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Offset Blink

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A character closes and opens one eye earlier than the other when blinking

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
tigerstar on Jul 14th 2011 at 6:32:07 AM
Last Edited By:
Arivne on Mar 8th 2016 at 8:59:58 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

Also known as an offset blink, this is an animation trope where a character blinks by closing one eye slightly earlier than the other, instead of both eyes simultaneously. This may be as subtle as a frame or two earlier, or exaggerated to the point where one eye closes and opens completely before the other follows suit. This may be a stylistic choice by the animators, used to make the action look more natural, to convey some aspect of the character such as slow-wittedness, or to make the character seem more alien or animal-like.

Examples of this trope may not necessarily include instances where it is used to convey the character being temporarily dazed, drunk, tired, etc., if the character usually blinks in the conventional way.



  • Pixar used this quite heavily in their earlier works, which led to offset blinks often being referred to as the "Pixar blink". The Pizza Planet aliens in Toy Story have noticeably offset blinks, for example (usually blinking their centre eye slightly before the left and right ones), but other characters in the film also perform more subtle versions. Has been toned down somewhat and used more sparingly in their more recent films.

Western Animation

  • Sometimes used for alien characters on Futurama. Horrible Gelatinous Blob is a prominent example, as he has three eyes that blink sequentially rather than simultaneously. There is also a lampshaded occurrence of it in the episode "The Cyber House Rules", where Leela has a second eye surgically grafted on, and has trouble blinking simultaneously to begin with.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Pinkie Pie's pet alligator Gummy usually blinks one eye at a time.

Feedback: 8 replies

Jul 14th 2011 at 7:39:09 AM

The Simpsons Did It: Springfield's mascot, the three-eyed fish, blinks sequentially rather than simultaneously.

Jul 14th 2011 at 10:37:10 PM

Agreed. Offset Blink makes more sense, and the trope predates Pixar. It's usually used for characters that are crazy, reptilian, or just not the norm for the verse they live in.

Mar 7th 2016 at 7:49:24 AM

Googled this trope on a whim, knowing it to exist. Had a hard time finding it, and am now confused why this isn't a main article. You see this trope all the time in media; I really think that it should see some implementation.

Mar 8th 2016 at 2:57:16 AM

  • Examples section
    • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
    • Added media section titles.
    • Namespaced work and Creator names.
    • Italicized work names as per How To Write An Example - Emphasis For Work Names.

Mar 8th 2016 at 8:59:58 AM