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Monochromatic Eyes

Victim: Uh... about your eyes, sir, did you injure them?
Jei: They merely reflect one whose soul has been touched by the Gods.

In Real Life, some people have different colored irises, but what they can't have is a pupil, iris and sclera be the same color. In fiction, however, this isn't an issue, and you can get characters with eyes that have only one color.

This trope is used to highlight the unnatural and the alien in a work. One common application is Mind-Control Eyes. In some anime and manga, Blank White Eyes are used to indicate shock. In speculative fiction, Prophet Eyes are used to indicate prescience or clairvoyance.

Many modern comic books have superheroes' eyes turn pure white while wearing masks. Apparently, this is to make them look more "disguised" than they would with just their (normally pretty flimsy) half-masks. This does, however, have the drawback of dehumanizing them in the eyes of some fans. Blank eyes coupled with Glowing Eyes of Doom usually indicate that someone is using his/her power (e.g. spellcasting) or about to.

Specific subtropes include Black Eyes of Evil (pure black eyes indicating that serious evil is present) and Red Eyes, Take Warning (pure red eyes means something really bad is going to happen).


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Lyrical Nanoha, performing a Unison with either Reinforce gives you solid blue eyes. Reinforce Zwei herself also has solid blue eyes.
  • Cheza the Flower Maiden from Wolf's Rain has wholly red eyes. You can see the different parts, because there are darker areas, but no other colours. One creator interview explains that they first considered just red irises, but that had been done before, and they wanted her to look not-so-human.
  • Several Axis Powers Hetalia characters have this, including Japan, Norway, and Liechtenstein.
    • Also, Turkey's eyes are white with his mask.
  • Most ordinary residents of Tokyo/New Townsville from Powerpuff Girls Z have solid eye colors.
  • A couple characters in Naruto are drawn this way (not counting ones that may just have black iris which don't stick out from their pupils), including Gaara, Kakuzu, Karin, and Kurotuchi.
    • The Byakugan of the Hyuuga clan comes pretty close to monochromatic. The iris and sclera are both white, but just barely different enough shades to be distinguishable. The pupil, on the other hand, blends in completely with the iris.
  • This is used for characters in the future of Now and Then, Here and There. No explanation was offered about why they all have it, except for Abelia.
  • Due to the art style, many characters from Dragon Ball Z have this trait, though not all of them. The characters who do have colored irises often look odd. For instance, it sends the Artificial Human characters straight into the Uncanny Valley.
    • And then, there are the Great Apes and Burter from the Ginyu Force. They have solid red eyes.
      • Don't forget Kooler's 5th form, which has glowing red eyes.
  • Although he always wears a mask, Meta Knight from Kirby of the Stars usually seems to have yellow eyes. His eye color changes with his emotional state, but it's always a single color (although it does phase between two or three colors on occasion). In the games, he has solid white eyes.
  • In earlier adaptations of Cyborg009, Albert Heinrich (Cyborg 004) has white eyes with no irises or pupils. In the 2001 anime series, his eyes have light blue sclera and dark blue irises with no pupils.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men: In the comics, Nightcrawler and Mystique both have solid yellow eyes. In adaptations, it's different (and whether it's the whites or irises that are yellow varies.) Sometimes they're given narrow black cat-like pupils.
  • In the comics, Starfire of Teen Titans has solid Green Eyes. Her animated counterpart has green irises and green-tinted whites. Her eyes do turn to a monochromatic glowing green when she uses her powers, however.
  • Similarly, Storm of the X-Men similarly has eyes that turn solid white when she uses her powers.
  • Jei-san of Usagi Yojimbo and anyone he "possesses".
  • Lord Morpheus from The Sandman has starfield eyes, although usually they're depicted as pure black.
  • In Little Orphan Annie, everybody has blank white eyes.
  • Johnny Alpha of Strontium Dog has pure white eyes, because he's a mutant.
  • In Hellboy, both Hellboy and Roger the Homunculus have solid yellow eyes, while Abe Sapien has solid blue eyes.
  • Dr. Manhattan has white eyes with no visible pupils.
  • Xadhoom has solid green eyes.The Evronians have solid azure eyes(except the mutants,that have regular eyes). The coolflames have those Depending on the Artist.
  • Essence from Red Hood and the Outlaws has solid black eyes.
  • Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner get this effect from their masks.
  • Darkseid has solid red eyes. Depending on the Author, when looking very, very close, he actually has barely-distinct square-irises similar to those of Galactus.

    Fanfic 
  • In Life Is Worth Living it is explained why the future people from Now and Then, Here and There have monochromatic eyes: Over the years a genetic mutation arose where this showed up and regular-eyed people were driven out of the gene pool. The reason that Abelia has regular eyes is because she was brought into the future from the past.

    Film 

    Literature 
  • In David Eddings's Malloreon, the protagonists keep running into ambushes set by one particular villain. They know it's always the same guy because witnesses and captured enemies always described the same way; his eyes are pure white, without any color or pupil.
  • A rule of magic on Discworld is that the eyes are the one thing no-one can magically disguise. Most Discworld gods have some sort of monochromatic eyes, depending on the nature of the deity in question; The Lady has blank emerald green, and Fate has a starfield. Illustrations show the others as having blank golden-white glowing eyes.
    • Vorbis, the villain of Small Gods, has eyes of pure black.
    • Kaos has all-black eyes that turn silver when he's angry.
    • Ymper Trymon, when possessed by the Things from the Dungeon Dimensions trying to enter reality through his head, had eyes that were holes into blankness.
    • Coin the Sourceror had many-faceted eyes of solid gold colour.
  • The Fremen in Dune have all-blue eyes. It's a sign of long-term Melange consumption.
  • When the Elimist from Animorphs takes on a humanoid form to speak to the teens, he is described as having eyes that look like a starfield - black with myriad little white dots in the distance.
  • Arkanians, of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, have pure white eyes. Chiss, on the other hand, have glowing red eyes - it's never mentioned in The Thrawn Trilogy if they're solid red or just the iris, but Pellaeon is never able to read his admiral, although in Outbound Flight Car'das can see Thrawn's gaze shifting from one thing to another. The cover to one of the Hand of Thrawn books seemed to hint that there are whites to Thrawn's eyes, even if they're not white, but the comic books and other visual depictions always make the eyes solid red.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin has used this trope a couple of times in her Hainish novels. In City Of Illusions, Falk has yellow irises that fill the whole visible part of his eyes, indicating that he comes from another planet. In Four Ways To Forgiveness Havzhiva, a Hainishman, is practically the only person on Yeowe whose eyes aren't monochromatic. His lover finds them exotic, as you'd expect.
  • The Star-Eyed Goddess of the Shin'a'in in Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series, as her name suggests, appears as a woman with starfield eyes.
  • The di'Taykan of Tanya Huff's Confederation of Valor have this. Rather than a single discrete pupil and iris their eyes are made up of hundreds of microscopic pupils embedded in a solid, single coloured mass of muscles that widens and shrinks them depending on ambient light conditions and is capable of shutting them completely, giving this appearance.
  • In the Star Trek Expanded Universe novels, the Damiani race have eyes of solid white or silver, while Seleneans have monochromatic green eyes.
  • Jorenians, from the Stardoc universe, have solid white eyes. In Blade Dancer, Jory—a Terran/Jorenian hybrid—has solid green eyes. No reason is given for this.
  • In one of Stephen King's short stories, "The Man in The Black Suit", a boy out fishing in the forest meets the Devil. Among his other inhuman attributes, said Devil had eyes that lacked irises, pupils and whites. Instead they were completely orange like the flickering flames dancing in a stove.
  • In Brimstone Angels, Farideh and her sister Havilar have these, being Dungeons & Dragons tieflings (see Tabletop Games below). Farideh has one solid gold eye, one silver one, while Havilar's are both gold.

    Live Action TV 
  • Brother Justin Crowe from Carnivàle, whose eyes go completely black when he's feeling especially demonic.
    • As do Sofie's.
  • John Locke had one black eye and one white eye in a dream sequence in LOST.
  • Data (Brent Spiner) from Star Trek: The Next Generation as an android has completely yellow eyes with a small dot of a pupil. Referenced by Spiner when he released a musical album entitled "Ol' Yellow Eyes is back".
    • A better example is Geordi (while still wearing the VISOR), whose eyes were entirely white due to a birth defect.
  • Meg and Ruby and Sam, as of Season 4's finale have black eyes in Supernatural; Lilith's eyes are white. Oddly enough, the Yellow-Eyed Demon—Azazel—only gets yellow irises.
    • To indicate different ranks, maybe? All of the lower level demons have black eyes, but of the demons with different eye colours - Azazel (yellow), Alastair and Lilith (white), the Crossroads demon (red) - Azazel, Alastair and Lilith are all much more powerful than than your standard Mook. The Crossroads demon wasn't particularly hard to kill, but has a special job and therefore a different 'paygrade'?

    Music 
  • Singer 2D of Gorillaz has entirely black eyes. They look like Black Eyes of Evil, but he's quite a nice guy, if a bit of a ditz and a doormat. They come from when Murdoc hit him with his car, twice, causing eight-ball fractures in both eyes— though Art Major Biology seems to be in play here, as not only does hyphema not affect the appearance of the sclera in real life, it also would cause blindness if left untreated.

    Pinball 

    Tabletop Games 
  • The kithkin (basically hobbits) from Magic: The Gathering's bright fairytale world Lorwyn have normal eyes, but when Lorwyn is transformed into the dark and gloomy Shadowmoor, their eyes grow huge and glow faintly gold, with no pupils. It symbolizes the change of their nature from slightly superstitious rustic folk with empathic powers to paranoid castle-dwellers with a full-blown hive mind.
  • Elves commonly have this to make them more then just pointy eared long-lived human knock-offs. See, Warhammer and WarCraft. Not always though.
    • The elves of Michael A. Stackpole's novel Fortress Draconis and its sequels have Monochromatic Eyes, usually in metallic colors, as juveniles. Since elves are immortal, they gain adulthood status (and regular eyes) through a ceremony, and the inability of a group of elves to do this because their island is in enemy hands is a plot point.
    • Also see the Eladrin (who are one of two flavors of "elf", even though the other is confusingly called Elves) from the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons.
    • Drow eyes have been described as solid red, but in many pictures they're solid white.
    • "The Broken Sword" by Poul Anderson. His elves had eyes that glowed a dim blue and pupils that were there but "hard to see."
    • The elves in RuneQuest have monochrome eyes. They're actually humanoid plants.
    • The Pathfinder elves have shiny solidly colored eyes, due to their alien nature. Ironically, this is the same as the eladrin above.
    • Blood Elves have solid green eyes, but there is a distinction between iris and white if you zoom in enough.
  • Among metallic dragons, apparently it's common for the eyes to change as they age until the pupil is invisible and the eye is eventually one solid color. The pattern goes: Silver for silver dragons, gold for gold dragons, green for bronze dragons, aqua or teal for copper dragons, and a sort of off-gold for brass dragons. Chromatic dragons don't seem to share this trait.
    • Red dragons do gain glowing red-orange, pupilless eyes when they get old enough. They are the only chromatic type to develop monochrome eyes.
  • Goliath, Deva and Tiefling from 4th edition are shown as having single colour eyes.

    Video Games 
  • War from Darksiders has these ones
  • The blarg alien species from Ratchet & Clank all have all yellow or all orangish eyes. Chairman Drek on the other hand has all blue eyes- a very luminous blue at that.
  • Fubuki from Disgaea 2 has eyes that are completely white. Incidentally, they're not because of his supernatural nature (he's a demon, but so is everyone else in the game), but because his eyes were severely damaged when he was young, making him blind.
  • Kreia of KOTOR II has monochromatic white eyes, which become monochromatic black in her Sith form. She tells the player character that they look that way because she doesn't use them, preferring to see with the Force. Apparently she could restore her sight, she just doesn't want to since, as we all know, Your Eyes Can Deceive You.
  • In Mass Effect, Asari eyes turn solid black when they're mind-melding.
  • World of Warcraft has this with the Draenei and Night Elf races, both known for their supernatural awareness, and, more recently, Death Knight characters, who're simply infused with raw magic, albeit a nasty variety.
    • Draenei, a very holy race, have blue glowing eyes. Night elves normally have silver or bluish glowing eyes. Night elves with druidic potential have glowing eyes have "amber" eyes... which are more like yellow or gold glowing eyes. High elves have light blue glowing eyes and blood elves, an off-shoot of high elves, are basically the exact same as high elves except they have green eyes, which reflects their addiction to demonic or arcane magic.
    • Worgen have monochromatic glowing eyes in a variety of colors. (Or the boys do, at any rate.)
  • Left 4 Dead's zombies have all white eyes. This is partly because it's creepy, but mostly because it takes less computing power to render all white eyes than actual eyes.
  • M. Bison and Dhalsim from Street Fighter are like this in most incarnations (although unlike the others, Dhalsim isn't a villain). In all games after Street Fighter II, Sagat's eye (that isn't covered) is entirely white.
    • Akuma/Gouki also has these sometimes.
    • Gen, Rolento, and Hakan also have solid white eyes. Other characters with solid colored eyes are Necro (yellow) and Oro (red). However, Twelve averts this trope. He appears to have solid black eyes, but they're suppose to be empty eye sockets... and then you'll realize that he actually has eyes with red irises hidden within those sockets in his Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike ending.
  • Aliens in The Sims 2 have shiny black eyes.
  • Some Bosmer (wood elves) in The Elder Scrolls series have all-black eyes, and some Dunmer (dark elves) have all-red eyes.
    • Meanwhile, the god Sheogorath sometimes appears with all-green eyes, other times with cat eyes. He's a shapeshifter, so it makes sense.
    • Characters who have been resurrected by the Staff of Worms have all-black eyes.
  • Metroid Prime 3 has Samus, in her highest state of Phazon corruption. You can see her clear bluish-white eyes reflected faintly in the scan visor, complete with non-glowing Tron Lines running down her face.
    • Metroid: Fusion also has the SA-X's completely white eyes. You only get a very quick close-up to see this when the player first sees the SA-X.
  • Mephisto, the Big Bad of Alundra 2, has a pair of these.
  • The player character(s) in the Blood series have all-red eyes, likely related to their service to Tchernobog prior to the first game.
  • Nue Houjuu and, if you peer closely at her portraits, Patchouli Knowledge from Touhou.
    • Due to Alphes' drawing style, most of the girls in Immaterial and Missing Power had these. It seems to have been averted for Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, though.
  • Kristoph Gavin from Apollo Justice usually has his pupils nice and visible. However, whenever he's feeling particularly sinister, he moves his glasses up to exactly the right angle for the light to totally block out his eyes.
  • Most illustrations of Cecil Harvey as a Dark Knight give him a helmet with solid white eyes.
  • In Don't Starve, it's a common trait among female characters to have solid white eyes. The only exception is Wickerbottom's Black Bead Eyes.

    Web Animation 
  • Coach Z from Homestar Runner has eyes that are pretty much just circles on his face (in fact, in a trailer for Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People, his eyes are invisible on some displays). However, this is nothing new in the Homestar Runner world, seeing as how the title character doesn't even have arms.

    Web Comics 
  • A few characters from Gunnerkrigg Court. The Regional Fairies start off with Milky White Eyes; upon becoming human, they get pupil-less grey eyes. Ysengrin has beady green eyes, and Reynardine, when assuming wolf-form, has beady yellow eyes.
  • Dimo from Girl Genius has entirely yellow-green eyes. Which apparently glow in the dark. Then again, he is a Jägermonster.
  • In Charby the Vampirate, the quickest way to tell the difference between normal vampires and the elite vampires is that the elite vampires have monochromatic eyes while regular vampires have normal eyes.
  • Magic in Magical Misfits causes magic users to have Monochromatic Eyes.
  • The comics set in the Rhymes With Bitch universe in The KA Mics have white "Little Orphan Annie" type eyes. Zog & Sten from Drunk Aliens also have one color eyes.
  • Both the Varn and their Galapados soldiers in Terinu have solid golden eyes.
  • In Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic Drow have Monochromatic Eyes (red in coloured panels), true to their Monster Manual description.
  • Richard in Looking for Group has all-yellow eyes.
  • The masked-with-white-eyes look is popular with both heroes and villains in Everyday Heroes.
  • Similarly, the heroine of Spinnerette, in homage to the comic book character she's based on.
  • The Trolls of Homestuck all have eyes with yellow-orange scleras (and normal pupils), except for Sollux, who has one completely red eye and one completely blue eye (to match his 3D glasses.)
    • Terezi's eyes are completely red, again matching her shades. They were originally normal Troll eyes, but turned completely red when she was blinded.
    • When a character dies, they get Blank White Eyes.
  • All the gods in Vanadys: Tales Of A Fallen Goddess have eyes that are one solid color (which color it is depends on the god in question). The titular Fallen Goddess generally wears Cool Shades to hide her solid blue eyes.
  • Standard for the characters of General Protection Fault.
  • The Aesir and Vanir have these in Thistil Mistil Kistil: Thor's are green, Freyr's are yellow, and Odin's one eye is blue.
  • Some of The Fair Folk have these in Roommates like The Erlkönig, his daughter (dark blue, purple), Dark!Jareth (dark blue), "Odile" (unknown, but light). Also occasionally the Shadow!Cast from Such Stuff Dreams are Made on (Fae magic empowered versions of normally non-magic characters) in ways bordering Mind-Control Eyes.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the Demonic Duck and Commander Jaguar both have this type of eyes. In the case of the Demonic Duck though, whether the natural state of his eyes is intended to be completely yellow or completely black is not clear.

    Web Original 
  • Some of the mutants in the Whateley Universe. Jericho has all-white eyes and is blind. Ash has all-black eyes.
  • Anyone unfortunate enough to contract a ZALGO infection (somewhat related to the Chtulhu mythos).

    Western Animation 
  • Antogone from Frisky Dingo, who is possessed by ants.
  • Autobots and Decepticons have solid blue and red eyes respectively, Justified by being, ya know, robots. They do get pupils in Transformers Animated, as this makes it easier to emote.
    • Although this only include the Autobots, Icy Blitzwing, Shockwave, Swindle, and the Constructicons.
    • Close ups of Starscream and Lugnut have also shown them with pupils, which may just mean other have ones that are hard to see.
  • Beast Wars went a similar route, with some characters having 'unlit headlight' eyes with kind of a 'pupil' at the center, but most having solid color eyes that extended to their mouths and even facial vents.
  • Gizmo in the animated adaptation of Teen Titans appears to have blank white eyes all the time. His pupils only appear in an animation goof in the episode "Car Trouble".
  • From Invader Zim, the Irken race, along with some other alien species.
  • Russel of the Gorillaz always has circular blank white eyes, and 2D's are entirely black.
  • In ChalkZone, Snap's eyes are circular, blank, and white.
  • Dick Knubbler invoked this in Metalocalypse, when he got robotic eyes to replace the ones he lost in a submarine accident, which are completely green (unless he gets mad).
  • The Borgs Cybron, Replicon, Grenader and Lazerette from Skysurfer Strike Force.
  • Offay from Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, pictured above. ...Come to think of it, the robot monkeys seem to fall under this category, too.

    Real Life 
  • People with severe cataracts sometimes have totally white eyes. If the cataracts are that severe, the person is also blind.
  • There's a congenital Birth Defect that can cause this too, but considering said defect (Anencephaly) tends to kill people it isn't exactly common.


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