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Exhausted Eye Bags

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Often used to show a character is tired to the bone after pulling an all-nighter are the Exhausted Eye Bags. These are circles of darker skin color than normal underneath the character's eyes to represent the Real Life phenomena of pigmentation that occurs around a person's eyes when they are physically exhausted, though in reality it would usually take more than a single night for this coloration to appear. Usually, it's a one-off situation and after the character gets some sleep they return to their normal appearance.

This is most prominently and obviously used in animation and comics; however, a bit of make-up is sometimes used on actors to show this trope.

Compare Open the Iris, which is a technique to show that a character's pupils (and irises—hey, cartoons) have dilated in order to easily convey an emotional reaction. Often combined with Dreary Half-Lidded Eyes. See Creepy Shadowed Undereyes too, where this trope might be the explanation for it.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • From Anpanman the Donburiman Trio get these in the episode Donburiman Trio and the Mysterious Forest. After being entranced so much by the charms of the princess from said forest that they pull all-nighters for her, the princess actually being Dokinchan in disguise to get free donburi out of them, they have dark purple patches under their eyes.
  • In Attack on Titan, Eren has some in episode 15 after being forced to stay up all night listening to Hange explain to him everything she knew regarding Titans. She did warn him it would take a while before starting, however.
  • Nero/Secre Swallowtail from Black Clover has these after regaining her human form, likely due to spending five centuries as a bird and her, understandably, somber demeanor. Though they tend to go away or at least be more akin to a natural eyeliner in more emotional moments.
  • Harumi Kiyama from A Certain Scientific Railgun has these, but we have a flashback that shows her both before she got them and the very moment she developed them. The Academy City leaders are bastards.
  • These are the most recognizable feature of Reine Murasame in Date A Live. She says she has had insomnia for 30 years.
  • L from Death Note has these constantly. He's an insomniac.
  • Another character who has these constantly is Miranda in D.Gray-Man, who suffers from insomnia due to anxiety and low self-esteem. In later chapters, though, she's less tired-looking and doesn't have eye bags but she still has noticeably thicker eye lines than most other characters in the series.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Mustang, Hawkeye, and Hughes all have these during the flashbacks to the Ishvalan War of Extermination, to highlight how psychologically exhausted they all are.
  • In Gurren Lagann, Rossiu starts to stress out over the circumstances of the falling moon decimating the entire planet and his guilt over betraying Simon out of desperation, leaving him very emotionally exhausted.
  • Shirogane from Kaguya-sama: Love is War suffers from chronic sleep deprivation due to his insane workload, giving him a constant glare that most other students find intimidating. Kaguya ended up developing a Fetish for this sort of look due to having fallen in love with him.
  • Shown on the three Wannabe Toudai Students in Love Hina after they pull all-nighters. Naru has the eyebags, Keitaro tops it by having them and being wobbly all over... and Mutsumi subverts it, as she looks fresh and relaxed, despite not getting a wink of sleep.
  • In episode 5 of NAKAIMO - My Little Sister is Among Them!, Shougo Mikadono's sister keeps calling him around 6 am every day for a week, which causes him to be sleep deprived at school. Then episode 6 reveals that it was Mei Sagara calling him, pretending to be his sister, to keep him from finding out who she really is, lest his father's company publicly scorns and shame his illegitimate daughter and Shougo's half-sister, once her identity is revealed.
  • Naruto:
    • Hayate Gekko has these. This feature and his unexplained chronic coughing fits would suggest some sort of illness, but nothing has been officially disclosed.
    • The thick black lines around Gaara's eyes are representative of these. He's possessed by a type of demon that torments people in their sleep, so he's naturally an extreme insomniac. This has more than a little to do with his very unbalanced mental state.
    • In Boruto: Naruto the Movie, a now-adult Naruto has noticeable bags under his eyes due to the amount of work and stress he has as the Seventh Hokage.
    • In chapter 700, the Distant Finale, of the manga Temari had these. It could be due to her age (she's slightly older than the Konoha 12), having to deal with her lazy son and his father all the time, or a combination of the two. In the anime, however, they ended up redesigning Temari so that she looks younger and doesn't have bags under her eyes.
  • The main character of No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! has a notable case of these. Strangely enough, she's the kind who would stay up all night playing games, but they seem partially genetic: the rest of her family also have noticeably baggy eyes.
  • A few times in Re:Zero, Subaru gets these. Not because of being sleep-deprived, the cause being the psychological trauma he experienced; the first assault by the Witches Cult and accidentally killing Emilia which led Puck to destroying the world.
  • Shiiko from School-Live! is a scientist who spends most of her time indoors "researching" zombies. She does all-nighters and as a result, has Messy Hair and bags under her eyes.
  • Shimoneta: Hyouka always has dark rings under her eyes. It's implied that she hardly sleeps due to her obsession with trying to find out how human reproduction works, since the Japanese government has forbidden even basic Sex Ed from being taught at schools. So she used to trespass into gynecology clinics and maternity wards to ask expectant mothers about it, until she was blacklisted. Now Hyouka spends every waking moment in her lab, or in the forest, studying the mating habits of mosquitos in order to learn the truth.
  • Kuro from Servamp always has them, probably to show that he's a Lazy Bum who's always sleepy.
  • Faust VIII of Shaman King has eye bags so severe that the heroes initially mistake it for eyeliner. He's a chronic workaholic due to his obsession with studying medicine and necromancy, and as a result they are both pronounced and permanent.
  • In Soul Eater, Dr. Franken Stein acquires these after Asura is released. This is meant to show how the madness is wearing on him for a while before he snaps.
  • In episode 120 of Tamagotchi, Himespetchi has some noticeable bags under her eyes after she makes herself tired from fondly watching Mametchi sleeping all night.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Kaneki is stressed from the weight on his shoulders of being forced underground for safety with the other ghouls due to the CCG making it their mission on the surface to exterminate every last ghoul. He is the leader of the pack and the huge responsibility is getting to him as showcased by bags under his bloodshot eyes as commented on by Touka.
  • In YuYu Hakusho Hiei gets these after taking everything he had to defeat Bui. Once he hibernates for 6 hours they go away. Also after fighting with Sensui, they appear again and he passes out from exhaustion again.
  • In Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead, Akira has these at the start of the story because of how thoroughly overworked and miserable he is at his Soul-Crushing Desk Job, often being forced to pull multiple all-nighters in a row and never being paid appropriately for all his effort. The eye bags vanish the minute he realizes that he never has to go to work again thanks to the Zombie Apocalypse, emphasizing just how happy and refreshed he feels.

    Asian Animation 
  • BoBoiBoy: In the Season 3 episode "BoBoiBot Arrives", BoBoiBoy arrives at school with eyebags as a result of resisting the urge to transform into his fire elemental at night again. Ochobot helped by pouring water over him each time it happened.
Ochobot: *sigh* "That's already the 5th time tonight."

    Fan Works 
  • In Close (But No Coffee), Mitsumi has faint bags because she doesn't sleep well when traveling with Hareta.
  • Evangelion 303: Multiple:
    • Asuka has eye bags after waking up from a coma because she isn't sleeping well.
    • Shinji and Asuka have huge eye bags in chapters 13 and 14 because they haven't slept in nearly twenty-four hours (the latter because she was running away; the former because he was looking for her to talk her into returning home).
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: After the Sleep Deprivation, to be awake for over 24 hours, to prepare for a difficult battle in a week, Ami's companions are described thus: "dark circles under her companions' eyes".
  • Ghosts of Evangelion:
    • This visual trick is often used to hint that Shinji and Asuka aren't sleeping well.
    • Asuka visits Shinji after leaving Kyoto in a hurry. The narration uses visual clues such as eye bags and rumpled clothes to hint that she is physically and mentally exhausted and about to collapse.
    • Shinji has eye bags the days after his daughter's birth. He isn't sleeping well because he is worried about Asuka's health and his parental skills.
  • In Sotto Voce:
    • Zelda gets bags under her eyes after spending a night reading.
    • A few days of stress and overwork cause Ruto to have eye bags.
  • In Rabbit of the Moon, Bell develops these after his second trip to Yharnam, with Eina noting that they normally appear on Adventurers four times Bell's age.
  • A Triangleinthe Stars: Bill develops this in the school arc, specifically Chapter Twenty-Six, but it's more from anxiety and even worried fright. It doesn't go away, and at times gets worse.
  • In Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail, Goh obtains them after not sleeping for three days in his attempts to figure out his friend, Chloe, just vanished into thin air.
  • Satsuki Kiryuin in Natural Selection sports of pair of these on account of her being The Insomniac, with flashbacks showing that she would often have these due to rarely sleeping.
  • In Towards the Sun, Zuko has these throughout his reign as Fire Lord due his constant overworking and lack of sleep.
  • In Fear The Superhero, Shirou and Karasuba both suffer from this after their first night together. Rather than sleeping, they exchanged hours of near-unblinking eye contact, Shirou waiting for her to make a threatening move. At some point, they both passed out from exhaustion.

    Films — Animation 
  • Almost every character in Arlo the Alligator Boy has these, in keeping up with its faux-retro design. One exception would be Alia.
  • Violet in The Incredibles has these, likely to complete the 'emo' look. They partially recede in the sequel.
  • Incredibles 2:
    • Evelyn Deavor has prominent dark under-eye circles, most likely from working long nights.
    • Bob develops them after losing sleep from holding down the Parr family fort, dealing with his kids' problems.
  • The character, Goob, has these all the time in Meet the Robinsons due to Lewis's inventing keeping him up all night and using him as a guinea pig for said inventions.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Mentioned in The Wizard of Oz (1939).
    Cowardly Lion: Look at the circles under my eyes, I haven't slept in weeks!
  • In They/Them, Ash has these after staying up all night working on a poem.

  • The image appears a few times in the Aunt Dimity series when a character is tired due to stress. To cite only one example, new mother of twins Lori is described with "her brown eyes smudged with bruises of fatigue".
  • Verity Price from Discount Armageddon has to apply copious amounts of foundation to cover her exhausted eye bags from a too-nocturnal existence.
  • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione is described as having shadows under her eyes to rival those of the constantly ill-looking Professor Lupin when she pulls a few too many time travel aided all-nighters in preparation for her exams.
  • On Horton Hatches the Egg, Mazie complains of having bags under her eyes. In the Looney Tunes version, she has actual travelling bags under her eyes.
  • Xandri Corelel: Marco Antilles, a diplomat in Failure to Communicate, has "smudges like bruises" under his eyes the morning after he foils an assassination attempt.
  • Rory from Wicked Good has these when he stays up all night during a suicidal crisis.
  • In The Someday Birds, Gram has purple wedges under her eyes on the day of Dad's surgery.
  • In Hoshi and the Red City Circuit, Hoshi guesses, from the smudges under Sorreno's eyes and the fact that her clothes don't look like they've been changed since yesterday, that Sorreno didn't sleep last night.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The BBC's Based on a True Story drama We'll Take Manhattan model Jean Shrimpton gets these during her eponymous New York City photoshoot and has to wear sunglasses for part of it. This is either because she's tired and jetlagged, or because she spends every night bonking the photographer, David Bailey.
  • In The Untamed, though it's hard to notice, Wei Wuxian gains some exhausted eye bags when he's in the Burial Mounds.

    Pro Wrestling 

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • As a result of school, jobs, and caretaking leaving him chronically overworked, Ciro always sports a pair of bags under his eyes.
    • To complement her overall haggard look from being homeless, Harriet has prominent bags. This earned her the demeaning nickname of 'Bag Lady' from Rose.
    • Jacob, due to being a stringent Schedule Fanatic with an increasingly poor grasp on his mental health, has heavy bags.
    • Hyeon and his cousin Jae both have bags, though for different reasons: Jae because, like Ciro above, he's heavily overworked, whilst Hyeon is a delinquent and rock-star wannabe who stays out late and doesn't prioritize a good night's sleep.

  • Noises Off: Timothy Allgood, the stage manager, is verbally abused and horrendously overworked to the point of complete exhaustion by Lloyd Dallas, the in-over-his-head director of the play "Nothing On," which is nowhere close to being ready to present to an audience despite the premiere showing being just hours away. Keep in mind Allgood hasn't slept in nearly two days. For instance, when several props are not working properly (a window pane in a door keeps falling out; several doors are locked, etc.), Dallas — ignoring the pleas of the cast — barks at Allgood to make the repairs or else. He also tells Allgood he had better be ready at a moment's notice in case the unreliable actor Selsdon fails to show up or the neurotic Freddy passes out from whatever illness.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • Mystery Skulls Animated: Arthur is depicted with big bags under his eyes in "Freaking Out" and the following videos, indicating he's spent more time searching for Lewis than he has sleeping.
  • Blake Belladonna from RWBY sports these because she's unable to sleep or eat from stressing over the White Fang and Torchwick's plans.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Taken to an extreme in The Angry Beavers when the characters stay awake for a "bah-zillion" years .
  • On Arthur's Perfect Christmas, Buster has a bad case of this due to being repeatedly awoken really early in the morning by his mother because she thinks it's Christmas when it actually isn't.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang, Katara, Sokka and Toph all have bags under their eyes when they go without sleep due to being chased for days by Azula and her Quirky Miniboss Squad. Later Aang gets this when he goes three days without sleeping due to nightmares of the coming battle. His early morning training and late night shenanigans also mean that his friends get very little sleep which results in them getting another bout of exhausted eye bags as well.
    • In the second to last episode, Azula herself starts sporting these when she starts banishing people left and right. She's clearly losing sleep.
  • Bill Green from Big City Greens has small bags under his eyes, which are fitting for his age and probably has to do with the stress of Cricket and Tilly's antics.
  • In BoJack Horseman, Princess Carolyn always has these, as early as her late teens, due to her workaholic nature.
    • BoJack himself has these, from being middle aged and likely from being a heavy alcoholic and drug abuser.
    • BoJack's parents, Beatrice and Butterscotch, had these after their Shot Gun Wedding and having BoJack, representing their jaded and bitter attitudes towards each other, their life, and their son.
      • Notably, Beatrice’s eyes were larger and more expressive as a young adult. In the years after having BoJack her eyes are smaller and her eye bags steadily get bigger as she ages, representing her growing more jaded and bitter and being shut off from the world.
  • On Caillou, both Rosie and Caillou get this in "Caillou's Puppet Show" when they're sick with the flu.
  • Naturally, Tex Avery exaggerates in the cartoon "Doggone Tired" with the characters having bag upon bag piled under their eyes, running down all the way to their cheeks.
  • On Elinor Wonders Why, Elinor's father has these in "Bird Song" after being woken up early by a bird loudly singing outside the window.
  • Fairly OddParents:
    • Timmy makes a wish where no one had to sleep, and everyone in Dimmsdale had bags under their eyes from fatigue, and various other Gross-Up Close-Up ailments coming from not sleeping.
    • In "Birthday Battle", Chloe gets these when she stays up all night setting up her birthday party.
  • An episode of Family Guy parodied celebrities who looked like this by having Ashley Judd and Vince Vaughn in a fake TV show entitled People Who Always Look Really Tired, drawing attention to the bags under the celebrities' eyes.
  • Dipper Pines from Gravity Falls always has slightly-baggy eyes; he likes to stay up late reading. In "Carpet Diem", when the two swap bodies Dipper's eye bags follow him into Mabel's body. In the episode "Sock Opera", this is taken one step further when Dipper stays up late at night for days on end trying to figure out the password to a laptop.
    Mabel: You look like a vampire, and not the hot kind!
  • In the Kaeloo episode "Let's Play Justice Masters", Mr. Cat, who is tired and stressed out, goes around with these for the whole episode.
  • Lincoln Loud from The Loud House has bags and discolored eyelids, probably from constantly dealing with the antics of his ten sisters.
    • Similarly, his friend Ronnie Anne Santiago acquires eyebags by Season 3, after she has moved in with her massive extended family.
    • Her brother Bobby sports eye bags and darker eyelids just like Lincoln.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Applejack gets those when she is badly overworked with apple harvest (and too stubborn to accept help)
    • Scootaloo briefly gets these in "Sleepless In Ponyville" due to sleep deprivation.
    • Princess Cadence gets them when she has to constantly stay up to cast a spell that keeps evil at bay.
    • Twilight has these in "Princess Spike" due to being awake for three consecutive days preparing for the Grand Equestrian Pony Summit. It comes through in her voice as well.
    • And the entire Mane Six get them when they are kept up by nightmares in "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?"
  • The Owl House: Hunter has a perpetual case of these, and seems to be overworking himself quite a bit.
  • Magee from the Prep and Landing specials has these. They become more noticeable in stressful situations.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: Ren gets some truly epic ones in episode "Space Madness."
  • Rocko's Modern Life: Rocko gets them after working overtime at work, to the point where they hit the floor.
  • Stu gets these in The Rugrats Movie after Dil's crying is keeping him awake.
  • The Simpsons: Homer Simpson gets these, along with pink bloodshot eyes, whenever he gets a hangover from a hard night of drinking.
  • One episode of Sonic Boom has Sonic himself sporting these. He even sleep-slides through a laser fence as a result of his fatigue.
  • Similarly to the Tex Avery example above, in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode, "Fear of a Krabby Patty", Mr. Krabs forces Spongebob and Squidward to work at the Krusty Krab non-stop. At one point Squidward exclaims, "Look at these bags under my eyes! Even my bags have bags!" We are then treated to a Gross-Up Close-Up of Squidward's eyes.
  • In "Caterpillar Countdown" from Stanley, Elsie gets these when losing her mind due to be tiring of waiting for the butterfly to come out the chrysaslis.
  • Steven Universe: A few episodes has Steven getting exhausted eyes, one occasion being helping Kiki with her pizza-related dreams repeatedly.
  • Lex Luthor develops these in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Ghost In The Machine" after Brainiac kidnaps him and forces him to repair him for weeks, Lex is horrified when he discovers he has them.
  • News reporter Joan Grody from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) always has them.
  • Total Drama: Sometimes, the campers don't get enough sleep.
    • All the contestants "The Big Sleep" develop bags under their eyes as a result of the challenge being who can go the longest without sleep.
    • Dakota has a poor sleep in "Truth or Laser Shark" due to Dawn's conversations with the local fauna. Come challenge time and she has major bags under her eyes that she initially tries to hide with sunglasses.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man Peter suffers these as a result of being sick and not getting enough rest due to wall crawling heroics.


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