Created By: shimaspawn on November 10, 2012 Last Edited By: shimaspawn on December 6, 2012
Troped

Eye Colour Change

A character's eyes change colour in response to stimuli.

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Trope
An Eye Colour Change is when a character's eyes change colour in response to some stimuli. The colour the eyes change into depends on the event and the character, but it can be anything from a shift in hue to something as dramatic as brown eyes turning bright yellow and round pupils lengthening into slits.

This is generally a sign that something major has just happened. A possession, a shift in alignment, the acquisition of supernatural power, trauma, anything significant can trigger an Eye Colour Change.

Supertrope to Kaleidoscope Eyes which is about eyes working as mood rings. Does not apply to a Adaptation Dye-Job. See also Convenient Color Change, Game Face, Eye Lights Out and Demonic Possession.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Claymore: The eyes of a Claymore are silver until they use their Yoma powers; this turns their eyes gold.
  • The title character of Rurouni Kenshin changes eye colour to correspond to which Split Personality is in command in the anime.
  • Subaru Nakajima's eyes in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S are normally green, but turn gold when she enters full Combat Cyborg mode. The first time this is triggered on screen, it also coincides with Unstoppable Rage.
  • The title character of InuYasha's eyes change colour according to whether he is in human, hanyou, or youkai form.
  • Dragon Ball Z: A Saiyan's eyes turn green when he turns Super Saiyan (although it's easily missable, since the other effect of the transformation is much more visible).
  • In Naruto The Sharingan is a hereditary superpower of the Uchiha clan that allows for Awesomeness by Analysis and causes distinctive change in the eye when used; a more advanced version exists has a different look. Both are unlocked by traumatic experiences.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, humans who channel enormous Spiral Power have spirals appear in their eyes. This is seen mostly in Lordgenome, but also briefly in Kittan right before his death. It's strangely absent in Simon until the Distant Finale.
  • In Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, Tsuna's eyes are normally brown. However, when he goes into Dying Will Mode, they change into an orange-ish yellow.
  • The eyes of NEXT in Tiger & Bunny typically change to a bright, glowing blue when they activate their abilities. This isn't the case for all of them, however -- NEXT with passive abilities don't have an eye color change, the eyes of the two NEXT in Ouroboros glow orange-yellow, and Kotetsu's eyes have recently started turning red to go along with his Power Incontinence.
  • In Yumeria, Neneko has violet/purple eyes, but when mental time traveler Neito takes control of their shared body, they turn green.
  • In InuYasha, both the title character and his half-brother, Sesshoumaru, have eyes that go completely bloodshot-red when their demonic powers are fully released.

Film
  • In The Lost Boys, vampires' eyes go from their natural colour to red when they transform into 'vampire mode'.
  • Star Wars has the phenomenon of "Sith eyes", related to the Dark Side of the Force. They usually aren't permanent and usually manifest when the dark Force-user is enraged (Count Dooku, always calm and collected, never manifests them). Only Darth Maul, who is more or less always belligerent, sports permanent Sith eyes.

Literature
  • Rachel from Cliff McNish's The Doomspell Trilogy has eyes that change colour depending on the spell she is using, these eyes are said to be a wizard trait.
  • At the end of Septimus Heap - Magyk, Sarah Heap notices that Septimus's eyes are becoming green from exposure to Magyk when she identifies him as her child.
  • In The Stormlight Archive, it is believed by many characters that if a person with dark eyes wins a Shardblade their eyes will become light. Notably there is one character with a Shardblade who's eyes are normally dark green but become pale blue when he is actively using the Blade, the character notes that this is unique to his particular blade, so it's not entirely clear what the actual situation is.
  • In The Wheel of Time, users of the True Power develop black flecks swimming across their eyes as a result of overuse. With continued use, the flecks become more common, and eventually transform the eyes and mouth into caverns of flame.
  • In The Door Within Trilogy, the Glimpses eyes change colour depending on their affiliation: Blue for King Eliam, Red for Paragor, and Green for neutral/undecided.
  • In Roger Zelazny's Divlish The Damned, some witches have eyes that wax and wane with the moon.
  • In the Black Jewels novels: Jaenelle Angelline's eyes turn from "summer-sky" blue to "sapphire" when she's in Witch mode.

Live Action TV
  • In the later seasons of Babylon 5, Lyta Alexander's eyes would turn solid black whenever she made use of the Vorlon enhancements to her psychic abilities. However she became even more powerful in the Postscript Season, she acquires Glowing Eyes of Doom instead. Possibly because the black contacts used for the old effect were painful to wear.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Whenever Willow makes intensive use of magic, her eyes abruptly turned pitch-black while closed. Then, in the series finale, when using the scythe to activate all the potential slayers, her eyes (and hair) turned white, hinting she was using powerful white magic.
    • When Willow buffed up Buffy with magic to fight Adam, Buffy's eyes turned gold/yellow.
  • In Forever Knight, vampires' eyes turn golden when they vamp out.
  • In Merlin, Merlin's eyes turn brownish-gold when he uses magic.

Video Games

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • November 10, 2012
    KTera
    • Vampires from the Twilight series have black irises when they're starving for blood, red irises when they've recently fed on a human, and golden irises when they've recently fed on animal blood.
  • November 10, 2012
    shimaspawn
    ^ Please rewrite the example to focus on the change and it's triggers. Don't just list the eye colours. Is it a slow change? An abrupt one? I don't know. I don't know anything about the series, but hunger is an emotion so it sounds more like Kaleidoscope Eyes than this trope.
  • November 10, 2012
    McKathlin
    Mood Ring Eyes is a subtrope. Edit: I see; it's also a redirect of Kaleidoscope Eyes, already mentioned. Never mind.
  • November 10, 2012
    shimaspawn
    ^ Kaleidoscope Eyes is already mentioned.
  • November 10, 2012
    Oreochan
    Here are some examples snagged from Kaleidoscope Eyes:

    Anime And Manga

    • The eyes of a Claymore are silver until they use their Yoma powers; this turns their eyes gold.

    • The title character of Rurouni Kenshin changes eye color to correspond to which Split Personality is in command in the anime.

    Literature

    • Rachel from Cliff McNish's The Doomspell trilogy has eyes that change color depending on the spell she is using, these eyes are said to be a wizard trait.

    Live Action TV

  • November 10, 2012
    Momochi
  • November 13, 2012
    shimaspawn
    No, it doesn't really. It gives no real examples and it just a bare bones glossing over. None of the listings on there meet our example standards.
  • November 17, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Eyes Of Gold needs flipping to Supernatural Gold Eyes. It seems to fit as an entry.
  • November 17, 2012
    Koveras
  • November 23, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Would this count (and under which spoiler tag structure):
    • At the end of Septimus Heap - Magyk, Sarah Heap notices that Septimus's eyes are becoming green from exposure to Magyk when she identifies him as her child.
  • November 23, 2012
    Andygal
    • In The Stormlight Archive, it is believed by many characters that if a person with dark eyes wins a Shardblade their eyes will become light. Notably there is one character with a Shardblade who's eyes are normally dark green but become pale blue when he is actively using the Blade, the character notes that this is unique to his particular blade, so it's not entirely clear what the actual situation is.
  • November 24, 2012
    CapFox
  • November 24, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    ^Should be namespaced to VideoGame.Star Ocean The Last Hope
  • November 25, 2012
    Higurashiblood98
    Oz in Pandora Heart's eyes can change red when Alice is threatened, or when B-rabbit's power is usurped by him.
  • November 25, 2012
    CarrieVS
    Film Example: In The Lost Boys, vampires' eyes go from their natural colour to red when they transform into 'vampire mode'.
  • November 25, 2012
    Dacilriel
    Anime:

    Inu Yasha's eyes change color according to whether he is in human, hanyou, or youkai form.
  • November 30, 2012
    morenohijazo
    Dragon Ball Z: A Saiyan's eyes turn green when he turns Super Saiyan (although it's easily missable, since the other effect of the transformation is much more visible).
  • December 3, 2012
    RoseBride
    In Naruto the Sharingan (and all its variants) first awakens when the wielder is under major stress situations.
  • December 3, 2012
    shimaspawn
    ^ That doesn't explain anything about the trope if you don't know the work.
  • December 3, 2012
    chicagomel
    Forever Knight vsmpires' eyes turn golden when they vamp out.

    Merlin Merlin's eyes turn brownish-gold when he uses magic.
  • December 4, 2012
    Oreochan
    I edited the description to fix some typos.
  • December 4, 2012
    Generality
    Elaborating on Naruto, plus another example. Neither of these are strictly colour-changes, being more complex:

    • In Naruto The Sharingan is a hereditary superpower of the Uchiha clan that allows for Awesomeness By Analysis and causes distinctive change in the eye when used; a more advanced version exists has a different look. Both are unlocked by traumatic experiences.
    • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, humans who channel enormous Spiral Power have spirals in their eyes. This is seen mostly in Lordgenome, but also briefly in Kittan right before his death. It's strangely absent in Simon until the Distant Finale.
  • December 5, 2012
    aurora369
    Star Wars has the phenomenon of "Sith eyes", related to the Dark Side of the Force. They usually aren't permanent and usually manifest when the dark Force-user is enraged (Count Dooku, always calm and collected, never manifests them). Only Darth Maul, who is more or less always belligerent, sports permanent Sith eyes.
  • December 5, 2012
    Earnest
  • December 5, 2012
    Generality
    • In The Wheel Of Time, users of the True Power develop black flecks swimming across their eyes as a result of overuse. With continued use, the flecks become more common, and eventually transform the eyes and mouth into caverns of flame.
  • December 5, 2012
    MasterheartsXIII
    In The Door Within Trilogy, the Glimpses eyes change color depending on their affiliation: Blue for King Eliam, Red for Paragor, and Green for neutral/undecided.
  • December 5, 2012
    ShadowHog
    Sonic's eyes are normally green; when he goes Super Sonic, they turn red.
  • December 5, 2012
    shimaspawn
    Updated with the new examples.
  • December 5, 2012
    Oreochan
    Here's some more examples from Kaleidoscope Eyes:

    Anime And Manga
    • In Katekyo Hitman Reborn, Tsuna's eyes are normally brown. However, when he goes into Dying Will Mode, they change into an orange-ish yellow.
    • The eyes of NEXT in Tiger And Bunny typically change to a bright, glowing blue when they activate their abilities. This isn't the case for all of them, however -- NEXT with passive abilities don't have an eye color change, the eyes of the two NEXT in Ouroboros glow orange-yellow, and Kotetsu's eyes have recently started turning red to go along with his Power Incontinence.
    • In Yumeria, Neneko has violet/purple eyes, but when mental time traveler Neito takes control of their shared body, they turn green.
    • In Inu Yasha, both the title character and his half-brother, Sesshoumaru, have eyes that go completely bloodshot-red when their demonic powers are fully released.

    Literature
    • In Roger Zelazny's Divlish The Damned, some witches have eyes that wax and wane with the moon.
    • In the Black Jewels novels: Jaenelle Angelline's eyes turn from "summer-sky" blue to "sapphire" when she's in Witch mode.

    Video Games

    Western Animation

  • December 6, 2012
    Koveras
    This looks good for launch.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=e97o8j1a7p4aecd5qsd8a0v1&trope=EyeColourChange