Created By: TropeEater on July 30, 2012 Last Edited By: Arivne on April 4, 2014

Lightbulbs For A Face

Glowing dots for eyes on an otherwise black or obscured face.

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Trope

It's common to see a hooded figure with their face completely obscured... except... except for their eyes. Their eyes glow with an unearthly light. They're often the only thing you can see of their face.

There are two ways to go about this, the cute way and the creepy way. The cute way is where the creature itself isn't very (apparently) threatening, and this can kind of make the character reflect that while still fitting with the "darkness" theme of the character. Expect to see these on an Adorable Evil Minion. The creepy way is where the character is genuinely disturbing. Expect the color red, and an angry expression in these eyes. This is often the realm of Grim Reapers and the similar. The characters with these ones are often tall and gaunt.

Compare Glowing Eyelights of Undeath, where these eyes are inside the eye sockets of a skull. See also Black Bead Eyes, By the Lights of Their Eyes.

Examples:


Film:
  • The Jawas in Star Wars are the cute version. They're little dwarf things that run around in cloaks and have squeaky voices.

Literature

Video Games:
Community Feedback Replies: 42
  • July 30, 2012
    PsiPaula4
    Meta Knight from Kirby. He sort of has the creepy type, but when the mask goes off after being defeated, he's revealed to look a lot like Kirby.
  • July 30, 2012
    Earnest
    Here's the pic without the black borders.


  • July 30, 2012
    Bisected8
  • July 30, 2012
    ShadowHog
    The Weavers from Loom - notably, player character Bobbin Threadbare - all wear hooded outfits that renders their entire face a single shade of black, save for their glowing blue eyes. Generally cute type, but considering the sight of a Weaver's actual face can kill a man, it's sort of in-between.
  • July 30, 2012
    TropeEater
    ^^^^ Naw, Meta Knight is cute type, even with the mask on.

    Cute vs. Creepy is has to do with the aesthetic, not the power of the character.
  • July 30, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Let's try for a better title. See also By The Lights Of Their Eyes.
  • July 30, 2012
    stalydan
    The robed figures in Journey also invoke this trope
  • July 30, 2012
    piscula
    Endermen from Minecraft are the creepy type.
  • July 30, 2012
    Earnest
    See also Eye Lights Out.
  • July 30, 2012
    KZN02
    Luigis Mansion: Shy Guy Ghosts have these when you vacuum their masks off.
  • July 30, 2012
    Generality
  • July 30, 2012
    BOFH
  • July 31, 2012
    triassicranger
  • July 31, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Literature: In Priest-Kings of Gor the Golden Beetle (which is the size of a rhinocerous) keeps its head inside its shell, all you can see are its red glowing eyes.
  • July 31, 2012
    Euan2000
    The player characters in Spiral Knights. Cute version.

    Also I think there should be two separate lists
  • July 31, 2012
    animeg3282
  • July 31, 2012
    CaveCat
    Needs A Better Title. I really doubt that those who don't watch Star Wars will understand what this trope is about. Try Eyes Only Visible.
  • August 1, 2012
    morgulknight1
    Do we have the Monster In The Darkness from Order Of The Stick yet?
  • August 1, 2012
    Andygal
    in Fallen London the Masters of the Bazaar always wear cloaks that conceal them completely except for glowing eyes, they're pretty creepy.
  • November 30, 2012
    Bisected8
  • November 30, 2012
    TropeEater
    bunp, any more examples?

    Cleaning up Type Labels Are Not Examples a bit, you're welcome.
  • November 30, 2012
    shimaspawn
    <Mod Hat>

    The trope can not be launches as is with the examples the way they are. Please elaborate on them and get rid of the Zero Context Examples
  • December 11, 2012
    Chernoskill
    • Caleb from Blood wears a wide-brimmed hat, so the upper part of his face is shrouded in darkness, with only his glowing red eyes showing. On a side note, the physical model Caleb's sprite was made from just had it's face painted black because facial features wouldn't have been visible anyway at this scale and resolution.
  • December 11, 2012
    Omeganian
    Tali?
  • December 13, 2012
    ShadowHog
    ^^^ Elaborated on my Loom example a bit.
  • January 9, 2013
    Koveras
    • The quarian race in the Mass Effect series wear environment suits that cover their entire bodies, including semi-opaque masks over their faces. As a result, their only discernible facial features are the reflections in their eyes and (occasionally, when the lighting is right) the nose.
  • January 9, 2013
    MokonaZero
    In Full Metalalchemist Brotherhood most of the homunculi have this at least once (in the manga at least).
  • January 9, 2013
    MiinU

    Anime and Manga

  • January 9, 2013
    VelvetAndroid
    Literature: In Alan Garner's fantasy tale, The Moon of Gomrath, the serially-possessing demon called the Brollochan takes the form of a nebulous black cloud with two glowing eyes. Terry Pratchett either reworked this character or drew on the same source of Celtic mythology/English folklore for his Hiver, in A Hat Full of Sky.

    Real Life (for a given value of "Real") the original English myth is of Black Shuck, a demon-dog, black but with two glowing red eyes, a harbinger of death if seen. This is a common myth across England and most strong in Yorkshire and East Anglia.

    Interestingly enough, two Victorian authors drew on the Black Shuck myth: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used it in Sherlock Holmes as the basis for the Hound of the Baskervilles. Bram Stoker, in Dracula, has Count Dracula making landfall in England in the form of a huge terrifying black dog with glowing red eyes...
  • January 11, 2013
    MiinU
    bump.
  • January 14, 2013
    robinjohnson
    Real Life (or Advertising, is that a category?)
    • In the 1990s, the UK Conservative party was censured for depicting Tony Blair this way on a political billboard.
  • January 14, 2013
    VelvetAndroid
    Western Animation: Orko in He Man And The Masters Of The Universe, who looks very similar to the page image currently proposed! Arguably justified in that he is meant to come from a different dimension, so it's possible there's no conventional (by our/Eternian standards) body underneath his hat and cloak.
  • February 16, 2013
    MarqFJA
    Unlaunched by decree of this thread. Needs renaming and example polishing. I personally suggest "Glowing Eyes, Shadowy Face".
  • February 16, 2013
    m8e
    Another suggestion, "Shiny Eyes, Cloaked Face".
  • February 16, 2013
    Met
    I second Hidden Face Glowing Eyes.
  • February 16, 2013
    Mijin
    The minions in League of Legends (cute type)
  • March 13, 2013
    MarqFJA
    Bump.
  • April 3, 2014
    Noah1
  • April 3, 2014
    DAN004
    Subtrope of Glowing Eyes.

    I'm upping Hidden Face Glowing Eyes
  • April 4, 2014
    aurora369
    The Nazgul in Lord of the Rings have pitch darkness instead of faces (instead of their entire bodies, in fact, they are wraiths). However, at least one description of a Nazgul mentions glowing eyes of fire in that darkness. In the film of the book this detail is omitted.
  • April 4, 2014
    JonnyB
    The name doesn't make sense. I was thinking it meant like Reddy Kilowatt. Literally light bulbs for a face.


  • April 4, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Once again, as stated in the YKTTW Guidelines, please don't put pictures in your replies. Just link them instead.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=3270a21uud0njsbeha04h878&trope=LightbulbsForAFace