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Glowing Eyes
Psycho therapy, psycho therapy, psycho therapy!,
That's what they wanna give me!,
Psycho therapy, psycho therapy, psycho therapy!,
All they wanna give me...
I'm a teenage schizoid, the one your parent despise,
Psycho therapy, now I got glowing eyes...

Glowing eyes are a character designer's shorthand for power. Want to show that someone is about to unleash a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown? Give them Glowing Eyes of Doom. Has a robotic creature been activated? Better turn on their Glowing Mechanical Eyes. We all know that Power Glows; presumably since eyes are the Windows of the Soul, glowing eyes are a good way to show off someone's Life Energy. May be an indication that someone's just triggered their Super Mode.

This is a supertrope of:

Other related tropes:

But not all glowing eyes are necessarily one of these.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Alphonse Elric is forced to exist for several years as Animated Armor. The eyes glow to show that he's "in there." During the few instances when his consciousness is separated from the armor, or he is possessed by another force, the eyes cease to glow.

Comic Books

Film
  • One of The Twelve Tasks of Asterix involves being able to resist the hypnotic gaze of Iris the magician, who has glowing eyebeams he can switch on like car headlamps. Iris tries to hypnotize Asterix into believing he's a boar, but keeps getting distracted by the Gaul's comments about his eyes. ("How do you do that?", "Can you make them light up one at a time?" and "They must be handy for reading in bed.") Eventually Iris becomes so confused he ends up hypnotizing himself.

Live-Action TV
  • In Smallville, Doctor Fate gets glowing golden eyes during this transformation sequence and dimmer red eyes in other times.
  • In the Doctor Who serial Doctor Who S10 E4 "Planet of the Daleks", the animals surround the fire with glowing eyes. The eyes go out when the people frighten them off.
  • In Sapphire And Steel, Sapphire's eyes glow bright blue when she's using her powers. Interestingly, the same is not true of Steel, or indeed any of their colleagues.
  • In Helix, Doctor Hiroshi Hatake hides glowing silver irises behind brown-tinted contacts, suggesting Professor Guinea Pig hobbyism apart from the unregulated viral research Arctic Biosystems is conducting.

Fan Fiction
  • In the Buffy/Stargate crossover fic All Your Base Are Belong To Her, Dawn's eyes glow emerald whenever she activates her link to the Stargate Network. In an effort to maintain a low profile, she obtains a pair of designer sunglasses to wear whenever she's forced to do so in a public situation.

Pinball
  • Higher-end versions of the AC/DC pinball have the Underworld, a mini-playfield that is shaped like a flaming head with glowing white LED eyes.

Video Games
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, the spirit form of Princess Zelda accompanies Link on the adventure and has the ability to possess Phantoms, who are suits of Animated Armor in the service of the Big Bad. When she possesses one, the normally gray suits turn pink, complete with pink Glowing Eyes.
  • In Mass Effect 2, when Samara is using her biotics in some cutscenes her eyes will glow blue.
    • And, starting from Mass Effect 2, all quarians get glowing eyes that can be seen through their faceplate, though it's possible that they've always had them but you couldn't see them through the opaque faceplates that you saw in the first game.
    • Mass Effect 3's synthesis ending gives glowing eyes to everyone in the galaxy.
    • Mass Effect 3 also added a faint blue glow to the iris any time a biotic uses his or her powers.
  • Warcraft:
    • The Paladins of Warcraft II have glowing yellowish-orange eyes.
    • The Priests of Warcraft III have growing blue eyes as well, presumably because they're high elves.
  • World of Warcraft sure loves its glowing eyes. A lot. Lots of races have glowing eyes. (See also Glowing Eyelights of Undeath and Glowing Eyes of Doom.)
    • All members of the Draenei race have glowing blue (or white, depending on the artist) eyes. Their fellow Eredar who made a Deal with the Devil to turn into demons have their eyes turn glowing yellow as well as gaining red skin and Spikes of Villainy.
    • Male Night Elves have glowing golden eyes and female Night Elves have glowing silver eyes in-game. In the original cinematic for World of Warcraft, a night elf's eyes reflect light like a cat's, not glow. This makes sense, as the night elves live up to their name by living where it's always night. Still, almost all official art shows their eyes as glowing like in the game graphics, which also makes them like the other elves, below.
    • In the Burning Crusade expansion, Blood Elves had their eyes retconned from ghostly white to glowing green eyes that are a side-effect of their addiction to demonic magic. High Elves also had their eyes changed from white to glowing Blue. This was probably related to Color-Coded Characters.
    • And, for all races, several headpieces (usually tier set headgear) confers glowing eyes, especially Rogue and Warlock sets, but found in the odd Paladin and Hunter sets too. The exceedingly odd hunter Tier 6 Gronnstalker set, is covered in glowing, moving eyes. [1] (Click on the screenshot.)
    • Virtually all the epic mounts in the game have glowing eyes, even the common ones that can be purchased. How did all these beasts of burden get these glowing eyes? No one in-universe seems to notice or care.
    • The five (six counting Malygos) Dragon Aspects all have glowing eyes. Once they lose their Titan gifted powers at the end of Cataclysm, after Deathwing's death, the four remaining Aspects lose their eye glows. In a cinematic, too, so it's definitely not a model quirk.
  • In Runescape, there is a whole set of auras that produce the purely cosmetic effect of glowing eyes in your choice of black, orange, white, red, purple, yellow, blue, or green.
  • The Glukkons from the Oddworld series have glowing eyes. It's explained that Glukkons developed them after shutting themselves away, so they didn't have to see the moon with the Mudokon pawprint on it. Which opens a whole 'nother can of fish...

Webcomics

Web Original
  • In Worm, the only visible indication of Codex's power — besides the brain damage and amnesia — is the glowing eyes of her victims.
  • Every magical being of enough power or skill eventually gain a pair of these in Mage Life.

Western Animation
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, glowing eyes are featured as part of the powerup whenever the Mane Six invoke the Elements of Harmony—first the five supporting members of the group, then, lastly Twilight Sparkle opens her eyes to show a fierce and eerie glow just as the magic explodes from their gestalt.
    • Twilight's eyes also glow when she exhibits extremely powerful, uncontrolled magic.
    • Princess Luna will occasionally have glowing silver eyes as well, usually when she's being especially spooky or dramatic.
  • For Avatar: The Last Airbender , all the avatars when they enter the Avatar State. An Airbender's tattoos will glow too, as they are a part of them spiritually.
  • Almost every single character in BIONICLE has glowing eyes.
  • Ninjago: When the Ninja reach their full potential their eyes glow.

Glowing Eyelights of UndeathThis Index GlowsGlowing Eyes of Doom
Glowing Eyelights of UndeathEye TropesGlowing Eyes of Doom
Gloved Fist of DoomPowerGod
Fantasy Counterpart CultureImageSource/Western AnimationHandsplay in Theater

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