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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 black 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 pinch of cuteness to the series. Sudden Eye Colour occurs when Art Evolution leads to a character with black bead eyes having coloured 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.


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    Anime & 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 sea star 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 minifigs, while the rest of the cast 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 buttons for eyes.
  • Most Characters in Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie who don't wear glasses except for Melvin.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The killer, after his face mysteriously turns into a mask, in Bruiser.


    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 cast (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.

  • Every LEGO minifigure until the mid-2000s.
  • All of the Funko POP! toys have these.

    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.
  • 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 the Main Protagonist for Mother 3 being the current Trope Page Image.
  • A good variety of Pokémon have this sort of eye. 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 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 beady 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.

    Web Animation 
  • Web Animation/asdfmovie
    • Evert 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 cast, 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 chat rooms [also known as emoticons]) will often have these.

    Western Animation 
  • Any and all early inkblot characters such as Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Bosko.
    • Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse zigzag between this and Pie-Eyed in their classic designs, sometimes within the same short.
  • Everyone in Clifford the Big Red Dog except Clifford himself has bead 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 for B.B. Jammies, Olena, the crabs, and the grubs.
  • Stimpy of The Ren & Stimpy Show was given one of these as an animation error (in the "Breakfast Tips" bumper). However, John Kricfalusi 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.
  • George Shrinks: Everyone.
  • Yoyo Dodo of the Looney Tunes, as well as some background humans.
    • Same thing with his son Gogo.
    • Francis X. Bushlad from Taz-Mania has bead 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 cartoons Barney even had empty circles for eyes. Does Barney have Prophet Eyes?
    • In the Flagstones pilot, Betty had bead eyes.
  • Most of the cast of Winnie-the-Pooh, which consists of plush toys with actual black beads for eyes. Also, Christopher Robin himself in any of his pre-2011 appearances.
  • Everyone on Rolie Polie Olie except Pappy and Gloomius Maximus.
  • Elroy on 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 shows PB&J Otter, Stanley, Jo-Jo'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, 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.
  • Most minor characters in Dexter's Laboratory such as an infant version of the titular protagonist and Major Glory.
  • The Warner siblings in Animaniacs.
  • Most of the cast of Pepper Ann.
  • Many characters on Adventure Time, especially humanoid 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 cast of Popeye has these.
  • Boomhauer and Cotton on King of the Hill.
  • The cast of The Mr. Men Show may also qualify.
  • Any animated 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 dad on 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 "real" 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 sans glasses.
    • Hey Arnold!!: Phoebe and the titular protagonist's grandmother.
    • Fu-Fu and the Reader on Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat. Also, any mice 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 are not obstructed behind his glasses (in another case on the show he was shown to have full eyes like his brothers.)
    • Lisa Loud from The Loud House.
  • In Hey Duggee, Duggee, Enid, or any animal who has dotted eyes sometimes. Norrie expect 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.
  • Sniz and Fondue
  • Ike and every other person from Canada on South Park.
  • Rufus from Kim Possible, which is Truth in Television, considering that naked mole rats don't have sclera.
  • Mitch Mitchelson and Princess Morbucks from The Powerpuff Girls.
  • Curious George notably caused controversy for averting this, seeing as the books portray 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 Mclean, 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 shock by something)
  • Most characters on Johnny Bravo. Johnny himself is shown to have them when he accidentally puts on Velma Dinkley's glasses.
  • Some of the background children and some of the Dumb Muscle in Batman: The Animated Series have these kind of eyes.
  • Superman: The Animated Series portrayed Superman with dot-eyes, possibly a subtle reminder of his alien origins (his dad also had them).
  • When Billy Batson showed up in Justice League Unlimited he sported these. While this makes him look like the way he was portrayed 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 (excluding 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 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 races have more detailed eyes.
  • If you live (or have lived) in Spain, you may or may not remember "La Familia Telerín", a series of bumpers that announced that family programming was done for the day and that it was time to go to bed. All of the characters except Cleo (who has sclera), and Pelusin (who's eyes we never see) 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.
  • Little People cast
  • 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 had her shell, had an identical face to Masami, though it's unknown how she could move her eyes and mouth inside the shell.
  • Bobby's older brother Derek from Bobby's World.
  • Winslow, Rancid Rabbit, and Shriek from 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 speaking.
  • Carl Wheezer from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius has beady eyes behind his glasses; which actually, is kind of... weird for a CGI cartoon show where every other character is designed with more realistic eyes with irises colors. In the pilot, however, Carl had green eyes.
  • Pretty much everyone in Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!.
  • The human characters as well as a few aliens from 3-2-1 Penguins!
  • All the characters in Poppy Cat had black beady eyes except for Owl.
  • Squeak the mouse and Mole had black beady 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 on 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.
  • Most of the time characters in My Life as a Teenage Robot avoid this, but beady 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 beady eyes whenever she appears.
  • Pocoyo and most of the characters from his show have black oval eyes.
  • Pinga and the other toddler penguins in Pingu.
  • Used for all characters in Sergeant Stripes.
  • All characters except for some slugs and snails in Gordon The Garden Gnome.
  • Omi from Xiaolin Showdown, although other characters don't have any more detailed eyes.
  • Happy and Bobby from Tabaluga have these in the first two seasons.
  • All Characters on Kipper.
  • Some couple characters have those Black Beady Eyes on Schoolhouse Rock.
  • Most of the characters in Henry's World have eyes of this kind.
  • Used for Rosie, Gilbert, other animals, Clementine, Sarah, Asian characters and others on Caillou.
  • A lot of 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 with this feature.

    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