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That's gotta hurt.

And then our flag will fly, against a blood-red sky!

When a fluid (or highly flexible solid) falls and/or spreads in a way that it is made to look like blood. This is either to show a symbolic loss or to perform a standard parody.

Often the fluid will be red in colour, and sometimes this is a trick shot to make it appear like someone has been injured, only to later reveal otherwise. It's sometimes used in kid- friendly shows to imply violence that would never pass the censors.

See also Alien Blood for strangely colored fluids pouring out of alien beings. See A Bloody Mess for red liquids being mistaken for blood.

Examples of Symbolic Blood include:


  • There was a PSA that ran on American TV sometime in The Nineties, in which a boy pretends to shoot his sister with a toy gun. The sister drops her teddy bear, and her glass of red juice spills all over it...

Anime and Manga

  • In Ghost in the Shell whenever an android got severely damaged, white artificial blood would splatter all over the place.
    • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Missing Hearts: Motoko stabs toward a criminal cowering in the corner and a liquid sprays out. The next shot reveals that she stabbed an organ transplant bag she was carrying.
  • In the Death Note anime, when Light kills off Aiber, he spills the red wine he was drinking, and the screen goes to a short still of the puddle.
  • In the first episode of Cowboy Bebop you see small vials of a red drug floating in space, near the woman that was carrying them in a bag inside her dress, who just got killed. The drug is a liquid (which is sprayed into the user's eye and appropriately named "Red Eye" or "Bloody Eye"), making the symbolism doubly effective
  • In one episode of Rosario + Vampire the Gory Discretion Shot for a character's fate is a splash of curry sauce.
  • In an episode of Azumanga Daioh, Osaka goes to wake up Yukari with a frying pan. When we see her enter Yukari's room with a knife instead, we get a quick shot of Tomo putting ketchup putting a huge amount of ketchup all over her breakfast and some even ends up on Kaguras face, who's sitting next to her.
  • in 08thMSTeam, the battle between Norris and the Team has this when Norris stabs a guntank, resulting in a massive gout of oil being sprayed across his mobile suit.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Android 19, Android 20/Dr. Gero, and Android 16 leaked red oil when damaged. Vegeta even notices this with 19.
    • It comes so close that some of it is removed in the edited version.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima has this when the fourth form of Fate, Quartum appears to promptly slash Chachamaru in half at the mid-section, leaving her bleeding and crying fluids all over the deck of the Great Paru-sama, implying that she's powered by hydraulics.
  • In Rebuild of Evangelion when an Evangelion is injured the corresponding body part of the pilot is wreathed in a stream of foaming bubbles.

Comic Books

  • There's an issue of the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic book which flashes back to a human accidentally shooting a non-human (leading to the Great War). The victim is seen lying in a puddle of... grass?

Films — Live-Action

Live-Action TV

  • That '70s Show Kelso is in the shower and Laurie catches him using her shampoo (which happens to be red). This causes him to spill it, at which point we see it going down the drain as she hits him is a stabbing motion (parodying a scene from that movie no one remembers...)
  • Sparks fly when a Power Rangers character is hit, and on some occasions, a character has had a stream of sparks spraying from the same point for an extended time (usually the Monster of the Week, after being dealt the Finishing Move that's about to result in utter kablooification.)
  • White Collar: After Elizabeth is kidnapped by Keller, the FBI shows up to the crime scene, and Peter sees a red pool on the rug from a spilled pot of spaghetti sauce.


  • One Bionicle commercial showed Kalmah's tetacle being cut off, and a dark liquid flowing into the water. We know that characters in the Matoran Universe don't bleed, so it was either some other fluid (ink?), or completely non-canon. Pridak also has some suspicious red markings around his mouth...
    • Pirdak's markings have been confirmed to be just that, but since his design is based on a shark's it is obvious that they meant for it to be reminiscent of blood. Also, unlike the rest of the Matoran Universe, the Endless Ocean does have fully organic creatures, like fish.


  • In the Japanese Rockman Zero series, robots give out a spray of red oil when killed with the saber. This is censored for some bizarre reason in the American Mega Man Zero localizations.
  • Possibly done in Mario Partys Horror Land board, where there's a red bloodstain type puddle, which is just about shown coming from a huge overturned ketchup bottle that's been held by a gravestone.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, when fighting the |Hydra, the heads being chopped off lead to leaking smoke instead of blood. In |the movie and the Japanese version of the game there's slime instead.
    • Kingdom Hearts kind of seems to like using darkness as symbolic blood, actually. The remade version of the Deep Dive scene in 358/2 Days has a moment where the dark smoke from the Heartless he just slew flies in front of his face like he was in some kind of samurai movie. The best example, though, is when Terra shot Braig in the face in Birth by Sleep - the reddish smoke fountaining from his missing eye and dark splotch where his scar will be might not necessarily be blood, but they sure do look like it, and the game never really bothers to make sure you realize it isn't.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: Raiden's white cyborg blood on Vamp's crotch-knife. Do Not Want.
  • The robot/cyborg characters from Mortal Kombat would have their 'blood' coloured black as if it were oil being knocked out from the uppercut. Some other nonhumans ended up with green blood.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, after you defeat Ganondorf's gerudo form he falls to the ground, with his red cape unfolding around him in a way that makes it look like blood is actually flowing out of him.
  • In Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, Shalua is killed by Azul, in a scene in which she holds a door open with her mechanical arm so that the others can escape. When the arm is destroyed, some medical liquid starts to flow from under the door. And as you may guess, blood-like.


  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, when Antimony falls off the bridge, there's a Flash Back to a glass of water—that she dropped—spilling and shattering. Annie then thinks, "Well, now I know how the glass felt," as she falls.
  • In this page of Homestuck, Mom and Dad are shown holding hands over a wine-stained table cloth. On the next page, however, the same picture is shown as a reflection in Bec Noir's glasses, making it look more like blood. The next time Mom and Dad are shown in the comic, they're dead.

Western Animation

  • Robots in Samurai Jack spray oil as if it were High-Pressure Blood.
  • One episode of The Simpsons has Homer get clobbered by baby Maggie with a hammer, while he's painting. The red paint spills all around him like... well, you know. The entire scene is a parody of the Psycho shower scene at that, complete with the paint swirling into a floor drain.
    • Another has Marge accidentally fold up Homer's power-adjustable bed while he's sleeping in it. A red liquid pours out from the bed. It turns out to be Homer's juice box.
  • Justice League Unlimited featured a scene where it appears the past incarnations of Green Lantern and Shayera were stabbed while on a bed, but as the camera moves up you see that it's a puddle of wine—which poisoned them.
  • Transformers: Beast Wars: when some bot got hit, bits of metal and hydraulic fluid go everywhere.
  • Used on Total Drama Island. Heather makes Lindsay drop some limited-edition nail polish, and the 'camera' goes to a bird's eye view of it pouring out of the bottle onto the carpet.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender "The Guru," Katara is attacked by Ty Lee, and drops her waterskin when she falls, which spills and forms a pool around her, as if she'd been stabbed (although she actually went down because of a Vulcan Nerve Pinch).
  • The Batman vs. Dracula had a scene where Dracula attacks a waiter who then drops a bottle of red wine that spills all over.
  • In Watership Down, Fiver sees the sunset turning the field red and is horrified to see it covered in blood. Although the red is simply light, the animation style makes it appear to run down like liquid.
  • Futurama in an episode entitled The Honking, Bender is becoming a "Werecar," which is a reference to werewolves, and at one point Bender wakes up in a parking lot covered in transmission fluid, fearful of where he's been.
    • Also in "The Silence of the Clamps" when Zoidberg cuts of Clamps' handclamps sparks shoot out from the stumps like blood.
  • When the Lemons blow up Rod "Torque" Redline in Cars 2, we actually see a puddle of oil trickle under the Lemons' tires once Redline is finally dead.
  • In Transformers Prime all the bots "bleed" Energon. This is used for very graphic effect.
  • A memorable episode of Dexters Laboratory had a clan of ninja newspaper delivery boys (roll with it) attacking the neighborhood, flinging bundles of papers with deadly accuracy and leaving Dee Dee's father collapsed in a pool of his morning coffee. After he gasps in her arms and she goes off for revenge, she returns home, finds him still lying there, and asks if he's overreacting a little.