%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1444759596091350800
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
[[quoteright:250:[[Manga/HunterXHunter http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gon2.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:250:'''Top:''' Normal mood.\\
'''Bottom:''' Oh no...]]

->''"Bright eyes, burning like fire.\\
Bright eyes, how can you close and fail?\\
How can the light that burned so brightly\\
Suddenly burn so pale?"''
-->-- '''Art Garfunkel''', "Bright Eyes"

Normally, happy people's eyes shine and reflect their environment. This is because the coating of tears over the exposed eye to keep it from drying out reflects light sources within a certain distance.

In anime and manga, though, when a character is feeling sad, very tired, depressed, or [[UnstoppableRage about to snap]], their eyes lose all the natural shine and have the appearance of being lifeless. Depending on the art style, this can range from merely a lack of highlights to the iris turning into a flat disc of the afflicted's base color. May or may not be accompanied by tired lines in the face. This trope is never a good sign.

Often goes hand in hand with the HeroicBSOD, and can betray a StepfordSmiler to the audience, although none of the characters in-story seem to notice the eye problem.

This can be TruthInTelevision, because sad, shocked, or tired people tend to slightly lower their head, which causes the upper part of the eyes, which is normally reflecting the light, to be concealed. When the person recovers naturally or when dealing with a recent trauma, this is a case of the ThousandYardStare; Dull Eyes of Unhappiness are a chronic problem that do not show noticeable improvement over time.

Subtrope of ReflectionlessUselessEyes. See EmptyEyes for sister tropes.


[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* As Mima from ''Anime/PerfectBlue'' loses her grip on reality, she does this more and more often.
* ''Manga/TokyoMewMew'' has an interesting version; the iris goes completely grey, but still has shines on it.
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'':
** In ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', [[TheWoobie Fate]] [[LoveMartyr Testarossa]] gets these during her [[HeroicBSOD Antivillainous BSOD]] after her [[EvilMatriarch mother]] [[AbusiveParents Precia]] reveals [[ArtificialHuman what her]] [[ReplacementGoldfish origins]] [[CloningBlues are]].
** Subaru gets them in her fight against [[spoiler: her BrainwashedAndCrazy sister Ginga]] in ''[[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers StrikerS]]''.
* Ikeda Kana in ''Manga/{{Saki}}'', [[spoiler: when she's at death's door due to having 0 point in the game]].
* Nayuki Minase from ''VisualNovel/{{Kanon}}'' has a severe case of Dull Eyes during [[spoiler: her HeroicBSOD after Akiko got hit by a car.]] PowerOfFriendship snaps her out of it, though.
* In ''Manga/SoulHunter'', during Taikoubou's first HeroicBSOD (where Dakki threw all the people from the village into the snake and alligator pit to get eaten), he is shown to [[http://www.onemanga.com/Houshin_Engi/8/14/ have eyes like this]]. He [[AngstWhatAngst gets over it within a few pages]], though.
* In ''Manga/MoonSubaruSolitudeStanding'', Subaru [[http://www.mangahere.co/manga/moon_subaru_solitude_standing/v02/c023/ sports them]] after her past has been broadcasted on Japanese TV without her knowledge.
* In ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic: The Second Raid'', Sousuke is shown to have eyes like this during his HeroicBSOD. More pronounced in the Sigma manga, where there are several pages with his [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/full_metal_panic_sigma/v02/c007/25.html eyes]] [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/full_metal_panic_sigma/v02/c007/31.html looking]] [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/full_metal_panic_sigma/v02/c007/32.html like]] [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/full_metal_panic_sigma/v02/c007/42.html this]]. In fact, his eyes losing the light and [[ReflectiveEyes reflectiveness]] in them is actually brought up in-series by [[spoiler: [[StalkerWithACrush Gauron]]]], who laments how Sousuke has lost the [[WhatBeautifulEyes beautiful, untainted emotion and clearness in them]] (including a flashback shot of Sousuke's eyes being [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sousuke_eyes.jpg incredibly sparkly and glowy]], in a GaussianGirl manner).
** Also in ''TSR'', Mao notes the 'despair eyes' of CreepyChild Yu Lan, who with her sister has a similar tragic past to Sousake.
* ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'': Invoked by Belldandy whenever she experiences jealousy over seeing other women flirting with Keiichi, after which she tends to [[PowerIncontinence accidently]] make [[StuffBlowingUp stuff blow up.]]
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'':
** Edward Elric has these during his first meeting with Mustang [[spoiler:[[CameBackWrong with]] [[TheReveal good]] reason]].
** On closer inspection Maes Hughes actually has this, due to his experiences [[WarIsHell in Ishval]].
* In various instances, these happen in ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' whether by mind control or through the [[MagicMusic effects of]] the [[VillainSong songs some villains sing]].
* Hei from ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' always seems to have this combined with black eyes. Though, knowing his DarkAndTroubledPast it really isn't all that surprising.
* Asuna in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' is drawn this way based on the her state of amnesia regarding her DarkAndTroubledPast. Upon regaining said memories, she went into a blank catatonia for days. She also sports these in the first anime [[spoiler: when she dies]] and again in chapter 352 upon [[spoiler: seeing Negi's grave]].
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''
** Naruto has these shown throughout after he is told that [[spoiler: Jiraiya is dead]].
** Sasuke has these constantly due to his horrific past and present which is especially noticeable following the TimeSkip.
** Sasuke's older brother, [[HeartbrokenBadass Itachi]] is shown with eyes like these when is Sharingan isn't activated. And [[StoicWoobie with]] [[IDidWhatIHadToDo good]] [[DeathSeeker reason.]]
* ''Anime/DigimonFrontier'': Taking advantage of Koichi's loneliness and sadness, Cherubimon erases his memory, resulting in his expressive blue eyes becoming pale black (and making a small slasher smile), before using his tainted Duskmon form to digivolve into Velgemon.
* Sakurako from ''Manga/AiKora'' gets these from time to time. Since the protagonist, Maeda, thinks she has beautiful eyes, he's quick to notice this (and freak out).
* Hiro from ''Manga/HidamariSketch'' has when she wakes up, since she is NotAMorningPerson.
* ''Anime/SailorMoon'':
** After [[spoiler:Rei fights a youma in the finale of the first season and is killed, after all the other inner scouts have died fighting,]] Usagi's eyes become blank and [[HeroicBSOD she shuts down.]]
** She also gets blank eyes when she [[spoiler:turns into Princess Serenity]] for the first time.
** People's eyes also become blank when their pure hearts are taken in the S season. [[spoiler: And Usagi also sports them briefly after her and Saturn's fight against Pharaoh 90, when she returns with baby!Hotaru in her arms.]]
** Around half of ''Super S'', Usagi gets these eyes again [[spoiler: when her Dream Mirror is ''shattered'' in pieces]].
** This also happens to Usagi when [[spoiler:the Silver Crystal is shattered on reentry]] at the end of the Sailor Moon R movie but it could be because [[spoiler:She's dead]]. It's about like it is with the before mentioned Dream Mirror.
* ''Manga/DeathNote'':
** Light Yagami has these in episode 1 [[spoiler:before finding his "purpose."]] Also in episode 26 when [[spoiler:[[AntagonistInMourning trying to adjust to a world without L in it.]]]]
** Naomi gets these too once Light tells her he's Kira and she [[spoiler: walks off to die]]. Although, [[spoiler:considering ''how and why'' she's going to die, they could easily [[MindControlEyes be another look.]]]]
** Speaking of Light, he also has it in episode 19 when he's thinking about being Kira without having any memory of it.
** Happens to Mello when he removes his motorcycle helmet during the Takada mission. This is likely because a) he just found out that [[spoiler: his best friend Matt was killed]] and b) he knew he'd likely be next.
* Kaede Fuyou of ''VisualNovel/{{Shuffle}}'' starts displaying these in the anime at her mother's funeral, when she starts losing her will to live. Much later, the same happens after Rin starts spending more time with Asa.
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter's'' Gon is currently featured for the trope image. He gets these in Chapters 304 and 305 (and for the anime, Episodes 130 and 131) after [[spoiler: finding out that Kite is dead]].
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** Momo Hinamori gets them when [[spoiler: finding Aizen impaled to the wall with his sword]]. It lasts until [[UnstoppableRage Gin shows up]]. [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope Her rage turned out to be stoppable, sadly]].]]
** She gets them like that again much later, when [[spoiler: Hitsugaya is tricked into impaling ''her''. By Aizen.]]
** Orihime gets it as well when [[spoiler:she's forced to admit to Ulquiorra that by wearing the Arrancar dress, she belongs to Aizen.]]
* ''Anime/{{Gankutsuou}}'': Seen in episode 9, while Franz is musing about his unrequited [[HoYay love]] for Albert.
* ''Manga/BlackLagoon'': Anytime Revi's eyes lose their luster, it's a sign that she's in [[AxCrazy Whitman Fever]] mode and is incredibly dangerous to be around.
* Souji Kuonji's eyes are drawn this way for most of the OAV adaptation of the H game ''Ko-ko-ro...'' to show how deeply the abuse at the hands of his parents, [[spoiler:as well as the trauma surrounding their deaths and that of his older sister, Kasumi,]] has scarred him. He begins to come out of his deep funk towards the end of the second episode, thanks to his budding relationship with Mizuki, but Asuka subtly nudges him into revisiting [[spoiler:the day of the murders]], stigmatizing him severely and causing his dull eyes to return, seemingly permanently.
* ''Manga/PandoraHearts'': Oz's eyes go dull upon finding out about [[spoiler: Alice's death]] in Cheshire's world. The eyes remain as his [[HeroicBSOD BSOD]] ends in favor of ''[[FreakOut trying to destroy the entire dimension.]]'' This, of course, would be very bad for everyone still inside.
* The {{Magical girl}}s from ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' get this [[spoiler: after their Soul Gem is taken away from them. Though they're dead at that point, since the name of the Soul Gems is [[SoulJar quite literal.]]]] Sayaka also gets this a few times as [[spoiler:she inches ever so closer to the DespairEventHorizon]].
* Done chillingly with both Asuka and Shinji in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' during the respective points at which they reach catatonic levels of depression.
* All three main characters from ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'' have these eyes at one point or another during their angst filled stories, most notably:
** After Guts [[spoiler:assassinates Count Julius and killed his son, which he was not anticipating and was quite disturbed by the aftershock.]]
*** Guts seems to have these persistently after the Eclipse. Guts has these mainly because his remaining eye is almost always in [[WideEyesAndShrunkenIrises shrunken iris mode]] and he is almost always either [[HeartBrokenBadass angry or sad.]] However, one notable moment gives life back to his eye when [[spoiler: he learns that Casca might be cured again, and he gives a genuine smile to match.]]
** When Casca [[spoiler:almost commits suicide by jumping off a cliff upon realizing her dream of being Griffith's sword and woman were over]], she gets this.
** [[spoiler:Post-tortured]] and [[spoiler: Post HeroicBSOD following Guts leaving him]] Griffith. All the time.
* Both Yamato and Sora get this in ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' when they're being affected by the Dark Ocean.
* After [[spoiler:Enishi's apparent murder of Kaoru]], the titular character of ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' shows these eyes.
* ''Manga/YourLieInApril'':
** PlayedForLaughs at the start of episode 5. Kaori's eyes suddenly become this when the gang visit her without knocking the door and sneak an accidental peek at her while she was naked and receiving a sponge bath from nurse.
** Played straight at episode 20 [[spoiler:from a traumatized Kousei on his way home after he was visit Kaori only to see her health take a sharp turn for the worst]].
* ''Manga/YuruYuri'':
** Played for laughs in the anime with [[spoiler: Akari]] getting them after [[spoiler: Chinatsu, rather forcefully, kisses her in Episode 5]]. Complete with teardrop for added effect.
** Happens to [[spoiler: Akari]] again by [[spoiler: Chinatsu]]'s doing, again, in season 2. This time, she gave [[spoiler: Akari]] a torturous "massage."
* In ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'', White gets these (as well has having them full of tears) after [[spoiler:her Tepig abandons her for N and she falls out of the Ferris Wheel out of shock]].
* The title character of ''Manga/MoritaSanWaMukuchi'' [[PlayingWithATrope plays with this]]; sure, she's got the eyes and freaks people out, but she's really just a fairly normal, if quiet, highschool girl.
* Sion from ''LightNovel/{{No 6}}'' gets these in episode 10 when [[spoiler: killing the guard who tried to kill Nezumi]].
* In ''Manga/WolfGuyWolfenCrest'', poor Aoshika is totally lifeless after being horrifically [[BreakTheCutie stripped of her personhood]] after undergoing hours of continuous [[spoiler: gang rape]] at the hands of Haguro and his men.
* ''Anime/NagiAsuALullInTheSea'': Manaka has these at the end of episode 22 when it's revealed that she [[spoiler: has lost the ability to fall in love.]]
* ''Manga/FutureDiary'':
** These are one of the most obvious tells that Yuno is in [[HeroicSafeMode kill]] [[TranquilFury mode]]: her eyes go from vibrant to ''completely dull and emotionless.''
** Yuki has these as he's being held captive by Yuno.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'': Simon suffers an extreme case that lasts for ''several episodes on end'' as he falls into a horrific stint of grief. The cause was [[spoiler: the death of his beloved blood brother and greatest friend, Kamina]].
* In ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo'', we watch as this happens to Okuru's eyes in his flashback. He returns to his village to find it destroyed and in flames, and his wife collapses and dies right in front of him. Over the course of a couple of seconds his eyes change from normal to dull. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEkNxpUhndk&t=0m59s Watch for yourself]]. Mugen later compares them to the eyes of someone who is already dead.
* ''Manga/{{Chobits}}'': In the anime, the characters' eyes are usually depicted this way, to the point of seeming to be a stylistic quirk, until a major shift occurs: [[spoiler: Chi's program gives all the [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots persocoms]] normal-looking eyes]]. By contrast, [[spoiler:the human characters]] continue to be drawn in this style. [[NotSoDifferent There are multiple]] [[LuddWasRight ways to interpret]] [[AloneInACrowd what this means]].
* Sekai and Kotonoha and even [[spoiler: Makoto]] get this once or twice in ''VisualNovel/SchoolDays''. It's more notorious in the second's case as she gets them more often than the other two. See the Visual Novels part for more details.
* ''Anime/{{Noir}}'': When Kirika's eyes get like this, it's serves as an indicator that she's just gone from dangerous to Death Incarnate.
* ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero'': Loiuse's eyes grow dim whenever she's about to cast a powerful spell.
* ''Manga/BlackButler'': [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]] with Ciel. Although his eyes still have a normal amount of luster, he also had a ''lot'' more sparkle before [[YouKilledMyFather everything]] [[DoomedHometown went to]] [[BreakTheCutie shit]].
* [[spoiler:Shizuru]] from ''Anime/MaiHiME'' gets these briefly during her FaceHeelTurn, but they're only really noticeable right after [[spoiler:she attacks Haruka and Yukino]].
* Haruka Kotoura of ''Manga/KotouraSan'' initially has these (of the 'no iris' variety) after far too many {{Heroic BSOD}}s to count in her life, which thankfully doesn't last too long in-show. Her mother also has a pair of these, though they last far longer than her daughter's.
* Crona from ''Manga/SoulEater'' has them as [[AmbiguousGender hir]] default look. Which is not really surprising given hir awfully DarkAndTroubledPast.
* In ''Anime/{{Free}}'', though it's subtle, Haruka's eyes are much brighter as a child. We're given a comparison in the first episode with the scene cuts from a shot of kid Haruka's eyes to an older, much more apathetic looking Haruka with duller eyes. As the anime progresses the brightness returns, and he also begins to express much more emotion.
* Happens frequently in ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', thanks to the traumatic experiences endured by the cast. A few examples include:
** Mikasa gets them after Armin informs her that [[spoiler: Eren was (supposedly) dead]].
** BrokenBird Annie has them as a default expression, though she plays it off as being bored with everyone around her. The rare moments WhenSheSmiles reveal she's hiding a much warmer personality being her icy exterior.
** Levi looks fairly detached most of the time, but his eyes only become dead upon discovering [[spoiler: the bodies of his squad]]. It's a hint of the UnstoppableRage he's preparing to unleash.
** During the cleanup operation at Trost, the characters are all wearing handkerchiefs over their faces. This leaves the focus on their eyes, as they take in the horrible aftermath of the battle. When Jean discovers the body of [[spoiler: Marco]], his eyes become glassy and unfocused.
** Bertolt when [[spoiler: Eren calls him a monster and promises to make his death as painful as possible]]. Combined with his TroubledFetalPosition, it just makes him look defeated.
* Miho has this in the first episode of ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'', after being told to take Tankery by the student council, which results in her having a blank, unchanging stare, until she and her new friends, Saori and Hana, were in the nurse's office.
** Apparently PlayedForLaughs in the ''Motto Love Love Sakusen'' spin-off manga where some characters would sport these when they see something embarrassingly wrong. An example would be when [[http://www.batoto.net/read/_/216449/girls-und-panzer-motto-love-love-sakusen-desu_ch8_by_ak-scanlations/24 Miho received a Christmas picture message from her elder sister.]]
* [[NationsAsPeople Russia]] from ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' gets these to show when he gets too upset to keep his cool, since he's [[StepfordSmiler almost always calmly smiling regardless of his mood.]] [[http://i538.photobucket.com/albums/ff345/DarkBlueSinger/Hetalia%20Resources/Lithuania.jpg Looks like it rubbed off on Lithuania, too.]] Some characters have these permanently, such as Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland.
* A second before [[{{Yandere}} Katejina Loos]] of ''Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam'' snaps and gets blasted in the face by V2 Assault-Buster's Wings of Light, her eyes turn into this. [[spoiler: After the whole thing, she is seen on a wheelchair, completely blinded, completely dull, and completely helpless. FateWorseThanDeath indeed.]]
* Bruno from ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'' seems to naturally have these, despite being quite happy most of the time. They could signify his status as an amnesiac, [[spoiler: or the fact that he's actually a robot with a DarkAndTroubledPast]].
* In ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'', Miaka notes that Yui's eyes are unusually dull and that something seems different about her, when Miaka first sees her at the Palace of Kutou, before learning of Yui's [[spoiler: alleged]] rape. However, this is [[InformedAttribute not really apparent to the audience]].
* In the final episode of ''Anime/HaibaneRenmei'', Reki's already dark eyes have a dull, dead look to them after [[spoiler:she learns her true name]] and breaks down.

[[folder: Art]]
* A characteristically understated field of modern art is neo-realism and its era/culture-specific splinters, such as the New Objectivity of Weimar Germany. While this trope is obviously not used in every single example of every single school, it is at least somewhat common when depicting and using the human "gaze". Examples include many works by [[http://www.all-art.org/art_20th_century/schad1.html Christian Schad]] (NSFW warning - some paintings depict nudity and sexual themes) and [[http://poulwebb.blogspot.com/2011/05/meredith-frampton-portraitist.html Meredith Frampton]].

[[folder:Audio Play]]
* Each girl from ''AudioPlay/YandereNoOnnaNoKo'' show two pictures, one where she looks normal and another where her eyes lose their sparkle and she's wielding her WeaponOfChoice.
* Some of the artwork for the ''AudioPlay/YandereHeaven'' series depict the boys with empty eyes.

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* A rare case of the trope happening in western comics: in ''Series/TheTwilightZone: The After Hours'', a young woman who believes she's being stalked by the department store's mannequins, discovers that she herself is a mannequin. Unable to accept that her entire life and memories as a human were all an illusion, she enters a very brief semi-catatonic state, where her eyes glaze over her tired face.
* In the last arc of ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'', where the characters were often depicted with glossy eyes, Molly develops a pronounced case of dull eyes while watching over Klara, who's recently suffered a mild concussion and a bit of MindRape. In this case, the unhappiness stems from a mix of concern for her friend, profound exhaustion, and a growing distrust of her teammates (who were responsible for the aforementioned mind rape.)

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' fanfic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11886910/1/Gankona-Unnachgiebig-Unità Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità]]'': After Germany pulled out a Browning Hi Power on Japan and Japan pulled out his katana on Germany, Italy [[RageBreakingPoint had had enough of their]] [[CockFight cock fight]].
-->It only took one look at the utterly ''devastated'' form of their precious beloved, one look at normally limpid brown eyes ''dead'' with misery and grief to do all three to those two nations. Simultaneously. And then some.
* Shows up in a few fanfictions by [[http://www.fimfiction.net/user/kalash93 Kalash93.]] The single greatest example is [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/81159/1/racer-and-the-geek/predawn Racer And The Geek,]] where Sunny Breeze almost always has this expression. They also figure into [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/72998/1/last-one-standing/last-one-standing Last One Standing.]]
* Invoked in the Naruto fanfic [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8963527/14/Tale-of-the-Setting-Sun Tale of the Setting Sun]] after Naruto is told by Kakashi [[spoiler:he is a [[SealedInSideAPersonShapedCan jinchuuriki]] and that the Kyuubi was sealed inside him by his own father.]]
* In ''Fanfic/RobbReturns'', Willas sees the light in Mace's eyes fade when [[spoiler:Otherbane [[OnlyTheChosenMayWield rejects him]].]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* In ''Dragon and Phoenix'', Shei-Luin sees the Emperor's newest concubine, the absolutely hapless Lady Nama. They meet eyes and Shei-Luin is shocked.
--> She had never seen such emptiness in another's eyes; it was as if this woman's soul had fled. Even as Shei-Luin wondered if this was no human woman but a fox-ghost come to trick Xiane, the other woman stared up at the palace, and all-too-human despair filled her face.
* ''Literature/IAmNotASerialKiller'': When [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire Elijah]] gets a good look at John's face, the first thing he mentions is the "buried pain". Before learning his name, Elijah calls him "the boy with the dead eyes".
* In ''Literature/ThoseThatWake'', people corrupted by hopelessness have these eyes.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' while Arya is an apprentice among the Faceless Men, her mentor the kindly man refers to her "sad gray eyes that have seen so much".
* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', seems to become the default state of those who have had a long stay at Azkaban. It is noted more than once that Sirius still has a dead look in his eyes, even a few years after he broke out. That doesn't mean hes always unhappy though.
* In ''Dustbin Baby'' by Creator/JacquelineWilson, April visits the grave of her former adoptive mother Janet, who committed suicide after many years of depression. The headstone has a picture of Janet on her wedding day. April notes how bright Janet's eyes are in the photo, and sadly remembers that the brightness was gone when April knew her.

[[folder: Music]]
* Referenced in Music/PinkFloyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".
-->''"Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun''\\
''Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky."''

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''[[VideoGame/AdvancedVariableGeo Advanced V.G. II]]'': Seen during the storymode cutscene where Tamao visits Yuka at her hotel room and finds her [[HeroicBSOD virtually listless]], due to suffering from guilt [[ItsAllMyFault over the deaths of K-1 and K-2.]]
* Yurika Kirishima of ''VideoGame/RivalSchools'' has these almost all the time, largely because she's a reluctant LadyOfWar and her younger brother Kurow's a domineering PsychoForHire.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Gungnir}}'', most characters' eyes will have some highlight to them depending on the angle, but not so for Julio, the protagonist--in ''every'' released piece of art featuring him thus far. As it's also apparently his destiny to cause mass destruction with a horrifically powerful demonic weapon, it's fair to say that ''something'' is up with this kid. It doesn't show in his [[{{Keet}} perky]], [[{{Adorkable}} cheerful]] disposition, but it sure shows on his face.
* [[spoiler: Orson]] from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'', after we learn that [[spoiler: not only he's a traitor to Renais, but that [[DespairEventHorizon he been gone off the deep end for a while already]].]].
* ''VideoGame/MadFather'': Most of the eponymous character's former victims sport these, bar some. Maria has these [[spoiler:during her backstory (she was homeless and on the verge of starvation, it seems)]], and Aya also has them in one ending. [[spoiler:Because she's dead -- or more accurately a doll.]]
* In ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'', Alicia has this [[spoiler: when she is in Valkyria mode]] in Chapter 14.
* ''Videogame/YandereSimulator'': Students who've had their minds broken through ColdBloodedTorture have this look. You can then take them to school and ask them to perform a MurderSuicide. The VillainProtagonist herself can have this if she becomes "visibly insane", though it's less unhappiness and more the MaskOfSanity slipping, revealing her true nature as a murderous psychopath.
* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies''. Poor Athena gets these when a particular incident in her past is brought up...[[spoiler:and, during the flashback, we get to see her thousand-yard stare right after the actual murder. Unsettling, at the very least]].
* Ayumi Tachibana has these as her default expression in ''[[VideoGame/DetectiveClub Famicom Detective Club: The Girl in Back]]''. Considering that Yoko Kojima, the murder victim, was her best friend, it's a pretty justifiable expression. Her homeroom teacher Tatsuya Hibino also has these as well, for similar reasons.

[[folder: Visual Novels ]]
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'', this is what [[spoiler:Kohaku]]'s facade looks like every now and then by the end of Hisui's ending; however, rather than appearing sad, it's actually rather creepy.
* In ''VideoGame/MeltyBlood'', Tohno Shiki's eyes completely lose their light and pupils whenever something angers him to a certain extent. For example, in Actress Again, Roa's very presence causes Shiki's eyes to become this way. Rather than unhappiness, this is meant to signify complete erasure of emotion; it's meant to show his will to kill.
* When this trope is in play in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', it generally means the character is so broken by that point, they're practically dead inside. For instance, Souichirou Kuzuki does not have light in his eyes at any point during any route. [[TheStoic Nor does he smile, or show any expression at all.]] [[spoiler: He only has an important role in UBW, and his character is explored enough that it's understandable.]]
** Kotomine Kirei has these all the time as well; both no irises and both no eye reflection. He had them [[Literature/FateZero ten years ago back when he was younger]], too. It's most likely a reflection of his personality [[spoiler:the same way as Shiki's above--that he's an "empty" person.]] Kiritsugu's are drawn the same way and probably for a similar reason.
** Sakura Matou likewise has eyes like this--a result of [[spoiler:being tortured and raped since age five by, respectively, her adoptive grandfather and brother.]]
** Also of the Franchise/{{Nasuverse}}, Shiki from ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai''. Although her eyes reflect highlights just fine, they're never drawn with pupils; just dull brown irises. Shiki's personality isn't as simple as 'unhappy', but it's one of the first indicators that she's not quite right.
*** It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance, but [[spoiler: Lio Shirazumi]] also has these during his brief cameo in the second movie. He loses them by the seventh movie.
* Yukitsuki and Shizuku from ''VisualNovel/FragmentsNote''. Especially creepy due to their respective eye colors; purple for Yukitsuki, and a weird black-red meld for Shizuku.
* Same with Kotonoha from ''VisualNovel/SchoolDays''. She gets better [[spoiler:but only briefly.]]
** Koto has them in the two bad endings involving her [[spoiler: (when she's SpurnedIntoSuicide ''and'' when she cuts off Sekai's throat and kills her]]), but [[spoiler:Sekai]] has those too in the original game. Only once, but it's more than enough: [[spoiler:it's during the ''other'' bad ending, the one where she stabs Makoto to death.]]
*** However, in the new UsefulNotes/PlayStation endings where [[spoiler: Sekai kills Kotonoha by either pushing her in front of a train or stabbing her off-screen]], she does '''not''' have these eyes. This implies that [[spoiler: while Kotonoha ''is'' effectively {{Yandere}} in her bad endings, Sekai is ''sane'' in hers, except for the Makoto-killing one.]] [[InternetBackdraft And the fandom has reacted accordingly.]]
*** And none other than [[spoiler: '''Makoto''']] gets them in ''Cross Days''. [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/makoto_wtffff_6533.jpg See them here.]] For worse, it's during quite the TearJerker scene: [[spoiler: when you fail to get Yuuki's good ending -- which means, Yuuki leaves Makoto's life completely and despite his own love for Makoto... who then gets these eyes as he crosses the DespairEventHorizon.]]
* Happens in ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' frequently; Satoko (once shown above) gets these when she is in the hands of her uncle, and Rena when it's her turn to break [[spoiler:and when she's under influence the syndrome or remembering her dealings with Oyashiro-sama.]] It happens to Rika [[spoiler:whenever she dies. [[KillEmAll Or when anyone dies, for that matter.]]]]
* Bernkastel of ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry''. Always. For some reason. [[spoiler:Serves as a big fat red flag as to her true nature.]]
** Battler gets these during his HeroicBSOD in the anime.
** [[spoiler:Beatrice]] gets this after Arc 4, where [[spoiler:she can't leave the board until someone wins. This persists into the fifth arc when she becomes a hopeless, living doll.]] Also, [[spoiler:Battler, when he gets trapped in a logic error.]]
* Komari's bad end in ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'' Add to it the creepy music and dialogue, and the brief moment that she shows her "sad face" instead is the silver lining of a very, very dark cloud.
** Also, Kud near the end of her route. Her eyes light up again when Riki speaks to her, though, and she ultimately gets better.
* [[{{Hikikomori}} Kouta Meoshi]] in ''VisualNovel/SweetFuseAtYourSide'' has flat black eyes with no highlights and no visible differentiation between iris and pupil. He's the only character whose eyes are drawn in this style, which serves to highlight his withdrawn, depressed demeanor.

[[folder: Webcomics]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fan comic ''Webcomic/MotherlyScootaloo'', the titular character gets them [[http://motherlyscootaloo.tumblr.com/post/32001587370/part-1-part-2-part-3-part-4-part-5-scootaloo here]], [[http://motherlyscootaloo.tumblr.com/post/45885098673 here]], [[http://motherlyscootaloo.tumblr.com/post/36648073779 here]] and [[http://motherlyscootaloo.tumblr.com/post/36712378649/there-will-be-a-short-break-between-the-end-of here]].

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* Stu in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' has these when he's [[MemeticMutation lost control of his life]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vs55Z7t7bk Here's your pudding Angelica...]]
* WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}. Although the style of the show leaves most characters' eyes simplistic looking, hers seem flatter and more expressionless compared to everyone else's.
* Lemongrab of ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime.'' Seeing as how he's perpetually unhappy and has problems relating to people in social situations, it's understandable. (Of course, they'll get bigger and more expressive if you bother him enough...) Interestingly, his eyes are USUALLY like this, even when he's screaming.) He's one of the few examples where completely dull eyes are hilarious, because his facial expressions often don't match his SCREAMING tone of voice.
* Quilby from ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'' has one of these after witnessing the 12 royal members of the World of 12 bicker selfishly amongst themselves about the minor details of who will pay for when his people escape from the dimension. How the camera focuses on his eyes at this time heavily suggests he is not pleased.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Motorcity}}'', when a Burner succumbs to the effect of the Terra's gas pod and see their greatest fears, their eyes go all black with a white dot (the opposite of their eyes' color palette).
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E26TwilightsKingdomPart2 Twilight's Kingdom Part 2]]'':
** Very briefly, but after Tirek drains Twilight, the color in her eyes go to dull grey. Once Discord gives her the medallion and it's revealed to be the final key needed to open the box, her eyes and those of her friends are returned to normal.
** Also happens to the other ponies and Discord when Tirek drains their magic. When the mane characters are locked in the cage, Spike is the only one whose eyes are normal.
** It happens to Celestia, Luna, and Cadance, as well. If one watches closely as the Princesses are released and their magic is restored, their eyes are duller in color than when we saw them get sent to Tartarus, indicating they sensed when their magic became Tirek's, and lost hope. When their magic is returned, their eyes return to normal.

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* As mentioned above, this has a tendency to show up with depression, but equally so with natural tiredness, so don't read too much into it if you happen to see this trope in public.
** Also tends to happen with naturally shy people, who have trouble making eye contact, even if they're perfectly fine emotionally.
** Used extensively against [[Music/BritneySpears various]] [[Creator/TomCruise celebrities]] to prove they are "crazy" or "depressed" or that "something happened to them", usually wrongly, as judging somebody by their eyes is subjective.
* "Blank" or very inexpressive eyes are often an outward symptom of several kinds of autism, a neurological condition whose primary characteristics include difficulty expressing emotions and social interaction. It doesn't mean that an autistic person with a blank expression or "dull" eyes is unhappy. They may be in a pleasant mood, but their mood may not register as a facial expression.
* Lots of people stare blankly ahead when deep in thought, or just have "neutral" as their baseline facial expression.
* This or EmptyEyes may be a visible manifestation of dissociation, a self-protective partial withdrawal from reality.