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The Walls Have Eyes
We've been watching you.

Eyes do a lot of things. Act as windows to the soul, let you know when it's time to run, give appropriate drama, summon and expulse blasts of energy, and provide appropriately squishy targets, but what do they do the most?

See.

And when eyes start opening up out of the walls or out of thin air to start staring at you, there's nothing that can't be seen. Whether it's a singular eye or legions upon legions of eyes, there's no body or flesh that they're attached to, and yet they still are there. Somehow existing.

Looking at you.

Staring at you.

When this happens, it's usually a sign of two things. Either one: The character is experiencing a mental breakdown (usually due to hiding something) and is terrified of it being found out, or two: Someone is accessing a different realm of existence because this sure as hell ain't possible in ours. Regardless of whichever reason, floating or hanging disembodied eyes are a surefire way to indicate that something is not all natural.

Compare Eyes Do Not Belong There (for when the eyes are on a human body), Giant Eye Of Doom (for when it's just a single eye and may in fact belong to something), Portrait Painting Peephole (for when they're in a painting and definitely belong to something), Wallpaper Camouflage (when the eyes belong to a person disguised as wallpaper) and Wall Master (for when the eye is more than capable of popping out and maiming you).

In Japanese, there is a similar expression, "kabe ni mimi ari, shouji ni me ari" (literally "the walls have ears and the doors have eyes").


Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • In Hellsing's Manga and related anime series, this is a common element of the vampire Alucard when he enters his more powerful stages of Nightmare Fuel and appears more as an Eldritch Abomination.
  • A Certain Magical Index supplies the picture for Eye Tropes.
  • "The Truth" in Fullmetal Alchemist is mainly darkness made up of lots of peering eyes - punctuated by incredibly creepy grins. The same goes for the homunculus Pride, and Father's true form.
  • Somewhere in The Cat Returns.
  • One of the stories in Fuan no Tane is about a bunch of disembodied eyes on a freeway, disguised as Botts' Dots. They look creepy, but they're easily squashed by speeding cars.
  • A (mainly) harmless example can be found in One Piece. Nico Robin's Devil Fruit powers enable her to grow parts of her body on any surface, including, yes, eyes.
  • In Death Trance, eyeballs appear growing out of every available surface (even the sides of birds) when the heroes approach the Hatena's lair, to indicate the demonic presence.
  • In Hell Girl, Ichimokuren can spy on people by projecting an eye onto any surface. He usually uses walls and ceilings.
  • In Bleach, when As Nodt goes into his Vollstandig, Tatar Foras, he can create walls covered with eyes to surround his opponent. This ensues his opponent cannot escape his Deadly Gaze of Fear. Byakuya quickly destroys them all with his Shikai.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Bakura uses the card Dark Sanctuary to change their surroundings into a bloody, horrific world where the sky itself is covered with giant eyes and mouths. Or, as Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series puts it,
    Yami Bakura: Look, we're in Hell, okay?! Did the giant bloody eyeballs not tip you off!?

Comics

Film

Folklore
  • From a list of obake (Japanese demons), there's the mokumokuren, a wall of eyes that appears on a paper screen door.

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • In Doctor Who "The Almost People", there's a substance called the Flesh which is "fully programmable matter" - living matter. Jennifer, who was Flesh, once uses some in the raw form to paint eyes on a wall. When others pass by the wall, it's studded with huge lidless eyes which turn to track each person who goes by. One of them thinks the eyes are there to accuse.

Music Videos

Tabletop Game
  • The Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook "Book of Vile Darkness" provides with a squicktastic example in the Spell "Wall of Eyes" - if you try to force your way through it, it will dissolve and absorb you, your eyes added to the wall.

Theatre
  • Pippin has a scene where a backdrop full of eyes is watching Fastrada and Pippin conspiring to kill Charles. When Fastrada tells Pippin where and when Charles will be alone and unguarded, the eyes roll.

Video Games
  • Romancing SaGa 3: The final boss, The Destroyer, in his temporary ultimate form during that battle. The background begins to consist of semi transparent bloodshot eyes fading in and out of existence.
  • Doom has some eyes acting as switches.
  • In the Touhou series, Yukari Yakumo's extradimensional portals consist of innumerable eyes gazing from the other side.
  • At the end of The Matrix Online open beta, the sky turned red and was absolutely filled with these.
  • The end of the (surprisingly good) FPS KISS: Psycho Circus has the final boss in a room covered in these. They shoot shuriken at you.
  • Lar in Aero Fighters is a giant floating disembodied eye.
  • One of the bosses in Turok 2 is a giant eye protected by smaller eyes stuck on the wall.
  • Commander Keen 6 has a few eyes on the background of some stages, and the final stage involves a part where you have to use giant eyes hanging from the roof by their optic nerves as platforms.
  • In Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2, there are hallways where the walls are covered in eyeball enemies that shoot lasers as they look around. Prime 2 also had numerous decorations on the wall that resembled eyes, and when scanned, said that they were Paranoia Fuel biological cameras transmitting images to U-Mos on Aether.
  • There are eye-switches all over the walls in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. You have to shoot them with arrows or a slingshot. Ow.
  • The final boss area in the obscure and extremely weird beat 'em up Pu Li Ru La by Taito is a dark room, which sometimes lightens up to show lots of twitchy eyes on the walls.
  • Barkhang Monastery in Tomb Raider 2 has areas with eye details on the walls. They just look like paintings at first sight, but closer inspection reveals that some of them move.
  • In The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, also referred to as just hell, there is a giant gate surrounded by unnatural-looking eyes on the wall, which all need to be closed with tokens earned by completing tests elsewhere in the area. Once they close, the gate opens to reveal the Final Boss.
  • Abadox, which is set inside a planet-eating Eldritch Abomination, has wall-eyes all over the place.
  • Some of the evil spirits in Tsukumogami fall under this, most notably the Hundred-Eye Screen Door.
  • Wadanohara features the Sea of Death, which has large, realistic eyes on its walls and in its floors.

Web Comics

Western Animation
Unusual EyebrowsEye TropesVision Tropes
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