"Look, when I came here, my eyes were big blue question marks. Now they're big green dollar marks."For animated characters, the eyes are the windows to the soul—literally. So literally, that their eyes become their innermost thoughts projected in very clear symbols for all to see. Some common eye symbols:
— Saunders, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
- X or +: Dead or asleep without dreaming. Comical depictions of corpses or ghosts will have their tongues sticking out as well as this.
- Spirals: Dazed, confused, terrified, dizzy, or knocked out (See also Mind-Control Eyes). Often accompanied with Circling Birdies.
- Currency signs, usually dollar ($), yen (¥), pound (£), or euro (€): Greedy. Often accompanied with a cash register sound.
- Hearts: Lovesick
- Daggers/Fire: Extreme anger and/or intent to kill someone for something unforgivable. Fire could also be used for passion.
- No Sale: Used in western cartoons after a blow to the head ("No Sale" is a command that opens a cash register's drawer without, um, making a sale. The eyes are based on the tabs that would display on an old mechanical register.) Somewhat of a Forgotten Trope now because mechanical cash registers are nearly extinct, though the term 'no sale' is still used in the retail business. TILT can be used if the character's a robot.note
- Stars: Excitement, determination and dreaming of fame and fortune
- Circles around pupils and nothing else: shock, insanity, or rage. Frequently used by American comic strips.
- Deep shaded irises with no pupils to speak of: Drugged or under mind control. The character is being forced to act against their will.
- Alternately, it can mean despair.
- Spinning swirls often convey a similar effect.
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- There was a commercial for sport shoes with Don King (or a lookalike). When an athlete who didn't want to make commercial stuff finally sort of agrees, King's eyes turn into... guess what.
Anime & Manga
- In one chapter of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, Yugi curses a TV producer to expose his greed on television, and the producer gets the kanji for "greed" in his eyes (the translated version by Viz Media uses yen signs).
- Negi Springfield in Mahou Sensei Negima! gets the Spirals version when he's knocked out by a flying door, as shown on YouTube here at about 2:40.
- Subaru of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS expresses her great appreciation for good ice cream by having her eyes turn into sparkly hearts. After Hayate first summons the Wolkenritter in a flashback in the sixth episode of A's and faints from the shock, her eyes turn into spirals by the time Vita approaches her.
- Spirals = KO. Otherwise, they're probably down but not out. Pokémon as well humans will often get those spiral eyes.
- Sometimes they'll get X-eyes when they get knocked out or shocked. For the humans, X-eyes are usually used when someone is comically beaten up; as such, they are commonly seen on James.
- Also, heart eyes are used in the anime, sometimes when a Pokemon is hit by Attract. There are also fire-eyes, star-eyes, you name them.
- The Diamond and Pearl arc of the anime introduced an open + symbol to denote the Sleep status.
- Pokémon movies, on the other hand, tend to drop this after the first couple minutes in favor of more serious effects.
- Kamichama Karin often uses spiral eyes to show confusion.
- At the cliffhanger of episode 1 of The Big O, arcane symbols appear in Dorothy's eyes as she looks up at her Humongous Mecha "sister" Dorothy One. It's possible the mecha was somehow taking control of her (since she's next seen wired into it), but it's not really clear.
- Galaxy Angel: In one episode, Ranpha's eyes turn into male units upon first meeting a male android. A nude male android.
- Lilie from Princess Tutu often gets hearts in her eyes◊ when Ahiru does something she deems 'cute'.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
- Extremely high levels of blood heat are indicated by spirals in the characters' pupils. Not at all related with confusion, but spirals show up as a symbol of
determination many times throughout the serieshow Everything's Better with Spinning.
- One fairly unique example of this trope occurs late in the series, when Kittan's eyes momentarily transform into stars upon seeing the giant stars on Yoko's latest outfit. Guess where they are.
- Simon demonstrates the "insanity/rage" eyes — pupils with nothing but empty circles around them — for a few episodes following Kamina's death.
- The "Spiral eyes" are, like a significant portion of Gurren Lagann, a reference to Getter Robo, where one of the signs of a human being supercharged by Getter Rays was their irises becoming spirals.
- Nia's eyes are an interesting example, as her pupils are designed to make her eyes look like flowers◊
- Extremely high levels of blood heat are indicated by spirals in the characters' pupils. Not at all related with confusion, but spirals show up as a symbol of
- One Piece:
- Nami's eyes occasionally change to the symbol for Beri when there's a potential profit to be made, Sanji's eye
schange to hearts whenever he's swooning over one of the girls, and in one chapter Luffy's eyes changed to takoyaki to show just how much he craved the food. And recently he seems to have expanded to meat eyes.
- Luffy and Chopper are also especially prone to starbursts when they see something sufficiently awesome. When Luffy heard of Chopper's seven transformation power, even his Speech Bubbles got sparkly.
- The characters even point this out sometimes!
- If a character shows angular spirals, it tends to mean the character is not of sound mind. Such as in Alabasta when Luffy ate something he shouldn't have and started angrily lashing out at everything he saw.
- Characters in One Piece tend to have blank, white eyes when knocked unconscious or otherwise defeated.
- Nami's eyes occasionally change to the symbol for Beri when there's a potential profit to be made, Sanji's eye
- One panel of Sgt. Frog featured Keroro with a yen symbol in one eye and an American dollar sign in the other. Giroro's eyes sometimes go up in actual flames.
- In one episode of the anime, Momoka's eyes have little flames in them as she thinks of her determination to get close to Fuyuki on an upcoming trip, which then turn to little rainclouds when he mentions it might rain.
- On the merchandise side, a sticker book of Wingding Eyes for all the model kits has been released.
- Bleach: The time skip leading to The Lost Agent Arc reveals that Orihime has practiced making face gags; Orihime can now make her eyes look like the number 3.
- All the humanoid aliens in Space Pirate Mito have starbursts for pupils. Aoi, who is half-alien, half-human, has one normal pupil and one starburst.
- Similar to the comic example below, Mako from Nerima Daikon Brothers has heart-shaped reflections in her sunglasses.
- One notable case from Slayers: The last episode in Slayers Next when Gourry and Lina reappear hugging after disappearing into the Sea of Chaos and Lina clocks Gourry, giving him the X-eyes.
- The PE teacher Suzuki in Rinne has star-eyes.
- Tobimaro and Asuka Mizunokoji from Urusei Yatsura, and their mother, have star-eyes. (Tobimaro and Asuka's father has a Henohenomoheji face.)
- Anime-only minor character Genji Heita in Ranma ˝ has star-eyes.
- Nono in Diebuster has star-eyes.
- Rurouni Kenshin has our main hero get swirly-eyed in the more lighthearted scenes.
- Super Milk Chan will often have yen signs appear in her eyes in slot-machine style whenever the topic of making money comes up; other, oddball symbols have been known to appear as well.
- In Area no Kishi, the spiral type is sported by protagonist Kakeru after his Handsome Lech team-mate Kouta puts him through several wrestling holds trying to find out more about Kakeru's childhood friend, Seven.
- Although it happens a few times, this also happens to Kirby in this episode of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! where, in one scene, Kirby tries to unsuccessfully jump over the rope, thus getting hit in the face, getting the + type in the process.
- Misaki Shokuhou in A Certain Scientific Railgun is known as the Queen of Tokiwadai and possesses mind control powers. Those under her powers usually (but not always) display small stars in their eyes. Her own eyes have massive stars in them and when Misaka finally call her out on her appearance she says she was just born like that. For awhile, fans speculated that the blond girl we see was just another puppet of the real Misaki, but it seems not.
- In the Kingdom Hearts manga some of the characters will get the X-eyes when they get knocked out. Especially we will see them most on more cartoony characters like Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey Mouse or Pete. But also the humans for example Sora, Roxas, Olette or Aladdin will get those X-eyes when they get attacked by an enemy or get knocked out.
- Episode 5 of Nurse Witch Komugi features the heroine with the yen sign in her eyes.
- 3-gatsu no Lion: When Momo meets Nikaidou for the first time while mistaking him for one of her beloved cartoon characters, Bodoro, her irises are filled with flower symbols as she's introducing herself, reflecting her excitement.
- In Black★Rock Shooter, whenever a character is being affected by their Otherself, their irises become gear-shaped.
- Sakura no Ichiban!: Asami has swirls in her eyes in the first chapter when she gets knocked out by the guys kidnapping her and Misao.
- Axis Powers Hetalia:
- When visiting Japan, America's eyes turned into spirals when he saw how small a large order of fries was.
- Germany's eyes once turned into stars when a ninja randomly appeared in a movie.
- Happens in Sailor Moon in many occasions, most noticeable with the Heart Eyes Usagi displays when meeting Tuxedo Mask and then again when seeing Rei for the first time. One particular episode of Super S featured an unusual girl that always had stars in her eyes.
- Kaitou Joker makes use of this trope. Whenever Hachi or Joker are particularly happy about something, usually a MacGuffin, their eyes take on this appearance.
- Maya from Ace Attorney briefly gets excited star-eyes when looking at naughty magazine.
- Billy Dogma creator Dean Haspiel does a twist on this: Billy's girlfriend often has heart-shaped reflections on her sunglasses.
- Condorito and related comics use swirly eyes for lunatics, whether they are in a mad house or whether the punchline that reveals them as loonies has just been delivered...
- Green Lantern often shows people with Lantern Corps symbols in their eyes when strongly feeling the corresponding emotion (the Green Lantern symbol when channelling Heroic Willpower, Red Lantern symbol when consumed by rage, etc.)
- In the 111 issue of "W.I.T.C.H." the characters Will Vandom and Martin Tubbs will both get the X-Eyes. Will get's hit by a soccer ball in her face and Martin will get kicked around by Uriah.
- In Sonic the Comic Super Sonic has Spiral eyes which make him look even more psychotic. (They're actually repeating circles, not spirals, but the effect is much the same.)
- The X-for-dead variation appears in The Superman Adventures short story "While You Were Sleeping", in which Luthor is dreaming of finally killing Superman.
- Several times in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW), notably:
- Rarity gets a watch-shaped eye, accompanied by a few gears popping out, at the sudden appearance of the spiders in issue #2.
- When Twilight and AJ are fighting over leadership in #2, AJ gets a dagger in hers, and Twilight a grenade.
- At the very end, Spike has heart eyes when meeting up with Rarity, as usual.
- The Spectre is occasionally depicted with skulls for irises for dramatic effect, often when he's inflicting Cruel and Unusual Death.
- Stormer from Jem and the Holograms got hearts in her eyes when she saw her girlfriend Kimber dressed up in a cute shark costume during a Halloween party.
- Parodied in The Unbelievable Gwenpool. When Gwen learns how much she'll make for taking a job, she pulls out a marker and physically draws dollar signs on the lenses of her mask, to the consternation of her tailor.
- Jason has had money signs in his glasses.
- Parodied in one strip where we see Jason with a number of odd symbols, before going to harass his sister Paige ("Your ugliness...it's mesmerizing!" he says with spirals in his eyes). Paige yells at him to stop drawing on his glasses.
- One strip had Peter's eyes turn into "A+++" when he gets teamed up with Morton Goldwaith on a school project.
- My Cage: Apparently in this universe such pupils are medical condition. When Maureen learns her date makes 500K a year, her eyes bug out with dollar signs, and she has to be taken to the emergency room for treatment.
- Both Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield use a rather western-centric technique of putting rings around their beady eyes as a shorthand for rage or insanity.
- Good old Charlie Brown had these too, of course.
- One distinctive Peanuts example was using commas instead of full stop eyes to indicate eye-rolling reactions or sarcasm.
- The women in the Norwegian comic "M" all have stars instead of eyes. The author says this is because it's harder to read the mood of women. Other explanations include mixing pills with alcohol.
- Beetle Bailey: Though apparently just eyes is not enough.
- Spirals and such have been spotted.
- In one strip, the characters notice that a passed-out character's eyes really do turn into X's, even though they say that's supposed to only happen in comics.
- Chip Gizmo has once been spending too much time on the computer, as evidenced by his right eye having turned into a :), left eye into a @, and mouth into ----.
- Cosmo has Wingding Ears, as seen in one strip — fitting his personality, from close up, his ears contain a dollar sign (instead of the slightly similar squiggle usually drawn inside ears).
Films — Animation
- In All Dogs Go to Heaven, Charlie's pupils become dollar signs—complete with a "cha-ching!"—when he realizes how much money he can make betting on animal races by having Anne-Marie talk to the animal participants.
- The audio commentary to Disney's Beauty and the Beast notes that Gaston has skulls visible in his eyes as the camera zooms in on his face while he's falling to his death. (It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment — try going through the scene frame-by-frame.)
- Cats Don't Dance:
- Darla Dimple is so infuriated at the animals trying to get attention that her eyes fill with fire and (cat) Skull and Crossbones at the same time.
- Earlier, when Danny's offered the chance to be in a film with the above-mentioned Dimple, he gets stars in his eyes (pun not intended).
- Fantastic Mr. Fox has several variations. The oppossum has spiral eyes when he zones out. Dogs and humans get asterisks for pupils when they eat drugged blueberries. The dead poultry have their eyes X'd out.
- In Shrek 2, if you look very closely during the scene where Puss in Boots shows Shrek and Donkey his Puppy-Dog Eyes, you can actually see two little Re/Max hot-air balloons reflected onto his pupils.
- In The LEGO Movie, Vitruvius gets Xs in his eyes after he dies.
- In The Aristocats, Edgar gets dollar signs in his eyes when plotting the cats' demise.
- Xibalba from The Book of Life, has skull-shaped irises. They even poke out of the sides of the eyes!
- In Coraline, the Other Mother and all of her living creations have the notable distinction of possessing black buttons for eyes, demonstrating their unnatural and uneasy presence.
- At the end of Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, Scrat's pupils become acorns for a moment when he sees the giant acorn in his acorn heaven.
Films — Live-Action
- In Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell's eyes burst into flame when his hair is insulted.
- This is repeated in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues when Ron gets angered again. This time, in his eyes is shown a man screaming, which could possibly be one of the contestants from the cock fight that he went to with his son, Walter.
- In A Christmas Story, when Ralphie fantasizes about defending his family from a band of clearly delineated bad guys with his official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, said villains end up with X's drawn over their eyes after they're dispatched.
- In Velvet Goldmine, when Brian Slade and his manager Jerry Devine discuss a collaboration project with Curt Wild and Curt responds not only favorably but flirtatiously, we zoom in on Brian's eyes to see pink hearts, then zoom in on Jerry's to see green dollar signs.
- A Running Gag in Hot Rod, where the titular pseudo-daredevil will "summon" the essence of some animal, followed by an image of said animal appearing in each iris.
- In Who Framed Roger Rabbit:
- Judge Doom's eyes literally stare daggers. And not get daggers in them mind, they actually extend from his skull and get pointy! They also display spiraling swirls, starbursts, etc. in brilliant red and yellow. Shudder.
- Also from this film, Lena Hyena demonstrates the "heart eyes" variation.
- As does Roger, while watching Eddie and Dolores about to kiss.
- A plot point in Moving Pictures, where eyes are Windows of the Soul. Those touched by the "Holy Wood" bug have actual stars in their eyes, a small golden star in each pupil.
- In the ''Dragonlance book, Raistlin's pupils are hourglass-shaped.
- A lot older than you might think: The "Medieval Housebook", a manuscript from ca. 1480, features the "X eyes = dead" variant for a horse in one picture◊ (at the bottom).
- "No Sale" eyes were used in the "boxing" episode of Police Squad!.
- The Basil Brush Show: Dave gets pound-sign pupils in one episode when Anil mentions he'll give anything to have his plumbing fixed.
- In the Sabrina the Teenage Witch episode "Five Easy Pieces of Libby", both Hilda and Zelda show dollar signs in their eyes when they realize how profitable Zelda's cleaning formula is.
- Penn & Teller did a card trick on the Today Show and revealed the chosen card by having Teller open his eyes wearing scleral shells that appeared to replace his pupils with a 3 and a club. They repeated the trick on Hollywood Squares, during the infamous "You Fool!" episode.
- In many episodes of The Monkees, whenever lovesick Davy locks eyes with a beautiful girl, both he (the Chick Magnet) and the girl get starry-eyed.
- The dollar sign version happens in an episode of Mr. Show with several characters (including a firefighter after seeing a burning house), as part of one of the show's many "links" that connect the sketches.
- Usagi got these in the fourth episode of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. Despite being Live Action it was well done since the heart she displayed in her eyes looked like reflection in the same way that certain types of lighting give circular reflection in the eyes, but heart shaped.
- The oddly titled "Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But..." by the Arctic Monkeys, advocating art for art's sake:
Well I ain't got no dollar signs in my eyes
It might be a surprise but it's true
- Billy Talent's anti-consumerism song "Pocketful of Dreams" contains the line "Still when I look into your eyes they're full of dollar signs".
- Lupe Fiasco's character "The Streets" constantly has glowing green dollar signs in her eyes. "The Game" has glowing red dice.
- Primal Scream - "Swastika Eyes". A reference to Weimar Republic political cartoonists who drew Nazis with swastika Wingding Eyes.
- Nirvana's logo has the X-eyes version.
- Pepe Deluxé's ''Go Supersonic" video uses X-eyes for death. Glowing, neon X-eyes.
- Referenced in the lyrics for "Rhythm Section Want Ad" by They Might Be Giants:
For every one with dollar signs in his eyes
There must be hundreds that look at you as if you're some kind of
Rhythm section want ad
- The original design for Deadmau5' Mau5head (seen on the cover of Get Scraped) featured X-eyes. This was abandoned for most subsequent incarnations.
- In Muppet Treasure Island, upon discovering Billy Bones' treasure map, Gonzo gets dollar signs in his eyes as he says "We're gonna be rich!" Meanwhile, the nervous Rizzo has X-eyes as he says "We're gonna be dead."
- In Mario Party 2 there is a 1-vs-3 minigame called "Look Away". When the characters lose this minigame, their heads will shrink, spin and disappear in the background. Also, their eyes will change to show their defeat. Mario for example will get the X-eyes, Donkey Kong will get spiral-eyes and Princess Peach will have black stars instead of pupils in her eyes.
- In Super Mario Sunshine Mario's eyes turn into hearts when he sees a commercial for Isle Delfino's restaurants.
- When Mario dies or gets burned by fire/lava in Super Mario 64, his eyes become Xs.
- In Mario Kart: Double Dash!! some characters like Yoshi, Birdo, Koopa and Paratroopa will get X-eyes when they get hit by an item or get their kart backflipped by a Blue Shell, Bob-Omb or Bomb-Car.
- Bomberman commonly uses these, because his eyes are the -only- facial feature on his computer screen-like face.
- Cooking Mama gets stars in her eyes when you succeed at a task, and they becomes flame if you should miss one of her instructions. "Don't worry! Mama will fix it!"
- Wario's eyes have dollar signs in the intro to most WarioWare games whenever he stumbles upon a new money-making scheme. Except for WarioWare: Snapped in which coins are in Wario's eyes rather than the dollar signs, and WarioWare: Smooth Moves, in which the dollar signs did not appear at all.
- Disgaea: Princess Sapphire has naturally star shaped pupils. Flonne's eyes occasionally change to flames whenever she gets fired up.
- Lemina in Lunar: Eternal Blue has the dollar sign version any time she makes money off something, or is thinking of a way to do so.
- Gaia Online has a series of glasses accessories that have this effect on your avatar. The track-invading Yaoi Fangirl from the '08 Olympics had a pair with swirlies, if I remember correctly.
- An equally absurd example comes from the later levels of zOMG! There your character is, at the bottom of the ocean looking for the Big Bad's lair, when you notice a heap of apparent rocks has an eye in it. An eye bigger than your avatar. And it blinks. And every time it blinks, its pupil changes shape. And nobody on either the zOMG! forum or the GCD knows what it is, aside from weird.
- The Hidden Ace evolving item has four pairs of eyes with pupils shaped after card suits — diamond, heart, spade and club.
- In Chulip, the protagonist gets X's in his eyes whenever he gets hurt...and with Everything Trying to Kill You, this is quite often.
- Conker's Bad Fur Day:
- Whenever Conker gets one of the cash prizes, dollar signs scroll across his eyes like reels on a slot machine.
- In one part of the game, Conker has to drink a large amount of beer so he will be able to urinate on fire-covered demons that are trying to kill him. After he drinks the beer, a fuel gauge appears on his eyes, with the pointer going from empty to full.
- Platinum the Trinity of BlazBlue has naturally heart-shaped pupils. They go away whenever the Trinity personality takes over.
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- In one of the FMVs for Worms 2, a lone worm plays with a slot machine until three dynamite pictures line up. Thinking he won, dollar signs appear in his eyes until he hears a fuse burning and the dollar sign becomes a question mark. Cue screaming and an explosion.
- In one of the World Heroes Arcade endings, Janne gets heart-eyed. Use this link, and go to 1:40 of the video to view it.
- Ripper Roo from Crash Bandicoot , depending on the game in the series, has the swirling spiral variety or circles around the pupils to show his mental instability and Ax-Craziness. Although as Dr. Roo, he has normal eyes hidden underneath his glasses.
- The spiral eyes show up quite often in the Starfy series, and Starly gets the heart eyes in the 4th game.
- Spinda of the Pokémon series naturally have spiral eyes, which are meant to tie in with their tottering, confusing movements. Other examples include Chinchou's plus sign eyes, Wynaut's carets, and Whismur's plus sign. Many Pokémon have dot or line eyes too.
- The Bubble Bobble games have a unique exaggerated variant of + eyes: characters' eyes get crossed out by a literal black line. In Bubble Memories, a sequel, dying player-characters end up with Blank White Eyes instead.
- When you lose in Minesweeper, the Yellowface's eyes become little X's.
- In the Puyo Puyo series, some of the characters like Amitie or Arle Nadja will get the X-eyes when the lose a game.
- Brain Dead 13 uses this in the final scene. Fritz gets so angry that he uses this as a slot machine to think of the many methods to kill Lance, including a high-heeled shoe, until finally, the word "Jackpot" appears, in which Fritz unleashes ALL of the weapons he has at Lance.
- In the original Super Smash Bros., when Kirby is dazed, he becomes swirly-eyed. This was dropped in later games. However, Super Smash Bros For 3DS/Wii U does this to another character in the form of Pikachu; when Pikachu is dazed, it becomes swirly-eyed.
- Some of the costume items in LittleBigPlanet are like this, such as the Dizzy Eyes, which actually spin around while being swirly.
- Ace Attorney
- In the opening cutscene of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, Athena and Widget get swirly eyes after Athena trips and falls down a staircase.
- In the first case of the same game, Juniper Woods' "damage" animation has her pull her pigtails so hard that they snap back and deck her in the eyes, leaving Xs.
- A Dummied Out sprite for the first game shows Phoenix with heart eyes. This was originally used to show his reaction to seeing April May for the first time in court, but after the script was rewritten so that Phoenix first meets April in an investigation segment, where the player character's sprite isn't visible, the sprite went unused as there was no need for it anymore.
- Still regarding Phoenix, his eyes turn into a large X whenever he sneezes in the first case of Trial and Tribulations.
- From the opening of the Arcade Game Go! Go! Mile Smile:
- Dead units in Totally Accurate Battle Simulator will have X eyes when they die. Otherwise, they walk around with googly eyes rolling in their heads.
- Persona 5: The eyes on Funny Animal Morgana will turn into yellow, four-pointed stars whenever he starts plotting something.
- Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: After Strong Bad gives Homestar a Tap on the Head, Homestar's eyes become X's as he falls over.
- The Maid Of Fairewell Heights: Marshmallow's eyes turn into hearts when in her car, saying:
Mmm! This wind feels great!
- Miitomo: When speaking about love or moolah, the Mii's eyes are turned respectively into hearts and coins.
- In the intro to Super Mario Sunshine, Mario gets hearts in his eyes when the advertisement in the plane shows a bounty of food.
- Dangan Ronpa:
- Finley from Hustle Cat gets literal stars in her eyes when she is excited, frequently about something adorable that another character is doing.
- Claude Trilleo from Sunrider occasionally gets hearts in her eyes when she’s feeling particularly… amorous towards Kayto Shields.
- The Watchmen parody "Saturday Morning Watchmen" shows the Comedian having the heart version... for Silk Spectre II.
- In Happy Tree Friends:
- In "Mime to Five", after finally getting enough money to buy the unicycle he wants, Mime gets the dollar sign version followed by a version with unicycles.
- In "We're Scrooged!", Lumpy gets the dollar sign version. The annotated version says he should really see a doctor about that.
- In "I Nub You", Petunia gets the heart version.
- Doki gets several over the course of There she is!!
- In the RWBY episodes "The Shining Beacon (Part 1)" and "Players and Pieces", Ruby gets the spiral version.
- In Ava's Demon, Ava's spirit, while she bleeds out, has x-ed out eyes.
- Bobwhite: "I'm... networking." *stars*
- The dollar-sign variation is taken Up to Eleven in this Cyanide & Happiness comic.
- The very first page of Digger finds the titular character tunneling around dazed and swirly-eyed, thinking she was a small stone named Edward.
- Mentioned, but not shown, in several Dinosaur Comics strips, such as here, here and here (in the Alt Text).
- El Goonish Shive:
- A spiral-and-star combo express pain and disorientation in an episode of Everyday Heroes.
- Sam is faking death but still got the X's, thanks to them actually being part of an animatronic mask concealing his face from others.
- There's also the terraforming robot Sawtooth Rivergrinder, whose eyes are actual displays.
- In Girly, taking a cat that ate some Lethal Chef produce to the vet's:
Vet: How do his eyes look?
Otra: Well... They were swirly, last I checked... Wait. They're stars now.
- Appears a few times in Homestuck:
- Used occasionally in The KAMics, with X-eyes being the most common.
- In this strip of Kevin & Kell, while George is negotiating a business deal with Steve Lops, his eyes are dollar signs. Then, Steve's assistant Zerda arrives, and George's eyes very suddenly become hearts. The punchline is about eyestrain.
- "Of course with the novelty contact lens addiction I haven't had a job or a girlfriend in years."
- Ménage ŕ 3 uses this a lot, often when a female touches Gary in any way, but also in other situations, as here. Note that hearts can indicate physical lust as much as lovesickness in this comic — Senna, in that example, is no sort of romantic.
- Lampshaded in Sharp Zero when Kate yells at Elliot and her pupils turn into flaming skulls.
Madina: How did you do that with your eyes?
- The Order of the Stick:
- The discerning reader soon learns that any particular person is dead when they see the Xs in the person's eyes; it distinguishes death from unconsciousness.
- The characters know that Roy Greenhilt is dead when they see the Xs.
- Later, Celia draws X's over Belkar's and Haley's eyes to pass them for dead.
- The swirly eyes variant is lampshaded in another, earlier strip, and subsequently fairly often used to indicate mind control.
Roy: I think Vaarsuvius has hypnotized the dragon.
Belkar: Why do you say that?
Roy: Well, the dragon's got swirly eyes.
- When the nerdy aardvark Stephan from Ozy and Millie goes into über-nerd mode, his glasses show things like dollar signs, clocks or whatever is appropriate in that situation.
- A new variation in Penny and Aggie. The principal announces that Calvin Machrie will coach the theater team. The reactions of three students are... see for yourself.
- Frequent in Persona 4TW, especially with spirals and X's.
- Mentioned in Questionable Content:
- Faye says she has dollar signs dancing in her eyes now that she only has to pay a third of the rent. Dora tells her her medical doesn't cover "cashtigmatism".
- Dora mentions it herself when the shop gets a good review in the local paper. Marten jokes he thought it was due to novelty contact lenses.
- The Rifters: Carnby gets this briefly when he first meets Jo.
- Lampshaded in Sluggy Freelance. Not only does Torg freak out when he sees dollar signs appear in the realtor's eyes, but then the realtor also complains while rubbing them that it hurts every time it happens.
- Ultimax member Holly has her eyes turn into hearts when she sees Silver's hologram of Tails in Sonic the Comic – Online! story "Silver Landing".
- Sticky Dilly Buns: Ruby suffers a classic attack of dollar signs when she suddenly remembers her business training in the middle of a conversation about Yaoi and morality.
- Unfamiliar uses this a lot.
- Waterworks: "he can't be dead! his eyes aren't X's! finish him off!" The character so commanded does, at which point the unconscious victim's eyes turn from one large X into two small X's.
- Scalie Schoolie: In this strip, Geraldine gets dollar sign eyes when Iris offers her a bribe.
Geraldine: Well I do like money!
Calli: I can tell! You've got dollar signs for eyes!
Geraldine: That is an unrelated medical condition, and I'd appreciate if you didn't draw attention to it.
- For Sesame Street's 40th anniversary, the Google logo has been different for each day. This one◊ has Elmo on it... It seems they were attempting that Anime "Upside-down U" look on him, but... though it looks a lot more like Kermit The Frog's eyes. Maybe that's what they were shooting for?
- Bronies React: In the episode for the Season 5 Finale of MLP:FIM, when Deadpool shows up in Jaxblade's house (Makes Just as Much Sense in Context), he gets hearts over his eyes at the mention of My Little Pony, and then thin white stripes as he leaves, dejected.
- Lampshaded in Johnny Bravo: in an episode that sent up King Kong, Carl expresses worry that the giant gorilla they captured might get aggravated and go on a rampage. Pops, who has dollar-sign pupils as he thinks about how much money this will make him, says "Sorry Carl, I can't hear you, I have huge dollar signs in my eyes."
- Phineas and Ferb:
- Isabella pulls the hearts-for-eyes variation when she first greets Phineas in "Rollercoaster".
- Played for laughs in the episode "Act Your Age", where Baljeet states that the hearts were visible in-universe.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy:
- Eddy frequently has dollar-sign eyes whenever he thinks about money. In "Virt-Ed-Go" his entire head transforms into a "1½ Penny" and later in the same episode his eyes turn into dollar signs, leading to Double D actually peeling one off and examining it.
- The show in general features the "circles around pupils" variant near-constantly whenever a character is excited.
- Eddy gets the anime swirls from lack of sleep after Ed kept him up all night in "One Plus One Equals Ed".
- In the Catillac Cats episode Search for a Star, Wordsworth crashes his Stilt-Mobile, leaving him dizzy with spiral eyes. Immediately after, a greedy stalker/talent agent, upon seeing Cleo, gets gold coins in his eyes.
- In Total Drama Island, Harold gets heart ones when he reminesces about LeShawna. Later gets the circles around his pupils after Courtney threatens to post the poems he gave to her online (which, thanks to Chef, we can assume were steamy).
- Spoofed on Drawn Together: When Ling Ling sees a money-making opportunity, his pupils become yen signs. When Foxxy sees one, her nipples become dollar signs.
- Rocko's Modern Life:
- Lampshaded in the "To Heck and Back" episode: "Heff, you've got Xs for eyes! What does that mean?"
- When Heffer goes out with the milking machine, his eyes show stars, before he falls over. Originally they were supposed to be hearts.
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
- In an episode, Mr. Krabs discusses a lawsuit with his lawyer. After mentioning that the lawyer won't charge Krabs unless they win, Krabs' pupils change to dollar signs. After mentioning counter-suing, Krabs' eyes turn into massive gold bars that slam into the floor with the weight. Lampshaded, as the lawyer asks if that normally happens, and SpongeBob states that "They're usually silver."
- SpongeBob gets stars in his eyes in "Squid's Day Off" when Squidward, who is acting as his boss while Mr. Krabs is away, tells him that he's getting a promotion and in "As Seen on TV", when he gets the idea to pursue a singing career. "Solo record..."
- In "Just one bite" SpongeBob gets hearts in his eyes when Squidward seems to enjoy tasting a Krabby Patty only for the hearts to explode when Squidward states it was terrible.
- In "Demolition Doofus", Mrs. Puff is so angry at SpongeBob for injuring her that her pupils become images of SpongeBob laughing, which then explode into mushroom clouds.
- The Simpsons:
- Krusty the Clown invokes the dollar signs version, but immediately afterward spoofs it, saying they were contact lenses marked with dollar signs; it was something he always wanted to try.
- Parodied in the Treehouse of Horror XV segment "The Ned Zone": When Homer hears about Flanders's ablitiy to predict peoples' deaths, his eyes turn into skulls, then dollar signs, then American flags and finally a dog chasing a cat before his normal pupils return.
- In the Episode "Bart the General", we can see one dream sequence with Bart lying in dead in a coffin after Nelson beats him up. In this scene he had the X-eyes to show them in a cartoony way that he is dead.
- In "Some Enchanted Evening", as Marge is angrily waiting for Homer at the door, her pupils turn into flames.
- In "Opposites A-Frack", after seeing Patty and Selma's Wet Sari Scene, Homer's pupils shatter like glass and are swept away by a janitor inside his eyes.
- Pokerface from SilverHawks will lift his shades to reveal slot machine like eyes that spin to reflect various emotions, usually excitement or greed.
- Looney Tunes cartoons did this countless times, with money signs and hearts.
- One notable example is in "You Were Never Duckier" — Daffy Duck enters a poultry judging contest disguised as a rooster, confident he's a shoo-in for the $5000 prize, waiting with "dollar" signs in his eyes. When he loses, and the $5 prize for best duck is announced, he shrugs "Who am I to sneer at a fast fiver?", doffs the disguise and waits with "cent'' signs in eyes.
- Tiny Toon Adventures:
- Montana Max and Plucky Duck are the most likely candidates for the dollar-sign version. Plucky also takes the stars version when he thinks there's a chance at getting some fame.
- The spiral version also happens a couple of times, most notably with Fifi LaFume at the end of "Out of Odor" and Calamity Coyote in "Love Stinks". The heart version also occurs with Fifi in "Love Stinks" and "Aroma Amore".
- When Dizzy is rooming with Hamton after his cave is flooded out, in one scene, he begins jumping on Hamton's bed with a very angry Hamton watching him (and his pupils had taken the form of Dizzy's silhouette bouncing up and down).
- Mission Hill did a variation of this: When someone was staring at something (like somebody's butt), dotted lines would come out of their eyes, ending at what they're looking at. These lines would turn into daggers when one character was mad at another.
- In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, the Music Meister combines this with Expressive Mask: his wraparound shades have musical notes, but the connecting bar behaves like eyebrows and the note body placement corresponds to where he's looking.
- Occurs on Jimmy Two-Shoes, usually with Heloise using fire when she gets angry.
- Tom and Jerry:
- In "Baby Butch", after watching Tom put a ham into the fridge, the titular black cat's eye balloon out into full refrigerators with open doors.
- In "Quiet, Please!" , Tom gives Spike sleeping pills to keep him from waking up. He lifts one of his eyelids, and the eye has text reading "out cold". Later, Jerry looks into Spike's eye, which now reads "still out cold".
- A disturbing example in Popeye: Popeye buys a parrot for Olive; a jealous Bluto leans in toward the cage, and in close-up, his pupils become images of his hand strangling the bird!
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- In "A Bird in the Hoof", Princess Celestia's sickly pet bird gets ice cube pupils when she has the chills, and later gets "X" eyes when she seemingly keels over dead.
- In "Lesson Zero", ponies affected by Twilight's "Want it, Need it" spell get hearts in their eyes. (This also counts as Mind-Control Eyes.) For bonus points, Derpy Hooves remains Comically Cross-Eyed when the effect hits her.
- In "Putting Your Hoof Down", this happens to one-time character Iron Will, whose eyes turn into "bits" (currency used in Equestria) when he succeeds in making Fluttershy assertive.
- In "Magical Mystery Cure", when Twilight helps restore the true destinies of the other members of the Mane Six, memories of their original life flash through their eyes.
- In Totally Spies!, the main characters Clover, Sam, Alex and also a few of the other characters will get often spiral eyes when they are dizzy, mind-controlled or get knocked out. In the episode "S.P.I." Alex and Sam get X eyes when they crash down on some boxes. Clover instead gets spiral eyes.
- In "Sweet (Truck) Ride", from Littlest Pet Shop (2012), Zoe gets the stars variation when she thinks about making a movie.
- Lampshade Hanging in The Amazing World of Gumball: "Why are your eyes shaped like hearts?" "Allergies..."
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
- In "Prank Call of Cthulhu", Grim gets mad and his eyes fill with fire. When Billy tells him his eyes are on fire, he starts screaming and tells Billy to out them out. He gives him coffee, hot sauce, acid and rocket fuel until Grim puts them out in the toilet.
- A non-lampshaded example appears in the episode "Complete and Utter Chaos"; When Mandy holds the Apple of Discord and thinks about the powers that it can give her, her pupils transform into the apple.
- In the song sequence from "Keeper of the Reaper", Mandy's pupils become images of Grim's skull when she sings the lyric "Grim is the anger in my stare!"
- Mr. Bogus: The first claymation short shown during the intro before the episode "Museum Madness" had this happen to Bogus after finding a treasure map in a bottle in the attic, his eyes taking on the shape of numbers before forming the shape of dollar bills.
- In the Talkartoons short "The Robot", Bimbo is afraid to fight a round with One-Round Mike and, seeing that his opponent has a horseshoe in his boxing glove, his pupils turn into horseshoes that clang together.
- Most of the robots in Futurama are noted for having square pupils (or the ones with visible pupils anyway). Bender took this a step further in Bender's Big Score, where when he was under mind control, his pupils turned into square spirals. The writers noted this ended up looking really creepy in the DVD commentaries.
- Steven Universe:
- The title character will get literal stars in his eyes when he's particularly amazed or excited.
- Steven got this from his mother Rose Quartz, whose also got star-eyed when amazed.
- In "Back To The Barn", Pearl ends up with swirly eyes after the robot she is piloting is slammed back and forth Hulk-on-Loki style by Peridot's mech.
- In "Log Date 7 15 2", Peridot gets star-eyes while ranting that she's now one of the Crystal Gems after telling off Yellow Diamond and turning her back on the Homeworld.
- Connie's eyes turn into diamonds when she's excited.
- In "Say Uncle", after freaking out when the other crystal gems heads detach from their bodies, spin around planet Earth and reattach to their bodies, Pearl goes into shock and becomes in-cohesive and for a split second, her eyes form Xs right when she passes out on the ground.
- In the Life with Loopy short "Larry's Girl", both Larry and Stacey get hearts in their eyes upon meeting each other.
- On American Dad!, when Roger's eyes turn into dollar signs, it causes him physical pain.
- Super Secret Secret Squirrel: The reflections on Morocco's shades often do this; the usual squiggle turning into an exclamation mark is a common one.
- The Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy cartoon "Good Mouse Keeping" centered on a mouse filching the cheese in the kitchen. In one instance he's sleepwalking. Doggie Daddy wonders if the mouse is really asleep, so Augie lifts one of his eyelids. The iris is replaced with the word "Shhh!"
- In the Sonic Boom episode, "Vector Detector", when Vector mentions he got into the TV business for the money, dollar signs appear in his eyes.
Tails: You should probably see an optometrist about that.
- In the Macintosh "Sad Mac" error message, the icon's eyes form an "X", which means that your computer has crashed. The Google Chrome "Sad Tab" error is a homage to this.
- Unsurprisingly, there are novelty contact lenses out there that let you achieve this effect.
- The stock Emoji available on most smartphones include smiley faces with heart eyes for love, with dollar eyes for greed, and with x eyes for shock.