Eye Poke


You have just gotten into a fight with another character, resulting in punches, kicks, brawls, half-nelsons, and any other fighting move you can think of. Just when the enemy has you held up, what's the best way to counter back? Poke him in the eyes, and while he's holding his eyes in pain, you make your getaway.

Essentially, this is a type of fighting style that can be used in about any form of media. The only defense to an Eye Poke is holding your hand vertically in front of your nose to block it (then again this could be countered by using the index fingers of both hands, as Curly of The Three Stooges was painfully aware).

Compare Eye Scream. Contrast Eye Pop. See also A Handful for an Eye.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, J. Russell Finch (Milton Berle) does this to Col. Algernon Hawthorne (Terry-Thomas) during a dispute.
  • In The Three Stooges films, this is Moe's signature move. At the end of the 2000 TV biopic, Moe Howard shows a friend that the move is done by poking the eyebrow of the target, it looks real enough for the camera.
  • Used against Dick Steele in Spy Hard. He blocks them successfully but he's punched out immediately after anyway.
  • Used in the climax of Dracula: Dead and Loving It by Mel Brooks against the title vampire (who had just tempted fate).
  • The Water Boy, because "Captain Insano shows no mercy."
  • Ash, in Army of Darkness, gets a number of these in the cemetery scene, where Ash is constantly attacked by skeletons.
  • Taken to the max in Kill Bill. Beatrix Kiddo snatches out Elle Driver's eye, to win their fight. Since Elle Driver only had one eye, and she had it done to her before by Pai Mei, this is very effective. We don't actually see Elle Driver being killed, but she is left thrashing around in a trailer containing a black mamba. The conclusion is obvious. Or is it?
  • The Mask. Stanley Ipkiss does this to Dorian Tyrell during their fight.
  • The Music Box: After bearing the brunt of plenty of mayhem moving a piano, Ollie angrily swats at Stanley - Stan, in an unusual bit of retaliation, peevishly pokes Ollie in the eye.
  • In Deep Blue Sea, this is how Preacher survives being grabbed by one of the sharks. The behemoth is dragging him through the water in her huge jaws, and he grabs his cross necklace and starts to stab her. She lets him go when he damages her eye.
  • Misery has Paul pressing his fingers against Annie's eyes.

    Live-Action TV 

    Pro Wrestling 
  • On commentary, Jesse Ventura was always a big advocate of going for the eyes, as it will hurt no matter how big you are.
  • One of Ric Flair's signature moves.
  • As well as Rowdy Roddy Piper's.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Poor Magnus the Red, already being one-eyed, suffers this at least twice — first from Russ himself during their fight at Prospero, then from Ragnar Blackmane while trying to manifest in material world as a Daemon. He gets better, though.

    Video Games 
  • The "Disco Eye-Poke" is one of the first moves you can learn as a Disco Bandit in Kingdom of Loathing; it lowers the opponent's attack and defense power by a small amount. It's later surpassed by the more effective "Disco Face Stab".
  • In Banjo-Kazooie, repeated eye-poking is the method needed to defeat a giant hermit crab in Treasure Trove Cove.

    Web Comics 
  • A variation in Rusty and Co.: Prestige Perkins tries this on the Illithid door-keeper Handsome D'an, who has enough good sense to step back. Too bad she still use the extended fingers to cast "Melf's Acid Arrow" right in his face.

    Web Original 
  • In Suburban Knights, during the first fight against the Cloaks, Brad pokes a Cloak in the eyes and runs away.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Aladdin: The Series, a magic disembodied hand is sent to attack Al. Inevitably, it pulls this move on him, but Aladdin uses the hand block on it.
  • In a Robot Chicken spoof of Star Trek, Spock tries to knock out Scotty with a Vulcan nerve pinch. When that doesn't work, he goes for the eye poke.
  • Averted in Code Lyoko, where Odd tries to poke a XANAfied Jérémie in the eyes. He follows his fail by saying:
  • The Simpsons: In one Treehouse of Horror episode where Homer becomes Death, one of his favorite methods of killing people is poking them in the eye. One man blocks it with his hand (without dying), prompting Homer to wave his hand up and down to confuse him before succeeding.
  • In Hillbilly Hare, Bugs Bunny calls a square dance, getting his two hillbilly antagonists to follow his orders, including "Whomp him low and whomp him high — Stick your finger in his eye!"

    Real Life 
  • This is actually a recommended method for surviving a shark attack. Seen in Deep Blue Sea, and that was with a giant, mutated shark.
  • You learn how to do it when practicing Krav Maga, and there are several techniques for doing so, one of the most vicious being grabbing someone by both sides of their head and digging your thumbs in.

Alternative Title(s): Eye Gouge