Bloodless Carnage

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"Wound! We need a wound here! Make-up!"


It doesn't matter how many bullets were fired or how large their calibre, you won't see entrance wounds, exit wounds or any blood at all anywhere on or near their targets. Shooting victims simply fall down, leaving neat and clean crime scenes. The only way you can tell a shooting victim from a poisoning victim is that the latter will usually be grimacing. It's almost as if they were made of sawdust instead of flesh.

A subvariety of this trope allows for a small amount of blood, looking more like a ketchup stain from a particularly sloppy lunch, to mark the location of a wound.

This was a common trope in Action Series, Adventure Series, and Crime and Punishment Series until the turn of the 21st century; for various reasons of "taste" and censorship (and the limits of effects technology), blood was never shown no matter how thoroughly perforated the victim was. Of late, though, shows like CSI and Law & Order have begun to be more explicit/realistic about just how messy most violent deaths are.

Fantasy and some historical works, similarly, will not show blood even when someone is stabbed or cut. In some examples (particularly shows geared towards younger audiences), swords and other bladed weapons will seemingly only be used to clash against each other, and never be shown to draw blood. Two swordsmen will exchange blows for several seconds, but the telling blow will be a kick or shoulder block to knock the opponent down. Scenes of the aftermath of a battle will show broken or dropped weapons, discarded shields, fallen banners, dozens of arrows, and the occasional helmet or three, but never any bodies.

A second, somewhat more humorous variation is to depict a relatively harmless conflict or game, such as dodgeball, paintball matches, or water gun fights, as though it were a real war or slaughter. Complete with dramatic slow-motion scenes, over-acted last words, and splashes of paint or water where blood would spray.

May be justified in a science fiction setting using Energy Weapons, although it's a common misconception that the massive heat produced by the beam would instantly cauterize the wound before it had a chance to bleed. This is not necessarily the case. While a laser in a movie may just knock over people with little signs of blood or burning, it's best not to dwell too much on what the wounds from such a weapon would really look like...

See also Pretty Little Headshots.

Contrast High-Pressure Blood when the amount of blood is unrealistic by being excessive. Compare Symbolic Blood when they use a substitute involving robots or fantastical creatures that have something resembling blood. Usually goes hand-in-hand with Never Say "Die", a Disney Death, and a Disney Villain Death.

Examples of Bloodless Carnage include:


Anime and Manga

  • Noir is surprisingly bloodless for having a pair of gun-wielding assassins as heroes. This was originally done to placate TV censors, but was not added back into the DVD run after audiences seemed to find the effect artistic. Blood is present when you saw Kirika bleeding at the beginning of Episode 7: "The Black Thread of Fate".
  • Neither of the successor series to Noir (Madlax or El Cazador de la Bruja) feature blood.
  • Most of Death Note's early episodes tend to avoid this trope, with occasional exceptions like when Kichiro Osoreda is run over by a car after attempting to hijack a bus, or when Matt is gunned down by Takada's bodyguards. Of course, most deaths in the series are caused by mystically induced heart attacks, so this makes sense.
    • Light's death totally averts this.
  • Most of Lupin III uses this; Goemon and Jigen can wipe out entire armies without any visible blood spillage. This is ingrained enough into the series that when the movie In Memory of the Walther P-38 used the Gory Discretion Shot instead, it just didn't feel right. The Made for TV Movie, Blood Seal Eternal Mermaid, averted this hard though, with blood flying everywhere from bullets, blades, and giant Spikes of Doom.
  • The Slayers is mostly bloodless for two-thirds of a seasonal run, even when Gourry slices up an entire regime of baddies. While it allows joke characters to return, the last parts of a season manage to kick up the level of blood and cast aside this trope -- notably, the second anime season warranted Clothing Damage for most of the villains, and then, in a memorable scene later on, Amelia gets a near-fatal, bloody wound from a demonic attack.
    • The movies and OVA series play this trope completely straight. Any manga and the light novels, on the other hand, avert this.
  • Kara no Kyoukai: plays with this in the fifth movie. Usually it doesn't shy away from showing lots of blood, but a scene at the beginning of the movie of Tomoe stabbing his mother is surprisingly dry. This is then turned around and we find out that the lack of blood indicates that something else is going on, and later when lots of blood appears the effect is rather jarring.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena falls straight into this in the series finale, where a character gets literally stabbed in the back with a sword, and there is zero blood. Clean through either a lung or the stomach. Possibly justified by the fact that said character is wearing black, which blood would not readily show up on. However, there is no blood on the sword, nor is the character lying in a puddle of their own blood. There isn't even a clothing hole where the sword went through. The only thing to indicate they even got stabbed in the first place is heavy breathing and cringing. Also, for a series that centers around constant sword fights, the swords never hit an opponent during fights, just the other sword or their opponent's clothing or hair.
  • Claymore uses this for stylistic contrast. Fights are shown with fairly little blood but several scenes show an extremely brutal aftermath.
  • Hellsing surprisingly, uses this in its TV series incarnation. In the manga by which it's based, and the later produced OVA series, there is a lot of blood everywhere whenever anyone, human or vampire is killed. Due to situations with the censors, however, the TV series had to do something to minimize the amount of gore. The solution was to make the Vampires Alucard shoots turn to "Sand" or "Ash" as they die. Some blood was added for the DVD release, but the series is surprisingly low on blood for being a show about vampires.
  • Sailor Moon, the episodes where the Talismans show up. Despite both Uranus and Neptune getting injured (the former shot by apparently invisible darts and the latter ripping herself free from some sort of thorny vines), neither bleeds.
    • Averted somewhat in the first season, where Nephrite bleeds quite a bit before he dies. It's only somewhat averted because the blood is green.
    • ...but also played straight with Jadeite, who gets run over by a jumbo jet but only has a few scuffs to show for it.
    • There's a few instances in early episodes where Sailor Moon gets scraped or cut by a youma, drawing a small amount of blood that then goes away one shot later.
    • Also averted with Taiki, one of the alien Sailor Starlights, bleeds briefly after squeezing a rose, poking his/her hand.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima generally averts this by merit of people not getting killed at all, but when minor characters start getting erased from existence, they go in a bloodless fashion, seemingly turning into Cherry Blossoms. It's arguably even more disturbing than if they would just have gotten stabbed or something.
    • That said, there's plenty of blood flying around when non-lethal blows are involved, especially once the cast makes it to the Magical World.
  • Very definitely averted in Negima‍'‍s sequel, UQ Holder! -- in the first chapter alone, we see the two main characters dismembered (and one literally sliced in half at the waist), trailing and pooling blood. (They get better.)
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn falls severely to this, best shown when Tsuna is sliced in the back from hip to shoulder each direction without a single drop of blood.
  • Both of Hiro Mashima's manga, Rave Master and Fairy Tail, suffer this in their anime incarnation. Especially Rave Master, which had one fight scene without blood for every 3 that had it. It's especially grating in one scene in Fairy Tail, however, when one of the characters is supposed to be impaled, but does not bleed, and then tries to stop the bleeding anyway.
    • Let's see... we have:
      • Natsu is hit by Erigor's Emera Baram wind magic, which is supposed to shred him to ribbons. It doesn't even scratch his clothes.
      • Gray is impaled by Lyon with a whole Ice Tiger from his belly and yet doesn't bleed.
      • Aria and many other people are sliced across the chest by Ersa's sword, but the wounds are nowhere to be seen.
      • Gajeel's Iron Dragon's Roar, despite being composed by tons of sharp metal shards, is ineffective against Natsu.
      • Gray uses the Seven Ice Blades dance to slice Fukuro, yet the latter doesn't show signs of any wound.
      • Finally, Ikaruga, the queen of this trope. In the manga, her attacks leave huge gushing wounds on her enemies. In the anime, she says she cuts the enemies' nerves without slicing the skin. Rule of Cool?
      • Ultear stabs herself and looks no worse afterward.
  • As the anime version of Bleach goes on, it has shifted more toward this than its usual blood geysers in the name of censorship (which doesn't really work anyway if limbs are being severed).
    • For example: episode 193, where the characters would have coughed up blood in the manga, but are made to cough copious amounts of...spit? Or stomach acid?
    • An especially noticeable example is how when Kira fights Abirama, he cuts his head off yet his sword has no blood on it, despite flicking the blade around as if he was trying to get off some excess liquid.
  • By its seventeenth episode so far[when?] the Studio BONES series Heroman has shown no visible blood or serious injury from its numerous fight scenes. The closest you can get is the green goo that drips out of the Skrugg when they are beaten or 'killed'.
  • The survival game in School Rumble in the original manga. Justified because well, it's a game played with BB guns. The anime adaptation originally had a few scenes with blood shown, but the dub apparently decided to take it all the way and show a pool of blood for every "death".
  • Averted in Windaria. Even the English version clearly shows the death of the Red Shirts on both sides; some of them are gruesome and all of them bloody.
  • Toriko‍'‍s anime suffers from this, becoming quite noticeable in the Ice Hell arc -- Bogie Woods's sacrum being popped out is accompanied by a stream of sparkles.
  • Despite the amount of violence with in the show, in every series of Pretty Cure so far, no one bleeds, but you can tell if someone's hurt when their clothes are dirty.
  • Chirin no Suzu is a pretty violent film -- however, it has almost no blood in it, and the protagonist suffers no visible injuries despite all the beatings he receives.

Comic Books

  • The villain Carnage from Spider-Man is supposed to commit horribly brutal murders, but almost every victim shown looks clean, the only proof of death being torn clothing.
  • The Warrior Cats graphic novels, which is very odd because of the amazing amount of blood and violence in the original novels. There is some blood in Rise of Scourge when Scourge kills Tigerstar, but it goes over the scene so quickly, and there is so little blood it's ridiculous (especially considering the original version where Scourge rips Tigerstar open, causing him to bleed to death nine times).
    • Even one of the illustrators, Don Hudson, thought this was odd. In the first Tigerstar and Sasha volume, rabbits, squirrels, and frogs are killed onscreen without a drop of blood, but apparently the editors didn't even like a clean dead rabbit:

I am working on the Cat book for Tokyopop and I am at an interesting point in the story. The story involves Feral cats and life in the wild. A Feral cat stops and kills a wild hare as described in the script. I drew the layout and it was approved, but at a certain point, the powers that be wanted a change. The dead rabbit looks too creepy. I understand that the pre-teen market may not be into dead rabbits, but why write it into the script? They wanted me to change the angle to obscure the hare, messing up the storytelling. My compromise was to turn the rabbit around, and closing his eyes. It's not dead, just sleeping! No trauma, just a sleepy, knocked out bunny. (Comparison of original and revised sketches)

  • Comics Code-approved war comics can take this to ridiculous and disturbing extremes—entire battle scenes go by without a drop of blood.
    • Or with Marvel Comics, where people would bleed black goo.
  • DC Comics had Lobo, where enemies, for a time, had a vested interest in not making him bleed. Because that only produced backup.
  • The British Commmando Comics. In almost two thousand issues, soldiers are shot, stabbed, squashed, run over by tanks, collide their aircraft with cliffs, even one SS Mook take a grenade to the face without so much as a drop of blood or dismembered body part.
  • In a 1954 MAD feature about a Bowdlerised Film of the Book, a character being shot to death pleads, "Aim it where the bullet holes won't show!" Afterwards, the killer expects there to be blood all over everything (as in the book) but realizes that there's no blood at all since he's in a movie.
  • Wolverine's claws would, when used on any "normal" living creature or person, produce awe-inspiring gore. Blood would spurt, organs would be hanging out of the remains, etc. This is rarely depicted (although to see what Wolverine's fights look like in all their detailed gory glory, pick up the most recent[when?] series of X-Force; or buy the Uncaged Edition of X-Men Origins: Wolverine).
  • While Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja, as a Comics Code-approved title, avoided graphic depictions of blood or gore, it never hesitated to show the brutality of combat or the senseless deaths of war, including the aftermath of a mass execution.
  • This is a staple of the works of Sergio Aragones, which help emphasize their cartoony nature. Even a title centered on wanton destruction and warfare like Groo the Wanderer will seldom show anything more than someone clutching their abdomen while (black) blood oozes between their fingers.
  • Sonic the Comic was considerably more violent then most versions of the series, but it lacked any blood whatsoever.

Eastern Animation


  • In the Twilight films, more notably in Eclipse, vampires seem to never bleed when being dismembered and decapitated. Instead, they seem to shatter, which while in the colder scenarios might be because according to the makers the heads freeze instantly, doesn't really make sense in other places. Obviously it aids to keep the ratings low.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy uses this to keep its PG-13 rating. It's not as much not being blood, as the worst injuries aren't shown in great detail and are only on-camera very briefly. This eventually gets rather ridiculous, since it's a brutal movie except for the bloodless part. The Joker even gives a Chelsea Grin to a guy, and there's no bleeding.
    • Christopher Nolan's next movie, Inception, also is almost entirely bloodless with the exception of a main character getting hit by a single bullet. Since his wound is of major importance for the following scenes, its examined closely, but even so it's very small with a relatively small amount of blood.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is particularly bad about this. Not a splash of red in an enormous pitched battle scene. In a more up-close and personal scene, when Peter is jumped by Maugrim the wolf, he impales the wolf and is pinned under him for nearly a minute; despite this, there's very clearly no blood anywhere on the wolf, Peter or the sword. Strangely, the film retains Aslan's line from the book reminding Peter to clean his sword.
    • In the BBC version of the movie, the entire screen turns red during Maugrim and Peter's fight. When Peter stabs him, there is no blood.
    • This happens in the second movie too. A man gets his throat slit and not only does he die instantly rather than bleeding out, but no blood was involved at all. Perhaps it was because a mouse wielding a mouse-sized sword was the one that hit him.
    • However, blood is shown outside of battle scenes such as Edmund's healing or Miraz being held at swordpoint.
  • The slaughter of Frank Castle's entire extended family in the 2004 Punisher film is almost totally bloodless, the only exceptions being himself (though he obviously survives), his father and several goons. In the director's commentary, Jonathan Hensleigh explains that watching over two dozen innocent men, women and children being brutally gunned down would have been even harder to watch had blood packs and squibs also been used.
  • One Egregious example in Elephant, when a student, annoyed at all the noise outside in the hall and unaware that the commotion is because of two people shooting up the school, walks outside to tell them to be quiet. After he gets shot, there is a spray of blood on the door behind him, but you can see extremely clearly and for several seconds that there is obviously no entry or exit wound on his body, making the blood splatter just confusing.
  • This trope is very common in the pre-1990s James Bond films. Mooks are always shot in the chest by Bond, die instantly, and go down cleanly with nothing more than a mild grunt.
    • GoldenEye has bloodless deaths as well, most notably when Bond shoots all those guards in the Russian prison.
    • There are rare exceptions. Bond headshots a Soviet soldier in Octopussy, and the entry wound and trail of blood are very obvious. In a few instances, entry wounds and squibs can be seen (such as in the tanker battle in The Spy Who Loved Me). The film Licence to Kill was notable in that it showed more graphic and realistic violence than the series had before.
    • A particularly strong example of the trope in action is in Quantum of Solace where Bond murders a disabled bad guy by stabbing his femoral artery and letting the man bleed out, yet not a drop is seen on Bond or, even, the floor.
  • Despite having one of the biggest body-counts in action movie history, Equilibrium is for the most part bloodless with its violence. In fact, it pulls off an unusual variation. Every bullet impact is shown, often in loving slow motion, but with black powder squibs. The only blood squib used in the film is for a particularly brutal broken arm. This gets slightly surreal when the main character slices a chunk off one of his opponents, which then slide off (again in slow motion) without a trace of the red stuff. Meanwhile, his sword is beaded by a single drop of white fluid.
  • This was standard in old Japanese samurai films. Despite the horrific cutting power of the katana in skilled hands, there was never so much as a drop of blood, much the less missing limbs, spilled viscera or rolling heads that sword confrontations normally left.
    • An extremely notable exception would be the final duel of Sanjuro.
    • Yojimbo features some blood spraying in a few scenes when Sanjuro fights one or two goons at a time.
    • The only time anyone bleeds from a lightsaber in Star Wars is a homage to the scene in Yojimbo.
    • Some believe the rain in the climax of Seven Samurai was meant to symbolize blood.
  • Spoofed in Hot Shots Part Deux—there was a scene where Charlie Sheen's character, a Rambo parody, shot up dozens and dozens of enemies while a body count was tallied. Not a single drop of blood was even seen onscreen during the faux carnage. But after the tally passed about 100, a caption called the movie "more violent than RoboCop"; after more kills, "more violent than Total Recall"; and after about 250, called it "the bloodiest movie ever". Not bad for PG-13.
    • Topper does have a record number of kills in that movie. It's actually 103 according to body count lists, and the higher ones came out later.
  • Also spoofed in UHF. During George's Rambo fantasy sequence, he sweeps an automatic rifle along a line of Mooks on a hillside. A moment later, they bloodlessly collapse in perfect unison.
  • While The Matrix has some blood, at the end of the first movie we see agent Smith pump Neo full of lead from his Desert Eagle. Now, maybe tiny .22 bullets would indeed cause the tiny wounds and minimal blood loss we see in the scene, but the smallest bullet a Desert Eagle can shoot is the .357 magnum, and a magazine's worth of those in the chest would practically tear a torso to shreds.
  • In Star Wars, there are many instances of people getting limbs or heads cut off during lightsaber duels, but there is never any blood. This is justified in the Expanded Universe, where it is explained that lightsabers cauterize any wounds that they make.
    • The first use of lightsaber by Obi Wan in Episode IV, however, is quite bloody—there is a whole puddle of blood on the floor of the cantina when Ponda Boba gets his arm cut off.
      • This has been Hand-waved as Aqualish having blood with different properties from human blood.
      • On a meta level, the bleeding arm in Episode IV was a deliberately disturbing shot, along with Beru and Owen's charred skeletons, that were added by George Lucas to Avoid the Dreaded G Rating; in the rest of the series, there is no blood from lightsaber dismemberment at all.
        • Except it didn't work in the UK, where it was duly awarded a "U" (Universal) certificate. Didn't seem to harm the film's box office takings though. Surprisingly, Empire also got one, as did (not so surprisingly) Jedi.
    • Except for when Obi-Wan killed Darth Maul in Episode I . There's a quick spray of blood when the cut is made.
    • The short-lived web series, A Clone Apart parodies this, where an inexperienced Clone Trooper (named Danson) is listening to a superior's account that all their training (which Danson never received) never quite prepares you for all the screaming and the blood in the middle of combat. Then the following exchange occurs between him and his best friend, Biff:

Biff: Don't worry Danson. He's lying.
Danson: (relieved) Really?
Biff: Sure... Laser fire cauterizes the wound. You'll be dead before ya have a chance to bleed. (Cue Danson feeling petrified instead of relieved)

    • Moves into Fridge Horror in the case of decapitation. Cauterization of the wound by a lightsaber traps enough blood in the brain for a victim to survive up to thirty seconds before dying.
  • Speaking of Lucas, the original Indiana Jones movies had a decent of blood for non-R Rated films, but as pointed out by Mr Plinkett of RedLetterMedia, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull hardly has any onscreen gun violence or death, and the few corpse shown on screen only have a small strand of blood on the back.
  • Gunshots in the Death Note film are entirely bloodless, despite still killing people. Most noticeable when Naomi commits suicide.
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean movies only have a few deaths with blood (like Barbossa in the first movie). Hell, stabbing/slashing is all common but a bloody sword is never seen, and in the third movie there are headshots which only leave the bullet hole...
  • Plenty of people get shot or stabbed in Hellboy, but only two of them bleed: the mountaineer whose blood was used to bring Rasputin back from the dead, and Karl Ruprect Kroenen, who bled sand. In HB's fight with Sammael, he beats it over the head with a payphone, causing change to fly everywhere, much like blood would.
    • The change standing in for blood in the fight with Sammael was quite intentional so as to avoid the R rating. Ron Perlman originally suggested that Hellboy use a gumball machine.
    • The same is true for the sequel, in which Strauss bleeds ectoplasm.
  • A staple of classic Westerns. Sam Peckinpah made The Wild Bunch so bloody in reaction to this, stating that he wanted to show "what the hell it was like for someone to get shot."
    • Likewise, Spaghetti Western. The Dollars Trilogy is violent, but people only bleed after horrible beatings or headshots.
    • Also many early gangster movies—as squibs weren't used to simulate bullet hits until the 1957 film Run of the Arrow, the victims would be seen twitching on the ground without wounds. Such bullet hits (e.g. into nearby walls) were done with live rounds. In one incident, machine-gun fire ricocheted into the place where James Cagney was supposed to be (fortunately he'd refused to stand there, even though it was 'protected' by a bulletproof shield).
  • Despite being given more freedom in slicing people up than in the animated adaptations, Wolverine's rampages in the X Men movies were conspicuously devoid of blood. Perhaps most notable is an instance in the first movie where he stabs Rogue in the chest. We're given a very clear close-up of the exit wounds on her back, but even those don't have any blood coming from them. What's more, when she turns around, we see that her shirt isn't even torn. Perhaps absorbing his healing ability extended to her nightshirt?
    • Just the back of her shirt is torn (that's where see the wounds).
  • Though Orcs bleed aplenty, do you remember seeing one ounce of red human, elf, or dwarf blood in the entirety of the The Lord of the Rings saga? The aftermath of the battle at Minas Tirith was surprisingly dry.
    • Apart from the odd soldier slumped against a wall with blood in his mouth. Bloody faces and minor wounds appear occasionally in the films, but serious injuries and battles are always bloodless. However, Peter Jackson, delighting in carnage, has gotten around this principle as much as possible, and there are plenty of gruesome sights such as disembodied body parts and rotten-looking ghosts.
  • In the first of the "in the ring" wrestling matches in the lucha film Santo vs. La Hija De Frankestein ("Santo vs Frankenstein's Daughter"), the TV announcer talks about how much Santo is bleeding from his opponent's illegal hits. Uh, what blood? (This may have been a case of Stock Footage, as later in the film both Truxon and Ursus are shown bleeding.)
  • The Quick and the Dead—Gene Hackman's evil gunfighter character thinks he won a gunfight with The Lady, but looks down to see a neat hole through his chest, with light coming from his back and wind whistling through this gunshot wound that looks more like a clean bloodless tunnel. Pure Sam Raimi silliness. Ironic, from the man who made Evil Dead.
  • The Longest Day manages to show the entire D-Day operation without any blood. In part, this is probably because blood doesn't look good in black-and-white.
  • In Sergeant York, Pusher gets blown up with a grenade and is not only in one piece but completely free of blood.
  • Gettysburg: Gen. Garnett rides towards a cannon as it fires at him and then we see his horse emerge riderless from the smoke. Overall, though, the film does show quite a bit of blood.
  • Reworkings of R-rated action franchises to PG-13 movies result in this. Cases in point: Live Free or Die Hard (only John McClane bleeds in the wide cut) and Terminator Salvation (since a Terminator is covered in living tissue, damaging him is not pretty; the fourth really tones it down).
  • Oddly enough, the original Halloween.
  • The Golden Compass. Although people's lack of blood when dying can be attributed to their turning into the mystical dust, when Iorek Byrnison rips the polar bear king's jaw off, there is no blood.
    • Since this happens in a frozen region, it could be explained by the blood freezing so quickly it doesn't flow or splatter (pretty unlikely though).
      • Quite unlikely. Since blood is obviously very warm while circulating in the body and is thus well above freezing, the outside temperature would have to be extremely below freezing (e.g. -40 degrees Fahrenheit) for the blood to have a chance to freeze so fast outside the body.
    • It's the killed humans' daemons that turn into golden sparks when killed, not the humans themselves. Ironically, this special effect probably allowed the filmmakers to embrace this trope more fully than usual, because they didn't even need to show anyone's body falling to the ground to confirm that a blow was lethal. If a daemon goes "poof", somebody bit it.
  • The Black Hole offers an example even more Egregious than the Elephant example quoted above: Alex Durant is gored through the chest by Maximillian's high-speed saw-claw, and not a drop of blood is seen. Even Kate, who is standing right next to him as this happens, comes out clean as a whistle.
  • In Salt, there is no blood in the movie, save for when Angelina Jolie's character gets punched in the nose. And then she's just gushing the stuff.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode The Unearthly, a man is shot point blank, with no blood. This is then lampshaded with, "Wound! We need a wound here!"
  • At the beginning of Woody Allen's early film Bananas, El Presidente is shot several times, point blank, with a big gun, and there's not a drop of blood.
  • This happens at the end of Gran Torino when Walt is by shot by a variety of pistols and sub-machine guns. All that is seen is trickle of blood running down his arm, which is odd considering the movie was going to be R-rated no matter what the content of that scene was.
  • In Scotland, PA, the one scene with blood is when Joe McBeth gets Impaled with Extreme Prejudice. The rest of the violence occurs just off-screen, with nary a blood spatter.
  • Despite being the movie adaptation of one of the Bloodier and Gorier games of its time, the Mortal Kombat movie was surprisingly blood-free, even when the characters were stabbed through the chest or knocked into a spike pit.
  • Strangely inconsistent in High Noon, where a fistfight halfway through leaves Kane covered in blood, but those killed in the gunfight at the end just fall over.
  • In Iron Man, dozens are people are killed throughout the film, without any blood splatter whatsoever. Presumably this was to give it a lower rating.
  • Resident Evil. In the first movie several characters are sliced into pieces in the Red Queen's Laser Hallway but there's no blood at all. Possibly Justified because the laser beams cauterized the wounds, but still...
    • Notice though, the guy who got cubed, they took the focus off of him.
  • In John Q, the heart donor who's wheeled into the O.R. for organ harvest looks like she's fresh from the hair salon, not a highway collision sufficient to render anyone brain-dead.
  • Lampshaded by director Stephen Sommers in his commentary on the huge gun battle in The Mummy Returns.
  • The TMNT movies. Also true in the cartoon, but not so with the comics.
  • Mystery Team. Most of the carnage is implied, culminating in:

Police Officer: Someone stole that man's face!

  • Django was banned in several countries because of a scene where someone's ear is cut off in full, bloody detail. Despite this, the gun battles are completely bloodless, even when people are riddled with dozens of bullets. Only one person killed by a gun bleeds, and he bleeds out his mouth instead of from his wound.
  • Harry Potter: Played straight as spells don't leave bullet holes, but averted for effect on two occasions; in the Half-Blood Prince when Harry uses the Sectumsempra curse on Malfoy, and in Deathly Hallows, Part II Voldemort walks across a floor strewn with blood and the bodies of the guards and goblins who let Harry steal his Horcrux from Gringotts.
  • In X-Men: First Class, there was no blood when Shaw shot Erik's mother. Azazel's massacre of the CIA agents, Shaw's death and Charles getting shot also had either minimal blood or none at all.
  • The Slasher Film Bloody Murder, ironically enough.

Live-Action TV

  • The Tomorrow People: In "The Revenge of Jedekiah", John and Elizabeth are gunned down by soldiers with fully automatic assault rifles. Not only do they (barely) manage to survive their injuries, but when we see them sprawled on the floor, there isn't a trace of blood.
  • An episode of Touched By an Angel featured several flashbacks to a blood-free crime scene. All the while, the character who was recalling it was whimpering, "There was so much blood!"
  • The Avengers actually made a point of not showing blood, to maintain the lighthearted tone of the series, despite numerous deaths by gunshot, stabbing, explosion and so on. There were some episodes where a little blood was shown, but they were few and far between. In one episode, we are led to believe a character was mauled to death by a tiger; the victim's clothes are in shreds, but there's no blood at all.
  • In "The Assassin", an episode of MacGyver, a woman gets stabbed by an assassin and has no blood on her whatsoever.
    • This kind of thing seems to happen in most MacGyver episodes where someone is shot or stabbed. People die within seconds without doing much bleeding.
  • Spaced included a particularly amusing example of the second variation, a paintballing sequence played like a gritty war film.
  • Best example: Power Rangers—out of nearly 650 episodes, only one had blood, and then only three drops.
    • It's now up to two!
    • Three if we count alien blood. Tyzonn gets wounded when we first meet him.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer is surprisingly bloodless for a series where people die on-camera every episode, often for vampire-related reasons (which generally involve, well, blood). Especially egregious are a scene in the first season where a person is eaten alive with no blood spilled, and another in the second where someone bleeds to death bloodlessly.
    • And of course the whole "vampires neatly go poof into dust when staked through the heart" thing was done in part so the cute blonde heroine wouldn't be leaving a trail of bloody corpses wherever she went.
    • There are some aversions, of course, i.e. "Your shirt..." Of course, this was season six.
  • Ubiquitous in Doctor Who, even when they're using real guns.
    • And one of the worst examples in the new series being when a woman gets crushed with a gargoyle, and when we see her she is entirely intact with only a small trickle of blood coming from her mouth, and still able to give some Last Words
    • Averted from series 11-16. All sorts of nastiness from impalements to decapitations, graphic gun shot wounds and even the gruesome aftermaths of Dinosaur and killer robot attacks were shown with brutal, gory detail.
  • In an episode of The Return of Sherlock Holmes, a victim is shown being stabbed. However, the camera forgot to cut away before the stage knife was pulled out, showing no blood at all.
  • There is never any blood visible in Robin of Sherwood, no matter how horrific the wounds which should be inflicted.
    • Usually, they used the standard "chop in the stomach while the victim's back is to the camera" technique, but missed it in an episode where Robin was fighting the Flemish mercenaries who killed Will's wife. It's a bit surprising to see the main villain keel over dead after having a sword dragged across his belt, clearly not cutting anything.
  • There is surprisingly very little blood on the BBC's Robin Hood, sometimes to the point of distraction. The most notable example is when Maid Marian is run through with a sword and spends the next ten minutes presumably bleeding to death, all without spilling one visible drop of blood or even growing pale. She even wrenches the sword from her own belly, yet again without any blood, which should be clearly visible considering she's wearing a white dress.
  • In an episode of Miami Vice entitled "Definitely Miami", Crockett and Zito open fire on Ted Nugent (that episode's Big Bad) after he attempts to lure Crockett to his death. Despite the fact that both of them are firing several rounds from two different angles, and with Crockett standing up and unloading his entire cartridge into Nugent, there are no bullet wounds or blood stains of any kind! Amazing!
  • In Legend of the Seeker, almost every episode includes Richard and Kahlan fighting and killing Darken Rahl's soldiers, but while blood is sometimes shown on the blades afterward, little if any blood seems to be gushing from wounds during battle. Then again, when people get their throats cut, there's plenty of blood gushing from the wounds.
  • The episode "Trenches of Hell" from Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, features a depiction of the battle of The Some in WWI, despite mortars falling all over the battlefield over soldiers, there not a single drop of blood seen.
  • Merlin never depicts any blood. It either cuts away or just plain doesn't show any, even in instances where there would logically BE blood (e.g. a sword fight).
    • There are a few exceptions to this - in The Beginning of the End, Mordred is shown bleeding after being wounded, and Arthur's blood has been shown every time he's been injured.
  • In an episode of the Tokusatsu version of Spider-Man, Amazoness and her Mooks shoot up a bunch of men with guns. Yet, no blood or bullet wounds or anything else that would come with shooting happens. They just fall down.
  • Another toku example is Kamen Rider 555. 555 is an Anyone Can Die series where the monsters' method of operation involves outright killing civilians onscreen until found and dealt with. However, those killed by Orphenochs simply turn to dust. Orphenochs do the same upon eating Rider Kicks but with an explosion. Impalement is shown via X-ray-ish scenes similar to Romeo Must Die, and never is any blood left on the weapon. It's got an astonishingly high body count to never show any victims bleeding. (Now, there's a little blood if you get punched in the face, maybe.)
    • Decade has every single rider shown killed in a vision simultaneously, yet there is not one drop of blood. However there is a somewhat small reason behind it. It is entirely possible that they all bled when they died, but we couldn't see it through the suits. In the Rider War World they seem to be vaporized.
  • The A-Team. While a little blood showed here and there, the series was infamous for inflicting the most extreme mayhem on bad guys... who always crawled away a bit shaken.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - particularly after the arrival of Worf - featured bat'leth and mek'leth combat on a regular basis. Apparently, slamming the blade into the armoured belly of a charging Klingon bezerker is instantly fatal - but totally bloodless.

Video Games

  • The Final Fantasy series as a whole largely practices this trope
    • A symbolic point in Final Fantasy VII was that, when Sephiroth stabs Aeris, there's no blood on the blade. However, when Cloud kills Sephiroth at the end, blood is pouring down his face. Then again, Cloud had had just cut Sephiroth fifteen times straight through the body with a sword the size of a man—a faceful of blood is nothing compared the small bloody chunks which should logically have ensued.
      • And yet, earlier in the game, you were in a building with bloodstains (including in the battle background) and see a giant, gruesomely impaled snake. Apparently, standards weren't quite as asinine back then.
      • It really could just be down to the graphics. I mean, try rendering 3D blood in cut-scene with technology like that back then?
    • It's especially jarring in Final Fantasy VII's Compilation, where, in the various depictions of the game's backstory, Cloud stabs Sephiroth straight through the back with a sword wider than his torso with no sign of blood or even a wound (!), and Sephiroth impales and hefts Cloud on his own sword, again with no blood. Cloud's many battles in Advent Children involve villains being clouted with his BFS repeatedly without any visible damage, despite said weaponry cutting off pieces of skyscrapers, and the only blood in the entire film is a tiny trickle when Cloud is shot in the face at point blank, which simply knocks off his sunglasses. Made of Iron indeed. Yet, Crisis Core ends with Zack dying in an appropriately copious pool of blood after having been pumped full of enough lead to kill Godzilla. Despite the rest of the game unrepentantly embracing this trope. My head hurts now.
      • Not to mention that at the climax of Advent Children, Cloud gets shot through the stomach, but all he does is fall stumble forward. Though the Blu-Ray director's cut apparently fixes some of this, adding bruises to skin, letting plenty of blood flow during Sephiroth's stabbing sessions (which this version has more of). The point about the gunshots still stands though...
    • Final Fantasy VIII too has largely bloodless carnage as well, except for the opening battle, where Squall gets a huge bloody scar ripped across the front of his face.
    • Final Fantasy IX doesn't feature bloodshed, even in the grim aftermath of the sacking of several cities in the first one-and-a-half discs. It's important to note that the Alexandrian soldiers involved mostly used fire, so all the wounds would be cauterized as soon as they were made.
    • Final Fantasy X follows in suite with the rest of the series. No matter who gets stabbed, shot or blown up, blood is never seen.
    • In the backstory to Final Fantasy X-2 we see Lenne and Shuyin being gunned down by an army with machine guns. Not a drop of blood or a single bullet mark appears on their bodies. Perhaps they were...magical bullets?
    • Final Fantasy XIII has cutscenes where people are pumped full of machine gun bullets and don't bleed. Occasionally, they don't even get that badly hurt, in a rare Gameplay and Story Integration of Guns Are Worthless. Like VII and VIII, the game averts this at one point: After the party defeats Rosch a second time, he has blood all over his face.
      • Keep in mind, most of the Mooks that get shot are wearing armor. It could be partly justified.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy has characters who take hundreds of blows from their enemy, yet they look perfectly fine.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics both plays this straight in gameplay and averts it in cutscenes.
  • Kingdom Hearts, full stop. It's got a sword-like key that can slice clear through buildings and yet not draw a drop from the more flesh-and-blood enemies, among the other weapons and attacks to those same targets. Otherwise, however, it's justified in that the majority of enemies you face throughout the games are The Heartless, which presumably have no blood.
  • Many video games use this in order to avoid getting an M rating. Those that do have blood sometimes have an option to turn it off.
    • Or turn the blood other colors.
    • The first game (at least for DOS systems) to allow the user to alter the level of violence in the game was Apogee Software's Rise of the Triad. The game features four settings, ranging from the totally-bloodless-regardless-of-weapon lowest to the shoot-the-baddies-with-a-missile-and-watch-the-gibs-fly maximum setting (the latter being the default).
    • Many games that use the Build game engine have this option, including Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior , and Blood. Yes, Blood. It's obviously not perfect though.
      • In Shadow Warrior, when you slice someone with a katana, normally they are cut in half, stand still for a few seconds and fall apart. If the "censor" option is on, though, the opponent will turn invisible for a few seconds instead and then collapse as a normal corpse.
  • The stabbing scene in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance -- "Is this... all there is? No challenge? No resistance?" No blood??
    • All Fire Emblem games do this, despite the massive melees between characters who almost all use edged weapons. Early games could accredit this to technical limitations. The later ones, however, were probably primarily to keep the rating down and maintain the tone of the game, which is not realistic at all in the first place.
      • Subverted in Fuuin No Tsurugi - Hector's portrait is shown with blood after his fight with Narshen and Brenya.
  • The Ace Attorney games frequently give you crime scene photos, and they are always a lot less bloody than you might expect. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney features two of the most extreme examples: in case 3, a man is shot in the shoulder by a .45-caliber weapon and left to eventually die of blood loss. You are actually the first to find him at the scene and get to hear his last words. The Hand Cannon sort of mussed up the shoulder area of his suit a little, and the "pool of blood" he's lying in is more like a puddle. In case 4, a man is shot right in the forehead at point blank range. The crime scene photo looks like he's sleeping, only there's a hole in his forehead about the size of a quarter, out of which is leaking about as much blood as what one would expect from a shaving accident. Judging from the pillows behind him, there doesn't appear to be an exit wound at all.
    • Bludgeoning wounds are one of the most common causes of death and one never sees a spot of blood or caved in skull.
  • While the purposefully cartoonish and low-detail graphics may have something to do with it, the deaths in Ghost Trick are extremely clean. You never see any bleeding from gunshots or crushed bones from having something heavy fall on them. Cabanela's death is particularly noteworthy, since between the explosion that leaves him nearly incapacitated and being shot in the chest (or the Nonstandard Game Over if you swap the hard hat and smash in his face), you'd think he'd at least get a stain or two on that white coat.
  • The Soul Calibur games are defined by a bunch of people hitting each other with really sharp/big/painful weapons, yet during battle, no one bleeds, bruises, or even gets cut. I guess people were stronger back in ye Olde Middle Ages.
    • Although large amounts of shiny, does seem to explode out of a fighter when they get hit.
    • Soul Calibur IV probably alleviates this issue a bit by letting the armor take the damage (though the intent was most likely for Fan Service).
  • In City of Heroes and City of Villains, no matter how much you sliced an enemy up, or punched, or shot, or made them catch on fire, or froze, they won't have any slashes, bruises, burns or have ice on their body.
    • That's because no one is ever killed in COH/COV - they are "defeated" (and presumably teleported away to justice and/or the hospital). It is, after all, T-rated.
      • In fairness, the game never explicitly says what happens one way or the other, meaning you can decide if you have hero who just lets the medicom take over, (Or in the case of villains, one supposes just kidnaps them and uses them as hostages/leaves them in Bond-Villain deathtraps) or if they're... Darker and Edgier, shall we say.
      • This might be allowable with the Super Strength or Energy Blast powersets, but becomes particularly Egregious when one is using a katanas or fireballs.
      • Starting with the Going Rogue expansion, though, there were missions where your goal was explicitly to kill someone (and others where you were instructed to Leave No Witnesses).
  • Played straight in the original Dragon's Lair, where most monsters just disappear upon being struck by Dirk's sword.
  • Lampshaded hilariously in Mercenaries. If a certain mission is failed (i.e. The building with the VIP inside is turned into smoldering rubble), the VIP will exclaim with his dying words: "I'm dying...not bleeding...stupid T rating."
  • While The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has more advanced graphics than most Zelda games, monsters tend to just dissolve into purple mist when slain.
  • In The Elder Scrolls games there is the blood splash effect, but only when you're hit. Corpses won't have any wounds on them, and if you get shot with an arrow, you wouldn't bleed afterwards or really even notice it besides the health bar drop. You could run around town (at your normal pace) without anybody caring that you have an arrow in your gut, head, arms, legs, or any part of your body! Your Personality level wouldn't even go down if you engaged in conversation with an arrow stuck in your face!
    • Going to third-person view after a battle against a few archers will reveal that your character is a walking pin cushion, with dozens of arrows protruding all over your body, none of which hamper movement in the slightest.
  • Everybody of demonic origin (including the protagonist) in Devil May Cry officially has the power of "regenerates so fast wounds don't show up", although blood is seen on cutscenes. The regeneration is, of course, limited—possibly the only example of Hit Points explained in-world.
    • Or is made of non organic materials. Onimusha is also somewhat guilty of this with the demons being mostly dark aura.
    • Despite taking a bullet between the eyes at point-blank range in DMC 4, Sanctus really has nothing to show for it.
  • Most Japanese light gun games are bloodless. Even the iconic House of the Dead 4 wasn't that bloody.
    • 1 had plenty of gore that was held back only by hardware limitations. 2 was an absolute splatterfest, arguably the goriest arcade game ever. 3 toned it down considerably. For 4, Sega apparently wised up to the fact that creating the image of chaos and bloodshed was more important than gore flying all over (plus it made a lot of the enemies a total pain to kill), so while the city is pretty gruesome, you're no longer painting it red.
    • Ghost Squad is particularly guilty of this. In one part late in the game, a knife fight ensues. If the player wins, he is shown bloodlessly slitting his opponent's throat with gusto.
    • Don't forget the headshot at the end of the second mission only causes Disney Villain Death.
  • Would you believe Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is less graphic than the original MK? On consoles that have the processing power to handle real-time gore, there is never any visible sign of damage. Even the fatalities are mostly bloodless.
    • Interestingly, even in the goriest game of the series, Mortal Kombat 9, the Story Mode not only doesn't allow finishing moves (since killing people would create quite a few paradoxes with the cutscenes immediately after) but the battle scars that fighters accumulate in the other modes do not appear. The fighters finish the fights as dapper as when the first round started (and yet the viciously brutal X-Ray attacks are still available to the challengers). The REST of the game, on the other hand...
  • In the N64 game Operation Winback, hits on enemies were indicated by green flashes, or a red flash if you scored a headshot (which could kind of look like blood sometimes). Dead enemies would flash on and off and vanish after hitting the floor. It became especially ridiculous during cutscenes—in one you meet a dying member of your squad who claims to be "just resting." The main character replies "In a pool of blood!?" despite the surroundings being spotless. In another scene an unfortunate civilian, shot by the terrorists, dies after helping you...and flashes on and off and disappears, during the cutscene.
  • Gears of War 2, a notoriously bloody game, features a censored mode where all blood is replaced by showers of sparks. But not rainbows and confetti.
  • Many games ported to the NES and SNES suffered from this in the pre-ESRB days; Mortal Kombat on the SNES is the most notorious example.
  • Despite all the sharp weapons and other implements flying around in Tales of Symphonia and its sequel, the one time blood shows up in either game is in Derris-Kharlan, at the scene of The Judged. Lloyd is invisible to two of the characters in the party, and must prove to them that he is not an illusion. He wounds himself, and his blood, now visible, proves he is there. The OVA, on the other hand, is quite violent.
    • Well, let's say about every Tales game ever. Only recent[when?] titles started having blood, and even those who have only use it for very incredibly dramatic scenes. Asch's death comes to mind.
  • The Super Smash Bros.. series has some characters that use swords, guns, and explosives, yet no visible signs of any kind of damage appear, as the characters are Living Toys.
  • The Force Unleashed, left and right. Your character has a lightsaber. No matter how hard you swing it, it doesn't even leave a mark on the wall, much less actual enemies- particularly strange when one considers one of the selling points of the game on higher-end consoles was realistic physics and material simulation, such as, say... destructible environments. Maybe he just set his saber to stun.
    • For fun, compare with the Jedi Knight series from Jedi Outcast onwards. Your lightsaber leaves a mark, even when idling and just scratching the wall. It disappears after a while though, but the effect lingers for longer than... oh say... the 2 seconds of what you get in TFU.
  • Ace Combat series. Then again you are in a plane throwing missiles at other vehicles, not, say, pulping infantry.
  • Airforce Delta Strike in the same vein.
  • Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII has a pretty bad instance of this, besides the spotless corpses that litter various warzones: Rosso the Crimson buries her hand up to the wrist in Vincent's chest, and yet there's not a drop of blood, when, ratings be damned, it should have been fountaining from the wound. It follows up with a case of Alien Blood, in which Vincent impales Azul. Once again, there's no blood from the wound, although he does cough up a few drops of something...purple...? Are only good guys and Sephiroth allowed to have red blood in these games?
  • In the Touhou series, even when coming into contact with many many sharp knives or a legendary katana that can cut through anything doesn't yield a drop of blood or even a scratch.
    • May be justified with the sharp knives in question, which may or may not be magic bullets shaped as knives. Also, you can't really expect damage to show up on such a small sprite, and red things fly everywhere anyways, so who's complaining?
  • Justified by the story in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The first human enemies you face do bleed, albeit rather subtly. Once the Prince unleashes the Sands of Time, Azad's citizens become zombified, and thus all of their bodily fluids have been "dehydrated" by the Sands of Time. In Warrior Within and The Two Thrones the Sand Monsters bleed, though this is probably justified since they are Sand-ified Super Soldiers, and not accidental Zombie Apocalypse victims.
  • The Lego Adaptation Games have characters breaking into Lego pieces upon death, and getting better immediately afterward.
  • Maintained for the most part in the first two installments of the Time Splitters series, at least during gameplay, which makes the sudden aversion in the third game (which also introduced the Inflator) all the more jarring.
  • The Dynasty Warriors/Samurai Warriors/Warriors Orochi series use this trope very heavily, except in a handful of cutscenes. Which is just as well since Mooks die by the hundreds or thousands and the blood and corpses would just get inconvenient after a while.
  • Normally, Left 4 Dead 2 averts this trope very hard. However, because of a bug in the new game mode Chainsaw Massacre, it's possible for the game to stop rendering blood entirely, so the Infected are torn apart like Play-Doh dolls.
  • Aversion with Lampshade Hanging in BloodRayne 2: Deliverance:

Rayne: You saw the blades, what did you think was going to happen?

  • Red Steel 2 is made of this. You stab, slash, shoot, heck one move has you grab a downed enemy and smash their head into the ground killing them instantly. All without a drop of blood.
    • There IS a liquid that pours out of them, particularly visible with the finishing move to the chest. It's yellowish, however, so it could be censored blood or something else entirely.
  • In Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay, when Morgan LeFlay slices off Guybrush's pox-infected hand for the Marquis De Singe, Guybrush screams in pain and covers up his wrist stump, but no blood spurts out from his stump. Weird!
    • It gets even weirder in Chapter 4 of the same game, when Guybrush finds Morgan fatally stabbed in the chest by her own Blade of Dragotta, and yet there's no blood on her body, inside or out, at all (even though he later claims that she was "coughing up a lot of blood at the time"). And after she dies, he sadly takes the blade from her chest; that blade, surprisingly, has no blood on it or anywhere else in De Singe's lab at all (even though De Singe later claims that "There was blood all over the floor instead of being packed neatly in vials where it belongs!")!
    • And near the end of the same chapter, when LeChuck fatally stabs Guybrush in the chest with the Cursed Cutlass of Kaflu, there's no blood on the cutlass' blade, or on either side of Guybrush's body or clothes, or anywhere else in the Flotsam Island Jungle, from his being tossed onto an encased wind idol up until his death.
  • While the Zelda series frequently plays this trope straight, after the final battle of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Ganon coughs blood at the camera and then collapses. After he falls, his red cape falls through his body and spreads out on the ground, looking suspiciously like a large pool of blood.
    • But only in the first releases of that game. In later versions, the blood is changed to green gooey stuff.
  • Naval Ops: Warship Gunner 2 justifies it in the fact that you're throwing extremely large caliber artillery, lasers, missiles, gatling gunfire, and Pulse Cannons in spades!! Oh, and it's ship-to-ship combat.
  • The first villain in Tsukihime wiped out a whole hotel full of victims and left no trace behind. This is totally not for Bowdlerising purpose, said villain is literally so blood-thirsty to the point of decanting every last drop of blood and flesh in his reach.
    • The bloodless carnage also served to provide a clue to another villain with a completely different conduct, which evidently, also falls into this trope: He sucks the victim completely dry of blood, but he leaves the corpse.
  • This is the only reason Batman: Arkham Asylum was not given an M Rating, which many are still shocked that it didn't get even without any gore.
  • Destroy All Humans! usually justifies this by restricting you to weaponry that destroys your enemies too thoroughly for there to be any blood, disintegrating or incinerating them outright. For the head explosions, though, they use Green Blood.
  • In Dungeons nothing bleeds. You can have a hero mauled by monsters, run straight in a buzzsaw trap and get killed but still no blood.
  • In Shadow the Hedgehog there is no blood OR gore. Sega planned on adding it in, but decided not to add it so the game would be rated T instead of M. You can't even actually KILL anyone besides the aliens (GUN soldiers just lie on the ground and call out for help.)
    • Even though it is implied that in a few of the endings you killed Eggman by breaking his neck or destroyed the human race.
  • The first five games in the Tomb Raider series zig zag with the trope. Specks of blood can be seen flying when Lara shoots an enemy or she gets shot by an enemy gunner during the game. In cut scenes, there is no blood at all. Tomb Raider Legend and onward omit blood completely, despite the fact that the entire series always had a T rating. However, this is made up for the very gruesome death scenes (while still lacking blood) that occur should you fail a quick time event.
  • Contra did this by having every enemy Made of Explodium and your character a One-Hit-Point Wonder.

Web Comics

  • In Erfworld, nobody bleeds at all. At all. And there have been some pretty grievous wounds inflicted in Erfworld, including multiple limbs torn off, a man hit in the head with a crossbow bolt that entered trough his eye, a dwagon's head ripped off, a dwagon's jaw being ripped off, a dwagon eating several marbits alive, and several dozen Woodsy Elves being torn limb from limb. Not one single drop of blood has been seen.
    • Most off-putting is when we see several badly wounded dwagons, damaged to the point that their muscles and bones are exposed. And still they don't bleed.
    • All of the terms in Erfworld are cuter and friendlier, and the physical rules of the universe actually censor swear words. The majority of the strip's comedy comes from the fact that it's a violent war waged in a world where everything is cuddly and (superficially) kid-friendly. To some it's comedy, to others it's quite disturbing.
  • Rumors of War, true to its inspiration (SNES-era JRPGs, among others) contains no bloodshed. This despite one character having all his skin removed, and another being the victim of Cold-Blooded Torture. No blood.
  • Given that The Order of the Stick is a stick figure comic, the trope is justified. Stabs and slashes leave red marks on the victim (so you can tell that the person was hit), but we never see blood splatters, and more serious wounds such as decapitations have no blood marks at all (maybe except Miko being cut in half, but there is still just the wound mark, no blood splatter). This comic is one of the most obvious ones.
  • Omnitopia: The Playground uses an art style similar to the Order of the Stick. Within the first fifty strips, characters get hit on the head with a club, stabbed in the chest with a sword, and get their heads chopped up with little to no blood appearing aside from the occasional red mark showing when an attack hit.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • In Samurai Jack this trope is in effect when Jack fights organic creatures, rather than the oil-spewing Mecha-Mooks. They are never messily ripped to pieces as the robots are, just given a bloodless slash from his sword or obscured by an explosion. Magical beings tend to turn to dust or vaporize. And Jack himself never seems to bleed, no matter how he writhes in pain and screams in agony as his clothing is ripped away. (Although he does have visible wounds.)
  • Justice League uses blood rarely, for dramatic scenes only as well. Epitomized in "Chaos at the Earth's Core", where two armies of sword-swinging warriors clashed, with several soldiers getting cut down on screen, with nary a drop of blood to be seen. Though throughout both series, crisp, clean, and often brutal action sequences combined with a punishing and varied series of sound effects (and good voice acting) makes the viewer almost feel the impacts, blows, punches, explosions, magic, bullets, etc. It feels a lot more violent than it is showing.
    • Though, speaking of DC Comics in animation, there's a fairly shocking aversion in Superman: Doomsday. Though blood levels are fairly low throughout the movie (It is Superman, after all), at one point in a pivotal fight scene Doomsday punches Superman so hard he vomits blood.
      • After some of it sprays Lois' face. From a distance.
    • One episode where this was cleverly used, however, was "The Enemy Below", where Aquaman cuts off his own hand to save his infant son. In order to avoid the amount of blood, what did the animators do? They had him wrap the stump with the baby's red cloth, which appears soaked when he shows up at the palace.
    • In the "Splicers" episode of Batman Beyond, Terry rips Ramrod's nosering off resulting in literally no ill effect to Ramrod. No blood, no nothing, he's perfectly fine.
    • A woman tears out her earrings (It Makes Sense in Context) bloodlessly in an early Batman Beyond episode.
      • The pilot episode did show Terry with a bloody mouth during a battle with The Dragon.
  • Disney's Pocahontas uses bloodless carnage, and unintentionally draws attention to it in the song "Savages," where one of the Powhatans wonders "if they even bleed." They don't, but neither do the Powhatans.
  • Done bizarrely in a Simpsons episode where a badger slashes Homer's torso open, exposing his internal organs but causing not a drop of blood to flow.
  • This is used straight in the first battle sequence in Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight (with orcs being blatantly stabbed with no blood), but then avoided in a later battle scene where splashes of red follow sword slashes. But then, given the odd mix of traditional and CGI animation, consistency was probably not to be expected.
    • Of course, the Dragonlance setting has no Orcs, it was probably a Hobgoblin or Draconian.
  • Disney's Tarzan features this twice, where Clayton shoots Kerchak, and shortly afterwards shoots Tarzan. In both instances, the areas where the wounds should be are shown, but are missing both blood and the wounds themselves.
  • The Redwall series has Matthias cuts off Asmodeus' head onscreen, but nary a drop of blood appears.
  • Hulk Vs. Thor uses this, though since so few apparently died it might just be them being invulnerable. Hulk vs. Wolverine is notable in that it's the first non-comic appearance of Wolverine to not use this.
  • In Brother Bear Kenai kills Koda's mother by stabbing her with a spear and judging by the force of the blow, she should've been bleeding pretty heavily, and later when Denahi finds the spear it has not a single drop of blood on it.
  • When Gaston stabs the Beast, there is no blood on his knife, although blood does appear on the Beast's shirt shortly afterward.
  • Pretty much any given episode of Tom and Jerry will have some bloodless carnage in there somewhere.
  • The first three seasons of Family Guy were mostly bloodless in their violence. A notable example is when Big Fat Paulie is assassinated by a rival gang and is pumped full of machine gun rounds with not a single drop of blood being spilled, although occasionally averted, like in the first chicken fight.
  • In Disney's The Lion King, Mufasa's dead body appears to be in perfect condition... even though he fell a considerable height from a cliff, and then got trampled by a herd of wildebeest, at most he appears to be just a bit beat up and his whiskers are bent.
  • When Ben is killed in Barnyard he gets fatally wounded from a severe coyote mauling, like Mufasa aside from a bit of blood on his mouth and some brusing he is in otherwise seemingly good condition.
  • In The Princess and the Frog Ray's death is surprisingly clean considering he was slapped to the ground and then stepped on by Dr. Facilier, as when Louis finds him all the damage that seems to have been done is some brusing and a black eye. If someone would do this to one of his species in real life it would be quite messy.
  • In Star Wars: Clone Wars anything except for the droids will fall over dead when killed, no wounds anywhere. This is probably because the droids don't have any blood in them so they can be sliced in two or ripped to pieces.
  • As they are both Darker and Edgier, both Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien have a concerning amount of violence, all without blood. It's still technically a kids show, but in episodes like Time Heals and Fused when Ben gets the complete and total crap beat out of him in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown (which seems to happen to him a lot), a little bit of blood would make sense, even when he's an alien. After all, they made a big deal out of "Ben can get hurt now!" in the very first episode of Alien Force.
  • In Teen Titans Robin spends all of the episode "Haunted" being beaten into a piece of raw hamburger by Slade. By the end he's got tons of bruises and scrapes, but still not an ounce of the red stuff to be seen. Though, to be fair, Robin's costume is red, so there might be some there that we just can't make out.
  • In Tangled, Flynn is stabbed but there is no blood on Mother Gothel's dagger. However, when Rapunzel looks at the wound there is blood seeping over his shirt.
  • Justified in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, where the King actually ends up dying of internal bleeding.
  • Invader Zim allows organs and the like to be fully exposed and other disturbing content, but not a drop of blood except for the Bloody Gir image.
    • Averted in "Game Slave 2" where Gaz watches a promo for a video game which covers the entire screen with vampire piggy blood.
      • Danielle Koenig mentions this on the commentary, where they previously had to change the colour of the word "diarrhea" from brown to red, which ultimately made it look a lot worse than previously intended. "Red things can be red, but brown things can't be brown."
  • Sym-Bionic Titan has a very noticeable example, as one character is run through with a saber and despite it killing them there isn't any blood or even a wound in the next shot.
  • Used to a ridiculous extent in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) Particularly notable examples include the episode "Same as it Never Was", which features characters getting sliced, stomped on, and blown up on screen with nary a drop of blood on their corpses, and another where Leonardo loses his temper and slices Splinter across the forehead during a spar. Splinter immediately grabs the spot and later is shown with bandages, but nothing, not even a red line, can actually be seen.
  • Bambi: When Bambi's mother is killed by the hunters, we actually do not see her dead body once Bambi realizes that she is dead. However, we do get to see a quail bleed to death later in the film.
  • At the end of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Judge Claude Frollo actually falls off a balcony and to his death in the fire below, for some reason we do not see his charred remains on the ground once Quasimodo, Esmeralda, and Phoebus finally emerge out of the cathedral unharmed.
  • Shockingly averted on, of all things, Dink the Little Dinosaur. In the fourth episode of the series, entitled White Beauty. A dinosaur that has been outcast from society gets into a fight with Tyrannor, and Amber runs off to get help. When the gang comes back to the seen of the battle, there's a trail of blood that they follow to where the dinosaur is hiding out.
  • Also surprisingly averted in The Land Before Time V. A battle between Chomper's parents and a hungry Sharptooth results in bloody scratches.
  • In Courage the Cowardly Dog, no matter what horrible thing happened to Courage or Eustace they almost never bled.
  • In the 2011 reboot of ThunderCats, this appears enforced:
    • During The Siege of Thundera. A sky full of arrows, Claudus cutting through a wave of Lizards, even Claudus getting stabbed In the Back and falling into pool of water, not one drop of blood is found.
    • Played With in "Song of the Petalars" the Cats cut and shoot through Lizard troops bloodlessly, but Tygra's shots are shown to pierce the Lizard's bodies.
  • Averted in both Watership Down and The Plague Dogs.
  • At the end of The Pebble and the Penguin, when Drake is crushed to death by his own boulder, if you pause at the right moment as he is killed and the boulder rolls away you can easily tell that there's nothing underneath.
  • In WITCH, there are many instances of sword-wielding armies facing off. This should result in insane levels of carnage if played realistically, but not a drop of blood is ever seen.
  • Generally justified in Bionicle, as the biomechanical Toa and Matoran don't have blood. However, that doesn't explain why, in the movie The Legend Reborn, Mata Nui could cut off the tail of a Vorox (an organic, mammalian creature) and have only a few sparks appear. Probably a case of Did Not Do the Research/They Just Didn't Care on the animators' part.
  • The Futurama Season 6 episode "The Prisoner of Benda", a man gets his arm cut off by a flying sword, only to show a series of rings representing his skin, body mass and bone. Season 7 partially averts this in "The Tip of the Zoidberg", where a torso-separated Leela is hopping by the waste in small pool of her own blood.
  • The Adventure Time episode "Princess Monster Wife" has the Ice King stealing body parts from various princesses in order to make his wife, including the heart and intestines.