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Eyepatch After Time Skip

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"Is there some sort of epic pony war in the distant future or something?"note 

Kevyn: The bolted patch looks very roguish.
Ennesby: I don't want "roguish", I want "depth perception".

A quick way to indicate that events during a Time Skip (or in the future) were not all hugs-n-puppies is to have one of your heroes return wearing an eyepatch.

The reasons a missing eye is used so consistently for this purpose (instead of, for example a missing limb or massive scarring), are:

  • It doesn't reduce the character's capabilities. (In real life, the lack of depth perception and peripheral vision on that side can be troublesome, though not as much so as people tend to think. In fiction this only comes up if the writer wants it to.)
  • In a live-action production, removing an actor's arm (et cetera) is hard to fake with special effects, and scars require makeup. A patch is easy.
  • Scars elsewhere on the body are less obvious, and may be covered by clothing, but a character's eyes are usually front-'n'-center.
  • Eyepatches are cool.

To qualify for this trope, the eyepatch has to be unexplained when the reader/viewer first encounters it. Any explanation must come later. This is usually a sign that they Took a Level in Badass, and as such is a common accoutrement of a Future Badass. Sister Trope to Glasses of Aging.

Possibly caused by an Eye Scream.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Hanji Zoe from Attack on Titan receives one of these after her near-fatal encounter with the Colossal Titan in the Return to Shiganshina Arc, during which the left side of her face was badly burned in a blast that wiped out her entire squadron. Hanji survived the ordeal and returned to see the defeat of the Colossal Titan but was forced to wear bandages over her left eye as a result. Post-Timeskip, she now wears an eyepatch beneath her glasses even in combat when leading the Survey Corps, confirming that she lost her sight in her left eye due to her earlier experience.
  • In the manga version of Blood-C, Fumito shoots Saya in her left eye as he escapes the town. One year after, Saya arrives in Tokyo with her eye covered with a bandage. However when she's in Watanuki's shop, she removes it revealing that her eye is fully healed thanks to her regenerative abilities as an Elder Bairns.
  • After the Time Skip in The Daughter of Twenty Faces, Ken dons one. This also marks a turning point towards Darker and Edgier for him.
  • Asuka gained one for Evangelion 3.0, which takes place 14 years after 2.0. Mildly played with, in that we probably saw her lose the eye in 2.0, but before the Time Skip she was shown with a whole load of bandages over that side of her face instead of the Eyepatch of Power she sports afterwards. (Close enough.) Then again, one scene hints she still has the eye.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
  • In the epilogue of Hellsing, Integra is wearing an eyepatch over the eye she injured while fighting the Major.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has Part 3's Jean-Pierre Polnareff returning Older and Wiser with a see-through eyepatch (and wheelchair bound) in Part 5 after losing his right eye's sight and legs fighting the Big Bad.
  • Moriarty the Patriot plays with this: William reappears after the three-year Time Skip with an eyepatch he'd never been seen before wearing, but a glimpse of a potentially nasty eye injury was shown before his re-appearance from Sherlock's narration.
  • A variation is used in One Piece. After the timeskip, Zoro is in fact missing an eye, but so far hasn't been seen to use an eyepatch. How he lost his eye has yet to be explained. Interestingly enough, One Piece (a series about pirates) has managed to run 700+ chapters without a single character wearing an eyepatch. Word of God is that this is being saved for a character who will appear near the end of the series. Whether this will be a new character or an existing character (i.e. Zoro) who just has yet to start wearing an eyepatch is unknown.
  • The Promised Neverland: Sandy gets one during the year and a half skip after the Goldy Pond arc. Considering he got pummeled to the point of being unrecognizable, he got off quite lucky.

    Comic Books 
  • The alternate Cyclops of the Age of Apocalypse has his ruby-quartz visor over only one eye. The scarred socket on the other side is covered by his bangs. We eventually learn his eye was clawed out by Wolverine seconds before Cyclops blasted Wolverine's hand off.
  • Colonel America of The Defenders in Age of Ultron.
  • In the comics continuation of Gargoyles, Brooklyn comes back from his 40 year time dance with a wife, egg, kid, beast and an eyepatch. No official story on how that happened.
  • The Crisis Crossover Infinite Crisis was followed by a Time Skip called One Year Later. Afterwards, Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, was sporting an eyepatch (under his domino mask, for some reason). The series 52, which occured during the missing year and filled in a lot of the gaps, explained that Alan lost his eye (And the eye he has left is not even his own) in the massive teleportation disaster that swept up many of Earths heroes at the climax of the Crisis. Creator commentary in Fifty Two reveals that they also felt that the idea of wearing an eyepatch and a mask was ridiculous.
  • After the "Five Year Gap" in Legion of Super-Heroes comic, Shrinking Violet returns with a missing eye and a nasty scar. (But no patch, alas.)
  • Spike has acquired one for some reason in the short for Issue #4 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW), even though both his eyes clearly work fine in the last panel. Perhaps he just felt it looked cool.
  • Nick Fury gained his Eyepatch of Power during the two-decade time skip that turned him from a Howling Commando into an Agent of SHIELD.
  • Jesse Custer of Preacher falls out of an airplane and is presumed dead, but mysteriously returns wearing a patch. Turns out, his eye was bitten out by God.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): When Sonic returned from his year away from Space a number of characters had changed since the time skip. Dr. Quack was the one sporting an eye-patch, having stepped on a land-mine in the field and retiring from duty.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series's My Future Self and Me episode shows that Future Andy has an eyepatch. This is lampshaded by Calvin.
  • Hans in Perfect Diamond World has an eyepatch a decade after Frozen. He lost his eye and now has a huge scar going from his eye to his scalp.
  • It's a common trend in RWBY fandom to give adult iterations of Ruby Rose an eyepatch, especially after Volume 4 where a villain expressed desire to initiate Eye Scream on her. And it's almost always Ruby, partially because of the contrast it makes with her sweet, (mostly) innocent personality, partially because her eyes are explicitly said to be special in some way (we see exactly how special they are in the Volume 3 finale, when she pretty much angst-nukes a Grimm Dragon after witnessing Cinder kill Pyrrha.)

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 

  • In Night Watch Discworld, hard-bitten copper Sam Vimes is sent thirty years into the past of Ankh-Morpork and ends up fighting for his life alongside his thirty-years-younger self. He receives a vicious scarring cut to his face and ends up wearing an eyepatch; this stays with him when he returns to his correct time.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The future Beka from "older Trance's" timeline in Andromeda had one, along with some cybernetics and red hair.
  • In Babylon 5, Sheridan's brief visit to the future in season 3 gives the viewer a glimpse of G'kar, who has for some reason lost his right eye. After Sheridan returns to the present, later seasons show how it happens.
  • In the Battlestar Galactica reimagining, Saul Tigh loses his right eye to the Cylons some time during their 4 month occupation of New Caprica.
  • Averted when Blake returns for the final episode of Blake's 7. He was originally supposed to have an eyepatch similar to his arch-enemy Travis from the first two seasons, to imply he had become just like him. However it was decided to downplay the trope and just give him a facial scar instead.
  • Inverted in Dark (2017): Throughout Seasons 1 and 2, Wöller appears with a medical eyepatch as a result of an incident that he never gets a chance to elaborate on. After the entanglements involving the two alternate universes are resolved in the Grand Finale, Wöller is seen with a simple bandage over the same eye. While he still doesn't get a chance to elaborate on what happened, conversation indicates the injury was less severe in this version of reality and will heal in time. In a way, it mirrors the Bittersweet Ending of the show.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Beric Dondarrion of Game of Thrones gains an eyepatch between his first appearance in season 1, when sent on a mission to arrest Gregor Clegane, and his reappearance in season 3, as a battle-scared Rebel Leader. He also changes actors between appearances (from an extra to a substantive role).
  • Jessie: In "The Jessie-nator: Grudgement Day", Emma and Ravi are visited by Jessie from 60 years in the future, where she had been fighting in a war against Bertram-Bots. When they ask about her eyepatch, she shows them what's under it, to their utter horror (and thankfully, it isn't shown to the viewer).
    Ravi: Have you not considered putting some ointment on that?!
  • On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the character Martok is introduced at the beginning of season 4; season 5 reveals him to actually be a shapeshifter impersonating Martok. When real Martok is found and rescued, he is missing an eye.
  • In the original 1992-3 airings of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, there were opening and closing bookends set in the present day (that is, the 1990s). These featured a wizened 93-year-old Indiana Jones (played by George Hall), who sported a patch over his right eye, and a pair of glasses over the eyepatch. He also had a long vertical facial scar trailing out from under the patch. No explanation was ever offered for how Indy had lost an eye. The "time skip" element comes into play because Harrison Ford's Indy of course still has both eyes in the film series, set in the 1930s. These contemporary bookends were later all cut out when George Lucas re-edited the show into The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones in the later part of the decade.
  • Z Nation: After the Time Skip between Seasons 3 and 4, Addie is now wearing an eyepatch to cover a missing eye. How she lost it is never explained.


    Video Games 
  • In Bugsnax, when you finally meet Eggabell in person (after having only seen her in videos), she's wearing an eyepatch. This goes unnoticed and unexplained until she explains it to Lizbert. Turns out she only got pink eye.
  • Dimitri from Fire Emblem: Three Houses gains an eyepatch after 5 years in all routes apart from Edelgard's route, in which he is able to ascend to the throne of Fhirdiad instead of becoming a fugitive. Word of God is that the eyepatch was to show that Dimitri "went through some hardships" during the Time Skip. In Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, Dimitri becomes king after defeating his uncle, and his post-timeskip appearance does not include the eyepatch.
  • Played a bit more straighter though in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Raiden is shown in the prologue of having gotten better after the events of the previous game and received a more human like cyborg body, but at the end of the prologue, has his left eye sliced out by Jetstream Sam's katana, and loses his left arm again. After a few week time skip, we're introduced to the game proper, and Raiden has received an upgraded cyborg body, featuring what appears to be a cloth strip eye patch over his left eye. Of course, it too also acts as an Eyepatch of Power as it's actually an "artificial compound eye unit" that's basically top of the line device that greatly enhances Raiden's vision... Raiden's PMC, Maverick Security, and the Cybernetics expert Wilhelm "Doktor" Voigt just didn't have time to turn it into an actual human style eye thus giving it the eye patch appearance.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, subverted, with both the Solid Snake, and Raiden, which takes places 5 years (2014 Metal Gear Timeline) after the events of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Snake receives an Eyepatch device developed/stolen by Otacon and Sunny called the Solid Eye early in the game, but it's actually a multipurpose Eyepiece that acts as Monocular with variable zoom, and also works as a Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG), as well as Augmented Reality (AR) functions all built into it, and apparently, also has been designed to act as a corrective lens for Far-sightedness. Raiden, sports two of these Solid Eyes for both of his eyes, and works also with his visor face plate combo. Their eyes however are fine making them more Eyepatches of Power.... which is more than can be said for the rest of the rest of their bodies. Or the rest of the world for that matter
  • The Papa Wolf version of Nier in the NieR Gestalt version gains one after the five-year time skip between the first and second acts.
  • The Night of the Rabbit does this, after a fashion: a character encountered by the protagonist turns out to actually just be a memory of the person before they underwent a Face–Heel Turn, meaning that the character is presented as their past self. The "real" version of the character, seen in The Stinger, has acquired an eyepatch between the time of that memory and the present.
  • In the first case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, which takes place a year after the previous game, we see that Apollo is covered in various bandages and has an eyepatch over one eye. We are initially led to believe that he obtained these injuries during the courtroom bombing that your client is being accused of, but he still has the eyepatch in Case 4, which takes place even further in the past. It's ultimately revealed that his lie-detector vision was going crazy whenever Athena talked about the case (due to her attempting to hide her involvement with the space program), and he covered his eye in order to prevent himself from sensing her tells.
  • Future Shaundi from the "How the Saints Saved Christmas" DLC for Saints Row IV has a cybernetic eye after shooting her real eye out with a BB gun.
  • In Slap City, one of Ittle Dew's skins is an "old" version of her with grey hair, a few wrinkles, and an eyepatch.
  • In Small Saga, at about the midway point Verm badly loses a duel on a bridge with Sir Leo, falls into the water, and vanishes. He's found after a Time Skip heavily scarred and missing one eye, though rather than wearing an eyepatch he just keeps it closed. (This further enhances his resemblance to Guts) It's uncertain whether he's this beat up thanks to Leo's rapier or because of the water.
  • Super Time Force played with this with Doctor Repeatski, whose future self has two eyepatches covering both his eyes.
  • Happens In-Universe for Saejima in Yakuza 4, wherein he encounters his old best friend, Majima, after having just spent twenty five years in prison with no information about the outside world, and is visibly shocked at Majima's appearance, which includes an eyepatch Saejima has no idea the reason for. note 

  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: In the Futures Trading arc, Dark Smoke Puncher has a huge scar and a glass eye after Doc jumps forward in time.
  • Marsha of College Roomies from Hell!!! got an eyepatch and went crazy after a time skip caused by holes in Dave's memory.
  • Girl Genius: This happens to the unnamed character who passes Agatha's message dingbot to Dr Francisca Monahan. She had both eyes at around the time Agatha was escaping from Martellus, and a patch over a scar at some point after it had become public knowledge that Agatha was not trapped in Mechanicsburg.
  • Homestuck
    • An interesting example: Sollux has his eyes blown out during a duel with Eridan. He then spends the rest of the act with empty eye sockets, but his appearance is otherwise unchanged. When we next see him, it's been three years in-universe, and he's sporting a fashionable pair of eyepatches.
    • In the Summerteen Romance arc of the Paradox Space spinoff, Karkat is shown with an eyepatch after a Time Skip in Karkat's story. The joke, of course, is that there wouldn't actually be a Time Skip if Dave didn't get bored with reading the story and skip to just before the end.
    • Karkat also acquires an unexplained eyepatch after a timeskip in The Homestuck Epilogues.
  • Joe Loves Crappy Movies: Used as a Running Gag whenever a future version of Joe appears. Joe also did a series of bonus sketches showing possible ways he lost the eye (the most popular one being him having donated it to his wife).
  • Latchkey Kingdom: Debbie Hives has taken to wearing an eyepatch between her appearances in 70-Seas and Latchkey Kingdom. She wears it because she's Comically Cross-Eyed like the character she was parodying.
  • Leif & Thorn: The brief appearance of time-traveling future Thorn. Who Holly first guesses to be "alternate-dimension evil Thorn."
  • Mutant Ninja Turtles Gaiden follows its inspiration by having this happen to Raphael.
  • The Order of the Stick: Lampshaded. After an unexpected three months go by we return to find out the bard Elan is wearing a patch. However, after an annoyed Hinjo pulls it off, it's revealed that he's only wearing it to look mysterious.
  • Sarilho: While the timeskip between chapters is pretty short, Nikita wears one as a direct consequence of his battle wounds in chapter four.
  • Schlock Mercenary: During a particularly convoluted bit of flashbacking-and-flashforwarding we meet up with part of the crew after a gap of weeks, to find trusty floating robot Ennesby wearing a patch bolted over one optical sensor. It's easily fixed once they get their engineer back from the dead.
  • Scoob and Shag: In Part 2, Dee sports an eyepatch over her left eye due to having lost it during Mick's attacking partway through Part 1.
  • S.S.D.D.: The future version of Norman has a prosthetic eye and is missing his signature buck teeth. Historical footage of the early days of his revolution show him with an eyepatch.
  • Yamara: One strip does double duty on eyepatch cliches; not only does the character's future self show up wearing one, she acquired it after going off to be a time pirate. (Well. Time privateer. Close enough.)

    Web Videos 
  • In the Joueur du Grenier review dedicated to Terminator licensed games, Seb as a "Future Resistance Leader" is wearing an eyepatch.
  • Parodied in Scott The Woz. The Super Mario Kart episode has Scott being visited by himself 14 minutes from the future, wearing an eyepatch. It turns out that future Scott got the eyepatch from accidentally swatting his eye out with a paddleball. Also, the now-future Scott (which was the regular Scott from 14 minutes ago) is then visited by another Scott from farther into the future, with eyepatches over both of his eyes.

    Western Animation 
  • In Danny Phantom's second movie, The Ultimate Enemy, the future Box Ghost has an eyepatch and a Hook Hand primarily to show he's not as much of a pushover any more.
  • Parodied in Future-Worm! by giving the titular worm's future counterpart, Future-Future-Worm, an eyepatch over his visor.
  • The Gargoyles episode "Future Tense" has a variant: future!Broadway is blind.
  • An extra in the "A Sitch In Time" DVD shows the future Kim Possible as Dr. Director's successor, sporting an eyepatch as Dr. Director does in the present. Maybe it's part of the uniform.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • Ninjago: The ice maze in the First Spinjitzu Master's tomb alters the ninja's reflections to show their future-selves. Kai resembles his father, Zane is wearing a different robe, Cole doesn't have a reflection, and Jay has an eyepatch. Cole and Jay's reflections get realized in the next arc, where Cole learns to turn invisible and Jay gets beat up by pirates.
  • In one episode of ReBoot, Dot wakes up in a Bad Future where a teenage Enzo has a scar over his right eye, though it turns out it was All a Dream. Later, little Enzo loses his right eye in a game of Immortal Konflict and after a time skip an adult Enzo Matrix has an artificial right eye.
  • Moe Szyslak has an eyepatch in The Simpsons episode "Lisa's Wedding" when Lisa gets her future foretold.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) series, Donatello is transported to a Bad Future in "Same As It Never Was." Among the changes are (as you might've guessed), Raphael missing an eye and wearing a patch as an intentional nod to the comics.


Video Example(s):


Tomoko-chan's Time Skip

By the time of her daughter's spinoff series, Tomoko has lost an eye. From "anime timeskips and spinoffs".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / EyepatchAfterTimeSkip

Media sources: