Yellow Eyes Of Sneakiness
When the whites of the eyes are yellow, that's when the character is sneaky.
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(permanent link) added: 2013-03-01 21:29:36 sponsor: CaveCat (last reply: 2013-03-21 20:13:50)

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In fiction, when a character has yellow eyes, mainly the sclera, it usually denotes that a character has a rather unscrupulous nature. Sure signs that a character cannot be trusted or is a bit of a Jerkass.

Historically this is probably inspired by canines, and birds of prey like foxes, some types of wolves, and owls, which can have Amber, yellow, or Orange iris's, and are associated with being conniving, clever, and wise. Also reptiles and toads are sometimes associated with villainy, and can have yellow eyes. Ironically in these animals what you're usually seeing are larger irises which were probably mistaken for a yellow sclera.

In Real Life yellow and brown in the sclera, or the cornea in people is unhealthy. It's usually a symptom of allergies or some kind of disease. Yellow sclera is a typical symptom of jaundice.

Compare: Supernatural Gold Eyes


Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • FLCL. Haruko Haruhara has yellow eyes. She slyly manipulates people and hides her true identity, goals and personality throughout the series.
  • Also, Ryuk from Death Note has yellow eyes and technically causes everything in the series because it's fun.

Film
  • Gollum in The Lord of the Rings has yellow eyes. He sneaks around, plotting to get "The Precious" back from the "Thieving Hobbitses".
  • The Great Mouse Detective: The main villain of the movie, Professor Ratigan, has a yellow sclera, and has an Evil Plan to take over a kingdom.
  • The Lion King: The Hyenas and Scar both have yellow scleras, Scar is using the hyenas as minions, that help him perform a coup d'état so he can become the new king.

Literature
  • In Good Omens, the demon Crowley habitually takes the form of a louche and cool young man in his middle twenties, but has to wear sunglasses to conceal his eyes - which are reptilian rather than human, yellow-gold with a vertical slitted pupil. He is a demon - therefore the embodiment of wily, crafty and untrustworthy.

Video Games

Web Comics
  • The entire troll race of Homestuck have yellow sclera. As a whole they are significantly more blood-thirsty than humans, and deceit and murder are a huge part of their lives.

Western Animation
  • Ratty from Mr. Bogus, which is appropriate, befitting his conniving nature.
  • Socrates from Adventures from the Book of Virtues has these, to show that while he may be seem rather sneaky, he is actually shown to have a good heart because of his hidden innocence.
  • Plankton from SpongeBob SquarePants, despite having only one eye, would actually also count for this, as he is often scheming to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula.
  • Wile E Coyote from Chuck Jones' Looney Tunes has yellow eyes compared to the Road Runner's ivory white eyes, since he is always coming up with sneaky schemes to catch the Road Runner, although without any success.
  • Tom Cat from MGM's Tom and Jerry has yellow eyes in his early cartoons compared to those of Jerry Mouse, often scheming against the mouse. The yellowness would disappear by the time of the Cinemascope cartoons.
  • The foxes in The Foxbusters have yellow eyes, to denote that they are always scheming to catch the chickens on the farm.
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox: In the original book by Roald Dahl, the eyes of Mr. Fox are just black spots on white sclera but in the animated version he actually has irises. The color of Mrs. Fox's eyes is blue, while Mr. Fox has yellow eyes that emphasize his sneaky nature. With a little Fridge Logic involved, this can even turn into a spoiler: Ash Fox struggles to get his father to notice him, while his cousin Kristofferson gets constant praise from Mr. Fox. In the end, Ash manages to save the day rather impressively... and his eyes are the same greenish yellow his father has, whereas Kristofferson has light blue eyes!

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