[[quoteright:310:[[WesternAnimation/MegasXLR http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/coopvision_4141.jpg]]]]

->''"Can I get a letterbox format? ...Aww yeah, this is the director's cut!"''
-->-- '''Bo-bobo''', ''Manga/BoboboboBobobo''

A {{Camera Trick|s}} where, in order to show focus on a particular thing, two black bars will emerge from the top and bottom of the screen in order to bring about some drama by changing the aspect ratio, {{Letterbox}}-like. Often done with eyes in order to showcase the intense stare of our hero, who nine times out of ten is staring down his opponent, but not exclusively. Said bars are often accompanied by a nifty sound effect. Possibly originates from attempts by producers of TV to recreate the same intense effect that Creator/SergioLeone achieved with his massive closeups in his SpaghettiWestern films -- which don't work so well in non-widescreen shots.

Seen often in {{Animesque}} shows or other animated programs. See also SuperMovePortraitAttack, EyeTake, OneEyedShot, ExtremeCloseUp, and IrisOut. Not to be confused with EyeScream.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'''s Vegeta does this when he sees Trunks fall.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'': Happens in one of the picture dramas. However, this being [[{{omake}} the picture dramas]], it's for comedy rather than drama.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Comicbook/ElseworldsFinestSupergirlAndBatgirl'': This happens when ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'' finds [[spoiler:[[Franchise/{{Superman}} her cousin's]] corpse]], and the screen zeroes in on her DeathGlare.
* ''ComicBook/{{Scion}}'': This happens right before a fight between Ethan and Exeter.
* There's a nice example in ''ComicBook/TeenTitans,'' during the famous ''[[ComicBook/TheJudasContract Judas Contract]]'' storyline. In the first "book," we were seeing things through Terra's eyes, and towards the end of the issue, when Terra accidentally slips up a ''little'' (she basically beat up Changeling[[note]]Beast Boy[[/note]] senseless during an exercise), she barely managed to cover it up with most of the Titans... but [[http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e56/tbondurant/tott_42_p21.jpg not with Raven.]]
* ''ComicBook/DeCapeEtDeCrocs'' does it with Don Lope and Ermine as he accidentally insults her. Played like a western, with the background music suddenly stopping.

* ''Film/EventHorizon'': Played with to horrifying effect, where [[spoiler: you get a wonderful close-up of Sam Neill's eye sockets after he has gouged his eyes out, while he bellows and rants like only a possessed Sam Neill can.]] Not exactly this trope, because of course the film is already in a letterbox, and possibly an homage to those old {{Spaghetti Western}}s.
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'': Constantly done with Frodo's already-huge eyes, Creator/SergioLeone-style.
* Done in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'' with General Grievous when he's threatening Obi Wan. Loses some impact in the pan-and-scan cut of the film, though--his eyes are spread wide apart compared to a human character, so the camera ends up centered on his forehead, with his actual eyes ''just'' off screen.
* The climax of ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly'' has quick shots of the three main characters' eyes just before the end of their MeleeATrois.
* ''Disney/HomeOnTheRange'' does this during Buck's daydream of fighting a group of outlaws.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Series/CSIMiami'' occasionally does this to focus on the Miami skyline.
* Used occasionally in ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' (and thus ''Franchise/PowerRangers'') as part of the CallingYourAttacks sequence. ''Series/NinpuuSentaiHurricaneger'' and ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'' do this with nearly every mecha finisher.
** ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' had a rare practical effects version where they cast light over the actor's eyes while the rest of them was incomplete shadow. As they would be morphed at the time, the light cast would be in the shape of their respective visors as a sort of inside-the-helmet view.
* The Series/{{Tatort}} intro.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Used in the ''[[SingleStrokeBattle Samurai Kirby]]'' mode of ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar''.
* The opening sequence of ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' does this in rapid succession with the main eight characters.
* The ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames'' feature a closeup on Link's eyes in the opening sequence.
** The non-eye variation is used in all 3D games when Z-targeting.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' uses a fake 2.35:1 aspect ratio during cutscenes. In cutscenes that transition seamlessly to gameplay, the fake letterbox bars slide off the screen, revealing the eyedscreen effect.
* The sequence that plays before each cross-examination in the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series looks like this except with ''two'' sets of eyes, one from each lawyer, glaring at each other. In ''Investigations'', this happens before every testimony/argument, so there are Eyedscreens even for people like [[CluelessDetective Gumshoe]], [[UnluckyEverydude Larry Butz]] and [[ShrinkingViolet Lauren Paups]].
* A common breed of SuperMovePortraitAttack in the ''[[VideoGame/TalesSeries Tales]]'' series.
* The ''VideoGame/TraumaCenter'' series:
** In ''Under the Knife 2'' before an operation, this happens with Derek, showing him move his hand closer to his glasses.
** Shown on the Wii Channel of New Blood with Markus, Valerie, and Elena.
* Done in the (brief) intro of ''VideoGame/SonicBattle'', with all the storyline characters.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' uses this sometimes when a Persona is about to hit a weak point with a spell or make a critical hit with a physical attack.
** The BonusBoss does this ''before'' the fight, indicating how much trouble you're in.
** When fighting Strega or [[spoiler: your fellow party members]] they do this on the first turn as they summon their persona.
** ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' also does this. Similar to the BonusBoss example above, you know you're in trouble when [[spoiler: Adachi does this, revealing he has a Persona.]]
*** ''VideoGame/Persona4Arena'' instead uses an eyedscreen to highlight that the character shown in it has entered [[CriticalStatusBuff Awakening]] (or that a Shadow-type character has entered [[SuperMode Shadow Frenzy]] in ''Ultimax'').
** ''VideoGame/{{Persona 5}}'' "tears" strips of paper out of the screen to reveal characters' eyes both when they perform critical attacks with their persona and when they're having a particularly emotional moment in a cutscene.
* Used in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' to signify when a character's special power is activated.
* A staple of the cinema scenes in the ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' NES trilogy.
* Used in ''Dengeki Gakuen RPG: Cross of Venus'', when you do [[LimitBreak Chain Bursts]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8ETrPtm4OA#t=1m13s and when the bosses activate their Hi-Ougi]].
* [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Bang]] does this when he goes into SuperMode.
* When Ocelot and Big Boss are about to duel in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'', as an homage to Creator/SergioLeone.
* ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon [=DS/DS Cute=]'' uses these extensively in cut scenes.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 5: Dark Resurrection'' has these in Kuma and Panda's endings. In Kuma's ending [[spoiler: it showed this instance seconds before he pushes the button that opens a trap door under his visitor (in this instance, his owner Heihachi)]]. Panda's has two; [[spoiler: one when she opens the trap door under Kuma, and the second where Xiaoyu unwittingly opens the one under Panda]].
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'': ''Citadel'' - When Samantha Traynor meets her space-chess arch enemy, we suddenly get dramatic letterbox close-ups of their death glares, complete with musical stings. Then, if you take the Renegade option:
-->'''Shepard:''' Specialist?
-->'''Traynor:''' Commander?
-->'''Shepard:''' ''(close-up)'' ''Kick her ass.''
-->'''Traynor:''' Roger that.
** And if Shepard is [[GayOption romancing her, we get this bit:]]
-->'''Shepard:''' I'm only going to say this once, Traynor. (Close up) My shower is for winners.
-->'''Traynor:''' Oh, that's cold. All right. She's going down.
* ''VideoGame/{{GuiltyGear}} XX #Reload'' at every pre-battle intro sequence where portraits of both opponents get cropped down to the area of their eyes.

[[folder: Web Animation]]
* Done from time to time in the ''WebAnimation/FloatingHands'' webtoons.
* Franchise/{{Godzilla}} does this in the ''UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny'' [[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/285267 video]].
* Happened near the end of the ''WebAnimation/WeeblAndBob'' [[http://www.weebl.jolt.co.uk/hentai.html episode "Hentai"]] when we zoom in on the characters' eyes.
* Parodied in ''[[http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/badidea Bad Idea]]'', where it's applied to a fetid zombie with a dislocated eyeball.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcIlpeaR48I Used in this installment]] of ''WebVideo/AvatarTheAbridgedSeries''.
* ''WebAnimation/BananananaNinja'' uses this frequently. [[http://www.banana-ninja.com/episodes/BananaShopOfHorrorsPt3.html (Example)]]
* The ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' cartoon "Marshmallow's Last Stand" ([[OldShame no longer on the site]]) featured this, complete with the accompanying musical track from ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly''.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cABkgE56mEI "Go ahead...make my day." "Octorok!"]]
* Ren gets one in WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1TJ5YA3jfw&t=4m23s before (eventually) exploding a gigantic snake with his barehand.]]

* [[http://www.leasticoulddo.com/comic/20090201 This installment]] of ''Webcomic/LeastICouldDo''.
* All the time in ''Webcomic/{{Digger}}''. Once with a squash.
* In ''Webcomic/KeychainOfCreation'' this is a visual cue that someone's Great Curse is acting up.
* ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' really took a liking to these shots in season two. [[http://img.batoto.net/comics/2012/06/20/t/read4fe25a1a21c4a/img000018.jpg See?]]
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/{{Paranatural}}'', where Isaac [[http://www.paranatural.net/index.php?id=338 does it]] himself, with a pair of black notebooks.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'', pictured above, does this all the frickin' time. Heck, you can't even get through the ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InBW4SWWdFs opening theme]]'' without being assaulted by this trope.
** And by "assaulted by this trope", we mean that ''most'' of the opening consists of this.
* ''WesternAnimation/AtomicBetty'' uses this at least once an episode.
* The first episode of ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' shows Dib's and Zim's eyes so as to express their confrontation.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' in "Car Alarm", with focus on Jim's and Tim's faces to emphasis their ItsPersonal statement.
* The 2003 ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'' series does this all the time, sometimes combining two characters' eye screens in one frame. It also has the zooming black bar effect during dramatic moments and virtually all commercial breaks.
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' glories in this. The title card itself is an Eyedscreen. This was parodied in the ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'' episode "Samurai Quack". When this happens to Dodgers (playing Jack), he notices the effect and actually tries to push out the black bars.
* Shows up in ''WesternAnimation/SushiPack'' from time to time.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' episode "Unfair ScienceFair", Candace and her rival Wendy use this trope in emphasizing their competition.
** In "Doofapus", Both Doofenshmirtz and Perry have one before they fight each other.
** Skip to 1:30 in "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXip9I3Ybiw this video]]" for an example in motion.
* ''WesternAnimation/HiHiPuffyAmiYumi'':
** Ami employs this trope in the episode "In The Cards", while staring down Yumi in a card game, mixed with her InnerMonologue.
** It is used again in "Spaced Out" to emphasize Yumi's intense stare.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheEmperorsNewSchool'' in "The Mystery of Micchu Pachu", Kuzco used this trope against an anteater skeleton [[spoiler:which was actually an old man in a costume]].
* ''WesternAnimation/WorldOfQuest'' does this a lot in relation to Quest. Normally when he's complaining about how much he hates something. And seeing that he hates just about everything (except for Albert)...
* Occasionally shows up in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''.
** One occasion is notable for being done with the scenery - the character is looking through a slit in a door.
* Done at least once in the animated version of ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'', like every other [[TheWestern western]] trope.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' "Ricardio the Heart Guy", This trick shows up when Finn says that Ricardio is "up to something."
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' Used when we first see Iron Man powering Up
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' Phantom Limb in "Victor Echo November".
* ''WesternAnimation/StormHawks'' with Aerrow in "The Key".
* Brutally parodied in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/YamRoll'' -- the letterbox effect gets smaller and smaller until you can hardly tell what it's focusing on.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** Used in Episode 7 "Dragonshy" when the Mane Cast is preparing for confront the dragon.
** Chief Thunderhooves of the buffalo tribe uses the effect several times in "Over a Barrel".
** In "Flight to the Finish", when [[AlphaBitch Diamond Tiara]] gets the idea to shatter Scootaloo's confidence by mocking her flight problems, the screen shifts to focus on her eyes with Scootaloo's wings reflected in them.
** In ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E26TwilightsKingdomPart2 Twilights Kingdom Part 2]]'', Tirek gets this [[spoiler:when he tells Discord YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness]].
* Parodied to hell and back in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/YinYangYo'' where various characters do this when plotting something - then promptly note how cramped it is, take their hands out, and push the bars back to the ends of the screen. The bars get thinner and thinner to the point, by the end of the episode physically squishing Yin and Yang between them from the ''horizontal'' sides.
* In ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'', Dipper invokes this when confronting Rumble [=McSkirmish=] in "Fight Fighters", using two planks of wood.
* This was done in one action scene in ''WesternAnimation/HomeOnTheRange''.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' episodes "Homeland Insecurity" and "Failure is Not a Factory-Installed Option", the show is interrupted by dramatic scenes of people getting a hold of Roger's golden turd, which had the black bars on the top and bottom to give it a cinematic feel.
* ''Animation/{{Pucca}}'': Happens regularly in episodes where Tobe is the main antagonists. In one episode, the bars appeared on the left and right sides of the screen instead of top and bottom as usual and it's revealed Tobe's minions were responsible for that mistake. Tobe was upset for that.
* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/RexTheRunt''. Bad Bob watches a standoff between a boxing coach and a group of unruly pigeons in the style of a spaghetti western, which is framed in widescreen, because he's watching through the letterbox of his front door.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' does this in "The Fish Bowl" after Patrick knocks over the bucket of sand [=SpongeBob=] was counting causing [=SpongeBob=] to lose his patience.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLoudHouse'' Has this happen twice in "Selfie Improvement" both times being Lori.