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Paint the Town Red

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"C'mon, team. Let's go paint the undefended town a nice shade of 'BLAM'."

In the course of a Cruel and Unusual Death or even when it's just that Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting, things get messy. And the things that suffer most are the buildings (inside and out) in town that get covered in everyone's blood. It's usually also the sign of a particularly violent person walking around just doing what they do best. Someone may help the job along by leaving a Bloody Handprint. High-Pressure Blood could also do the trick, as well as a victim dealing with a gaping head wound. Particularly shown when a director takes creative liberties on death scenes.

If a hero comes running back home only to find their family and friends used this way, it may lead to a Heroic BSoD.

Usually goes well with Gorn with a side of Ludicrous Gibs for in-your-face action. Contrast Bloodless Carnage.

Not to be confused with Paint the Index Red.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Anywhere Ladd and Claire go in Baccano!, this is standard.
  • In the Blood: The Last Vampire movie, Saya wasn't afraid of doing this, even in front of a nurse who didn't have the foggiest idea of what was going on.
  • Commonplace in Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan, often played for laughs.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, this is Scar's calling card. And it later becomes commonplace for Wrath/King Bradley.
  • In Hellsing, this is Alucard's favorite activity. Seras invokes this trope once, smearing her opponent all over a wall. Likewise, when Anderson goes berserk on a group of Nazi vampires, his Axe-Crazy hacking leaves a giant swastika of blood on the walls... and then he splatters it with even more blood and ruins the effect.
    • Which then leads us to the villainous example of Rip Van Winkle, who also paints a Nazi swastika on a captured aircraft carrier of the British Navy. Sadly, she ran out of paint and had to improvise...
  • Happens quite frequently in Highschool of the Dead, thanks to the zombies.
  • This is the signature of the titular Ichi the Killer. The comic and film open with a crew cleaning up his mess.
  • Often used to imply or enhance the amount of incredible violence that the Angels and EVAs are capable of in Neon Genesis Evangelion, most memorably when Gendo orders the autopilot to take over and destroy the EVA being piloted by Touji after an Angel hijacks it.
    • In the second Rebuild of Evangelion movie, Sahaquiel's death is changed so that the Angel explodes into a gigantic wave of blood, which then washes over Tokyo-3. One must wonder how long it took to clean all that up.
  • Zoro from One Piece revels in this trope. His enemies don't spill much blood but he himself loses a hell of a lot of the stuff in almost every major fight.

    Fan Works 
  • More like island, but in My Hero Academia: Unchained Predator, the Slayer, after slaughtering the entire Steel Sabers organization, turns I-Island into a blood covered slaughterhouse that is completely uninhabitable.

  • The bridge of the Event Horizon combines this with Meat Moss. The ship's previous crew apparently tore each other apart quite gruesomely after the ship came back from its FTL jump and it's implied that's what's left.
  • The Gamers had a rather spectacular example from the Ludicrous Gibs side of this trope, after Nimble decides to backstab Hunk. With a ballista.
    Gamemaster: Well, that's 264 points of damage. You splatter Hunk all over the common room. The patrons shriek in horror and run out of the inn, occasionally slipping on blood and entrails. You're now alone in a room that looks like a vat of beef stroganoff exploded in it.
  • Literal example in Clint Eastwood's High Plains Drifter. When the protagonist takes over the duties of sheriff, he has the town painted red and renamed Hell before the shooting starts.
  • The elevator scene in The Shining.
  • In Watchmen, Doctor Manhattan is shown once using his powers to turn a bunch of thugs into chunky, red paint. Restaurant patrons weren't happy.

  • Averted in many fights in The Dresden Files series thanks to the fact that creatures from the Nevernever have auto-cleanup on destruction.
  • This occurs on a few occasions in The General Series. Discussed when Raj notes that it's the first (or one of the few) times he's literally seen streets run red, and this is because an army got massacred on each occasion. (One of them was about forty thousand or so troops disembarking off their ships to discover that Raj's men are waiting in ambush — with rifles and field guns. They take casualties of something like 50% before they manage to surrender.)

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Viking song from Horrible Histories:
    We're gonna paint the whole town red... LITERALLY!
    With the blood of the dead... LITERALLY!

    Mythology & Religion 
  • This is promised as part of the Apocalypse in Revelation, the last book of The Bible. We are assured that in the End Times, the battle of Armageddon will happen and the battlefield will be flooded with blood to the height of a horse's shoulder. note 

    Video Games 
  • Alien Shooter. At any given time, you will be deluged with dozens upon dozens of monsters, each of which leaves a big puddle of blood, limbs, and guts when it dies.
  • Blood: Caleb actually says "I'm gonna paint the town red" at the beginning of one level. He stays true to his statement.
  • Popular Game Mod Brutal Doom runs mostly on this trope and Ludicrous Gibs. Examples include painting several walls and ceilings with a minigun and a double-barreled shotgun spreading people across a field. As blood confetti.
  • Crimsonland isn't just a fancy title for the game. All enemies, be it the zombies or Giant Spiders all leave a red blood patch upon death, and the ground soon gets covered with their blood to create a crimson land.
  • Inevitably happens in the Decision series, since zombies tend to cluster up and their dead (for good) bodies and also be destroyed by AoE weapons. It's most prominent near defensive towers, where the zombies all head for a single point and the tower can have up to three explosive weapons installed on it.
  • Dwarf Fortress. Especially in the latest version, where bathing is a bit broken so attempts by dwarves to wash all that blood and vomit from battles off results in a giant puddle of blood all over the floor...
    • Our very own Succession Game, Waterburned, has so much blood it lags the game.
    • In some evil areas of user-generated worlds, blood can rain from the sky.
  • From The Elder Scrolls series' backstory comes Pelinal Whitestrake, the legendary 1st Era hero of mankind/racist berserker. Believed to have been a Shezarrine, physical incarnations of the spirit of the "dead" creator god Lorkhan (known to the Imperials as "Shezarr"), Pelinal came to St. Alessia to serve as her divine champion in the war against the Ayleids. Pelinal would fly into fits of Unstoppable Rage (mostly directed at the Ayleids) during which he would be stained with their blood and left so much bloody carnage in his wake that Kyne, one of the Divines, would have to send in her rain to cleanse Ayleid forts and village before they could be used by Alessia's forces.
  • Hatred is all about a very angry man going on a rampage with the goal of killing as many people as possible.
  • Hotline Miami by default is very bloody, but equipping the Jones mask makes blood puddles triple in size and adds some guts in them too. This seems to be the default setting in the sequel.
  • Used to great effect in Madworld. All the game environments are entirely black and white when you first enter them. You proceed to kill your enemies and the game's intense Gorn will ensure that this trope occurs.
  • Ninja Gaiden II (2008) makes you able to cover the places you go through with blood from your enemies.
  • Paint the Town Red, which revolves entirely around brawls in various settings like a biker bar, a disco and a prison. Enemies that get hit will have blood gushing from their wounds, and all that blood splatters on the floor and walls, so it's possible to have every floor and wall in the area turned red by the end of a fight.
  • Presentable Liberty never shows the state of the city on screen (as the player is imprisoned indoors for the duration of the game), but Charlotte and Salvadore send the player letters detailing the spread of The Virus and the bloody mess its victims leave behind. It's implied that the entire city is covered in blood and guts by the time Salvadore arrives.
  • [PROTOTYPE] and it's sequel have you playing as a superpowered invidual, who can rip through almost anything in mere seconds. That includes humans. And almost nothing can stop you from turning everyone you see into fine red paste.
  • Late-game raids in Rimworld will bring a large number of attackers to your colony, and killing all of them will paint the ground red. This is not very good, because things like pools of blood or corpses decrease the beauty rating and give bad feelings to your colonists.
  • In The Saboteur, while you can't actually do this in the game, there is a perk named "Paint the Town Red".
  • In Skullgirls, the character Peacock mentions the trope by name in her battle introduction. However, this doesn't actually happen in-game.
  • Variant in Splatoon: Splatting an opponent causes them to explode in your team's ink color, so combine that with the need to ink territory as an objective or even just a mobility aid, and you can literally paint the town red (or whatever color your team is).
  • Team Fortress 2 allows you to turn the walls and floor red with the blood of any enemies you've attacked near them. Most of the time you'll mostly end up seeing blood trails from body parts rolling around, but some mods bring this to the point of Bloody Hilarious Black Comedy.
  • ULTRAKILL: The main way for V1 to heal is to be standing next to the enemy mobs as they get shot down or blown to bits in order to bathe in their spilled blood, which has become fuel for the machines. As a result, V1's rampage across Hell tends to leave a red trail.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines: Any blood splatter from hurting an enemy or NPC will remain long after the player has left the area. The easiest way to paint an area is to use the fifth Thaumaturgy power, Blood Boil, which causes the target to explode into Ludicrous Gibs and similarly obliterates anyone in the range of the explosion. It can be a shock to return to an area where you exploded someone and see that it's still red all over.


    Web Original 
  • Carmilla the Series: Mattie, Carmilla's loving vampire sister, invites her out to "paint the town red" exactly as one would expect her to-with enthusiasm. What's a girl to do with a reunion after decades but party?
  • Chakona Space: In a recent story set in Neal Foster's more distant past, he doesn't paint the town so much as the ceilings of a starship's bridge and sickbay.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • A suicide bomber rushed a tank. This happened. The tank suffered no damage.
  • A number of dead baby jokes go along these lines: How many dead babies does it take to paint a wall? Depends how hard you throw them.
  • At the end of the First Crusade, the Crusaders, driven by hunger and thirst into a truly epic frenzy, slaughtered everything in sight when they entered Jerusalem in 1099, such that the streets were running with blood up to the horses' fetlocks, and bloodstains could be found everywhere in the city.
    • Note that this wasn't the first time that staining carnage had struck Jerusalem; during the interminable wars between the Eastern Roman and Persian Empires in the 5th-7th centuries CE, Jerusalem changed hands several times. The Eastern Romans were Christian and the Persians, while Zoroastrians, counted the Jews as their allies. Each time the city switched, the Persians would purge the city of Christians and repopulate it with Jews, and imagines that quite a few stains came out of that.
  • Non-Lethal example: Ever sneeze towards a wall with a bad nosebleed?
  • This was said to have happened during The French Revolution, during the executions at the Place de la Concorde.
  • Blood stains still remain on walls and floors at Tuol Sleng prison, where many prisoners were held, tortured, interrogated, and executed by the Khmer Rouge.