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Blood Is the New Black

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Someone's looking faaaabulooous!

Boss: Is that your blood?
The Narrator: Some of it, yeah.

A battle, be it for honor, a one-sided fight, for getting even, or just plain killing people can be a very messy affair. The victim may have accidentally sprayed some of their blood all over their attacker and others, or the attacker may have become covered in their own blood from retaliation. Fortunately, the attacker doesn't seem to mind and will eventually walk around covered in blood as if it's no big deal. It may even result in them becoming even more excited and send them into a frenzy.

It is important to note that people who have seen them in action or immediately following may mention them to others as a figure to avoid if that character is particularly efficient or particularly insane. The Blood Knight and the Combat Sadomasochist have a high probability of invoking this, since they're both known to revel in the feeling.

Highly likely to show up in Gorn and played for laughs in Bloody Hilarious. Related tropes include Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress for the special day gone horribly wrong, Blood Bath for characters who willingly bathe themselves in the red stuff, Bring My Red Jacket for people that prefer not to show off too much, and White Shirt of Death who love showing off their new iron-themed attire. See also Blood-Splattered Warrior.

Not to be confused with Black Blood or Orange Is the New Black


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Lucy from Elfen Lied, though only early in her 'career', really: in her adulthood, she's so skilled with her vectors she can slaughter armies without so much as a drop of blood hitting her in return.
  • Grell from Black Butler. loves blood because of its color and relishes painting her victims in pretty red blood.
  • Nearly every member of the cast in Highschool of the Dead has this happen at least once.
  • Ichigo and a few other characters in Bleach have invoked this on a couple of occasions.
  • Hellsing: Seras Victoria seems to acquire a coat of blood whenever her true vampiric power kicks in. In this work, every major combatant probably qualifies at some point or another.
  • Saya in Blood+ when in her Berserk Mode. Same for her Blood-C and Blood: The Last Vampire Counterparts.
  • Nicholas D. Wolfwood finally dies this way in the manga. A majority of the blood is his, but still.
  • Tsukiyama from Tokyo Ghoul takes it to an entirely new level, when he tears the Scrapper apart with his bare hands. In the process, blood rains down on him and soaks his pristine white suit completely.....revealing a hidden pattern on the fabric. That's right, his suit is designed to look fancier when soaked in blood.
  • The Neutrophils in Cells at Work! and its spinoff Cells at Work! CODE BLACK are known to walk around in the "blood" of a freshly-killed pathogen.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016), Link is absolutely drenched in Dark Beast Ganon's blood after biting out his heart, even after reverting to his human form. And then he realizes he has to introduce himself (as a human) to the sovereign ruler of Hyrule looking like this. Zelda takes it in good humor, at least.
    Zelda: Raise your head.
    Link: No. My face is filthy.
    Zelda: As befits the fierce yet noble beast that saved me, so I am thankful to see it.

    Comic Books 
  • Dynamite Comics' The Last Phantom storyline has Kit Walker using blood to approximate the cowl and mask of The Phantom.
  • Brother Blood from Teen Titans has a habit of doing this.
  • Batman: Since he wasn't wearing his costume when he was captured by Zsasz, Damien makes a mask out of blood.
  • New 52: In Justice League of America #2, Hawkman comes to the JLA's first meeting covered in blood. When Vibe asks if he's okay, he assures him it's not his blood. Vibe makes an Aside Glance and nervously scoots his seat away from Hawkman.
  • In Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Squee's first introduction to the title character: "Excuse me, do you have any bactine? I'm covered in blood and some of it's mine."

    Fan Works 
  • In Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse, after Nabiki Tendo eats a Devil Fruit that turns her into a Vampire Zoan, she uses her newfound claws, Super-Strength and Super-Speed to massacre an army of mutant parasites and scavengers, covering herself in gore. By the time the fight experience a momentary lull, she's described as being drenched in blood in various colors and spattered with gobbets of flesh, chunks of viscera, and even stray sheets of skin.

    Films — Live Action 
  • The title character from Carrie was covered in pig blood, the result of a heartless prank by the Alpha Bitch, and she wore it when she went on her rampage.
  • One of many famous scenes in American Psycho is Patrick Bateman killing an annoying co-worker just as he finishes lecturing him about Huey Lewis and the News. Then, with his face covered in blood, he takes off the raincoat that was keeping his suit clean and casually sits down in a chair facing the co-worker's hacked-up corpse to smoke a cigar.
  • Evil Dead's Ash Williams sees him covered in blood, either his own or the Deadites, every time he faces off with them.
  • Braindead by Peter Jackson had most of the cast drenched in blood and gory chunks. Lionel (after the lawnmover scene) shows us the interior design version of this trope.
  • Mel Gibson in both Braveheart and The Patriot (2000).
  • Kill Bill: O-ren Ishii covers herself in blood after killing her parent's murderer.
    • And the Bride herself, after the battle with the Crazy 88.
  • Sin City has red blood splattering into the faces of Devon Aioki and Mickey Rourke in two different scenes.
  • In ''Freeway", Vanessa makes her way to a diner after shooting Bob Wolverton at close range, covered in his blood. The diners' shocked looks are responded to with a chipper, "Oh, I must look a fright!"
  • In Mad Max: Fury Road, Max offs the Bullet Farmer in an Offscreen Moment of Awesome. When he returns to the group, his face is covered in his opponent's blood.
  • In Pulp Fiction Vincent's face and Jules's hair get covered in blood when Vincent shoots Marvin in the face. It's the third story's premise as well, as the characters end up in a car splattered in blood and brain matter in broad daylight on the street.
  • In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the title character's face and clothes are covered in blood in the immediate aftermath of his final vengeance against Judge Turpin, making for a terrifying scene when he finds and almost kills his own daughter unrecognized.
  • In The Legend of Lizzie Borden, due to Lizzie taking her clothes off beforehand and how brutally she hacked up her parents, she is covered in their blood head to toe.
  • In Razors: The Return of Jack the Ripper, the Ripper is repeatedly shown smearing blood over his face and naked torso.
  • Hobo With a Shotgun: When Logan has his head ripped, a bikini-clad girl showers in the seemingly never ending spray of High-Pressure Blood that fountains from his neck: rubbing the blood all over her body as she does so.
  • In Curse of the Headless Horseman, the Horseman splashes from his severed head on people to frighten them. The girl who is tripping on acid responds by rubbing the blood over her body while writhing orgasmically.
  • In Death Factory, Alexa smears herself with the blood of her victims.

  • Ladd Russo and the Rail Tracer Claire Stanfield from Baccano! invoke this increasingly over the course of the Flying Pussyfoot arc. Ladd brings it up verbally and it's why he wears white; Claire just manages to become so coated it's the Rail Tracer's most notable feature.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Altered Carbon many of the Methuselahs tend to get covered in blood. Nominally more often than what would be acceptable for polite company. But, between everybody being equipped with a cortical stack making them almost indefinitely resurrectable, and the Methuselahs having the money and influence to openly defy social norms, it's something they practically ignore. Takeshi Kovacs's "patron", Laurens Bancroft, is seen getting covered in blood the most often, due to the story's particular focus on him and the actions stemming from his megalomania.
  • In the CSI episode, "Bad to the Bone", a particularly nasty murderer is caught almost immediately when he casually walks into a diner to wash his hands after beating a man to death.
  • House of the Dragon: The third episode of Season 1 ends with Daemon Targaryen covered in the Crabfeeder's blood. His white hair is so completely stained that it looks brown.
  • In the Masters of Horror episode "Cigarette Burns", Annie is covered head to toe in blood when she emerges out of the theater screen at the end.
    • Downplayed with Dalibor after he decapitates the taxi driver.
  • In Supernatural, Sam uses blood to paint his and Dean's faces to hide from a powerful demon, Samhain. His reasoning was that people wear masks to protect themselves from its wrath, and blood was the only thing on hand.
  • In True Blood, the vampire goddess appears as a naked woman covered head to toe in blood.
  • The Walking Dead (2010): Besides the general mess that occurs from fighting zombies, the characters also use this for camouflage.

  • The protagonist of The Birthday Massacre's song "Happy Birthday." Midway through the song, her "black and white dress" becomes a "black and red dress".
  • In Rob Cantor's "Shia LaBeouf", Shia LaBeouf is covered in blood, probably not his own.
    He's almost upon you now
    And you can see there's blood on his face
    My God, there's blood everywhere!
  • Variant: the music video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Scar Tissue" has the band all bloodied and battered (which fits the injury-related title and lyrics).

     Mythology and Religion 
  • In Greek Mythology Eris, goddess of discord and conflict, is sometimes described as having hair decorations that drip with blood. She likes to wear them while dancing in the ruins of burning cities like Troy.

    Print Media 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Ric Flair has been doing this since the 70's and never stopped, resorting to punching himself to a bloody mess even after "retiring".
  • A go to standard to see what this looks like in Real Life, is a 1992 The Great Muta vs. Hiroshi Hase New Japan Pro-Wrestling match. To this day, Smarks measure how profusely a wrestler bleeds on the "Muta Scale".
  • Invoking this trope(and having it invoked on her) is the gimmick of Shira, the Mexican independent circuit's Queen Of Blood.
  • Any Hell in a Cell match prior to 2009 was practically mandated as this.
  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's bloodstained screams while in the Sharpshooter in his WrestleMania XIII match against Bret Hart made him a superstar and one of the biggest faces ever because he just wouldn't give up.
  • To win CZW's "tournament of death" you must compete in at least three garbage matches favoring sharp objects in a single day, leading to a lot of guys walking around, skin caked brown with dried blood.
  • Then at Judgment Day 2004 JBL and Eddie Guerrero wrestled a "Texas Bull Rope" match where the latter redefined the Muta Scale (which was usually measured in such terms as "half a Muta, three quarters Muta")
  • In 2006, Tyler Black signified that he had sold out to All American Wrestling's Jim Jesus by smearing his body with the blood of former tag team partner Marek Brave. Sorry, too hard not to include.
  • Jimmy Jacobs smeared himself with BJ Whitmer's blood at ROH The Fifth Year Festival: Finale after hitting him with a rail road spike during their falls count anywhere match.
    • Jacobs upped it a step further with the Age of the Fall's debut, cutting a bitter promo about how "love doesn't save, nothing saves!" while Jay Briscoe was strung up above him, dripping blood all over him.
  • In ECW, Johnny Grunge would sometimes blade mere seconds into a match.
    • Same with Jim Fullington, who would smash beer cans into his forehead until he was bleeding, before the match even started.
  • Beulah McGillicutty's match with Bill Alfonso at ECW's As Good As It Gets PPV, where thanks to a shot from a cookie sheet of all things, Fonsie was gushing blood, leaving a trail behind him as he stumbled around the ring. Just touching him saw Beulah covered in the stuff as well.
  • Back when it was known as TNA, Impact Wrestling once booked what it called a "Sadistic Madness" match, an elimination match with a twist—no wrestler could be eliminated until he was visibly bleeding.
  • In November 2018, Becky Lynch was set to take on Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series. However, Lynch was forced to pull out the week before the match due to a concussion suffered when she took a punch from Nia Jax during a planned brawl that broke a facial bone and drew blood "hardway". Despite being concussed, she was able to climb the arena stairs and taunt Rousey while her face was dripping in blood. Lynch also posted a now-iconic tweet that showed her taunting Rousey, with the comment "Irish war paint." This episode started Lynch's meteoric rise to become arguably the face of WWE in 2019.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000:
    • This can be expected for an army or a particular unit the focuses on melee. Orks, Chaos, certain Empire/Imperial elements...
    • Followers of Khorne especially. One of the most notable was the World Eaters; pre-heresy, they had white and blue armour, but it would get "repainted" in red often enough when at war. Now after their falling to worship of Khorne, thier armor blood-red and bronze; the only official repainting effort was swapping the blue trim for bronze.
      • There was a popular rumor in-universe that the oldest among them had never in fact repainted their armor.
      • The World Eaters' Primarchnote , a fellow named Angron, was told that he should just repaint his armor red so often that he eventually did, which set the template for his sons to do so when they would eventually worship Khorne. He was seen this way so often, it earned him the epithet of "the Red Angel."
    • The Blood Angels of 40k are this way too, since they have a particular focus on close combat. They also have occasional psychological breaks that drive them to drink blood or go into a permanent, hallucinatory psychotic rage. Despite their...faults, they happen to be one of the nobler chapters within the Imperium, though some of their offshoots have earned a terrible reputation for not handling those same faults without nearly enough grace or discretion.
    • A deity that appears in both settings is Kaela Mensha Khaine, or "Khaine the Bloody Handed," the Elven/Eldar god of war and murder. In 40k particularly, there's a myth in which he murdered an Eldar hero who spurned him. For his crime Khaine's punishment would be that the hero's blood would drip from his hands for all time, so that all who would look at him would know of the god's sin.
  • In Nobilis, Lord Entropy's hands are perpetually bloodstained. Given that he's the commander of the setting's Forever War, the blood is only partially a metaphor.
  • Used for one of the Thaumaturgy powers in Vampire: The Masquerade: a vampire can extrude some of its own blood to use as magical body armour.
  • In the New World of Darkness, one of the powers granted by a demon of Wrath invokes this trope: while the deal-maker is smeared with the fresh blood of a living enemy, they are completely unaffected by any direct, intentional attack.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Edition, there's a prestige class called the Blood Magus, who, obviously, uses blood to fuel their magic. At first, it's mostly just cutting themselves to empower spells and whatnot, but their capstone ability, called 'Bloodwalk', is basically using people as conduits for teleportation. Exiting the target at their destination can be done harmlessly, but if that target is an enemy, it can also be done... not-so-harmlessly, which tends to result in this trope.


    Video Games 
  • The "Rage" sections of WET occur when Rubi shoots a mook at close range in a cut scene and gets blood splashed on her face, triggering Rubi-Vision.
  • Characters get covered in blood after virtually every fight in Dragon Age: Origins, not to mention that your progress on the map screen is marked by a literal trail of blood. (BioWare would like you to know that this game is edgy.)
  • In Mass Effect 3 several Krogans end up covered in so much blood it drips off them. And they like it that way.
  • When Ezio of Assassin's Creed II kills his first target, the man who sentenced his brothers and father to death, he stabs the guy over and over in grief-stricken rage and then screams at the shocked onlookers while covered in the target's blood. Later, calmer kills have the blood fade quickly from Ezio's hands and clothes, but it lingers in that scene to add to the emotional charge.
  • In Bioshock Infinite, after killing Jeremiah Fink, Daisy Fitzroy deliberately smears his blood across her face.
  • The Conqueror's Coat from The Last Remnant was not originally red.
  • This is actually a game mechanic in Drakengard 3. As Zero kills enemies, her outfit gets covered in more and more blood. This fills a gauge, which activates the Intoner Mode when full. The Intoner Mode draws on the blood as a power source and ends when her outfit is clean again.
  • In The Last of Us as well, blood splattering everywhere when people get shot, bludgeoned or cut is coded pretty realistically, to the point that even the characters' models can receive it. Messy, close-range kills easily get Joel's clothes, hands or face bloody.
  • In Tales of Xillia 2, the Bad Ending depicts protagonist Ludger with slight but noticeable blood spattering his face after having killed the cast of Xillia to protect his brother.
  • Hunters in Bloodborne. Understandable, since "blood" is half the game's title; the pseudo-Victorian styled clothing makes the copious amounts of blood staining them stand out even more. It comes in two main flavors: beasts, humans, and animals have red blood, while Great Ones and Kin of the Cosmos bleed grey. It's possible for a skilled player to go about slaughtering enemies for quite a while and become almost completely coated.
  • Happens to Martin Walker in Spec Ops: The Line, representing his deteriorating mental state. At one point, he suffers a massive burn across one side of his face, bloodying it even further.
  • Geist the Bloody in Bravely Second is revealed to just be wearing a white coat that is drenched in the blood of his myriad victims, one of many NOPE-inducing factors of his characterization.
  • Red Dead Redemption II: You can get coated in blood through the various fights (or random cold blooded murders) or hunting you do throughout the game, particularly if you do close range executions/attacks or carry a carcass on your shoulder. Also serves as a gameplay mechanic as if you don’t wash it off and try to interact with people they’ll be creeped out and try to avoid you/be suspicious of you.
    • Sadie Adler gets splattered with blood on two occasions: the first is during the O'Driscolls' raid after Kieran's death, killing three of them. The second is when she and Arthur Morgan kill the remnants of the O'Driscolls, as her means of getting revenge.
  • Resident Evil: Beginning with the Resident Evil (Remake), the enemy type known as Crimson Heads begin to make their appearance. They are zombies that previously thought dead reanimated a second time, now capable of sprinting after the player with claws, neon white eyes, and most importantly, blood soaked heads.
  • Terraria: A few of the enemies have blood on their hands, most commonly seen with Zombies. Nymphs appear to have blood on their hands, lower bodies, and mouths, and combine that look with a Full-Frontal Assault.
  • Happens twice to Lee in The Walking Dead: Season One. Happens at the beginning from either accidentally slipping on a pool of blood or after brutally bludgeoning Clementine's undead babysitter. In the last episode, it becomes a plot point near the end of Episode 5, for the same reason it was important in the comic. He is covered in walker blood after slaying around a dozen of them to get to The Marsh House, where Clementine is being held captive. After the stranger is killed, a walker does not try to kill him, making him realize that being covered in walker blood and guts will enable them to escape the city.
  • A key mechanic in Yandere Simulator: if you kill someone, you'll get covered in blood and it's important that you change clothes or get clean before people get suspicious. Though, if you are part of the art club, you can try and pass it off as paint.
  • Yakuza: In a new scene added in the Kiwami remake, Nishikiyama uses the blood of an underling he just killed to slick back his hair for the first time, indicating that his Face–Heel Turn has just been completed.
  • In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Snake will become permanently covered in blood after accumulating enough Demon Points from "evil" actions such as killing enemy soldiers, prisoners, or animals. The blood can't even be washed off with a shower, so the only way to clean him off is to remove enough Demon Points with good behavior, namely extracting soldiers and prisoners from the battlefield.
    • An alternative "outfit" that can be developed for Quiet is basically her standard getup with a coating of blood.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the Spirit Hunter: NG CG that shows Yakumo while he was alive, he was dressed in white monk robes that were drenched in the blood of the girl he was converting into a doll.

  • Homestuck: One incarnation of Jack appears to roam around with a massive amount of blood on him after a certain point from his timeline. The end of Act 5 animation reveals that this blood came from him tearing uranium out of WV's stomach to power a machine.
  • Independent from morphE is always depicted as being coated in blood splatters from top to bottom. During the one nightmare sequence where a character has a brief conversation with her this is not brought up by either party. It's just how she rolls. The first nightmare sequence depicted her slashing someone's throat open, so the blood is probably not hers.
  • Tag Dream has the Touhou Project characters take up wrestling. Memetic Psychopath Yuuka goes in the ring wearing a white swimsuit which is dyed red by the time she goes out.
  • In Weak Hero, Giju single-handedly takes down half a dozen of Sungsan's men and emerges from the battle with a Slasher Smile and rivulets of blood running down his face.

    Web Original 
  • Played for laughs in A Very Potter Sequel. After his transformations, Remus Lupin walks around for several scenes at a time wearing nothing but tighty-whitey briefs and the blood of his (animal) victims. He keeps having to come up with lame excuses as to why he's covered in blood.
    Lupin: Uh... it's tradition! Yes, it's tradition that every game, before the match, the Gryffindor... pee-wee Quidditch team kill a defenceless doe... and devour it! In doing so, we are able to absorb the power and ferocity... of a doe.
  • Sacrifice of When the Hunting Party Came does this often, and frequently makes detours to give herself a fresh coat of blood.
  • Kevin in Welcome to Night Vale is always seen with bloodstains on his shirt, likely due to his tastes in "decorating" (which in fact consists of killing humans and animals and smearing their remains all over the place). A particularly disturbing moment in Episode 70A seems to imply that he finds blood . . . exciting.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Nishikiyama Rises

With his sister's death, Akira Nishikiyama makes the fateful decision to rise to the top of the Tojo Clan, upon a mountain of corpses if need be.

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