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Red Is Violent

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With blood and rage of crimson red,
Ripped from a corpse so freshly dead,
Together with our hellish hate,
We'll burn you all — That is your fate!

The color red represents many positive things like energy, love and passion. On the other hand, it also represents rage, violence, fire, and blood. This trope is all about the violence and aggressiveness associated with this color. Don't be confused: violence does not necessarily mean evil; violence also comes with the good side, mostly seen in anti-heroes and some Hot-Blooded heroes. Also, being paired with a calm/aloof character that wears blue usually makes Red Oni, Blue Oni.

Sub-Trope of Colour-Coded for Your Convenience and a Super-Trope for Fiery Redhead, Red Eyes, Take Warning, and Bull Seeing Red. Compare and contrast Red Is Heroic and Blue Means Smart One. See also Red Alert, Red and Black and Evil All Over (which adds black and evil to the mixture), Bring My Red Jacket (that overlaps a lot with this trope), Red Hot Masculinity (which can go hand-in-hand), and Psycho Pink (if pink is used in similar manner). If used in conjunction with Light Is Not Good, you'll get White and Red and Eerie All Over. Also compare the deadly sin of wrath, which is often symbolized by this color. Not to be confused with Dirty Communists.

In general in role-playing games (including tabletop and video games), there's The Red Mage, a kind of mage that usually combines white and black magic and has been trained to fight instead just making magic spells.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • AKIRA: Being the Evil Counterpart of his former friend Shotaro Kaneda, Tetsuo Shima starts to use a red cape in the moment he embraces his newly powers and acts like a god.
  • Akudama Drive:
    • Brawler has red dreadlocks and has it as his main color, and he is the incredibly strong Dumb Muscle of the group.
    • While Cutthroat's main color is white, his love for the color red (like blood) is dangerously obsessive. He calls the blood spurting out of a body whose head just blew up pretty.
  • Berserk
  • Black Butler:
    • Grell Sutcliff's first action after the reveal of her true nature is to attack one of the protagonists with a chainsaw while gushing about painting her victims with their own blood. Her second action is to murder her partner-in-crime for refusing to kill her own nephew, berate her for 'not being fit to wear red', and steal a red coat off her corpse.
    • Grell's partner-in-crime, Angelina Dalles, is also a Serial Killer with the literal nickname of "Madam Red".
  • Bleach: Kenpachi's Bankai turns him into a red-skinned, oni-like berserker capable of effortlessly ripping a giant's arm off his shoulder by biting it or even bisecting said giant.
  • Death Note: Light Yagami is a serial killer who uses the titular Artifact of Doom to kill anyone he perceives as evil. He is appropriately often shown under red light. It even extends to his allies, Misa Amane gains red Shinigami Eyes, and the Shinigami Ryuk often eats red apples.
  • Dragon Ball
    • In Dragon Ball Z, one of the new techniques Son Goku learns to defeat Nappa and Vegeta is the Kaioken, a power that can level up his strength and speed by X depending how much energy the carrier will use (Goku took it to the extreme against Vegeta), always accompanied by a red aura. Kaioken is also more brutal than most of Goku's "transformations" as he shattered Nappa's spine when he used it against him.
    • Garlic Junior has red Ki attacks which is pretty rare for villains who commonly have purple energy (purple is the color of death in Japan).
    • Android No. 13 also has red energy and aura, fitting since No. 13 is one of the most brutal movie villains.
    • In GT, Super Saiyan 4 gives Son Goku and Vegeta red fur, eyelids and tails, and this form even changed Son Goku’s Kamehameha from blue to red. SSJ4 was so intimidating Pan had to ask Goku if he was evil or not when she first saw it.
    • Jiren's aura in Super is red, which Jiren showcased when he caught Son Goku's Ultra Instinct punch. This tropes becomes more apparent in the final moments of the Tournament of Power, when he shows much more emotions and becomes more brutal.
  • Hellsing:
    • Alucard basically dresses in red and he's extremely violent especially because he IS Dracula. He has no issue killing normal humans in the most gory ways as he does killing vampires.
    • Seras Victoria usually wears a light brown military tunic (blue in the Gonzo anime) but when Pip is killed and she drinks his blood and becomes a true vampire her clothes permanently become red and she gets the same red and black aura as Alucard, her sire.
  • Inuyasha from Inuyasha wears the Robe of the Fire-Rat: a bright red suit of clothes that has incredible flame-retardant powers and functions as full body armor. Accordingly, his method of solving problems is usually to attack them with his Cool Sword and ask questions later. The other members of his group wear black, blue-on-blue, or a school uniform from 5 centuries in the future.
  • Kuroko's Basketball:
    • Taiga Kagami is a Fiery Redhead with a hot temper and aggressive playstyle. When he is in the Zone, his defense area is portrayed as a circle of fire. His main color is red.
    • Seijuurou Akashi is also a redhead and has red as his main color, although its shade is more on the magenta side to differentiate it from Kagami's deep red. While Akashi is a calm and collected leader, he is a very psychotic person, who immediately attacks Kagami with a pair of scissors, he tells his own teammates that he would gouge out his own eyeballs in case they'll lose to Shuutoku (because Akashi intentionally threw the ball in his own basket), and he will always show off his absolute dominance over everybody.
  • Vita from Lyrical Nanoha is a Fiery Redhead whose magic color is red, is occasionally referred to as the "Crimson Iron Rider", and goes into battle wearing a bright red dress. She also has the most explosive temper among the cast.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, there's Asuka Langley Soryu, an aggressive Fiery Redhead Blood Knight with red as her main color, mostly seen in her plugsuit and EVA Unit-02.
  • One Piece
    • Similar to Kaioken, Luffy’s Second Gear has red aura surrounding him when he uses it and boosts his speed and power up at the cost of damaging his body. Continuing from Second Gear, Luffy’s Gear Fourth and Snake Man gives him red highlights on his body.
    • While red is not their designated color, Zoro and Sanji (green and Blue) are given red aura during two of their respective big battles in the anime; Sanji during his rage on Thriller Bark, and Zoro when fighting Indigo in Strong World. Sanji also gets a red suit for the Final Battle of Wano.
    • Fleet Admiral Sakazuki aka Akainu, who wore a red suit pre-timeskip and whose alias literally means Red Dog, is a very powerful General Ripper who murders any pirates or people dumb enough to get in his way with his Magma powers.
    • Charlotte Katakuri has red hair and tattoos, is The Heavy among Big Mom’s Badass Family, and brutalizes Luffy during their fight at the end of the arc.
    • "Sparking Red" Vinsmoke Ichiji (his hair and suit match his name) is particularly violent, cruel and strong. Ichiji can even generate small explosions when he punches his target.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica has Kyoko Sakura, an expy of Evangelion's Asuka, only as a Magical Girl Warrior and something of an antagonist at first. She has a similar personality and red color scheme (red hair, costume and weapon, along with red eyes and a red Soul Gem), to emphasize the blood that was spilled when her father killed her entire family, including himself, and led her to become so cynical.
  • Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slam Dunk is a Hot-Blooded Fiery Redhead who also was a Japanese Delinquent in the past but later he falls in love with a girl and basketball, joining Shohoku team and wearing its official red sportswear, a convenient outfit for him. Also, a kind of invoke of this trope, Shohoku members (mostly the main ones, Sakuragi included) are good at fighting and even having an ex-yankii leader in their team: Hisashi Mitsui.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Yu-Gi-Oh!: All three Sangenshin (localized as "Three Egyptian Gods") are very destructive and powerful monsters that will punish those who aren't worthy. "Osiris the Heaven Dragon" is one of them and it is a giant red serpent-like dragon with giant wings and two mouths, one of the most aggressive monster designs. Osiris gains more ATK the more cards the controller holds in their hand. In addition to that, Osiris's second mouth will blast one or even a barrage of its Shouraidan to any monster that is summoned to the opponent's field, which will weaken them by 2000 ATK or DEF. But if the monster's ATK or DEF fall to 0, they get destroyed. This unique quality makes it difficult to beat, whereas its equal, Obelisk the Giant God Soldier, can be overpowered with raw power.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Osiris's Sangenma counterpart is "Uria, Lord of Divine Flames", which shares the same red color scheme. Uria is heavily associated with fire and lava, is evil and together with the other two of the Sangenma, they are a threat to the world.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s:
      • Jack Atlas's Signature Mon is "Red Daemon's Dragon", a dragon that is heavily associated with fire despite its DARK attribute, and it is capable of destroying all the opponent's Defense Position monsters with its Demon Meteor. Jack puts more emphasis on power and offensive strategies, and his "Red Daemon's" gains evolutions that put that focus on even more power. "Savior Demon Dragon" (localized as "Majestic Red Dragon) and "Scar-Red Nova Dragon" gain more ATK with their effects. "Red Daemon's Dragon's" destructive power contrasts Yusei's "Stardust Dragon", which has a protective effect, and "Red Daemon's" two evolutions favor raw power over "Savior Star Dragon's" Power Parasite and "Shooting Star Dragon's" Spam Attack.
      • Aki and her Signature Mon "Black Rose Dragon" have a red color scheme (the rose parts of the dragon's body are red). From her introduction in the Fortune Cup all the away to the Dark Signer arc, Aki has powerful psychic powers, but she's mentally unstable because of being a feared outcast and being neglected by her father. Her "Black Rose Dragon" is a FIRE monster (although it puts more emphasis on its dark powers than fire) that destroys the entire field with its storm of red rose petals, reflecting Aki's destructive nature, and also acts as another foil to Yusei's protective "Stardust Dragon". After Character Development, Aki has left the path of violence and even becomes a doctor in the epilogue, and her "Black Rose Dragon" has been used for less destructive purposes.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s: The manga and Duel Dragon counterpart to "Red Daemon's Dragon" is "Enmaryu — Red Daemon", which looks practically identical to it, but "Enmaryu — Red Daemon" has a much more destructive effect than "Red Daemon's Dragon", being capable of destroying all monsters on the field except itself. Unlike "Red Daemon's Dragon's" power-focused evolution, the evolutions of "Enmaryu — Red Daemon" focus more on field presence and field control, overwhelming the opponent by having multiple forms of it present which all have high ATK.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL: The Barians are heavily associated with the color red and they're the main villains of the series, having brought lots of destruction during their war against the Astral World and they're responsible for putting the human world in danger.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V:
      • Yuya and his Signature Mon, "Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon", are mainly colored in red, and they play with this trope. Normally, they don't count as examples of this trope, due to Yuya preferring peace over violence and he wants everyone to smile with his Entertainment Duels, and his "Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon" often reflects his sentiment and it even shows a goofier and sillier side, which is unusual even for a protagonist's Signature Monster. However, whenever Yuya Awakens, he generally disregards his own philosophy in exchange of viciously and brutally defeating his opponents with all of his might and anger, and unlike his counterparts' Glowing Eyes of Doom, Yuya's glowing eyes only apply to his pupils, putting more emphasis on his natural red eyes. If Yuya is awakened, his monsters also become more vicious and brutal, as seen with "Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon" physically assaulting Duel Chaser 227 and knocking him off from his motorcycles, to the point that the officer had to be carried with a stretcher. Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon later gains a second Xyz hybrid evolution, the "Supreme King Violent Dragon — Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon", a monster that shares the same red color scheme and is born from Yuya's own anger that is fueled with even more dark powers than its black variant. While the "Supreme King Black Dragon — Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon" is capable of destroying monsters with its effect in order to attack multiple times, the red "Supreme King Violent Dragon — Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon" can destroy the entire field except itself, gains more ATK for every destroyed card and it can already attack twice. Notably, "Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon" is only ever summoned when Yuya is awakened, unlike all the other hybrid forms.
      • Even when Yuya isn't awakened, his "Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon" isn't that harmless, as he often will tell his red dragon to "burn everything it sees with its dual-colored eyes". The summon chant of "Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon" calls back to it and goes even further, with Yuya telling it "to burn everything on the earth with its flames of rage".
      • Similar to his 5D's version, the ARC-V version of Jack Atlas is heavily associated with fire and he uses a Red deck, which focuses on summoning his Signature Mon "Red Dragon's Daemon Scarlight". "Scarlight" and its evolved form "Tyrant" have even more destructive effects than their 5D's counterparts, as they focusing on destroying the opponent's monsters or the entire field with their flames rather than focusing on raw power. The first time Yuya faces "Red Daemon's Dragon Scarlight", he ends up hospitalized.


    Comic Books 
  • A good part of the outfits of the '90s Anti-Hero characters uses red in at least some part of their clothes. Some examples are Spawn, Azrael, X (Dark Horse Comics) and even an aggressive version of Doctor Fate simply called, "Fate".
  • Animorphs: In the graphic novels, the sadistic Visser Three has red speech bubbles.
  • Batman:
    • Jason Todd, after coming Back from the Dead in Batman: Under the Hood, made a Face–Heel Turn and became a more violent vigilante than Batman himself under the name of Red Hood. Although he's back to the good side, Jason stays with this identity and his violent ways.
    • In the alternate universe of Flashpoint (and in the animated adaptation), Batman is Thomas Wayne, in a universe Bruce died instead of his parents, becoming Batman, but in a more cruel and ruthless way than Bruce, able to kill his enemies to stop their menacing. This version of Batman incorporated red to the costume, mostly in the cape, the bat symbol and the red eyes.
    • There's also Batman of Zur-En-Arrh (who dresses in red and purple), who was an uninhibited alter ego that Bruce Wayne had constructed to protect himself in the event that his base psyche was under attack.
      I'm what you get when you take Bruce out of the equation...
    • And from Battle for the Cowl saga, one of the men who wants to take Batman's legacy is the ruthless Two-Face, who wears a Batman costume split in two colors as his normal motif, having one side black/dark blue and the other one red.
  • Elektra: Elektra fluctuates between being a hero and a villain but two things that stay consistent is her preference for using violence to solve her problems and her wearing a red outfit.
  • Green Arrow: Despite wearing red in all of his identities as Speedy, Arsenal and Red Arrow, Roy Harper didn't fit this trope until he lost his arm and his daughter to the villain Prometheus in Justice League: Cry for Justice. After this, he became a brutal, murderous antihero.
  • Green Lantern:
    • To start, in the War of Light saga, there's the prophecy of all colors of the spectrum fighting between themselves, and then the Blackest Night will start when the dead will rise. One of these colors is the red, that represents rage and anger and has the particularity of changing the blood of the carrier to a corrosive plasma close to lava that can spit from the mouth, apart of the proper powers of a Lantern Ring. Also, his heart is replaced by this ring, so removing the ring means killing the carrier.
    • Atrocitus, a retconned old villain of GL Hal Jordan, is covered with this color and has a lot of rage for the massacre of his complete sector by the Manhunters, time before Guardians created the GL Corps. He's also one of the starters of the War of Light creating the Red Lantern Corps and being particularily Arch-Enemy of Green Lanterns, and later Blue Lanterns, the only Corps that can stop them (and remove their rings without destroying the carriers).
    • Although he's not evil, GL Guy Gardner is a Fiery Redhead who also is impulsive and sometimes with a violent nature, especially in the beginnings.
      • For the Blackest Night event and onwards, he certainly becomes a Red Lantern, first against their will and later controlling it by the War of the Green Lanterns saga.
      • After he quit to the Green Lanterns in The '90s, he tried to come back as a superhero, or at least as a vigilante. First, he got Sinestro's Yellow Ring, but later he got depowered when Parallax awoke in Hal Jordan. Later on an expedition to the Amazon with some obscure superheroes, Gardner found a chalice of the Warrior Water. He drank from it, and this activated alien DNA that had been implanted in his bloodline a millennium ago by a space-traveling race called the Vuldarians. He discovered new, shapeshifting abilities and which would allow him to resume his role as a superhero. This version of him, self-called as Warrior shown him mostly covered in red and it's the '90s Anti-Hero version of Gardner.
    • Supergirl became a Red Lantern in the Red Daughter of Krypton story arc. Although she was not evil -she joined the Guy Gardner squad and despised Atrocitus-, she was more violent, more aggressive and more short-tempered than her usual Hot-Blooded self. She also wore a mostly red uniform during her time with the Red Lanterns.
  • The Incredible Hulk:
    • The Red Hulk is a more violent and ravaging than the usual one, being The Rival, with the difference he can transform at will and can superheat his body to the point that he is hot to the touch. Also counts for Red She-hulk, who has similar origins to Red Hulk (and they're relatives).
    • On her reappearance in Immortal Hulk, Betty — previously having been depowered by Omega Hulk — shows she has a new form, dubbed "Red Harpy" by the fans, on account of sharing the bright red skin she had as Red She-Hulk. It's an expression of Betty's repressed pain and anger, which given the life she'd led is in no short supply. However, Betty's still in control of her faculties in this form, hence her catchphrase of "this is me." The anger comes out in Tranquil Fury.
  • Monica's Gang: Monica wears a red dress and has the habit to solve all of her problems with violence and brute strenght. Ironically, her preferred weapon is a blue stuffed rabbit.
  • Raptors: Drago and Camilla usually dress in all-red, stripperiffic leather combat outfits while taking out hordes of mooks. As they're vampires, this simultaneously serves as a visual metaphor for their bloodlust.
  • Red (2003): Although the color isn't part of their attire, the series invokes this trope. The story is about a Retired Badass agent that was attempted to be murdered by the same government he worked for. After killing savagely all his possible murderers, he went out of his retire putting himself back on red status, and then he'll make a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against all the ones who wanted him dead, no matter the position.
  • Superman: During the 90's Superman Red Superman Blue storyline, Superman was separated into two separate beings with different personalities. One of them had red energy powers, while the other had blue energy powers. The red Superman was the more impulsive of the two, often rushing into battle without thinking.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Raphael is the most impulsive of the four turtles and also wears the color red, who was properly given to him by Splinter.
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • All-New Ultimates: The cover of #3 features Scourge. It is completely red.
    • The Ultimates (2002)
      • There is a brief flashback of the time that Hulk fought Spider-Man. The scene is in red, contrasting with the natural colors of the mundane scene of Banner and Fury just having a lunch.
      • When Pym had a success in turning himself into a giant (while Banner keeps failing to recreate the super soldier formula), there is a brief glimpse of Hulk's eyes. Of course, in red.
  • Venom: In Venom (2021), Bedlam, one of the future Kings in Black Eddie meets, is entirely bright red and exists in a perpetual state of Unstoppable Rage. He turns out to be a version of Eddie who was subject to Mind Rape, turning him back to how he was when he first became Venom. Through the events of Dark Web, Eddie slowly transitions into him, starting in the normal Venom colors, but getting more and more red as things go on.
  • X-Men:
    • The Juggernaut wears red armor, reflecting the Crimson Gem of Cytorrak that empowers him. Also, when he was reduced to nothing but his skeleton, helmet, gums, and teeth, his skeleton was shown to glow red from the mystical energies that gave him his power.
    • Phoenix hosts tend to be colour-coded. Green Phoenix is fine, pretty much normal and stable, as demonstrated in The Phoenix Saga. White Phoenix is a sign that they've pretty much transcended and control the entire Phoenix Force. Third and finally, they switch to a red variant on the classic suit when they go Dark Phoenix, as originally demonstrated in The Dark Phoenix Saga, becoming much more violent and unstable. It was enough of a warning sign that Excalibur all went Oh, Crap! when they saw Rachel, then a Phoenix host, appear in the Dark Phoenix's duds. Thankfully, it turned out that she just preferred the colour scheme. Additionally, Cyclops wore a primarily red and black suit as leader of the Phoenix Five in Avengers vs. X-Men, and eventually had a reddish-black suit when he became the Dark Phoenix.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Red bioluminescence seems to be a sign of wrath and Unstoppable Rage regardless of the Titan:
    • Ultimately Zig-Zagged by Monster X. Their powers which produce red light or lightning are usually triggered by emotions such as anger and hate, but great enough joy or happiness can also get a bioluminescent red pulse out of them.
    • Red is the final color that Mothra and Godzilla's symbiosis cycles through when they're powering up, and boy are they pissed.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: In "The Blood Brother," the sociopathic villain of the fic is a red cocker spaniel named Duke. He has a terrible temper, becomes increasingly bigoted and violent towards felines as the story progresses, and is run over by a truck while trying to kill a cat.
  • Child of the Storm has the three standard colours of Phoenix hosts as different aspects of the Phoenix's role: Green is the Healer/Creator, Red is the Fighter/Destroyer, and White is Transcendent. So, someone in what's otherwise the classic Dark Phoenix gear isn't necessarily insane and about to destroy you; they could just be gearing up to take up something big and bad that threatens the universe. However, when a Phoenix host does go bad, they start with the Red gear.
  • Curses depicts the Boogeyman curse as a red, soul wisp-like spirit that travels between players, causing their eyes to turn red and forcing them to commit murder.
  • Danganronpa: Paradise Lost: Shun Iida is a brash Sir Swears-a-Lot whose bio notes that it "doesn't take much for him to lose his temper", clad in a red tracksuit and gym shorts. Ultimately downplayed, as while he does eventually inflict Extreme Mêlée Revenge upon Akihiro Garaki after the latter commits murder and has to be dragged away to prevent him from killing him in turn, Shun doesn't end up becoming a killer, ultimately managing to survive the Killing Game.
  • In many stories in the Infinity Train: Blossomverse, Fiery Redhead Chloe Cerise can get very dangerous if you manage to get on her bad side. Whether it's the idiot bullies who dumped paint on her ala Carrie or fighting against Silent Hill baddies, there's a high chance you're not gonna survive once her donut holer makes contact with your head.
  • In Jessica, as Cameron walks up the staircase in Celestial Tower, a message about how Cameron killed Jessica appears on the stairs in red letters:
  • In The Parselmouth of Gryffindor, insane, murderous Barty Crouch Junior takes to wearing crimson robes to distinguish himself from the other Death Eaters, whom he now commands. The papers refer to him as the "Crimson Heir" of Voldemort. (Cue jokes about ginger Voldemort.)
  • Star Wars vs Warhammer 40K: Out of the three homebrew Space Marine Chapters featured in the story, the most overtly villainous are the Crimson Razors, who primarily wear red Power Armor and have a flagship called Red Harbinger. They are characterized as being far more aggressive, bloodthirsty, and eager to carry out brutal attacks than the other two Chapters, who are characterized as being comparatively calmer and more calculating.
  • One story in Vow of Nudity involves the villainous Crimson Corsairs, who hail from Crimson Cove and are commanded by a red tiefling. Their ship's flag also displays a crimson octopus wielding a double-sided trident.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Carrie (1976) Carrie turns all of the lights in the gym to red right before she starts killing people.
  • Glorious: Ghat's father radiates a bright red and is a malevolent Eldritch Abomination that is defined by its undying hatred of all life.
  • Mars Attacks!: The Martian Ambassador wears a red cloak and is very violent. Then again, all the Martians are violent no matter what they wear.
  • MonsterVerse:
    • In Godzilla King of the Monsters:
      • Rodan is depicted as a red-tinted (there are certain shots that suggest his body actually is red, but the lighting can make him appear darker in complexion) pterosaur-like Kaiju who levels an entire Mexican town just by gliding over it, and dismantles Monarch's fighter jet squadron through such means as grabbing a jet with his talons and tearing the cockpit portion off (with the pilot still inside) with his beak and later destroying the surviving jets with his massive wings via a barrel roll.
      • Mothra is normally a passive and gentle Titan, by far the most benevolent Titan known; but when she lashes out at the Monarch team monitoring her after hatching, her bioluminescence is an angry red.
      • Godzilla himself displays this in his Super Mode near the climax. The King of the Monsters shows no mercy after what happened to Mothra, instead of physically beating King Ghidorah to death he unleashes, unleashing several Nuclear Pulses that destroy King Ghidorah's wings and side heads, and he brutally stomps on his chest to blow up the rest of the alien hydra's body (almost).
    • Godzilla vs. Kong: Mechagodzilla produces a crimson light from his internal power core which emanates from his eyes, mouth and between his exoskeleton's struts, and he's designed to be a pure killing machine even before he gets hijacked by Ghidorah's subconsciousness. The Skullcrawler used in a test run also has an unusual red coloration to its skin, and its no less driven by man-eating Horror Hunger than others of its kind.
  • Scarface (1983): Tony is wearing red when he stabs Rebenga.
  • Se7en: John Doe spends most of his runtime in a deep red jumpsuit.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Dark Side users (like Darth Vader, Palpatine, and Kylo Ren) who advocate giving into hate and anger tend to use red colored lightsabers. Darth Maul and Kylo Ren exemplify this the most, with their violent personalities and brutal fighting styles. Maul also has red tattoos all over his face, and both of them have larger lightsabers than average (Maul's is double-bladed while Ren's has three blades in a cross shape, with the main one being longer than usual.)
    • The plains of Crait in The Last Jedi are red crystals covered in salt. The red is completely obscured when the battle begins, but every action exposes more of it, until the fight concludes with the area looking like it's been drenched in blood.
  • TRON: Red circuitry marks the System Guard, who are Mooks of the crazed administrator Programs in both films. They are, mostly, treated as Red and Black and Evil All Over. The first line of the franchise even addresses this with Sark being called "brutal and needlessly sadistic" and Sark thanking Master Control for the compliment. In TRON: Uprising, characters like Dyson and Paige changed their original circuit colors to bright red once they signed on with Clu's faction. And then there's "Rinzler" in TRON: Legacy - a red-circuited, black-suited combat champion Clu uses as his enforcer. Clu changed the color of "Rinzler's" circuits, but not the pattern - the "T" identifier gives away the horrible truth . With Tron 2.0, the ICP System Guard are single-minded about stopping a threat, even if it means wiping out entire sectors, civilians and all, and killing the protagonist, but they aren't really evil, just extreme about doing their jobs.
  • Zardoz: The exterminators caste that Zed belongs to wear red speedos with matching criss-crossing bandoliers.

  • Book of the Ancestor: A small number of nuns decide to take up the vocation of a Martial Sister that make up the elite militant branch of the church. Because Martial Sisters wear a red habit by rule, they are widely known as Red Sisters.
  • Date A Live: Kotori Itsuka is a Tsundere Fiery Redhead who dresses in a red uniform as commander of the Fraxinus. In her Spirit form, she gets fire powers and becomes a Blood Knight.
  • In The Divine Comedy, the bright-red planet of Mars is the ground upon which Dante meets all the holy warriors and martyrs who ascended to Heaven either the violence they have justly done or the violence they have had done unto them for justice.
  • A Fly Went By: The man thinks that whatever made the noise is "big and fat and bad and red". It isn't, though. It turns out to be a sheep with a can on his foot.
  • Pale: The Carmine Throne is red, dyes its holder red, and is centered around violence, whether interpersonal or on the level of war. It doesn't even need to be physical violence, as the Carmine Exile is able to listen in on Lucy's phone call with Musser because it's a tense argument between two people.
  • In Paradise Lost, the angelic guard lead by Gabriel transitions from dialoging with the Devil to preparing to battle him by exploding into a fiery red form exposing the fullness of divine wrath.
  • Star Wars Legends has the original Sith species, who appear in some of the games and comics as well as the novels. They’re red-skinned dark side worshippers who do a lot of violence, particularly the genetically modified Massassi warrior caste.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: In "The Sound of Drums"/"Last of the Time Lords", the main visual change to the TARDIS after the Master has cannibalized it into a Paradox Machine for creating a hellish Villain World is that everything is glowing red.
  • Good Omens (2019): War of the Four Horsemen is constantly clad in red, as it is the color of spilled blood. She's introduced with bright red hair and red outfits, which she later upgrades to a snazzier red ensemble as the apocalypse draws nearer. She also has Aziraphale's Flaming Sword. As Armageddon gets underway, the color spreads to blood-like splatters on her skin.
  • Gotham: Both the liquid and gaseous versions of the Tetch Virus are deep red. This could be justified as the virus being derived from Alice Tetch's blood, except that the antidote comes from her brother Jervis's blood, and is blue.
  • Power Rangers Wild Force: One of the few characters that fits this trope and its counterpart Red Is Heroic is Cole Evans a.k.a. Red Lion Ranger, an orphan that was Raised by Natives and becomes a kind of Wild Man that eventually uses red and becomes the leader of the Rangers, even when he has no previous experience.
  • Star Trek: As befits a race whose hat is being a Blood Knight, Klingon battleship interiors almost always feature moody red lighting.
  • Star Trek: Picard: The logo of the Romulan Free State is a stylized red raptor, and despite being smaller and weaker than its predecessor, the Romulan Star Empire, this new government is no less aggressive, and it's willing to commit genocide. It sanctioned the mass murder of the xBs at the Romulan Reclamation Site, and it has a weapon that can sterilize all life on a planet. The inhabitants of Coppelius almost became the Free State's latest victims.
  • Ultraman Cosmos: While most Ultramen are red-colored and strong fighters, specifically invokes this trope since Cosmos is normally a pacifist and colored blue. He changes to his red Corona Mode when he decides he needs to buckle down and fight; either because attempting to calm his opponent down didn't work, if the opponent he's fighting is genuinely evil, or if he's really pissed off.

  • Melina KB: The music video of "I've Had Enough" has red as a prominent Color Motif—most of the girls wear at least one red clothing, Melina's hotel room is red lit, etc. This is meant to match the song's lyrics, which are about righteous female rage in the face of abusive partners.
  • Nautilus Pompilius: In the song "Red Leaves", red is not only a foliage color — but the color of murdered people's blood.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • According to Jewish tradition, King David was a redhead. When the prophet Samuel saw this, he was reluctant to anoint him as king, since he interpreted this to mean that he would shed a lot of blood. God responded that yes, because David was going to slay a LOT of Israel's enemies. Less flatteringly, medieval Christian legend popularly depicted Cain, the first murderer, as a redhead.
  • Egyptian Mythology: Set was depicted as being red, or just having red hair or eyes, as Egyptian culture associated it with war and violence, and more broadly heat and chaos.
  • The Thebaid: The God of War rides into Olympus decked out in blood-red armor that also shoots out lights of the same color. In case his title doesn't sell it, the same crimson armor is adorned with scenes of his brutal conquests and horrifying monsters in battle to get across the this red-clad old man riding through the sky is all about the violence.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: One of the five color factions is Red, symbolized by a fireball. This color is associated with impetous emotion, often with a focus on rage and aggression. It's tied to violent (but not necessarily evil) races as Goblins and Orcs, as well as raging humans as Barbarians (especially Balduvians) and Warriors in general (except army ones aligned to colors like White or Blue). In gameplay, Red specializes in causing direct damage to creatures as well as the player and in destroying lands (fountains of mana for the player). Players that use Red often are more aggressive than ones who use other colors and tend to be more impulsive at playing. Also, given that it is the color of emotions, creativity and passion in general, in more recent years Red's non-violent aspects have been explored, like The Power of Love.
  • Paranoia: Getting a fellow citizen busted for treason is a common way to get promoted to Red clearance. Many of the really violent ones are assigned to the Troubleshooters, armed and tasked with rooting out more traitors.
  • Res Arcana: Among the colour-coded essences, Elan is the red-coded one. While there's more to it than just violence, it's associated with many violence-flavoured game pieces such as the Duelist, Fire Demon, Elvish Bow, Dancing Sword, Possessed Demon Slayer and dragon-related cards.
  • Warhammer:
    • As the colour of fresh blood, red stands alongside brass and bone as one of the favoured colours of Khorne, the Chaos God of violence, murder and warfare. As such it is rare for Khorne's berserk followers not to include some shade of red in their colour schemes. In fact, the World Eaters were batshit murderers even before they fell, but wore blue-and-white armor, leading to a widespread belief that they never repainted their armor, simply not bothering to wash the blood off (and completely untrue, as looking at dried blood will show).
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • The Blood Angels primarily wear red and tend to prefer closing in swiftly to destroy their foes at close quarters. Secretly, many of them suffer from a genetic defect that eventually causes them to become lost to a state of overwhelming bloodlust.
      • The Order of the Bloody Rose is characterized by embracing anger and hatred and using them to fuel extremely aggressive, melee-focused combat, and wears all-red armor.
      • The ever-violent orks are well-known for their use of red paint (sometimes gretchin blood) on their slapdash vehicles as this gets them into combat faster.

  • BIONICLE: Tahu, the first generation of Fire Toa, is bright crimson, has flame powers, and is the most passionate and prone to anger of the Toa.

    Video Games 
  • Among Us: The names of Impostors are in red, albeit with this only being visible to Impostors themselves. The screen that announces you're an Impostor is also red, instead of the light blue that announces you're a Crewmate. And in fan works, Red (as in, the red-colored character) is almost always portrayed as the Impostor, to the point where some claim players have become biased towards Red and view them as inherently more suspicious. Hence "Red Sus".
  • Another example in which this trope and Red Is Heroic overlaps is Red from Angry Birds, which is mostly seen in Toons and the Movie.
  • Both protagonists of Arc System Works's fighting games, Sol Badguy and Ragna the Bloodedge, are Hot-Blooded guys that usually wear the red.
    • Guilty Gear: Sol Badguy usually wears in red, has a brass and rude personality and also has fire powers. He's not a bad person at all, known as the Anti-Hero of the series.
    • BlazBlue: Ragna the Bloodedge wears red and is a violent, perpetually angry guy who's a criminal and mass-murderer. But not only he's the protagonist, he's also a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • The Black Heart: Peketo is an Undead Child who murdered seven people in life out of fascination with the color red. In death, he continues his violent ways, whilst clad in red clothes.
  • Devil May Cry: Dante wears red in all his outfits in the game (included the alternate universe version), having an aggressive fighting style, and he turns red with his Devil Trigger mode, which becomes even more violent.
  • Zip, the protagonist of FlingSmash, turns red and growls to indicate when he is at full strength.
  • The Mantis from FTL: Faster Than Light are a race of aggressive insectoid aliens whose ships have bloody red paintjobs (except for the B and C variants of the playable Mantis cruiser, which have paintjobs in shades of blue). The skintone of the Mantis themselves however ranges from green to gray to blue.
  • Kratos, the brutal and thuggish main protagonist of God of War, has a red tattoo going down the majority of his upper body and up to his face. What little clothing he wears typically consists of a red loincloth and red greaves.
  • In Hades, red is the colour of Ares. His boons are exclusively offence- and damage-related and Ares is presented as a Blood Knight who delights in Zagreus' carnage.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West: When a machine's lights change from blue to red, it's now hostile and will attack as soon as it sees a human.
  • In I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, Vace's angry warmongering is symbolized by his red uniform.
  • The King of Fighters series has a lot of good examples of this:
    • First of all, Rugal Bernstein, the Big Bad of '94, usually wears in red and also has a right red eye.
    • Iori Yagami is a Fiery Redhead with a Hair-Trigger Temper, especially when it's about Kyo Kusanagi. Not to mention the "Riot of the Blood" by his Orochi part-heritage.
    • Leona Heidern is more known as an Ice Queen, until as Iori, she turns violent by the Riot of the Blood, in which her hair turns red.
    • Of the two ex-secretaries of Rugal, Vice is the most visceral and savage of the pair, compared with the cool and sophisticated Mature.
    • The Newfaces Team from '97, when they reveal their true intentions (as well their real powers), their clothes (and eyes) become red, which also make them the Sub Bosses of the game.
  • Kirby: King Dedede is dressed in red finery and enjoys trying to clobber that there Kirby. Of course, this doesn't make him any less of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ganondorf is consistently associated with the color of red, and he is the perennial Big Bad.
  • Lethal Company: Quite a few of the monsters are red and extremely violent. The Circuit Bees, Eyeless Dogs, and Bracken are all red, while the Ghost Girl and Nutcrackers wear red clothing. This also applies to the Company Monster, which is an irritable tentacled horror that will attack any workers making too much noise near it.
  • Lorwolf: Murkwood's pack color is red and their focus is ferocity.
  • Mass Effect uses a Karma Meter to determine Commander Shepard's moral reputation. The Renegade meter is colored red, and such choices usually advocate violence, intimidation, blackmail and doing petty, immoral things to achieve a greater goal. It also promotes human dominance rather than peaceful cooperation between species.
  • Mega Man X: While Zero the red robot is heroic, he's also more violent and won't hesitate on taking down enemies compared to his partner X. And before he becomes heroic, his past had him being an Ax-Crazy robot who murdered other robots on sight until Sigma (back then a good guy) stopped him - in X5, one of the plot point that Sigma (now the Big Bad) is pushing is trying to turn Zero back into his violent self; you know you're getting the bad ending if that actually happens, as he's now hell-bent on destroying X and the world, and you (as X) have to destroy him.
  • Midnight Ghost Hunt: For the first five minutes of the match, the ghosts are all blue. When midnight comes and they get their power boost to fight back against the hunters, the ghosts turn red.
  • Pokémon has many species like this, due to the sheer number of Pokémon species out there, quite a few of which are of the Fire-type. A few of them:
    • Pokémon Red and Blue have Charizard. While it's usually more of an orange color, it's the mascot of Pokémon Red and FireRed (matching its Pokédex color classification) and is a fire-breathing dragon noted for its Blood Knight tendencies. In the anime, Ash's Charizard starts out as a lazy jerkass when it evolves and frequently sics its fire breath on Ash out of annoyance, but becomes the most ferocious fighter on Ash's team once he wins the big lizard's respect.
    • Pokémon Gold and Silver introduce Shiny Pokémon, and with them, the plot-important Red Gyarados, a member of a species known for its Hair-Trigger Temper and destructive manner.
    • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire have Blaziken, the series' first Fire/Fighting starter with the violent, flashy moves and animations to go with it, especially compared to its contemporaries Sceptile and Swampert. They also introduce Groudon, a Legendary Pokémon who can cause great tremors, and Kyogre, a large Orca who can cause dangerous floods, to the franchise. While Groudon is a lot more blatant about it, both have Red on their design and were the cause of conflict in Emerald.
    • Pokémon X and Y has Yveltal, a Red and Black and Evil All Over Legendary Pokémon whose domain is death. They also introduce Tyrantrum, the series' first Tyrannosaurus rex Pokémon with reddish-brown scales and the ferocity to match.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon have Incineroar, a red and black bipedal tiger with the personality of a Boisterous Bruiser heel wrestler. It's also a Fire/Dark type that specializes in unfair tactics and intimidation in battle.note 
    • A few human characters also fit the trope as well, for different reasons:
  • Portal:
    • Portal: The Anger Core has a bright red eye, and contrary to the other cores, who babble complete nonsense, it snarls and growls like a rabid dog.
    • Portal 2: Played with during Wheatley's Face–Heel Turn in Chapter 5. Wheatley himself doesn't change colors, but when he becomes Drunk with Power, a red light shines up from below him, and the camera lenses in the walls turn from sky blue to bright red. This also marks the moment where he switches from Innocently Insensitive to downright sadistic.
  • Prayer of the Faithless:
    • The icon for the Emotional Affliction of Rage, is red.
    • Red Miasma Sprouts have gone berserk, unlike Green or Blue ones.
  • Rugrats: Royal Ransom: Meanie Genie, a villain, is red. He attacks with boulders.
  • Samurai Shodown
  • Little Red Riding hood from SINoALICE, as befitting of her namesake, wears mostly red and has her concept being "Brutality" on top of having more than a few screws loose. To her, all her violence and bloodshed is nothing but a harmless game. And as her Half-Nightmare job makes terrifyingly clear, this includes up and to disemboweling herself.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Knuckles the Echidna has red fur and a huge chip on his shoulder which tended to bring him into violent conflict with Sonic in earlier games.
  • Street Fighter
  • The Red Veil from Warframe is a group of fanatic extremists who seek to purge corruption from the Origin System at any cost. It should go without saying that they like fire symbolism and the colour red very much.

    Visual Novels 
  • Trapped with Jester: If the protagonist recalls how they were betrayed, the screen gains a slight red tint, with the word "REVENGE" appearing in big red messy letters, and so does a later action box (which is the only available option) that says "TAKE HIS HAND" when Jester offers them a path to damn others alongside him.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The Call of Warr: The flashback of Prince murdering a soldier is accompanied by the lighting turning red when he makes the killing blow. Similarly, and fitting with the color theme, Prince also carries a red handkerchief, and is the most violent of the group.
  • In all seasons of Life SMP, the players who are on their last lives or equivalent are called Red Lives, reflecting the color of their username. The Reds' sole purpose is to kill as many people as they can, and they're The Dreaded of the server.
  • The setting of Madness Combat is almost monochromatic, except for the pervasive red background underscoring the inherent violence of the place. Additionally, the only color ever shown on the series' Nominal Hero Hank J. Wimbledon is red — either in the form of his blood-streaked lower jaw or his red glasses.
  • In the Dinosaur series of Pinkfong, the Tyrannosaurus rex is represented as a red dinosaur with blue stripes and seen in the series as the great menace of the Dino World as his real counterpart.
  • Sarge, the mean and bloodthirsty leader of the Red Team in Red vs. Blue, wears standard issue red armor throughout the entire series.
  • On TV Tropes, the Turns Red trope's name is meant to invoke this trope, although literally turning red is not a necessary part of the trope. After getting the half of the energy (or after the second round) of the Boss or the Monster of the Week, the menace becomes more violent and difficult to defeat.

    Western Animation 
  • Downplayed with Lynn Jr from The Loud House. She isn't murderous but she loves pushing people around, espacially her brother Lincoln and has somewhat of a small temper.
  • Ruby from Steven Universe is shown to be passionate and quick to anger and violence, compared to the blue Sapphire, who is serene and keeps her feelings under control 24/7.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): This iteration of Raphael, the turtle who wears the red bandana, cements the character as the most violent and aggressive turtle.
  • Teen Titans (2003): Brother Blood wears red underneath his white robes, his energy is red, and in the season 3 finale when he becomes a cyborg himself, his implants are red to contrast with Cyborg's blue.
  • Downplayed with James the Red Engine in Thomas & Friends. While not violent per se, he is a grump with quite the Hair-Trigger Temper.
  • The Transformers:
    • Red is a common color scheme among Autobots, so naturally it's played straight by some of the more violent members of the team, like Cliffjumper, Sideswipe, and Warpath. Since the red-and-blue Optimus Prime is a Reluctant Warrior who seeks peace, it seems that the addition of blue keeps red Transformers exempt from this trope.
    • The Hate Plague visually manifests itself by turning those infected completely red.

    Real Life 
  • Being surrounded by too much of the color red can cause one to become irritated, agitated and ultimately angry. Too little and one becomes cautious, manipulative and fearful.
  • Drivers of red cars should take note! A small survey made a few years ago showed that drivers of red cars, including women, said they felt quite aggressive behind the wheel of their red car.
  • Bull Seeing Red: according to popular belief, bulls get into a violent frenzy from the color red. In reality, bulls are color-blind; they are irritated by motion, not color. Chickens, on the other hand, genuinely do respond aggressively to the color red: as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest mentions, the sight of blood on one bird provokes the others to peck at it, often escalating to cannibalism.
  • Mongol armies tended to fight under colour-coded banners to denote intention. White banners — Tsagaan Sulde — indicated that they were open to negotiating with their enemies. Black banners — Kara Sulde — indicated they had come for war and victory. However, red banners — Ulaan Sulde — meant that they intended to slaughter armies, cities and entire peoples down to the last man, woman and child and even animal.
  • Pirates used black and red flags to send similar messages during the Golden Age of Piracy. If they had raised a black flag, that meant they were willing to let you go relatively unscathed, as long as you cooperated by surrendering the cargo (and prisoners) they wanted. Red flags were generally only raised if the pirate crew wasn't in a merciful mood, as red meant "No quarter", i.e. no one gets spared, and no prisoners will be taken.
  • An indirect example but red is an appetite stimulant, and since eating invariably requires killing plants or animals, this trope applies.
  • This is why the planet Mars is named after the Roman god of war.


Video Example(s):


The Dark Lord's Introduction

Enter The Dark Lord. An aggressive red stick figure created by the animator made to rival The Chosen One's power in an effort to fight fire with fire.

How well does it match the trope?

4.6 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / RedIsViolent

Media sources: