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Eye Poke

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You have just gotten into a fight with another character, resulting in punches, kicks, brawls, half-nelsons, and any other fighting move you can think of. Just when the enemy has you held up, what's the best way to counter back? Poke him in the eyes, and while he's holding his eyes in pain, you make your getaway.

Essentially, this is a type of fighting style that can be used in about any form of media. The only defense to an Eye Poke is holding your hand vertically in front of your nose to block it (then again this could be countered by using the index fingers of both hands, as Curly of The Three Stooges was painfully aware).

Compare Eye Scream. Contrast Eye Pop. See also A Handful for an Eye.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You: This is Nano’s preferred method for repelling harassment.
  • In Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts, local Yandere/Clingy Jealous Girl Shouko does this to her crush/"boyfriend" Yuuji any time she doesn't want him looking at other girls, which is practically all the time. And that's just if she doesn't have her stun gun handy.
  • Buso Renkin: Tokiko has a noted preference for attacking peoples in the eyes when annoyed, such as during the epilogue when she catches Kazuki staring at her scar and performs an eye poke as punishment.
    Nobuhiro Watsuki: Tokiko loves to go for the eyes. Kazuki loves to bleed.
  • The second episode of the subbed version of Sailor Moon has Tuxedo Mask pull one off with his usual rose toss.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In the original manga and anime, "Jan Ken" is a fighting move — Rock is a punch, Paper is a chop, and Scissors is a Three-Stooges-style eye poke.
    • In addition, the World Martial Arts Tournament specifically forbids participants from poking their opponents in the eye.
  • Chapter 50 of We Never Learn is a Public Bathhouse Scene in which the boys huddle around to take a peek through the blinds at the girls' side of the bathhouse. The steam on the other side lifts, only for the leader of the boys to see Kominami looking back. She proceeds to forcefully poke his eyes, which scares the boys enough to keep to themselves for the rest of the trip.
  • Why the Hell Are You Here, Teacher!?: Ichiro tries pulling this on Rin when they both see Kana in a swimsuit at the local pool, except Rin is wearing a pair of glasses. When they see Mayu wearing a swimsuit, it's Kana who does this to Ichiro.
  • Averted in My Hero Academia, Mirio Togata's Blinder Touch Eyeball Crush uses the threat of an eye poke as a feint, instead hitting the opponent in the gut as they cover their face to avoid it

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Satan Girl often tries to poke Supergirl in the eyes in order to disable her when they battle.
    She fought to keep Satan Girl's fingers from her eyes, her jaws from her carotid artery, her knees from her crotch.
  • The Mandela Magazine: A person being stared at by N in the dark defends themself from the Alternate by poking him in the eyes, the only part of him that's discernable from the shadows. N asks why they did that before attacking them.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, J. Russell Finch (Milton Berle) does this to Col. Algernon Hawthorne (Terry-Thomas) during a dispute.
  • In The Three Stooges films, this is Moe's signature move. At the end of the 2000 TV biopic, Moe Howard shows a friend that the move is done by poking the eyebrow of the target, it looks real enough for the camera (especially when done quickly), and doesn't risk injuring the other actor.
  • Used against Dick Steele in Spy Hard. He blocks them successfully but he's punched out immediately after anyway.
  • Used in the climax of Dracula: Dead and Loving It by Mel Brooks against the title vampire (who had just tempted fate). Funnily enough, Dick Steele and Dracula are both played by Leslie Nielsen.
  • The Waterboy, because "Captain Insano shows no mercy."
  • Ash, in Army of Darkness, gets a number of these in the cemetery scene, where Ash is constantly attacked by skeletons.
  • Taken to the max in Kill Bill. Beatrix Kiddo snatches out Elle Driver's eye, to win their fight. Since Elle Driver only had one eye, and she had it done to her before by Pai Mei, this is very effective. We don't actually see Elle Driver being killed, but she is left thrashing around in a trailer containing a black mamba. The conclusion is obvious. Or is it?
  • The Mask. Stanley Ipkiss does this to Dorian Tyrell during their fight.
  • During the bus chase scene from The Mummy Returns, Rick mamage to break free from the grasp of a mummy choking him by poking his right hand (in a V-pose) into the mummy's eyes. Somehow it works, despite the mummy having no visible eyeballs.
  • The Music Box: After bearing the brunt of plenty of mayhem moving a piano, Ollie angrily swats at Stanley - Stan, in an unusual bit of retaliation, peevishly pokes Ollie in the eye.
  • In Deep Blue Sea, this is how Preacher survives being grabbed by one of the sharks. The behemoth is dragging him through the water in her huge jaws, and in desperation he grabs his cross necklace and starts to stab her with it. She lets him go when he damages her eye.
  • Misery has Paul pressing his fingers against Annie's eyes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Brennan does this to a suspect in Bones. She finds that people are less scary after being poked in the eye.
  • Bottom: Done several times, notably Richie to Eddie when he's heartbroken that Tony Blair is a man.
  • Fawlty Towers: Basil does this to Manuel in "The Kipper and the Corpse". In the director's commentary, Bob Spiers says that they should have added a squelching sound.
  • Freddy's Nightmares: In the episode "Photo Finish", Stoney gets one...From Freddy.
  • The Goodies: In "Kung Fu Kapers", Tim is learning kung fu from a book and is instructed on how to perform this attack in a The Tape Knew You Would Say That moment.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • On commentary, Jesse Ventura was always a big advocate of going for the eyes, as it will hurt no matter how big you are.
  • One of Ric Flair's signature moves.
  • As well as Rowdy Roddy Piper's.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: Poor Magnus the Red, already being one-eyed, suffers this at least twice — first from Russ himself during their fight at Prospero, then from Ragnar Blackmane while trying to manifest in material world as a Daemon. He gets better, though.

    Video Games 
  • The "Disco Eye-Poke" is one of the first moves you can learn as a Disco Bandit in Kingdom of Loathing; it lowers the opponent's attack and defense power by a small amount. It's later surpassed by the more effective "Disco Face Stab".
  • In Banjo-Kazooie, repeated eye-poking is the method needed to defeat a giant hermit crab in Treasure Trove Cove.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 has Ocelot trying to pull this on Naked Snake in a fight towards the end of the game. This doesn't work though, considering he tries poking Snake in the eye that he doesn't have.

    Web Comics 
  • A variation in Rusty and Co.: Prestige Perkins tries this on the Illithid door-keeper Handsome D'an, who has enough good sense to step back. Too bad she still use the extended fingers to cast "Melf's Acid Arrow" right in his face.
  • Unsounded: Sette confirms her theory that Matty is blind by poking him in the eye slow enough he had plenty of time to stop her if he'd seen what she was doing. She could have asked, but that would require more trust than she has handy.
  • In Weak Hero, Doyun is cornered by Jimmy and manages to come back by gouging him in the eye, giving Doyun the opportunity to finish Jimmy off with a final punch and emerge victorious.

    Web Original 
  • In Suburban Knights, during the first fight against the Cloaks, Brad pokes a Cloak in the eyes and runs away.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Aladdin: The Series, a magic disembodied hand is sent to attack Al. Inevitably, it pulls this move on him, but Aladdin uses the hand block on it.
  • Bugs Bunny:
    • In Hillbilly Hare, Bugs Bunny calls a square dance, getting his two hillbilly antagonists to follow his orders, including "Whomp him low and whomp him high — Stick your finger in his eye!"
    • In The Windblown Hare, Bugs pokes the Wolf in the eyes while pretending to be Little Red Riding Hood, right after asking him "What big eyes you've got!" He goes on to do the same with the nose and ears, then the Wolf returns the favor.
  • Averted in Code Lyoko, where Odd tries to poke a XANAfied Jérémie in the eyes. He follows his fail by saying:
  • In a Robot Chicken spoof of Star Trek, Spock tries to knock out Scotty with a Vulcan nerve pinch. When that doesn't work, he goes for the eye poke.
  • The Simpsons: In one Treehouse of Horror episode where Homer becomes Death, one of his favorite methods of killing people is poking them in the eye. One man blocks it with his hand (without dying), prompting Homer to wave his hand up and down to confuse him before succeeding.
  • Total Drama:
    • The Toxic Rats encounter a tentacle tree in the forest in "Finders Creepers". It grabs Lightning, slaps him a few times and then pokes him in the left eye before throwing him down to the ground. Angry, Lightning gets back up and punches the mutant in its one eye in retaliation.
    • When Jo switches teams with Scott and joins the Toxic Rats in "Runaway Model", Lightning, who's bad at reading gender, expresses happiness that the team remains all guy. Unamused, Jo pokes him in the eyes and advises that he gets them checked.

    Real Life 
  • This is actually a recommended method for surviving a shark attack. Seen in Deep Blue Sea, and that was with a giant, mutated shark.
  • You learn how to do it when practicing Krav Maga, and there are several techniques for doing so, one of the most vicious being grabbing someone by both sides of their head and digging your thumbs in.
  • Eye pokes are, on another hand, a no-no in MMA, although enforcement seems to be inconsistent. Typically, such actions would lead to warnings and a five-minute stoppage so the eye-gouged fighter could rest while officials check; if the fighter could not go on anymore, the match would be stopped as a no-contest.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Eye Gouge


N Gets Poked in the Eyes

N engages in his usual habit of staring at humans intensely, but the alternate probably wasn't expecting his latest target to fight back! Still, if the static is anything to go by, this wasn't the right course of action to take.

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