[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/PresentAndFutureTwilight_3827.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"Is there some sort of epic pony war in the distant future or something?"[[note]][[NextSundayAD Actually, she's from next Tuesday morning.]][[/note]] ]]

->'''Kevyn:''' The bolted patch looks very roguish.
->'''Ennesby:''' I don't ''want'' 'roguish,' I want 'depth perception.'
-->-- ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary''

A quick way to indicate that events during a TimeSkip (or in [[BadFuture the future]]) were not all hugs-n-puppies is to have one of your heroes return wearing an eyepatch.

The reasons a missing eye is used so consistently for this purpose (instead of, for example a missing limb or massive scarring), are:
* It doesn't reduce the character's capabilities. (In real life, the lack of depth perception and vision on that side can be very troublesome, but in fiction [[InformedFlaw this only comes up if the writer wants it to]].)
* In a live-action production, removing an actor's arm (et cetera) is hard to fake with special effects, and scars require makeup. A patch is easy.
* Scars elsewhere on the body are less obvious, and may be covered by clothing, but a character's eyes are usually front-'n'-center.
* [[EyepatchOfPower Eyepatches]] [[RuleOfCool are cool]].

To qualify for this trope, the eyepatch has to be ''unexplained'' when the reader/viewer first encounters it. Any explanation must come later. This is usually a sign that they TookALevelInBadass, and as such is a common accoutrement of a FutureBadass.

Possibly caused by an EyeScream.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In the epilogue of ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'', Integra is wearing an eyepatch over the eye she injured while fighting the Major.
* [[spoiler: Asuka]] gained one for ''[[Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion Evangelion 3.0]]'', [[spoiler:which takes place 14 years after ''2.0'']].
* A variation is used in ''Franchise/OnePiece''. After the timeskip, Zoro is in fact missing an eye, but so far hasn't been seen to use an eyepatch. How he lost his eye has yet to be explained.
* After the TimeSkip in ''Manga/TheDaughterOfTwentyFaces'', Ken dons one. [[spoiler:This also marks a turning point towards DarkerAndEdgier for him.]]
* Roy showed up with one in ''[[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist The Conquerer of Shamballa]]'', the movie finishing the series after a timeskip.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* NickFury gained his EyepatchOfPower during the two-decade time skip that turned him from a Howling Commando into an Agent of SHIELD.
* After the "Five Year Gap" in ''ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}'' comic, Shrinking Violet returns with a missing eye and a nasty scar. (But no patch, alas.)
* Jesse Custer of ''Main/{{Preacher}}'' falls out of an airplane and is presumed dead, but mysteriously returns wearing a patch. [[spoiler:Turns out, his eye was ''bitten out by God.'']]
* The CrisisCrossover ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis'' was followed by a TimeSkip called One Year Later. Afterwards, Alan Scott, the original GreenLantern, was sporting an eyepatch (''under'' his domino mask, for some reason). The series ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo'', which occured during the missing year and filled in a lot of the gaps, explained that Alan lost his eye (And the eye he has left is not even his own) in the massive teleportation disaster that swept up many of Earths heroes at the climax of the Crisis. Creator commentary in ''Fifty Two'' reveals that they also felt that the idea of wearing an eyepatch ''and'' a mask was ridiculous.
* In the comics continuation of ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', Brooklyn comes back from his 40 year time dance with a wife, egg, kid, beast and an eyepatch. No official story on how that happened.
* Since at least 1990, Mirage's ''[[ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesMirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'' comic regularly hinted at a unpleasant future for our heroes. Most of these stories would show Raphael missing his left eye. An explanation seemingly comes in ImageComics' Volume 3, where Raph gets disfigured and eventually wears a patch, but this would later be ruled CanonDiscontinuity. It would later be revealed in a 2010 ''Tales of the TMNT'' story that [[spoiler:Shadow cut Raph's eye out during battle]].
** The LighterAndSofter ''TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesAdventures'' also featured a future Raph missing an eye.
* Spike has acquired one for some reason in the short for Issue #4 of ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'', even though both his eyes clearly work fine in the last panel. Perhaps he just felt [[RuleOfCool it looked cool]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries''[']s MyFutureSelfAndMe episode shows that Future Andy has an eyepatch. This is lampshaded by Calvin.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''WesternAnimation/StarshipTroopersInvasion'' takes place chronologically later than [[Literature/StarshipTroopers any other]] [[Film/StarshipTroopers presentation]] [[WesternAnimation/RoughnecksStarshipTroopersChronicles of the franchise]], and gives General Johnny Rico an [[EyepatchOfPower eyepatch]]. The only implied explanation comes by way of [[EyeScream a scar running down his face past where the eye used to be.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In the original 1992-3 airings of ''[[Series/YoungIndianaJones The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles]]'', there were [[FramingDevice opening and closing bookends]] set in the present day (that is, the 1990s). These featured a wizened 93-year-old IndianaJones (played by George Hall), who sported a patch over his right eye, and a pair of glasses over the eyepatch. He also had a long vertical facial scar trailing out from under the patch. No explanation was ever offered for how Indy had lost an eye. The "time skip" element comes into play because Creator/HarrisonFord's Indy of course still has both eyes in the film series, set in the 1930s. These contemporary bookends were later all cut out when [[ReCut George Lucas re-edited the show]] into ''The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones'' in the later part of the decade.
* In the ''Franchise/BattlestarGalactica'' reimagining, Saul Tigh loses his right eye to the Cylons some time during their 4 month occupation of New Caprica.
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'', Sheridan's brief visit to the future in season 3 gives the viewer a glimpse of G'kar, who has for some reason lost his right eye. After Sheridan returns to the present, later seasons show how it happens.
* The future Beka from "older Trance's" timeline in ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' had one, along with some cybernetics and red hair.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', [[spoiler: Amy Pond]] and her army appear with them after time goes [[TimeyWimeyBall wonky]]. Subverted in that they all have two working eyes; the patches contain tech which allows them to "remember" the Silence.
** Earlier, in "The Android Invasion," astronaut Guy Crayford returns home with an eyepatch. His story was that the Kraals reconstructed him except for one eye, [[spoiler: but he later found out that the eye was there, perfectly intact!]]
* Berric Dondarion of ''Series/GameOfThrones'' gains an eyepatch between his first appearance in season 1, when sent on a mission to arrest [[PsychoForHire Gregor]] [[GiantMook Clegane]], and his reappearance in season 3, as a battle-scared RebelLeader. He also [[TheOtherDarrin changes actors between appearances]] (from an extra to a substantive role).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Over the chronological time skip between MyChemicalRomance's music video for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egG7fiE89IU "Na Na Na"]] and their music video for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTgnDLWeeaM "SING"]], the character Jet Star gained an eyespatch.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The PapaWolf version of Nier in the ''VideoGame/NieR Gestalt'' version gains one after the five-year time skip between the first and second acts.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* After an unexpected three months go by in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick,'' we return to find out the bard Elan is wearing a patch. [[spoiler:He's only wearing it to look mysterious. He's silly like that.]]
* During a particularly convoluted bit of flashbacking-and-flashforwarding in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary,'' we meet up with part of the crew after a gap of weeks, to find trusty floating robot Ennesby wearing a patch bolted over one optical sensor. [[spoiler:It's easily fixed once they get their engineer back from the dead.]]
* In the [[BadFuture Futures Trading]] arc of ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'', Dark Smoke Puncher has a huge scar and a glass eye after Doc jumps forward in time.
* Marsha of ''Webcomic/CollegeRoomiesFromHell'' got an eyepatch and went crazy after a time skip caused by holes in Dave's memory.
* In ''Webcomic/{{SSDD}}'' the future version of Norman has a prosthetic eye and is missing his signiature buck teeth. Historical footage of the early days of his revolution show him with an eyepatch.
* Used as a RunningGag in ''Webcomic/JoeLovesCrappyMovies'', whenever a future version of Joe appears. Joe also did a series of bonus sketches showing possible ways he lost the eye (the most popular one being him having [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming donated it to his wife]]).
* [[http://yamara.com/2006/07/20/dickory-dock/ This strip]] of ''{{Yamara}}'' does double duty on eyepatch cliches; not only does the character's future self show up wearing one, she acquired it after going off to be a time pirate. (Well. Time privateer. Close enough.)
* ''MutantNinjaTurtlesGaiden'' follows its inspiration by having this happen to Raphael.
* ''{{Homestuck}}'' has an interesting example. [[spoiler:Sollux]] has his [[EyeScream eyes blown out]] during a duel with [[spoiler:Eridan]]. He then spends the rest of the act with empty eye sockets, but his appearance is otherwise unchanged. When we next see him, it's been [[spoiler:three years]] in-universe, and he's sporting a fashionable pair of eyepatches.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Even ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' utilizes this trope in the episode "It's About Time". Twilight Sparkle encounters a future version of herself sporting a skintight suit, a bandanna, an eyepatch, and a scar on her cheek ([[spoiler:actually a SpyCatsuit, a bandage, a therapeutic eyepatch, and a papercut, respectively]]).
* Moe Szyslak has an eyepatch in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Lisa's Wedding" when Lisa gets her future foretold.
* In the ''TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'' series, Donatello is transported to a BadFuture in "Same As It Never Was." Among the changes are (as you might've guessed), Raphael missing an eye and wearing a patch as an intentional nod to the comics.
* Matrix, the time-skipped Enzo in ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'', has an artificial eye.
* Done extensively in ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': The Movie.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'''s second movie, ''WesternAnimation/TheUltimateEnemy'', the future [[PluckyComicRelief Box Ghost]] has an eyepatch and [[HookHand a hook hand]] primarily to show he's not as much of a pushover any more.
[[/folder]]

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