Must be Monday. New podcast! Just click on the fancy logo below.
Nope, it's a stigmata with the bleeding of the eyes and the retina gone crazy-swirly with the twitching of bloody red cornea. The cornea-corn.
Or pus, or slime, or icky black stuff... If something's coming out of your eyes and it's not salty water
then you can bet your bottom dollar that something pretty bad is happening to you. The trope comes in two flavours, which are, oddly, created to have the exact opposite effect on the audience:
Flavour one is designed to freak them out, and is usually a sign that the person has been infected by some horrible virus
, or is being killed by weird supernatural means
. Eye trauma
is one of the easiest ways to gross people out, and this method has the added advantage that the person can be "cured" without having lost their vision permanently. Alternatively, it signifies that the "weeping" person is in some way inhuman
- or at the very least a candidate for supervillainy and somewhat demonic entities and characters.
Flavour two, meanwhile, is used to signify someone's death in a poetic and possibly even "beautiful" way, especially if the character is a tragic villain. This is far less common, and the aim is not necessarily to freak out the audience but to add a layer of sadness to a death scene. Mopey vampires
are particularly fond of this flavour. The undercurrent to this kind of bloody tears is that the person doing the crying is in some fundamental way (be it biologically or emotionally) incapable of doing so through normal means
- but is so overcome with emotion that they are doing so anyway.
Along these lines, statuary or paintings doing this with the first flavour can mean someone present
is utterly evil
(if the items are holy relics
) or that the item itself is an Artifact of Doom
. With the second flavour, it means the item is a holy relic that's "manifesting" itself this way in response to some tragedy/holiness, whether of its own or those present.
Has nothing to do with the band in Wizards of Waverly Place
See also: Blood from the Mouth
and Psychic Nosebleed
, Rain of Blood
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Black Cat, Episode 01
- When a Behelit summons the Godhand in the Berserk universe, its features rearrange into a human face, which sheds tears of blood and screams. This also happens to Griffith due to being tortured and Guts himself due to having his right eye clawed out by a demon.
- The second flavor of this occurs in episode 25 of Cowboy Bebop, when Vicious kills the leaders of the Red Dragon and takes over the syndicate, executing one of them by slashing him across the eyes and making him "shed tears of scarlet."
- In Chrono Crusade a statue of the Virgin Mary is seen crying tears of blood at one point.
- Joshua also cries tears of blood when he first puts Chrono's horns on his head, and in the manga the Apostles cry tears of blood from the strain of a spiritual ceremony called the "oratorio."
- Statues of the Virgin Mary have a disturbing tendency to do this a lot; one also does in Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness, and also in one cut of the famous scene in The Exorcist.
- In Claymore, you at one point see Teresa having a trail of blood on her face. Part of that trail resembled the path of a tear.
- Kyosuke, the protagonist of Soultaker often has these as a result of being Back from the Dead.
- It's more used for him to realize he's close to a Flicker, however. He initially relies solely on this to realize whe who he thinks is his sister, Runa, is really just a gun-toting Flicker named Asuka.
- Saint Seiya Aquarius Camus, Capricorn Shura and Gemini Saga cry tears of blood after being forced to kill Virgo Shaka.
- Even before, when they showed up and fought Mu, Mu noticed that "their souls were crying tears of blood", being the first to realize they were suffering.
- Lutecia's summoned creatures cried blood while she was under Quattro's Villain Override in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha.
- Naruto: Uchiha Itachi sheds tears of blood when he strains his sharingan to the limit while fighting his brother just before he dies at his brother's feet.
- At Itachi's death his brother Sasuke, also cries blood tears from Itachi's blood that went into his eyes at the end of their fight.
- Sasuke now exhibits the same behavior when he taxes his own Mangekyou Sharingan to a much greater degree.
- The Gedo Mazo Statue starts bleeding from it's eyes as it starts transforming into the Ten Tails as of Chapter 595.
- Terry Bogard sheds a few when Sulia dies in Fatal Fury: the Motion Picture, and then attacks Mars.
- Samurai Deeper Kyo averts Flavour two by having the Mibu cry tears of blood up until their death, when they can finally cry real tears.
- In episode 3 of Shamanic Princess, Lena cried buckets of these when she overheated during her transformation
- Alucard from Hellsing has cried tears of blood on occasion - once in a dream, remembering his defeat at the hands of Abraham van Helsing, and another at the time of Alexander Anderson's death.
- Seras does this in the seventh OVA during a flashback of her horrific childhood where she was forced to watch as her mother's corpse was raped.
- She does this in the last episode of the TV series as well.
- In a rare variation that doesn't involve supernatural powers or symbolism, Mahou Sensei Negima! has Negi bleeding out of his eyes after Jack Rakan beats the crap out of him, in addition to copious Blood from the Mouth. Given that earlier chapters of Negima went with Bloodless Carnage, it's simply an indicator of how badly injured he is.
- In the opening of Rozen Maiden, "Kinjirareta Asobi", Jun is depicted with blood coming from his eyes as he is choked by vines.
- Muramasa, a Filler Villain in Bleach, does this.
- Occurs a couple of times in InuYasha, perhaps one of the most prominent examples being a yokai that read the minds/hearts/souls(?) of its victims, then would provide them with a happy dream, whilst they were absorbed into the soil, all the while the victim crying tears of blood.
- Happened in D Gray Man to Allen when he had to watch a bunch of Akuma getting destroyed by the "Third Exorcists." No wonder he objects to his bosses' methods...
- This happens to Tsuchimikado in To Aru Majutsu no Index when casting a huge spell despite being an esper. Also blood from the mouth and apparently rupturing blood vessels essentially everywhere. He gets better because said esper ability is a passive Healing Factor.
- Another example in this series happens to Accelerator after watching how Yomikawa got stabbed and then crushed, by Kakine Teitoku, onto the floor many times despites Accelerator was begging him to stop.
- While not a real example, Ed from Fullmetal Alchemist has a tendency to look like he's doing this due to blood getting splashed on his face. This is apparently because the author likes to play around with the highlights and such created by a person crying but couldn't due to Ed's never crying being a plot point.
- Sosuke in Full Metal Panic after he learns of chidori's death (she isnt really) is too emotionally dead to cry, instead a shard of glass cuts his cheek and the trickle of blood serves the purpose.
- When Mitsuko Souma bites it in Battle Royale, Kiriyama opens the fight by lobbing a bag of shattered glass into her face. She spends the entire fight with tears of blood running down her cheeks. Not that it's symbolic or anything.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has a version of it, particularly in the second movie. After Kittan's Heroic Sacrifice. Simon goes on to kick ass and avenge him in the Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann while crying tears of blood. In the movie, the massive mecha is crying glowing tears of blood from BOTH faces.
- Black Butler: The maidservant Hannah does this when her master Alois stabs out her eye (for just looking at him!) in the first episode of the second season. She also does this in the second opening when the bandage covering her ruined eye comes loose.
- Agni seems to do this when sad...but when he's crying tears of joy, the tears are normal.
- In High School Of The Dead people who get turned into "them." tend to do this a lot.
- In Baccano Czeslaw's eyes are leaking blood in a flashback because of the horrific Eye Scream torture he was just subjected to.
- Historical shoujo manga Anatolia Story, aka "Red River", has this in the title page for the 27th volume.
- In the sixth arc of Umineko No Naku Koro Ni, Kanon inflicts the second flavor of this upon Rosa. Indeed, in comparison to all the other ways to be offed in that series, it is quite a gentle, and even beautiful, death scene for a character who really isn't prone to them.
- The manga Emerging centers around a mysterious new disease spreading throughout Tokyo that causes infectious High Pressure Blood to gout from a victim's every orifice. Before the infected reach that stage, however, they will first notice that their eyes are extremely blood-shot, followed by tears of blood as the disease progresses.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica has Sayaka sporting these in episode 7, combined with Berserker Tears as she decimates a witch. And yes, it's just as freaky as it sounds.
- In Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Anime Hermit does this after explaining his dead little sister backstory, well it's more of a single tear of blood which can actually be creepier if you think about it.
- In Toward The Terra, Carina's tears run red in a tragic variation on a Psychic Nosebleed during the extended Angst Nuke that results when she thinks her four-year-old son has died.
- Played for Laughs in Yuru Yuri; Chitose is told that she would be automatically lose a pillow fight if she has a nosebleed and Kyouko immediately tries to invoke a fantasy. Chitose holds in the nosebleed, but the blood instead comes out from her eyes.
- Played for Laughs in Silver Spoon: Hachiken is so irritated by his big brother being so nonchalant about getting into Tokyo University, then casually dropping out, he cries bloody tears of RAGE, while biting his lip hard enough to draw even more blood.
- In Senki Zesshou Symphogear, after singing her Ultimate Song, Tsubasa started not only to make tears out of blood, but she's heavily bleeding here and there.
- It's used as a Running Gag in Rin Ne, where the titual character sheds these whenever he's forced to spend a large amount of money. This is because he's a Half-Human Hybrid of human and shishigami, and also because his father is a major-league asshole who has ruined his son's life with financial debts.
- In Manga/Golgo13 The Professional when Duke smashes Silver's face with his gun he has these.
- The villain Misery from Image Comics sheds a tear of blood every time she uses her powers.
- In Global Frequency, an alien thought-virus infects a group of people living in a housing block; each one of them begins to ooze blood from their eyes.
- The "zombies" in Black Gas have completely black eyes and weep black tears.
- The Corinthian in The Sandman sheds tears of blood when Morpheus dies. Of course, since the Corinthian is an incarnated nightmare with razor-toothed mouths where his eyes should be, and in a past life was a serial killer who ate his victims' eyeballs (this incarnation is apparently firmly on the side of good, but no less creepy), this is really an example of both flavors at once. That said, this is actually a touching moment.
- Amedeo gets these too, in the second part of The Corinthian: Death In Venice. Because the mouths are growing in.
- In Scare Tactics, the vampire Screamqueen cries these when she read Grossout's story about how he became a walking tumor.
- In the 20th anniversary re-colouring of Batman: The Killing Joke, Joker himself cries a bit of blood after Going Mad From The Revelation. This is likely from the chemicals he'd just taken a dip in that would permanently disfigure him to look the way he does.
- Le Chiffre, the villain in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, suffers from haemolacria in one eye, causing him to weep blood when stressed.
- LucioFulci's City of the Living Dead is a horror film that has a scene with a girl bleeding from her eyes shortly before she starts throwing up her intestines.
- Flavor two example: in X2: X-Men United, when Lady Deathstrike is killed by being injected with molten Adamantium, she weeps silvery tears before dying.
- Possibly a subversion, as the Adamantium leaks out of other orifices as well.
- Flavor two example: in Kill Bill, when Gogo Yubari is killed with a nail through the head, she cries blood.
- Flavor two was also used in John Woo's The Killer for two major scenes: one being the blinding-by-muzzle-flash of Jenny during the restaurant shootout that kicks off the plot, and the other being the death of the title character when he gets shot in the eyes by the main bad guy.
- This trope is used in the movie One Hour Photo which, instead of being one of the two aforementioned flavours, is in fact distilled Nightmare Fuel.
- The opening of Bram Stoker's Dracula has Vlad, the title character, so crazy-angry at the death of his wife (since it was a suicide, which according to the religious doctrine of the age meant that she was damned) that he openly renounces God. He then takes his sword and stabs it into a stone cross, which bleeds. Then the statues in the chapel start crying blood. Then his candles start oozing blood. Then blood starts pouring out of the walls. Then Dracula drinks the blood and becomes a vampire. Narmtastic.
- I Am Legend has people who are infected by the virus start to cry tears of blood. Then gain a craving for human flesh...
- Marlena in Cloverfield oozes blood from her eyes, just as we learn how seriously screwed she is.
- In Stargate, Ra's hand device, described as being able to melt bone, can cause its victims to bleed out the eyes and nose.
- The Mummy Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor uses this when, after the Dragon Emperor and his army are transformed into terracotta statues by Zi Yuan's curse, they seem to start crying mud.
- This happens to Marni in Repo! The Genetic Opera after Nathan unknowingly poisons her. Not so sure if Blind Mag counts for this
- The X-Files second movie has a scene where the priest (Billy Connolly) cries blood after a vision.
- Dead Air: These are one of the signs that a victim exposed to the Synthetic Plague will soon succumb.
- At the end of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Bill Haydon, having been exposed as The Mole, is assassinated by Jim Prideaux, his former lover and colleague, with a small calibre bullet through the head. Before Haydon collapses a single teardrop of blood runs down his cheek, matching the Single Tear shed by Jim.
- Older Than Print: Kriemhild from the Nibelungenlied weeps tears of blood after her husband Siegfried dies.
- Authors and poets in the Heian era (for example, the Tale of Genji) were obsessed with this trope. "Crying tears of blood" in that time period was the melodramatic equivalent of modern English speakers "crying their eyes out," resulting in some romantic poems of the period reading a little differently these days.
- 'Oh, my darling, my sleeves are stained crimson with blood at the thought of you...' Ew.
- A phrase the Japanese borrowed from China. In Classical Chinese (and occassionally nowadays) the phrase "tears of blood" is up there with "having your intestines and liver disintegrate inch-by-inch" for expressing romantic tragic love.
- In James Swallow's Warhammer 40000 Deus Sanguinius, the advent of a Walking Wasteland daemon causes a psychic (on a spaceship, off planet) to weep blood.
- Similarly, in Red Fury, when Serpens uses Nyniq to communicate with Caecus, she weeps tears pink with blood.
- The Night Lords novel of the above setting has The Exalted, whose facial expression is frozen in a grimace by the Warp-induced mutations of his skull structure.*]] The one time he is excited enough to force his mouth to contort into a smile, the muscular strain kicks his tear ducts into action, leaking "tears of oily [dark] blood".
- The character Icaris, a Khorne Berzerker from the Warhammer 40000 short story Honour Among Feinds by Dylan Owen weeps blood constantly because his opponents won't get to worship Khorne, just die in his name.
- Ever wonder what happens when the Winter Queen of Faerie gets annoyed at a smartass who won't shut up and starts freezing the water in their eyes? Because Harry Dresden knows.
- When the vampires of The Vampire Chronicles cry, their tears are blood.
- In J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood, sympaths (beings who can read and manipulate emotions that are feared and persecuted by the vampire race) shed tears of blood.
- In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero in Hell, Astreus would weep tears of blood if he could, for his exclusion from Heaven.
- In Star Trek Vulcans Soul, a victim of the Intellivore ends up releasing these. It also overlaps with Psychic Nosebleed, seeing as the vast telepathic mind of the Intellivore has scambled the psychic receptors in the victim's brain.
- Referenced in the Vampire Hunter D novel Pilgrimage of the Sacred and the Profane where Dhampir are described as crying tears of blood. D, being The Stoic doesn't give any corroboration.
- For unclear reasons, most of the non-humans in Darren Shan's Cirque Du Freak series cry tears of blood.
- In the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Seeing I, the Doctor gets a mild case of this when the surveillance device implanted in his left eye is activated.
- In Teresa Frohock's Miserere An Autumn Tale, the Katharos bleed from the eyes after contact with the Fallen— sometimes the ears and nose as well.
- In Stephen King's short story The Man in the Black Suit, Satan sheds them in the effort of swallowing a large fish.
- In a variant, Jack Fleming from The Vampire Files has sweated blood — lots of it — while recovering from being poisoned.
- In The Saga Of Ragnar Lodbrok, Queen Aslaug weeps a single tear of blood over the death of her stepsons Erik and Agnar.
Live Action TV
- Merlyn Temple of American Gothic cries these, or at least her body does, during a lovely guilt-inducing vision which haunts the coroner of Trinity—since he was complicit in covering up Sheriff Buck's crime of "mercy killing" her. The accompanying Madness Mantra on the tape recorder, both as an artificially deep Voice of the Legion and a freakily speeded-up version, is the icing on the cake for this very disturbing scene. (You know the villain of a piece must be awful if this is the sort of thing the good guys do regularly to combat his plots.)
- In Andromeda Beka once got these from overdosing on Flash, a highly addictive stimulant taken as eye drops.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Doomsday", a character who had been converted into a Cyberman cries oily tears as she turns on the rest of the Cybermen with a weapon that can kill them, meanwhile repeating the last thing she said before being converted.
- The Hands of Blue from Firefly use a futuristic device that causes ocular haemorrhaging and subsequent cessation of electrical activity in the brain. This device is used on Agent McGinnis and the Feds with nightmarish results in the episode "Ariel" after they admit that they have had verbal contact with River, whom they want to recapture.
- They start to bleed from the nose and mouth, too. The device appears to kill by causing fatal internal haemorrhaging.
- In Those Left Behind, the weapons used by the Hands are shown to be even more powerful, liquefying a man's entire body and leaving only a tattered husk of skin behind.
- The Wonder Twins from Heroes have a weird joint power; the woman, when stressed, begins to ooze black tears of poison. Anyone within a certain radius also begins to ooze the tears, but unlike her they subsequently die. The only way to stop the "infection" and revive those who have not been infected for long is for her brother (who is unaffected) to hold her hands and calm her down, at which point the tears turn into regular water. At the start of season two they did this around eighty times an episode; eventually Maya learned to control it herself. This has resulted in many fans making unflattering comparisons to...
- On NCIS, they receive a clue ahead of time from a serial killer, implying the next victim will cry tears of blood. He does. It's creepy.
- In Supernatural, the first sign of Bloody Mary's presence is that her victims begin to bleed from the eyes.
- A statue of the Virgin Mary also started to cry blood to mark the approach of the demon Alistair.
- This is how vampires cry on True Blood.
- The X-Files had an alien virus made of black oil that could control its hosts. The infected were shown to have black oil swirling on their eyes and would sometimes weep it too.
- Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger: Bandora suffers from this while harnessing the darkest of magic to summon Dai Satan.
- Ravenloft (2nd edition) used to have a magic item that looked like a valuable coin. It could be used to trick merchants, but every time the owner used it this way, he would begin to shed tears of blood that terrified anyone viewing him. The amount of time the Tears of Blood persisted depended on how big an amount of money you stole. The coin was cursed and very hard to get rid of — it bonded once you used it in a single scam, even once.
- The Blood of the Martyr card from Magic: The Gathering. Or, for the "icky black stuff" version, several black cards such as Demonic Collusion and Sudden Spoiling.
- In Vampire The Masquerade, since vampires have no bodily fluids apart from vitae, when they cry, they cry tears of blood. It is considered very vulgar among the Ventrue.
- The mannequin in Silent Hill: Promise once activated, sheds a single bloody tear.
- Zimmy of Gunnerkrigg Court has her eyes completely obscured by black gunk, until the next rain washes it away — that's how we know she got red eyes. She's considered technically human, though with some weird... issues. Either way, it looks creepy.
- In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Dan McNinja claims that he can store poison in his eyes and "shoot it out later like a toad" (a reference to the horned toad mentioned above). Turns out he isn't exaggerating.
- Not completely sure this belongs here, but Dan also caused someone to pee blood. He'd run out of urine, but was so terrified that his body continued to pee anyway.
- Subverted in Sluggy Freelance: when vampires cry tears of blood, that's simply analogous to humans crying normally.
- The trolls of Homestuck cry tears that correspond to their blood colour, Word Of God is that their blood dictates the colour of the rest of their bodily fluids, and tears just happen to contain the same pigment as their blood, rather than the actual blood, thus making this technically an aversion.
- In Penny Arcade, Tycho manages to inflict this on Gabe with a slide show.
- Eerie Cuties: Virgins shed tears of blood in the reign of the vampire queen.
- In the Oblivion-based online interactive story PREQUEL, Katia Managan has the natural Khajiit ability of darkvision. At least twice in the story, she activates it when heading into a dark place, then forgets to deactivate it when she turns back into the sun. She bleeds from her eyes a bit afterwards.
- Ayla and the Grinch in the Whateley Universe. Phase is fighting a demon and losing. He's beaten and broken, and lying at the
feet base of the thing, and blood is dripping from his eye. Along with pretty much everywhere else. He gets rescued and healed.
- Zalgo makes his victims cry oil when He Comes.
- In the world of Year Zero, an anti-viral agent nicknamed "Copper" causes orange secretions in users. In the "Star Chamber" terrorism incident, a supposed government agent is seen "crying orange tears."
- In Vampiru, this is how vampires cry.
- In the Family Guy episode "Patriot Games" when Stewie smashes a glass over Brian's head blood starts dripping from his eyes.
- William Murderface, bassist for Dethklok in Metalocalypse sheds a single tear of blood in the episode "Birthdayface," when the other members of the band get him a collection of priceless pieces of American history, specifically for him to destroy as he sees fit.
- Haemolacria is a physical condition in which blood is found in tears; this can be anything from a small trace to flows of red.
- Stretching the definition a little bit, but the horned lizard (also known as the "horny toad") can squirt blood from its eyes up to a distance of three feet to ward off predators.
- There are claims that some statues of the Virgin Mary (and statues of others, but almost exclusively Mary) have wept skim milk, blood and other substances in a miraculous fashion. Skeptics claim that the phenomenon can be attributed to condensation, group suggestion or hoaxes.
- Skim milk? Were her eyes lactating? Bizarre Alien Biology indeed.
- There's a story about weeping icons of Virgin Mary in Peter The Great's Russia. They started weeping (lamp oil, not blood) in one of the monasteries. Peter arrived to that monastery, examined an icon and found there's a small reservoir of oil in it. Then he decreed: "If any icons in my country weep with oil, the monks' asses will weep with blood!". Miraculously, the miracles of weeping icons ceased and never reappeared during Peter's lifetime.
- Jacinta Marto, one of the three kids who saw visions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, was also a horrifically Ill Girl (you do not want details) who died as per her own predictions at the age of eleven in a Lisbon hospital. During the hearings for her beatification, the nuns who prepared her for burial testified that they found tears of blood on her face.
- At least one Ancient Greek temple used machinery to make statues of gods appear to weep blood.
- Some people suffering from stigmata are said to weep tears of blood.
- If a person suffers of extreme altitude sickness, their ocular tear conducts break and blood pours from them. By that time, though, the person is practically dead because of the chronic lack of oxygen.
- In a very scary version of Truth in Television we have an upcoming episode of National Geographic, featuring this, where a girl spontaneously bleeds from her eyes, head, nose, and hands. There is no known reason for this.
- Something like this occurs with hippopotamuses, except in this case, they sweat blood, or a substance that resembles blood.
- Rats eliminate excess porphyrins, a dark red metabolic waste product, in their tears and nasal mucus. Inexperienced owners of pet rats sometimes rush their animals to the vet, assuming a runny nose or irritated eyes are actually bleeding.
- Endometriosis is an unpleasant condition where the lining of the uterus shows up in places it's not supposed to, such as the body cavity. There was a woman who had a patch show up in her eye. Meaning she wept blood every month.
- Ebola makes you bleed from every hole in your body. Including your tear ducts.
- People who have had certain types of eye surgery sometimes cry blood afterward to clear buildup in the tear ducts.