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Blue with Shock

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If something truly traumatic occurs to an anime character, or they are mortified or embarrassed beyond all reckoning, the upper half of their face, or even all of it, may turn blue — at least until they recover.

A variation on the effect takes the form of a set of wavy blue lines that radiate upward from the character's head and shoulders in a manner reminiscent of a Battle Aura. Darker-blue lines streaming down their eyes like very straight tears optional.

It's usually used for comedic effect, and serious situations.

The implication is that one is so surprised that you can't breathe, and therefore, subsequently turn blue from lack of oxygen (the technical term for this is cyanosis). The lines, when present, are a reference to horror manga art styles.

This trope is largely confined to Manga and Anime (likely because "turning blue" is the equivalent of "turning pale" in Japanese). Can be combined with Blank White Eyes for extra impact. Compare Color Failure.

Despite having the word "shock" in its name, this Trope has nothing to do with blue-colored lightning. That is Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning instead.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Asteroid in Love:
    • In a part of the twenty-seventh chapter not adopted into anime, Mai gets blue with shock when Sayuri gets the wrong idea about why the Earth Science Club has to convene an emergency meeting.
    • Ao gets it twice in the thirty-ninth chapter: when she found Ayano bought books about torture and weapons from the bookstore, and then the latter give Mira and Ao some of her drafts and mentions it has some rather "overstimulating" content because Sayuri likes it.
    • Ao gets it again in the forty-first chapter, when she (and the rest of the cast) overhears Moe's lustful squeeing as the latter stays alone in Ao's room.
  • Azumanga Daioh also uses this several times, mostly when Sakaki's having a mental image of something impossibly cute. Anyone riding in the Yukari-mobile (such as poor Chiyo-Chan) tends to turn white instead.
    • Yukari herself did the white with shock variant in the very first episode. Considering the things she said before it was pointed out she was in the wrong classroom, it's entirely understandable. If Azumanga Daioh was live action, she still would have gone white with shock.
    • Osaka combines this with Blank White Eyes when Tomo starts pestering her on her first day.
    • Osaka causes this in the rest of the girls when she makes a suggestion for the school festival while attempting to combine the concepts of a café, a display for stuffed animals, and a haunted house. Sakaki is so profoundly affected ends up going into Blank White Eyes territory as well.
  • It's almost a once-a-page occurrence in Beelzebub, especially when Furuichi is around.
  • In CLANNAD, Kotomi and Tomoya go blue with shock after receiving a bad fortune. Nagisa and her mother also do this separately in theatrical fashion, with identical lightning strikes in the background.
  • Many situations in Cromartie High School conclude with this, with one or more of the main characters expressing distress over the punchline of the situation at hand. The situations are beyond explanation, because, well, it's Cromartie High.
  • D.Gray-Man has its moments when Allen realizes that the load of empty wine bottles Devit and Jasdero show to him are the ones that Cross had made Allen buy for him when he was still training... well...not so great results...
  • Gai Kurasawa of Darker than Black sometimes does this.
  • A 100% serious version occurs in Dragon Ball Z when Frieza gores Krillin on one of his horns, causing both Krillin and Gohan to go blue in the face.
    • Mr Satan also goes blue when he first sees Super Buu's gigantic energy sphere.
    • In a flashback to King Vegeta's death, all of his men are shown with blue faces as they cower behind him when he confronts Frieza. The dub even has Frieza lampshade it by saying that they're "actually turning blue in the face".
  • Excel in Excel♡Saga demonstrates the full-face version at least once.
  • FLCL:
    • Episode 1. After Haruko runs into Naota he's knocked unconscious and his forehead turns blue.
    • Kitsurubami, after she unconsciously takes a sip from Amarao's exercise bottle.
  • Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist admonishes his aide Hawkeye for pulling him away from a fight. She calmly explains that he would certainly have been killed, his alchemic powers don't work in the rain, and he failed to notice it was raining. Mustang gets the blue face and Blank White Eyes.
    • Al's version of shock can vary from just his head to most of his body. Keep in mind that he's an empty suit of armor with the soul of a sensitive ten year-old.
  • Hanaukyō Maid Team La Verite Episode 7. This happens to Yashima Sanae in the underground area when she thinks a monster is approaching.
  • Happens to the most unlikely of characters in Hayate the Combat Butler. In one episode (25, I think), even happens to Number 8, who is a Ridiculously Human Robot.
  • Germany in Hetalia: Axis Powers has many moments like this, complete with black lines, whenever he is surprised. He also emanates blue lines after Italy reveals his fetishes to the allies during questioning.
    • Italy turns Blue with Shock after sampling some of England's food, which goes to show how much of a Lethal Chef England is. He turns blue again in the same episode, after the Allies point a gun at him while trying to get him to spill some secrets.
    • In season five, Germany has an especially hilarious instance of this at the end of episode ten when Turkey reveals Italy was a badass back in the day.
  • Expectedly, Hiro, Nori and Nazuna has that response when they visited the Haunted House made by Yuno's class in the School Festival, in Hidamari Sketch.
  • THE iDOLM@STER - Yukiho had several of these at the beginning of the series. Haruka, Makoto and Iori also had one in at least one occasion.
  • Uzuki of THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls has this reaction in the first episode, when the large and imposing producer walks enters the room when she's alone.
  • Kotoura-san:
    • In episode 2, when Haruka and Manabe enters the ESP clubroom.
    • In episode 4, when Haruka found the ESP club members had came to '"catch"' her, with Glowing Eyes of Doom.
    • In episode 4, when Haruka read Manabe's mind and found him wanted to spank.
  • This is a frequent reaction in Lucky Star whenever one character says or does something offbeat, including one memorable moment where Yutaka innocently asks Hiyori what yaoi is.
  • Momo in My Hero Academia goes blue while on her internship with a pro hero, she was made to work on a commercial, while still wearing her hero costume.
  • Occurs constantly in Naruto, much like the Blank White Eyes.
  • One Piece:
    • Chopper gets stuck with this combined with Blank White Eyes and Jaw Drop for a while when he finally gets his first pirate bounty... of only 50 Berries (due to being mistaken for the Team Pet). Sanji goes Blue With Shock in the same scene (augmented with floating flames) when he sees his ugly composite sketch.
    • When Luffy says he doesn't remember the Buggy Ball, Buggy gets a close-up of his face with a blue tint and is then seen surrounded by a blue aura of depression.
  • The "dark blue lines like tears" part of this trope occurs often in Ouran High School Host Club like in episode 9 for example.
  • Yuko does this in episode 7 of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou when she visits Sorata.
  • Pokémon: The Series
    • After the Orange Islands arc, Brock would curl up into a ball and radiate Blue with Shock several feet away whenever Professor Ivy was mentioned.
    • In the first episode where Brock does this, Ash does it as well at the mention of his rival Gary (no doubt to many slash fanficcers' delight).
    • Also happened in "Attack of the Prehistoric Pokemon," when Pikachu, out of panic, shocks the dynamite. This results in a mix of this and Oh, Crap!.
    • In "A Shocking Grocery Run!", Meowth goes full-on with this trope when he finds Mimikyu right behind him, out of its Poké Ball.
    • It also happens to Meowth in the Pikachu short Gotta Dance!!, when a Loudred goes mad after the Pokébaton breaks, and starts smashing up the new under-construction Team Rocket base.
  • Pretty Cure:
  • Ahiru from Princess Tutu pulls this off a few times, and once as a duck when she realizes that Fakir (who looks like he kicks puppies as a favorite pastime) just found her hiding place. It turns into a Luminescent Blush when she discovers he actually pets them... when nobody's watching.
  • It's found several times in the last few seasons of Ranma ½, although almost not at all in its first half.
  • Tsuna from Reborn! (2004) does this quite often, especially when his Unwanted Harem does something not so normal...
  • One episode of Rozen Maiden when Shinku doesn't wake up, Suiseiseki tries to see if hurting Jun will wake her up. By holding a huge knife over his head with Jun lying on the floor. The knife drops, embedding into the floor, an inch from his face. Cue Blue with Shock Jun.
  • Merrill in Rune Soldier Louie undergoes this several times. Melissa in the same show suffers the wavy blue line variant at least once.
  • Everyone does this constantly in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, complete with black lines going down the whole face.
  • Rurouni Kenshin did the "emanating waves of depression" version when he remembered the kind of training his Sink or Swim Mentor put him through.
  • Sgt. Frog: Dororo, especially when his Trauma Switch flips on.
  • Shimoneta: Played for laughs in chapter 4, when Ayame walks in on Anna grinding atop Tanukichi, while they're both naked. The sudden intrusion causes Anna to get flustered and leave, which gives Ayame a clear view of Tanukichi's erection. Ayame goes blue in the face and screams before bolting out of the room.
  • In Soul Eater, Death the Kid usually has this look when he sees or thinks something is out of symmetry. Liz whenever ghosts are around.
  • In episode 25a of Tamagotchi, Memetchi's face goes blue when she looks in shock at the picture slideshow her friends made for her farewell party, knowing that she's not actually going anywhere and faked having to move. It happens again later in the same episode when Memetchi imagines how the others might react if they knew her claims of moving were a trick.
  • ViVid Strike!: This happens to Fuka in episode 10 when Nove tells her to remember her training during the next episode preview. She's still freaking out at the end of episode 11.
  • The entire Class 1-2 goes this in the first episode of Wasteful Days of High School Girls after the class teacher - on the first day of school - effectively admits he secretly likes high school girls, but he can't make it public without ruining his career.

    Fan Works 
  • In this post from "Ask the WVBA", Narcis Prince goes blue with shock when someone asks how he can be so pretty despite being British, which he takes great offense to.
  • Rocketship Voyager. One of the Maquis is shown to have a face blue with cyanosis when his space armor is punctured. Also counts as a Mythology Gag as his name is Chell, who in Star Trek: Voyager is a blue-skinned alien.

    Film — Animation 
  • Patlabor: The Movie: Happens to the pilot of a virus-infected rogue construction Labor in the first movie when he realizes that the Second Section (and in particular, Ohta), which has a reputation for collateral damage, is here to rescue him. "I'M DEAD!!"
  • In Turning Red, when Mei is pointed out by Tyler at the Daisy Mart the lighting changes to being more blue giving her mortified face this appearance.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: When Ralph expresses his desire to not be a bad guy any more, the entire Bad-Anon meeting gasps in shock, and Pac-Man ghost Clyde turns blue, complete with the sound effect that occurs after picking up a power pellet in the game.

    Live-Action TV 


    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: In one side-mission, Ann has to locate the suspect for a murder case that disappeared in a Hellevator. Ann later finds the man Quaking with Fear and his face entirely coated blue from terror after being trapped for awhile.
  • Danganronpa:
  • In Elite Beat Agents, this happens to Don and Jane when their date gets repeatedly interrupted by hungry/skateboarding/tired kids. Also, this happens to most other characters just before they start arm-waving.
  • Friday Night Funkin':
    • The Boyfriend goes blue whenever you miss a note or press buttons when you're not supposed to, complete with a dumbfounded expression and black vertical lines over his head. Pico, being a planned playable character among a few others, also has similarly-styled miss sprites Dummied Out in the game's files.
    • During "Roses," The Senpai's Blush Sticker is replaced with blue over the top of his face, showing his slipping façade and general frustration over The Boyfriend's ability to keep up.
    • The girls behind Senpai gain two small blue lines under their left eyes and dismayed facial expressions to emphasize their shock over Senpai's behavior.
  • In most of the Kingdom Hearts games, your character'snote  portrait on the HP gauge will have this effect if you're low on HP.
  • Pac-Man is technically an example since the ghosts turn blue whenever he eats an energizer/power pellet. The same principle also applies to the TV show, even though they don't turn blue here (instead, they turn "purple with panic").
  • In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game, Knives Chau's ending features her jumping into Scott's arms and kissing him, and suddenly the two of them are getting married in front of all of Scott's friends. Scott is very confused... so much so that his face has turned blue and his eyes are very wide open.
  • Levin's "surprised" animation in Soul Nomad & the World Eaters involves this.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Happens many times to Muza in the video game Thousand Arms when he sees a girl. At one point, the hero has to literally drag the frozen Muza around town.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In The Legend of Korra episode "The Voice in the Night" Tenzin goes blue in the face at a high-society gala when his five-year-old son Meelo uses something as a toilet off-screen.
  • The R.O.B. the Robot episode "Space Virus Blues" has a variation of this trope; the Blue Space Virus turns its victims blue, and it's an easy indication of which robots are sick and which are not.
  • Kevin from Steven Universe gets this when Stevonnie breaks into an unconventional dance to placate his advances on them (and also turns into two kids).


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