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Anime And Manga
- Mellowlink Arity, of Armor Hunter Mellowlink, paints four lines across his face whenever he's about to kill somebody. In fact, the image of Mellowlink with four lines of his own blood painted on his face is easily the most iconic image in the OVA.
- In Princess Mononoke, just before the boars attack the mining town, there's a sequence of them using their snouts to warpaint each others' faces with mud.
- In Battle Angel, Gally uses the blood of a friendly dog pointlessly slaughtered by an enemy.
- In Jon Sable, Freelance, Jon applying his face paint was a standard part of his Lock and Load Montage, and showed that he meant business. The first time he ever did this was just before he went on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the poachers who murdered his family, using the ashes from his burnt home as the paint.
- In Shaman's Tears, Joshua's transformation into his superpowered form involves him crying Tears of Blood that then transform into Tribal Face Paint.
- In The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, while traveling through the Land of Milk and Cookies, Max spreads blue and pink frosting across his cheeks before charging at plughounds.
- The Na'vi in Avatar, as well as their allies. Trudy even put warpaint around the cockpit of her stolen Black Helicopter. Which makes sense, since she was flying the exact same helicopter the bad guys were. Friendly fire, and all.
- Averted in Apocalypse Now, where we see Willard jump into the river and and emerge with pain on, but we don't see him actually put it on his face.
- In The Lone Ranger, Tonto's Tribal Face Paint is revealed to be this. He first painted it on with ashes in the midst of a Heroic B.S.O.D. after his tribe was slaughtered, and has kept it up ever since.
- Tweety bird daubs on war paint in the locker room during the Lock and Load Montage before the Ultimate Game in Space Jam.
- Shoshanna of Inglourious Basterds uses this trope in the middle of a Lipstick and Load Montage as she's preparing for her revenge against the Nazis, smearing rouge across her cheekbones like it's warpaint.
- The Powhatan tribesmen in Pocahontas apply warpaint in the "Savages" number.
- In King Arthur, the Picts wear blue face and body paint in battle. They're referred to as "Woads" in the film, after the dye they use to do so.
- In the Richard Pryor 1988 comedy Moving, his character Arlo Pear dons warpaint when he decides to go commando on the movers who wouldn't deliver his furniture to the right address.
- Ernest Goes to Camp has Chief St. Cloud do this with Ernest and several campers just before the battle against Krader and his men.
- Predator: Towards the end of the film, Dutch coats himself in mud as he prepares for the final confrontation, which also masks him from the Predator's heat vision.
- The page image is from Braveheart, where the Scots paint themselves with woad. Which the ancient Picts were known for, not the medieval Scottish.
- Mad Max: Fury Road.
- Furiosa paints the top half of her face with engine grease before one action scene. Grease is also used by some War Boys to cover the area around their eyes. For both of these instances it has a practical purpose, it helps them see things in the extreme glare from the Outback Wasteland.
- The War Boys spray chrome paint across their mouths before launching a Suicide Attack as a somewhat religious gesture so that they got to Valhalla "shiny and chrome". The paint fumes also act as a crude Intoxicative inhalant to drug them into a high to make passing easier. It should be known that the actors really did spray chrome paint or at least chrome food spray during filming.
- X-Men Film Series:
- In Moana, the Kakamora, a race of pygmy pirates, display an unusual variant. Normally completely concealed inside of their coconut-shell armor, they appear as The Blank — but, when they decide to go to war, they literally paint on frightful visages to intimidate their foes despite otherwise being walking coconuts.
- The Dark Knight: In the prologue, one of the Joker's minions describe the boss's makeup as "like war paint—to scare people."
Live Action TV
- The Road Warriors made warpaint fashionable among pro wrestlers, inspiring many clones.
- For a match against the Road Warriors, the Fabulous Freebirds painted Confederate flags on their faces.
- Demolition, Ax and Smash (and later, Crush)
- Sting, Surfer Dude stint aside
- Also, Sting's former Tag Team partner, Ultimate Warrior
- The Powers Of Pain
- For the 1990 Survivor Series, Sgt. Slaughter's team all wore camouflage paint.
- Umaga after going full Wild Samoan mode, The Usos later took it up too, without going full on wild Samoan.
- Former New Japan Pro Wrestling and later NXT star Fergal Devitt/Finn Bálor uses elaborate bodypaint to cosplay as various nerdy things (The Joker, Venom etc.) as part of his extremely memorable big match entrances.
- Dalys la Caribeña, after her taking up the ways of a ruda in CMLL, started painting teeth on her face.
- During her WSU feud against Hania The Howling Huntress, Athena started wearing a skull mask with paint on the inside of it.
- War Machine tended to paint themselves in such a manner while looking for revenge on those who cost them the Ring of Honor World Tag Team Title belts. This is an example that's not a nod to the road warriors but due to Hanson having a Celtic warrior inspired gimmick, not that that stops the comparisons with the older team.
- Some tribes of orcs in both Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 will put various warpaints on themselves, their weapons, their mounts, and/or their vehicles prior to battle. They believe that certain colors and designs have special powers, and will emphasize that color depending on their preferences for combat (Evil Sunz love fast vehicles, so they paint their trukks and bikes red because Red Ones Go Faster).
- In Assassin's Creed III Connor puts on warpaint before going after Charles Lee for the last time.
- Invoked in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, if you get the Fierce Deity's Mask. It can only be used in boss battles, and the first time you get it is right before you face Majora; the Fierce Deity himself has warpaint on his cheekbones and forehead. Link putting on the mask is pretty much as close as a Zelda game gets to this trope.
- Played with in the second "That Which Redeems..." arc of Sluggy Freelance during a flashback. Dungeon guard Amospia's boyfriend runs into her home to tell her the demons have invaded, only to discover that she's already wearing her warpaint, which takes hours to put on. He quickly realizes she must have expected the attack, sees through her excuse, and demands to know where her dungeon key is. She gave it to the demons in an attempt to save her boyfriend from the frontlines so they could escape together. To say things didn't go as planned would be an understatement...
- Sokka does this in Avatar: The Last Airbender, when Zuko's ship is approaching the village. The paint was actually pretty scary; too bad Sokka himself wasn't.
- Done on The Simpsons in an episode parodying Lord of the Flies. Nelson and the rest of the tribe put on warpaint made out of ash before hunting Bart, Lisa and Milhouse.
- One Lucky Luke cartoon has an Indian tribe do this, with the usual gags like Polka-Dot Paint, Invisible Paint, etc.
- Kulipari: An Army of Frogs has Darel wear blue clay on his face as a treatment for poisoning. As it gets smudged over time, it begins to resemble warpaint.