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The Unblinking

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A character who never blinks

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
catstuxedo on Mar 30th 2016 at 5:04:57 PM
Last Edited By:
ErebusElysium on Nov 9th 2016 at 5:46:05 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

A character who never blinks or ceases blinking for a particular extended period. A relatively subtle way of invoking an Uncanny Valley effect, usually to enhance a character's creepy, inhuman or evil nature.


Examples

Film - Live Action

  • David in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. This aspect of the character was suggested to Steven Spielberg by Haley Joel Osment to add to his character's robotic nature.
  • Ra's al Ghul in Batman Begins - ZCE
  • Ben Linus in Lost has a very low blinking rate, though according to actor Michael Emerson, this wasn't enforced consciously. - ZCE (how is he creepy/inhuman/evil?)
  • Large Marge in Pee-wee's Big Adventure never blinks for the entirety of the one scene she appears in, which flourishes her status as a creepy undead truck driver.
  • Lloyd, the ghostly bartender who magically appears before Jack in The Shining, never blinks as a hint toward his corporeally-challenged state.
  • Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace of the villainous variety.
  • The T-800 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a robotic yet ultimately heroic example.
  • Lady Kesa, the Lady Macbeth figure in Akira Kurosawa's Macbeth adaptation Throne of Blood, never blinks. This adds to her creepiness as she urges her husband on to murder.
  • While Judge Doom of Who Framed Roger Rabbit wears dark glasses nearly all the time, Christopher Lloyd decided to not blink in shots where his eyes are visible. This is a clue to his true nature as a Toon in disguise.

Web Original

  • "Ninja" Brian Wecht from Ninja Sex Party and Game Grumps is known for this. For example, he once ate a hot pepper and stared at the camera for more than 3 minutes without blinking once! ("Ninja Brian only blinks when you do.")

Western Animation

  • The titular characters of Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure are a more benign example; the trope here is used to highlight the fact that the characters are dolls.
  • In the first episode of Gravity Falls, Dipper claimed that Mabel's new boyfriend Norman "never blinks". He eventually comes to the conclusion that he is a zombie only to be proven wrong when he was revealed to be a bunch of gnomes instead.

Feedback: 10 replies

Mar 31st 2016 at 5:24:31 AM

  • Examples section
    • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
    • Add the word "Examples".
    • Blue Linked work names.

Several OP examples are Zero Context Examples and have been marked as such (ZCE). They need more specific information about how they fit the trope.

Mar 31st 2016 at 5:29:38 AM

  • "Ninja" Brian Wecht from Ninja Sex Party and Game Grumps is known for this. For example, he once ate a hot pepper and stared at the camera for more than 3 minutes without blinking once! ("Ninja Brian only blinks when you do.")

Mar 31st 2016 at 3:19:57 PM

Who Framed Roger Rabbit: While Judge Doom wears dark glasses nearly all the time, Christopher Lloyd decided to not blink in shots where his eyes are visible. This is a clue to his true nature as a Toon in disguise.

Mar 31st 2016 at 4:30:13 PM

Live-Action Film

Apr 1st 2016 at 1:16:43 AM

Is this a live action-only trope?

Aug 28th 2016 at 5:54:38 PM

Satan in The Young Messiah never blinks. Of course, being Satan, he's supposed to be creepy.

Aug 29th 2016 at 1:03:18 AM

  • Truth In Television for snakes, whose eyes are permanently covered by a single, transparent scale instead of eyelids. This makes them look very creepy and is part of the reason why people think Snakes Are Sinister.

Aug 29th 2016 at 1:42:09 AM

  • Miaya Gekkogahara from Danganronpa 3. This is because she's actually a robot.

Sep 3rd 2016 at 3:13:53 AM

Technically, someone who is Eyes Always Shut is unblinking. It should probably be noted that such characters are not this trope.

Sep 2nd 2016 at 7:00:28 PM

Always Opening Eyes maybe

You can count on these guys winning a staring contest.

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