Follow TV Tropes


Blood Upgrade

Go To
Oh, Ken! When will you learn?

"It's my BLOOOOD!"
Gaara, Naruto

Some people become a little squeamish when they see blood. Others... well, let's just say they don't take it nearly as well.

This trope applies to whenever a character becomes incredibly deranged and/or powerful at the sight of their own blood. Perhaps their agility increases, or they become more alert, or they begin to realize their opponent is a serious threat and decide to go all out. In any case, their skills suddenly increase when they realize THEY are the one who's bleeding.

The most cliched way this is depicted is for a man to take a blow to the face, causing his lower lip to bleed slightly at the corner. He wipes the blood with one finger, looks at it, and smiles, right before kicking ass.

Somewhat related to Minor Injury Overreaction. Compare Critical Status Buff, which is a similar concept in Video Games. Contrast Afraid of Blood which deals with character having a phobia about blood.

No relation to Superhuman Transfusion, an upgrade bestowed via blood.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Whenever Leo Aoi of the manga Beast Master sees blood, his animalistic alter-ego emerges.
  • Bleach: When 11th Division captain Kenpachi Zaraki encounters Ichigo for the first time, he challenges the protagonist to attack him while he stands there. Ichigo initially fails to do so due to Zaraki's enormous spiritual energy nullifying his attacks, but when he later does succeed in drawing blood in the ensuing battle, Zaraki is so ecstatic to find someone strong enough to hurt him that he begins fighting much more ferociously.
  • At one point of Bus Gamer, Nakajou Nobuto gets his Achilles' tendon cut off by a random gamer. After explicitly stating blood fascinated him, he proceeded to beat the crap out of his attacker. Saitou asked why he was soaked in blood after he caught up with him. Nakajou told him it was mostly not his own blood, so he shouldn't worry. Did we mention he's a doctor?
  • T.K./Takeru Takaishi reacts this way in Digimon Adventure 02 to Ken Ichijoji whipping him in the face. To drive the point home, it was also mentioned in earlier episodes that Ken had martial arts training. Takeru doesn't. However, judging by Takeruís reaction to Ken's master plan, he was probably planning on punching his teeth in regardless. To emphasize that point: The blood drawing is not what triggers the beatdown (that's use of Devimon's data)... It just adds another reason why Takeru punches Ken in the face.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Vegeta's response to Goku drawing blood on him during their first major battle was an attempt to destroy the entire damned planet, leading to a spectacular Beam-O-War between him and Goku.
      Vegeta: Blood! My noble blood, spilled by the sheer luck of such — such trash?! No, I will not allow this to stand.... I CANNOT ALLOW THIS TO STAND! YOUR INSOLENCE JUST COST YOU THIS WORLD! I'LL BLOW IT ALL TO PIECES, AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP ME!!!"
    • It shows up again when Trunks attacks Vegeta to stop him from interfering in the fight against Cell. He's initially just stunned that Trunks followed through, but once he sees blood on his glove he becomes furious.
    • In a somewhat subtler example, Frieza starts taking Goku a lot more seriously after the latter manages to burn his hand in his final form. Although he still doesn't fight anywhere near his full potential, he becomes much crueler after this point. Ironically, this ends up pushing Goku past the Rage Breaking Point and unlocking a Super Mode that gets Frieza thrashed.
  • Mr. Heart, the Giant Mook from Fist of the North Star, though already strong on his own, goes from Affably Evil to Ax-Crazy whenever he sees his own blood. It's taken further in the Anime, where Joker intentionally papercuts him with a flying card so he becomes enraged and stronger... except it was all for naught, since by this point in the fight, Kenshiro's already figured out how to get to his pressure points and is just about to hit them.
    Mr. Heart: "Hm? Blood? ...My blood! IT HURTS!!"
  • Gamaran:
    • Sakon Daimaru. Normally he's a deadly warrior, but when he gets wounded and bleeds he becomes "scared" of his opponent... and puts much more effort in eradicating the source of his fear. Partly justified as Sakon's not quite right in the head.
    • Later Shingo of the Myojin Ryuu (a huge guy wielding a 48 pounds spear) becomes even more dangerous and faster after being wounded twice by Gama.
  • "Prince the Ripper" Belphegor from Reborn! (2004) becomes more deranged and powerful at the sight of his own blood.
  • As in the quote above, Gaara from Naruto exhibits this trope when Sasuke lands a blow on him and manages to draw blood. Justified since, due to being constantly protected by his own sand powers, this is the first time someone else has made Gaara bleed. Ever. He panics so much that at first he aborts his Tailed Beast transformation and was in a funk for a good while afterwards. But once he adjusted to having been injured...
  • One Piece:
    • Done with the character "Pearl" from Don Krieg's crew. When he find out that he has a small nosebleed he overreacts and starts becoming more frantic and uses more powerful moves. According to the crewmen, he grew up in "the jungle" where his instinctive response to any danger was to light a fire. He perceives the loss of any blood to be a sign of great danger and thus powers up.
    • This tends to happen a fair amount in the first half of the series with Logia type Devil Fruit users. Their ability allows them to transform at will into a usually intangible element. Due to the relative rareness of Haki users (the use of Busoshoku Haki allows fighters to hit Logia users as normal), this means most Logia users may have gone months or years without ever being physically damaged. Most of them do *not* take it well when this happens.
  • Jean Jacquemonde from Spriggan turns into a werewolf and kills everything he sees moves when he sees his own blood.
  • In Tiger Mask W, Fukuwara Mask is a fat comedy wrestler who entertains fans with his bumbling and cowardly antics. However, in his debut episode his nose is broken in a match, leaving his white mask soaking with blood. Perhaps unconsciously, he immediately starts fighting to win, displaying great wrestling skill and physical strength and briefly getting the better of Tiger Mask.

    Comic Books 
  • Carnage from Spider-Man. His symbiote, while similar to Venom's, has bonded to him by becoming part of his bloodstream. When beaten and reduced to normal, Kasady is a weakling (albeit homicidal), but the tiniest scratch will release the symbiote. For this reason he keeps one of his teeth filed to a sharp point.
  • When Nico Minoru from Runaways bleeds, the Staff of One emerges from her body and leaves her well equipped to kick some ass. Of course, she's just as likely to summon it by making herself bleed.
    • Note that it says that the Staff can be summoned if she bleeds. That also means menstrual bleeding.
  • Cyborg, in his first origin issue, describes to his teammates how he got into a gang fight as a young man and got cut with a knife. In his words, "Man, I freaked out when I got cut an' saw my blood drippin' out. I fought back with everythin' I had..."

    Fan Works 
  • Equestrian Throwdown's Miles Skylark weaponizes and overlaps this trope with Blood Magic and Blood Lust via his Nacht Jager.
  • A Link Between Worlds: The Novelization: In chapter 10, Yuga flies into a rage when Link gives him a clean cut across the eye with the Master Sword.
    Yuga: You... mongrel! You dare leave a scar on this face?! I'll end you! I'll destroy every part of you! I'll Kill You!!
  • Naruto: the Secret Songs of the Ninja features Gaara again, similar to how he reacts in canon, during his duel with Naruto. Naruto drives his Drilling Claw technique through Gaara's sand shield similar to how Sasuke did in canon with Chidori and nearly tears his guts out, but rather than panicking and aborting his transformation, Gaara starts laughing hysterically at the realisation that he bleeds like other people do. When Naruto averts his eyes from Gaara's frankly disturbing laughter, Gaara (with his transformation half-complete) backhands him so quickly and so hard that he sends him flying seventy feet through the air before burying himself half a dozen feet into a solid stone cliff face.
  • Obito-Sensei: Gaara reacts worse to the sight of his own blood during the Chunin Exam compared to canon, because he was wounded by Sakura. Gaara had dismissed Sakura as a non-factor compared to his actual target, Naruto, who was the son of a Kage like him. So when she managed to get close enough to break through his sand with her Elemental Sword, he freaks out and covers himself in a sand barrier. And when Sakura attempted forfeit since she couldn't break through his defense without running out of chakra, Gaara snaps and enters his Tailed Beast form to kill her. In the long term, Gaara came to see Sakura as his Arch-Enemy for being the first wound him, so much that when they encounter each other years later in the Land of Waves, he is willing to destroy the entire country just to get to her.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story's Big Bad only starts to get really upset once he's been made to bleed.
    White Goodman: "It's over between us, Kate. Nobody makes me bleed my own blood - nobody."
  • In many a Bruce Lee movie, when you manage to wound him and draw blood, you'll have stunned him, then you see him taste his own blood, and then you can prepare your will because you've really pissed him off now!

    Live-Action TV 
  • Gibby from iCarly fights to save his friends with ruthless abandon, but only after his opponent bloodies his lip does he take off his shirt and begin really kicking ass.

  • Afrikaaner folk singer Bok van Blerk commemorates the doomed struggle of the Boers with the ballad De La Rey, about the last Boer general to surrender to the British and the men who fought literally to the last bullet and the bitter end. To a man, all the Boers in the video have got facial wounds which are leaking suspiciously bright red blood; van Blerk himself also has wounds to his hands. At this point they launch their final attack on the British lines. British soldiers watch incredulously as the Boers walk towards them.
    In die modder en bloed lê ek koud... note 

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Part of Tazz's gimmick was him going into rages when he found himself bleeding. Tazz actually said it was a feeling he enjoyed having, even though he did fight better when he got it. In TNA he hypothesizes Kenny King might go through the same thing.
  • Matt Hardy, as part of his "Version 1.0" gimmick, fought harder when he bled.
  • The Briscoe Brothers got their start in CZW and so got their start in a bloody environment, but it wasn't until ROH that Jay in particular, the man responsible for bringing blood to ROH at the expense of poor Spanky, came to appreciate his own blood.
    "Eddison New Jersey, The same night I wrestled Samoa Joe in the main event in a steel cage match! Never forget it boy, blood running all down my face. I mean open your eyes and all you see is red. Aint nothing like that in the world, the greatest feeling in the world!"
  • TNA did an extended storyline where their masked monster, Abyss, had gone missing. His nerdy lawyer brother, Joseph Parks, came looking for him and pretty much abandoned the search when he got involved in the Ace's and 8's storyline. In storyline, Joseph trained to become a wrestler, but was fairly inept at it until he would see blood and go psycho and beat up his opponents. Eventually it was revealed to the surprise of no one in the audience that Joseph Parks was, in fact, Abyss.
  • John Cena is notorious for the unusually lazy way he applies his STF submission hold, with his opponent's face often resting gently between his forearms. During a match with Seth Rollins on RAW, Rollin accidentally clobbered Cena in the nose with his knee, breaking Cena's nose. After a quick second to shake off the shock, Cena kept wrestling the match through the bloody mess that had become his face, and, either due to adrenaline or due to annoyance at Seth, when Cena put Rollins in the STF at the end match, he pulled back quick obviously and Rollins quickly tapped out.
  • This is actually the basis of the Blackpool Combat Club group in All Elite Wrestling, where its members Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, and especially Wheeler Yuta, once they start to bleed, they get more aggresive in the ring.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Hong Kong Action Theatre, the Signature Move "Blood Rage" owes its existence to Bruce Lee above. If a character with this signature takes a wound without defending at all, his or her next attack on whoever delivered the wound is made at a +5 bonus to hit and does double damage if it connects.
  • Fourth Edition Dungeons & Dragons has the "Bloodied" status, after losing enough hit points. Depends on the creature or character in question, this could trigger new and exciting effects. For both the bloodied victim, or someone fighting them.

    Video Games 
  • Overlapping quite a bit with Critical Status Buff, Reavers in Dragon Age: Inquisition will gain an increase in attack power for every percentage point of health they lose.
  • Inverted by Kuja in Final Fantasy IX. When he sees that Bahamut has made him bleed, he's delighted (given how great a feat this actually is) and decides to recruit it. By force.
    Kuja: Blood... Hahahaha... Excellent, Bahamut! Power, mobility... You are truly the best! You even hurt me...a little.
  • In WET, whenever Rubi gets blood on her face, she goes berserk and the game cuts to her on an Unstoppable Rage.
  • In Halo, Elites will get visibly pissed and become more ferocious when their blood is spilled after their shields pop. The Expanded Universe materials say that losing blood is a HUGE dishonor in Elite culture.
  • The Sniper seems to start reacting like this after getting his cheek cut in the Team Fortress 2 short "Meet the Spy", but he just gets backstabbed anyway.
  • In the League of Legends cinematic short "A New Dawn", Katarina and Rengar end up in a brawl among the treetops of a forest, where Kat seemingly gets the upper hand with a solid kick to the face. Rengar simply wipes the blood out of his lip (complete with ominous Death Glare) before tackling her and sending both of them careening to the ground (both of them stick the landing, but the commotion lets Rengar's buddy Graves know to stick his shotgun up Kat's face).

    Web Animation 

    Western Animation 
  • Nelson the bully in an early episode of The Simpsons.
    Yellow Weasel: Nelson, you're bleeding!
    Nelson: Nah, happens all the time. Somebody else's blood splatters on me. [sniffs] Hey, wait a minute... You're right! [turns threateningly to Bart] You made me bleed my own blood!
    [shocked gasps from the other kids on the playground]
  • In the Transformers: Prime episode "Stronger, Faster," Megatron at first dismisses the idea that Ratchet could possibly be a threat. When Ratchet (who is jacked up on synthetic energon) hits him hard enough to cause some energon to leak from his mouth, Megatron touches it, looks at it, then proceeds to twist Ratchet's arm hard enough to incapacitate him, then punches a big hole in his chest.
    Megatron: [after seeing his own energon spilt] ... All right, then.
  • In Star Trek: Lower Decks, Boimler and Rutherford challenge Mariner to an Anbo-jyutsu match. They manage to get in a good hit on her thanks to midnight training, causing her to bleed from the nose and mouth...and she's absolutely thrilled that she doesn't have to hold back with them anymore and starts beating them within an inch of their lives.


Video Example(s):


Gaara bleeds

He bleeds for the first time EVER here and freaks out as a result.

How well does it match the trope?

4.89 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / BloodUpgrade

Media sources: