Blind and the Beast
"With the way she sees and the way he looks, it's a perfect match!"A character with a freakish appearance, experiencing loneliness, happens to stumble into a blind person who doesn't realize that the freak is not quite human. They strike up a friendship or even romance, and the audience learns An Aesop that blind people might be better than we are because they are quicker to recognize inner beauty. Usually the deception doesn't last forever, but by the time the blind person finds out what the other "looks" like, they've already come to appreciate the person inside. Of course, there are also the Unfortunate Implications that you'd have to be completely blind to fall for someone so ugly, or that it's okay to lie to blind people. Compare Freaky Is Cool, Mailer Daemon.
— Yente the Matchmaker, Fiddler on the Roof.
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Anime and Manga
- Buu of Dragon Ball Z meets a blind kid who didn't know his appearance. After realizing he wasn't frightened, Buu figured out the problem and used his magic to heal the boy's eyes. Afterwards the boy was very grateful, and still didn't find anything unusual about Buu's appearance because he had lived among anthropomorphic animals his entire life. Buu doesn't kill him, a hint that he isn't a bad guy. But is practically confirmed that the evil Buu kills this kid later.
- Turned on its head in Detective Conan; a rich blind woman states her surprise that Conan is a seven-year old, as she had previously believed him to be a teenager whose voice hadn't cracked yet. Of course, Conan really is the latter, and gets even more tense when the lady whispers to him that "I can see things others can't see".
- Hunter × Hunter The Chimera Ant King Meryem and the blind girl Komugi.
- A variation happens in Franken Fran, when Fran operates on a painter's eyes and gives him the ability to see a wider spectrum of wavelengths. He is utterly horrified by the things he sees and flees into the woods, when he meets a fair and elfin woman-like being and falls in love. He later returns a happy man and presents Fran with a painting of his lover; although the reader can't see it, Fran's assistant can, and he is utterly horrified.
- Bleach: Sajin Komamura (monster) and Kaname Tōsen (blind). The interesting twist is that Komamura is a good guy while Tōsen pulls a Face-Heel Turn. When Tōsen regains his sight, he calls Komamura ugly. As he dies, he apologizes for saying that.
- Fantastic Four
- This is how the Thing and Alicia Masters started their relationship in the series. There were many times, though, that he worried that the only reason she was with him was because she couldn't see how ugly he was (never mind that she has felt his face, knows it's rocky, and she is also a sculptor who has seen fit to use him as a subject a number of times.)
- Subverted with his later girlfriend (and eventual fiance) Debbie Green who could see just fine and still thought he was attractive.
- Arseface eventually meets Lorrie Bobs, a girl who doesn't see reality quite as it is, as she's severely inbred and has a neurological disorder. She thinks he's gorgeous, and it looks as if they're going to live happily ever after.
- Even better, Lorrie was born with only an eye, she looks like a cyclops. Both characters are subversions of The Grotesque: They are the two only true decent people of all the cast and for that, they will Earn Your Happy Ending: In Preacher, everyone is a grotesque freak. Except the guy with an arse for a face and the one eyed girl.
- Arseface eventually meets Lorrie Bobs, a girl who doesn't see reality quite as it is, as she's severely inbred and has a neurological disorder. She thinks he's gorgeous, and it looks as if they're going to live happily ever after.
- A short piece in a Mirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles special has this happen with Raphael and an old blind woman; the sequence was later adapted as part of an episode of the 2003 cartoon.
- In an early issue of Superman: The Man of Steel, Lois Lane's sister Lucy tried to commit suicide after being blinded in an accident. She was rescued by Bizarro, but she thought it was Superman. This was an homage to the first appearance of Bizarro in Superboy back in the 1950s, where Bizarro's only friend is a blind girl who doesn't realize he's a monster.
- In the early run of Spawn, the only one who recognized Al for who he used to be was his blind Grandmother.
- Underground Comics artist Carol Lay once made a comic about a woman who was orphaned and raised by an African tribe where all women have plate lips. She gets them too. Then, a group of whites find her and return her to civilization. She finds out that her parents were rich and she inherited everything. Still, she has trouble finding a man. Then she tries this trope by dating a good-looking, ambitious blind man. But then he wants to feel up her face.
- In Superman & Batman: Generations III, one of Darkseid's new Parademons gets separated from its unit and encounters a old blind woman who treats it kindly. In return it tells her its story, including the fact that it's part of a new breed designed with the ability to think and reason for themselves. Subverted when it's revealed that the woman is actually Supergirl, disguised using a Mother Box, and she snaps the Parademon's neck so none of the other heroes learn of their sentience and have qualms about fighting them.
- In "The Swamp in Hell" in Creepy #34 the village blind man invited a swamp monster in for some tea and companionship and the Power of Love made it explode into a roomful of goo.
- In Penguin: Pain and Prejudice, the Penguin falls in love with a blind woman, in part due to her not being able to see how ugly he is.
- Bride of Frankenstein features a sequence where the monster is befriended by a blind hermit, inspired by a similar sequence in the original novel (see below).
- Young Frankenstein: Heavily parodies Bride of Frankenstein, even unto the point of subversion. The blind hermit's hospitality to the monster proves rather painful, as he keeps unknowingly injuring his guest (by, for instance, pouring hot soup into his lap instead of into his bowl).
- The Curse of Frankenstein subverts its source material by having the monster meeting a blind man and his grandson, and he immediately murders both.
- The main character of Mask (1985) has a degenerative disease which has greatly disfigured his face, but this doesn't stop him from finding romance with a blind girl during a summer camp job.
- The Toxic Avenger (a mutant) has a blind girlfriend. A smokin' hot one. When she is finally given sight for the first time, she sees her hot doctor and screams in horror, but thought that her freaky mutated beau was the sexiest man alive.
- Subverted in the cartoon show based on the series. The girlfriend is not blind, just really stupid.
- The cartoon also parodies this trope by having the girlfriend be incredibly nearsighted and, as luck would have it, having forgot her glasses when she first runs into Toxie. He figures that when she proclaims him to be incredibly handsome, it's because she just can't see him well. When she finds her glasses and screams at the sight of him, he figures it's because she thinks he's hideous... but really it's because she thinks his tie is really ugly.
- The Face Behind The Mask, a '40s B-Movie starring Peter Lorre, centers on a Hungarian immigrant who is horribly disfigured in a fire, and turns to a life of crime since nobody will hire him. He changes his ways after falling in love with a blind girl he runs into on the street, but she is killed by his former hired goons, who are envious of his new life. Needless to say, he doesn't take this well.
- Used in Fantastic Four (2005): Ben Grimm's fiancee leaves him after his transformation into The Thing. Later, he's drowning his sorrows in a bar and meets Alicia Masters, a blind girl. Brings up a valid question:
Johnny: So how do you... you know.Ben: That's none of your business!
- Played with in a deleted scene from the remake of The Wolfman (2010). The beast crashes a masked party, drawn to the voice of a blind singer's solo. The party members don't scream because they think he's in (excellent) costume. The blind singer delicately reaches out to feel his face, having stopped singing to inspect the huffing and growling in front of her. Just when the wolf man is about to let her touch his face and establish the only nonviolent interaction the beast had in the entire movie, a guest suddenly tugs on his sleeve to interrupt. The rampage continues, starting with that guest having werewolf fangs in his skull and leaving the party with the singer intact, splattered with blood that isn't hers.
- A killer who hides his deformed face with a mask starts doubting his way of life in Unmasked Part 25 when he meets a blind girl and falls in love with her.
- In the original Frankenstein, the monster learns to speak by hiding in a house where a blind old man, his son and daughter-in-law live and listening to them talk. After a while, he approaches the old man while the others are out and asks for his help. But the rest of the family returns at this point and chases the monster away. This experience leads the monster to vow revenge on Victor Frankenstein.
- In Robert Silverberg's short story "To See the Invisible Man" (which was also adapted as an episode of the '80s The Twilight Zone revival), a man sentenced to a year of "societal" invisibility manages a brief conversation with a blind man, who ends up rejecting him just like everybody else. Though, in this case, the blind man could have been arrested for talking to him. That's the point of the sentence, after all (to the point that the "invisible" man was able to waltz into a women's spa and gawk at them, and they can't do anything about it).
- Invoked and then subverted in Timothy Zahn's short story "The Giftie Gie Us," in which a war vet with a badly damaged face takes a blind woman into his home; he grows to care for her, but believes if she could ever see his face she'd be repulsed. It is then revealed that she can telepathically see through other people's eyes, has always known what he looks like, and doesn't care.
- In Things Not Seen, the invisible main character befriends a blind girl.
- In the Discworld novel Feet of Clay, one of the regulars at a bar for the undead is Mrs. Gammage, a nearly-blind gray-haired and rather senile old lady who thinks it's the same (normal) bar she patronized decades ago. She thinks the other monsters are just regulars and is friendly to all of them, and they take care of her in kind; anyone who bothers her won't live long enough to regret it.
- Victor Hugo's The Man Who Laughs has this with Gwynplaine and the blind Dea.
- I'll Be Seeing You plays this for angst—the male lead is only temporarily blind from an injury, and the horribly scarred female lead is afraid of what will happen when he recovers and sees what she looks like. He ultimately decides he doesn't care.
- In Beastly, when the cursed Kyle asks his father for a tutor, his father sends him a blind one even though Kyle didn't specify that part. Played with in that Kyle nonetheless tells his tutor upfront what he really looks like, but Will is still one of the only people who doesn't treat him as if he's a monster. This also gets a nod at the end of the book, when Kyle breaking his curse leads to a loophole that gets the tutor back his eyesight. When the tutor sees him for the first time, he's confused because he was expecting Kyle to still look like a monster.
- Red Dragon; Francis Dolarhyde falls in love with Reba McClane partly because she's blind and can't see his harelip, although it's strongly implied that most women he knew were attracted to him already - he's in very good shape. He just thinks of his harelip as being a much greater problem then it actually is, because, well, he's not a very emotionally well man. There's a moment of irony when she says she could tell he had some mouth abnormalities by the way he talked, but she of course didn't mind.
- The Bruce Coville's Book of... series has a short story narrated by a basilisk long ago left to guard a treasure-filled tomb. Some robbers force a blind boy into the tomb to steal stuff for them, and the basilisk strikes up a conversation with him. The story ends with the boy hiding the basilisk in his clothes, and taking him out when the robbers demand to see what he found in the tomb.
- The Hebrew-language short story The Blind Woman by Jewish-Ukrainian writer Ya‘akov Steinberg tells the story of a blind woman whose mother makes her marry a man. Her mother lies about pretty much anything regarding the man, who does everything in his power to keep her from finding out about his profession; at the end of the story, she is horrified to find out he’s an undertaker, a very stigmatised profession back then.
- Marianela, a Spanish novel by Benito Pérez Galdós. An orphaned girl disfigured in an accident befriends a blind boy. Surgery restores his sight, and she attempts suicide when he marries someone else.
- In a "Sweet Dreams" novel, a girl falls in love with a boy who was blinded in a car accident a year earlier. His girlfriend was killed as well. When the boy asks the girl to describe herself, she lies and claims to be blonde and blue-eyed, as his girlfriend was. When she finally admits the truth—she has dark hair and green eyes, he tells her that he already knew—the hesitancy in her voice tipped him off to the fact that she was lying and as such, he asked his mother to describe her to him.
Live Action TV
- ALF befriends a blind woman in one episode of that series.
- The Dark Angel episode "Hello, Goodbye" deals with a friendship between genetically engineered dog-man Joshua and a blind girl named Annie. She spends much of the episode talking about wanting to "see" him by feeling his face, something that he's understandably reluctant to do. He ends up having one of his more human-looking friends "stand in" for him. He eventually lets her "see" his real face after they're both chased into the sewers by local youths who want to hurt him, and she accepts him even though he's obviously not all human. She does bring up the potential Unfortunate Implications of this trope; although she doesn't hate Joshua, she's miffed that he took advantage of the fact she couldn't see. Later, the Man In Black from the Ancient Conspiracy learns of their friendship and snaps her neck to frame the only people that the public knows have Super Strength for the murder.
- Played with in Devious Maids: While Genevieve is played by the beautiful Susan Lucci and is by no means ugly, she is almost 60. Genevieve comes back from a cruise with a new lover. Before she introduces him to her maids, though, she warns them that she has lied to him about her age. When they ask who would believe she is 39, we get the answer of the man entering the door, cane-first.
- The Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode The Brute Man had a killer named The Creeper (Rondo Hatton) befriending a blind girl. When the police discover their relationship, they talk her into luring him into a trap (which she feels bad about doing, even if he is a crazed killer.)
- Done in an episode of the In the Heat of the Night series, where one of the deputies considers himself hideous because he's overweight and awkward, and he falls for a blind girl who couldn't care less.
- In a late episode of the sitcom Taxi, Louie DePalma falls in love with a blind girl. While she undergoes an operation to restore her sight, he frets about whether she will reject him when she sees him. One thing he does while stewing is pluck out some of his eyebrow hairs. When the woman finally sees him, he's exactly like she expected, except that she pictured him having more hair in his eyebrows..
- Subverted on 30 Rock: Kenneth falls for a blind woman who rejects him after feeling his face.
- Subverted on Becker, when Jake (a blind black man) ends up going out with a blind white woman, but it ends in tears when he mentions his skin colour offhand several weeks later and she turns out to be a racist.
- Another episode deals with a unique twist on this trope... Jake starts dating a gorgeous woman, but the longer they date she stops wearing makeup, fixing her hair, or dressing nicely, essentially turning herself into a "Beast". Jake ends up breaking up with her because he feels like she's taking advantage of his blindness.
- Somewhat similarly twisted on Chappelle's Show with Clayton Bigsby, the blind white supremacist who doesn't realize he's black. His entire KKK chapter serves as the Magoo to his Monster, because he is hooded in all public appearances.
- The Criminal Minds episode "The Big Wheel" partly focuses on the UnSub's friendship with a blind boy. The UnSub doesn't look particularly threatening let alone hideous or monstrous, but then again, the kid was there when the UnSub killed his mother.
- On the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Is There in Truth No Beauty?", the crew once had to transport an alien called a Medusan, who was so hideous you would go mad if you saw it. The Medusan's human companion, however, is a blind telepath, who describes his mind as the most beautiful thing she had ever experienced.
- Subverted on an episode of Will and Grace in which Will, who is a good-looking man, is set up on a date with a blind man. (Leads to a sort of Who's on First? incident when he realizes it's a literal blind date.) The man asks to feel Will's face so he can "see" him, which Will permits, and then the guy complains that just because he's blind, people always set him up with ugly dates.
- Beauty and the Beast: Catherine has her eyes covered with bandages when she first meets Vincent, and has fallen in love with him by the time her eyesight has been restored.
- In Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, Splinter is friends with a blind man named Andre, who moves in with the him and the turtles after being evicted from his apartment.
- In an episode of Misfits, both Curtis and Rudy try to flirt with an attractive blind girl who is making sculptures using their faces as models. The plot proceeds in typical Misfits fashion, as she rejects Curtis because despite being blind, she's a virulent racist. Then Rudy pursues her (while making repeated references to Lionel Richie, see Music) but he forgoes his normal Casanova Wannabe attitude to make a principled stand against her racism featuring Rudy-isms about how racism and blindness should "cancel out" and how Stevie Wonder proves his point... somehow.
- In 1980's The Twilight Zone episode "To See the Invisible Man", Mitchell Chaplin is punished by being given an implant that means others have to ignore him and act as if he was not there. The only person to treat him decently during his sentence is a blind man who cannot see the implant. The blind man is quite angry when he learns that Mitchell has tried to trick him into breaking the law by acknowledging his existence.
- A variation in the Doctor Who "Last Christmas", in which the Doctor's alien face-blindness leads to him being unable to perceive that Clara is now a very old woman, and still seeing her as being very beautiful.
- The Vocaloid song The Ogre and the Maiden is about a lonely forest monster who is befriended by a blind woman. She eventually learns what he really is, but doesn't care, since she knows he's a good person inside. The music video, for its part, represents the ogre as a handsome human youth, but there are a few scenes where he looks like a traditional oni.
- The video of the song "Hello" by Lionel Richie has Richie in love with a blind artist who makes a sculpture of his face.
- "Blind Mary" by Gnarls Barkley invokes this in the last verse.
She's my friend, she doesn't judge meShe has no idea I'm uglySo I have absolutely nothing to hideBecause I'm so much prettier inside
- In the first Wild Arms, the demon Zed is given a Pet the Dog moment when he befriends a blind girl.
- Averted in Tropico 3 with the description of the "Ugly" trait, which state that when you were introduced to your wife, who was blind, she ran away screaming and swam across the ocean to make sure she never encountered you again.
- Downplayed and subverted in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. Drek'thar, a blind shaman, leads the player character and Thrall, a green orc back to the home of the Frostwolves, Drek'thar's native clan. Warlords takes place in an alternate timeline where the orcs did not drink the blood of Mannoroth, a powerful demon lord; virtually all of them did in the original timeline. For this reason, virtually all orcs in the new timeline remain brown; green skin is a mark of demonic influence. Drek'thar obviously cannot see Thrall's green skin (or the player's, should they also be an orc), so he has no reason to mistrust them.
- Hanako Ikezawa from Katawa Shoujo was left disfigured (but not horribly so) in an fire. Lilly, her best friend, is blind since birth. However it's actually reversed, as with her severe emotional scars to go along with her physical ones, Hanako seems to be the only one who thinks that she's a monster being shunned by the other kids at the orphanage where she grew up after the house fire that killed her parents and scarred her does that to a person. While not everyone is repulsed by her appearance, many of those who are not, such as Hisao, often act awkwardly while trying to avoid looking at her scars, and Hisao suspects that as that does not apply to Lilly, it was easier for her to befriend Hanako.
- Subverted somewhat in Unintentionally Pretentious with Mia and Luthor as the blind and the bald. While originally unaware of his Bald of Awesome, she claims "she likes his candy shell".
- Luthor is one sexy beast.
- Deconstructed in Sexy Losers: a pervert whom nobody wants to date starts taking care of a blind girl because she cannot see his perversity.
- Subverted in Roommates where Erik starts dating Blind Mag after they get stuck in the elevator for a bit. She's touched his face and knows what's there, but points out that her story has worse in it.
- Starship: When Bug, the main character and a young bug, first meets February, a human Starship ranger who has been "wrangled" (taken captive and temporarily blinded) for the purpose of having eggs implanted in her chest, they fall for each other. This is at least partially owed to the combination of Bug's impeccable English and the fact that February can't see that he's not actually human.
- Gorgeous Gorgons can find love too.
- This Not Always Romantic post has a blind guy charmed by the "ugly" girl, rather than her vain friends. He even drops the appropriate aesop.
- Played with by Ursula Vernon:
The mouse was, indeed, blind (being descended from one of a moderately famous trio) but was also nobody's fool, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with his hearing...
- Hudson befriends Jeffrey Robbins, a blind veteran, in Gargoyles. Like every character in the series, he ends up becoming a recurring character. Though later in a twist, Robbins reveals that he suspected Hudson wasn't human all along, which is good because he now needs to help him out—Hudson's sight is going and they need to find someone discreet enough to do the surgery. Jeffrey finds a doctor for him and goes with him to the operation.
- Something similar happens to Beast in the '90s X-Men cartoon. Oddly, Hank thinks Carly is unaware he's a mutant, even though she previously made a joke about his fur. (Though that may be due to her father.) And when her sight is eventually restored (thanks to Beast's help), one of her first comments is how nice she thinks his soft blue fur looks.
- In an episode of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, "Monster Blues", Ickis befriends a blind old man and ends up saving his life.
- Subverted in Futurama, in which the blind guy was one of the kids who picked on Leela for only having one eye. "My eyes may not work, but at least I have two of them!"
- Played straight (with a twist) in "Stench and Stenchibility". Zoidberg is unable to find a woman who can stand his bodily odor, until he meets a flower girl who has no sense of smell.
- Gummi Bears: Tummi Gummi briefly befriended a blind lady.
- An episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 had a subplot involving Raphael seeking refuge in the home of a blind old lady, who mistook him for a volunteer worker sent to help her. As you might imagine, it mainly focused on Raph's Jerk with a Heart of Gold status.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) has the Turtles meet a chef named Murakami, who is blind. He gets kidnapped by the Purple Dragons to lure the Turtles out of hiding. He reveals that he knew that they were Turtles, stating that "I do have other senses", but doesn't care because they saved his life.
- The Simpsons: Groundskeeper Willie (basically used as an expy of Dick van Dyke's chimneysweep) was previously engaged to Sherry Bobbins. She dumped him after she had surgery that restored her eyesight.
Sherry Bobbins: It's good to see you, Willie.Groundskeeper Willie: That's not what yer said the first time yer saw me!
- Family Guy rather dickishly parodies Mask note . A man with degenerative disease, which has greatly disfigured his face, finds romance with a blind girl during a summer camp job. She touches his face and promptly gets grossed out.
- Joseph Merrick, better known as The Elephant Man, expressed on several occasions the desire to go to a home for the blind and pick up chicks.
- Roald Dahl fell in love with the nurse who treated him after he was temporarily blinded during an emergency landing in World War II. Upon regaining his sight, he saw that she was quite attractive, but still decided he no longer loved her.