Eye Colour Change

An Eye Colour Change is when a character's eyes change colour in response to some stimuli. The colour the eyes change into depends on the event and the character, but it can be anything from a shift in hue to something as dramatic as brown eyes turning bright yellow and round pupils lengthening into slits.

This is generally a sign that something major has just happened. A possession, a shift in alignment, the acquisition of supernatural power, trauma, anything significant can trigger an Eye Colour Change.

Supertrope to Mood Ring Eyes. Does not apply to a Adaptation Dye-Job. See also Convenient Color Change, Game Face, Eye Lights Out and Demonic Possession. A frequent feature of Mind-Control Eyes.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Claymore: The eyes of a Claymore are silver until they use their Yoma powers; this turns their eyes gold.
  • The title character of Rurouni Kenshin changes eye colour to correspond to which Split Personality is in command in the anime.
  • Subaru Nakajima's eyes in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS are normally green, but turn gold when she enters full Combat Cyborg mode. The first time this is triggered on screen, it also coincides with Unstoppable Rage.
  • In the Bleach anime, Ichigo's eyes change color while in his Hollow form. Not only are they now yellow, the white changes to black. He also tends to get glowing blue eyes sometimes, like he did right before beating Renji.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • A Saiyan's eyes turn greenish-blue when he turns Super Saiyan (although it's easily missable, since the other effect of the transformation is much more visible).
    • Their irises also turn red when they start absorbing Bruitznote  Waves when they look at a full moon, as a prelude to the transformation to a Great Ape.
    • A Super Saiyan who has ascended to Super Saiyan Godhood gains red eyes to go with red hair. When the Super Saiyan God goes Super Saiyan, the eyes go back to turquoise, with the hair also matching.
    • Android 21 of Dragon Ball Fighterz has this whenever her evil side takes full control, having red-ring iris' on a black schlera just like Super Buu. Significantly, Good 21 retains her normal blue eyes when in her Buu form, showing that she's in control as well as allowing the audience to tell the two apart.
  • Naruto:
    • The Sharingan is a hereditary superpower of the Uchiha clan that allows for Awesomeness by Analysis and causes distinctive change in the eye when used; a more advanced version exists has a different look. Both are unlocked by traumatic experiences.
    • A lot of characters change eye color to correspond with things such as Demonic Possession, unlocking their powers/going into Super Mode, or just giving off a killer vibe.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, humans who channel enormous Spiral Power have spirals appear in their eyes. This is seen mostly in Lordgenome, but also briefly in Kittan right before his death. Simon's eye also changes during the Giga Drill Break war with the Anti-Spiral after Lordgenome's sacrifice, as well as during the Distant Finale.
  • In Katekyō Hitman Reborn!, Tsuna's eyes are normally brown. However, when he goes into Dying Will Mode, they change into an orange-ish yellow.
  • The eyes of NEXT in Tiger & Bunny typically change to a bright, glowing blue when they activate their abilities. This isn't the case for all of them, however — NEXT with passive abilities don't have an eye color change, the eyes of the two NEXT in Ouroboros glow orange-yellow, and Kotetsu's eyes have recently started turning red to go along with his Power Incontinence.
  • In Yumeria, Neneko has violet/purple eyes, but when mental time traveler Neito takes control of their shared body, they turn green.
  • InuYasha: Both the title character and his half-brother, Sesshoumaru, have eyes that go completely bloodshot-red when their demonic powers are fully released. However, Inuyasha's eyes also change colour according to whether he is in human (black), normal (gold), or youkai (red) form, because he's a Half-Human Hybrid whose human side is fully expressed during a new moon and whose demon side is fully expressed when he pushes his own natural powers to their limits (in which case, good luck getting him to restrain himself to attacking only the bad guys.)
  • In Digimon Tamers, when Beelzemon makes his Heel–Face Turn, his eyes go from evil red to the green of his previous form, Impmon.
  • When Lina Inverse of Slayers fame is possessed by the Lord of Nightmares in the end of Slayers NEXT, her eyes, normally red, appear golden.
  • In Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, vampire's eyes turn gold when they sense blood or are using their powers. Fai experiences this when he is turned into a vampire to save his life.
  • Kagerou Project: Every character's eyes (which are normally either brown, yellow or pink) turn red when they're using their Eye Powers. In some cases, their pupil also becomes a slit (even if they're usually drawn without one). A more serious example comes when the usually pink-eyed Konoha's eyes become yellow with slit pupils. It (along with the rest of his costume turning black) signals that he has been taken over by the Wide-Eyes Snake and become Kuroha.
  • When Hakkai from Saiyuki removes his Power Limiters, his eyes change to golden catlike ones... or rather, only the left one does; the right one is artificial, made to match the other one while in human form, and therefore remains green with a round pupil. The result is somewhat unsettling, preserving a trace of Hakkai's original human self even when he taps into his demon powers.
  • Death Note:
    • Misa Amane's eyes have a habit of this. Multiple times in the anime, her eyes change from brown to blue. It's because she wears blue contacts. There are also times where her eyes are red when she's using her Shinigami eyes to read people's names, but Word of God is that this is stylized.
    • The same thing happens for the other Death Note users with their eye color changing from their original color to red, primarily with the Villain Protagonist Light. His eyes are originally brown, but once he obtains his notebook, his eyes glow red whenever he goes into "Kira mode". The finale even shows his eyes are bright red instead of brown. Word of God is that this is Stylized For The Viewer and his eyes are always brown.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, this is one aspect of a Ghoul's Game Face. Their eyes transform from completely normal to black schlera and red irises, an indicator of their true nature known as "kakugan".
  • In Sword Art Online, Kirito's pupils change color to gold (or maybe yellow?) when he gets really serious and pulls out all the stops.

    Comic Books 
  • When Tigress hijacks Flare's body in hope of learning about Teresa's mother, Teresa's eyes change from blue to green.
  • The '90s Supergirl comic had Linda Danvers suspecting something was off when she saw that her eyes permanently changed from brown to blue, after being rescued from a certain death by a cult. It's because she WAS dying, and the Matrix version of Supergirl merged with her, causing some of her features to wind up reflected in Linda.
  • Similarly, the Justice Society of America relaunch had a plot point where it was revealed that after Kendra Saunders (the current Hawkgirl) had attempted suicide and been revived, her eyes mysteriously changed from green to brown. This is chalked up to Kendra's soul actually departing and her aunt Shiera taking residence in her body, thus changing Kendra's eye color to what hers (Shiera's) had been
  • Norman Osborn's eyes change from brown to green when he's using the Green Goblin powers. In The Pulse, this is what first makes Daily Bugle reporter Terri Kidder realize something is very wrong.
  • In The Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner's brown eyes turning an unnatural shade of green is a common prelude to him Hulking Out.

    Fan Works 
  • This happens a lot in Child of the Storm.
    • The colour Harry's eyes are glowing is basically an indication of his mental state:
      • Solid gold is fine, though you should possibly be wary - he's accessing his psychic abilities, seriously if they do more than just flash gold briefly.
      • If they go red, he's either been possessed by Chthon or enslaved by the Red Room. Either way, you should run.
      • If they go solid white, like, heart of a star white, he's been possessed by the Phoenix or has gone Dark Phoenix of his own volition, and you should find another galaxy to run to.
    • Jean Grey's eyes go amber-red under similar circumstances or when Harry is accessing the Phoenix.
    • And Maddie's eyes go bluish-white under the same circumstances.
    • Carol's go solid green when she's wielding Alan Scott's Green Lantern ring.
    • Thor's eyes go electric blue when he's really pissed off.
    • Like Harry, Gravemoss' eyes go red when he's possessed by Chthon.
  • The Infinity League: Miranda's eyes would change colour when she activates her power. And now, so do the other characters' eyes when they use theirs.
  • Justice Society of Japan: Happens to Kallen early on in the story.
  • From the Harry Potter fic/fic about fic Another Life, describing the difference between a Mary Sue and her creator:
    "Sarillenne's eyes are bright golden yellow, but they will sometimes turn green when she is happy, or ruby-red when she is angry. Sara's eyes are dull, greyish brown, no matter how angry she gets at the wall-to-wall rejections that make up her life."
  • Johnny Ghost's eyes are often portrayed as turning bright red when he turns into Jimmy Casket.
  • In How To Drill Your Way Through Your Problems, Taylor's eyes change from brown to blue after she triggers.
  • Kathryn, the main heroine of The Heart Trilogy, was born with her father's golden brown eyes. However, when she had her first vision at the age of six as a Seer, her eyes turned permanently to violet. When she dies at the end of Heart of Fire, her eyes gain the color of molten gold. When she's resurrected in the beginning of Heart of Ashes, her eyes remain golden because her connection to Raw Magic is damaged. Once Smaug fixes this, she regains her violet eyes.
  • In the Kim Possible fanfic The Touch Of Green Fire, it's shown that Shego wasn't born with green eyes. When she received her powers her eyes changed from their natural blue to green. Her eyes changing back to blue are a symptom of her power-draining illness.

    Films — Animation 
  • Sandy from Rise of the Guardians. When he is impaled by Pitch's black sand arrow, Sandy's pupils become darker and more prominent in response to the darkness consuming his body.
  • In the BIONICLE films, Vakama's Face–Heel Turn and subsequent Heel–Face Turn are represented by his orange eyes turning sickly green, and back. Roodaka, who leads Vakama astray in the first place, has blue eyes that go red when she's angered.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks: Adagio's eyes briefly flash green at one point when the Dazzlings are at the height of using their song to pit the students against each other. The eyes of their victims likewise flash green on occasion.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Lost Boys, vampires' eyes go from their natural colour to red when they transform into 'vampire mode'.
  • Star Wars has the phenomenon of "Sith eyes", related to the Dark Side of the Force. They usually aren't permanent and usually manifest when the dark Force-user is enraged (Count Dooku, always calm and collected, never manifests them). Only Darth Maul, who is more or less always belligerent, sports permanent Sith eyes.
  • In The Avengers, Loki's staff changes people's eyes blue when he mind-controls them. On the DVD commentary, director Joss Whedon explains that this was actually something they added in post-production to make the difference between brainwashed characters and people acting under their own will clear, and so that there was a clear visual sign in Hawkeye when he finally broke out of it, which makes his teammates taking him back more understandable.
  • The Girl from The Ninth Gate (who is possibly the devil in human form) does this at several points, mostly when her Blood Lust gets going.
  • Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit has brown eyes up until he gets squashed by a steamroller, revealing him to be a toon, at which point his natural red eyes appear. This is also the point he stops being calm and collected and starts acting outright psychotic.

  • Rachel from Cliff McNish's The Doomspell Trilogy has eyes that change colour depending on the spell she is using; these eyes are said to be a wizard trait.
  • At the end of Septimus Heap - Magyk, Sarah Heap notices that Septimus' eyes are becoming green from exposure to Magyk when she identifies him as her child.
  • Eyes are often very important in Chris D'Lacey's Last Dragon Chronicles. If it mentions someone's eye color more than once, it's a good bet that it has either changed or will change soon. Brown, blue, green, black, and violet are the most common.
  • The Stormlight Archive
    • It is said that if a person with dark eyes wins a Shardblade their eyes will become light. In the first book, we only see one darkeyes with a Blade (Szeth), and they only turn pale blue when he is actively using the Blade. He notes that this is unique to his Blade, so the full situation remains unclear.
    • In the second book, we get more detail. Yes, darkeyes permanently turn light once you've bonded with a Blade (which takes about a week). Full Radiants also have their eyes turn light; in fact, this process is what the Shardblades are mimicking. The influence of Odium has also been shown to give spren and people red eyes, to the point that red eyes are seen as a mark of Voidbringers.
    • Interestingly, Radiants not only get lighter eyes, but may have a completely different eye color, as when Kaladin goes from dark brown to light blue eyes. Dead Shardblades, on the other hand, give a darkeyes a lighter version of whatever his original eye color was (Dark brown to gold/tan, for example).
  • In Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, the ghostly Shades' eyes are a sign of the level of danger they pose. When calm, their eyes are the same misty white as the rest of them. If they glow green, it's a sign that they are alert and looking into the physical world. If they turn red, they're enraged and about to start using their Touch of Death on anyone nearby.
  • In The Wheel of Time, users of the True Power develop black flecks swimming across their eyes as a result of overuse. With continued use, the flecks become more common, and eventually transform the eyes and mouth into caverns of flame.
    • People who awaken as a wolfbrother have their eyes turn gold to match those of a wolf.
  • In The Door Within Trilogy, the Glimpses eyes change colour depending on their affiliation: Blue for King Eliam, Red for Paragor, and Green for neutral/undecided.
  • In Roger Zelazny's Dilvish, the Damned, some witches have eyes that wax and wane with the moon.
  • In the Black Jewels novels: Jaenelle Angelline's eyes turn from "summer-sky" blue to "sapphire" when she's in Witch mode.
  • In the Codex Alera, the Marat people take on the eyes characteristic of the animal they take as a Bond Creature. In particular, in the first book Kitai's eyes turn green when she bonds Tavi.
  • In Lightning Dust, the eponymous hero's eyes turn bright yellow from their normal blue when Klaus turns into him, while Daniel's sclera (the white part of the eyes) and pupils turn light and dark blue respectively when he becomes Crystal Eye.
  • Mages in the Heralds of Valdemar series who work with node magic will see their eyes gradually lighten to blue, and their hair turn white—powerful magic has a bleaching effect on its users.
  • In Magic to the Bone, Zayvion has Brown Eyes with flecks of gold... until he leaves the magic grid, whereupon they turn brown. When he drives back, his eyes turn pure gold with flecks of brown.
  • People Molly Moon hypnotizes will have their eyes turn a sickly green to match her own.
  • In the Inheritance Cycle, Solembum has these (and potentially the elves, if you count that they can use their magic to change their forms when they feel like it). In the first novel, he is stated to have red eyes. In the second, he has golden eyes. In the third, he has green eyes. In the fourth, he has blue eyes. This is even lampshaded by Eragon, who quips, "Weren't your eyes red?" which prompts Solembum to change his eyes back to red.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the later seasons of Babylon 5, Lyta Alexander's eyes would turn solid black whenever she made use of the Vorlon enhancements to her psychic abilities. However she became even more powerful in the Postscript Season, she acquires Glowing Eyes of Doom instead. Possibly because the black contacts used for the old effect were painful to wear.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Whenever Willow makes intensive use of magic, her eyes abruptly turned pitch-black while closed. Then, in the series finale, when using the scythe to activate all the potential slayers, her eyes (and hair) turn white, hinting she is using powerful white magic.
    • When Willow buffs up Buffy with magic to fight Adam, Buffy's eyes turn gold/yellow.
  • In Forever Knight, vampires' eyes turn golden when they vamp out.
  • In Merlin, Merlin's eyes turn brownish-gold when he uses magic.
  • In the Kamen Rider franchise, the big, insectlike eyepieces of the Riders often change with the mode the suit is in. In a more sinister vein, they can also change with the mentality of the wearer if the powers present a hazard to his sanity (if a power-up is potentially a Superpowered Evil Side, and the Rider's eyepieces turn the color that represents that power source, you wanna be a few dozen counties over.)
  • Eye color is a key part of the werewolf mythology in Teen Wolf. Alphas have red eyes, and betas have either orange or blue eyes.
  • Supernatural
    • Solid-coloured eyes are used to show demonic possession. Showing them, rather than the natural eye colour, is voluntary for the demon so it is used for shock value (both in universe and for the audience). Low-level demons use black; more powerful ones get more colourful options such as yellow or white.
    • Angels will sometimes change the eye color of their vessel's body to a bright blue. Notably in season nine, Sam's eyes glowed blue when Gadreel took over, so it was easier for Dean (and the audience) to know who he was talking to. Though his vessel's eyes are blue to begin with, Castiel tends to pull out the glowy version as an intimidation tactic.
  • In Doctor Who, Leela's eyes are bleached permanently blue by a blinding explosion in "The Horror of Fang Rock" - even though her vision later returns, her eye colour does not. This was a Written-In Infirmity (the actress hated the brown coloured contacts she had to wear as Leela and the production team decided to give her a break) but serves as something of a symbolic coming-of-age moment for her character, as the Doctor Pygmalioning her into a protegée has strikingly blue eyes.
  • The Incredible Hulk: When viewers see David's eyes turn green, it's confirmation that things are about to get smashed...

    Video Games 
  • When Faize from Star Ocean: The Last Hope gets subjected to a lot of stress, his Genetic Engineering causes him to unconsciously suppress it. This gets shown with his eyes turning red.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic's eyes are normally green, but when he goes Super Sonic, they turn red.
  • Tales Series
    • In Tales of Symphonia, Colette's blue eyes turn red when she loses her soul; they return to blue when she gets it back again.
    • In Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, Emil's normally green eyes turn red whenever his "Ratatosk-mode" personality is in control (usually during battle only). When we first see him, his eyes are gray, because he hasn't invented a personality yet.
  • In Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht, KOS-MOS's normally red eyes turn blue when she saves the Elsa from disintegrating upon entering the atmosphere of Second Miltia at the end of the game.
  • Dangan Ronpa's Fukawa has eyes that change from a soft pinkish-grey to bright red when her Split Personality Genocider Syo is in charge.
  • Throughout Kingdom Hearts, eyes change color to an orange-gold whenever someone gets too close to the darkness, or if they're a vessel for Xehanort.
    • Braig's eyes change from brown to gold, after he becomes part-Xehanort.
    • Terra's eyes go from blue to orange when Master Xehanort possesses him.
    • Xehanort's eyes go from orange to brown and back again during the year he spends amnesiac.
    • Ansem the Wise's eyes change to gold after he embraces the power of darkness.
    • Riku's eyes start changing color during the time between Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II, since he still has part of Xehanort's Heartless inside him. They go back to their normal color once he's blasted by the light of Ansem's Kingdom Hearts Encoder exploding.
    • Isa's eyes went from blue to orange at some point after Birth by Sleep, because he's being taken over by Xehanort as well.
  • Fallen London: Minor examples pop up every now and then, and usually mean bad news. But the one established example is among Monster-Hunters, who are among the most dangerous men alive, and hunt down zee monsters for a living. The initiation ritual is to find and slaughter one of the really ferocious ones, and eat from it. This'll change their eyes to a deep Peligin, and tends to alter them in other unclear ways.
  • In Mass Effect 3, any biotics that don't already have blue eyes get them briefly, along with a subtle glow, when they use their powers.
  • In Super Mario Odyssey anything Captured by Mario, regardless of what it is, will take on Mario's blue eyes, in addition to gaining his mustache.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY
    • Yang has violet coloured eyes under normal circumstances. However, when she gets angry, her eyes turn a vivid shade of red. It's also a sign that her Semblance is active, but she normally only activates her Semblance whenever she's angry. Her father has baby blue eyes and her mother has vivid red eyes, so her default violet eyes are mid-way in colour between her parents, while her vivid red transformation makes her look very similar to her mother.
    • Neopolitan has tri-coloured hair. The left half is brown, the right half pink with white streaks. Her eyes usually default to a pink right eye and brown left eye. However, when she's fighting, her eyes will flit between different colours: pink left, brown right; two pink; two brown. When she fled Raven, she was clearly distressed and afraid, and her eyes turned vivid white. During the tournament, she disguises herself twice - once as a student, once as a medic. As a student, she has black hair and green eyes, while as a medic, she has black hair and purple eyes. While her hair colour and clothing seem connected to her illusion powers, her eye colour changes seem to be something else.
    • Oscar is the first character introduced with heterochromia iridum; his eyes are predominantly green, but a faint yellow circle borders the pupils and the green irises contain a segment of solid brown. He has the ability to do what Qrow describes as a 'parlour trick'; upon activating the ability, the yellow bordering his pupils flash, visibly filling his irises with a solid gold that flares like light before appearing to fade back to their normal colour. However, for as long as the ability is active, his reflection will reveal that his eyes are still solid gold. Ozpin was cursed thousands of years ago to walk the earth for as long as Salem remains a threat; instead of dying, his soul, Aura, memories and abilities hop to a new host. Oscar is Ozpin's latest host and the brown speck in his green eyes is the same shade as Ozpin's brass-coloured eyes; when he lets Ozpin take control of his body, his body pulses and his eyes turn gold.

    Web Comics 
  • Zill from Zoophobia: Purple to green when he uses his powers.
  • Grim Trigger: Tage's eyes have been shown as red instead of brown on three different occasions so far. First in the book 1 cover, second in book 3, and last in the credits for the 1000CC arc. The cause hasn't been explained yet, but whenever it happens, he looks incredibly distressed.
  • Homestuck:
    • Kurloz, who uses mind control to change Meulin's (and possibly others) eyes to a deep purple.
    • Lord English. He has this on account of his eyes being a constant loop of pool balls spinning around in his eye sockets. B2 Jack Noir gets these as well when he's sent Li'l Cal while in jail...after gouging out his own eyes and replacing them with the puppet's.
  • If a character’s eyes change colour in The Silver Eye, it's a sign that the character in question is descended from the Nedarians. This only happens in extreme cases, when they're experiencing emotion so intense that it lets their microscopic amounts of magic blood show through.
  • In Charby the Vampirate Zeno's eyes change from yellow to glowing red when he is possessed and controlled by the wraith.
  • In Hero Oh Hero, someone looking at a menu has their eyes shift to the colour of the menu (with a picture of the menu hanging in mid air for the audience's benefit). Secretary Wu-Cha also has her eyes flash different colours when she's using her Stat-O-Vision.
  • While it has not been explicitly seen yet, in El Goonish Shive eye color change is mentioned as one of the potential side-effects of a "burnout," when a magic user uses too much magic, and temporarily loses access to their powers.
  • Spellcasters in The Order of the Stick frequently display an eye color that matches that of their magic when casting a particularly powerful spell, or even just when they're very angry.
    • Roy has also occasionally flashes green glowing eyes when channeling the energy powers of his sword.
  • Violet Zombie: In life, Penelope Martinez's eyes had hazel-brown irises. Upon her resurrection as Penelope Mortinez, the irises are bluish-white, which is caused by loss of pigmentation after death.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Danny Phantom: His human side has blue eyes, his ghostly Super Hero alter ego has green eyes, but whenever he turns evil (either Brainwashed and Crazy or meeting his evil alternate-future self) his eyes turn red.
    • If you make him angry or he has a sneaky idea, Danny's eyes will glow green in human form. When his ice powers are in use, his eyes will glow blue.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Luna has normal pony eyes, but when she's in her Nightmare Moon persona, she has reptile eyes with slit pupils.
    • In "A Canterlot Wedding", Shining Armor when Queen Chrysalis masquerading as Princess Cadance casts a spell to brainwash him. His eyes turn green and point in different directions. Additionally, Queen Chrysalis in the form of Princess Cadance upon casting Twilight into the dungeons at the end of part one. Her eyes flash blue-green, and her pupils turn reptillian.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!: In the episode 'Emperor Stark', when someone is under the control of The Purple Man, their eyes turn purple, and return to normal color when they break free of his control.
  • Gravity Falls: Mabel's eyes turn green when she's had too much Smile Dip. Additionally, looking into the Gremloblin's eyes causes the eyes of two tourists to match the creature's bright yellow ones.
  • In Transformers Prime, Megatron's eyes go from red to purple when he's using Dark Energon, indicating the substance's power and supernatural influence, and the nasty side effects it has on Megatron's mind.
  • Justice League introduced the idea of Green Lantern's eyes lighting up in green whenever he used his powers, which eventually found its way into comics.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: As Adrien Agreste, Cat Noir has normal human green eyes. When he transforms, however, the sclerae become green, while the irises turn a slightly lighter shade of green and the iris becomes slitted, like a cat's.

Alternative Title(s): Eye Color Change