Black Eyes of Crazy

Who's crazy now?

Some characters just need a way to show off how undeniably evil they are. Unfortunately, pure black eyes just seem too monochrome and don't allow said character to show off an extra spark of insanity. Cue the Black Eyes Of Crazy. In these cases, the sclerae or sclera (the whites of the eyes) are black, as are the pupils, but the irises themselves retain their colour, which can vary. Generally an indication that the character is not above going on a rabid, murderous rampage, and, as such, usually coincides with Ax-Crazy, though this rule is not absolute.

Subtrope of Uh-Oh Eyes.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, anyone who becomes a Dark Signer has their sclerae darken to black and goes rather insane.
  • Bleach: Hollowfication causes a deceased human's higher reasoning to be stripped away as they are reduced to beings that act on pure instinct, driven by insatiable appetites to commit violent, murderous deeds. One of the defining characteristics of the hollow are their black sclera. Other beings that undergo hollowfication, such as shinigami, have to fight to control and master their inner hollow. Whenever these "Vizards" hollowfy, their eyes bleed black to indicate the transformation to their Superpowered Evil Side has begun. Even after receiving Vizard training, whenever his eyes bleed black, Ichigo becomes dangerous and violent even by the standards of other hollows.
  • In .hack//GU, characters who are possessed by AIDA will often gain these eyes, particularly during Ax-Crazy moments.
  • Sgt. Frog: the assassin Zoruru has this combined with red pupils, along with a half-cybernetic body covered in Spikes of Villainy and a Blade Below the Shoulder. Despite this, nobody can ever remember who he is...
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! uses this quite a lot, along with Black Eyes of Evil. In fact, Akamatsu notes that Shinmeiryu users can tap into something that's basically the dark side for extra power. While this is not actually evil in itself, it does appear to cause a great deal of bloodlust along with turning the eyes completely black.
    • Love Hina foreshadowed this late into its run. Keitaro's family own a cursed samurai sword that causes the wielder to take on black eyes and start killing or molesting anyone in sight. It took two of the world's greatest swordswomen to reseal it and even then it could still be unleashed if they're not careful.
  • In Naruto, using the second stage of Orochimaru's cursed seal turns the sclerae of your eyes black and the irises gold. Sasuke gets bonus points by using the Sharingan with the black sclera for bonus creepiness.
    • And Jugo by proxy.
    • Shukaku and Gaara, when transforming into his partial form, have black sclera and golden cross-shaped irises.
    • In the manga, Hanzo and the 3rd Raikage both inexplicably have black sclera (but they still have irises and pupils), though, in the anime, Hanzo's eyes are normal.
    • A specific variant of this color scheme, which also functions as Mind-Control Eyes, is seen in those brought back to life by Kabuto's version of Impure World Resurrection (which, oddly, includes the aforementioned two, who look exactly the same).
      • Kabuto himself has these when he uses his version of Sage Mode.
  • In Scrapped Princess episode 3 or 4, when everybody besides Pacifica gets put under mind control, this is expressed by turning all of their sclerae black (and their irises red). Whenever anybody is snapped out of it, their eyes return to normal.
  • Masane from Witchblade gets these when transformed. The Cloneblade usersnote  and Dual Cloneblade usersnote  gets these when they transform as well.
  • Because of a curse, Darcia of Wolf's Rain has one normal eye and one wolf eye. He hides it under a mask or eye patch. People who see it fall unconscious. By the series end, it is clear that he is more than a little Ax-Crazy.
  • Rurouni Kenshin brings us Jinei Udo. His eyes are black with golden irises and pinpoint pupils which are capable of paralyzing you if he so chooses.
  • Subverted with Renamon from Digimon Tamers: she has Icy Blue Eyes with black sclerae, but is a Lady of War with Nerves of Steel and a member of the core True Companions.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Majin Buu in his Super Buu and Kid Buu forms has the Red Eyes, Take Warning variation of this trope.
  • Played for Laughs in Fairy Tail.
  • Haguro from Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest is perhaps THE scariest looking ninth grader because of his eyes.
  • Christopher Shouldered from Baccano! has red sclerae rather than black (as the result of an extreme and perpetual case of red eye), but nonetheless matches all the connotations of the trope.
  • Code:Breaker: The five "Angels" (plus Sakura when she was a child), a five-bad-band of Power Nullifiers whose eyes go jet-black when they suck the life out of power-users, in this case just for fun. Fortunately the power-users' masters anticipated that and made one of them Magneto: an iron beam in of itself isn't a power.
  • The ghouls of Tokyo Ghoul have eyes with black sclera and red pupils.

    Card Games 
  • The vampire planeswalker Sorin Markov apparently has black sclerae and golden irises; in the actual card, this is hard to notice, since the image, obviously made smaller, doesn't focus much on the eyes.
    • Actually, he's not exactly crazy as the rest of the entries in this page are, but the vampire clans he descended from used to be normal humans, and the blackening of the sclera happens when they turn into vampires.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Santi from Guillermo del Toro's The Devil's Backbone has black sclerae and pale bluish irises.
  • In the film version of Lord of the Rings, Frodo gets them after being corrupted by the cursed Nazgűl blade.
  • People turned into vampires by the eponymous Count in Dracula have black eyes with hellish red pupils.

  • In the H.I.V.E. Series, this is the mark of someone who has been infected with Animus. They also have black blood.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Boogeyman's eyes inexplicably turned black during his feud with Big Daddy V. Of course, Boogeyman is crazy.

    Video Games 


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

     Real Life 
  • Chimpanzees have a dark-pigmented conjunctiva, which makes their sclerae look black. Captive chimps that have been mistreated or poorly-socialized are notoriously prone to unpredictable outbursts of violence and destructiveness.
  • Black sclerae are actually fairly common among the eyes of apes in general (apart from humans). Most gorillas have black sclerae, but a few individuals have white ones or even a "piebald" combination. It has been theorized that human beings began to favor white sclerae as it helped with non-verbal communication. White sclerae was desired in a potential mate to the point that the genes for black sclera are have pretty much disappeared from humans and are now seen as "unnatural" or even creepy. Hence why this trope and Black Eyes of Evil even exist.

Alternative Title(s):

Black Eyes Of Insanity, Blackshot Eyes, Crazy Black Sclera