[[quoteright:283:[[TabletopGame/YuGiOh http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/GoddessWithTheThirdEye_7204.JPG]]]]

->''A pleasant-faced man steps up to greet you\\
He smiles and says he's pleased to meet you\\
Beneath his hat, the strangeness lies\\
Take it off, he's got three eyes''
--> -- '''Music/{{Rush}}''', "The Twilight Zone"

An eye grants sight, and thus symbolizes perception and understanding of the world. Two eyes gives the ability to perceive depth, so what new dimension might we be able to perceive with a third?

This is an OlderThanPrint trope that goes at least back to the [[UsefulNotes/{{Hinduism}} Hindu]] [[Myth/HinduMythology Puranas]], and shows up in various other religions as well. The Third Eye takes the eye's symbolism UpToEleven, representing supernatural and mystical perception, possibly even [[EnlightenmentSuperpowers spiritual enlightenment.]] As such it's not necessarily biological; characters might make a [[PowerGlows glowing]] eye [[PowerTattoo tattoo]] appear on their forehead when using their [[ISenseADisturbanceInTheForce magical perception]] abilities such as AuraVision and BlindfoldedVision.

Aside from the spiritual, a Third Eye is common among {{mutants}}, aliens, and strange creatures. With them it usually provides purely worldly SuperSenses related to vision, especially TrueSight.

As the picture shows, it might be parallel or perpendicular to the two normal eyes. It may also be made more otherworldly by being a different color than the two normal eyes. While this trope is pretty neutral as to heroes and villains, usually evil characters have the mutant type third eye while heroes sport the more "enlightened" mystical one. Either way, expect the owner of the eye to suffer from FreakinessShame if not outright persecution.

It's frequently paired with other EyeTropes and FateAndProphecyTropes. One of the few ways to put ExtraEyes in odd places without incurring EyesDoNotBelongThere. Compare PinealWeirdness -- the third eye is sometimes identified with the pineal gland. Many characters make do with placing a PowerCrystal over this spot. Extra points if it's eye shaped... or ''[[BodyToJewel used to be an eye!]]'' Beware, though, sometimes having a third eye sets you up for a PokeInTheThirdEye.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/SazanEyes:'' Pai and her race, the Sanjiyan Unkara aka. the "Triclops". When Pai's third eye is closed, Pai is in control. When it opens, Parvati takes over.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' [[spoiler:Aizen gets one in the final fight against Ichigo. Along with [[EyesDoNotBelongThere a bunch of other eyes]]]].
* A great deal of demon ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' (most notably Beeelzebumon and Baalmon) have a third eye.
* In ''Dr. Hitomi's Infirmary'', the title character (a {{Cyclops}}) has a younger sister with a third eye. Her personality changes depending on which eyes are open or closed.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'': Tenshinhan, who mediates frequently and his third eye comes into play there, every other time it's just extra eye. Yamcha used to insult him by calling him ''Triclops'' given Tien was a violent asshole before his [[HeelFaceTurn turn around]] the remark was fairly justified.
* Runa in ''Manga/FairyNavigatorRuna'' has one on the back of her neck.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', the [[spoiler: BigBad Father]] has been shown to open up a third eye in his forehead and pop out a spare philosopher's stone.
* Ryuuho Kibe from ''Manga/{{Gamaran}}'' has large vertical eye painted on his forehead. When he takes the Jugan Battle Drug his normal eyes takes the same color scheme of the third one (dark red sclerae and white iris).
* Vampires in ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' have a third eye which they can open through visualization to see through illusions and use as one would use the sight on a sniper rifle. The third eye does not materialize physically, though Alucard [[EyesDoNotBelongThere is rather fond of having multiple eyes when he transforms into shadows]].
* Natsume Zange of ''Manga/InuXBokuSS'' has an eye in the middle of his forehead... [[EyesDoNotBelongThere among other places]]. He's the [[HalfHumanHybrid descendant]] of a hyakume, or "hundred-eyes monster", so that was to be expected. He keeps all except for his left eye covered up with clothes.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' the Sage of Six Paths and his mother, Princess Kaguya, both possessed a Rinnegan containing nine tomoe in their forehead. [[spoiler:Madara gained a third eye once he regained both Rinnegan and used it to trigger the [[LotusEaterMachine Infinite Tsukiyomi]].]]
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. "End of Evangelion" featured [[spoiler:Lilith temporarily]] growing a third eye to absorb something powerful. To be specific, it's the [[spoiler:Tree of Knowledge]]. There were... ''[[{{Squick}} other]]'' connotations to its appearance, however...
** In ''Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion'' [[spoiler:Unit-01]] forms a third eye as it begins its ascension [[spoiler:to a divine {{Energy Being|s}}]].
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'' [[spoiler:Charlotte Pudding, the 35th daughter of Big Mom, showed off her third eye in her first silent appearance... And a hundreds of chapters later, Pudding fully revealed her third eye along with her EvilPlan and boy does [[http://i998.mangareader.net/one-piece/850/one-piece-8711509.jpg it look creepy]]. According to Big Mom, the eye itself should help Pudding read the Poneglyphs' content without understanding the language, like how Roger used his mysterious ability of "hearing the voices of all things" to read Poneglyphs]].
* In ''Manga/RGVeda,'' Taishakuten and [[spoiler:Kujaku]] each have one, although in this case the third eye is a symbol of "sins even a demon wouldn't commit." [[spoiler:Taishakuten got his by eating Ashura-ou, and Kujaku's was because his parents were [[BrotherSisterIncest siblings]].]]
* ''Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei'': Chiri occasionally reveals one.
* The Kishin Asura from ''Manga/SoulEater'' has a major Buddhist motif, so naturally he has a third eye on his forehead... as well as eyes on his hands, eyes in his hair, and ''eyes within his regular eyes''.
* In ''Tanabata no Kuni'', members of a certain family from a TownWithADarkSecret have special abilities which reference the idea of a "window into the soul". One of them involves creating balls of energy which cleanly destroy anything they come into contact with. Using the ability causes a jewel-like eye to form in the middle of one's head. Continual use causes the "jewel" to get larger, and the person to start looking like one of TheGrays- the precursors who were the source of these powers.
* ''LightNovel/TheThirdTheGirlWithTheBlueEye'': All of the Third have a third eye that allows them to interact with technology. ([[spoiler:Honoka has one that enhances her ability to use [[KiManipulation Ki Attacks]].]])
* ''Manga/TheThreeEyedOne'' is about a dimwitted young boy who becomes an EvilGenius with PsychicPowers whenever the bandage over his third eye is removed.
* ''Franchise/YuGiOh'': There are several characters with glowing psychic eyes on the forehead, typically appearing when someone uses or is being controlled by the power of a Millennium Item. The above image is from the card "Goddess with the Third Eye."
* ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'': Hiei has one, which turns out to [[spoiler:have been implanted on his forehead by the CombatMedic Shigure]].
* Starjun from ''Manga/{{Toriko}}'' has an Appetite Demon that resembles a Cyclops. When his Gourmet Cells become stronger after a battle with Toriko, he manifests a Third Eye in his forehead that looks like the Cyclops' eye.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Comicbook/DoctorStrange's Eye of Agamotto, a talisman that sees the true nature of things. He can call it up to his forehead and see through it like a third eye.
* One of the ComicBook/GlobalGuardians in [[Franchise/TheDCU the DC Universe]], Tuatara, hero of New Zealand, had a third eye, allowing him to see things in 4-D (forwards and backwards in time.)
* The title character in ''Comicbook/{{Madman}}'' has a third eye that pops out of his forehead in the form of an antennae.
* In ''ComicBook/MaxRideFirstFlight'', Ari is shown to have three eyes, in contrast to the rest of the Erasers who have the regular two eyes. This probably to mark his status as TheDragon to [[spoiler:Jeb]] whilst the rest of the Erasers are just nameless {{Mooks}}.
* The Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica's alien foe Despero's psychic powers are linked to his third eye.
* The ''ComicBook/{{Muties}}'' story "Third Eye Blind" (probably named after the alternative rock band of same name) is about a drug-addicted mutant whose mutation includes a third eye in the center of her forehead. Her drug abuse keeps the eye closed for most of the story, but when it finally opens, it causes other people to go temporarily blind.
* ''ComicBook/{{Mazeworld}}'': TheDragon to one of the Mazelords is a tattooed man known simply as the Dark One, who has a third eye that grants him both psychic powers and the ability to see into the future.

[[folder:Eastern Animation]]
* The ''Animation/QumiQumi'' episode aptly titled "The Third Eye" features an enchanted eye talisman that embeds into the userís forehead and allows them to turn others into mindless monsters that do their bidding. They easily go mad with power, though.

* The title character of ''Fanfic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf'' as well as the Psyches originally referred to their telepathic abilities as a "third eye", though now they call it a "minds-eye".
* A good chunk of both fanfics and fanfiction about ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'' depict Cecil, the well-informed host of the supernatural town's radio show, as having a third eye. And it ''definitely'' fits...

* One of the "commercial breaks" in ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' features a spooky-looking man asking the viewer if they think they're psychic. In an in-universe example of this trope's symbolic use, a third eye appears on his forehead as he suggests they might be.

* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry refers to using The Sight, which allows him to see the mystical threads and symbolic meaning behind things, as opening his Third Eye, and it's a skill/power inherent to wizards. One subplot of ''Literature/StormFront'' involves a magical drug called [=ThreeEye=] which does the same thing, but inevitably drives the users mad because they aren't trained to handle what they're seeing, and can't turn it off.
* [[spoiler:Bran Stark]] in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has a metaphysical third eye opened by a dream crow with three eyes. She pecks it open. This all leads to what is perhaps the most densely supernatural plot in the books so far.
* The ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'' juvenile series ''Literature/TheGloveOfDarthVader'' has Trioculus, the three-eyed son of the Emperor. Except he's not really the Emperor's son, he's just some random guy with an extra eye on his forehead. The ''real'' son of the Emperor has his third eye on ''the back'' of his head.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', Moiraine wears a blue jewel on her forehead. This is a fashion in her country, but it's later revealed she can use the stone for limited [[CrystalBall scrying]].
* The Celestines in the ''Witches of Eileanan'' universe.
* In the science fiction novel ''Literature/NationOfTheThirdEye'' by K.K. Savage, the opening of the Third Eye plays a central role. It gives access to memories of past lives, as well as the ability to do AstralProjection and travel in the non-physical worlds.
* Creator/IngeborgReflingHagen, when writing her ''Magnum Opus'' (heavily authobiographic), she described how an inner MentorArchetype, which she called "the old one", showed itself like a "grey eye" in her mind. When this happened, insight was preeminent. Those experiences, which the author probably had herself, came after heavy pondering over literary subjects (or tropes and memes).

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** In the story "The Silurians", the eponymous creatures had a third eye in their foreheads that glowed when they used their psychic powers.
** Davros, creator of the Daleks, has a cybernetic blue eye in his forehead in place of his real sunken eyes.
* One of the aliens in ''Series/{{The Twilight Zone|1959}}'' episode "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" has a third eye.
** The lyrics in the page quote Rush song are a reference to this specific episode.
* From ''Series/PowerRangersWildForce'', we have Master Org, who wears a helmet with a mechanical third eye to hide his human heritage, then grows an actual third eye after his org powers reawaken.
* Discussed in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''. Kira and Dax are chatting about guys in the turbolift, and Dax suggests one to Kira to date. Kira replies that his eye weirds her out; his third eye.
* One of the villains in ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' has a third eye. This comes complete with EyeBeams.
* An anthology television series '''called''' ''The Third Eye'' ran on Creator/{{Nickelodeon}} in the early 80s, showing kids' spooky miniseries from the UK and New Zealand. No actual three-eyed people appeared, but [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJTXC9-4lN0 the introductory narration]] before each episode referenced this trope.
* In ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', the enigmatic mystic Noranti has a third eye, which only opens occasionally when she uses psi powers.

* Music/{{Gong}}'s song "Perfect Mystery" - "Look up in the air, the Octave Doctor's there, and when he strokes his gong, your middle eye comes on."
* [[Music/{{Tool}} "PRY-ING O-PEN MY THIRD EYE!]] [[PunctuatedForEmphasis PRY-ING O-PEN MY THIRD EYE!"]]
* In the Music/{{Voivod}} song "Jack Luminous", President X-D uses his third eye to transmit mind-control waves through television screens, which is how he takes over planets.

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* During Wrestling/KevinSullivan's "Satanic" heel run in Florida in the mid-1980s, he would sometimes talk about "the lady with the Third Eye."
* A third eye is part of Ojo Diabolico and Ojo Diabolico Jr's [[TheGimmick gimmick]], the latter of which is also {{red|eyestakewarning}}.

* The God Shiva in Myth/HinduMythology. The Hindu Matsya Purana tells of the fear of the gods when Shiva mourned unceasingly for his dead wife Sati, because a prophecy stated that a new son of Shiva was needed to save the gods from a coming catastrophe. Kama, god of love, shot Shiva with a love arrow to make him fall in love with Parvati, so Shiva grew a third eye and burnt Kama to a crisp with EyeBeams.
** Similar things have happened to the heads of Daksha, Ganesha, and Brahma after offending the god (although the last did have four to spare).
* Shiva is far from alone. Many of the "Shakti" goddesses of Hinduism, including Durga and Kali, have a third eye in their forehead. Shiva's son, the elephant-headed god Ganesha, is frequently depicted with a third eye as well.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erlang_Shen Er Lang Shen,]] a Chinese deity, has one. It can see through disguises.

[[folder:Tabletop RPG]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** Navigators have a third eye which allows them to see in the Warp and navigate starships through it. Meeting the gaze of a Navigator's Third Eye is fatal.
** Draznicht, champion of the Crimson Slaughter unit known as the Ravagers, has a third eye in the centre of his forehead that grants him [[{{Seers}} limited prophetic abilities]].
* ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'':
** The Salubri clan from ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' have a third eye that opens when they use their clan-specific healing powers. The ''antitribu'' Salubri also acquire the third eye, but whereas the main clan's looks peaceful, the ''antitribu'' clan's looks angry.
** The Salubri got their powers via the Wan Kuei, the TabletopGame/KindredOfTheEast, who develop a third eye when they learn a particular set of spiritual powers. While the Salubri's third eye looks like a normal human eye, the Wan Kuei's third eye goes from looking like a circular gemstone to looking like a human eye to looking like a blazing orb as their powers increase.
** The ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' book ''Guardians of the Caerns'' makes a ShoutOut to the Salubri with the third eye as a Metis deformity. Unlike some third eyes, it provides no mechanical bonus (except preserving depth perception if you lose an eye). The book hilariously notes that Metis characters with this deformity may find that Tremere vampires (the traditional enemies of Salubri) attack them on sight for no apparent reason.
* The Daksha Legacy in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' gains one of these in the back of their head, which provides them with the ability to see both behind them and into the AkashicRecords.
* There is a villainous PrestigeClass in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' that has this -- there are sects that worship beholders and some of the most devout cultists can end with a small beholder-kin eye grafted into their foreheads. It can be used to fire various eye-beams but, due to beholders' genetic memory, isn't very conducive to the recipient's sanity.
** There is also a group of psionic items called Third Eyes that can be attached to the wearer's forehead. They can grant the wearer a variety of effects, such as helping them concentrate, telling them when someone is lying to them, or making them immune to mind-reading.
* Sepharans, in the ''TabletopGame/{{Talislanta}}'' supplement ''Midnight Realm''. It's called the Demon Eye, and can be used to invoke various [[BlackMagic nasty magical effects]].

* Kalmah from ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'', although his third eye is canonically blind. Reidak was at first designed to have three eyes, and appears as such in outdated promotional images and games, but the finished figure replaced the third eye on his forehead with a purely decorative "ring".

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/AdventureQuestWorlds'' Chaorruption gives infected a Third Eye
* In ''VideoGame/LostSoulsMUD'', characters have a number of chakras which can be energized, one of which is the ajna chakra, the third eye. Energizing it grants various perceptual benefits, including astral perception.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** Jirachi has one...on its ''stomach''.
** Gastrodon is a large slug with three eyes.
** Sigilyph is a bird-like thing with two eyes on its torso and a head consisting of nothing ''but'' an eye.
** Gengar gains one when using its Mega Evolution.
** Solgaleo and Lunala have third eyes that only appear when they are using certain moves.
* In ''VideoGame/PuzzlePirates'', high-ranking cultists on the Cursed Isles wear tribal masks with a perpendicular third eye.
* A rare unintentional example. The [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Daisy]] trophy in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBrosMelee'' has a third eye ''in the back of its head''. You're able to zoom in close enough behind the hair to see it. Later revisions of ''Melee'' removed the eye, but it's still [[NauseaFuel kinda creepy]] to realize it was there in the first place, especially if you weren't aware of it, beforehand.
* Done oddly in ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}''. The Komeiji sisters have third eyes on their hearts, which are external and don't particularly look like hearts. The third eye lets them read minds, but Koishi has closed hers and as a result she can read and manipulate the subconscious instead.
** Utsuho has a Sauron-esque third eye on her chest.
* In ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIII,'' the hero, Ryu, gains an ability called this, though actually what it does is point the direction he must go with a beam of light.
* World from the ''VideoGame/MagicalDrop'' series.
* ''VideoGame/AgarestSenki'': Vira-lorr.
* In ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'', both Opera and Ernest have third eyes, a trait of the Tetregeniot species. The third game's dictionary mentions that Tetregeniots are extremely good marksmen.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Killer 7}}'', Emir Parkreiner, a person greatly foreshadowed throughout the game, has one, and the eye itself is foreshadowed along with it, most of which also double to the foreshadowing that [[spoiler: Garcian is Emir. When the duel between the two personalities happen, Garcian needs to shoot Emir's third eye]].
* In ''VideoGame/TheWonderful101'', both Prince Vorkken and Immorta have third eyes. They're usually hidden beneath their mask and hat respectively.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'', pureblood Garleans (one of the primary antagonist factions) have one, theorized to give them greater spatial recognition, making them adept at using the guns and war machines they built their empire with. Since they tend to wear helmets, only a few of them can be seen, though Garlean headgear is often stylized to give the appearance of a third eye. Even those who have defected and work with the players usually hide the eye with headgear.
* Some characters in ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' who possess the so-called Devil Gene, such as Jin Kazama (in his [[SuperPoweredEvilSide Devil Jin form]]) and Kazuya Mishima (best seen in ''Tekken 7'' opening cinematics), can grow a third eye under certain circumstances, and this third eye augments their fighting powers (mostly by shooting [[FrickinLaserBeams lasers]] with it).
* Vadasi from ''VideoGame/{{Gigantic}}'' possesses a third eye, from which she can project beams of light that heal allies or damage enemies. It's also implied that its gaze is capable of seeing the truth in a person, and that she uses it for interrogating criminals.
* The secretive and mystical [[{{Ninja}} Sheikah]] tribe from ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' have sported an [[http://media3.teenormous.com/items/ih3.redbubble.net/work.6971253.1.fc-550x550-white.v3.jpg eye symbol]] with a stylized teardrop on their clothes and relics since ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]''. Sometimes they've sported said symbol as a forehead tattoo similarly to the original Hindu context, as with Impa in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'' and Paya in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild Breath of the Wild]]''.
* The Star in {{Furi}} opens up an extra eye on his forehead in the later stages of the fight. It's not a weak point or a weapon and he doesn't seem to need any more visual information, so it must just be for intimidation.
* Psycarrot, part of the Root Pack in ''VideoGame/{{Cuphead}}'' opens a third eye to attack Cuphead with psychic waves.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* {{Discussed|Trope}} and {{convers|ationalTroping}}ed in ''VisualNovel/{{Ever17}},'' though no one has one. [[spoiler:But it marks the point where the Kid is slowly starting to figure out that something is definitely wrong here with the way time is going.]]
* Hajun, the sixth heaven of the Throne from ''VisualNovel/KajiriKamuiKagura'' has a third eye that allows him to view all creation as whole. Due to his extreme egocentric focus its mostly useless to him though.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Juno in ''Webcomic/AtomicLaundromat'' plays this trope straight.
* Technically a [[ExtraEyes fifth eye]], sported by Cyrus Anubis of ''Webcomic/ItsMidnightSomewhere'', who claims to be religiously enlightened but only comes across as overzealous and arrogant.
* ''Webcomic/KillSixBillionDemons'': The Magus Stone [[http://killsixbilliondemons.com/?comic=ksbd-1-17 in Allison's forehead]] is one, as it allows her to comprehend Ascended Speech, and ascension is connected to enlightenment.

* ''Roleplay/RubyQuest'': [[spoiler: Ruby]]'s Cure-granted LovecraftianSuperpower is one of these. When [[spoiler: she]]'s looking through it alone, [[spoiler: she]] sees a darkened view of her surroundings with certain hidden things highlighted in red.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', Goliad (Princess Bubblegum's sphinx-like replacement for when she dies) has a third eye which she uses to control people and to read their minds.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', "Combustion Man" has an eye-shaped PowerTattoo (we hope) on his forehead based directly off the Hindu God Shiva's eye, complete with the three stripes of ash crossing it. Like Shiva, he can fire explosive blasts from it. P'Li from the SequelSeries ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' has similar abilities, although the design is different.
* On ''WesternAnimation/CelebrityDeathmatch'' Music/WillieNelson defeated Tony Bennett when he took off his bandanna, revealing his third eye which [[EyeBeams vaporized]] his opponent.
* Garnet on ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' has a third eye, which is usually hidden behind her CoolShades. [[spoiler: It's there because she's a fusion, and one of her components, Sapphire, has only one eye.]] Also, while [[spoiler: other fusions]] often have more than two eyes, only [[spoiler: Garnet's]] is seen to enable her to see what others cannot - her [[spoiler: "Future Vision", though that ability comes from Sapphire, who is a {{Seer|s}} {{Cyclops}}]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The late-great comedian Bill Hicks claimed that after eating psychedelic drugs, his (metaphorical) third eye opened.
* The Tuatara has a third eye on top of its head called a parietal eye. It's useless for sight but it has its own lens, cornea, and retina, which suggests that it evolved from a real eye. It is only visible in hatchlings and it gets covered with scales as it ages. Many fish and amphibians also have a parietal eye, but it is less well developed than the Tuatara's, and often hard to notice externally. They are mostly used to regulate hormones that are on a day/night cycle.