Created By: PaulA on December 26, 2011 Last Edited By: PaulA on July 9, 2017

Not Really Blind

Injured character thinks they have gone blind, but they just have something over their eyes.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
A comedy trope.

Bob is in a vehicle crash or some other dramatic accident, and when he comes to and starts checking for damage, he realises: "Oh no, I've gone blind!"

Alice, a more level-headed bystander, points out that actually he's just in a dark room/his headband has slipped down over his eyes.

Examples:

Comics
  • Used in a Garfield from September 1989:
    Garfield: I can't see! I can't see!
    Jon: Garfield, your blanket is over your eyes.
    Garfield: I knew that.

Fanworks

Film - Animated

Film - Live Action
  • In A Christmas Story, when the recoil from the BB gun knocks Ralphie's glasses off, he's afraid he's lost an eye as everybody has been warning him he will.
  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World:
    Tyler Fitzgerald: I can't see! Something's happened to my eyes! I can't see!
    Dingy Bell: You can't see? He can't see!
    Benjy Benjamin: Must be an eye cold.
  • In Stalag 17, Animal thinks the still liquor has made him blind, but he just has his hat over his eyes.
  • Used in a few The Three Stooges shorts.
    Curly: I can't see! I can't see!
    Moe: Wa'sa matter?
    Curly: I got my eyes closed. Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!
  • In a scene in the Cheech and Chong film Up in Smoke, Cheech gets so high he can be convinced he's blind just by Chong pulling his hat down over his eyes.

Live Action TV
  • In the Regency segment of Blackadder's Christmas Carol, Lord Nelson, who has been lying drunk in a chair since the scene opened, suddenly wakes up and says "My God! I'm blind! Blind!" Blackadder smoothly steps over and moves his eyepatch to the correct eye, and he slumps back into unconciousness.
  • In the 2011 Doctor Who Christmas special, the Doctor thinks he's gone blind; Madge points out that in his hurry to escape the explosion he's put the helmet of his spacesuit on back-to-front.

Web Video
  • In the Enterprising Engines episode "Greg and Lars", Greg thinks he's gone blind when he starts wearing sunglasses. As Lars points out, Greg probably could see better if he took his sunglasses off, but Greg thinks he won't look stylish without his sunglasses.
  • In the Super Mario Logan episode "Jeffy's Mistake!", Jeffy falls asleep while Mario convinces Black Yoshi to babysit Jeffy while he and Rosalina go on a date. When Jeffy awakens, he thinks he's gone blind, but Black Yoshi informs him that his helmet is covering his eyes.

Western Animation
  • The 1956 Herman and Katnip cartoon "Mouseum" concludes with Katnip getting launched from the museum onto the sidewalk, along with part of an exhibit. The exhibit piece has two glass eyes set in its sockets, which pop out upon impact. Katnip, seeing these eyeballs and being Too Dumb to Live, thinks these eyeballs are his, and tries to remount them in his eye sockets. When Katnip can no longer see, he wails that he's gone blind, and runs off in a panic, smacking into every obstacle en route.
  • In the The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "Hair of the Cat", Ren suffers from allergy, and thinks he is blind upon waking up with crusty eyes.
  • Used deliberately in The Simpsons, when Homer puts tape over Bart's eyes while he's asleep. He wakes up thinking he's blind before Homer rips it off. "Ha ha! April Fool!"
  • Perhaps most absurdly used in Ed, Edd n Eddy. Ed thinks he's gone blind after closing his eyes.
    Eddy: Open your eyes, Ed.
    Ed: Thanks, Eddy.

Infirmities other than blindness:

  • The Simpsons: After a long bus trip, Homer can't feel his legs under the covers and starts hitting them. Marge points out they're not his legs, they belong to the Very Tall Man behind him. Said man then retracts his legs and bends over so he can give Homer an upside-down Death Glare.

Community Feedback Replies: 33
  • December 26, 2011
    CaveCat
    Used in this Garfield strip.
  • December 26, 2011
    Psi001
    • Used deliberately in The Simpsons, when Homer puts tape over Bart's eyes while he's asleep. He wakes up thinking he's blind before Homer rips it off. "Ha ha! April Fool!"
    • Perhaps most absurdly used in Ed Edd N Eddy. Ed thinks he's gone blind after closing his eyes.
      Eddy: Open your eyes, Ed.
      Ed: Thanks, Eddy.
  • December 26, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    Not just blindness. Other handicaps can get faked out for a cheap laugh (like a paralysis fake out in The Wedding Planner). Should this include those, or leave them for separate tropes?
  • December 26, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Used in a few The Three Stooges shorts.
    Curly: I can't see! I can't see!
    Moe: Wa'sa matter?
    Curly: I got my eyes closed. Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!
  • December 27, 2011
    nlpnt
    In A Christmas Story, when the recoil from the BB gun knocks Ralphie's glasses off.
  • December 27, 2011
    DaibhidC
    • In the Regency segment of Blackadder's Christmas Carol, Lord Nelson, who has been lying drunk in a chair since the scene opened, suddenly wakes up and says "My God! I'm blind! Blind!" Blackadder smoothly steps over and moves his eyepatch to the correct eye, and he slumps back into unconciousness.
  • December 27, 2011
    PaulA
    DragonQuestZ, I'm willing to collect non-blindness examples as well and see how many we get. (I actually considered saying so in the OP, but couldn't think of any myself.)

    I haven't seen The Wedding Planner -- what happens in that scene?
  • December 27, 2011
    nman
    DQZ, When you say faked, do you mean Obfuscating Disability, or does someone actually convince someone else that they are paralyzed?
  • December 27, 2011
    AP
    • There was a Spider Man annual in the early 90's where he and the New Warriors fought a group of supervillains. At one point, Spidey covers a villains eyes with webbing and says, "Oh my gosh, you've gone blind!". The villain stupidly believes him and opens fire in different directions, hitting some of his own teammates.
  • December 28, 2011
    CaveCat
    Also, this exchange from Its A Mad Mad Mad Mad World:
    Tyler Fitzgerald: I can't see! Something's happened to my eyes! I can't see!
    Dingy Bell: You can't see? He can't see!
    Benjy Benjamin: Must be an eye cold.
  • February 11, 2012
    CaveCat
  • February 11, 2012
    Delphi
    • In one Cheech And Chong movies, Cheech gets so high he can be convinced he's blind just by Chong pulling his hat down over his eyes.
    • Wish we still had Troper Tales, cause this happened to my grandpa once. He thought he had been stricken with cataracts, but it was just hay dust all over his glasses.
  • February 12, 2012
    CaveCat
    ^I share your feelings about Troper Tales too, but like the rules state, they now moved the Troper Tales to its own archive page.
  • February 12, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    Happened in Stalag17, where Animal thought the still liquor had made him blind.

  • February 12, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    An old joke has a woman accidently turn off the light in the bathroom while her husband is straining himself on the toilet, causing him to scream in terror. When asked what happens he sais "All went black all of a sudden, I thought my eyeballs popped."
  • July 4, 2017
    TitoMosquito
    In Family Guy episode "When You Wish Upon A Weinstein", Peter claims to only wear glasses to "fool the man from the draft board".
  • July 4, 2017
    Chabal2
    A non-blind example in The Simpsons: after a long bus trip, Homer can't feel his legs under the covers and starts hitting them. Marge points out they're not his legs, they belong to the Very Tall Man behind him. Said man then retracts his legs and bends over so he can give Homer an upside-down Death Glare.
  • July 4, 2017
    Malady
    Title Sounds like Im Not Left Handed, but for blindness. Rename?
  • July 4, 2017
    Lumpenprole
    ^No, that would be people trying to pass for blind. This is about people mistakenly thinking they've gone blind.
  • July 4, 2017
    Malady
    ^ I know that, but the title seems misleading. Am I wrong?
  • July 4, 2017
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    Web Video
    • In the Enterprising Engines episode, "Greg and Lars", Greg thinks he's gone blind when he starts wearing sunglasses. As Lars points out, Greg probably could see better if he took his sunglasses off, but Greg thinks he won't look stylish without his sunglasses.
  • July 5, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    Another problem I see with the current title is that it might be misused for any instance in fiction where a supposedly blind character turns out to see perfectly, much to the other characters' surprise (they are intentionally hiding this fact from everyone else for some reason).

    Maybe a better name would be False Blindness Feeling?
  • July 4, 2017
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    ^ I like False Blindness Feeling.
  • July 4, 2017
    LondonKdS
    A particularly notorious example also appears in the Doctor Who story "The Android Invasion", in which the alien villains have persuaded the astronaut Crayford that he's lost an eye simply by putting an eyepatch on him... and he still hasn't worked it out years later. And this is played for drama, not comedy.
  • July 4, 2017
    Malady
    ^^ - Same.
  • July 5, 2017
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    Web Video
    • In the Super Mario Logan episode, "Jeffy's Mistake!", Jeffy falls asleep while Mario convinces Black Yoshi to babysit Jeffy while he and Rosalina go on a date. When Jeffy awakens, he thinks he's gone blind, but Black Yoshi informs him that his helmet is covering his eyes.
  • July 5, 2017
    Omeganian
    • In the Teen Titans fanfic BB's Birthday Bash (NSFW) Beast boy screams "I'm blind!" after an undressing Raven throws her shirt at his head.

    • In the The Ren And Stimpy Show episode "Hair of the Cat", Ren suffers from allergy, and thinks he is blind upon waking up with crusty eyes.

  • July 5, 2017
    PaulA
    I agree that "Not Really Blind" is too unclear to use, but I'm not convinced of the merits of "False Blindness Feeling".
  • July 5, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    ^ What's wrong with it? Clearness? Catchiness?
  • July 5, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • The 1956 Herman And Katnip cartoon "Mouseum" concludes with Katnip getting launched from the museum onto the sidewalk, along with part of an exhibit. The exhibit piece has two glass eyes set in its sockets, which pop out upon impact. Katnip, seeing these eyeballs and being Too Dumb To Live, thinks these eyeballs are his, and tries to remount them in his eye sockets. When Katnip can no longer see, he wails that he's gone blind, and runs off in a panic, smacking into every obstacle en route.
  • July 6, 2017
    PaulA
    ^^ It's the "Feeling" that's doing it, I think; it's sacrificing clarity for alliteration. When I read "False Blindness Feeling" the first thing that came to mind was a blind person feeling about them with their hands to get an idea of their surroundings.
  • July 7, 2017
    Lumpenprole
    False-Alarm Blindness?
  • July 7, 2017
    TonyG
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=t7l3va1tb17yj4dq0av0wjtx