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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.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • All of the characters in The Family Circus are drawn with black dots for eyes (unless they're wearing glasses).
  • Calvin and Hobbes zig-zags this. Character usually have black dot eyes but their eyes get bigger and have visible sclera when surprised, angry, etc.
  • Cathy. Played with in that the title character is the only one who doesn't have them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Zigzagging continues in Zits, where eyes visibly widen to show emotion.

    Eastern Animation 

    Films — Animation 
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Globehunters: An Around The World In 80 Days Adventure: Some of the cast, such as the seals, a monkey, and Eddie have little black dot 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.
  • Peach the starfish and the seagulls from Finding Nemo have eyes like these.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Baymax from Big Hero 6 has black dots for optical sensor devices, which is part of his cute design.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Babar and his cast mates have eyes like these, in keeping with author Jean de Brunhoff's drawing style.
  • 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.
  • 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 dog eyes.
  • 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, while the "live" characters (Owl, Rabbit, and Gopher) are given realistic eyes.
  • 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.

  • 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 
  • 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.).
  • 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.
  • Professor Layton, A few characters (including Layton himself) have little black dot eyes.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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 as most characters have normal eyes with scalerae.
  • 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.
  • Katamari Damacy: The Prince and his many, many cousins have black dot eyes to go with the simplistic artstyle of the series.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 black dot eyes, 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mad Age And This Guy: The player character's eyes make up two black pixels. His bird's eye make up one black pixel.
  • Black Bead Eyes are an option for creatures in Spore (a purely cosmetic option, but an option nonetheless).
  • Castle in the Darkness: The knight, as well as villager NPCs in the game, have their eyes made up of about 2-3 black pixels.
  • 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.
  • The pigs in Hay Day have these. Interestingly, no other character in the game does.
  • Flea 2020: Pretty much the vast majority of the characters in the game have little black dot eyes.
  • In Everybody Edits, most of the smileys have black lines for eyes. A few smileys' eyes are in different shapes or colors, however.

    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).
  • 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.
  • Tom, from Eddsworld has black dot eyes. 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. Its worth noting all of them are kid characters.
  • 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.
  • 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 Serie, 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 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.
  • Teddy from Queer Kid Stuff has little black dot eyes.

    Western Animation 
  • Any and all earlier inkblot characters such as Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Bosko have black dot eyes to go with their simplistic black and white designs.
  • The 9th Life of Sherman Phelps: Sherman, as well as a few background characters, have black dot eyes.
  • A Treasure In My Garden: The black bead eyes style is used in a few of the shorts, such as "Scuttlebutt, What A Nut" and "On The Tip Of My Tongue".
  • 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.
  • Much of the cast of The Crayon Box had black, beady eyes.
  • Cupcake in Cupcake & Dino: General Services has black bead eyes. The same can be said about a number of one-off characters on the show.
  • 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 black dot eyes when seen without his glasses, depending on the episode.
  • Practically all of the human 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.
  • The Flintstones:
    • Some characters have black dot eyes, most notably Barney and Wilma. In the earlier episodes Barney even had no scelerae for eyes.
    • In the Flagstones pilot, Betty had dot eyes.
  • Everyone in George Shrinks has small black dots for eyes.
  • Elroy in The Jetsons has black dot eyes which makes him stand out from the rest of the cast, who have normal eyes with scelerae.
  • Yoyo Dodo of the Looney Tunes, as well as some background human characters have black dot eyes. Same thing with his son Gogo.
  • Mamemo: The titular character has black dot eyes. With the character design of the cows, she's the only character on the show with them.
  • 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.
  • Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse zig-zagged between this and Pie-Eyed in their vintage cartoon designs, sometimes within the same short.
  • Mostly all of the animals in Ni Hao, Kai-Lan have black dot eyes while humans like Kai-lan and her grandfather have normal eyes.
  • P.C. Pinkerton: Most of the cast of this show, including the title character, have little black dot eyes.
  • All of the characters in Pepper Ann have black dot eyes except Milo, Trinket, Brenda and Gwen Mezzrow.
  • 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.
  • Everyone in Rolie Polie Olie have black dot eyes except Pappy and Gloomius Maximus. Fitting, as most characters done in a cutesy, simplistic style.
  • Everyone in The Save-Ums! have black dot eyes except B.B. Jammies, Olena, the crabs, and the grubs.
  • Stickin' Around does the bead eyes style, since its art style takes after the traditional Stick-Figure Comic.
  • Taz-Mania:
    • Francis X. Bushlad has dot eyes, but sometimes has sclerae (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)
  • 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.
  • Many characters in Adventure Time, especially human characters. They often change in order to show emotion, though most commonly to Sphere Eyes.
  • Coconuts along with several minor characters in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog have black dot eyes.
  • Certain characters in Top Cat have black dot eyes, such as Officer Dibble (although he had sclerae in later appearances).
  • The Triplets: Most of the characters in the show have their eyes like this. However, occasionally there's a character or two with Black Dot Pupils.
  • The characters of Popeye have simplistic black dot eyes in the Fleischer Studios version.
  • Boomhauer and Cotton in King of the Hill have beady black eyes with no sclerae which contrasts with the other characters in the cast..
  • Any cartoon character that wears Eye Glasses. Some retain this when they take the glasses off:
  • Milhouse and his father in The Simpsons have black dot eyes due to wearing Eye Glasses.
  • Arthur: Arthur averted black dot eyes in the first season, but fell victim to it starting in the second. note 
    • 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) have small bead eyes. The same applies to Didi and Grandpa Lou when they are shown without glasses.
  • Hey Arnold!: Phoebe and the title character's grandmother have black dot eyes over their glasses.
  • Fu-Fu and the Reader on Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat have black dot eyes and glasses. Also, any mouse characters and any other bat characters have bead eyes, 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 has dot eyes due to wearing glasses.
  • The Raccoons:
    • Cedric Sneer has bead eyes 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.
  • Ike and every other Canadian person in South Park have beady black dot eyes.
  • 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 have black dot eyes and no sclerae while everyone else has normal eyes.
  • Curious George notably caused controversy for averting this, seeing as the books illustrate the characters with black dot eyes. Interestingly, when George dreams on the show, characters are shown in the "classic" style of the books.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, most characters are have simplistic black dot eyes although 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 all have little black dot eyes. Harold and Beth also have them when shown without glasses.
  • Clerks: The Animated Series: Dante Hicks has black dot eyes (when he isn't shocked by something)
  • All characters in Johnny Bravo. Johnny himself (who is almost always wearing shades) is shown to have black dot eyes 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 black dot 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.
  • 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 is the only one in the Generic family to have this eye style.
  • Winslow, Rancid Rabbit, and Shriek DuBois in CatDog have these as well. While Shriek mostly has her Eyes Always Shut, her eyes appear to be black dots when she looks surprised.
  • In We Bare Bears, the bear trio, Grizzly, Panda, Ice Bear have black dot eyes due to being cute cartoon bears. Nom Nom also has black dot eyes, 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! has black dot eyes to go with the cutesy art style.
  • The human characters as well as a few aliens from 3-2-1 Penguins! have black dot eyes.
  • 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.
  • Most of the characters in My Life as a Teenage Robot avoid this, but their eyes become dots when their character designs become simpler and more indistinct in long-distance shots. A notable exception is Brit Crust, who always has black bead eyes.
  • Pocoyo and most of the characters from his show have oval-shaped dot eyes.
  • Pinga and the other baby penguins in Pingu have black dot eyes. Possibly to show that they are younger than the rest of the cast.
  • 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.
  • Plenty of characters on Stick Girl had black bead eyes.
  • Used for many characters on Elinor Wonders Why.
  • A few characters on Hey Duggee including Duggee, Norrie, and others have beady eyes. There are some exceptions, like Duggee only grows white sclera eyes when he's surprised, excited, scared, sad, or confused.
  • Molang: Virtually every member of the cast have beady little black eyes.
  • Scooter and Skeeter in Muppet Babies (1984) have black bead eyes when they take off their Eye Glasses, presumably to indicate just how shortsighted they are. (Except in the episode "The Weirdo Zone", when Skeeter demonstrates her "inner weirdo" by taking off her glasses, and the pupils stay on the glasses.)
  • The human characters in ChalkZone has those types of eyes while the chalk characters have Monochromatic Eyes.
  • Most characters in Sushi Pack have those eyes with a few exceptions. They are generally black, although Titanium Chef has red eyes.
  • In Ready Jet Go!, the alien pets Sunspot and Moonbeam have black dots for eyes.
  • The Secret World of Benjamin Bear: The vast majority of Teddy Bears in this world are drawn with these eyes.
  • The human and animal characters in the classic version of Bob the Builder has these.
  • In PAW Patrol, Another series created by Keith Chapman, The Turbots and some animal characters (except for the Pups themselves and the kitties, etc) have these.
  • All of the characters of Kid Cosmic have those eyes. The exceptions are Stuck Chuck, Fantos the Ammassor and some aliens.
  • The animal characters in Dogs in Space has these.
  • Several characters from Craig of the Creek have this style, though most characters have regular looking eyes.
  • Filburt from Rocko's Modern Life has these, but only when he takes off his thick glasses.

    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.

Alternative Title(s): Black Dot Eyes