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Weird Blood

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An otherwise normal member of a species has blood with weird properties

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
WarJay77 on Sep 1st 2018 at 9:39:49 PM
Last Edited By:
WarJay77 on Sep 16th 2018 at 10:17:48 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Blood. Everyone knows what it is- it's red, full of iron, and carries oxygen through or body. Sometimes this isn't the case. Aliens, for example, have Alien Blood, and some creatures in real life have blood of a different color due to their biology. Then there are these cases.

Contrary to the above, these characters are still biologically normal, whether they're humans or other animals, but their blood is much stranger. Some property will be different; the color, the elemental composition, even the function in some cases. What matters is that this blood is in the veins of someone who would otherwise be considered completely normal within the universe of the story.

Most often this has a connection to the supernatural, where people with this odd blood have some relation to otherworldly things while still being human themselves. In fantasy settings, this might be considered normal in-universe for certain people while still being unique and relevant, granting powers or being a status symbol.

In more scientific settings, these characters may instead be associated with technology, often being Cyborgs- biologically human, but with added traits that can apparently affect even their blood.

If the blood itself is dangerous, it can be used for Bloody Murder.

See also Bizarre Human Biology, which can overlap with this in cases where the weird blood is used in conjunction with a person having other unusual traits. Not related to Blue Blood, but the weird blood can in fact be blue and might be a symbol of status in and of itself. See My Blood Runs Hot for those with literally hot blood.


Examples:

Literature

  • Red Queen: Society is split between two groups; the normal people with red blood, and the people who have silver blood and supernatural abilities, making them the ruling class. Interestingly, the protagonist has powers despite having red blood, making her blood unusual in-universe due to the circumstances.

Live Action TV

  • The 100: Grounders born with black blood (called "Nightbloods") are potential successors to the position of Commander. A flashback episode reveals that Nightblood came about when a scientist developed a serum that genetically modified her blood to metabolize radiation at much higher capacities than normal people. Other than this, Nightbloods are functionally human.

Tabletop Game

Webcomic

  • Inverted in Homestuck: In a world where Trolls' social status, lifespan, and supernatural abilities are determined by their blood color, Karkat Vantas stands out as having unique "mutant" human-red blood. It's a source of justified Freakiness Shame for him, since it means that his life would be in danger if anyone found out. It happens that Troll society collapses before anyone does find out, but it's still a sensitive topic for him.

Video Game

  • The King of Fighters: Lin of the Hizoku clan has his blood type listed as "poison". He's able to poison his opponents by smearing/injecting them with his blood.
  • BlazBlue: Tager's blood is apparently natural oil. Justified by his Cyborg nature.
  • Portal 2: One of the recorded messages from Cave Johnson mentions test subjects having their blood replaced with gasoline, aparently without their knowledge. So if they get injured and start bleeding, they shouldn't be surprised gasoline comes out of the wound.

Web Comic

Web Video

  • In Everyman Hybrid, the boys discover their blood is apparently radioactive in the same way the monsters they're dealing with are, as a device that "ticks" when Slender Man is near does the very same thing when exposed to a droplet of Evan's blood. Despite this, they're functionally human despite going through some very strange circumstances.

Western Animation

  • Used as a quick gag in in The Simpsons. A group of children accuse Moe Szyslak of being a troll on account of his hideous appearance and Moe claims 'I bleed red just like you'. He pulls out a pin and pricks his finger only for a drop of green blood to appear and Moe adds nervously 'the first few drops are green'.

Feedback: 29 replies

Sep 1st 2018 at 9:42:18 PM

Tell me what you guys think of this one. I had a minor discussion about the idea on Trope Finder but decided to set up a draft anyway to continue discussion with more context; namely, if this is a trope on it's own or the examples would just be better under Bizarre Human Biology. I can see this being a subtrope of that one, maybe. Also, title suggestions are appreciated.

Sep 2nd 2018 at 9:14:09 AM

Sep 2nd 2018 at 5:57:39 PM

This can be a subtrope to Bizarre Human Biology if we can gather enough examples.

  • The King Of Fighters: Lin of the Hizoku clan has his blood type listed as "poison". He's able to poison his opponents by smearing/injecting them with his blood.
  • Blaz Blue: Tager's blood is apparently natural oil. Justified by his Cyborg nature.

Sep 2nd 2018 at 6:14:17 PM

^ Maybe. I'm still unsure about that—but if other people agree I'll make it a subtrope.

Hmm... a cyborg. Well, cyborgs are genetically human despite having robotic traits, and oil blood is pretty odd... so I'll take it.

Sep 2nd 2018 at 7:33:01 PM

The Weird Blood may be used for Bloody Murder depending on the property of the blood.

Compare My Blood Runs Hot.

Sep 2nd 2018 at 10:25:23 PM

If cyborgs are fair game:

Sep 2nd 2018 at 10:35:18 PM

^ Added. I also added a paragraph explaining that cyborgs can count. I figure that if fantasy characters with magical powers can count, the sci-fi equivalent of a technology-boosted human should be able to count too.

Sep 2nd 2018 at 11:04:34 PM

  • Portal 2: One of the recorded messages from Cave Johnson mentions test subjects having their blood replaced with gasoline, aparently without their knowledge. So if they get injured and start bleeding, they shouldn't be surprised gasoline comes out of the wound.

Sep 5th 2018 at 3:59:08 PM

  • Used as a quick gag in in The Simpsons. A group of children accuse Moe Szyslak of being a troll on account of his hideous appearance and Moe claims 'I bleed red just like you'. He pulls out a pin and pricks his finger only for a drop of green blood to appear and Moe adds nervously 'the first few drops are green'.

Sep 5th 2018 at 4:28:42 PM

I'm going to edit the description when I have more time; I want to make it "biologically human" rather than "a normal human" since cyborgs and people with powers aren't "normal".

Sep 6th 2018 at 2:20:40 AM

I am tempted to make a write-up for Bloodborne, but it is really hard, in that game, to differentiate where the eldritch weirdness of the Great Ones' Old Blood ends and the inherent weirdness of human blood begins, since every single human character in the game has consumed some quantity of the Old Blood.

Sep 6th 2018 at 7:23:09 AM

Has anyone checked Alien Blood's examples to see if there's any misuse that falls into the purview of this trope? If there's enough of such misuse, it may serve as grounds for a rename TRS, because honestly the name "Alien Blood" tells you nothing about the fact that it only concerns a very specific kind of abnormality in the blood (namely, its color).

Sep 6th 2018 at 8:09:10 AM

^ that, or we can simply change its definition. It's too narrow.

Sep 6th 2018 at 11:11:35 AM

^^ I'll go and check. If there's too many non-examples, yeah, we should take it to the TRS when it's less backed up. For now, I'll just worry about my draft itself.

I'm going to go ahead and update now.

Sep 12th 2018 at 11:32:59 AM

Bump...haven't had the chance to go through Alien Blood yet.

Sep 12th 2018 at 12:26:00 PM

^ There doesn't seem to be too much there that's transferable. Edge cases are the Chaos Marines from Warhammer 40000, who are probably a bit too heavy on the Lovecraftian Superpowers to qualify as human for this trope; and Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 4, who's a full-conversion Cyborg.

Sep 12th 2018 at 1:31:20 PM

What about wicks, then? Because I'm fairly sure that I've seen the trope being used for things other than "it has a color other than human-typical red".

@4tell0life4: That's my preferred solution, to be honest. I never liked how we have so many tropes whose names are excessively specific/broad for their definitions.

Sep 12th 2018 at 3:29:07 PM

Maybe, TRS is so backed up, but I agree these concepts could be merged if the trope is made more inclusive.

Sep 12th 2018 at 5:31:01 PM

Would "Weird Human Blood" be okay for the name?

Sep 12th 2018 at 6:02:12 PM

If you're talking about this draft, I think that'd be a good re-name.

Sep 13th 2018 at 11:21:26 AM

... unless there are examples that are basically this trope, but for real-life animals rather than humans (e.g. what is obviously a domestic dog, whether a specific real breed or what could be called a "generic" dog).

Sep 13th 2018 at 11:42:23 AM

Non-human example:

  • Homestuck: In a world where Trolls' social status, lifespan, and supernatural abilities are determined by their blood color, Karkat Vantas stands out as having unique "mutant" human-red blood. It's a source of justified Freakiness Shame for him, since it means that his life would be in danger if anyone found out. It happens that Troll society collapses before anyone does find out, but it's still a sensitive topic for him.

Sep 13th 2018 at 12:00:45 PM

Okay, I'll keep the current title for now

Sep 13th 2018 at 3:42:52 PM

  • In Soul Eater "black blood" is the blood of the Big Bad, which can infect people by being wounded by it, or via a soul connection (such as the one between a meister and their Equippable Ally). Individuals under its influence have it replace their own blood cells, turning it black (and slowly fall under the influence of a Superpowered Evil Side). Crona's in this state permanently (and can function somewhat normally, albeit with severe social anxiety), thanks to their weapon partner being melted down, combined with it and injected into them.

Sep 13th 2018 at 5:32:37 PM

^ But Crona isn't a proper human themself, right? The Big Bad is definitely not human either...

@Homestuck: you mean that that example is an inversion (humanlike blood in nonhuman species)?

Sep 13th 2018 at 9:12:15 PM

^ I suppose it could be listed as an inversion, yes.

Sep 16th 2018 at 8:37:37 AM

^^ AFAIK Chrona is established as a human child, aside from their blood being infused in them at a young age (Medusa claims to be their biological mother, but Witches don't seem to be any different to humans aside from having magic).

Sep 16th 2018 at 10:17:48 AM

I'll hold off on the Chrona example for now because I don't know the series and can't make an informed decision either way.

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