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Eye Pop

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"I've seen starers in my time, many of them, but never one that came within a mile of putting up the performance which Chuffy did then. The eyebrows had shot up, the jaw had fallen, and the eyes were protruding from one to two inches from their parent sockets."

Happens when a cartoon character is so shocked (shocked!) that their eyes stretch far from their eyesockets or even pop from their sockets, connected only by a thin muscle, or not stay connected at all and fall to the floor, or a myriad of things. Blowing up is optional. Often accompanied by an aooga horn.

Subtrope of Wild Take. Compare Eye Take, the realistic and more characterizing form of this. If you're looking for the effect of being exposed to a vacuum, see Explosive Decompression. Not to be confused with Eye Scream.


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  • In this commercial for Tomy LSI Game Pac-Man, Blinky's eyes pop when he sees Pac-Man becoming huge.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Don Patch and Jelly Jiggler do this in shock after seeing Giga's true form, as well as Beauty most of the time, when being shocked by everything Bobobo does.
  • In Episode 2 of Delicious Party♡Pretty Cure, Rosemary's eyes bug out when he realizes that Yui can follow him into the Delicious Field using her Heart Cure Watch.
  • Dragon Ball has an example with Master Roshi when his eyes popped out through his sunglasses upon seeing Goku and Krillin budging a giant rock late in their first martial arts training.
  • Dr. STONE: A frequent occurrence, usually when Senku explains something scientific to the villagers (and Gen), or tells them how much work they'll need to do to achieve the next step in the Technology Tree. Senku himself gets it when he hears a dumb question.
  • Kaiju Girl Caramelise: One of the other patrons at Destinyland does this in reaction to Kuroe emerging from a bathroom stall after going through a Partial Transformation into her Kaiju form.
  • In one chapter of March Comes in Like a Lion, Rei's eyes pop slightly out of his glasses once he learns that Nikaidou composed his own, extremely elegant, introductory shogi book.
  • In My Hero Academia, Ochaco's eyes pop out when her parents surprise her at her own apartment. Her mother proceeds to push them back in.
  • Chisame of Negima! Magister Negi Magi does this when she sees Negi and Kotarou innocently checking out a Yaoi doujinshi. Her eyes smash the lenses of her glasses along the way.
  • In one episode of Nerima Daikon Brothers, when Mako sings of the expensive champagne she wants to drink, seeing the price makes Hideki's eyes bug out so far, they tower above the buildings in town. He even sings "My eyes are bugging out!" ("Medama booon!") as this happens.
  • Most of the cast of One Piece do this very frequently, more often than not in conjunction with the Jaw Drop.
  • In Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Brief has this reaction after Stocking chops Panty into pieces at the end of the series.
  • Slayers are quite famous for this trope (with the exception of Xellos). One notable example from the second season was when the crew were hunting for a lake dragon. Zelgadis emerges from the lake, covered in barnacles, and Amelia invokes this trope.
  • Zombie Land Saga Revenge: When Saki suddely confesses to her Celebrity Crush White Ryu, Sakura is so shocked her eyes literally pop out of their sockets and she has to put them back into her head before anyone notices.

    Asian Animation 
  • In the 3000 Whys of Blue Cat episode "Will Earth Be Destroyed?", Blue Cat is surprised to see a rocket coming at him and his eyes pop.
  • It happens a few times in Happy Heroes, such as in Season 2 episode 41 when Big M. notices Happy S. has walked past a trap he set for him.
  • Motu Patlu: In "Bahroopiye Patakhey", Inspector Chingum's eyes pop when he notices the fire cracker in a nearby trash can.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, characters' eyes may pop whenever they are surprised or scared.
  • In the Simple Samosa episode "Sumo Momo", as Vada is retelling the story of Samosa's fight with the wrestler Sumo Momo, the visuals show Sumo Momo's eyes popping when he sees Samosa as a big red demon (he's actually wearing a demon mask).

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes likes to show several extra pairs of eyes jumping out of shocked characters' heads.
  • Garfield's Law of Cartoon Physics: "The size of one's eyeballs is directly proportional to the weight of the anvil landing on one's tail."
  • Subverted in a Bloom County strip where Opus does this in response to a high phone bill. The next panel is him sitting down, holding his eyes while saying to the audience "Do you have any idea how painful that sort of thing is?" And subverted again in another strip where Opus has received some shocking news, and it shows him "not taking it well" by cutting to him with his eyes popped and bowties spinning around. Milo then points out "You know, when Roger Rabbit does that, he usually goes back to normal in a second or two..."
  • Occurred at least once in Zits (and even wound up on the cover of a collected volume), when Jeremy's eyes not only popped out but then rolled into the next room. His father, seeing them, thought, "That must have been a really stupid question!" just as Jeremy's mom shouted, "Don't you roll your eyes at me, young man!"
  • Lambik's eyes do this in the Suske en Wiske album "De Dolle Musketiers" when he first sees Jerom.

    Fan Works 
  • In Chapter 25 of This Bites!, many of the octopi do this after Luffy defeats their leader, doing it rather than the more expected Jaw Drop because they don't have jaws to drop.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager fanfic The Mate of the KuvaH'magh SoS, a Klingon does this after getting on the receiving end of B'Elanna's curse-warfare.
    T'Greth's eyes bulged so much he resembled the Emperor Gowron undergoing explosive decompression.

    Films — Animation 
  • Wylie Burp and Tiger from An American Tail: Fievel Goes West weaponized the Eye Pop, referred to here as "the Laaaaaaaaaaaaazy Eye". By the end of the movie, Fievel, Tiger, and even Wylie take it to the extreme.
  • In Hercules, Pegasus's eyes pop out when he sees the female pegasus that he fell in love with splits in half and turns out to be Pain and Panic who ties the winged horse up.
  • Played straight in Horton Hears a Who! (2008) as Horton is being roped and caged, a Wickersham in the cake has this happen to him as Horton accidentally sits on him.
  • In Robots, this is the reaction of the first robot that sees that Mr. Bigweld, the highly-respected boss of Bigweld Industries, has returned to seize control of his company back from Ratchet.
  • In The Transformers: The Movie, this happens to Dinobot Sludge after Devastator smashes him with a fist so hard his eyes pop out in cartoony fashion. It should be noted that this is one of the only instances of the Toon Physics in the movie and its base series.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The title character in The Mask does it three times: once in his apartment building, once in the Coco Bongo club (followed by the Heart Beats out of Chest example/Trope Codifier), and finally when confronted by a lot of cops with guns.
  • Twilight Zone: The Movie:
    • A strange live-action variant occurs when John Lithgow's character reacts to the monster staring at him through the window of the plane. While it's pre-CGI, his eyes bug out in a completely inhuman way. Just five frames long, and you can see a screencap of the most extreme eye-bugging here.
    • Earlier in the third act, a Toon brought to real life briefly does this before blowing up.
  • Happens in Drop Dead Fred, when Fred slid under a lady's skirt.
  • In Don Jon we see this happening to a cartoon character while lusting after a hot Ms. Fanservice in a brief scene at the start of the film.
  • Happens in Critters 2: The Main Course when a crite sees it's friend get blown up in the restaurant.
  • Tank Girl. After Tank Girl and Jet Girl escape from Water And Power, there's a animated interlude with the two girls driving in Tank Girl's tank. At one point Jet Girl's eyes bug out of their sockets at Tank Girl's antics.
  • In Mad Max, this is Nightrider and Toecutter's reactions before their deaths.
  • The ABCs of Death: In the "H" segment, Bertie's eyes do this when he sees Frau Scheisse performing her striptease. They later do it in pain after her Groin Attack.
  • Happens often in Who Framed Roger Rabbit with Roger. Other characters do it as well, including the weasels and Judge Doom. Remember me, Eddie?! When Eddie first lays eyes on Jessica Rabbit, his own eyes look as if they're about to do that.
  • Eijanaika: A sideshow act shows a man who seems to have the availability to project his eyeballs out of his head. Indeed he can project his eye stalks out so far that a bag can be hung on them.

  • In addition to the page quote above, Bertie Wooster also describes this in Joy in the Morning, when remarking on how Stilton Cheesewright's eyes bug out of his head when he's enraged.
    "There was a pause, during which he tried to catch my eye and I tried to avoid his. Stilton’s eye, even in repose, is nothing to write home about, being a sort of hard blue and rather bulging. In moments of emotion, it tends to protrude even farther, like that of an irascible snail, the general effect being rather displeasing."
  • Odd Joe, the comedian a.k.a. the psychic vampire Dandelo can do this in the last book of The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, just by smacking his head in a certain way. Because of his psychic influence, Susannah and Roland take a good long while to realize just how impossible this should be for a human.
  • The only creature from Wayne Barlowe's Expedition to have a sense of vision is the rimrunner, a one-legged polar animal that can extend a single eye from the front of its head in the manner of this trope. Its ability to detect light is very poor by Earth standards, but the rimrunner's degenerate eye has been repurposed to enhance the sonar by which most Darwin IV animals navigate.

    Live-Action TV 

    Music Videos 
  • CatHairballs: At one point late in the video we see Ren's eyes bug out of his head and jump off-screen, clearly excited about forcing more hwarfing out of Stimpy.
  • When the woman enters in the music video for Pitbull's "Fireball," the reactions include a man's eyes popping out of his head to stare at her.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Home on the Rails, the rabbit does this when it comes into the house as usual and sees the man lying on the tracks preparing to kill himself.
  • Arthur: In "Arthur's First Sleepover" Buster dreams about aliens, and when he sees them his eyes pop out.
  • Early use in by Tex Avery in Tex Avery MGM Cartoons like Red Hot Riding Hood (1943), in reaction to a beautiful woman.
  • There is an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures where Plucky practices an over-the-top version of the trick but loses control and gets stuck as a giant eyeball.
    • The Eye Take in question is from the classic Looney Tunes cartoon "Book Revue". The more seasoned Daffy, of course, is able to snap back to normal after a second.
  • Happens in SpongeBob SquarePants regularly, usually to Spongebob, Patrick, or Squidward.
  • Looney Tunes does this, especially as an Unusual Euphemism for Something Else Also Rises. However, only when Tex Avery or Bob Clampett are animating.
  • Happens in one of The Simpsons' Halloween specials where Bart and Lisa are caught in Itchy & Scratchy's show. While their eyes are still out of their sockets they run away causing their eyes to follow up only later.
    • In another Treehouse of Horror episode Bart becomes Stretch Dude and is able to stretch everything, including his eyes.
    • Deconstructed in the episode "The Scorpion's Tale" where a drug overlubricates the eyes of Grampa Simpson, causing them to pop out. Gruesomely.
  • Happens in The Ren & Stimpy Show, naturally.
  • Not frequently used in Disney's canon, but it does happen to Donald Duck in Mickey Mouse Works.
  • In one episode of I Am Weasel Weasel and Baboon are Animated Actors and one of the things their director makes them to do is have this reaction to mundane objects. ie. "Oh look, an egg" * Eyes pop out of sockets*
  • Tom and Jerry has used this at least a few times.
  • A standard of Saturday Morning Cartoons such as the Animated Adaptation of The Mask when the titular hero gets shocked or scared.
  • No discussion of the Eye Pop would be complete without mentioning Tex Avery, who, although he may not have originated it, certainly developed it into an art form.
  • Mr. DeMartino in Daria frequently gets so angry that one of his eyes does this, complete with bulging blood vessels.
  • Futurama features a version of this with Bender, who is able to telescope his eyeballs, complete with whirr sound effect. Not used so much to indicate shock, but rather to get a better view of something (usually a shapely fembot). In one occasion, he extends them too far and they fall off.
  • Done often in Rocko's Modern Life; one memorable example involved an eye doctor intentionally provoking this by frightening Rocko and then making him hold the pose while he examined them.
  • A version of this happens to Enzo in the Evil Dead game, but it only happens to his right eye. This is used to foreshadow the fact that Enzo loses that eye three episodes later.
  • The titular character of Courage the Cowardly Dog would react with this, sometimes with some atypical twist on the classic gag.
  • One episode of Space Goofs had a devil make several characters, including Candy, Etno and Gorgious, sign their souls to him. When Candy and Gorgious disguised as doctors first arrive at the devil, the latter offers them a refrigerator full of food and a complex vaccum cleaner called the SuckMaster 40000. When Gorgious sets his eyes on the refrigerator, his eyes pop out this way and, as he's wearing glasses in his doctor form, they fall off by the time.
  • Used on Jimmy Two-Shoes, when a Creepy Crossdresser is discovered.
  • Use in the pilot episode of Teacher's Pet when Leonard discovers that Scott is actually his dog Spot.
    • It's actually one the most frequently used tropes in the show.
  • The Opus and Bill Christmas special A Wish for Wings that Work repeated the gag from Bloom County above, only with Opus rubbing his eyes saying "Ooh! Ow!" instead of commenting.
  • In VeggieTales, this happens to Junior upon hallucinating the family photo turning into monsters.
  • This has happened quite frequently to Mr. Bogus.
  • Subverted in Ed, Edd n Eddy in an episode where Eddy's eyes grow enormously large with rage. They stay that way, leading Ed to poke them and Edd wondering how they got that big.
  • Most of the cast from Gumby would occasionally do this, but especially Pokey.
  • The Fairly Oddparents has begun to use these in many episodes since its revival in 2008.
  • This was a specialty of Classic Disney Shorts and Hanna-Barbera animator Hugh Fraser, often when the characters he animated were scared or shocked their eyes would pop out and stretch to absurd lengths for a split second.
  • "Franklin is Messy" from Franklin has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it visual gag in which while Franklin is digging through the stuff in his room he accidentally chucks a play block inside his fish Goldie's fishbowl, causing her eyes to bug out really wide, then dart behind her castle.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot provides a rare justified example in "See No Evil". XJ-9, aka Jenny, is given a new pair of eyes that can extend out of her head to "zoom in" on things and have multiple vision settings. When she first looks in a mirror with these eyes on and realizes how they look on her in "normal vision", her eyes instantaneously extend to their fullest extent.
  • Blink and you'll miss it, but in the original opening of Beetlejuice, the title character's eyes do this when the sandworm suddenly appears in the scene. He does something similar in a number of episodes as well, in response to various stimuli.
  • Done by Nick in Big Mouth in "The Head Pusher" to the extreme. Even his irises pop out!

    Real Life 
  • Kim Goodman can pull this trick off in real life. She discovered her talent when she got hit on the head by a hockey mask, making her eyes pop out. She holds the Guinness World Record for farthest eyeball protrusion since 1998 and demonstrated the trick in the "Stupid Human Tricks" segment of The Late Show with David Letterman in 1997. She even made a living out of it by appearing in commercials and popping her eyes out in surprise at, for example, a competitor's prices.

Alternative Title(s): Eye Shock


Joseph Joestar's stare

Behold, Joseph's stare in all its glory.

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