Created By: Braininajar on April 30, 2009
Nuked

Eyes Going Offline

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Trope
Do We Have This One? ? (If not, I will write a longer description)

Whenever there is a creature with clowing eyes (usually either magical or robotic) , the most common way to show that one died is a shot focused on the light in its eyes going out.

Seen It a Million Times
  • Terminator is probably the ur-example
  • Lava mutant in Batman Beyond
  • Spoofed in Scary Movie III. A woman is hit by a car and ends with the engine block through her body. When she dies, the car's lights go out.
  • Mordred's animated gargoile statues in JLA cartoon
  • H A L 9000
  • Golems in Discworld have glowing eyes that go out when they're inactive.
  • Happens to Marvin in the Hitchhiker's movie. Of course he's not really dead, but the first time you see it in the theater it's very dramatic, with a hint of "did that really happen?"
  • In the intro of Dawn of War II, a space marine does it when his Power Armor is pierced.
  • Optimus Prime in Transformers animated movie. The authors must have had some bet on how many tropes they can fit into one death scene...
Community Feedback Replies: 28
  • February 24, 2009
    Wulf
    Both times Kuma dies (once in the first series, once in Resurrection), his one cyborg eye goes offline.

    I'm actually pretty suprised we don't have this one.
  • February 25, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Kuma is from what movies / series ? I don't remember him.
  • February 25, 2009
    forthur
    HAL 9000
  • February 25, 2009
    Earnest
    <<Insert standard "How has this not been mentioned before now?" quote here.>>

  • February 25, 2009
    FireWalk
    Golems in Discworld have glowing eyes that go out when they're inactive.
  • February 25, 2009
    Thande
    A slight variation in Star Trek The Next Generation: Data and Lore have eyes with greyish irises; when Data deactivates Lore in Descent, his pupils slowly turn to grey so his eyes become blank and dead.
  • February 25, 2009
    Nate the Great
    Happens to Marvin in the Hitchhiker's movie. Of course he's not really dead, but the first time you see it in the theater it's very dramatic, with a hint of "did that really happen?"
  • February 25, 2009
    32_Footsteps
    Hmm... I believe all the R-Y model robots in Chrono Trigger (including party member Robo) have this happen to them.

    We'll need a cross-reference to the Glowing Eyes Of Doom trope.

    And this has now got me thinking of the Fridge Logic involved... just why are the optics glowing on these robots? That seems to me like the ambient light from the optic centers would actually distract the robot's ability to see.
  • February 25, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Kiryu's (AKA Mechagodzilla 3) eyes stop glowing after he sinks into the bottom of the ocean with Godzilla during a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • February 25, 2009
    TheJoker
    Portal's turrets do this, as did WALL-E's AUTO.
  • February 25, 2009
    32_Footsteps
    For that matter, I think EVE would count, as well.
  • February 25, 2009
    Pom Rania
    32, that's a very good point, I never thought of that.
  • February 25, 2009
    Earnest
    The Centurions in Battlestar Galactica too, for that matter. Not only do they have the Cyber Cyclops roaming red eye, but it goes out when the 'bot is destroyed.

    I think the standard justification for having glowing eyes in the first place is that these eyes are not detecting by ambient light, but whatever specific color is emitted. Of course, it probably has more to do with the creepy "animal's eye shines back" thing in nature where aiming a light at an animal causes it to reflect back at the observer because the shape of their eye reflects it back.
  • February 25, 2009
    Madrugada
    Terminator is not the Ur-Example.

    In Empire Strikes Back,, which came 7 years earlier, C-3P0's eyes go out when he's blasted apart by the stormtrooper.

    I'm quite sure that it was used even earlier than that, as well, certainly in at least one B-grade robot movie during the 50's and possibly as far back as Metropolis in 1927.
  • February 25, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    In the intro of Dawn of War II, a space marine does it when his Power Armor is pierced.
  • February 26, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Mordred's animated gargoile statues in JLA cartoon
  • March 9, 2009
    STUART
    Happens to the robot in the pilot episode of The Tick immediately before he says "Gravity Is A Harsh Mistress".
  • March 10, 2009
    SevenMass
    Averted in one of the Dungeons And Dragons animation series episodes, the medal of the Dungeon Master went dim, supposedly this indicated that he had died, but he hadn't. (he's omnipotent, after all)
  • March 10, 2009
    Max Chaplin
    In Planescape: Torment, if Nordom (the modron) dies, the eyes of his portrait go black.
  • March 10, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    To answer Unknown Troper: Kuma aka Jinno is from Afro Samurai( I assume)
  • April 4, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    necrobump
  • April 4, 2009
    Kayube
    Actually, that happened to Marvin in the books too. Only later. And he really did die.
  • April 4, 2009
    Earnest
    Robots who also have PowerCrystals on their body will usually have them go out and turn opaque gray along with the eyes.
  • April 4, 2009
    Kuciwalker
    Inverted at the end of Portal.
  • April 4, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Happens to giant alien robot in Monsters vs. Aliens animation.
  • April 4, 2009
    Known Unknown
    Not actually eyes, but, after Cell crushes Android #16's head in Dragon Ball Z, a piece of circuitry with a bright red light falls out, and slowly dims to black, signaling that he is irreparably dead.
  • May 1, 2009
    Arivne
    Film
    • The Matrix. After Trinity removes the Agents' bug from Neo's body, it returns to its mini-robot form, which has a small red light. After she drops it out of the car, it falls to the ground and its red light goes out. On YouTube starting at 3:50.
  • May 1, 2009
    Recon5
    Note that Transformers uses this a lot in many of its scenes. Sometimes eyes even blow out from leftover energy.
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