As her head is lopped off (just offscreen) a fine pink mist sprays out across the screen.
  • A variation happens in Once Upon a Time in China; the villain that Wong Fei Hung is fighting gets his throat cut with split bamboo. At first it looks like nothing, but slowly a little red line begins to form, get longer, and suddenly a pink mist spews from the wound as he drops dead.
  • Happens in The Matrix when Trinity challenges an Agent to dodge a bullet at point blank range. The resulting headshot produces this.
  • There are some impressive instances of pink mist in Apocalypto. All the more so because there are no firearms, only clubs and arrows.

     Literature  
  • Oh so very used in military fiction. Case in point: Tom Clancy.
  • In the John Ringo novel Unto the Breach, one of the commanders of a Chechen battle group gets this treatment. On live international TV. By a sniper roughly two miles away. It crosses into Ludicrous Gibs territory, with the man literally explodes upon being hit by the round due to hydrostatic shock.
  • Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Eddie's former commander during World War II blows up when he steps on a landmine. What happens to him, though, is more like Pink Salsa.
  • In Battlefield Earth (the novel), Jonnie is thinking of running away, but is stopped by Terl, who says "If I shot you with it, you would turn into a pink mist." (Paraphrased slightly.)
  • In First Casualty the protagonist witnesses a whole foxhole of soldiers being hit by a shell. It was raining pink afterwards.
  • In Inside Delta Force, the narrator describes a mission in which he and a teammate are tasked with sniping enemy shooters that always fired from within groups of children. Once the shots were fired and the guns came back down from recoil, all that was visible in the scopes was a mist, a "fading pink chimera in the sunlight."
  • In Raising Steam, Discworld engineers learn superheated steam is not good if the boiler explodes: quite a few would-be George stephensons end up wafted into the afterlife as clouds of necessarily pink steam.

     Live-Action TV  
  • This effect is described in detail in one episode of In Plain Sight, by the main protagonist, Mary Shannon.
  • One of the last episodes of Dollhouse has Bennet shot in the head by whoever Whiskey is at the time. The pink mist surrounds a stunned Topher.
  • Explained to Christina Ricci and later demonstrated by the bomb squad guy on the season 2 Super Bowl episode of Grey's Anatomy
  • The X-Files would mostly use Pretty Little Headshots, but when Mulder shoots John Lee Roche in "Paper Hearts", it's this trope: lots of blood spattered on the window.

     Tabletop Games  
  • Dialled up to 11 in Warhammer 40,000, in which the main weapon of the Space Marines is a machine gun loaded with exploding bullets. A few ONE good hit can turn your entire body into Pink Mist/Pink Salsa.
  • Paranoia sourcbooks regularly make references to turning Troubleshooters into "fine red mist", either due to post-mission interrogations from Friend Computer or just the latest experiments from R&D.

     Video Games  

    Visual Novels 
  • Some of the deaths by sniper shot in Rose Guns Days are depicted this way most notably Stella's death at the end of Season 3.

     Web Comics  

     Real Life  
  • Tragically Truth in Television, as anyone who has seen the Zapruder Film (the film of John F. Kennedy's assassination) can attest.
  • Military snipers who use the Barrett .50 caliber rifle will get Pink Mist results - and chunks of body and gear flying around - when hitting any part of the human body. Examples abound on YouTube and other sites. Of course, it's to be expected when you use an anti-materiel rifle as an anti-personnel rifle.

One-Hit KillSniper IndexPretty Little Headshots
Pink Means FemininePink TropesPink Product Ploy
Personality Blood TypesBloody TropesPsychic Nosebleed
The ParalyzerCombat TropesPinned Down

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
31795
1