Afraid of Blood

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In Real Life, hemophobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by -- well—extreme fear of blood. Treatments exist, but the condition tends to be lifelong and is usually caused by childhood trauma.

In fiction, being Afraid of Blood is much the same, though the symptoms tend to run a rather more colorful gamut from mere extreme discomfort or nausea to falling unconscious on the spot to awakening superpowered evil sides. Note that there is some scientific basis to this: physical reactions uncommon in most other phobias have been recorded in cases of fear of blood.

In the past, this trope was mostly associated with females, in both fiction and real life, which is why most distressed damsels share this condition (good thing there's No Periods, Period). In the present, this trope is usually Played for Laughs (or—with equal effort—for tragedy) by giving it to someone in a medical profession or other position where they're likely to see a lot of blood. For examples of when someone who is likely extremely proficient at spilling blood is afraid of it, see the Blood section of Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?. If the character is justified in being afraid of blood, perhaps they fear The Power of Blood.

Contrast Hemo-Erotic. Compare Afraid of Needles.

Examples of Afraid of Blood include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Ako Izumi from Mahou Sensei Negima is an example of this trope being Played for Laughs: the class health representative and an aspiring nurse, yet deathly afraid of blood. In the original manga it's not played for laughs; it's implied to be an emotional scar from some sort of accident in her past (that also left her with a large scar across her back). At one point, she gets a small scrape on her forehead and when she realizes she's bleeding, she goes lightheaded and faints.
  • Princess Tsunade from Naruto was another example of a blood-fearing medic, thought she became like that long after becoming a medic -- when her little brother Nawaki and her fiancé Dan died in front of her and she couldn't do anything..
  • Naga from Slayers, as a result of watching her mother get killed before her eyes, so the bloodshed she saw gives her post-traumatic stress disorder as a result.
  • Winner Sinclair of Karin, which can make his vampire hunting a little difficult.
  • Being avatars of peace and harmony, the kirin in The Twelve Kingdoms aren't just afraid of blood (becoming faint or woozy just from the sight or smell of it,) they're physically weakened by it. Even suffering a tiny cut will incapacitate one from contact with its own blood.
  • Excel from Excel Saga is mortally afraid of needles, and feels faint at the sight of her own blood. She's become desensitized about other people's blood due to Hyatt's influence, however.
  • Seiya, the sidekick of Nurse Angel Ririka SOS, is a male example but is still Played for Laughs. He's lived his whole life in a hospital, but can't stomach the sight of the stuff.
  • Inspector Misao Yamamura from Detective Conan.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Parodied in a The Far Side comic, where one of "the king's men" faints at the sight of yolk.
  • In the comic book of The Mask, one character who goes after the Mask is a mob sniper who can't stand the site of blood. He manages to shoot The Mask (which does nothing because of his powers), but the Mask still makes a big show of the injury, only to pull his hands away causing a drop of blood to drip out of the tiny bullet wound. This causes the hitman to faint.

Film[edit | hide]

  • Played for laughs in Dead Snow, where the character Martin (who is studying to become a surgeon) is afraid of blood.
  • Played for laughs in Just Like Heaven, when David is talked through giving someone a tracheotomy by Elizabeth's ghost. After he successfully does this, he asks what something on his hand is. Elizabeth calmly tells him that it's just a little blood and he promptly faints.
  • In the movie version of Get Smart, apparently just talking or thinking about blood is enough to get Lloyd to faint.
  • In The Three Stooges short "Merry Mavericks", the cowboy hero passes out when he sees blood trickling from an unconscious bad guy's mouth.
  • In The Darwin Awards, Joseph Fiennes's character gets demoted from his detective position as he faints at the sight of blood.
  • In William Castle's The Tingler, the theater manager's mute wife has an extreme fear of blood, which figures heavily in the story line.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Audrey Wait features Carol, Audrey's mom, who nearly faints when she walks in on Audrey covered in red nail polish. She gets better when the confusion is clarified. Also the Noodle Incident where Audrey's mom helps Audrey's dad with a pumpkin carving accident, which Audrey describes as "the incident that was almost a pukefest in addition to the other problems".
  • Bella from Twilight gets sick from seeing a tiny bit of blood in the first book. It's actually the smell that gets her. She can watch an extremely gory action movie with no problems.
    • This trait of hers seems to turn into a forgotten trait by the time of the fourth book - she certainly sees no problem with having to drink blood to stop herself from dying during the pregnancy.
  • The book Boo featured a horror novelist who fainted at the sight of blood, as the main character learned when they watched a movie adaptation of one of his books.
  • In Janwillem van de Wetering's Grijpstra and de Gier mysteries, Rinus de Gier suffers badly from this problem. Needless to say, this makes investigating homicides awkward.
  • Tre in Stuck is horribly afraid of blood, and as a result he passes out at the sight of it on two separate occasions.
  • In the Aubrey-Maturin series, Jack laughs at Stephen when the latter questions the former's ability to view surgery. Then the former views surgery and very nearly passes out. It turns out that the heat of battle covers quite a bit. Contrarily, Stephen never shies from anything.
  • In James Herriot's books, he occasionally deals with men of the Yorkshire dales who are convinced they can handle anything. Then he starts operating on their pets or livestock and they learn that a difficult calving is not the same thing as cutting it open, snipping away at its bits, and sewing it back up.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Gus from Psych has a very strong fear of blood:
    • In the episode Tuesday the 17th Shawn was able to figure out he was being tricked by Gus when his friend casually wiped blood on his pants (which was actually fake blood) instead of the expected reaction to run screaming from the room.
    • In This Episode Sucks Shawn accidentally squirts the contents of a blood bag on Gus, leading to Gus going into a catatonic state for a short time.
  • Hurley from Lost.
  • Doc Martin, from the series of the same name. Sets up the whole series, as his aversion to blood halts his high-flying medical career in its tracks and causes him to become a GP in a small rural village.
  • An X Files episode called Blood contained a man with this phobia. Which makes it amusing and concerning that he's more afraid of the person coming to his house to collect a blood sample for a "cholesterol test" than the appliances in his house that are telling him to kill people.
  • In an episode of Hogan's Heroes LeBeau was shot in the shoulder and they found him unconscious. It turned out to be a very minor wound and he had simply fainted at the sight of the blood.
  • An episode of Doogie Howser, M.D. focuses on Doogie helping a young nursing student with her fear of blood. The result? The girl spends the night in Doogie’s room “fantasizing”… with the help of a cute little Survival Mantra he teaches her: "Plasma and platelets and cells, oh my! Plasma and platelets and cells, oh my!"
  • Papa Lazarou from The League of Gentlemen is so freaked at one point, he runs out of his own show. Granted, it's probably nosebleeds which he's probably never encountered before, rather than the actual sight of blood.
  • This happens twice in Everybody Loves Raymond:
    • In one episode, Ray tries to be a man and aggressively fights with Debra over the tweezers in order to remove a splinter from her hand. Then he sees the blood and has to sit down.
    • In another episode, Ray volunteers at a hospital, sees some bags of blood, and feels dizzy.
  • In an episode of Lie to Me, Lightman proves a suspect couldn't be a serial killer by cutting himself, which immediately causes the man to faint.
  • Law and Order: Criminal Intent: Goren demonstrates to Eames a suspect's innocence in a brutal multiple stabbing by cutting his hand and shoving it in the man's face, causing said suspect to briefly and slowly lose consciousness.
  • CSI: In the first "Miniature Killer" case "Danny Partridge" is murdered and his kitchen is soaked in blood. The detectives suspect his son, an architecture student with access to scalpels, but he claims he faints at the sight of blood. He later proves it by going on a "tipping table" and losing consciousness.
  • In People Like Us, documentarian Roy Mallard passes out at the sight of blood, or even at the thought of it.
  • Happens in an episode of Bones where a fanboy of her books is accused of reproducing the murders in her latest novel to come out. He faints after being given a Nose Bleed. A bit of a 'did not do the research' as he was in the pilot episode and had no problems staunching the bleeding leg wound on the murderer after Bones shot him. Unlikely he would have developed a blood phobia after that, when showing no problems at the time.
  • The Spanish series Doctor Mateo starts with the eponymous world-famous surgeon suddenly becoming afraid of blood.

Theater[edit | hide]

Toys[edit | hide]

  • Draculaura, the vampire girl in Monster High is a literal Vegan Vampire who is so hemophobic, she faints when someone even says the word 'blood'.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • CROSS†CHANNEL: The sight of blood triggers Taichi Kurosu's psychotic episodes.
  • Ace Attorney Investigations reveals that Detective Gumshoe can't stand the sight of blood. This is not terribly surprising.
  • In the Total War series of games, your generals can suffer from this. It makes them less effective battlefield commanders, what with battles involving lots of blood.
  • Kurthnaga, the Dragon Prince in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn can't stand the sight of blood. This is more or less used as an excuse to justify him not becoming playable as soon as he joins your party, and he (mostly) gets over it by the end of the game. It also has the effect of rendering him Awesome but Impractical, however, because by the time he does join your other characters are so much stronger than he is you have little reason to use him.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Hannelore of Questionable Content is not haemophobic per se, but with her OCD it makes little difference; she freaks out when she hits her head on a cupboard door and starts bleeding.
  • Abel in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures is, in fact, haemophobic, which causes him some trouble.
  • Karkat Vantas of Homestuck is bothered by blood and at one point passes out after seeing a dang lot of it. Bothered mostly by his own. Blood colour is a serious business in troll society, and Karkat kinda got the short end of the stick. That is why he never lets anyone else know what colour his blood is.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Liam "Brook" Brooks of Survival of the Fittest v4 suffers from this. Sadly, he's also on a Deserted Island and forced to kill his classmates. He's not the least bit scared of it anymore...
  • While not afraid of blood outside of a certain context, the Lets Player Raocow reveals in the description to this video that he has a rather strong aversion to facial damage (even if done as crudely as in said video), after witnessing an accident in his youth. He also mentions that heavy make-up will sometimes unnerve him in a similar fashion. He also feels uneasy about bones.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Count Duckula is a haemophobic vampire duck. Because Nanny made the mistake of providing tomato sauce instead of blood for his last re-incarnation ritual, he prefers veggies to virgins.
  • Donkey in Shrek.
  • Chicken Joe from Surf's Up faints at the thought of the sight of blood.
  • In 6teen, Jonesy admits he's afraid of blood since he was a kid. He had a nosebleed which "wouldn't stop".
  • Tommy from Rugrats develops this phobia after he cuts his finger on a bush and he worries that if he gets injured again all his blood is going to come out, in the end Chuckie helps him get over it and then upon seeing Tommy's bleeding hand Chazz passes out.
  • Butters from South Park due to a tapping dancing performance that went horribly wrong and caused many people to die.
  • The minor character Sheena on Hey Arnold! is extremely phobic of blood and violence. Served as a small plot point in the School Play episode, as this is how Helga gets her to give up the part of Juliet.
  • Dr. Nick Riviera in The Simpsons. In the episode "Homer's Triple Bypass" he passes out during surgery when he sees the blood.

Real Life[edit | hide]