%% Image replaced per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1301501170013965500
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
%%
[[quoteright:350:[[Disney/TheManyAdventuresOfWinnieThePooh http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rabbit_shrunken_irises_winnie_the_pooh_451.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: As Pooh would say, "[[OhCrap Oh, bother]]."]]

->'''Calvin:''' What do you do, wait until you see the whites of my eyes?!\\
'''Hobbes:''' You should've seen them! They were as big as dinner plates!
-->-- ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes''

A good sign that a character is absolutely terrified is if their eyes are bulging wide open and the irises and pupils are visibly shrunken, or even absent. This gives the impression that the character is inwardly screaming, even if they are struck dumb by shock. It comes across as striking and, if done well, can even be scary. Often a warning sign that the character is about to freak out. May also involve TearsOfFear.

Can also happen if a character is badly injured, with bonus points if the scene cuts away to a ScreamDiscretionShot.
On the flip side, it can also be used when a character is [[UnstoppableRage very, very angry.]]

If this only happens to one eye and not the other, it's a case of {{Mad Eye}}s.

See also OhCrap, and OpenTheIris for the trope's physical opposite.

A very minor case of ArtisticLicenseBiology: while the ''pupil'' inside the iris can indeed shrink due to fear, the iris itself does not. Regardless, most artists consider it an AcceptableBreakFromReality (see OpenTheIris for reasons why).

Not to be confused with SphereEyes.

----
!!Examples:
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:{{Anime}} & {{Manga}}]]
* Most characters on ''VisualNovel/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'' do this when they're really scared, but Satoko has a habit of giving particularly haunting moments. One of these is Satoko's reaction to Keichii standing by [[spoiler: her best friend's corpse]] in ''Tatarigoroshi-hen''. Satoko [[FreakOut freaks out]], believing that Keichii was responsible, and while doing so, gives a picture perfect demonstration of the trope. Her reaction upon getting out of the river and returning to her school [[spoiler:and finding her friends dead]] elicits this reaction from her as well, and it is also the expression her classmates are wearing. Gives a truly ghoulish impression. Keichii does it a few times as well.
** It's also used fairy often to show a character is going AxCrazy, to the point that most instances of NightmareFace in the series include this.
* Happens on a regular basis in the ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' anime, usually when one character is impressed by another character's power/abilities.
** And Arisawa does this in chapter 410 when [[spoiler: Aizen states he intends to kill her and draws his blade]].
* Inverted by Maka and sometimes Black☆Star in ''SoulEater''; their pupils are invisible unless they're particularly shocked or angry. Everyone else in the series plays this straight.
* Most ''Anime/CodeGeass'' characters do this, resulting in some pretty disturbing faces.
* Occurs often in ''Manga/OnePiece''- in Oda's art style, the shrunken irises are often split into two half-circles with a tiny dot in between for the pupil.
** Most others get a mix between anger and fear, but Luffy's is almost always rage when this happens.
*** This notably happens only for the male characters. The female characters (and sometimes Chopper) avert this trope, because even though their eyes widen, their irises (which gain thicker outlines) and pupils stay the same size. In addition, their irises become white (only in the manga. In the anime, their irises gain a lighter shade of their regular eye color) and lose their shine. For example, here's an image of a [[http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e135/ShadowBankotsu/One%20Piece/nami_verymad.jpg very angry Nami]].
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' has some moments with this trope, especially when Shinji freaks out in End of Evangelion, upon seeing [[spoiler: Asuka's dismembered Eva Unit ]]. Epic FreakOut ensues.
** And again shortly after, upon seeing [[spoiler:the Giant Naked Rei/Lilith]].
* ''Manga/ShamanKing'' characters tend to do this, along with sporting white-colored irises for that instant.
* The OELManga ''MyCatLoki'' features this whenever the titular cat Loki is scared.
* Part of an OhCrap moment for the villain of ''Domu'' by KatsuhiroOtomo. Reaches epic levels insofar as it is a silent panel the size of an entire two-page spread.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''. Since most of Kakashi's face is permanently hidden (usually just the one eye is left clear), this is what allows us to notice he's having an OhCrap moment.
** Naruto himself gets a noteworthy set of these when [[spoiler:Hinata gives him her AnguishedDeclarationOfLove just before almost getting killed by Pain]]. Notable in that they are not momentary; he is so shocked, he has them for the ENTIRE SCENE. And then he, quite understandably, goes [[BerserkerRage berserk]]. Oh boy, ''does he''.
* In ''Manga/DeathNote'', Light does this several times - most noticeably after he realises the titular notebook is for real.
** Also, Light gets them when he's [[http://view.thespectrum.net/series/death-note-volume-01.html?ch=Volume+01&page=42 starting to go insane.]]
** Mello also does this all the time.
* ''Anime/DragonballZ'' already has most characters displaying proportionately small irises/pupils, but when they're frightened or under stress, their pupils shrink to pinpricks &/or go white.
** As a side note, Super Saiyans lack pupils, arguably, this makes them ''really'' scary
* In the third season of ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', we have [[SmugSnake Quattro]](see the image for OhCrap), who has very good reason to be terrified.
* Edward Elric does this a lot in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''.
* Accelerator of ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' does this quite a lot (because of his insanity) but the most prominent is [[spoiler: when Amai Ao is about to shoot him in the head and he knows he won't be able to deflect it.]]
* Most ''Manga/FairyTail'' characters inverts this for their pupils are usually invisible unless shocked or angry.
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'', it happens to Relena when Heero raises his gun to her at the end of Episode 2. Of course, she's saved from his IneffectualDeathThreats by a [[IncrediblyLamePun Duo Ex]] [[DeusExMachina Machina]].
* Saionji does this in ''RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' during a duel, not to indicate fear or shock, but focus on defeating his opponent. The quick shift makes him appear deranged and potentially murderous.
* Yuno Gasai has some horrifying examples in the anime version of ''Manga/MiraiNikki''. Bonus points when she's smiling or laughing maniacally.
* This happens on occasion in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'', such as when Germany sees that the invading aliens have rendered his tanks useless in TheMovie.
* In ''DigimonTamers,'' Guilmon is a childlike, friendly dinosaur {{Mon}}. He's also ''crazy'' powerful by Rookie-level standards[[note]]Actually common in ''Tamers,'' where Rookie Digimon are quite capable instead of SleepModeSize; even Terriermon, who is the size of ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' rookies, is a PintsizedPowerhouse who can ''[[BlowYouAway clobber you with a frikkin' tornado]].''[[/note]] and when in a battle mindset can be feral and scary even to his friends. The signal that you should stop d'awwing over him and get out of his way in a ''big'' hurry is when his pupils suddenly shrink to pinpoints.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Qwackerjack in the ''ComicBook/DarkwingDuck'' comic, after [[spoiler: the Crimebots mention Negaduck]].
* Shadowcat busts this expression out for a full four panels in ''ComicBook/XMenForever'' after [[spoiler: Wolverine, who is supposed to be dead, ends up impaling her with his bone claws from the back.]]
* In a ''Comicbook/GhostRider'' tie-in to ''Comicbook/WorldWarHulk'', Comicbook/DoctorStrange gets these when the Ghost Rider spirit takes over from Johnny Blaze. Blaze might have defeated the Hulk and saved the Illuminati, but the Ghost Rider decides Hulk is in the right and rides away.
* This happens in {{Franchise/Godzilla}} Rulers of Earth when Godzilla sees a Destoroyah juvenile kill a man in front of him.
* As noted in the Page Quote, this happens to [[ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes Calvin]] frequently when Hobbes attacks him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' occasionally has this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Providing the page image, Rabbit's memorable freakout scene during ''Disney/TheManyAdventuresOfWinnieThePooh'', which was fittingly animated by Creator/DonBluth.
* It occurs in ''Film/ThreeAmigos!'' during the duel between Ned Nederlander and that German guy.
* ''Film/{{Psycho}}'': Marion Crane's eyes do this, though in a YouFailBiologyForever moment.
* This happens to Jessica Rabbit in ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'', in the only scene where you really get a good look at [[PeekABangs both her eyes]] ("Oh my God, it's DIIIIIIP!").
** And, indeed, her face looks more childlike (symbolizing her fundamental fear of Dip), and loses its more mature look, [[FridgeBrilliance much like how many other toons have done when faced with an instinctual fear]].
* Flik does this in ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'' when he figures out his 'warriors' are really just circus performers. Thumper does this too in his OhCrap moment when Dim roars at him.
* Scar in ''Disney/TheLionKing'' does this shortly before [[spoiler: he is eaten by hyenas]].
** Simba did it, too.[[spoiler:..just before a stampede rains down on him.]]
* Happened in the American version of ''Film/TheRing'' with a very good close up of Rachel's eyes when viewing the cursed tape for the first time.
* ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'': Facilier during the reprise of "Are You Ready?"
** Also the leader of the frog hunters after Ray flies up his nose and when he gets the crotch of his pants blasted off.
* In ''MuppetTreasureIsland'', Kermit shrinks his eye irises during a heavy load on Benjamina Gunn at the cliff.
* In ''[[WesternAnimation/HelpImAFish Help, I'm A Fish!]],'' Fly's eyes do this just as [[spoiler: a crab slashes one of its claws at him and slices his side open.]]
* Mr. Potato Head in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' does this right before RC slams into him.
* It's an easy to miss moment in ''PiratesOfTheCaribbean'', but it's done by Elizabeth when she first sees the crew of the Black Pearl [[SkeletonCrew under the moonlight.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', Link does this whenever he is hurt or surprised.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', when Midna discovers the Mirror of Twilight has been broken, her eyes do this.
* Thane's eyes in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' end up looking a bit like this while he's having a [[PhotographicMemory flashback]] - it likely just has that effect due to the fact that his flashbacks are the only times his irises are easy to make out.
* In ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV'', activating a Super Combo or Ultra Combo will make the screen darken and the action slow down. This is not terribly different from conventional 2D {{Fighting Game}}s using 2D graphics, which usually darken and go slow-motion/pause for super moves as well. A nice touch that ''is'' different in this game (which uses 3D graphics) is that you often get to see the other fighter’s eyes slowly do this as they get that gut feeling that their opponent is about to open a biiiiig can of whoop-ass....
* Kaguya from ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' does this at [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yer73i66uv0 02:15]], but it's [[AssShove not out of fear]].
* ''VideoGame/EpicMickey'': Splatter the Shadow Blot with paint. No seriously, do it, it's priceless.
* Vincent from ''VideoGame/{{Catherine}}'' pulls off a [[http://download.gamezone.com/assets/old/screenshots/Catherin_edimage.jpg spectacular example]] for one of the promo arts of the game.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft Cataclysm'': Deathwing gives an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F3e4eL6JcE absolutely beautiful example]] when he sees Thrall holding the [[ArtifactOfDoom Dragon Soul]]. Deathwing [[HoistByHisOwnPetard ''created'']] the Dragon Soul, he knows perfectly well just how much damage it can do. It's probably the first time he showed anything besides rage in the game.
* This happens ''a lot'' in the ''VideoGame/JoeAndMac'' series. It occurs whenever Joe, Mac, the enemies, and even the bosses receive damage. It's especially funny in ''Joe & Mac 2'' considering that the dinosaur bosses in that game look more realistic compared to the other entries in the series.
* In the animated short ''Night of the Werehog'', a tie-in to ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'', when Sonic notices the full moon, the camera pans in close to his eyes, and we get a shot of his pupils shrinking in both fright and shock... you know, before the [[PainfulTransformation painful transformation]] into a [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent werehog]] kicks in.
* Used to hilarious effect by Ludger in ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'', after he tests out a mind-reading device on Musee and learns that she's a lot wackier then she lets on; the accompanying dumbfounded facial expression making it all the more priceless. However, it's also used in a serious fashion throughout the game, often as a result of a mortal wound.
* Male characters in the original ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' on the Super Famicom spot funny popping eyes when they take damage.
* The "Shocked" expression for characters in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' have notably small eyes with wide open mouths.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'', the main character does just this when he is [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/15p5 very, very angry]]. {{Lampshaded}} in the AltText.
* The expression ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' characters make when they're scared sort of evokes this. Including for [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0449.html Xykon himself]]: the skeleton with GlowingEyelightsOfUndeath suddenly gains [[ExpressiveMask Expressive Orbits]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Blip}}'', Hester's irises are normally [[OpenTheIris the size of saucers]], so [[http://blipcomic.com/70/ seeing them shrink to pinpricks]] really sells that she's in a state of shock.
* Souls in ''Webcomic/{{Jack|DavidHopkins}}'' have teeny irises, if they are unjudged or hellbound. Once they are judged ready for heaven, or if the hellbound seek redemption, the characters' irises get even bigger and more expressive than when they were alive. Corpses' eyes look like this as well.
* In ''Webcomic/TheOtherGreyMeat'' Pretty much every other strip.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' gives us some of [[http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13790475/Vriska.gif the]] [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/storyfiles/hs2/02719.gif best]] [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/storyfiles/hs2/03184.gif reaction]] [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/storyfiles/hs2/02757.gif shots]] [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/storyfiles/hs2/03346.gif ever]], courtesy of a few trolls.
* Happens in ''QuestionableContent'', with lampshading by the author at least once.
* Black Mage does this a few times in ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'', though given the fact that his eyes glow like two little lights under his hat, its hard to really say if he's a true example, even if his eyes do visibly shrink.
** Also, the [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/8bitlogicbomb_7154.PNG current page picture]] for PuffOfLogic.
* In ''LastRes0rt'', while still used as an expression of shock, these eyes along with a slightly agape mouth are the telltale sign that someone's under the CompellingVoice of a Celeste.
* Frequently used in ''EverydayHeroes''; for example, [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/eddurd/everydayheroes/series.php?view=single&ID=191554 here]] when Mr. Mighty is scaring off the homeless guy who came to rob a convenience store.
* {{Strays}} [[http://www.straysonline.com/comic/102.htm here]]
* Mark, of FreakAngels, exhibits classic tiny, tiny irises as he goes into his furious, terrified rant in Episode 0134.
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' had Kat eyes doing this when [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=521 she was told about]] certain PowerTattoo. Repeated in a later scene that ends in a triple BeatPanel and deserves it.
** Annie gets her turn on the last page of chapter 36.
* When Tanna of ''Webcomic/EarsForElves'' [[http://www.earsforelves.com/archives/174 first sees Rolan]] (who is moving at high speed), her widened eyes, tiny irises, and high arched eyebrows indicate her suprise/shock. The black and white explosion-style background also shows suddenness.
* In TwoKinds when the recently bed ridden and assumed dead King of an AsskickingEqualsAuthority people asks if you are challenging her decision, [[http://twokinds.keenspot.com/archive.php?p=582 stand down.]]
* A pair of jerks in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' [[http://www.egscomics.com/index.php?id=1908 get such eyes]] after learning that Tedd (on whom one of them had clumsily hit) is not, as they thought, a girl.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Larry: The Little Knight'', Pup the wardog does this when Kickit feeds him alcohol [[spoiler: and then bursts at over 60 miles an hour with Larry onboard]].
* ''Machinima/TheGmodIdiotBox'' episode 9 has Alex react this way when driven over the edge. As he stares motionlessly, one of the widened eyes actually falls out of his head, revealing his normal eyes underneath.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' does this when [[spoiler: [[RomanticFalseLead her boyfriend]] reveals he's actually an evil synthodrone created by Dr, Drakken and tasers her]] in ''[[TheMovie So the Drama]]''.
* Happens to Jet in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' when his ManchurianAgent brainwashing is triggered.
** Cleverly done when Azula first hears of the solar eclipse, her eyes stay the same size but her irises suddenly shrink. Other than this, she gives no outward indication of fear.
** In the sequel comic ''The Search'' Azula is still more than a little crazy, which is shown with her eyes constantly being in this state.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans''' [[{{Shapeshifter}} Beast Boy]] when he transforms into [[DeadlyUpgrade The Beast]].
* The characters of ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland'' tend to do this during OhCrap moments, the most prominent examples being Tyler and Noah due to their very visible brown irises becoming black circles when horrified.
* Used a lot in ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales'', especially during the OhCrap moments.
* Likewise, ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'' uses this in similar situations.
* Used in ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' during a few OhCrap moments, mostly in the earlier episodes.
* Frequently seen as part of the heavy eye animation of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. Sometimes [[http://i.imgur.com/xarPm.png combined]] with OpenTheIris to express sinking terror.
* One of Creator/ChuckJones' trade mark gags in his WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes shorts, some notable examples are in "Rabbit's Feat" before Wile Coyote gets hit by the train and Marc Anthony the bulldog when he fears for Pussyfoot's safety in "Feed The Kitty”.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'': Tahno does this as Amon is taking his bending away.
* This happens to the Thief in ''WesternAnimation/TheThiefAndTheCobbler'' [[spoiler:when he realizes his hands are about to be chopped off]].
* A rare realistic depiction in ''WesternAnimation/{{Paranorman}}''. Norman gets a vision of the famous witch trial of Blithe Hollow, in the position of the accused. Norman tries to defend himself, until he hears someone behind him, crying. His [[http://24.media.tumblr.com/aae5a8e4e6905839705f4fc7936e5bec/tumblr_mi4kbtVSnl1qhdexto2_500.gif irises narrowing]] in shock is a nice touch to TheReveal that [[spoiler:the "witch" was a little girl who talked to ghosts]].
* Gary does this when SpongebobSquarepants tells him he's going to take a bath.
* Happens to Mickey Mouse in ''MickeyDonaldGoofyTheThreeMusketeers'' when he is trapped in a dungeon that begins to flood and fully realizes the danger he is in when he sees an inscription high up on the wall reading [[OhCrap "You Must Be This Tall to Survive This Dungeon"]].
[[/folder]]

----