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Eyes Always Shut

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Harry: I could do it with my eyes closed!
Tommy: You do everything with your eyes closed.
3rd Rock from the Sun, "Same Old Song and Dick"

This describes a character who appears to have their eyes shut constantly, except, perhaps, for a few instances of surprise or shock. Nevertheless, they still give every indication of being able to see — which implies that this characteristic is actually more of a pronounced squint.

This is an old device to imply wisdom; more recently, it's been used as a device to show "wise guys". This device, when used as such, is called "kitsune no me" in Japanese ("fox eyes" or "shifty eyes" in English).

A common variation of this trope is to make the character close his or her eyes into an arc rather than a simple horizontal line. Characters whose eyes are fixed in that position are generally optimistic and almost always unconditionally happy, but more often down-to-earth instead of ditzy. These characters may be prone to comic obliviousness, but outright stupidity is rare. The exact way the closed eyes are drawn can add a lot to this trope — representing anything from serenity, dignity, smugness, humor, indifference or even someone trying to fake any of those.


Finally, closed eyes are sometimes used to depict people who are down and out with their lives as a sign of depression.

Where Eyes Always Shut and Beware the Nice Ones overlap, the character's eyes may open when it's time to get dangerous, usually right before unleashing that Limit Break or entering a state of Unstoppable Rage. This is not uncommon among Affably Evil villains; if the villain always puts up a happy facade, expect those eyes to open when the Berserk Button is activated, just before that final transformation or ultimate attack is unleashed. Either way, the character's now-visible eyes may follow other various Eye Tropes as well. Compare the Clint Squint.

Not to be confused with the Stanley Kubrick film, Eyes Wide Shut.



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  • Every character in Red Bull's animated commercials looks as though they are staring into direct sunlight for the duration of the ads. It seems to just be a design choice, though.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Tanonaka in Animation Runner Kuromi. No surprise that his voice actor Eric Stuart also voices Brock from Pokémon, another example of this trope.
  • Everyone in Suneo's family (or his ancestors, descendants, as well as alternate universe counterparts, too) from Doraemon has their eyes shut almost all the time and greatly slanted, which, coupled with their literally pointy mouths, makes them look like cartoony cunning foxes. Suneo's animal equivalent is always a fox as a result.
  • Chiffon Fairchild from Freezing has this as her most notable physical feature. She is also one of the more sane Pandoras.
  • In Promare, Kray Forsight seems to never have his eyes open no matter what.
  • Mao Yasaka in Gundam Build Fighters, occasionally opens his eyes when he gets serious such as when he fires his Hyper Satellite Cannon.
  • Falin from Delicious in Dungeon, highlighting her relaxed nature. They open when she gets intense.
  • Chisa from 7 Seeds Team Spring is generally depicted with her eyes closed, to show her usually calm and demure exterior, although she is ready to step up when necessary.
  • Bleach:
    • Gin Ichimaru. He is only seen opening his eyes on very rare occasions, once when attacked, once when attacking, and during his final confrontation with Aizen. Also, if artworks count, the cover of one of the manga issues depicts Ichimaru with his eyes open.
    • Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto also keeps his eyes shut, except when he wants to show he's serious (or seriously surprised).
  • The flame dragon Setsuna in Flame of Recca literally keeps his single eye closed. If he opens it, anyone who sees it is instantly annihilated.
  • Mikoto Hebigami from Mr. Fullswing. He has a highly spiritual lifestyle as a practicing Buddhist. Once his eyes are open, his immense powers are unleashed.
  • Kail's half-sister in Anatolia Story has her eyes drawn shut. In her case, it's to indicate her blindness.
  • Chizuru in Squid Girl keeps her eyes closed constantly. She only ever opens them (revealing that yes, she does have eyes) to give Squid Girl a terrifying Death Glare. This, along with Killer Whales and Sanae are the only things Squid Girl is genuinely terrified of.
    • She opens her eyes one other time. She gets excited that Squid Girl is making a friend, and tells her "Good Luck!" with a glare of assurance. Squid Girl interprets it as a threat, and is thoroughly terrified.
    • However, later on (second season of the anime if you're watching that), Chizuru opens her eyes and smiles at Squid Girl perfectly normally because she wants her to be friends with them. It actually goes really well for once until Squid Girl off-handedly mentions that she can go back to being a monster now. The last thing we see of Squid Girl is her being dragged off for another "talk".
  • Shouichi Imayoshi in Kuroko no Basuke keeps both his eyes closed, and only opens them when he wants to emphasize his words. They're usually very biting against his opponents and condescending, at which point he allows the reader and the characters to glimpse the "worst personality" that characters like Daiki Aomine and Makoto Hanamiya have earlier commented that he has.
  • Zaphikel from Angel Sactuary is depicted with his eyes shut and a smile on his face. He does open his eyes quite often for serious or meaningful moments, but considering his blindness, it makes little difference.
  • Yachiyo Todoroki from WORKING!! has this, emphasizing the intimidating impression she gives off by wearing a katana from her family's blade shop, in contrast to her actually gentle personality.
  • Takeshi/Brock in Pokémon. As well as practically everyone in his family, except for his mother. There is one scene in the series' long, long history where we finally see them open, but it's not nearly as dramatic as one would think.
    • In The Ninja Poké-Showdown, Brock's eyes open when Ash's Charmander accidentally uses Flamethrower on him.
    • His eyes open for a single frame when he gets beaned in the back of the head by Jessie's Arbok in Who Gets to Keep Togepi?.
    • One of the few women to actually enjoy his constant flirting is the Frontier Brain Lucy/Azami. Upon returning home at the end of the episode, it is revealed that she keeps a group of Pokémon as pets; they all have the same squinty eyes, implying that her attraction to Brock was due to this feature.
    • These days, his eyelids are likely to balloon in those situations you'd expect other characters' eyes to do so. A few times when he's being shocked and his body starts flashing, his skull shows the slits instead of circular eye sockets. Make of that what you will.
    • His eyes also open when he's being bishounen, but all they ever show is basically a glistening squint.
    • It's actually played with in the webcomic Super Effective. The first time Brock appears, another trainer hangs a lampshade. A good couple of issues later, we finally see the punchline of this particular Brick Joke.
    • This Yahoo Answers post gives an entertaining justification that ties into his choices as a Pokémon trainer.
  • Justified in Black Blood Brothers: Sei is so powerful that he has to keep his eyes shut at all times; the two times he opens them, he kills a bunch of vampires and opens the magical barrier protecting the Special Zone, respectively.
  • In the original series of Slayers, Rezo the blind priest. However, that's not because he's a trickster so much as because if he opens his blinded eyes, he'll release the fragment of the supreme demon god, Shabranigdo, imprisoned within, a fact he remains unaware of until he heals his eyesight and does so. Another example is the appropriately-named Inspector Wizer.
    • Rezo's copy too. Why he doesn't open his eyes considering that the story says his eyes were healed is another question. He doesn't have a demon sealed in him like Rezo.
      • The reason he kept his eyes shut in the anime is simply because Eris tried to fool the Slayers gang to think he's the real Rezo. In the original novel, however, he had a damn good reason to keep them shut even after the gig was up: he had been fused with a mazoku and it caused him to have extra mouths where his eyes should have been. Yikes.
    • Xelloss "the Trickster Priest" opens the eyes wide (displaying the vertical pupils) and stops smiling when he ceases his tomfoolery and becomes serious. Given that he's the most powerful Mazoku short of godlike Dark Lords, it's not a good sign. And of course, in this case we cannot write off eyes closed by the lower eyelid (sometimes it's clearly visible) as a stylistic choice.
  • Chichiri in Fushigi Yuugi — he opens his eyes only when speaking seriously.
    • This is justified. He's just wearing an Eyes Always Shut mask because he has a disfiguring facial scar, including one missing eye. He takes the mask off to speak seriously. (On the other hand, how he makes vivid facial expressions with the mask on the rest of the time, or is able to see, is never explained...)
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • Koizumi Itsuki (although he opens his eyes much more frequently than most Eyes Always Shut characters), and in a few cases the narrator Kyon.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
    • Vato Falman, an officer in Roy Mustang's circle. There's also Ling Yao, who chooses to do this voluntarily, along with always trying to smile, due to the fact that, although he's a pretty nice guy at heart, he happens to have "shifty eyes."
    • Well/interestingly played with Ling, in that when his eyes aren't closed, you know either he means business or there's something seriously wrong. For instance, when he merges with Greed, when Greed is in control his eyes are always open, but when Ling's in control his eyes are often closed except in serious situations.
    • There's also Fuhrer King Bradley, who keeps his eyes (though one is hidden behind an eye patch) closed the vast majority of the time.
      • When Bradley opens his visible eye it means he has dropped his friendly persona and let his true, aggressive, vicious self shine through. And if you can see his other eye, start running. Fast. Not that it will help, since the Magical Eye makes him a nearly invincible/unstoppable fighter.
      • Also Fritz Lang, Bradley's Alternate Universe Double from The Movie of the 2003 anime version.
  • Patlabor: The Mobile Police: Richard Wong's habit of keeping his eyes closed is lampshaded when Kumagami gives his description to Detective Matsui, after she's been shot by one of Wong's subordinates. She warns Matsui that while it makes Wong appear to be happy-go-lucky, he's actually ruthlessly cunning.
  • Maken-ki!: Done by both Yuuka and Minerva. If either them ever opens their eyes, it's almost never a good sign:
  • Vincent Law in Ergo Proxy. Here, the closed eyes seem to indicate passivity and/or weakness, although he opens them with increasing frequency over the course of the series. Early on though, they tend to open in Let's Get Dangerous! moments.
    • Also pays homage to Plato's 'Theory of Forms'. Once Vincent leaves the dome, he opens his eyes to the truth of the outside world once again.
    • Coincidentally, Vincent Law and the above mentioned Gin both share the same Japanese voice actor.
  • Fuku from Hikaru no Go, a naive, good-natured insei kid. Never gets so angry or upset that you get to see his eyes even once.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX makes special use out of this trope; Professor Daitokouji/Professor Banner usually has his eyes shut, to go with his friendly, approachable, somewhat goofball teacher persona. He eventually reveals himself to be Amnael, one of the Seven Stars, whereupon he opens his eyes - which are Blood Red. They remain open until his defeat, whereupon they close again for the last few minutes before his death. His spirit, when manifest as himself and not a ball of light, still has him with his eyes shut in later seasons.
    • Wasn't his hair white when he had red eyes? His eyes could've been another color when he had black hair. However, we might have to go to the Hair Tropes for another story.
    • His oddly-colored hair and eys likely all had something to do with the disease (or curse, maybe) that was killing him (which eventually did).
  • Both Mitsune Konno (appropriately nicknamed "Kitsune") and Kaede Nagase (from Love Hina and Mahou Sensei Negima!, respectively) do this; the latter is legitimately wise (although Book Dumb) while the former is more of a "wise guy". Also, Kitsune usually appears with only one of her eyes open, and very rarely opening both (if surprised, for instance, like when she learns from Keitaro that he confessed his feelings to Naru).
    • Kaede opens her eyes to a gleaming slit during the Mahora tournament. The effect is unsettling.
    • She also has them open in the Chapter 305 during her fight against Dynamis, and she looks pissed.
  • Mokona used to have its eyes always closed in Magic Knight Rayearth, so it came as a bit of a shock when one of the Mokona Modokis suddenly opened them in Tsubasa Chronicle after sensing one of Sakura's feathers.
  • Ohno from Genshiken is another passive example - except when she's in otaku mode. Then you get the scary Blank White Eyes. She has normal eyes in the manga.
    • However, Ohno's fellow cosplayer and later boyfriend Tanaka plays this trope straight, both in the anime and manga. His face is constantly drawn with very little expression except for the closed eyes and slight smile.
    • Also Gonzy. Turns out this is because he's actually a Coralian who was sent to observe the crew of the Gekko, and opening his eyes would reveal his true nature (Coralians having distinctive rings in their irises, and usually odd coloration as well).
  • Subverted somewhat in the first episode of Romeo X Juliet. A wealthy socialite with Eyes Always Shut appears to have them LITERALLY shut - he sweeps in unannounced in a scene, plucks the wrong lady from the dressing room amidst declarations of love for "my honey", and proceeds to take her to a ball...all without being aware that he's dating the wrong girl.
  • Shusuke Fuji and Renji Yanagi from The Prince of Tennis. They only open their eyes when they're really serious about something.
    • Yanagi's case is even more extreme than Fuji's; when he fully opens his eyes during a match, his teammates say they had never seen him like that, unlike Fuji who opens his own eyes more or less often. It's even lampshaded in the manga: Kirihara asks him directly how come he can see if his eyes are like that, and Yanagi is so offended by such a dumb question that he slaps him.
  • Wanyuudou in Hell Girl, but only in his human form; in his wheel form, he appears with both his eyes open.
  • Digimon's Neemon frequently has his eyes closed. The Japanese card game suggests that he is lazy or frequently sleepy, but in the show he is perfectly energetic. Previous seasons had Gennai for the wise variation.
  • InuYasha has this with the Soul Piper, a youkai that serves as a psychopomp to deceased children, playing with and entertaining their souls until they are prepared to accept death and move on. Its eyes are usually closed, but every time a child's soul does wrong, the Piper's eyes open a bit more, and when they open completely, the child will be Dragged Off to Hell.
  • Watari from Death Note. Also simultaneously inverted with L who never closes his eyes, even when he sleeps according to one character. And then, in their joint death scene, Watari opens his eyes and L closes them.
  • Takashi Yamazaki from Cardcaptor Sakura, although he does open them when someone steps on his foot. Chiharu has apparently noticed this, as she remarks at one point that his eyes "are just lines".
    • Also from CCS, the anime version of Clow Reed, though he had them open in the manga.
  • The kindly old scientist and inventor Dr. Mayzel from the Spriggan OVA anime movie (Japan 1998). Although you can clearly see his eyes behind his glasses, they're constantly closed and drawn as upturned curves. In contrast, the character looks rather different in the print manga where he wears Scary Shiny Glasses.
  • Like many classic examples, Zange Natsume of Inu × Boku SS is a tricky character who, when his eyes are shut, generally comes off as silly, only to open them when he's being serious. He actually takes this Up to Eleven because due to his demon heritage he actually has one hundred eyes all over his body which he usually keeps shut and hidden under his clothes, only opening them all when he needs to use his powers to gather information.
  • In Saint Seiya, Virgo Shaka, one of the most powerful Golden Saints, maintains his eyes shut to actually keep his power under control. Unlike most depictions of the ever-shut eyes, his eyes lines curve downward rather than upward, which put a touch more seriousness to his character. When Phoenix Ikki finds out, after sorta recuperating from Mind Rape inflicted by Shaka himself, he tricks him into cutting off all of his senses and overpowers him in a suicidal maneuver, winning their fight and earning Shaka's respect for outsmarting him.
  • Saemon Kisaragi, the Master of Disguise from Basilisk. He's only seen with his eyes open after killing his foes, and even then...
    • Another big example is Saemon's friend and superior, Hyouma Muroga. Similarly to Shaka, he's not blind per se, but his special powers (reversing people's murdering instincts on themselves, making them commit suicide instead) are so strong that he can't turn them off, therefore he'd rather keep his eyes closed to avoid hurting his allies and loved ones too. His nephew and pupil Gennosuke also has the same power, but is able to keep it at bay so he doesn't need to close his eyes.
      • Also, there's a small variation in the original novel. Hyoma is able to control his powers, but can't open his eyes unless it's at night because they're light-sensitive to the point of pain.
    • Another variation, in both manga and anime: the Igas possess a special cream named "Seven Days Ointment" that seals the user's eyelids completely for at least seven days, forcing them to keep their eyes closed. Both Gennosuke and Oboro are affected by it: Gennosuke has a dose of it thrown at him by Hotarubi, whereas Oboro rubbed some on her own eyes to not use her abilities on her own clansmen.
  • Naruto:
    • Naruto usually closes his eyes when he's concentrating his chakra or thinking (for some reason, he has them closed for nearly all of the second episode!). It also adds to his fox-like appearance. Perhaps as a result of Character Development or just an Early Installment Character-Design Difference, he does this less and less as the series goes on.
    • When Sai is first introduced in Shippuden, he is constantly wearing a phony smile with closed eyes. Despite the fact that he is repeatedly called on it, he doesn't actually stop until he has had sufficient character development.
    • Akamaru is a dog with always-shut eyes, which succeeds in giving him a somewhat mischievous appearance. This disappears when he takes on human form for the "man beast clone" jutsu, or in very rare moments of extreme surprise.
    • Chouza Akimichi is another example - until very recently, his eyes have never been shown open - although he's more of a down-to-earth Gentle Giant than a mischievous type like Naruto.
  • Fujita Goro/Hajime Saitou of Rurouni Kenshin. He actually has naturally squinty eyes (which Sanosuke notes when first meeting him), and they appear closed while Saitou is "acting" as Fujita, which makes him look more like a "nice guy". Once Kenshin recognizes him at the Kamiya dojo, however, this is dropped completely for the rest of the series.
    • Also, Chou the Sword-Hunter keeps one eye closed at all times except from when starting to lose the upper hand in a fight. Seeing as this is in a somewhat realistic swordsmanship manga, it could be a shout-out to the practice of closing one eye when trying to piss off an opponent. He's basically saying: "You'd be too easy to beat if my perception was normal."
      • Considering that, in the anime, when Chou opens both eyes, one never completely opens, he may actually have a lazy eye or some other condition.
    • Soujiro Seta's eyes are always closed, except during his freakout due to one of Kenshin's many Talking the Monster to Death speeches. After he appears to be better, they are again closed.
    • Tae Sekihara's eyes are often closed, although she sometimes opens them when she is distressed. This seems to happen more in the animated version than the comic. Apparently Watsuki really likes this trope.
  • Serpico from the Berserk manga. On the few occasions you see his eyes, almost always during a fight, it marks his Let's Get Dangerous! moment where he drops the foppish persona. The other part of the trope is downplayed as his motives are always clear, and he sometimes goes out of his way to state them.
    • Pippin had this trademark way before Serpico entered the story, and only opens them when he's warning the other Hawks to take cover or run. Since he has Hyper-Awareness, his eyes opening is always also a sign of him noticing something important.
    • Sort of half-played with Guts. After the events of the Eclipse, his right eye is permanently closed. He seems to still have perfect depth perception, though, considering how accurately he uses knives, his crossbow, and various attacks that require perfect precision.
    • Of the God Hand, Conrad, also keeps his eyes shut for most of the time.
    • Void's eyes are always shut, though in his case, it's because they're sewed shut. It still denotes a dark kind of wisdom, though, considering he's the most stoic and knowledgeable of the God Hand.
  • The Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Luke Stokkart, second in command of Milk's squad, seems to be nice, but when one of the most dangerous characters in the show starts threatening his captain, he shows what he is made of.
  • Kuroudou Akabane from Get Backers, usually accompanied by a small smile, though he will open them when he's in a ''truly'' good mood.
  • From Ikki Tousen Dragon Destiny, the incarnation of Zhao Yun, Chou'un Shiryuu, is like this. Apparently, while almost every character always had their clothes torn one way or another, she manages to keep her clothes clean and never torn from attacks, all when she's fighting with her eyes closed. She rarely opens them; if she does, it's probably for a brief amount of time and in a non-combat situation.
  • Professor Go in Giant Robo. He only opens his eyes when learning something that horrifies him.
  • Maiza from Baccano!: Maiza is such an extreme example, that his eyes remained closed even while being shot.
    • Additionally, there's Tick, Elmer and Nick (not to be confused Nicholas). Goose looks like his eyes are always shut, but closer inspection shows that they're just really, really narrow.
  • Benitora of Samurai Deeper Kyo has his eyes shut most of the time, except when he's shocked by something. The English translation of the manga hangs a lampshade on it, but in the Japanese, he's talking about getting laid.
  • Italy in Axis Powers Hetalia is usually drawn with eyes that resemble equals signs.
    • Aside from some of the official art advertising the manga/anime, he only opens his eyes TWICE in the course of eighty-some episodes. They even make fun of it in one strip, in which he wakes up, opens his eyes, and gasps. A caption underneath states "'I tried opening my eyes today!' - Italy".
    • Made even better during Bloodbath 2011, when one of the requests was that he keep his eyes open. After about ten seconds, all the other characters were freaked out, and Germany ended up covering Italy's face (because he thought it was "too limpid").
    • Bulgaria was drawn this way in his first appearance, in both the manga and anime. He's had fully open eyes in every appearance since.
  • Shouka from Saiunkoku Monogatari. His perpetually closed eyes seem to indicate his wise and easygoing personality. On the rare occasions he's seen with his eyes open, it typically means very bad things for someone, since it indicates that Shouka is appearing in his role as the deadly assassin known as the Black Wolf.
  • In Darker Than Black:
    • When Hei adopts his "unassuming nice guy" persona, Li Shengshun, he has a broad smile and his eyes are either closed or wide open; but when being his actual self, he has open Dull Eyes of Unhappiness and a stoic personality.
    • Amagiri has one Eye Always Shut, which gives him a cheerful appearance and fits his personality fairly well.
  • Lau in Black Butler. Who is also voiced by Koji Yusa (the same person who voices Gin and Vincent). Is there a pattern here?
  • Mocked in Eyeshield 21 with the sumo wrestler Omosadake, who everyone knows has Eyes Always Shut, because he's literally too lazy to open them. They also look nothing like the usual versions, being extremely swollen.
    • There's also Yamabushi from the Shinryuuji Nagas, whose eyes aren't even slightly cracked when he cries.
  • One recurring villain from AIKI, a poison user, has her eyes perpetually half-lidded at best. Until Chapter 39 - when Kageyusu knocks her syringe out of her hand, her eyes pop open and remain open.
  • Saburo Watanuki in Penguin Revolution, another instance of the trope being used to indicate a wise and good-natured character.
  • In the Area 88 TV anime, Roundell not only has an eyepatch but his one good eye is always shut...until he suffers a flashback at in inopportune time and it snaps wide open. Watch out for that cliff!
  • Kamui from Gintama is shown with his eyes closed more often than not.
  • Saku, the drummer in BECK always has his eyes shut to the point where they are even joked about in the dub (a life guard refers to him as the one with the "squinty eyes").
  • Shino from Kannagi, despite having her eyes closed all the time, still manages to be the hottest character in the series. According to her best friend, something bad apparently happens when she opens them.
    • She opens her eyes when singing, which is stated as the reason why she doesn't sing in the karaoke episode.
  • Neko-san, from Shinobi Life, is Beni's minor-character-Meido. She never opens her eyes, regardless of when the situation obviously calls for it.
  • IGPX: Team Black Egg's frontman Ricardo Montazio. One can wonder how he can pilot one of those mechs without having his eyes visibly open.
  • Code Geass: Nunnally Lamperouge/vi Britannia has her eyes permanently closed. Her blindness is said to be psychosomatic, and it's believed it comes from the trauma of witnessing (and being caught in the crossfire of) her mother's bloody assassination, which also left her confined to a wheelchair. Telling truths, the specific cause of Nunners's blindness is a Geass-induced trauma, given to her by her father. She eventually regains her sight just in time for her climactic confrontation with Lelouch.
  • Variation in Saki, Fukuji Mihoko rarely opens her right eye, partly because she's sensitive to how it's a different color from her left, and partly since her heterochromatic eyes that can activate her Geass Awesomeness by Analysis techniques. However, she often opens her right eye in moments when she's shocked enough that she forgets to keep it closed, such as when Hisa outplays her in a tournament three years ago, prompting Hisa to call her right eye beautiful, and after Hisa remembers her, she starts keeping her right eye open when around Hisa.
    • Ikuno Akasaka, interim coach for Himematsu, has her eyes shut most of the time, since her typical expression is a somewhat ditzy smile.
  • Brother Matthew from Trinity Blood. He only opens his eyes once or twice when he is being exceptionally evil.
  • From .hack//SIGN, A-20. It shows that even though all the characters are drawn the same way, hers is much more cartoony-looking than most others.
  • Balladbird Lee in Gungrave. When he actually opens them... it ain't pretty.
  • Nonohara Kaede from Hayate the Combat Butler was never seen opening his eyes. In addition to his Eyes Always Shut, he's always smiling.
  • Futugami, the Columbo-esque reporter in RahXephon has his eyes shut most of the time, and generally opens them at moments indicating that his seemingly bumbling persona is Obfuscating Stupidity. He also fits the wise and kind elder version.
  • Woon-suk/Ah-dol or Yureka.
  • Chiffon Fairchild from Freezing. Perhaps one of the few genuinely kind, sane people among the crazed, blood-thirsty Amazon Brigade that is West Genetics...and is apparently also the strongest among them, having the nickname "Matchless Smiling Monster". Finally subverted in chapter 86, when she opened them.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei: Jinroku, the third teacher at Itoshiki-sensei's three teacher school is almost always shown with a heavy squint and a smile on his face, seemingly making him the nice and wise version. On the other hand, there's some evidence including a rather large tattoo on his back and his ability to avoid the scrutiny of cameras, that he had a rather dark past, likely in the Yakuza. In the scene with the tattoo reveal, he exhibits the Beware the Nice Ones/Obfuscating Stupidity version, as his eyes open slightly, giving him slitted, evil-looking eyes.
  • Walker Yumasaki from Durarara!! keeps his eyes closed constantly. He does open them very briefly in episode 18 though.
  • Detective Conan:
    • Sonoko's older sister Ayako is never seen with her eyes open.
    • "Sleeping Kogoro's" eyes are always shut when he is "solving the case," though granted this is because he literally is asleep.)
    • Another prominent character with eyes always closed it Okiya Subaru. When he opens his eyes, he's revealed to be Akai, a man with extremely distinctive eyes who is Faking the Dead.
    • Some guest characters are also fox-faced.
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry, Kimiyoshi almost always has his eyes closed. It's a subject that even his English VA, Kyle Hebert, joked about at an anime convention, comparing him to Brock from Pokémon.
  • In Et Cetera, Baskerville's eyes are almost always's a very bad sign if he has them open. However, he almost always has them open while he's Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Like the character Sai from Naruto, the character Ren Tsugura from Skip-Beat! will occasionally smile with his eyes closed. It is these smiles that Kyoko identifies as a smile that says, "I'm really mad at you but I'm able to hide it", with no one but Kyoko being able to recognize it. Further supporting this, it's only the smile he makes with his eyes open that is genuine.
  • Paz in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex keeps his eyes as narrow slits almost all the time, probably to emphasize his vaguely hostile gangster-look.
  • Minerva in Maken-ki! She at first tells that she does this because it makes her look "older and wiser". Later we discover that the real reason for this is to limit and hide away her inter-dimensional teleporting ability.
  • Nekoyashiki in Rental Magica very rarely open his eyes. This is one thing that makes him appear more mysterious.
  • Dappa-oh Kuya from Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato.
  • Saikawa from Gakuen Babysitters, probably to fulfill the regal butler stereotype. Aside from one early instance in the first chapter where his eyes are slightly open, the series hides what he looks like with his eyes open (along with any other expression outside of "neutral"), with one of the characters lampshading this in Chapter 24
  • In the Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth manga, Henry Biden, who plays "Detective White" of the Othello Detectives, typically has his eyes shut most of the time, except when he's surprised, such as when Edgeworth figured out that he wears platform shoes.
  • Hayami from Minami-ke is usually seen with her eyes closed, most likely to highlight her cunning and mischievous nature.
  • Amil Gaoul of Kiba actually has a reason for its eyes being closed, at least in its first form: it's eventually revealed that until changing into its second and then third form, when it opens its eyes, Amil Gaoul had been asleep, even as it easily defeated Zed's enemies.
  • Chigusa of Don't Become an Otaku, Shinozaki-san! has this as part of the dreamy expression that accompanies her status as The Ditz.
  • This is Yuuri's default in School-Live!. She does open them a lot though, especially when genuinely angry or in serious situations.
  • Komori's mother in Komori-san Can't Decline!. Combined with her messy hair, it gives her a constantly exhausted look.
  • Shiraori of Kumo Desu Ga, Nani Ka? keeps her eyes shut because even she's grossed out by each one containing four smaller eyes. It doesn't inconvenience her one bit since she can see through her own eyelids. She does open them when using her Evil Eyes techniques, or even exploiting them for intimidation or to show that she's dead serious.
  • Satou from the manga/anime Ajin. He's a cold, calculating man whose eyes are always closed and who is usually always smiling. This is used for great effect when he finally opens them at the last episode of the anime series after announcing his second wave of attack.
  • In Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics, after the Prince in Rapunzel falls victim to quite the Eye Scream, he's shown with his eyes like this. He manages to open them again when Rapunzel's Swiss Army Tears heal him.
  • Eaglette from Aggressive Retsuko rarely opens her eyes. Opening her eyes is actually the only expression she can make because she doesn't have facial muscles.
  • Bunta from Initial D. It makes few drifting moments even more terrifying.
  • Tsukihiko from Kagerou Project is never seen with his eyes open, which is odd for a series where eyes are such an important theme.
  • Cinque Nakajima from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT always keeps her right eye closed in reference to the fact that her main series counterpart is missing an eye.
  • Lucoa from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid almost always has both eyes closed (and even when she does open her eyes it's usually only the left one). Even her dragon form seems to have perpetually closed eyes. It fits with her devil-may-care attitude, and helps conceal the rather unsettling left eye.
  • Shinya Itou from Space Battleship Yamato 2199. Later, it is revealed that he is one of the leaders of a faction of the Yamato crew planning a mutiny on behalf of a senior UN Cosmo Force commander back on Earth.
  • Korin, Mrs. Briefs and Majin Buu in his default "fat" form have this going on in Dragon Ball Z. While Mrs. Briefs is a minor character, Majin Buu is a very dangerous djinn who looks deceptively docile (on the rare occasions he opens his eyes even slightly, it's not pretty). And his fat form isn't the worst he has...
  • The art club president and Juju in Sketchbook. Both of the nice and wise variety since the president is the Only Sane Man and Juju is a reliable senpai and overall less excentric than the rest of the cast. Lampshaded when the club goes to see fireworks, they all decide to squint at the fireworks and see what it looks like. No one can tell if these two are squinting or not.
  • All-Might from My Hero Academia is always like this when he's in his muscled-up form.
  • Leonardo Watch from Blood Blockade Battlefront keeps his eyes closed most of the time, but he can easily see through his own eyelids with his All-Seeing Eyes of God. He does open them when using their more powerful abilities, however.

    Comic Books 
  • The Western ur-example is Captain Marvel. He's been drawn with normal eyes lately, but for the great majority of his history they were always closed.
    • The early Joe Shuster illustrations of Superman were also very squinty, which predate Captain Marvel.
      • Alex Ross continues to draw Superman with squinty eyes. He says its not to give off an attitude or look wise, its just to make him look like he's doing actual work when performing feats of strength.
  • Jughead, of the Archie Comics typically has his eyes closed. It's referred to on-panel by other characters often, even down to the fact that this should render him blind.
    • There was the time when the gang convinced Jughead to open his eyes, upon which he couldn't see a thing due to bright light...
    • In some stories, though, he has his eyes partially open, like so. As is often the case, it's not as dramatic as you'd think.
    • Once he was coaxed into opening his eyes for a group photo, only to have everyone else in the shot blink once the photo was taken.
    • Averted with the animated series Archie's Weird Mysteries in which his eyes are always open.
  • Both Grandma Ben and Lucius Down from Bone.
    • Except when Grandma is talking very seriously.
  • Before the time-travel flashback thing, Lynn Johnston of For Better or for Worse started drawing Japanese character Dawn Enjo with permanently squinted eyes, which she hadn't done before. No one is entirely sure why.
  • V in V for Vendetta. His "face" is a mask and the tiny eye slits serve to prevent anyone getting so much as a glimpse of his face.
  • Rob Liefeld's artwork depicts characters so they look like they're always squinting. It is referred to by reviewer Linkara as "Youngblood's Disease".
  • Ironically, of all characters to have their eyes closed most of the time, you'd think this would never apply to a character who's entire schtick, his whole reason to exist as a character, is to keep an eye on multiple universes and watch over all of them. But nope, The Monitor from Crisis on Infinite Earths seems to spend most of his time in an expression of frustrated lamentation, or thinking, Or, hell, just tired. He IS connected to every single atom of every single universe that the Anti-Monitor is destroying, which means The Monitor gets weaker as each universe dies.
  • Igrath of Dreamkeepers. Justified as he is blind.
  • The Saint of Killers from Preacher has fairly permanently closed eyelids.
  • Haagse Harry: Harry- and all the other characters in this comic strip- are always drawn with their eyes closed.
  • Usagi Yojimbo: Zatoichi parody Zato-Ino, the blind swordspig. Several other characters like Gen, Katsuichi-Sensei, and Priest Sanshobo are "squinty".
  • The nameless Thief of Abelagot from The Smurfs story "The Jewel Smurfer".
  • Suske en Wiske: Jerom. He informs us in De Sissende Sampan that he does this because his eyelids are too heavy and he prefers peeping through them all the time.
  • Krab in another Vandersteen series, De Familie Snoek also keeps his eyes closed all times.
  • De Kiekeboes: Firmin Van De Kasseien is so vain that his eyes are closed most of the time.
  • Cadbury, the Perfect Butler from Harvey Comics Richie Rich is a borderline example since he is commonly seen with his eyes closed yet does open them when surprised or doing something requiring more than his normal level of attention.

    Comic Strips 
  • Jon's mother from Garfield; she does open them when startled or surprised though.
  • Beetle Bailey: Ms. Buxley's usually keeps her eyes closed, only opening them to express anger, excitement, fear, joy, or some other intense emotion.
  • Peanuts: When Snoopy and Woodstock are put into a three dimensional form, like in toys, statues, etc. their eyes will always be closed. This doesn't apply when they're 2D.

    Fan Works 
  • In Gensokyo 20XXV, we have Reimu, who is near-blind, making that justified, as she cannot really see, as well as the fact that she sleeps most of the time. It is noted they cannot remember the last time she's had them open, as she opens them rarely.
  • In Hard Being Pure, Noa has to keep her eyes shut all the time after progressing far enough along in her mutation because opening them for more than an instant gives her so much information she goes into Sensory Overload. She still infrequently blinks, but only when given a reason to, like searching for something outside her range of perception.
  • A passage in Seeing the World with Cloudy Eyes has Satsuki mentioning that a visually impaired Ryuuko keeps her eyes closed mostly and that, because of that, she's taken a few smacks to the forehead for changing the channel when she assumed the latter was asleep.

    Films — Animation 
  • A comical example from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Flint's dad has a huge monobrow which obscures his eyes for most of the film, but which moves upwards to reveal them on a couple of occasions where he's shocked.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Sphynxes in The Neverending Story are two gigantic statues whose eyes remain closed until "someone who doesn't feel his own worth" tries to pass between them, then they ominously open and shoot lasers at the person. Luckily, Atreyu, our hero, jumps through quickly enough to avoid getting fried.
  • The eponymous Zatoichi (both old version and new) is a blind swordsman who walks around with his eyes closed all the time. At the end of the new version, he does open his eyes briefly for an interesting exchange with a mob boss.
    • Also, there is a comic scene in the new Zatoichi in which he has eyes drawn on his eyelids - so much so, one of the characters gets flustered, thinking he is staring at her.
  • Ichi is also a blind assassin it's hinted that she's Zatoichi's daughter; at the very least she's trying to find him.

  • The Warcraft Expanded Universe novels wrote by Richard A. Knaak feature the green dragons doing this, both in drakanoid and humanoid form. in this case it not only symbolizes their wisdom, but also their ability to see through the Emerald Dream. Specifically, they view their presence in the world of Azeroth as them dreaming. Ysera, queen of the Green flight, has opened her eyes three times in recorded history. She can apparently still see though.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Harry from 3rd Rock from the Sun. French Stewart, the actor who plays him, is naturally "squinty" and rarely has his eyes open more than slightly. This is particularly pronounced when he smiles, and he plays it up for comic effect. Parodied in the first episode:
    Harry: I can't see through my eyelids!
    : Open them!
    Harry: Oh, they're manual!
  • Gilbert Gottfried is also "squinty" in most of his live-action performances.
    • He started doing this to overcome stage fright. Now he doesn't feel comfortable not doing it.
  • The late Dennis Wolfberg would have a perma-squint until he delivered a punchline, when he would bulge his eyes out to add emphasis.
  • And Jimmy Kimmel.
  • Joel on Mystery Science Theater 3000. In the first episode filmed, he actually showed up extremely tired, but the cast and crew liked the result on film; for the rest of the series, Joel was portrayed in a relaxed, almost sleepy demeanor with half-shut eyes and a relaxed, calm voice.
  • "Sparky" Mortimer, then-10-year-old sports reporter seen on The Late Show With David Letterman, would squeeze his eyes closed for the first few words of anything he said.
  • David Puddy of Seinfeld. When Jerry asks if Elaine had noticed an irritating habit of his (David had been overusing the "high-five"), among the several things she lists is "...that squinting thing he does?".
  • Both Janice and the Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show.
  • The Old Man on Pawn Stars. Although you can catch a glint of his eyes every once in a while, for the most part, his eyes do seem to be almost-closed frequently.

  • Milo from the animated musical group Prozzäk.
  • Noodle from the animated musical group Gorillaz. One eye is seen open in a closeup at the beginning of the Tear Jerker-combined-with-terror video of "El Manana".

    Myths & Religion 
  • Every proper depiction of the Buddha.
  • In the Coast Salish tale S-Hal-Ikun, the title character has been changed by a great bird called Thunder, and if he opens his eyes the lightning will flash and if he removes his hat, the thunder will come. This does not contribute to good relations with his neighbours.

  • In Pokémon: The Mew-sical, Brock's actor closed his eyes for the entire show, since Brock in the anime and games always had his eyes shut.

    Video Games 
  • Formerly pictured alongside Gin used to be his Expy Hazama from BlazBlue. When we are first introduced to him, he seems like a very minor character in Noel's story, but then he starts revealing his true, more psychopathic nature and by the story's true end he's revealed as the Big Bad, real name Yuuki Terumi. And in the 2nd game we learn that not only is he a Magnificent Bastard, but also The Man Behind the Man as well. He also opens his eyes much more frequently than his predecessor. Still doesn't stop him from being a sexy, badass Smooth Criminal.
  • Kliff Undersn in Guilty Gear (he has one eye open in his VS portrait in GG1).
  • Moogles, frequently, in the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series. Though some recent games, such as Final Fantasy XII and the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance series have Moogles with their eyes open. MiniMog from Final Fantasy VIII was the first ever Moogle to have its eyes open... But it didn't have a pom-pom either.
    • This makes perfect sense though since Moogles are supposed to be winged moles, an animal known for having its eyes closed.
    • And despite that moogles from the Ivalice Alliance has their eyes opened, Horne from Final Fantasy XII has his eyes always closed, along with a pair of glasses.
  • Speaking of Ivalice Alliance, the Seeq Head Editor for the Bonga Bugle newspaper in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is this.
  • Juno in Mega Man Legends.
  • Dr. Noel Chandler in Star Ocean: The Second Story. He is shown as being an animal researcher which is appropriate to the wisdom stereotype.
    • Dorne Murtough from the original Star Ocean also has his Eyes Always Shut.
  • Wendolo from Super Robot Wars 3 and Super Robot Wars Original Generation.
  • Juzumaru Tsunetsugu in Touken Ranbu.
  • The "Aisha" and the "Chia" species in Neopets.
    • Interestingly, in the Aishas' profile, they are clearly shown blinking, implying that the "shut" look is what their eyes actually look like.
  • Ini Miney from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All always has her eyes shut. Even in her driver's license photo. The Ini we see, however, is actually Mimi Miney, who's impersonating her sister and keeping her eyes shut to fit the role (hers have a very distinctive look). When her facade cracks later in the case, she opens her eyes.
    • Shelly de Killer is also another Eyes Always Shut.
      • Frank Sahwit, Marvin Grossberg, and Winfred "Big Wins" Kitaki (whose Big Ol' Eyebrows look like Hidden Eyes because of it) also follow this trope.
      • Both ambassadors in the fifth case of Investigations as well. On Alba they signify age and wisdom, on Palaeno they mark him as a cheerful, if a little ditzy person. Of course, in Alba's case, it's a front.
      • The second Investigations game has Souta Sarushiro/Simon Keyes, a minor character accused of murder in the second case despite obviously having a personality incapable of doing so. Like Alba, this is a front - he's not just the mastermind of the murder in the second case, he masterminded every murder except the third case's. After he's outed as the Big Bad in the final case, he opens his eyes. And suddenly he actually starts looking like the kind of guy who'd come up with the whole thing, both evil and tremendously clever.
  • Natsume in the four first four .hack games also displayed this characteristic, in addition to referring to herself in third person at seemingly random points.
  • Captain Olimar in Pikmin. Along with just about every other Hocatatian.
  • Crazy Redd in Animal Crossing. He fits the Japanese view of "fox eyes" perfectly (especially since he's an actual fox)—he operates a black market that sells goods for an outrageous price, although you can occasionally find treasures only available in his shop. In addition to high markup, the games from Wild World onward make him the only outlet for paintings... which are frequently counterfeit.
  • Several characters throughout the The Legend of Zelda series sports the closed/squinty eyes look:
    • The Happy Mask Salesman from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time He also opens his on occasion, but only when he's not happy. This, combined with his general creepiness and un-movements (everyone else in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time moves normally. He shifts from one position to another instantaneously.) make him the source of much terror, but he's not presented as being very wise or very mischievous. However, he is well-traveled and a normal guy doesn't carry around quite that many magical masks (then again, Link winds up with a large collection of them throughout Majora's Mask, so maybe he just goes through Termina often and keeps his eyes open...well, figuratively, anyway.) In the end, we don't know much about him.
    • Guru-Guru, the strange man playing the phonograph in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, is usually mild mannered, but inciting his anger in either game will reveal he has demonic Prophet Eyes similar to the Mask Salesman's. In the earlier game, he is infuriated by the Song of Storms accelerating his windmill. In the latter, he was angry with jealousy of a dog who led a troupe of animals using the Breman's Mask.
    • Also in Majora's Mask are Sakon the thief, who makes off with Kafei's Sun Mask and the Bomb Shop owner's Blast Mask, and Keaton, a cunning, riddle-telling fox.
    • Tingle had his eyes rendered normally in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, but in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and later games, his eyes are always shut. According to the Hyrule Historia, Tingle's eyes are very squinty and it helps him perceive maps with amazing detail, which is why he loves to make maps.
    • Wind Sage Fado in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is similar to the Happy Mask Salesman who sports closed eyes and a smile.
  • Ballora, the ballerina animatronic debuting the Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location never opens her eyes (except during her Jump Scare) and therefore cannot see where the player is. Although she can hear them very well...
  • Then entire cast of Metal Gear Solid, due to the limits of PS1 graphics.
    • Note that this only occurs with the characters when rendered in 3D. During codec animations, their eyes are open as normal.
  • Wang Koh-San from Art of Fighting 3.
  • All green dragons in Warcraft are described as always having her eyes shut, and even if they're up and moving they see the world through the Emerald Dream. In particular, their leader Ysera the Dreamer only opens her eyes for very important occasions, and has only done so a handful of times in all of history. The first known time was when her beloved friend Malorne died in the War of the Ancients. Recently Ysera has kept them open at all times in order to focus on the threat of the Cataclysm and Deathwing, but the rest of the green dragons still keep their eyes shut.
  • Kelvena from Xenogears
    • Mentioned in Xenogears Perfect Works as being what she does in order to keep her high Ether power in check. She can be seen with them open during the out-of-Gear battle against all four of the Elements.
  • There are typically a couple for every game in the Harvest Moon franchise. The trope usually sticks upon those of characters at old age, or apparently girls who are meant to be represented of beauty.
    • Then there's Toby/Tao from Tree of Tranquility that is neither, but he does fit the "always cheerful" type. However, in his case, eyes that are always shut appear to be a genetic trait: His uncle and cousin have them too, and if he marries Renee, their son Matt has them too. "They say he's got my eyes."
    • Lyla only opened her eyes once, for like 6 seconds. Go figure, she has purple eyes.
  • Many Pokémon: Wobbuffet, Wynaut, Skitty, Snorlax, Makuhita, Cyndaquil, Abra, Swinub, Uxie...
    • Justified for Uxie: anyone who has seen its eyes doesn't remember it. Or anything that ever happened before that in their life.
    • Brock qualifies in the games as well.
    • Drasna of the Elite Four in Pokémon X and Y.
    • Tabitha is this in the Hoenn remakes. He occasionally opens his eyes, revealing them to be red.
    • A lot of NPCs have this as well, including the old man sprite that SMG4 abuses.
  • It's amazing that Kenshin, one of the backup dancers in Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, can dance so well considering that he always has his eyes closed. A Let's Play of the game jokes that he accidentally glued his eyelids shut.
  • Just about everyone in Full Throttle, though they do open their eyes wide in surprise now and then.
  • Exit Fate: Angel's eyes are closed in both her portrait and all but one sprite, causing a common misconception among fans that she's blind.
  • Goro Daimon and his son, Kogoro, in the The King of Fighters series.
  • Ayako Yuuki of Advanced Variable Geo always has her eyes shut. She is The Ditz of the game.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Oscar in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn has his eyes always shut and is always smiling. Kieran refers to him as a 'squinty coward!' in one of their support conversations... not that Oscar seems to care.
    • Henry from Fire Emblem Awakening, like Oscar, also almost constantly keeps up a smile, though he opens his eyes in one of his dialogue portraits. From the same game, Kellam, though we never see his eyes open at all. He says he has a bad problem with squinting. It's also possible to give an Avatar of either gender this. Yen'fay is never seen with his eyes open, either.
    • Fire Emblem Fates features Azama, a monk of friendly nature who keeps his eyes shut. Supports with his daughter Mitama indicate that he has star shaped pupils. Again, it's possible to give an Avatar of either gender this.
    • Kamui's redesign in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia has this to shows his laid-back, easygoing personality.
  • Gretchen Hasselhoff in some Backyard Sports games; her eyes are closed into an arc.
  • Prosecutor Ito, JudgeMan.EXE's operator, in Mega Man Battle Network 6: Cybeast Gregar and Cybeast Falzar Also Higsby and Yahoot from the first game.
  • Madotsuki, the protagonist of Yume Nikki, has these, even when she's awake.
    • Due to being graphically based on Madotsuki, same would also apply to Sabitsuki from .flow, Chie from Lcd Dem, and Urotsuki from ''Yume 2kki (along with a few others), who are shown with their eyes closed. This is averted in the case Me (2011)'s, Toristuki, and Miserere's protagonist, who either have shadowed eyes or Blinding Bangs.
  • Ms. Accord and Lemres from Puyo Puyo never opens their eyes. In the case of Lemres, fan artists try to give him gold or red eyes.
  • Both Male and Female Healers in Disgaea always have their eyes closed, with the females lampshading it in Disgaea 3.
    Female healer (paraphrased): My eyes don't open very often. But don't worry. Even if our eyes meet, you won't turn to stone. Hehehe.
    • The only time one was seen with her eyes open was in an art piece for Makai Kingdom, which also activates one of the optional map events.
  • In Valkyria Chronicless, there's Leon Schmidt who never seems to open his eyes, not evening when he's piloting an aircraft...
  • Hubert Brixham from Valkyria Chronicles II, although it is explained that one of his eyes was infected back when he was a sniper. Having both eyes closed doesn't seem to prevent him from catching one of his students turning around during a test. He only opens his eyes when he's shouting, which is rarely. There's also the clairvoyant Inghild from the same game who is never shown opening her eyes.
  • Craftlord Tyram and Amariss, the protagonist's mother, from Summon Night: Swordcraft Story and Master Blaire from Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2. Amariss and Blaire open their eyes occasionally.
  • Richard Wong from Psychic Force. Aside of having his eyes closed all the time, he pretty much controls TIME and is quite The Chessmaster as well.
  • In Jables's Adventure, most of the Squids.
  • The goddess Morrighan in Mabinogi. When she opens her eyes, it means some serious shit is going down.
  • Chester's battle and overworld sprites in Super Famicom version of Tales of Phantasia are drawn with his eyes perpetually closed (except when he takes damage). His portrait has his eyes merely squinted.
  • Jiao from Tales of Xillia. He only opens his eyes briefly during dramatic moments, such as when he faces the party in combat for the first time.
  • Raikoh, the hero of Otogi: Myth of Demons, and he never opens them, ever.
  • The hero of the flash game Second Person Shooter Zato. (As the name suggests, the hero can't see himself, but can see through the eyes of his enemies.)
  • Ivoronus in I Miss the Sunrise. Until you recruit him, that is.
  • Fo in Battle Arena Toshinden. His character select portrait shows him with this, but only for his original color palette and in-game model. Strangely, his alternate colors (each color set for first and second player had unique portraits) display him with his eyes open. The alternate color model still retains the shut eyes.
  • In the GBA, PSP, and iOS versions of Final Fantasy II, the eyes of the Light Emperor in the "Soul of Rebirth" quest are always shut. The same goes for the Emperor whenever he wears his "Arubboth" DLC costume (which is based off of the Light Emperor) in Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy.
  • The Batter from Off is intended to be this way in his dialogue-box sprite, though because of the way said sprite appears, it can be hard to tell if he isn't just wearing eye black or has four eyes.
  • Teemo from League of Legends.
  • Clarice di Lanza from Arcana Heart series keeps her eyes closed most of the time and is pleasant, if bit immoral due of her being a demon. If she does open up her red eyes, it is usually a good sign that she is mad at something.
  • The Human Child in Undertale never opens their eyes. Not even once. This results in a facial expression perfectly applicable no matter how the player is playing the game - being the stoic Straight Man to the monsters' wacky hijinks, being the remorseless psychopath that's slaughtering them all, or anywhere in-between. This isn't true of official art, oddly, where they're depicted with their eyes open at least once (they're just the standard black, for the record).
  • The Mii characters on Wii, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS have this as an option. Also, whenever they display a "happy" expression on their face, their eyes become upside-down Us.
  • Gentiana in Final Fantasy XV only opens her eyes on three occasions: When she has something very important to say, when she's particularly happy about something, or when she transforms back into Shiva.
  • Aqua in the game Puchi Carat is always like this.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, you can count the number of times Brighid opens her eyes on one hand.
  • AK-12 from Girls' Frontline is almost always depicted with her eyes closed. She does this to conserve power and filter out unnecessary information, and can still see.note  Whenever her eyes are open, her personality and emotion modules are closed to divert power to more relevant systems.

    Visual Novels 
  • Snake from Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. In his case, the eyes aren't simply an artistic device—his eyes really are shut all the time, and it's one of the first things viewpoint character Junpei notices about him. He is, in fact, blind. He only opens them three times:
    • In one of the puzzles, when Seven/Clover/Snake/Junpei spell "pipe" in a cheer-leading fashion. Snake has his eyes wide open as he shouts "Gimme a P and an E!"
    • In the Safe Ending, Ace tells Snake that he killed Clover - and exactly how he did it - and Snake snaps and his eyes open as he swears to kill Ace. It's actually pretty terrifying.
    • When they're putting together what happened to Snake, his eyes are open in the still where he's going for the DEAD. Though as it turns out, that wasn't Snake at all.
  • Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!: Tatsuko is perpetually sleepy, and thus, her eyes are almost always shut. Unless her precious Yamato-kun is missing. Then... Unstoppable Rage.
  • Two different characters from Morenatsu — Kyouji and Tetsuya. Epileptic Trees notwithstanding, neither character has said or done anything all that treacherous.
  • Katawa Shoujo has two examples. First we have the eccentric Nurse who never appears onscreen with both eyes open, and only occasionally actually opens his left eye. The other example is Lilly Satou, who doesn't always have them closed, just about half of the time, such as when she's laughing or deep in thought. This is justified by the fact that she is completely blind and doesn't have much reason to open them.
  • Umineko: When They Cry's Virgilia has this tendency. Her eyes do open a few times (just one eye in the original, both in the PS3 version), but the smile that always accompanies it is so creepy, it might just be better if she always kept them closed. For some obscure reason, the anime made her with her eyes half-open as if she was always sleepy.
  • In Code:Realize, the mysterious Saint-Germain is drawn with his eyes always closed, creating a nearly perpetual air of faint, detached amusement. When he fully opens them in Chapter 8 and during his route, it signifies matters getting very, very serious.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner
    • The King of Town, his Hornblower, and Marshie are always shown squinting. Both The King of Town and The Hornblower open their eyes in the episode "The King of Town's Very Own Quite Popular Cartoon Show!!".
    • Japanese Culture Greg and the Brainkrieg drummer from Teen Girl Squad both have perpetually-closed eyes, though the former will briefly open them whenever he uses a Japanese word in a sentence.
  • The eponymous Pucca.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Taylor. And if he opens means he's pissed off.

  • Michael the Missionary and test Administrator Noma from Tower of God.
  • Lt. Cmdr. Shodan from Schlock Mercenary (the martial-arts instructor), which makes his look of shock in this strip all the more impressive.
  • Esa from Handsome Fungus is almost never seen with her eyes open. She talks about it a bit...
  • Anja Donlan from Gunnerkrigg Court. Her eyes appear white when she's seen in silhouette; apparently her usual appearance is just a stylized way to show she has small, dark eyes.
    • Zimmy has her eyes filled with black gunk most of the time, and the dark circles around them make it even worse by giving the appearance that she has no eyes. It's up to you to decide if she's creepier with them closed or open or in-between.
      • One of Tom's avatars is pretty much the male version of Zimmy's Ugly Cute appearance.
  • Dante from Angst Technology has permanently screwed-up eyes.
  • Grant Kyokasho from Angel Moxie, until his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Rocko Sasquatch from The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! has enormous bushy eyebrows but no visible eyes.
  • Harvoc from Emergency Exit wears a monocle, but his other eye is almost always closed, and "whenever he opens his eyes it usually means death."
  • For a long time Munchie Bear from Charby the Vampirate was like this though in his case it was because someone had stiched his eye lids shut. Currently he has one eye always open and one eye always closed.
  • Mistress in Oglaf is usually depicted as having her eyes closed or narrowly open. She does fully open her eyes when amused or pissed off, though.
  • Parodied in this Super Effective strip.
  • Security from The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred.
  • Flying Man from Flying Man and Friends. It is his only expression.
  • Nario from Supah Nario Bros.
  • Ambar the High Prime from Las Lindas.
  • One wonders where the anachronic Princess from Rusty & Co. gets all that eye-obscuring mascara.
  • In Dragon City, Rachel is not only known for her squint, but she also gets angry anytime anyone mentions it. Originally it was thought to be because dragons live underground, but later they figured out she was an Asian dragon. To add insult to injury, Rachel's eldest daughter Erin also has a squint, which might be why Rachel isn't the greatest mother to Erin.
  • Meena's ex-boyfriend-cum-roommate in Questionable Content. Combined with his behavior, it gives him a beatific air.
  • Reiko's mom Fumiko from Contemplating Reiko.
  • Mia in Unintentionally Pretentious is blind and has her eyes closed about half the time.
  • Simon from Fruit Incest. His mother wore glasses and always has her eyes half closed, so it could just run in the family.
  • Freefall: Mr. Kornada seems to do it as a matter of arrogance and willful ignorance. Only a major alarm opens his eyes.
  • The series Magician features a race of people with powers connected to their blood red eyes. One of the characters is a member of this race and keeps his eyes shut at almost all times, under the orders of his master. This is no problem for him since his race are able to see just fine with their eyes shut.
  • In The Far Side of Utopia the character Mione (one of the MSB agents that follows Tyler around) frequently has her eyes closed. While not as extreme as many examples since she does open her eyes when she is actively looking at something - when she does her eyes are very light pink/purple, which is unusual even in-comic (most characters seem to either have natural eye colors or Curtains Match the Window).
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Vivi has his eyes shut the majority of the time but opens them for some expressions, and Vidula has her eyes shut all the time.
  • Bud from Sleepless Domain is like that in her "civilian" form, while her "magical girl" form instead has Blank White Eyes.

    Web Original 
  • Red of Ruby Quest.
  • The foxes in Mudy Quest, too.
  • Dorroile in Something Awful's District Bulletin series. Eventually inverted—when he finally opens his eyes, they become constantly wide and unblinking, thus conveying as little expression as they did when closed.
  • Yue from Chuugoku Yome Nikki.

    Western Animation 
  • Badgerclops from Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart fits this trope to a T most of the time - especially because his other eye is covered with a patch. The only time he opens it is when something demands his attention.
    "Hang on, let me open my eye... (strains in exertion, then it just opens) Okay, what am I looking at?"
  • A sentient basketball that only Shake could see from the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Hypnogerms".
  • Captain Marvel is often depicted like this in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
  • Grandpa Max has these in Ben 10: Omniverse, which surprised fans given his eyes were perfectly normal in prior series.
  • Shriek from CatDog. Lampshaded on more than one occasion with one notable case having a character ask her whether she even has eyes or not.
  • One particular monster from Courage the Cowardly Dog is a foot parasite with an old-school gangster mentality that the five toes (that worked as its heads) displayed along with squinty, shut eyes as it is hard to make a fungus resemble one human stereotype in particular.
  • Numbuh 3 in Codename: Kids Next Door. Considering that's she's Japanese, it may also be a warning sign that she's not what she seems.
  • Cosgrove in Freakazoid! does this. He did open them three times in the series, in "The Cloud" presumably as an effect of the mountain air improving his mood, and in "The Island of Dr. Mystico" in shock at the actions between Freakazoid and Dr. Mystico at the dinner. No reason given why they opened in "The Wrath of Gutierrez", though. Unless food is that much Serious Business (he opened them while ordering food).
  • Mom Arbuckle, in the Garfield and Friends series.
  • Gaz in Invader Zim. She actually does open at least one eye when she needs to be more expressive (even in the intro). Other background characters play it straighter.
  • Gus Duncz from Mission Hill is drawn exactly like an aging Captain Marvel, so much so that it's likely intentional.
  • The Nearsighted Mr. Magoo.
  • A partial example: Popeye always has his right eye shut, except when in shock. A common explanation is that it was injured in a fight. Wimpy usually walks around with his eyes shut as well.
  • The Simpsons: Captain McCallister often has one eye (halfway) closed.
  • From Skatoony, We have The Earl, who is never shown with his eyes open.
  • Chef's mom and several Chinese people on South Park have their eyes shut most of the time.
  • Star Wars Rebels: After getting blinded in the season 2 finale, Kanan Jarrus tends to keep his eyes closed when he's not wearing his One-Way Visor.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Pictures and a statue of Rose Quartz (Steven's Mom) show her with her eyes closed, though an actual video of her and later flashbacks have them open.
    • Fluorite has three pairs of eyes, and usually keeps the lowest pair closed, which makes them resemble wrinkles (even though she's as ageless as every other gem).
  • Superman has his eyes perpetually shut in the Superman Theatrical Cartoons.
  • Captain Fanzone in Transformers Animated. He's been in a couple of episodes where he wasn't consistently drawn this way. It's apparently from the two different animation studios that make the show interpreting his character model differently.
  • A number of the celebrities caricatured in Animaniacs such as Slam Fondlesome / Dan Anchorman have their eyes shut.

    Real Life 
  • This trope is rarer in Real Life, of course, because artistic Eyes Always Shut always accentuates what is, in everyday life, just almost-closed-looking eyes.
  • Many blind people literally do keep their eyes shut constantly. They don't need to have them open, and it's often just more comfortable to have them closed. It's also often done for the comfort of others as some blind people have eyes that wander, cross, uncross, roll up, etc. because they've never needed to focus on anything or work together. The legally blind can also be light sensitive. Light changes can hurt.
  • French Stewart, as made fun of in the quote at the top of the page, lampshading how less-than-open the actor's eyes usually look.
  • Billy Redden, the banjo player from Deliverance.
  • Comedian Jim Breuer talks in one bit about how people think he's always stoned, because his eyes are always half-closed. Well, also, there's the way he talks. And that one time he played a stoner.
  • Similarly, Snoop Dogg's eyes always have a half-closed, stoned look to them. "Weird Al" Yankovic once lampshaded this in a faux interview with the rapper, where he dared him to open his eye all the way. Snoop couldn't do it.
  • George W. Bush is often Flanderized to have this trait. The same thing also happens to Donald Trump, which involves rumors about his eyes looking identical to his own mouth.
  • Renée Zellweger has a perma-squint.
  • Clint Eastwood tends to be this, both on-screen and off-screen. It's even named a trope!
  • Singer Andrea Bocelli always has his eyes either completely shut or almost shut due to being blind.
  • Gilbert Gottfried, though according to him it's a result of having sex with Joan Rivers.
  • As noted in the description, the concept of keeping your eyes always closed in Japan (as well as having that telltale grin) was in resemblance to the fox creature kitsune, and people used to believe it meant you were possessed by one. It used to be a common diagnosis for mental illness.
  • Hideo Kojima has very squinty eyes that are very close to a real-life version of this trope.
  • James Franco has very squinty eyes, especially when he smiles.
    • "Did you bone Anne Hathaway? Squint once if yes. If James opens his eyes tonight we get six more weeks of summer." - Nick Kroll.
    • "I don't think James Franco is necessarily gay or straight. I think he literally can't open his eyes enough to see who he's fucking." - Sarah Silverman
  • John McCook (Eric Forrester of The Bold and the Beautiful) is squinting almost constantly, at least on-screen.
  • A Japanese camera maker (Nikon) is running afoul of this trope in Real Life: No, I did not blink, I'm just Asian. (Note that Nikon is headquartered in Japan.)

Alternative Title(s): Youngbloods Disease, Eyes Always Closed


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