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Unnecessary Eyepatch

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An eyepatch worn by someone who doesn't need one.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
MBG on Nov 7th 2018 at 10:10:43 AM
Last Edited By:
MBG on Nov 8th 2018 at 3:48:19 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Eyepatches are cool. They're an immediate shorthand for a rugged, dangerous, and experienced character. In some cases, they even lend supernatural power.

Given this, many characters attempt to exploit this... despite having both eyes fully working. They just pull an eyepatch on, and then claim they lost the eye (traditionally in as over-the-top a manner as possible). Oftentimes, they don't even keep it consistent which eye, and switch the eyepatch around by accident. Expect jokes about their lack of depth perception, or characters pulling and snapping the patch.

This is almost always a sign that the character in question is childish, a bit of a loser, or a Paper Tiger. It's also a common trait of Chuunibyou characters or characters Dressed to Plunder. It's also sometimes used to subvert the Eyepatch After Time Skip.


Examples:

    Western Animation 
  • Patchy the Pirate from Spongebob Squarepants, has an eyepatch due to being a...well, pirate. In one episode, he accidentally gives himself a black eye and covers it with the eyepatch, revealing that the eye underneath it is perfectly fine. Additionally, his segments often show his eyepatch switching eyes at random.

Feedback: 15 replies

Nov 7th 2018 at 10:18:11 AM

  • Patchy the Pirate from Spongebob Squarepants, has an eyepatch due to being a...well, pirate. In one episode, he accidentally gives himself a black eye and covers it with the eyepatch, revealing that the eye underneath it is perfectly fine. Additionally, his segments often show his eyepatch switching eyes at random.

MBG
Nov 7th 2018 at 10:24:49 AM

Ah, crap, made an error while adding that and then the editing started bugging out. There's currently a Spongebob example in the middle of the description.

Nov 7th 2018 at 10:28:52 AM

^ I'm just impressed you were able to edit, most of us can't. Don't worry, it'll be fine.

  • Wizards Of Waverly Place: In "Wizard School", there's a character introduced by the name of Jerko Pheonix. While everyone in Wiztech has to wear big glasses with the uniform, he has an eyepatch instead. Justin and Alex assume he wears it due to missing an eye, but he admits it's just to not wear the glasses.

Nov 7th 2018 at 11:38:58 AM

In the The Batman episode "The Breakout" Robin and Batgirl kill time at the police station by looking at the Most Wanted posters. One is of a man with an eyepatch, so they speculate about how he lost his eye...

Batgirl: Eaten by a crow.
Robin: I think he fell on a spoon.
Batgirl: Nah, I bet he's not even missing an eye; he just thinks eyepatches are cool.

Nov 7th 2018 at 1:46:29 PM

  • In the Sponge Bob Square Pants episode "Aargh!", Mr. Krabs gives SpongeBob and Patrick some pirate accessories to wear while they look for treasure. Patrick wears eyepatches on both eyes and calls himself Blindbeard before tripping on SpongeBob.
  • On the title sequence of Gravity Falls, Grunkle Stan is shown wearing an eyepatch, which he switches from one eye to the other.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Howard once wore an eyepatch as a way of getting women to take notice.

Nov 7th 2018 at 2:09:28 PM

  • The Myth Busters actually put this (and the Dressed To Plunder trope) to the test to find out just exactly why pirates wore eyepatches in the first place. It seemed highly unlikely that 90% of them actually lost an eye, so there had to be a reason. It actually helps when the pirate's eyesight. By keeping one eye covered, the pirate could flip up the eyepatch or move it to the other eye when going into the darkness below deck, as the other eye would adjust to the low light situation much faster.

Nov 7th 2018 at 2:37:48 PM

  • Elan from The Order Of The Stick is shown wearing an eyepatch following a four month Time Skip. He doesn't actually need it, but feels that since he's working as Lord Hinjo's bodyguard, he needed to change his image to look more mysterious.

Nov 7th 2018 at 2:45:21 PM

I'm gonna say either: 1) this is merely "Invoked" Eyepatch Of Power and thus doesn't worth splitting, or 2) you can mine Eyepatch Of Power for examples.

That is to say, does this deserve to stand on its own, or not?

Nov 7th 2018 at 3:42:21 PM

Live-Action Television:

  • Kramer from Seinfeld decides to wear an eyepatch after seeing a cop wearing one in "The Scofflaw". His biggest complaint about it is that it's itchy.

Nov 7th 2018 at 5:31:50 PM

In real life, many pirates used an eyepatch, not to cover a missing eye, but because many times a fight might break out in the dark lower decks, so they could take the eyepatch off and they would have at least one eye ready for a fight in the dark.

Nov 7th 2018 at 7:34:35 PM

^^ Then that's a reason for Eyepatch Of Power, not this draft.

MBG
Nov 7th 2018 at 11:04:57 PM

I'm not really sure why it would be simply "invoked eyepatch of power." By that logic, say, Miles Gloriosus is just an invoked form of Boisterous Bruiser. Eyepatch Of Power is "this character has an eyepatch to visually signify that they are cool." This draft is "this character deliberately wears an obviously fake eyepatch to make themselves look cool." There's a very different connotation here, considering that it represents the exact opposite of what Eyepatch Of Power is meant to convey. You look at the examples under Eyepatch Of Power, and it's mostly tough guys; you look at the comments here, and it's mostly childish fools, hucksters, or people playing at being pirates. And there seem to be some common elements, such as the eyepatch switching sides, that aren't covered in that trope.

I mean, hell, Purely Aesthetic Glasses feels like a good precedent.

Nov 8th 2018 at 3:02:02 AM

I would like to add Kenpachi Zaraki of Bleach, who wears an eyepatch to suppress his spiritual power and make his fights more interesting.

It fits the Laconic, but not the much more specific Description.

Nov 8th 2018 at 3:48:19 AM

^ That is Eyepatch Of Power, as the eyepatch serves the purpose of a Power Limiter.

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