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Eye-Obscuring Hat

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"Next time, lift your lid and you might see it comin'!"
The Engineer, Team Fortress 2 referring to the Soldier.

Hats can be cool, but sometimes they can indicate something more mysterious. That's where this trope comes in. A character wearing a hat that conceals their eyes can often be seen as suspicious, mysterious, or even evil. Oddly enough, the character usually shows no signs of being unable to see despite the fact that their eyes can't be seen.

There are two variations of this trope (although they often overlap):

  • The hat is tilted in a way that hides their eyes from others without a shadow.
  • The hat casts a shadow that makes their eyes almost invisible.

This trope can make a character's eyes stand out much more when they stop wearing a hat, which usually indicates Serious Business.

See also Nice Hat, The Faceless, Face Framed in Shadow, Blinding Bangs and Hidden Eyes. Not to be confused with Coat, Hat, Mask.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Undertaker of Black Butler occasionally wears his hat in this manner.
  • Kisuke Urahara of Bleach is seen with both the variations, especially the shadow-casting one.
  • Daisuke Jigen from Lupin III has his fedora canted downwards to obscure his eyes. Sometimes, depending on the artist, his eyes are covered in shadows, even when we should be able to see them, or aiming his revolver at someone. When the brim is canted upwards (very rare!), his eyes are easily seen, and he looks quite different. (Sometimes his eyes are seen to indicate surprise.)
  • In Soul Eater, Patty Thompson sports this look while wearing a beanie in flashbacks. She and her sister sometimes do this with the peaks of their cowboy hats.
  • Lewin "Lightning" Light from Ao no Exorcist, one of the True Cross Order's four Arc Knights, always wears a hat that does this.
  • Lil' Slugger from Paranoia Agent.
  • Genzo from Captain Tsubasa. Sometimes his hat cover the eyes.
  • In The Hating Girl, the school bomber wears a knitted wool hat that covers his eyes and the horn on his head.
  • Toshiyuki Karasawa of Daily Lives of High School Boys almost constantly wears his baseball cap that covers his eyes with shade. He wears it because of the nasty scar Habara gave to him when she was known as "Archdemon". However, sometimes his eyes can be seen through the shadow.
  • In Natsume's Book of Friends Houzuki-kami's followers wear white wide-brimmed domed hats that cover their faces.
  • In Nijiiro Days, also known as Rainbow Days, Toshimune Kakei is always seen with a hat, a headband or a cap and his eyes are almost never shown.
  • In Saint Seiya, characters' eyes tend to be hidden by a shadow if they are wearing a helmet. The Pope, Gemini Gold Saint when the Cloth is empty and controled by an evil Saga during the Sanctuary arc or by Kanon during the Sanctuary part of the Hades arc might be the most well known examples, along with the Sea Dragon Marina (or Mariner). In some artworks, every saints, marinas or specters have their eyes hidden by a shadow due to their headpiece. Libra Dohko has this in an artwork too. This also happens in Saint Seiya Spin-offs.
  • In Tongari Booshi no Atorie, the Brimhats, a group of criminal witches that are known to use hats to hide their faces, specially their eyes.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • The Beacon in Big Bang Comics is a Captain Ersatz version of the Golden-Age Green Lantern. However, unlike his inspiration, he doesn't wear a mask — instead his identity is concealed by the shadow his miner's cap casts on his face.
  • Action Beaver from Bunny Vs Monkey wears a big green helmet that covers his eyes.
  • DC Comics' Phantom Stranger often has the "hat throws shadows" variety, even if the lighting is wrong for it.
  • Pre-ninja Snake Eyes in the G.I. Joe comic. This was even done on the action figure depicting him this way — the figure had no eyes and instead there was a shadow painted over his face beneath his boonie hat.

    Comic Strips 
  • Beetle Bailey always wears his GI cap or helmet so that his eyes are unseen, even when sleeping and showering. In his college days, Beetle wore a cambered porkpie hat this way as well. His eyes have only been seen once. Lampshaded in a strip: the Chaplain tells Sarge to see things from Beetle's viewpoint. The following frame:
    Sarge: (hat covering his eyes) Here's half his problem right here.
    • In another strip, Lt. Fuzz notices that he can never see Beetle's eyes, and Sarge tries to scare Beetle from behind to make his hat fly off; it works, but unfortunately, Beetle is wearing sunglasses.
  • Andy Capp has always worn his cap to obscure his eyes, even while Reg Smythe adjusted his character models.
  • Gasoline Alley trash collectors Joel and Rufus always don these.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Sherlock Holmes (2009). The thug working for Lord Blackwood who tries to shoot Watson in the opening temple fight. Likely a sign that he's a Professional Killer (the hat pulled down is to obscure his face from witnesses).
  • The Gunslingers Mad Dog Morgan, Ned Kelly (1970), Captain Thunderbolt, and The Outlaw Michael Howe wear their wide brimmed hats low when robbing the wealthy Evil Brit Ranchers.
  • Staff Sergeant Williams in The Hill is a brutal sadist who literally works one of the prisoners under his command to death and plays the other guards like a fiddle through manipulation and blackmail. To make him appear that much more sinister and threatening, the peak of his cap is nearly always pulled down to hide his eyes.

  • In The Balanced Sword, the mysterious wizard Khoros's face is always hidden by the shadow of his hat, no matter what the lighting conditions or the angle you look at him from.
  • Mat Cauthon of The Wheel of Time wears his hat this way after losing an eye, in a nod to Odin, described below.
  • At the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, "Mad-Eye" Moody wears a hat that's tilted to cover his artificial eye. He then reveals that eye to Vernon Dursley just to scare the crap out of him.
  • Steel Crow Saga: Xiulan always wears either Peek-a-Bangs or a hat tilted rakishly over her left eye. She likes the aesthetic, but it's mainly to hide the fact that her pact mark from bonding a Shade Familiar manifested on her eyeball.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Barney Miller, when Wojo reports a UFO, a Captain from the Air Force who wears his officer's cap in such a way that it obscures his eyes shows up to take his statement. Barney tries to peek around the brim.
  • A frequent Fourth Doctor bit in Doctor Who. He favoured wide-brimmed hats and often used them to hide his face when secretly worried, scared or upset.
  • Boober of Fraggle Rock.
  • Anne Bonny, as portrayed on Black Sails, often wears her hat this way.

  • Whoever it is that Carly Simon sings about in "You're So Vain" wore a "hat strategically dipped below one eye".

    Print Media 
  • A 1969 MAD feature parodied the use of this trope in Beetle Bailey by having Sergeant Snorkel and Captain Scabbard sneak up on Beetle and pull off his cap in order to see what he's hiding underneath. They discover the message, "Get out of Vietnam!" written on his forehead.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Norse Mythology, Odin (pictured above) gave one of his eyes for a drink from the well of wisdom and wore a very wide-brimmed hat to conceal it. The hat part of Robe and Wizard Hat may come from this, via The Lord of the Rings.
    • Many re-tellings indicate it is impossible for Odin to go without concealing his missing eye somehow.


    Video Games 
  • Bobbery from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door wears his hat in such a way to obscure one of his eyes. Vivian and her sisters also use this trope.
  • Hazama/Yuuki Terumi from BlazBlue often tilts his hat. Most of the characters (and audience) can tell he's up to no good thanks to this.
  • In Borderlands 2, one of the heads available for Gaige the Mechromancer is a newsboy cap (appropriately titled "Read All About It"), the peak of which hides her eyes (when viewing the character model on the title screen, either variant can occur depending on the angle her head is positioned).
  • Flint from Mother 3 has a cowboy hat that achieves this. Turns out, he's bald.
  • In Team Fortress 2, the Soldier has a helmet as his default headwear, and it was tilted in a way that his eyes aren't visible. While there are many hats the soldier can wear that can show his eyes, there are also other hats that also obscure them.
  • Dawn of War:
    • The Commissar is shown like this, all you see of his face is his nose, grim-set mouth and massive chin.
    • The cover art for Commissar Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!), drawn in the style of overblown propaganda posters, often shows him like this, again emphasizing his Lantern Jaw of Justice.
  • In Pokémon, Red, Hilbert, and Hilda invoke this trope in their sprite animations.
  • Haken Browning of Endless Frontier manages to pull this off when he's depressed.
  • Capcom artist Edayan seems to always have at least one character like this, as Roberto Miura from Rival Schools and Cracker Jack from Street Fighter EX have their eyes perpetually covered by their hats.
  • Dark Souls has the aptly-named "Big Hat Logan". You can even wear his hat yourself, and on several character models it will surround the player's head entirely. The item description deconstructs the trope by saying that Logan wore it out of shyness and fear, rather than out of any magical benefits it gave.
  • Concept art of The Batter from OFF shows that his only visible facial feature is his mouth, despite his in-game sprite displaying eyes.
  • SNK poster boy Terry Bogard zig-zags this. There is plenty of official art with his eyes clearly visible underneath his hat, but all of his game sprites have said hat obscuring them. Even when he ditches the hat in Garou, you can't see his eyes due to his hair.
  • Dust in Dust: An Elysian Tail wears a veiled hat covering much of his face through most of the game. Considering his tragic backstory, this may overlap with Hidden Eyes. Fidget mercilessly Lampshades this in a conversation early in the game. She's amazed he can see anything in front of him with his hat in the way.
  • An update to The Walking Dead Season 2 edited a cutscene so that the brim of Clementine's baseball cap obscures her eyes should she choose to blackmail Rebecca in Episode 1/6.
  • Kain Highwind of Final Fantasy IV has his Dragoon helmet casting an impenetrable shadow over his eyes. More noticeable in Dissidia Final Fantasy due to the top-down spritework/low-res 3D models of his home game. His Holy Dragoon outfit lacks the helmet, though.
  • Blank from Final Fantasy IX wears a peculiar headwrap that involves a leather belt obscuring his eyes, complete with buckle. One wonders how he can see to do anything.
  • Carmen Sandiego's appearance tends to change Depending on the Artist, but one thing that stays constant is that she always has at least one eye (sometimes both) hidden by her hat.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • A variation in Kingdom Hearts II. In Space Paranoids, Sora wears armor that includes a large helmet that covers the top half of his eyes, just barely averting Blindfolded Vision. Anyone taller than his 5'7 feet height (such as Tron) cannot see his eyes as a result.
  • In Kingdom Hearts Chi, Brain's hat leaves his eyes hidden in shadow on his in-game model, adding to his shifty, rule-breaking persona. Averted in his official art, which shows his eyes.
  • Pretty much any character wearing a hat in Hotline Miami has their eyes hidden.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Magical Diary: Horse Hall, Balthasar's hair and eyes are always hidden under the hood of his cape.
    Virginia: I think he's got moss growing on him.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The singer Gabrielle has ptosis in one eye. She uses various means to hide it, including an eye obscuring hat on the cover of her Greatest Hits album.


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