"I can't stop looking into those entrancing eyes... Can she see all around her? Maybe she can see through the very fabric of time and space!"
How do you make a blank stare even blanker? Have the character's eyes face slightly (or even more than slightly) away
from each other — reverse cross-eyes, if you will. It's usually used to make the character look unintelligent or dumbfounded, causing it to become known as "derp eyes" in some Internet circles. In real world English
this is called "wall-eye" or "squint", and in medical jargon "exotropia".
Sometimes however, they can be used for a more serious effect, such as showing that a characters mental stability is loosening, emphasizing an emotion (commonly anger or happiness) sometimes this is done when a character mocks another, or to emphasize that they act in a way unlike they usually do.
A particularly common form of Off Model
in both hand drawn and computer generated 2D animation, especially when depicting an aside glance.
Anime and Manga
- Depending on the angle, Ryuk from Death Note can have this in spades.
- Caster of Fate/Zero has these, emphasising that he's not the world's most stable individual.
- He's also a walking reference to the Cthulhu Mythos, so it's only fitting he has the "Innsmouth look" mentioned under Literature.
- Katou from Holyland, emphasising how nuts he is.
- The Gold-Toothed Doctor from Fullmetal Alchemist has these behind his Scary Shiny Glasses. In his case they emphasise just how ''off' he is.
- Some of the aliens from Gantz will have this expression if their cover is blown or sustain enough heavy damage, right before dishing out horrible bloody violence. THIS DOES NOT MAKE THEM FUNNY! AT ALL.
- Matt Groening's Life in Hell would use a slight wall-eye effect on characters who were despairing about something. Doubtlessly influenced the early Simpsons examples.
- Bud of No Good Gofers has fish eyes that regularly roll in opposite directions.
- Q*Bert has this expression in the lower-left corner of the Q*Bert's Quest playfield.
- All passive (harmless) mobs in Minecraft. Since eyes are only two pixels wide by one pixel tall, it was either that or crossed eyes, which are used for the default player character skin and for wolves and ocelots, to make them look more intelligent.
- Masada (or that guy with the piano) in Yume Nikki.
- A kangaroo enemy in Dynamite Dux has these.
- Lemmy Koopa from Super Mario Bros. has a lazy eye, that sometimes invokes this trope.
- The dwarves in Oglaf sometimes have these eyes.
- Ruby-Spears' Mega Man has had this photoshopped to the point of Memetic Mutation.
- In Spongebob Square Pants, this is done a few times. Most notably in the episode 'Selling Out', done by the new manager, Carl. The only time he doesn't do this is when he narrows his eyes at Mr. Krabs, but he's back to his glasgow-style smile and literal fish eyes afterwards.
- Luigi briefly wears this expression at the end of the Super Mario World episode "The Yoshi Shuffle".
- Seen a few times in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, often as a Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- Derpy Hooves is an interesting case. Her Fan Nickname (which was adopted in part to be her canon name) comes from this, yet she usually inverts the actual trope: Her eyes are seen facing inward more often than outward (but they do face outward on a few occasions, so she still counts).
- One background pony (called Cloud Kicker) in "Griffon the Brush Off" can be seen making a crazy "shocked" face, complete with fish-eyes, when Fluttershy is scared off by Gilda. The same background pony makes another fish-eyed face in "Hurricane Fluttershy".
- Rainbow Dash briefly wears this expression in "Fall Weather Friends" while trying to laugh off Twilight Sparkle's suspicions.
- Pinkie Pie wears this expression in "Party of One" whenever she is puppeteering the friends that she created for Gummy's after-birthday party.
- Twilight Sparkle lapses into this several times during her brief struggle with mental instability in "Lesson Zero".
- The toys of Princesses Celestia and Luna tend to suffer from this, as do the Miniature Collection toy of Zecora and the Target-exclusive plush of Twilight Sparkle.
- Purposefully averted at one point during the Season 2 finale. During fake Cadance's song, she gives a sideways look at the audience while standing in front of a mirror. The show's art style would have rendered this as her having fish eyes, so her mirror image's eye is closed to keep the focus on the other one (fans sometimes cite this as an animation error, not realizing how odd she would have looked had this not been done).
- Pops up now and again on The Simpsons, especially on earlier seasons. There's even one episode (Diatribe of a Mad Housewife) where Marge is trying to talk some sense into him, and his reaction is to stand there staring off into space, with one of his eyes wobbling back and forth. Then the same scene is repeated with Bart and Lisa in the same episode.
- Ren from Ren and Stimpy has them from time to time.
- MANY characters from Ren and Stimpy have fish eyes when drawn in an "off-model" way. Ren's pretty obvious, though, because he's a chihuahua.
- Done in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, in the movie Attack of the Twonkies. The Twonkies often wear this expression.
- In Ed, Edd n Eddy, this is Ed's default expression.
- The hotelkeeper in episode 2 of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has constant Fish Eyes.
- Cartoon depictions of Rodney Dangerfield sometime veer into this when he's playing stupid: see Rover Dangerfield and the Genie's impression of him in Aladdin.
- Megatron and Starscream Narmfully don this expression several times in Transformers Prime.
- On Phineas and Ferb, this is the default expression of Perry the Platypus when he's in his civilian guise. In "Mom's in the House", Phineas and friends make fish-eyed expressions like Perry during the "Perrytronic" song.
- Grunkle Stan gets these whenever he states a stupid plan. Most notably the driving bear.
- Actually, Gravity Falls has all the characters do this often as their facial expressions.
- Mike from Total Drama Revenge of the Island always has this expression while he takes a deep breath right before one of his alternate personalities activate.
- Can occur in Real Life as a result of a disorder known as exotropia.
- Can also occur in real life as a result of a disorder of the eyes called "Strabismus," which causes the eyes to face in odd directions. It can be treated through eyepatch therapy, or cured through surgery.
- The late great Marty Feldman. And despite having Graves' disease, he was a talented actor and a great comedian.
- George Harrison of The Beatles. That didn't seem to matter to any of his thousands of fangirls, though.
- The man of the "Are You A Wizard?" meme.