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Black Bead Eyes

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The Four-Temperament Ensemble: Black Bead Editionnote 
Lucy: Do you think my eyes are beautiful, Charlie Brown?
Charlie Brown: Yes, they look 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. Shadowed Face, Glowing Eyes is this trope's visual inverse.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has a plethora of unique eye designs (and in turn, creates a Cast of Snowflakes), but characters will often be depicted with beady dot eyes during various comedic takes. However, Sumi, Kiyo, and Naho (servants of the Butterfly Estate) genuinely have these type of eyes by default.
  • Mayne, assistant engineer for the ship Quin Zaza in Drifting Dragons is unique for having these. This makes her easy to spot, even in crowds.
  • Midori from Gakuen Babysitters has these and she is the only one of the daycare cast who does, as the other kids are drawn with more detailed eyes. This tends to be commented on by other characters. Even as a teacher in Usaida's dream, one simplified panel of her still uses these eyes.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Zigzagged in Dilbert; most non-bespectacled characters have black dots for eyes, though, as in Calvin and Hobbes, their sclerae occasionally become visible, usually to show surprise, disgust, or rage.
  • All of the characters in The Family Circus are drawn with black dots for eyes (unless they're wearing glasses).
  • Some characters in Pearls Before Swine have black dots for eyes, including the main characters, though their eyes often change to Sphere Eyes in order to show emotion.
  • PreTeena: Only the central character, or those closest to the "camera", are drawn with detailed eyes: most of time the characters just have black dots.
  • The Zigzagging continues in Zits, where eyes visibly widen to show emotion.

    Eastern Animation 

    Films — Animation 
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: For some reason, Milo's cat, Fluffy, is actually drawn with these type of eyes when he appears at the start of the film, but when we see the same cat again at the end, he has the eyes of an actual cat.
  • Baymax from Big Hero 6 has black dots for optical sensor devices, which is part of his cute design.
  • When Elinor from Brave starts losing her humanity while transformed into a bear her eyes change from humanoid to black and beady.
  • Brother Bear: Koda's mother has black dots for eyes, although her spirit notably has sclerae. Probably used to show emotion, considering it's the only time the viewer gets to see her be affectionate.
  • Most Characters in Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie who don't wear glasses except for Melvin.
  • Peach the starfish and the seagulls from Finding Nemo have eyes like these.
  • 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.
    • Rex Dangervest from the sequel also has solid black eyes hinting that he's actually a future version of Emmet.
  • One of Ms. Nesbitt's students from Monsters, Inc. (a blue sluglike monster who bites Mike Wazowski in the arm) sports eyes of this type.
  • The characters of The Red Turtle have tiny black dots for eyes.
  • Many characters from Toy Story have black dots for eyes. Justified, since they are toys and those often have simplistic designs. Hamm the piggy bank is the only one of the six original main characters that is an example.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Illustrator Nick Sharratt, well known for illustrating most of Jacqueline Wilson's books, draws his characters with black dot eyes.
  • Tomie dePaola frequently drew his characters with dots for eyes, wit the most well-known examples including Bill and Peet and Strega Nona.
  • Babar and his cast mates have eyes like these, in keeping with author Jean de Brunhoff's drawing style.
  • Hurray for the Dorchester!: If not in the book, then at least on the cover, all the humans are drawn with black dot eyes.
  • Madeline: The book's art style saw the characters' eyes drawn in this style.
  • Max & the Midknights: All the male characters in the book have little black dot eyes, while all the girls in the book have black vertical line eyes. Possibly justified by the fact that it's in keeping with Lincoln Pierce's art style from the Big Nate series.
  • The Mr. Men characters had large black dots for eyes in the original illustrations, but in later editions, they have smaller black dots, with other lines round them, perhaps to make their faces more expressive.
  • Oona: Most of the characters in the book have little black dot eyes as part of the show's fuzzy, cutesy art style.
  • Public School Superhero: Pretty much everyone in the book has their eyes drawn like this.
  • Samurai Scarecrow: All the characters in the book have these.
  • Stick Dog: Most humans in the books re drawn with little black dot eyes.
  • Taro And Jiro The Sibling Engines: All of the human characters in the book and its sequel have their eyes drawn as little black dots. This is likely because all the humans are much smaller than the protagonists (who have their eyes drawn as Black Dot Pupils), so their faces can't hold quite as much detail.
  • Welcome To Wonderland: Pretty much every character has their eyes drawn like this.
  • Most of the characters in Winnie the Pooh were drawn with ink dots for eyes. In the animated adaptations, most of the stuffed animal characters (except Eeyore, for some reason) retain these eyes (though Tigger has a white "mask" on his face that doubles as sclera), while the "live" characters (Owl, Rabbit, and Gopher) are given realistic eyes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Glass black dots were used for the Legends and Lore Duck puppet, Bluebird puppet and the Bee puppet from "Baby's First Sounds" on Series/Baby Einstein.
  • Bananas in Pajamas: All the characters on the show had glass dots as the eyes on the actors' costumes.
  • Land O'Hands: The puppets all used black dot glass eyes for their designs.

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

    Puppet Shows 
  • Between the Lions: Some characters including Click and Announcer Bunny have these kind of eyes.
  • The Muppets:
    • Dr. Julius Strangepork has such eyes of this type.
    • In her first appearance (the "Escape to Beneath the Planet of the Pigs" in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence), Miss Piggy had beady eyes, though her design was modified once production of The Muppet Show proper began.
    • In the Jim Henson's Play-Along video series, a pair of Muppet characters named Kai-Lee and P.J. are designed with beady eyes.

  • Every LEGO minifigure had simplistic eyes that were merely featureless black dots, to go along with the minimalistic design of the figures. Minifigures from mid-2000s onwards had smaller white dots within to create more reflective-looking eyes.
  • Several characters in Tamagotchi, primarily ones that were introduced in the original 90's toys, have little black dots or lines for eyes. Series Mascot Mametchi was depicted in his LCD form with lines for eyes even after he was updated to have more detailed, oval-shaped eyes in official artwork, though later releases have since corrected this.

    Video Games 
  • Alekon: A number of fictions in the game, like Jolly Flippers, Orashells, and Japley, have little black dot eyes as part of the game's cutesy art style.
  • Ayo the Clown: A few characters in the game, like Ayo, Radish Boy, and the moon in the first level, have little black dot eyes.
  • All the characters in Dino Run exhibit these, albeit coming in different colors.
  • 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.
  • In Everybody Edits, most of the smileys have black lines for eyes. A few smileys' eyes are in different shapes or colors, however.
  • Flea (2020): Pretty much the vast majority of the characters in the game have little black dot eyes.
  • Harvest Moon:
    • All the livestock in many of the games, as well as the overworld sprites of characters.
    • The artwork for Harvest Moon 64 has the characters with this style, mixed with Super-Deformed, probably to match the previous games' style. In-game artwork is more detailed though.
  • In Haunt the House, the ghost has black dot eyes, as do the ghosts of the people you kill.
  • The pigs in Hay Day have these. Interestingly, no other character in the game does.
  • Katamari Damacy: The Prince and his many, many cousins have black dot eyes to go with the simplistic artstyle of the series.
  • Keep Out: Mr. M has black bead eyes. You can see this when you get a close up of him.
  • Many Kirby characters have this style of eyes in keeping with their simple, cartoony designs.
  • Mad Age And This Guy: The player character's eyes make up two black pixels. His bird's eye make up one black pixel.
  • Gorons from The Legend of Zelda have dot eyes. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity even shows a close-up on Daruk's eyes, showing them like blue stones.
  • The Switch remake for The Legend of Zelda: 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 the game's very toyish world, implying that it might be taking place in a world of Living Toys.
  • 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.
  • LUNA The Shadow Dust: The boy has eyes that are big black dots. This is likely a part of the game's art style.
  • Black dot eyes are in all of the Mother series games, but it's a more obvious stylistic choice in EarthBound (1994) and Mother 3. This also carries over when characters from the games appear in Super Smash Bros.
  • The characters in Oddity has black bead eyes 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 black dots for eyes. Most notably Ditto; while in the games and anime, it can transform into other Pokémon perfectly, merchandise naturally tends to have "Ditto versions" of the creatures keep this feature to distinguish them.
    • 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 as most characters have normal eyes with scalerae.
  • Professor Layton: A few characters (including Layton himself) have little black dot eyes.
  • Przygody Reksia: Many characters, such as Reksio himself, have small black dots for eyes. Other eye types include eyes with white sclerae and black pupils but no irises, and more rarely, cross-shaped eyes or all white eyes.
  • In Compile-era Puyo Puyo games, Carbuncle had black dot eyes. Sega-era games tend to give him tiny white pupils, with the exception of 7.
  • Pylons: Invoked by the game's nature as a Retraux game. Most of the characters in the game have little black bead eyes. One exception is the possessed construction workers.
  • Richman series:
    • October has dots for his eyes in 7, 9 and the spinoff Fight.
    • Salonbus also has these eyes in 7, 8 and 9.
  • Peacock of Skullgirls is the only character in the game to have black dot eyes, 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.
  • In Snapimals, almost every character and animal has these, to fit the game's cutesy art style.
  • Black Bead Eyes are an option for creatures in Spore (a purely cosmetic option, but an option nonetheless).
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The Mario & Luigi series uses black bead eyes for some supporting characters.
    • 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.
  • Humans and once-humans in They Bleed Pixels have very large, oval-shaped black eyes, often with light shining off the center.
  • The main character of Time Fcuk and Steven invert this, being pure black figures with white bead eyes.
  • Part of the cutesy Signature Style for Taiko no Tatsujin illustrator Yoko Yukiko, who draws almost every character in the franchise with beady black eyes. This even carried over to her depiction of Zero and Five in Drakengard 3 (directed by her husband Creator/Yoko Taro) as Waddling Heads as part of Censored for Comedy joke.

    Web Animation 
  • Due to the simplistic artstyle of asdfmovie, every character has these save for a few close up reaction shots when their eyes are much more detailed (and veiny).
  • Object shows are quite fond of this trope; however, some newer ones do have characters with human-like eyes, especially those that feature algebraliens. A notable example is BFB - the fourth season of Battle for Dream Island - whose host, Four, has more realistic eyes.
  • 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.
  • Brain POP: The human characters and animal characters all have black dots for eyes due to the simplistic artstyle of the website.
  • The Champions (2018) has inconsistent eye designs for their characters. Whereas ones like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thomas Müller and Jurgen Klopp have eye whites, others, like Philippe Coutinho, Diego Simeone, Kevin De Bruyne and most notably Christian Pulisic have black beaded eyes.
  • DSBT InsaniT: From the main characters, there is Balloon, Duck, and Snake. Its worth noting all of them are kid characters.
  • Tom, from Eddsworld has black dot eyes. At times it's suggested that he doesn't actually have eyes, just eye sockets.
  • 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.
  • In the Sock Series, The titular hamster Sock, the smoking demon and the humans have eyes like this. Sock's owner have similar eyes but are more line shaped. Gaeous the god of dirt appears to have these but close-ups shows that he have holes instead of eyes.


    Web Original 
  • The "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 or emojis]) will often have these.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Black Dot Eyes


D.W. goes back to free James

During a swim race, D.W.'s friend James gets his swim fin stuck on a lane marker. D.W. abandons the race to go back and free him, even though that costs her the win to her other friend, Emily.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / DudleyDoRightStopsToHelp

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