Created By: KZN02 on December 23, 2010 Last Edited By: KZN02 on December 26, 2010
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See The Invisible

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Row Row Fight the Powa!

Do We Have This One??

There's all sorts of ways to see someone or something with Invisibility.

A Sub-Trope of See-Thru Specs. Compare Badass Blink, for when the invisible entity makes itself visible through some flaw with their invisibility, and Visible Invisibility, where the invisible character is visible to the audience.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In Dragon Ball, Yamcha defeated the Invisible Man after the Turtle Hermit (AKA Master Roshi) had a nosebleed that spilled all over the Invisible Man.

Film - Animation
  • In The Incredibles, one Mook finds an invisible Violet by throwing dust and watching for the cloud to be disrupted by a body.

Film - Live Action
  • In the Predator movies, the title creature's invisibility device shorted out when immersed in water.
  • Skinner from the film version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen wears white makeup so people can see his face. And clothes, of course.

Literature
  • Fairy Tales and other magical lore indicate that a seeing stone also allows one to see things that have magicked themselves invisible.
  • In the Harry Potter series, we've been shown several ways in which Invisibility Cloaks can be thwarted. The ability of dementors to sense people is not impaired by invisibility cloaks. Moody's magical eye can see through invisibility cloaks. A person wearing an invisibility cloak still shows up on the Marauder's Map. Mrs. Norris may or may not be able to see through invisibility cloaks. There are also some mundane constraints, such as the fact that the wearer remains solid, remains capable of making noise, etc.
  • The wizards' Sight in The Dresden Files series can, among other things, pierce any kinds of veils and invisibility tricks. The downside of it is that not only does it show you that something is there, it shows you its true form, which is the last thing you want to see with the most supernatural heavy-hitters. Plus, there is a small fact that you can never ever forget anything you've seen with your Sight.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons.
    • Early articles advised spreading dust/flour on the floor (to see footprints) or throwing flour/dust/water in the air (so it coats the opponent and reveals an outline).
    • Certain spells can be used this way, such as True Seeing and True Sight.
    • Dust of Appearance makes anything invisible it's sprinkled on become visible.
  • Star Fleet Battles. It's possible to see cloaked Romulan ships with the "flash cube" effect (detonating a transporter bomb or mine).
  • Call of Cthulhu
    • Supplement Shadows of Yog-Sothoth, adventure "Devil's Canyon". A race of invisible monsters can be seen if looked at through camera lenses prepared using Cthulhu Mythos knowledge.
    • When the Powder of Ibn Ghazi is sprinkled on invisible monsters it makes them visible.

Toys
  • BIONICLE: in the Mata Nui Online Game, a Muaka manages to snatch Kopaka, who was using the mask of invisibility, in its jaws after determining where he was by looking at his footprints in the snow.

Video Games
  • In Eternal Darkness, there's a level where you must (well if you want some goodies including a BFG anyway) protect the player character's servants from an invisible monster. You can make this a lot easier by using the "reveal invisible" spell.

Western Animation
  • Jonny Quest once had this invisible monster which was created by some Applied Phlebotinum and proceeded to go on a rampage. The kids managed to dump a bunch of paint over it, which not only had the effect of making it visible, but also made it look much less terrifying.

Rolling Updates
Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • December 23, 2010
    troacctid
    I don't see it in the Invisibility Index, so I guess we don't have this one.
  • December 23, 2010
    PapercutChainsaw
    Would the Mask of Detection from Bionicle count? I don't think it's ever shown being used on someone who's invisible in the conventional sense, but it could probably be used that way.
  • December 24, 2010
    cityofmist
    Skinner from the film version of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen wears white makeup so people can see his face. And clothes, of course.
  • December 24, 2010
    Arivne
    Film
    • In the Predator movies the title creature's invisibility device shorted out when immersed in water.

    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons.
      • Early articles advised spreading dust/flour on the floor (to see footprints) or throwing flour/dust/water in the air (so it coats the opponent and reveals an outline).
      • Certain spells can be used this way, such as True Seeing and True Sight.
      • Dust of Appearance makes anything invisible it's sprinkled on become visible.
    • Star Fleet Battles. It's possible to see cloaked Romulan ships with the "flash cube" effect (detonating a transporter bomb or mine).
    • Call Of Cthulhu
      • Supplement Shadows of Yog-Sothoth, adventure "Devil's Canyon". A race of invisible monsters can be seen if looked at through camera lenses prepared using Cthulhu Mythos knowledge.
      • When the Powder of Ibn Ghazi is sprinkled on invisible monsters it makes them visible.
  • December 24, 2010
    Speedball
    Psychic Powers are often used to see through invisibility.
  • December 24, 2010
    Dcoetzee
    A subtrope is See Thru Specs.
  • December 24, 2010
    Bisected8
    Compare Badass Blink for when the invisible entity makes itself visible through some flaw with their invisibility.
  • December 24, 2010
    Koveras
    The wizards' Sight in The Dresden Files series can, among other things, pierce any kinds of veils and invisibility tricks. The downside of it is that not only does it show you that something is there, it shows you its true form, which is the last thing you want to see with the most supernatural heavy-hitters. Plus, there is a small fact that you can never ever forget anything you've seen with your Sight.
  • December 24, 2010
    TonyG
    Compare Visible Invisibility, where the invisible character is visible to the audience.
  • December 24, 2010
    JohnDiFool
    Jonny Quest once had this invisible monster which was created by some Applied Phlebotinum and proceeded to go on a rampage. The kids managed to dump a bunch of paint over it, which not only had the effect of making it visible, but also made it look much less terrifying.
  • December 24, 2010
    Hello999
    In the Harry Potter series, we've been shown several ways in which invisibility cloaks can be thwarted. The ability of dementors to sense people is not impaired by invisibility cloaks. Moody's magical eye can see through invisibility cloaks. A person wearing an invisibility cloak still shows up on the Marauder's Map. Mrs. Norris may or may not be able to see through invisibility cloaks. There are also some mundane constraints, such as the fact that the wearer remains solid, remains capable of making noise, etc.
  • December 24, 2010
    GymQuirk
    Film version of the Star Fleet Battles "Flashcube Effect": Star Trek VI
    "Target that explosion and fire!"

  • December 24, 2010
    Bisected8
    In Eternal Darkness there's a level where you must (well if you want some goodies including a BFG anyway) protect the player character's servants from an invisible monster. You can make this a lot easier by using the "reveal invisible" spell.
  • December 24, 2010
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • Fairy Tales and other magical lore indicate that a seeing stone also allows one to see things that have magicked themselves invisible.

  • December 26, 2010
    ZombieAladdin
    In Dragon Ball, Yamcha defeated the Invisible Man after the Turtle Hermit (AKA Master Roshi) had a nosebleed that spilled all over the Invisible Man.
  • December 26, 2010
    MoleGoddess
    In The Incredibles one Mook finds an invisible Violet by throwing dust and watching for the cloud to be disrupted by a body.
  • December 26, 2010
    JonnyB
    Would the kid from The Sixth Sense count? "I see dead people."
  • December 26, 2010
    Dragon_Ranger
    In Keroro Gunsou, the Keronians' anti-barrier makes them invisible to humans, but they also have control over who can see them. In rare cases, a person is able to see them regardless.
  • December 26, 2010
    JonnyB
    In an episode of Stargate SG 1, the humans were fighting an invisible enemy called the Reetou, but are given devices from the Tok'ra (Transphase Eradication Rods, or TE Rs) that can render them visible.
  • December 26, 2010
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • I want to say I saw it on Scooby Doo -- flour being thrown in the air and the invisible thing is made visible by that.
  • December 26, 2010
    JonnyB
    @John Di Fool: YMMV, the thing freaked me the hell out when I was a kid.
  • December 26, 2010
    randomsurfer
  • December 26, 2010
    Dcoetzee
    Not a subtrope of See Thru Specs - See Thru Specs is a subtrope of this.
  • December 26, 2010
    TonyG
    In the Tom And Jerry short "The Invisible Mouse", Tom tries to find an invisible Jerry by throwing flour on the floor so that he would leave footprints. When he does, Tom tries to hit him with a frying pan. Moments later, the words "Missed me" appear on the flour.

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