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Eye Spy

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The ability to remove one's eye (real or false, magical or mechanical) and use it to view hard-to-see areas during certain situations after placing it somewhere. The eye is not in any way connected to the owner, yet it operates just as well as it was. Apart from the creepiness value, it can also work as a Surveillance Drone.

Compare Detachment Combat, Helping Hands, Losing Your Head.

A Sub-Trope of Faceless Eye. Can be used for Sinister Surveillance. For using eyes not one's own, see Seeing Through Another's Eyes and Animal Eye Spy.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • There's one Noah in D.Gray-Man who possess this ability, implanting his eye into his victim to spy on them. Thing is, he has more than two eyes...
  • In Hell Girl, Ichimokuren can use his left eye to both spy on and frighten people. He can also use it to communicate. Or he can just appear as the eye.
  • Gaara in Naruto can make a floating eye out of sand and connect his optic nerve to it to scout around.

    Comic Books 
  • The Emerald Empress, enemy of the Legion of Super-Heroes has a big giant eyeball that floats around and does her bidding. She can see what it sees.

    Films — Animation 
  • B.O.B. from Monsters vs. Aliens is able to hold his eyeball in his hand. He uses this to look around a corner when the monsters infiltrate Gallaxhar's ship.
  • In the Toy Story series, the Potato Heads are often seen holding their eyes above their heads to see, etc., as a gag.
    • Toy Story: Mr. Potato Head takes out his eyes and uses them to see over the other toys at the windowsill when they're watching Sid destroy his Combat Carl action figure.
    • He does it again in Toy Story 2 to see inside the room where Woody was being held.
    • It becomes a plot point in Toy Story 3, when Mrs. Potato Head loses an eye before leaving Andy's room, and later finds that she can still use it to see Andy's room from under the dresser where she left it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Batman (2022): Batman has a pair of contact lenses that can act as hi-definition cameras, even being able to record sound. He lends them to Selina Kyle so he can see through her eyes and get facial recognition data on the customers in -44 Below.
  • In The Beastmaster, one of the Big Bad's witches implants her eye in a piece of jewelry, then allows the heroes to acquire it so she can spy on them. When a hero spots it "opening", he jams a burning stick into it; miles away the witch clutches her face and screams, indicating it didn't just convey messages of vision to her, but pain as well.
  • Beyond Re-Animator has this happen to one of the prison junkies who unknowingly injected himself with multiple revival serums belonging to the Mad Doctor Herbert West until he exploded (he reanimated himself) causing one of his eyeballs to pop out of his head. For reasons the movie doesn't explain, the doctor takes the eyeball and keeps it around until at the end of the movie when he discard the eyeball outside the front lawn of the chaos-infested prison, while it struggles to move.
  • That Beholder-like eyeball creature the heroes encounter in Big Trouble in Little China. "What it sees, Lo Pan knows!"
  • In both Clash of the Titans and the 2010 remake, the trio of hags who advise Perseus share a single disembodied eye that they pass back and forth.
  • Aughra from The Dark Crystal has only one eye, but she can remove it from her head and hold it up to get a better look at things.
  • Eden makes effective use of one of these several times in Doomsday.
  • The Black Queen uses these in MirrorMask. For added creepiness, they have spider legs.
  • In No Time to Die, bionic eyes have become a thing for one-eyed people. Both Blofeld and Spectre henchman Primo/"Cyclops" use one. They're detachable, they record videos and sound and they have a network to share what's filmed. Blofeld uses his to run Spectre from his prison cell and organize his "birthday party" in Cuba via another eye that's moved around during said party. Blofeld's eye later gets taken away and analyzed by Q.

  • Displacers in The Beyonders can detach any part of the body and it remains connected crossdimensionally. Maldor is particularly fond of having his Displacer spies graft their eyes or ears onto released prisoners or mistrusted vassals.
  • Blind Io from Discworld has dozens of remote eyes.
  • In the Harry Potter series, Mad-Eye Moody's magical eye. Also, it's used by Dolores Umbridge as a spycam.
  • Merkabah Rider: In "The Nightjar Women", Lilith is able to remove and send semm flying around to spy for her.
  • Randall Flagg in The Stand sends his eye to spy on the good guys in one scene.
  • In a WW2 novel set in Italian-occupied East Africa, a British soldier takes out his Glass Eye and tells the natives he'll leave his eye behind to make sure they don't get up to mischief. It doesn't work because one of them is a former sailor and knows about glass eyes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Angel episode "I Fall to Pieces" features a creepy doctor who can do detach and levitate his eyes, his hands, etc. (pretty much take himself apart and put himself back together again at will). He uses his powers to stalk and eventually try to kill a nice young lady, providing her with some horrific moments (like disembodied hands crawling in her bed, up her legs...).
  • G'Kar picks up this ability on Babylon 5: after the deranged Centauri emperor gouges his eye out, it is later replaced with an artificial eye that can function even when removed from his eye socket. Being G'Kar, he exploits the Power Perversion Potential for all it's worth.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Girl in the Fireplace", one of the Clockwork Robots aboard the S.S. Madame de Pompadour used an unfortunate crewman's eye to fix a camera that had broken down.
  • During the Wizards challenge from season 6 of Face/Off, one contestant chose a wand with an eye mounted at its tip, so crafted a blind witch who used her wand to see.
  • In one episode of Farscape, an alien has a few detached eyes scattered over the city and can show others what he's seen with those eyes by attaching a tentacle to their eye sockets, for a price. Which helps Crichton and D'Argo figure out What Did I Do Last Night??
  • A Monster of the Week on The X-Files was able to order his body parts about to act independently, including his eyes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The ocularon is a tentacled Living Gasbag known for plucking out the eyes of enemies and impaling them on the end of its tentacles. The creature can then animate those eyeballs and send them off as morbid surveillance drones, or fling them at enemies as poisonous projectiles.
    • Hags can create "Hag Eyes", which are enchanted eyeballs that serve as scrying tools and which are cloaked with an illusion of being semi-precious gemstones. In at least some editions of the game, destroying a Hag Eye leads to painful backlash (damage and/or blindness) for its creator.
    • In Pathfinder, hags can also use Hag Eyes to create a unique slime called the Hag Eye Ooze; a Blob Monster with a giant disembodied eyeball floating inside of it that its hag creator can see and channel spells through. They are considered more useful and reliable than just handing out Hag Eyes to humanoid minions. There's also a larger, nastier, multi-eyed version called the Coven Ooze, which is what happens when a Hag Eye Ooze survives the destruction of its creator and feeds on her coven's flesh, absorbing some measure of their intelligence in the process.
  • In Hc Svnt Dracones the Utilit-i ocular implant is primarily used for Augmented Reality but its connection to the owner has a wireless range of 9 feet, and it can be connected to a network so someone can pop their eye out and leave it somewhere that has a public network and still see through it.
  • In Shadowrun you have the option to replace one (or both) of your eyes with a Lone Star iBall. They are like normal cybereyes, until you take it out. Then they act as recon drones, which can roll around on the floor.
  • In Vampire: The Requiem, Belial's Brood has an investment called Flesh Spider that lets the detach body parts but still use them. This includes their eyes.

    Video Games 
  • Blood II: The Chosen has an item called "The Eye". When used, Caleb drops it, but it still appears in the inventory; when toggled again, the player's view changes to the Eye itself, allowing them to look around where the Eye landed. Unfortunately, Caleb cannot throw the Eye more than a step in front of him, so in single player it's almost useless.
  • In Borderlands 2, a Bullymong steals Claptrap's eye from its socket. The following quest has the player and Claptrap finding said Bullymong, during which the blind robot mentions he can see what his eye is seeing when he's within range, similar to a Bluetooth connection.
  • A cutscene in Dungeon Keeper 2 has a skeleton pop its improbably pristine eye out and hold it to peep around a corner. Skeletons can't do this in-game, mind you.
  • EverQuest has the ability with some spells, an item, and a monk disciple to send out an eye to investigate for you.
  • The Eye of Kilrogg spell in Warcraft 2 summons a floating eye that works like this.

    Web Animation 
  • Happy Tree Friends certainly features this a lot, though given the nature of the show it's less of a visibility asset and much more of a tool to show exactly what's coming next in perhaps one of the most horrifying ways possible.
  • In No Evil Huey (Huehuecoyotl) is known to juggle his eyes when bored. In one episode he tosses one over a roof to check if the coast is clear.

  • Pages of the all-seeing lexicon in Bibliography.
  • Dabbler of Grrl Power has a cybernetic eye that she can pop out, she's not allowed to at the dinner table anymore]].
  • One character in Kaspall has a prosthetic eye that he once used to see around a corner.
  • Golgo (a.k.a. Angel Eye) from Rice Boy has a mechanical eye that's capable of functioning autonomously, acting as a flying video camera. He prefers it over his biological eye, referring to the mechanical one as "my good eye" at one point.
  • Schlock from Schlock Mercenary can move his eyes to any point of his amorphous body and has used this to spy around corners and in other tactical situations. Or to get a good stereo base.

    Western Animation 
  • The whole point of Krumm's character design from Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. He doesn't even have eye sockets — he carries his eyeballs around in his hands. They get thrown around or rolled into places where he wants to see quite a bit. Krumm's father looks almost identical, except that he's lost one of his eyes and wears a black glove on that hand to give the appearance of an Eyepatch of Power.
  • One of Gumball and Darwins' classmates in The Amazing World of Gumball is a flying eyeball who acts as the Sadist Teacher's personal snitch.
  • Bender from Futurama. Although how his eyes function varies based on the Rule of Funny.
  • In Godzilla: The Series, one of the N.I.G.E.L. robot's eyes is a mobile microcamera.
  • In The Trap Door, Berk manages to lose one of the Bad-Tempered Thing's (detachable) eyeballs. After he's spent most of the episode recovering it:
    Berk: Oh yes, I found it. But it's a good job Him Upstairs didn't see what happened to it.
    Thing: But I did see, Berk. [the eyeball rotates.] I saw everything!
    Berk: Oh, globbits. I hates eyeballs.