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"If you play your cards right, all you have to do is flutter your eyelids and smile and you can get anything you want."
Mrs. Slocombe, Are You Being Served?

When characters want to show their romantic interest or catch the eye of someone they fancy, they will often rapidly blink many times in the direction of the object of their affection. Known as eyelash fluttering or batting your eyelids, it serves to accentuate the character's eyes as well as mimic the way people will blink more when they see something they find beautiful and the way the eyelids droop when lovestruck. Comedic examples will often be accompanied by a xylophone tinkling sound effect.

This gesture can also be used to signify innocence such as when asking for something nicely or being caught in an act — in this case, the gesture assumes a similar meaning to the Not-So-Innocent Whistle.

Mostly seen in cartoons, and usually done by female characters (as they're the ones with the noticeable eyelashes) but male examples are not unheard of. A common gag is for a lash-less character to suddenly grow a set of lashes when batting, which disappear right after.

Compare Wink "Ding!", Squeaky Eyes, which can overlap if the fluttering makes noise, and Eyebrow Waggle, which repeatedly flutters the brows instead of the lashes and indicates slyness instead of romantic desire, though there is overlap. Often combined with Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose, Ready for Lovemaking, Crush Blush, or Bishie Sparkle. May accompany a Flirty Voice Ploy if a conversation ensues.


Examples:

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    Fan Works 
  • Quizzical: In Thweet Geniuth: "The Hard Part":
    Quiz needs back up, thought Dinky, time to bring the cute! Dinky stepped forward, cocked her head, and fluttered her eyelashes. "Please, Rarity!"
    Applebloom and Scootaloo knew this trick, and they were quite good at it. They fell in line next to Dinky and repeated her performance. "Please, Rarity!"
    Then Quiz glimpsed out of the corner of her eye what the other fillies were doing. She decided to give it a try herself.
    "Yes... well... um... please, Miss Rarity."
    What happened next might partially be explained by the sudden release of the tremendous tension of the moment.
    But really, it was because of Quiz's attempt at an eyelash flutter.
    Rarity fought bravely. But eventually a little snort of laughter escaped, and once that was out she was lost. Soon Rarity was on the ground at her doorstep, laughing uncontrollably.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Bambi, Miss Bunny notices Thumper and tries to catch his eye by slinking up to him and fluttering her eyelashes. It works, and she gets a kiss from him.
  • The Curse of the Were-Rabbit: When Wallace and Gromit first show up to rid the Tottington manor of rabbits, Lady Tottington brushes off Victor's flirting and secretly bats her eyes at Wallace to show she likes him instead.
  • The Emperor's New Groove offers a humorous example after Pacha and Chicha's kids beg to stay up past their bedtime:
    Pacha: Of course! Yeah, Mommy and I are just going to be staying up telling each other how much we love each other... Right, honey?
    Chicha: [grins and flutters her eyelashes at him.]
    Tipo & Chaca: Eww! Good night!
  • Hercules: When the Muses first interrupt the narrator's introduction, the head Muse states that they'll take it from here and flutters her eyelashes innocently to coax him.
  • The Little Mermaid (1989): As Ariel goes to bed on her first day at Prince Eric's castle, Sebastian gives her some tips on how to get Eric to kiss her, including "You've got to bat your eyes, like this", demonstrating with eyelashes that he has just for this line.
  • In The Jungle Book (1967), a girl (who goes by the name of Shanti in the sequel) seduces Mowgli into the village this way, and he has absolutely no problem admitting to that, but she apparently finds it embarrassing and denies ever doing any such thing.
  • Pinocchio: After building Pinocchio, Geppetto shows him off to his goldfish Cleo, who flutters her lashes in a coy greeting.
  • The Princess and the Frog:
    • In the song "Friends on the Other Side," Dr. Facilier flutters his eyelids on the line "you come from two long lines of royalty" that he sings to Naveen, to accentuate the perceived innocence of the line. He also suddenly grows a set of lashes just to flutter.
    • When Lottie wants to catch the attention of Prince Naveen (who she doesn't realize is Lawrence in disguise), she redoes her makeup, covers herself in glitter, and bats her eyelids at him as a spotlight hits her.
  • The Secret of NIMH: Mrs. Brisby combines fluttering eyelashes with a Flirty Voice Ploy to send Jeremy away by suggesting he watch her children instead of assisting her in her search for the entrance to the rosebush.
  • Shrek: Dragon does this to Donkey when she is flirting with him. Missing the point, Donkey says "what's the matter, you got something in your eye?".
  • Tangled: Maximus the horse winks towards Flynn, after seeing children put numerous flowers in Rapunzel's hair, in a "check her out" manner.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Exaggerated on purpose in Hussar Ballad, as part of Shura's trolling of Rzhevsky. She meets him in a Sweet Polly Oliver disguise and finds out that he believes her to be a mindless, gossipy flirt, so when they are properly introduced, she (now in a frilly dress with fake curls and heavy makeup) madly flutters her eyelashes at him with a stupid grin.
  • Spice World: Emma flaps her eyelashes at the policeman when she is trying to get them let off for "flying a bus without a licence", among other things.
  • At the very end of What's Up, Doc?, there is this exchange, which is a joking reference to costar Ryan O'Neal's previous film Love Story:
    Judy: Love means never having to say you're sorry. [Bats her eyelashes]
    Howard: ...That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.

    Literature 
  • At the end of The Berenstain Bears book The Berenstain Bears Play a Good Game, while the cubs are eating at a restaurant, Too-Much Grizzly flutters her eyelashes at Brother, who has a Crush Blush and continues to eat like normal.
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: In Cookies and Campers, after revealing unimportant but humorous Now You Tell Me information, one girl does this to her conversation partner:
    A pale eyelash fluttered in a teasing wink.
  • Discworld:
    • This is one of the things Nanny Ogg advises Magrat to do at the ball in Witches Abroad:
      Nanny: Well, what you do is, you tap men with your fan - got your fan? - and say things like "La, sir!" It helps to giggle, too. And flutter your eyelashes a bit. And pout.
    • In Maskerade, Christine flutters her eyelashes when reviving from her swoon, or possibly when realising people aren't paying enough attention to her reviving from her swoon.
  • In Dealing with Dragons it's mentioned that this is a technique taught to princesses and other women whose role in a traditional fantasy world is to be Damsels in Distress; moreover, that it's most effective when the male target is One Head Taller than the female, so that she can look up at him through her eyelashes. This is a problem for Cimorene, who is the same height as most men and thus couldn't pull off the trope effectively even if she wanted to.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Discussed in Are You Being Served?, after Old Mr. Grace buys his secretary}} a marked-down fur coat everyone wanted. Over tea, Ms. Brahms questions what she had to do to get it.
    Mrs. Slocombe: Oh, if you play your cards right, all you have to do is flutter your eyelids and smile and you can get anything you want.
    Mr. Spooner: (flutters his eyelids and smiles)
    Mrs. Slocombe: (unamused) Mr. Spooner, what are you doing?
    Mr. Spooner: I want the sugar.
  • Descendants of the Sun: When Shi-jin arrives from Corps Command, he and Mo-yeon flirt a little as an escape from their troubles and to enjoy each other's company. Mo-yeon playfully bats her eyelids at him.
  • Discussed in the pilot episode of How I Met Your Mother: after a horrible date, Ted tells Barney that he apparently ruined it because she was giving him "the signal" and he was missing it. A confused Barney adds, "What, was she gonna bat her eyes at you in Morse code?"
  • In Impeachment, Monica does this when flirting with Bill, helped by her long, dark lashes.
  • Lost & Found Music Studios: Leia often flutters her eyelashes at Luke when she compliments him on his music as a way to flirt.
  • Men Behaving Badly: In "Bed", both Dorothy and Deborah use an exaggerated version of this to convince Tony to fix the loose gate (which is being loudly buffeted by the winds) in the middle of the night.
  • The Saturday Night Live skit "The Lawyer" from season 42 stars host Louis C.K. as a lawyer with surprisingly big eyelashes who uses his unlikely attribute to charm his way out of a case by fluttering his lashes at everyone he talks to.
  • Why Women Kill: In "I'd Like to Kill Ya But I Just Washed My Hair," Beth Ann tries a more outwardly flirty approach to spruce up her relationship with Rob after hearing he was bored with his wife. She wears brighter clothes, says everything in a more flirty tone, and flutters her lashes more.
  • Worzel Gummidge: In one episode, Aunt Sally starts fluttering her eyelashes (which rattle when she does so) at a circus strongman named the Great Orlando, who she finds attractive. This makes Worzel, who has a one-sided crush on Sally, jealous.

    Music 
  • Lauryn Hill mentions batting her eyes as a subtle way to flirt in the song "All My Time."
But I ain't that aggressive, instead I act suggestive
Bat my eyelashes, make smooth & subtle passes
  • Tori Kelly's song "Eyelashes" talks about how Kelly considers herself bad at flirting since she's unable to bat her eyelashes whenever she sees her crush walk by.
  • In Reba McEntire's music video for "Why Haven't I Heard From You," Reba is on a date and mindlessly bats her eyes at the man when he simply calls her "great," prompting one of the performing mariachis to exchange looks with her that read, "that was the best he could do?"
  • Nicki Minaj flutters her big false lashes to accentuate them a number of times in the music video for "Super Bass."

    Video Games 
  • Cuphead:
    • Cala Maria's intro in "High Seas Hi-Jinx!" has her adjusting the octopus on her head and playfully batting her eyes with a xylophone "doink-doink!" before preparing to fight.
    • In Pip and Dot's battle intro in "All Bets are Off," Dot looks up at Pip and bats her eyelashes (complete with xylophone tinkling sound) as Pip looks down and tips his hat to her.
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 4: In the game Monster Seeking Monster, one of the human disguises' reactions to getting a match is to put his finger to his lips and bat his eyes coyly. Humorously, a "boing, boing" sound effect accompanies the gesture.

    Western Animation 
  • 6teen: One of Caitlin's tactics of attracting guys is this trope, with every guy that witnesses it performing a Jaw Drop and then shaking their head. Jen tries to do it too, only to fail and have her eyes go wonky.
  • Animaniacs: In the short "Broadcast Nuisance," a news anchor is trying desperately to seem like he cares about the sad news he's presenting and furiously bats his eyelids to appear sad (as big lashes appear on his eyes for just this one scene.) He demands his makeup artist draw sympathy lines around his eyes.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: Pamela Isley does this in her debut episode when her boyfriend Harvey Dent is urging her to stick around at the fancy French restaurant they and Bruce Wayne were having dinner in.
  • CatDog: In the episode "The Lady is a Shriek", Shriek does this as she tries to flirt with Dog, who just thinks she has something in her eye.
  • In the Classic Disney Short Society Dog Show, Pluto falls for Fifi the Pekingese as Mickey is grooming him for the dog show, and they bat their eyelids at each other as he joins her on her pillow.
  • Futurama: In "Why Must I Be A Crustacean In Love?", Amy sees an attractive-looking man in a sauna box and coyly bats her eyelids at him asking if there's room for two. He says no, and exits the box only to reveal he's so fat he takes up the entire box himself. Amy shudders in disgust.
  • Hey Arnold!: In "Dinner for Four," Helga tries to prove her ladylike qualities by inviting Arnold, Gerald, and Phoebe out for a nice dinner. She lowers her eyelids at Arnold and bats her eyelids to seem more dainty.
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Slick Hare," Bugs realizes Elmer is trying to catch him for Lauren Bacall's dinner. He's more than happy to oblige, and positions himself on her plate like a cooked rabbit with an apple in his mouth, fluttering his lids at her.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Suited For Success," Rarity imagines herself showing up to the Grand Galloping Gala in a beautiful dress she made herself. She pretends to receive compliments on it and bats her eyes at the imaginary crowd.
    • Rarity has actually been known to do this several times while flirting with others to convince them to do a favor for her or share something with her. She has most commonly done it with Spike, who has a crush on her.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Isabella bats her eyes at Phineas in "Rollercoaster: the Musical", at the beginning of the third musical number.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): After the girls realize they may have met their match in the Rowdyruff Boys, Ms. Bellum advises them to "try being nice" i.e. flirt with them and exploit the fact that they are, at the end of the day, young boys who likely believe Girls Have Cooties. So the girls casually flirt with the boys, which includes fluttering their heavily lashed eyelids at them and giving each boy a kiss on the cheek. Astonishingly, this works, causing the boys to Freak Out and explode.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! special "Back to Bortron 7", Zerk bats his eyes at Sean when he meets him and calls him "adorable".
  • One episode of Richie Rich (1980) has Richie and Dollar going to the beach, where Dollar meets a cute poodle who gives him a shy glance and bats her eyes — humorously, with a squeaking noise to accompany the gesture.
  • In the Spidey and His Amazing Friends short, "Hi Felicia", Felicia/Black Cat bats her eyelashes to look all sweet and innocent before leaving to steal a lady's gold bracelet.
  • Tex Avery MGM Cartoons:
    • In Dangerous Dan McFoo, the villain enters the saloon and sees Dan's love interest Sue, who flutters her eyelashes from his perspective. Still through his eyes, she morphs into the image of Bette Davis, who also flutters her eyelashes.
    • In "Little 'Tinker", a bunny bats her eyelashes at B.O. Skunk. One of said eyelashes even takes on the shape of a beckoning finger.

 
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Sexy Eye Flutter

Scratte flutters her eyeslashes titillatingly in a slow-motion sequence when Scrat sees her for the first time.

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