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Black Bead Eyes

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100% sclera free!

Lucy: Do you think my eyes are beautiful, Charlie Brown?
Charlie Brown: Yes, they look just like little round dots of India ink.

A fairly common trait amongst works with a simplistic art style is that the characters' eyes will be nothing more than a dot on their faces. Many fans of animated works will be openly familiar with this particular trope since it shows up in both Western and Eastern animation, the latter of which is usually in the form of Super Deformed Chibis. In some cases the characters may get Skintone Sclerae or Sphere Eyes when a shocked expression is needed.

Could end up causing Only Six Faces or in some cases, the exact opposite. The only eyes to show up in a more detailed Stick-Figure Comic. Might be a way to add a touch of cuteness to the series. Sudden Eye Colour occurs when Art Evolution leads to a character with black bead eyes having colored eyes in later installments.

In works which avert this trope, black bead eyes may be used for a character being drawn in the distance for simplicity.


See also Pie-Eyed for an old-school variant.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 

    Eastern Animation 

    Films — Animation 
  • Brother Bear: Koda's mother is this, although her spirit notably has sclera. Probably used to show emotion, considering it's the only time the viewer gets to see her be affectionate.
  • The groundhog/gopher in The Lion King.
  • Some ground lizards that are occasionally seen in The Land Before Time films have these.
  • The cat seen in Whitmore's mansion at the very beginning of Atlantis: The Lost Empire for some reason actually drawn with these type of eyes, but when we see the same cat again at the end of the film, it has the eyes of an actual cat!
  • A whole lot of characters from Toy Story. Justified, since they are toys. Hamm the piggy bank is the only of the six original main characters that is an example.
  • Also by Pixar, Peach the starfish and the seagulls from Finding Nemo.
  • One of Ms. Nesbitt's students from Monsters, Inc. (a blue sluglike monster who bites Mike Wazowski in the arm).
  • In the The LEGO Movie, Emmet and Benny have the classic solid black dot eyes of older LEGO minifigures, while the rest of the characters have the more recent white dots in the middle.
  • Baymax from Big Hero 6 has these for optical sensor devices, which is part of his cute design.
  • The main character and the other ducklings in The First Snow of Winter.
  • When Elinor from Brave starts losing her humanity while transformed into a bear her eyes change from humanoid to black and beady.
  • The characters of The Red Turtle have tiny black dots for eyes.
  • Most Characters in Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie who don't wear glasses except for Melvin.

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 

  • 2-D From Gorillaz has these because his eyeballs are fractured.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Bear, Ojo, and Pip and Pop in Bear in the Big Blue House, accounting for more than half the main characters (the other two, Tutter and Treelo, have regular eyes).
  • The bunnies in Jim Henson's The Tale of the Bunny Picnic, most notably Bean Bunny, who went on to be part of the regular cast of The Muppets.
  • The titular character from Nanalan has these, as do the rest of her family.


    Video Games 
  • In the early days of video games, this was largely the only way anyone could be portrayed as having eyes of any kind (outside of illustrations used in cutscenes and official artwork, etc.).
  • Professor Layton, but only for a few characters (including Layton himself).
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The Mario & Luigi series uses this style for some supporting characters.
    • Paper Mario
    • Bowser Jr, the Toads, Boos, Piantas, Nokis, Lumas, Wigglers, etc.
    • Within the prequel Yoshi series Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, and Baby Bowser all three have these, despite being well-known depicted with sclerae as adults.
    • Sledge Bros, a recurring enemy, have small beady eyes to emphasize their heavy frame.
  • Features in all of the MOTHER series games, but it's a more obvious stylistic choice in EarthBound and MOTHER 3. This also carries over when characters from the games appear in Super Smash Bros., as seen with Lucas, the Main Protagonist for MOTHER 3, being the current Trope Page Image.
  • Oddity has this as well, in lieu of the MOTHER series. Originally this was because Oddity started life as a Fan Sequel MOTHER 4, and tried to stay true to the spirit of the series as closely as possible, but well...not wanting the game to face legal issues happened.
  • Pokémon
    • A good variety Pokémon have these sort of eyes. Most notably Ditto, where in most later Pokémon media keeps this feature when transforming into other Pokémon.
    • Up until Generation II, a lot of humans had a style similar to this. It took a while for the other adaptations to catch up, but Sophocles from Pokémon Sun and Moon stands out the most.
  • Many Kirby characters.
  • Katamari Damacy: The Prince and his many, many cousins have these.
  • Peacock of Skullgirls is the only character in the game to have these, as she is a parody of almost every old cartoon trope in existence. Though in reality, they're not eyes: they're her empty eye sockets, and her real "eyes" are the six metal peacock-feather-shaped ones on her prosthetic arms that also shoot lasers.
  • Harvest Moon:
    • All the livestock in many of the games, as well as the overworld sprites of characters.
    • The artwork for Harvest Moon 64 had the characters with this style, mixed with Super-Deformed, probably to match the previous games' style. In-game artwork was more detailed though.
  • The first few eyes that your Sackboy gets in LittleBigPlanet are these. Justified in that his eyes really are only black beads or buttons. However, later on you get eyes that go beyond this, such as the cartoon eyes and the neon eyes.
  • The Coconut Crew, a group of koala NPCs from Sonic Rush Adventure, had these.
  • Humans and once-humans in They Bleed Pixels have very large, oval-shaped black eyes, often with light shining off the center.
  • Bomberman in most of his appearances, but there are some games where his eyes have a less-rounded, longer, "stick"-like shape.
  • In Don't Starve, it's a common trait among characters, mainly males, to have dot eyes. The exceptions are Webber, Woodie, and Warly who all have white Monochromatic Eyes.
  • Most characters created by Edmund McMillen will have these.
  • In Haunt The House, the ghost has them, as do the ghosts of the people you kill.
  • In Snapimals, almost every character and animal has these, to fit the game's cutesy art style.
  • Every bear except Astoria from Battle Bears.
  • All the characters in Dino Run exhibit these, albeit coming in different colors.
  • In Delta Rune Seam, the first shopkeeper you encounter, has this or his left eye.
  • The titular characters Sam and Max from Sam & Max.
  • In Compile-era Puyo Puyo games, Carbuncle had these type of eyes. Sega-era games tend to give him tiny white pupils, with the exception of 7.
  • The Switch remake for Link's Awakening uses this style. Speaking that everyone and everything looks quite toyish, this was probably done to make the characters look like living Little People toys inhabiting it's very own toyish world, implying that it might be taking place in a world of Living Toys.
  • Ninja Battle Heroes: Kosuke Anayama has a set of eye like this. So does Lord Yukimura.

    Web Animation 
  • Web Animation/asdfmovie
    • Every character.
  • Brain POP:
    • The human characters on this educational website, most notably Tim.
    • Also, the animal characters.
  • How It Should Have Ended
  • Several characters from Homestar Runner such as The Cheat, Strong Mad, Homsar, Trogdor, and most of the Old-Timey cast.
  • Tom, from Eddsworld. At times it's suggested that he doesn't actually have eyes, just eye sockets.
  • Joel from Bonus Stage had these up until his final art design. The first few characters introduced (except Elly, who had Eye Glasses) also had black eyes, but of differing shapes.
  • DSBT InsaniT: From the main characters, there is Balloon, Duck, and Snake.
  • Everyone depicted in Rooster Teeth Animated Adventures are drawn with dark blue dots for eyes, with eyelashes drawn on the women. The only exception is Geoff Ramsey, who's drawn with large hooded eyes with visible sclera.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The famous (or infamous depending on your point of view) "Have a Nice Day" smiley face has these. Moreover, many basic "smiley faces" or "frowny faces" (including "smilies" used in online forums or chatrooms [also known as emoticons]) will often have these.

    Western Animation 
  • A Treasure In My Garden: This is used in a few of the shorts, such as "Scuttlebutt, What A Nut" and "On The Tip Of My Tongue".
  • Any and all earlier inkblot characters such as Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Bosko.
    • Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse zig-zagged between this and Pie-Eyed in their vintage cartoon designs, sometimes within the same short.
  • Everyone in Clifford the Big Red Dog except Clifford himself has normal eyes. Although, Clifford does have black bead eyes only when he's a puppy. They are generally black, although a skunk that appeared once had blue eyes.
  • Cupcake in Cupcake & Dino: General Services has these.
  • Everyone in The Save-Ums! except B.B. Jammies, Olena, the crabs, and the grubs.
  • Stimpy from The Ren & Stimpy Show was given one of these as an animation error (in the "Breakfast Tips" bumper). However, John K. thought it was funny so he left it in.
  • Mostly all the animals in Ni Hao, Kai-Lan.
  • Stickin' Around does this, since its art style takes after the traditional Stick-Figure Comic.
  • Everyone in George Shrinks.
  • Yoyo Dodo of the Looney Tunes, as well as some background human characters.
    • Same thing with his son Gogo.
    • Francis X. Bushlad from Taz-Mania has dot eyes, but sometimes has sclera (whether skintone or white) for zany expressions.
    • Granny, despite having white sclerae and blue eyes, has these when her glasses are taken off. (The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries in particular)
  • The pilot of Megas XLR had Coop, Jamie, and Kiva drawn with half-outlined eyes without any color to them or even whites. The part of their eyes that would have been white was the same color as their skin.
  • Some characters in The Flintstones, most notably Barney and Wilma. In the earlier episodes Barney even had no sclerae for eyes. Does Barney have Prophet Eyes?
    • In the Flagstones pilot, Betty had dot eyes.
  • Many characters in Winnie-the-Pooh, which consisted of stuffed plush toys with actual black beads for eyes. Notable examples being Pooh himself, Piglet, Tigger, Kanga and Roo. Also, Christopher Robin himself in any of his pre-2011 appearances.
  • Everyone in Rolie Polie Olie except Pappy and Gloomius Maximus.
  • Elroy in The Jetsons
  • Practically all the characters in Doug, such as the title character, except Skeeter, Mrs. Dink, Mrs. Bluff and Mayor White.
    • Jim Jinkins also used this eye style in his other animated shows. PB&J Otter, Stanley, Jojo's Circus, and Pinky Dinky Doo; however, it was rather inconsistent—-some characters would have it, while others wouldn't. For example, on PB&J Otter, Peanut and Jelly have normal eyes, but their sister, Baby Butter, has dots for eyes. Stanley actually used this fairly consistently by giving most humans dots for eyes but animals (which the show taught kids about) normal ones.
  • All minor characters in Dexter's Laboratory such as an infant version of the title character and Major Glory, though the title character would sometimes have this when seen without his glasses, depending on the episode.
  • The Warner siblings in Animaniacs.
  • All of the characters in Pepper Ann except Milo, Trinket, Brenda and Gwen Mezzrow.
  • Many characters in Adventure Time, especially human characters. They often change in order to show emotion, though most commonly to Sphere Eyes, similar to the Pearls Before Swine example above.
  • Coconuts along with several minor characters in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Certain characters in Top Cat, such as Officer Dibble (although he had sclerae in later appearances).
  • The characters of Popeye has these in the Fleischer Studios version.
  • Boomhauer and Cotton in King of the Hill.
  • The characters of The Mr. Men Show may also qualify.
  • Any cartoon character that wears Eye Glasses. Some retain this when they take the glasses off:
    • Gus on Recess (Though it's averted by Gretchen, Miss Grotke, and Miss Finster (Depending on the Artist))
    • Milhouse and his father in The Simpsons
    • Arthur: Arthur averted this in the first season, but fell victim to it starting in the second. note 
      • Also on Arthur, Prunella (unless surprised), Rubella, and some "realistic" animal characters such as Pal and Killer.
    • Rugrats: Chuckie Finster and his father (when they're not wearing glasses).
      • Same applies to Didi and Grandpa Lou without glasses.
    • Hey Arnold!: Phoebe and the title character's grandmother.
    • Fu-Fu and the Reader on Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat. Also, any mouse characters and any other bat characters, aside from Master Wu-Fu.
    • Depending on the Artist, Simon in The Alvin Show may have these when his eyes aren't obstructed behind his glasses (in another case on the show he was shown to have normal eyes like his brothers.)
    • Lisa Loud from The Loud House.
  • Cedric Sneer of The Raccoons, whenever he takes off his glasses.
    • Schaeffer also has these. A matter of fact, a very brief blink-and-you-miss scene in The Raccoons On Ice is the only time we see his eyes.
  • In Hey Duggee, Duggee, Enid, or any animal who has dot eyes sometimes. Norrie expect for The Hiccup Badge, The Shadow Badge, The Brave Banana Badge, and The Voice Badge, including her dad, her mom, and her siblings and Happy's mom will appear.
  • Sniz and Fondue
  • Ike and every other Canadian person in South Park.
  • Rufus from Kim Possible, which is Truth in Television, guessing that naked mole rats don't have sclera.
  • Mitch Mitchelson and Princess Morbucks in The Powerpuff Girls.
  • Curious George notably caused controversy for averting this, seeing as the books play the characters like this. Interestingly, when George dreams on the show, characters are shown in the "classic" style of the books.
  • Billy and his father, as well as his cat Milkshakes and Mandy's dog Saliva, from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.
  • Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Cinnamon, Tickety-Tock, Periwinkle, Shovel, Pail, Felt Friends, Orange Kitty and Purple Kangaroo in Blue's Clues.
  • Private Public and his associates in "Sheep in the Big City"
  • Codename: Kids Next Door, though there are a few exceptions.
  • An unusual CGI case is in many of the kid characters in the Scary Godmother film adaptations. It looks especially bizarre with the way they blink in some scenes.
  • Total Drama: Chris, DJ and his mother, and Rodney. Harold and Beth also have them when shown without glasses.
  • Clerks: The Animated Series: Dante Hicks (when he isn't shocked by something)
  • All characters in Johnny Bravo. Johnny himself is shown to have them when he accidentally puts on Velma Dinkley's glasses.
  • Some of the background kid characters and some of the Dumb Muscle in Batman: The Animated Series have these kind of eyes.
  • Superman: The Animated Series played Superman with detailed dot eyes, possibly a subtle reminder of his alien origins (his father also had them).
  • When Billy Batson showed up in Justice League Unlimited he had these. While this makes him look like the way he was played in the comics, it does come off strangely odd when he's the only person in the show with that look.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Several non-sentient animals, and pony foals (except Pound Cake and Pumpkin Cake, whose eyes are respectively colored brown and blue). Snips and Snails, owing to their Non-Standard Character Design, are the oldest characters to have such kind of eyes (they're presumably the same age as the Cutie Mark Crusaders).
  • Played with in American Dragon: Jake Long: With human characters: Asians have these eyes and other ethnicities have more detailed eyes.
  • If you lived (or have lived) in Spain, you may or may not remember "La Familia Telerín", a series of bumpers that announced that children's programming was done for the day and that it was time to go to bed. All of the characters except Cleo (who has normal eyes), and Pelusin (who's eyes are never seen) have these.
  • In The Fantastic Four (1967), Doctor Doom's eyes look like this most of the time. In close up shots, they look blue with black pupils.
  • All of the characters in Little People
  • Some of the characters in The Amazing World of Gumball, including Idaho, Penny, Masami, and Carmen, though given the varying degrees of anthropomorphism in facial structure it can be hard to tell which ones are Black Bead Eyes and which are Skintone Sclerae. Masami is an unusual example in that her eyes and mouth both appear to actually be flat-edged holes in her body. Penny, when she still has her shell, has a similar face as Masami, though it's unknown how she could move her eyes and mouth inside the shell.
  • Bobby's older brother, Derek in Bobby's World.
  • Winslow, Rancid Rabbit, and Shriek DuBois in CatDog.
  • In We Bare Bears, the bear trio, Grizzly, Panda, Ice Bear. As well as Nom Nom, though only when he is being cute and not able to speak.
  • Carl Wheezer from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius has dot eyes behind his glasses; which actually, is kind of... weird for a all-CGI cartoon show where every other character is designed with more realistic eyes with iris colors. In the pilot, however, Carl had green eyes.
  • Everyone in Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!.
  • The human characters as well as a few aliens from 3-2-1 Penguins!
  • All of the characters in Poppy Cat had black bead eyes except Owl.
  • Squeak the mouse and Mole had black bead eyes in Peep and the Big Wide World
  • All of the characters in Animal Stories have this type of eyes.
  • While relevant main and secondary characters have fully drawn eyes in Steven Universe, this trope is used for the background characters.
  • Everyone in Martin Morning, with the exception of the aliens that appear in some episodes, which makes sense because they are, well, aliens.
  • The ducks and chickens in Sitting Ducks.
  • All characters in Buddy Thunderstruck.
  • All of the time characters in My Life as a Teenage Robot avoid this, but her dot eyes show up when character designs become simpler and more indistinct in long-distance shots. A notable exception is Brit Crust, who consistently has black bead eyes whenever she appears.
  • Pocoyo and most of the characters from his show have oval-shaped dot eyes.
  • Pinga and the other baby penguins in Pingu.
  • Used for all characters in Sergeant Stripes.
  • All characters except for some slugs and snails in Gordon The Garden Gnome.
  • Omi in Xiaolin Showdown, although other characters don't have any more detailed eyes.
  • Happy and Bobby in Tabaluga have these in the first two seasons.
  • All characters in Kipper.
  • Some few characters have those Black Bead Eyes on Schoolhouse Rock!.
  • All of the characters in Henry's World have eyes of this kind.
  • Used for Rosie, Gilbert, other animals, Clementine, Asian characters and others in Caillou.
  • All of the characters in ToonMarty have these.
  • All of the characters in Bali have short black lines for eyes.
  • Hilda: David has these kind of eyes, and is for some reason the only human character with this feature.
  • Nearly everyone in the Il était une fois... franchise, with the exception of Le Teigneux and Le Nabot.
  • Most non-anthropomorphic animals in DuckTales (2017) are drawn with fully black dot eyes.
  • All the characters in Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum have these type of eyes.

    Real Life 
  • Many animals have this, notably rodents. In some animals, this is due to the fact that their sclerae are the same color as their irises. In others, it is simply due to large, dark-colored irises.
  • A Funny Aneurysm moment: in the World of Weirdness, there is a panic about "Black-Eyed Children" who are weird and sinister and not all they seem to be. Magazines like Fortean Times have explored this phenomena which is on the borderline of being an Urban Myth, noting that these sinister entities are said to approach isolated people claiming to be children in distress needing help, but who radiate malevolence and sinister intent. They are often drawn/depicted with the classic Black Bead Eyes and depictions of them can be very sinister-looking indeed. A far cry from cuteness, humour or whimsy.

Alternative Title(s): Black Dot Eyes


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