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Licking the Blade

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Sure, it looks impressive, but that blood's from his tongue.
"Hate to say, but that's hardly hygienic. You have no idea how many creatures that sword has cut through."
Hiei, YuYu Hakusho

A common characteristic of blade-wielding evildoers is their tendency to lick their weapons, whether clean or bloodied, as if their weapon was a cherry-flavored popsicle of non-diabetic death. Borders on Too Dumb to Live when licking the sharp edge or any surface with a coat of poison.

Generally considered a giveaway that this character is a Psycho for Hire, a Combat Sadomasochist, or otherwise sufficiently off his rocker to do anything. Especially creepy when paired with Evil Tastes Good flavored Hemo Eroticism. Conversely, can have major fetish potential.

Some characters feel a deep attachment to their weapon, almost as if it's a person.

The one doing the licking isn't necessarily evil or rather, more accurately, isn't always a story's antagonist. An Anti-Hero or Villain Protagonist can be seen doing this, especially if they're engaging their Superpowered Evil Side. Usually to showcase the fact they've either gone off the deep end or are very close to it, and that it is scary. Often a major fetish, especially if the licker is attractive.

See also Finger-Lickin' Evil, You Taste Delicious. A character who does this often may have Bloodlust. See also Lecherous Licking.

Do Not Try This at Home, unless you're really tired of having a tongue and/or you want to contract something.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Yashamaru of Basilisk very suggestively licked the Razor Floss he was using to pin his opponent before flexing his fingers and causing the entire rock to explode.
  • Parodied in Crayon Shin-chan in one of the Buriburizaemon stories. Shin Chan and Buriburizaemon have to face a ruthless Ronin, who licks his katana to intimidate the heroes. Unfortunately, the Ronin accidentally licks the wrong side... cue High-Pressure Blood and a Negated Moment of Awesome as the Ronin quickly scrambles for some band-aid for his tongue.
  • Saitou Hajime in Rurouni Kenshin does this at least once, as do Usui and Swordhunter Chou.
  • Seras Victoria licks a sword she's holding, while she and it are covered in blood, in the Title Sequence of the TV series version of Hellsing; however, she's trying to stop herself from doing so. This is probably a depiction of her fear of losing what's left of her humanity.
  • Yura of the Hair, an early Inuyasha opponent, does this at every opportunity.
  • Rider in Fate/stay night does this. Unusually, she's not a particularly bad person once you get to know her — she just likes drinking blood because she's a magical construct, it's a useful source of the mana that fuels her, and finding extra energy where you can is just common sense.
  • Naruto:
    • Hidan does this as a ritual. He gets the opponent's blood on his scythe and licks the blood, which basically makes all the injuries that happen to Hidan go to his opponent.
    • Orochimaru licks his own blood off a kunai (after stabbing himself in the palm with it) at one point before his fight with Sarutobi.
    • Like master, like student: Anko licks a kunai that she's just cut Naruto with before the Forest of Death stage of the chunin exams. Blood included.
    • In a Filler episode, Benten licks a kunai before threatening Hotaru with it.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, when an opponent licks Hiei's stolen katana, Hiei remarks that it can't be sanitary because not even he can remember how many people he's killed with it.
  • Two instances in the original Knight Hunters, or rather, once instance lampshaded in the DVD outtakes. Early on in the series, a Mook licks his hand ax before throwing it at a picture of his target. In the dub outtakes, the same scene is shown with the character's voice actor saying "I need to shave my tongue." Several other characters in the series do it as well, most notably Farfarello of Schwarz.
  • A minor Mook does this in Berserk — and promptly cuts his tongue when the hero shoves him out of his way.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Not a blade, but Bakura licks the blood of off Pegasus' Millennium Eye after ripping it out of his skull. Probably fulfills the creepy-psycho requirement.
    • In a straight example, after Ushio beats up Yugi in the very first chapter, he takes out his knifenote  and licks the blade while threatening to use it if Yugi fails to give him 200k yen.
  • One Piece:
    • Buggy does this in the opening credits of the anime.
    • As does Big Knife Sarquis from the Jaya Island arc.
    • Zoro does it a couple of times, most notably during the Thriller Bark Arc against Oz (and looks AWESOME in the process). Worth noting here that his unique Three-Sword Style involves holding the other end of the sword in his mouth, so licking the blade isn't a huge departure from his usual habits.
    • Mr. 1 (real name Daz Bones) does this after mulching Zoro's torso with his drill arms. Worth noting that he can turn his body into a sword's edge at will, so he ends up licking his arm.
  • Guitar, the swordsman general of the Mazoku in Violinist of Hameln does this from time to time.
  • Tsukiyomi from Negima! Magister Negi Magi does this before her fight against her sempai Setsuna. She does so while referring to Setsuna as "delicious" and asking for satisfaction, all the while drooling in a woozy state of carnal bloodlust.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS has Due, one of the combat cyborgs, who does this after assassinating the TSAB high council. Somewhat squicky, though, since they're just brains in jars of life-sustaining fluid. Still pretty damn creepy.
  • Creed from Black Cat does this a few times.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Mion Sonozaki (who, in this case, is actually Shion posing as Mion) does this with a nail in Watanagashi-hen. She then prepares to hammer the nail, and several others, into Keiichi's finger joints. The girl is a bit batshit insane in this particular arc.
  • King Gor does this during the final battle of Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo. Did I mention it was his blood on a Getter Tomahawk he had just pulled from his shoulder?
  • In Change 123, after Hibiki fends away a potential rapist with a single kick, there is a scene where he plans a revenge while recovering from the injuries. In one panel, his maniacal gaze is shown reflected in the blade of his katana as he licks it.
  • Amaha from the Witchblade anime loves this, as part of her overall Orgasmic Combat persona while using her Ax-Crazy Superpowered Evil Side. Masane does this too, as does Sarah from the American comics.
  • Happens twice in the second episode of Slayers, after the cursed knife turns a shop-keeper homicidal.
  • Almost every single scene with mooks in Fist of the North Star has at least one of them licking a weapon. The pic shown is that of Club, who licks Kenshiro's blood off his claw after scoring a hit on him. It's the only major hit the bad guy scores on him before being rendered already dead.
  • Ladd Russo from Baccano! does this while fighting Chane on top of the Flying Pussyfoot.
  • Manji in Blade of the Immortal at one point licks a knife he's taken off someone who he suspected of planning to kill him to check if it's poisoned.
  • Parodied in an early scene of Persona 4: The Animation when Yosuke shows Yu a sword that he... acquired... to help in fighting the shadows. Cut to a police officer approaching the two boys, preparing to arrest them.
  • In My Hero Academia, the "Hero Killer" Stain does this a lot because he has the ability to paralyse people if he ingests their blood.
  • Parodied in Assassination Classroom with the assassin Gastro, who constantly licks, bites, and tastes his guns, and even uses a loaded pistol as an eating utensil.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency, Kars does this with his arm blade.
  • In Cells at Work!, Killer T Cells can be seen doing this at times. Fittingly, they are considered the more brutal and cruel members of the immune system.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In the Ask Pinkamina Diane Pie Tumblr, this is Lampshaded; after expressing her contempt for the act, Pinkie attempts to lick the blade, but cuts her tongue in the process.
  • In The Dungeon Books it's mentioned in passing that Walden Macnair licks his axe clean after each and every creature execution.
  • The Lost Girl fic Wake Me Up has a variation. Lauren is forced to fight a lizard-like Underfae. It licks its razor-sharp claws before the fight begins because its saliva contains a paralytic poison. As you can imagine, the fight becomes much more difficult.
  • Played with in White Knight, Grey Queen when Pansy licks Harry's blood from his knife as part of an act intended to get information from Nott.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Evil Dead:
    • Ash's possessed girlfriend does this after attacking him with a knife in the original The Evil Dead (1981). Thanks to the solid white contacts the actress wore, the scene looks more goofy than scary as she fumbles her lips around the blade that she can't even see.
    • Done fairly memorably in the Evil Dead (2013) remake as well, with the blade splitting the Deadite's tongue in half gruesomely.
  • The bad guy at the start of the best fight scene of all time in Undefeatable.
  • Lurtz does this during his fight with Aragorn at the end of the film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Aragorn stabs him in the leg with his elven dagger, Lurtz pulls it out, licks his own blood off of it and then throws it back at Aragorn, who deflects it with his sword. It's awesome.
    • Especially since Aragorn was only supposed to dodge the dagger and Viggo Mortensen blocked it by accident.
  • Done by both antagonist killers in Copycat, though it's less licking the blade and more running the spine of the knife over their outstretched tongue.
  • Parodied in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory adaptation. After killing a large bug with a machete, Willy Wonka tastes the juices left on the blade. He's looking for new flavors of candy.
  • Billy Tallent from Hard Core Logo does this during a drug trip. It's... disturbing, in a squiggly-feelings kind of way.
  • A supremely creepy example occurs in Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula when the titular vampire cleans a straight razor after his guest accidentally cuts himself shaving. Dracula laps up the blood in a move that reads like a desperate junkie.
  • Mengele in Surf Nazis Must Die does this after killing an opponent in a Knife Fight.
  • On the poster for Deathgasm Zakk is licking the blade of his chainsaw.
  • In Fright Night 2: New Blood, Gerri uses this to mock Peter after his attempted staking of her fails because his aim was off by a few inches, tearing it out of her chest and licking the blood-stained edge.
  • The Judge from Full Contact, after stabbing the protagonist Jeff and slicing off two of the latter's fingers briefly licks the blade to intimidate Jeff.
  • Parodied in The Magic Crystal. Fat Comic Relief Snooker is leaving the toilet while holding a plunger when he bumps into an intruder, a mercenary who intimidates him by licking his knife. Snooker responds by licking his plunger.
  • In Screamers, Becker licks his own blade. Subverted in Screamers: The Hunting when Guy does this as a Spot the Imposter test. He cuts Bronte's palm and tastes her blood to establish that it's real. However, this just convinces the rescue team that these people are nuts, so they don't believe their claim that Screamers can now take human form.

  • Lijah Cuu from the Gaunt's Ghosts series.
    • Worse, one of the passages where he does this it implies that the blood is from Sehra Muril, the squadmate that he murdered.
  • In the Discworld novel Jingo the (evil)head of a Klatchian(Faux-Arabic)army has been told the opposing Ankh-Morporkian forces are confidant of success despite being outnumbered and untrained as they believe the Klatchians will run as soon as they taste some cold steel. He then licks a sword handed to him and declares he isn't the least bit apprehensive. And if that is as cold as steel gets.
  • Non-villain example from Redwall; when Dippler swears an oath to kill the slayer of his leader, he licks the blade of his rapier; "I'll hunt him down, and when I do this blade'll be wet with something else."
    • There used to be a fanfic in which an Original Character villain somehow managed to cut his own entire tongue out while doing this. Since the tongue is rooted pretty deeply in the mouth and one generally doesn't lick with enough pressure for a licked blade to slice all the way through the muscle, it's unclear exactly how he managed this.
  • The Winter Lady, Maeve of the Winter Court in Summer Knight is described as almost lazily licking blood from her sword in the midst of a gigantic turf war between the faerie Courts.
  • In novelized accounts, Strahd von Zarovich does this to the bloodied dagger with which he murdered his brother Sergei. Justified in this case (even though he's not Ax-Crazy) because this murder initiated Strahd's own transformation into D&D's most infamous vampire.
  • Drizzt Do'Urden does this at one point, believe it or not - he just tried to eat mutton off his dagger in the middle of battle for some reason. For what it's worth, it would not be surprising at all if the chapter involving this, "Biggrin's House", were run as an actual D&D session to determine how it went, so the OOC of the mutton thing may be excused.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, one orc murders another (with multiple knife stabs), and licks the blade clean.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, Priests of Khorne are mentioned as "idly" licking blood from their blades in the Grey Knights novel Hammer of Daemons.
  • In the Paladin of Shadows book Unto the Breach Oleg licks the hatchet that was just used to amputate one of his legs. Adams, a badass former SEAL, is disturbed.
  • In Doc Sidhe, the protagonist is sent to another world whose inhabitants are extremely sensitive to Cold Iron. He demonstrates his immunity by holding his steel pocketknife in his bare hand, and then licks the blade just to see their expressions.
  • In The Eternal Sky Trilogy by Elizabeth Bear, the quickest way to make a ghost-killing weapon is to lick the blade so salt sticks to it. Most characters avoid it if they can, for obvious reasons, but some enjoy it.
  • The Fortress of the Black Cauldron: Funeste, the torture technician of Virilus' army, is very prone to these.

    Live-Action TV 

  • There was a cover for an art magazine with a female Ranger from a Standard Fantasy Setting looking at a men's mag (actually a scroll) in shock as she did this as the first "page" girlie pic.

  • One of the girls from the music video for Queens of the Stone Age's "3's and 7's" is seen licking a knife blade in one shot.
  • This is on full display on the cover art of Head Control System's album "Murder Nature".
  • The line "She drinks the blood from a jagged edge" from the Jimi Hendrix song Dolly Dagger.
  • Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne sing a duet called "Close my Eyes Forever." In the middle of the second verse:
    Lita: And like a dagger
    you stick me in the heart
    and taste the blood from my blade.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Mickie Knuckles licking a bat with thumbtacks embedded in it at WSU Blood And Thunder during her "Fans Bring The Weapons" match against Sweet Saraya.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Konrad Von Carstein of the Warhammer universe is known for pausing mid-battle to do this. His model even depicts him doing a variation. To his defense, he's a vampire.
    • Another model that's depicting doing this is Forgeworld's Great Unclean One. In this case, it's unsanitary for the opposite of the usual reason - Great Unclean Ones are supernatural embodiments of pestilence, and licking a sword is an excellent way for them to poison it.
  • The eponymous creature on the Magic card Necrite, depending on the art variant.
  • In the 3.0 edition Forgotten Realms campaign setting, one of the NPCs statted out in the book is a CN mercenary troll with a cursed sword (minor curse- leaks blood constantly) He has the habit of licking it.

  • The man playing Hamlet in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged does this to his knife after stabbing Polonius. In slow motion.
    • It should be noted that this is not called for in the script, which is a fluctuating thing anyway considering it changes depending upon audience interaction, location, and random ad-libs. Since this is the very nature of the show, it's understandable.

    Video Games 
  • In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, Yaksini, who wields to swords, will lick them as part of her default animation.
  • Guilty Gear:
    • While it's not a sword (but figuratively an axe!), one of I-no's opening poses in XX involves licking her guitar.
    • Raven, the Creepy Good Combat Sadomasochist, does this constantly with his needles, most notably before delivering a super attack.
  • Vico, the psycho-axe(sword)-crazy-maniac in A Dance with Rogues, does this in the mines in the second chapter. Some of the player's dialogue options immediately afterwards are just ridiculous.
  • Vega/Balrog from the Street Fighter series is usually doing this during his win quotes.
    • He actually removed his mask to do this in the first anime movie. Thus exposing himself to Chun-Li's kicks...
  • In Vandal Hearts, a type of enemies you meet relatively early in the game (actually ordinary soldiers who have been exposed to Sealed Evil in a Can) will lick their blades before every attack - making them significantly creepier.
  • Gekido: Kintaro's Revenge have Kintaro's zombie minions, who will lick their kunai to taunt you if left idle for too long.
  • Haunting Ground: The Ax-Crazy homunculus maid Daniella does this to her weapon (either a long shard of glass or a fire poker, depending on the player's actions) in a rather disturbing manner in the cutscene before her boss fight.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Bisexual, possibly-vampire knife freak Vamp does this in his introduction cutscene.
    • Played almost to the point of self-parody in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, in which Vamp licks his knives at an average of twice per cutscene appearance. At one point, he still has Raiden's (white-colored) blood on them, making for an extremely Ho Yay moment.
  • Birdie in the Street Fighter Alpha games likes to lick his chain.
  • Chief Scalpem from Sunset Riders taunts you before his battle by licking one of his long knives. An appropriate gesture because said boss puts up hell of a fight.
  • CutMan tells his brothers that MegaMan.EXE did this at him, in an effort to paint MegaMan as the villain. It's Played for Laughs, since the CutMan brothers occupy a notch slightly below Team Rocket in terms of threat level.
  • Kartikeya in Wild AR Ms 5.
  • Tetsuo Tamashiro from Yakuza 3 does this right before challenging Kazuma to a battle.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Ghirahim will do this after attacking you in your second fight against him.
  • Scyther does this to his scythes occasionally in Pokémon Stadium.
  • In Tales of Xillia 2, the alternate Julius you run into early in the game does this if you choose to not be suspicious of him, which drives home the point that he's not the real deal.
  • The Berserker enemies in The Legend of Dragoon do this as their idle animation.
  • Battleborn's Rath can do this with his "Keeper of the Blade" taunt. Sometimes he'll add a line that indicates he just cut his tongue.
  • The Cobra Man boss from Raging Blades licks his Wolverine Claws with his forked tongue to taunt you in a cutscene before the battle begins.
  • In Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Sergei Vladimir licks his own blood off his blade while talking to Wesker.
  • West of Loathing lampshades this with the clown knife weapon, stating that it's covered in clown spit and that "people who lick their knives to look intimidating are basically the worst people." Happens again if the player chooses to go to the tannery, where they'll see demon clowns using their tongues as whetstones for their knives.


    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 

Hope you've had your tetanus shots, guys.