main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Eye Open

The theme song ends, or The Teaser starts, or we return from a commercial break, or we simply change scenes. What do we see but a close-up of a character's eye?

This is an Eye Open, a device sometimes used to show that a character is waking up. Of course, sometimes it's just used to show off an actor's good-looking eyes.

Not to be confused with Eye Awaken, which is when a character's eyes suddenly open, but the shot doesn't open with an image of them. See also One-Eyed Shot.


Anime and Manga

  • The movie Ĉon Flux opens with the title character's eye catching a fly.
  • Apollo 13 does this with Marilyn Lovell after showing her nightmare of losing Jim in space.
  • Used in the opening and closing of Avatar.
  • The opening to Blade Runner centers on the Blade Runner Dave Holden's eye viewing the neon skyline of 2019 Los Angeles.
  • The movie Cats Eye opens with (what else?) a close-up on one of General's eyes. Serves also as a visual Title Drop.
  • One of the more disturbing in movie history has to be the closeup of Marion Crane's eye in Psycho after she flops over onto the bathroom floor.
  • Heathers has a close-up on Veronica's wide eye as she wakes from a nightmare.
  • Next does this with Nicholas Cage's eye twice, once before and once after his character's long vision of a possible future.
  • Star Trek: First Contact opens with a close-up on Picard's eye as things flash back to when he was the Borg's prisoner.
  • Strike includes a title card announcing that the authorities are "searching for subversives", then cuts to a tight closeup of a spy's eye. The film is a Soviet propaganda piece set in Tsarist Russia, and the spy is hunting for subversive workers.

Live-Action TV
  • The Criminal Minds episode "The Big Wheel" starts with a shot of the killer's eye opening when he wakes up in the morning.
  • House milks Hugh Laurie's very blue eyes for all they're worth.
  • LOST. Quite a lot, in fact.
    • The finale ends with Jack closing his eyes in a reversal of the pilot's first scene.
  • The opening sequence of Merlin features a close-up of Merlin's eye as it changes from blue to gold.
  • The opening credits to Robin Hood had an image of a bright green eye; causing some confusion among viewers considering no one in the cast had green eyes. (According to Word of God, it was meant to be Robin's eye).
  • Another backwards one in Smallville. During Lex's first appearance in season 3, we zoom in on his eye.
  • In the episode "Mystery Spot" of Supernatural, many times when the loop resets, the camera is focused on Sam's eyes as Heat of the Moment plays in the background.
  • A first-season episode of the original The Twilight Zone does this.
  • The pilot of V (2009) does a backwards one: instead of opening on Erica's eye and zooming out, we open on Erica and zoom in to her eye.
  • Seen in the opening credits of The X-Files.
  • The Doctor Who serial "The Deadly Assassin" does a Dream Within a Dream variant, where an extreme closeup of the Doctor's brilliant purple-blue eye flickering open is used to indicate that we've passed from the world outside while Those Two Guys talk over his sleeping body to inside his Cyberspace Nightmare Sequence. Only within the dream-world, he is waking up. With an anaesthetic mask on his face. As a surgeon prepares to perform Meat Grinder Surgery on him. Aaaagh.

Video Games

Evolving CreditsTitle SequenceFake Guest Star
Eye MotifsEye TropesEyepatch After Timeskip
HeathersImageSource/Live-Action FilmsHellboy

alternative title(s): Eyes Open
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy