There are times even the Deadpan Snarker should know better and just shut up. This is especially true if the person being snarked at is giving him the Death Glare.
The Death Glare is a "calm", murderous look often coupled with a tensed and menacing posture, others with a deadly stillness, but (with the rarest of exceptions) is served with deathly silence. The Death Glare is hard to pull off, but, done right, can convey a depth of anger and potential violence that no Badass Boast or Pre-Asskicking One-Liner can hope to top.
This can be used by any character (yes, even that Deadpan Snarker) under Break the Cutie, Heroic BSoD, Icy Blue Eyes, or other highly trauma/emotion causing pressures. Again, someone who's gently (or violently) pressing their Berserk Button may get this as a warning to stop before some Unstoppable Rage or Disproportionate Retribution is let loose.
See also Killing Intent, Lightning Glare, Determined Expression, and Disapproving Look. Frequently executed with a Kubrick Stare. This can also be a silent version of Give Me a Reason if the person giving this is known for reacting violently to mistakes. Not to be confused with Eye Beams or Deadly Gaze, which can literally kill with a look. If someone glares down something way bigger or more dangerous than them, they are Staring Down Cthulhu. May be inflicted unintentionally by characters who unfortunately have the Face of a Thug.
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- Used to great effect by The Most Interesting Man in the World when discussing self-defense.
"The right look should suffice."
- Comics and strips would often indicate a Death Glare with daggers.
- Batman is one of the undisputed masters of these in comic book fandom, despite being a Technical Pacifist.
- A good example was during the "Contagion" arc. Other members of the Bat-family are trying to disperse an angry mob, to no effect. Cue Batman appearing, pointing a finger, giving a Death Glare to the mob, and stating: "Disperse. NOW." It worked.
- In All-Star Superman, our Man of Steel visits Lex Luthor in prison and implores him to put "that mind of [his]" to the good use of mankind, rather than insane schemes to kill Superman. What does Luthor do? Walks up the glass wall separating the two of them and hocks the mother of all lugies on it and just stares at Superman. Yikes.
- Hell, once Superman was able to make Mxyzptlk go back to his own dimension just by giving him the look.
- Often, Superman uses this look in concert with his heat vision, giving him red eyes.
- Supergirl is just as good-natured as her cousin, but being a teenager, she is more fierce and more short-tempered than Superman. If she is giving you one of these -often accompanied with glowing red eyes-, then you have pissed her off for real, and you last resort is praying.
- In Supergirl vol. 5 # 58, a security guard is ogling to Cat Grant's butt. Then Supergirl leans over and glares. He starts and falls backwards.
- Minutes later she's interrogating villain Toyman about several missing children, but he claims that he has done nothing wrong and tries to balk at answering her questions. Kara glares at him◊ and a second later she slams him into the wall and urges him to cooperate as her eyes glow red◊.
- In Red Daughter of Krypton she does this constantly because she is constantly angry because of her Red Lantern Ring. At the beginning of the story she glares at Lobo as she tells she's done with users◊... and with him, and Lobo -an inter-galactic bounty hunter and mass murderer- gets scared and tries to calm her down.
- Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, Kara's glare after finding out that Lex Luthor murdered her cousin is... scary.
- Usagi Yojimbo: The same applies to Miyamoto Usagi.
- Apparantly, Tomoe Ame is good at giving out death glares too.
- In the Asterix album Asterix in Corsica, this is a talent shared by every Corsican male, and they're not shy about using it on pesky foreigners.
Corsican: You can't tell the difference between a wild pig and a Corsican clan leader?
Obelix: I don't know, I've never eaten Corsican leader and please stop looking at me like that, it's giving me a headache.
- Preacher. The Saint of Killers' glare goes right past scary and into Bring My Brown Pants territory:
Cassidy: (re: Jessie) If that were me, I'd be turning them white jeans brown.
- The Punisher MAX #19. A group of mobsters have just dug up the remains of Frank Castle's family and filmed themselves pissing on the bones in an attempt to get the Punisher angry. Cut to a shot of him watching it on TV in a diner that shows it definitely got him mad.
- Hell, it's easier to point out when Frank Castle is NOT giving one of these. He's really not that big on talking to lowlife scum...
- In Body Bags, Mack and Panda Delgado do this right before an off-panel ass beating, or when they are especially angry and plan to do something violent. Their angry green eyes fill up a panel when this happens.
- Dwight McCarthy caught a death glare from Miho in Sin City: The Big Fat Kill. He was trying to stop her from torturing Jackie Boy to death (to give a good idea as to how brutal she was being). Once she gave him the look, he took a step back. Scaring a guy like Dwight is no easy task.
- The Sandman is also very good at the Death Glare. It probably helps that a) he can look like anything he wants, and b) his eyes usually look like bottomless holes of night. Which turn red when he's angry.
- Daredevil's look sent chills down The Punisher's spine during their earlier encounters. The Punisher narrated it as being impossible to maintain eye-contact with Daredevil due to this trope. Eventually, the Punisher learned that Daredevil's tendency to stare straight through him wasn't a psych-out as much as Daredevil simply being blind.
- Deadpool has a really good one too, and when he shows it, you know shit's about to go down.
- Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
- Scrooge McDuck has the most terrifying red-eyed scowl, memorably seen when he tore a steamboat apart. The glare is shown on pictures hung around walls in his employees' offices, as a reminder he's not to be trifled with. His nephew has also used this ability.
- In one comic, Scrooge is supposed to face Flintheart Glomgold in a game that resembles an absurdly complicated version of chess. He goes out to seek a retired champion in that game to teach it to him, only to find out that the man isn't a good player, he's just so good at glaring at his opponents that they can't play properly against him. He does help by following Scrooge back home and glaring at Glomgold so badly during the game that he immediately makes a suicidal move.
- This is X-23's default setting.
- In Gold Digger, Ayane "Mistress" Anno has eyes that perpetually give this effect... only heightened if she's actually serious about it.
- Talia from Brody's Ghost is particularly skilled at making these. played for drama when Brody confronts her over all her lies, and she gives him an especially intense death glare while admitting to everything. Brody also tends to make this kind of face if someone really crosses a line with him.
- Dani Moonstar of the New Mutants acquires a literal Death Glare when she is adopted as a Valkyrie. She manages to terrify a hall full of Asgardian warriors, who recognize the Valkyries as harbingers of death, by staring and telling them to mind their own business.
- In MAD, this is a common feature of "The Lighter Side" strips. As one person delivers the punchline, blithely saying something their listeners find offensive, the other person often glares at them.
- Enemy Ace: In the backup story in Men of War #1, Von Hammer is confronted by a shell-shocked pilot wielding a pistol who blames him for the deaths of the other men in his squad. Unarmed, Von Hammer just stands there staring at him, unmoving. His gaze is so intense that the pilot's aim wavers and then he breaks: the pistol going going off and missing Von Hammer and shattering the goggles he is holding in his hand.
- The cover of U2's ''War'' album◊.
- The singing group Heart had one implied for a cheating lover in an appropriately named song called "If Looks Could Kill".
- Country singer Rodney Crowell also has a song called "If Looks Could Kill" about being on the outs with one's significant other.
- Ninja Brian of Ninja Sex Party is pretty much always sporting one of these in every single one of the group's music videos.
- The Cockatrice and Basilisk are both good examples of creatures in mythology with literal death glares. Legends say a single glance from either creature can kill (or petrify) a man.
- Evil eye beads, found throughout Greece, Turkey, Armenia and parts of the Middle East, stem from ancient beliefs that they can protect the wearer from any ill karmic effects given by a death glare.
- Poetic Edda: In "Hymiskvida", Thor and Tyr go to the hall of the giant Hymir to borrow his cauldron. When they arrive, Hymir is not at home, and Hymir's mother asks them to hide behind a pillar, because Hymir does not like guests and might especially get angry if he sees Thor. When Hymir comes home, his mother gently instructs him who has come to visit him, and that Thor and Tyr are presently behind the pillar. Hymir turns to the pillar and glares at it so sharply that it splinters, and the cross-beam above it comes down. (Note that Hymir does not normally have a magical gaze.)
- "The Laboratory", by Robert Browning, in which the speaker has resolved to Murder the Hypotenuse in a love triangle.
For only last night, as they whispered, I brought
My own eyes to bear on her so, that I thought
Could I keep them one half minute fixed, she would fall
- Egil's Saga: In his poem "Arinbjarnarkviða" ("Praise of Arinbjorn"), Egil recalls his last meeting with his deadly enemy Eirik Bloodaxe, when Egil, as a castaway, delivered himself to Eirik's mercy in Eirik's royal hall:
You weren't safe looking him straight
In the eye. No kindness there!
It glittered like a snake's, grew
Ever more snake-like the more you stared.
- The game Adventure! has this as a Heroic Knack, Steely Gaze, which allows you to win all staredowns against non-Inspired characters and offers a bonus against Inspired characters, though the second-level Psychic knack, Cloak of Dread, might be a combo of this and a general aura of terror.
- Similarly, Deadlands has an edge called The Stare that gives a bonus to intimidation rolls.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- The Chief Librarian of the Blood Angels, Mephiston, has one of these. He's known as the Lord of Death. Bad enough, but when you consider just how much death is involved in 40K...
- Also the Nightbringer, whose glare can also function as an attack.
- Also for the imperium Commissar Yarrick, same deal. Currently it is an Eye Beam attack but he used to just be rumored to kill orks at a glance. That's the point: when he heard the rumor, he instantly plucked out his eyeball and replaced it with a laser to live up to his reputation.
- Also, in older pieces of fluff, Guardsman Ollanius Pius, whom Horus killed with a mere glance for attempting to stand between him and the Emperor. Later editions Ret Conned it to a Space Marine Terminator and then an Adeptus Custodes which are progressively Eliter Mooks to enhance the Death intensity implied by the Glare. Many fans were upset at the changes' subsequent reduction of Horus' sheer inhumanity of easily killing a mere human being and removal of Pius' understated bravery to go and stand before what is essentially a demigod about to kill another demigod.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade, kindred with Presence learn this at level 2. Higher level versions are even more potent. Then again, all vampires come off as the predators they are to mortals, making this sometimes unintentional.
- GURPS has the Fearsome Stare perk that lets you make Intimidation checks without saying a word.
- In Aye, Dark Overlord any player who fails to convince the Dark Overlord that he/she is not responsible for the failed mission (by shifting the blame to another player) receives a Withering Look. Three Withering Looks and you are out of the game.
- In the 1951 French board game Long Cours, the first two combat cards, by ascending order of power,note are respectively "a mean look" and "a terrible look". Fittingly, the next two involve giving the offender black eyes.
- As the title character in Hamlet, David Tennant delivers the Death Glare to Claudius several times, and at least once to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
- Subverted in As You Like It, where Phebe protests against Silvius slandering her eyes thus.
...but now mine eyes,
Which I have darted at thee, hurt thee not,
Nor, I am sure, there is no force in eyes
That can do hurt.
- In the filmed version of Into the Woods, the Witch delivers a quite hilarious and frightening one to the Baker.
- A particularly terrifying one in this version of The Mikado, especially since it appears to be directed at the audience.
- In the 2012 arena tour version of Jesus Christ Superstar, Annas shoots a truly murderous one at Judas after he strikes Caiaphas and makes him bleed.
- In the 1977 made-for-TV version of Ghosts for Norwegian Broadcasting Company (NRK), Helen Alving gives Engstrand a scolding look when she realises what he is up to.
- Similarly, in the 1970 version of The Wild Duck, Gina Ekdal gives Gregers a similar look when Hjalmar has rejected Hedvig as his daughter. Mona Hofland, the actress who did that part, was particularly good at death glares, by the way.
- In The '70s, this TV theatre made a number of political docu-dramas on behalf of ongoing activism in Norway - and the trope was used in full by five mothers with carriages, guarding a threatened turf in Oslo from "development interests". A man trying to park his car is calmly stared down by the five women for almost sixty seconds, and decides to leave without discussion. CMOA if ever there was one.
- An amusing one happens in The Addams Family, when Gomez and Morticia discuss Wednesday's new boyfriend and Morticia isn't sure if Wednesday is ready for a serious relationship.
Gomez: Wednesday is turning into a lovely young woman, just like you were.
[Morticia sharply glares at him]
Gomez: Are! Like you are.
[proceeds to fawn over her while she gives a "That's what I thought" nod]
- Tohsaka Rin of Fate/stay night. Do NOT, just do NOT get her angry. Be prepared to be killed, er, I mean, amazed.
- Tsukihime: Tohno Shiki is usually quite gentle, doesn't particularly enjoy fighting and absolutely despises killing. However, if something truly angers him, The Glasses Come Off, and his glare has more often than not completely terrified his foes. Of course, his Magical Eyes help. In the Melty Blood manga, the majority of his expressions can be summed up into three categories: Exasperation, shock and tranquil fury. It should be noted that he hasn't gone Nanaya at all since the first game, so his terrifying glare is limited mostly to his normal persona.
- Ace Attorney:
- Damon Gant's Epic Stare of Death is the embodiment of this trope. There was a flash parody which took Gant's sprite from the game, and used the audio from the above-mentioned Death Glare scene from Scrubs.
- Miles Edgeworth from the same games is legendary for this, and very proud, too.
- At one point, when he breaks one of his first Psyche-Locks, he is wondering whether it was the power of his glare that broke it. Also he is capable of glaring back at the detention center camera.
Edgeworth: "If someone glares at you, it's only polite to return the favor," is what I was taught.
- In case I-4, he accidentally glares at his reflection. He wins.
- At one point, when he breaks one of his first Psyche-Locks, he is wondering whether it was the power of his glare that broke it. Also he is capable of glaring back at the detention center camera.
- Morgan Fey throws off some particularly vicious glares when provoked, as does Dahlia Hawthorne. Like mother, like daughter.
- In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, when Kristoph Gavin is upset, he gains Scary Shiny Glasses. When you perceive him in the fourth case, you get to see through them. What you see is incredibly unnerving...
- In Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, Tyrell Badd gives one that makes Franziska back off. 'Nuff said.
- In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice, Dhurke, like Edgeworth, is famous for these. They got the nickname of "Dragon's Glare". Since he was an attorney before his time as a rebel, it seems to be his version of the "Objection!" pose.
- Jett in SC2VN will do this to you if you ask stare at her for too long, ask embarrassing questions, or play bad Starcraft.
- Miyako from the Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!! series may have the most terrifying glare◊ in all of fiction.
- Grisaia no Kajitsu: Protagonist Yuuji tends to show off these involuntary when his thoughts revolve around darker subject matters, or when the situation gets serious. We only get to see it on Makina's route when he gets fed up with Irisu Kiyoka's scheming and holds her at gunpoint, deliberating whether to kill her.
- In The Most Popular Girls in School, Episode 51; when Cameron Van Buren flirts with Darren Darabond, his wife, Pamela Darabond, gives her this trope:
Darren: I think we should probably keep this uh, appropriate. After all, I am a United States Senator, and a Happily Married man. Also, my wife is looking directly at you. Very aggressively.
- The Youtube Poop series Allison Won Derland made by YouTube user Geibuchan uses this trope thousands of times. Whenever Alice becomes angry at someone, she will do this. It is a red-tinted, zoomed in scene from the original movie that shows her angrily glaring at something. This is the fourth video of the series, which introduced the red-tint Death Glare.
- RWBY: During her clash with Neo in "No Brakes", Yang's expression is locked into this. Quite uncharacteristic of her considering how she's Hot-Blooded.
- Gilda the chicken in Knights Of All Realms has a glare so intense she was able to light a barrel on fire with it.
- In Inanimate Insanity, Baseball gives a downright evil one at Suitcase in the episode "Alternate Reality Show", due to the fact that she destroyed his alliance with him, her, and Nickel via voting Nickel, his best friend no less, off last episode.
- Early in No Evil, when Huey utterly fails at his job of keeping Kitty's pumpkin patch free of birds and weeds, Kitty gives Huey a look of such fury that he bolts immediately.
- Lily, the human-hating fairy of Felarya has a truly frightening stare (mildly NSFW) with a generous helping of Ax-Crazy.
- Nocte Yin has a literal Death Glare, though she mostly just uses it to knock people unconscious.
- Protectors of the Plot Continuum: Mithiriel takes the Death Glare to Fluttershy levels. And she's more assertive in general, so Ithalond is something of a Henpecked Husband.
- The Lizzie Bennet Diaries:
- Lydia looks at Lizzie this way when she learns that she did not invite her to accompany her outside and that she — Lydia — is not going to have dinner at Netherfield house.
- William Darcy death-glares at Lizzie at the end when they got together when she keeps taking photographs of him at dinner with Lydia, Charlotte and Ricky Collins. It appeared on twitter accompanying the web series.
- Laina622 does this in her stalking song videos. Talk about Yandere.
- As The Nostalgia Critic found out the hard way, Don Bluth has a pretty good one. Hell, he practically weaponized it in both the "Conquest of the Commercials" and "Dragon's Lair" episodes.
Don Bluth: Hey, do I need to do a Death Glare again?
Critic: You know what, try me. I bet I've gotten used to it by now.
Don Bluth: [death glare]
Critic: Daaaaah, you're like the shaming disapproval of every morbid grandparent!
- Tomska and the missing bwaybwee. It died.
... Thews the baybee!
TOMBSTONE: THE BABY
- Outside Xbox: In one episode of Show of the Weekend on the Xtra side channel, Luke Westaway has to justify the Anachronism Stew nature of For Honor while suffering under this kind of look from Andy Farrant, who gets really upset at historical inaccuracy.
- NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, a.k.a. The Black Mamba, had a downright menacing one that you can usually catch once a game, especially in photos online (and abused hilariously in basketball memes). One of the most famous instances was during the 2012-2013 season when he gave one to then-coach Mike Brown while they were losing. Even though it was early in the season, the normally champion-level LA Lakers were on a losing streak, and that game was one another tally to the count... one week after the death glare was given, Mike Brown was fired. But seriously... does this look like the face of mercy to you?
- Even animals can give the Death Glare, as indicated by this famous quote by Robert Ruark on the Cape Buffalo. The Cape Buffalo is perhaps the deadliest animal in Africa. Just do not mess with it.
"I lurched up and looked at Mbogo, and Mbogo looked at me. He was 50 to 60 yards off, his head low, his eyes staring right down my soul. He looked at me as if he hated my guts. He looked as if I had despoiled his fiancé, murdered his mother and burned down his house. He looked at me as if I owed him money. I never saw such malevolence in the eyes of any animal or human being before or since. So I shot him."
- Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop's stare has reached meme status.
- Steve Jobs had a death glare that is infamous among Apple fans.
- Surprisingly enough, pop country's sweeetheart and noted dork Taylor Swift has an excellent one, often seen when hitting a line in one of her Take That! songs. Most notable when she reaches the front of the stage during her performance of "Mean" at the 54th Grammy Awards.
- Jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman would often glare at other band-members he felt were not up to his standard while playing a song, and would continue staring for minutes on end while they played the rest of the tune. It was infamously known as "The Ray".
- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott once spent a good minute of a one-on-one interview silently death staring the reporter after being asked a question.
- Henry Rollins — His page image is more or less his default expression.
- Any fighting event with a weigh-in, for example Mixed Martial Arts. Here's possibly the greatest staredown of all time.
- Reportedly, Michael Bay was talking to USAF helicopter pilot Maj. Brian Reese when one of his subordinates walked by singing the theme song of Team America: World Police. The Death Glare he gave the other resulted in Bay casting him as the Moustache Man.
- What happens when you drop your daughter to catch a foul ball in front of her mother? You get this.
- Pat Summitt. Full stop.
- The Transformer Owl, at Here's.
- Another owl◊.
- This possessive cat. Another◊ cute little kitty here.
- George Washington was famous for this, in a particularly funny moment with fellow founding father, Gouverneur Morris. Gouverneur made a bet that he could prove he was a good friend of George Washington by approaching him casually at a dinner party. The look Washington gave him after Morris slapped him on the back and shook his hand was apparently "not worth 1,000 meals" according to Morris.
- Epic Teatime with Alan Rickman. 3:57.
- Richard Pryor told the story of two of these. He was working a Las Vegas casino when he became angry at his pay and/or treatment. He burst into the boss's office and gave him what he called his "Wild [n-word]" stare guaranteed to terrify any white man. The casino boss laughed and embraced him with a "this guy", unafraid. However, one of his henchman displeased the boss and when Pryor saw the boss's expression he thought, "Oh, man, this guy is dead. He's still breathing and walking around, but he is dead."
- Bill Gates, when IBM engineer David Bradley said that although he invented Ctrl-Alt-Delete, it was Bill that made it famous. Watch.
- Saying guacamole wrong will cause Stephanie March to go full on Alex Cabot on you.
- Dominant wolves and wild dogs will do this to assert their status toward pack members. They'll respond in kind when a human does this to them, too, which is why you should never make aggressive eye contact with a wolf or unfamiliar dog, lest they mistake it for a challenge and attack.
- Domestic dogs also do this sometimes to their owners, especially when they're upset over something said owners have done (forgetting to feed them, taking them to the vet, etc). Huskies in particular have been known to give out epic Death Glares.
- Grigori Rasputin had a pretty intimidating glare◊. Something you wouldn't expect from a faith healer...
- Adolf Hitler had an evil glare◊ to go with his equally evil nature.
- There is a picture◊ of Joseph Goebbels that was taken in the moment he was told that the photographer is a Jew.
- If looks could kill, Jaz Coleman would◊ be◊ a◊ mass murderer◊.
- Remember the look that Mom gave you when you were acting up in public?
- Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys did◊ this◊ a lot◊ in his younger days. As did his younger brother, Carl◊ Wilson◊. And here◊ they are doing it at the same time. (Brian's in the top left and Carl's in the bottom right)
- Legendary Canadian Kickboxer, Jean Yves Thériault was so well known for his ice cold stare during a fight -particularly the stare down — that he earned the nickname "The Iceman" because of it. You can hear commentators mention it during some of his fights. Seeing as he's considered one of the greatest kickboxers to ever live, one can imagine it wasn't a pretty sight for his opponents.
- This◊ Bangladeshi cricket fan received a lot of attention on the internet due to the downright disturbing look he gave the camera.
- hide had an absolutely petrifying one◊ that was even worked into plush dolls of his likeness◊.
- Former chess world champion Mikhail Tal was known for doing this to his opponents during games. Eventually, his opponents took up the habit of wearing sunglasses to avoid it.
- Type O Negative frontman Peter Steele was all◊ about◊ this trope. The fact that he was 6'8 and built like a tank definitely made it even more intimidating.
- Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis had a truly haunting◊ glare. It's like he's staring right into your soul.
- Romanian actress Veronica Lazar had a penetrating death glare that was rarely utilized in films, but was often exploited by the press. Neither Dario Argento nor Lucio Fulci employed said death glare to full effect, but we do get a scowl as she first appears in The Beyond that suggests her character is up to no good. However, in press articles about her, there would often be pictures taken of her smiling and then for good measure, the glare (a milder form was last seen in Paura: Lucio Fulci Remembered).
- Roger Ebert is giving one hell of a glare◊ on the cover of his book Your Movie Sucks.
- Shoebill storks. They're pretty much harmless, but you wouldn't think so from looks◊ like◊ this.◊
- Grumpy Cat is famous for that.
- Pallas's cats wear it almost permanently. Like here◊, here◊, or (brace yourself) here◊.
- On the ice, representing Japan, figure skater Yuzuru◊ Hanyu.
- Harry Houdini, as seen in this◊ famous picture.
- Bobby Liebling of Pentagram. Just look at those◊ crazy eyes. Though, his eyes are probably like that because of decades of drug abuse.