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Exhausted Eye Bags

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Aang packs his bags for the Final Battle.

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 characters pupils (and irises—hey, cartoons) have dilated in order to easily convey an emotional reaction. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. A later chapter also reveals that Kaguya is turned on by this kind of look (the more tired they look, the more excited she gets).
  • In episode 5 of Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kuro from Servamp always has them, probably to show that he's a Lazy Bum who's always sleepy.
  • 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 Yu Yu 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.

    Fan Works 
  • Evangelion 303:
    • 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).
  • 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 these.
  • 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.

    Film — Animated 
  • Evelyn Deavor, the tech genius from Incredibles 2 has prominent dark under-eye circles.
  • 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.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Mentioned in The Wizard of Oz (1939).
    Cowardly Lion: Look at the circles under my eyes, I haven't slept in weeks!

  • 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.

    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.

    Professional 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 
  • Touhou: Patchouli Knowledge occasionally sports these.
  • In Yandere Simulator, Oka Ruto constantly has these, due to constantly staying up late to research the supernatural.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • Arthur from Mystery Skulls Animated has growing dark circles under his eyes in "Freaking Out" possibly due to the fear and trauma of what happened in "Ghost", guilt after he'd been confronted with Lewis' vengeful ghost, his memories trying to return and giving him hallucinations or just a lack of sleep during his search for his missing friend. The hallucinations might just be a side effect of the lack of sleep, however.
  • Blake Belladonna from RWBY sports these because she's unable to sleep or eat from stressing over the White Fang and Torchwick's plans.


    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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
    • And the entire Mane Six get them when they are kept up by nightmares in "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?"
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All the contestants in the Total Drama episode "The Big Sleep" develop these as a result of the challenge being who can go the longest without sleep.
  • 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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