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Blank Stare

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The Blank Stare is usually performed by one character in response to another's actions or verbal tirade, either in mind-numbing disbelief or disappointing awe, and especially when the latter character happens to go off the rails or otherwise show an aspect of themselves wildly different from what was expected.

It is usually performed primarily in a visual medium such as film, television, or graphic novels, and is done for both humorous and dramatic effect; the dramatic type tends to display the moment when you can no longer depend on that particular character anymore, while the comedic one usually reveals a WTF-type scenario similar to a Double Take or a Spit Take. The verbal version of this, which usually accompanies one of these, is the Flat "What". Compare Thousand-Yard Stare, which is similar, but is meant to showcase the extreme trauma the stare-giver has gone through.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Vivienne Graham, during her reunion with Madison Russell following Vivienne's transformation into Monster X, playfully gives Madison an unimpressed blank look when the latter teasingly asks Vivienne to perform a dance with her new Titan body.
    • In a comedic non-canon post on the author's Tumblr, Maia Simmons and the twins Don and Meg can only stare blankly when Walter Simmons, in a clear potshot by the author at Elon Musk, decides to rename the latter two of his "children" as Æ-Exa Dark 12 and Sidereal Exxon-99. Try working out how to pronounce that in under 30 seconds.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • One of the most notable moments in The Beatles' film Let It Be is a scene in which Paul McCartney gives John Lennon an earnest talk about how the band is getting stale and, to liven things up again, they need to get on the road and play live shows. John, who had no interest in this idea, simply stares at Paul blankly.
  • Thor: Ragnarok: Loki appears as an illusion in the dungeons the evening before the Gladiator fight and talks to Thor how he couldn't help him in front of the Grandmaster but has plans about getting rid of the Grandmaster so that he and Thor can take over Sakaar, and advises Thor to forget about Asgard because they don't stand a chance against Hela. Thor just throws rocks through Loki's illusion, not answering him, and when he runs out of rocks he just stares into space, still angry at Loki for having faked his death four years ago, and blaming him for their father's death.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 

    Music 
  • While promoting The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Eminem was doing a persona where he'd spend his TV appearances gawking vacantly at the camera with his eyes blinking slightly out of sync - a sort of parody of Ad-Rock, whose music inspired a lot of the content on the album. Most viewers just reacted with concern for his mental health.

    Puppet Shows 
  • During the first season of The Muppet Show, Timmy Monster was depicted with this.

    Video Games 
  • In Red Dead Redemption II, one of the many signs of Dutch van der Linde's deteriorating mental state is his increasing propensity for standing around camp, staring blankly into space. He starts doing it even more after he suffers a head injury.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • Final Space: The Lord Commander hilariously gives "The" Gary a flat look when the latter tries one too many times to correct the Lord Commander on his name not having a "The" in it.

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