"Ever look into his eyes? There's nothing there."
, "Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been"
Lack of pupils, and customary light reflection; iris shading goes from the usual radial to gradient; eyelids drop. Yep, this character is suffering from the "Empty Eyes" trope, a condition denoting that the character is air-headedly distracted, shocked, traumatized, dead, mind controlled, insane, anywhere among those six points, or any combination of the above. This trope is most common in anime, though as of late, it's made its way to western animation. Due to the condition of shock causing the eyes to dilate, realistic live action will never have this unless the producers don't know better. Pushed for effect in Break the Cutie
Sister trope of Prophet Eyes
, and the two may coincide as repeated trauma could give someone a Disability Superpower
Compare Dull Eyes of Unhappiness
, Thousand-Yard Stare
, Mind-Control Eyes
, Heroic BSOD
and Angst Coma
Anime and Manga
- In the original 1975 version of The Stepford Wives, Jessica's robot double has these when first seen.
- Jaws had Quint's memorable quote about how a shark's eyes look like a doll's eyes - cold and empty.
- Halloween (1978) had Dr. Loomis describe Michael as having "The blackest eyes. The Devil's eyes."
- Evanescence's song, "Exodus", mentions in the last verse "so much more dismay in empty eyes".
- Characters in Home Stuck who are dead gain completely blank eyes if they are seen in Dream Bubbles afterward. It doesn't affect their personality or eyesight, though. Andrew Hussie's Author Avatar also had empty eyes even before his in-comic death. Whether that is significant or not remains to be seen.