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Eye-Obscuring Hat
Image by SirGrunt

"Next time, lift your lid and you might see it comin'!"
The Engineer, Team Fortress 2 referring to the Soldier.

Hats can be cool, but sometimes they can indicate something more mysterious. That's where this trope comes in. A character wearing a hat that conceals their eyes can often be seen as suspicious, mysterious, or even evil. Oddly enough, the character usually shows no signs of being unable to see despite the fact that their eyes can't be seen.

There are two variations of this trope (although they often overlap):
  • The hat is tilted in a way that hides their eyes from others without a shadow.
  • The hat casts a shadow that makes their eyes almost invisible.

This trope can make a character's eyes stand out much more when they stop wearing a hat, which usually indicates Serious Business.

See also Hat Shop, Nice Hat, The Faceless, Face Framed in Shadow, Blinding Bangs and Hidden Eyes. Not to be confused with Coat, Hat, Mask.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Undertaker of Black Butler occasionally wears his hat in this manner.
  • Kisuke Urahara of Bleach is seen with both the variations, especially the shadow-casting one.
  • Daisuke Jigen from Lupin III has his fedora canted downwards to obscure his eyes. Sometimes, depending on the artist, his eyes are covered in shadows, even when we should be able to see them, or aiming his revolver at someone. When the brim is canted upwards (very rare!), his eyes are easily seen, and he looks quite different. (Sometimes his eyes are seen to indicate surprise.)
  • In Soul Eater, Patty Thompson sports this look while wearing a beanie in flashbacks. She and her sister sometimes do this with the peaks of their cowboy hats.
  • Lewin "Lightning" Light from Ao no Exorcist, one of the True Cross Order's four Arc Knights, always wears a hat that does this.
  • Lil' Slugger from Paranoia Agent.

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics' Phantom Stranger often has the "hat throws shadows" variety, even if the lighting is wrong for it.
  • Pre-ninja Snake Eyes in the G.I. Joe comic. This was even done on the action figure depicting him this way — the figure had no eyes and instead there was a shadow painted over his face.
  • The Beacon in Big Bang Comics is a Captain Ersatz version of the Golden-Age Green Lantern. However, unlike his inspiration, he doesn't wear a mask — instead his identity is concealed by the shadow his miner's cap casts on his face.

    Comic Strips 
  • Beetle Bailey always wears his GI cap or helmet so that his eyes are unseen, even when sleeping and showering. In his college days, Beetle wore a cambered porkpie hat this way as well. His eyes have only been seen once. Lampshaded in a strip: the Chaplain tells Sarge to see things from Beetle's viewpoint. The following frame:
    Sarge: (hat covering his eyes) Here's half his problem right here.
    • In another strip, Lt. Fuzz notices that he can never see Beetle's eyes, and Sarge tries to scare Beetle from behind to make his hat fly off; it works, but unfortunately, Beetle is wearing sunglasses.
  • Andy Capp has always worn his cap to obscure his eyes, even while Reg Smythe adjusted his character models.
  • Gasoline Alley trash collectors Joel and Rufus always don these.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • In Phoenix Rising, the mysterious wizard Khoros's face is always hidden by the shadow of his hat, no matter what the lighting conditions or the angle you look at him from.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Barney Miller, when Wojo reports a UFO, a Captain from the Air Force who wears his officer's cap in such a way that it obscures his eyes shows up to take his statement. Barney tries to peek around the brim.

    Print Media 
  • A 1969 MAD feature parodied the use of this trope in Beetle Bailey by having Sergeant Snorkel and Captain Scabbard sneak up on Beetle and pull off his cap in order to see what he's hiding underneath. They discover the message, "Get out of Vietnam!" written on his forehead.

    Myths & Religion 

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • Hazama/Yuuki Terumi from BlazBlue often tilts his hat. Most of the characters (and audience) can tell he's up to no good thanks to this.
  • In Borderlands 2, one of the heads available for Gaige the Mechromancer is a newsboy cap (appropriately titled "Read All About It"), the peak of which hides her eyes (when viewing the character model on the title screen, either variant can occur depending on the angle her head is positioned).
  • Flint from Mother 3 has a cowboy hat that achieves this. Turns out, he's bald.
  • In Team Fortress 2, the Soldier has a helmet as his default headwear, and it was tilted in a way that his eyes aren't visible. While there are many hats the soldier can wear that can show his eyes, there are also other hats that also obscure them.
  • Vivian's eyes are always hidden under the brim of her hat in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. (And it's the same deal with her older sisters Beldam and Marilyn too.)
  • Dawn of War:
    • The Commissar is shown like this, all you see of his face is his nose, grim-set mouth and massive chin.
    • The cover art for Commissar Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!), drawn in the style of overblown propaganda posters, often shows him like this, again emphasizing his Lantern Jaw of Justice.
  • In Pokémon, Red, Hilbert, and Hilda invoke this trope in their sprite animations.
  • Haken Browning of Endless Frontier manages to pull this off when he's depressed.
  • Capcom artist Edayan seems to always have at least one character like this, as Roberto Miura from Rival Schools and Cracker Jack from Street Fighter EX have their eyes perpetually covered by their hats.
  • Dark Souls has the aptly-named "Big Hat Logan". You can even wear his hat yourself, and on several character models it will surround the player's head entirely.
  • Concept art of The Batter from OFF shows that his only visible facial feature is his mouth, despite his in-game sprite displaying eyes.
  • SNK poster boy Terry Bogard zig-zags this. There is plenty of official art with his eyes clearly visible underneath his hat, but all of his game sprites have said hat obscuring them. Even when he ditches the hat in Garou, you can't see his eyes due to his hair.
  • Dust in Dust: An Elysian Tail wears a veiled hat covering much of his face through most of the game. Considering his tragic backstory, this may overlap with Hidden Eyes.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Dumb Donald of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids averts this trope. His knitted hat falls below his eyes, but he has made two eyeholes in the fabric to see through.
  • Wade from Kick Buttowski has a knit cap that covers up his eyes.
  • Averted by the title character of Secret Squirrel, whose hat brim almost touches his nose, but has two eye holes so that he can see.
  • The abnormally short gangster Rocky from the Looney Tunes Rocky and Mugsy cartoons has an absurdly tall hat which obscures his eyes.
  • Mr. Lazy in The Mr. Men Show has a hat that covers his eyes.
  • Numbuh Five/Abigail Lincoln of Codename: Kids Next Door almost always wears her Tomboyish Baseball Cap over her eyes, though she can be seen without it a few times.
  • The titular character in the Hanna-Barbera tv special "The Adventures Of Robin Hoodnik" had a hat that covered his eyes.
  • One of policemen in Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (his name is probably Kirby) wears his hat low most of the time. Unless he sees a flying doghouse.
  • Sloppy Smurf of The Smurfs wears a Smurf hat that completely covers his eyes.
  • Square Bear on The Hair Bear Bunch.

    Real Life 
  • This is quite possible in Real Life; the only problem is actually seeing while you wear a hat this way.
  • If a peak or brim is used for its intended purpose, it invokes this trope because of the shadow it casts over the eyes.
  • The singer Gabrielle has ptosis in one eye. She uses various means to hide it, including an eye obscuring hat on the cover of her Greaest Hits album.

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