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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 characters who appear 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 they get really angry, 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. Contrast The Unblinking. Dreary Half-Lidded Eyes is a downplayed trope, while in Eyes Out of Sight their eyes aren't even visible.

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

Examples with their own pages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • 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.

    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.
  • From The Eye of Mongombo we have adventurer-turned-duck Cliff Carlson who has squinty eyes which he occasionally opens. The same goes for Kawliga, Hans Welterschmertz Gruber’s henchman.
  • 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.
  • Whisper the Wolf from the Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) comics typically keeps her eyes shut except when under very strong emotions, such as wrath, fear, or intense distress. This is partially inspired by the usual depiction of kitsunes with eyes closed.
  • 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.
  • Everyone in Youngblood, though technically the eyes are "open", but black slits of shadow so they can't be seen, giving the impression they're clamped shut as tight as possible.

    Comic Strips 
  • The characters in Garfield are usually drawn with their eyes shut since the start of the strip, only opening them wide to express strong emotions. The characters squint more and more as the strip goes on, from half-shut in 1978 to 90% shut in the latter half of the comic's run. There have been many instances where the characters don't even bother squinting and just shut their eyes while delivering their lines.
  • 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.
  • Wimpy from Popeye is always depicted with his eyes closed unless he's either surprised or scared.

    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 
  • Brave: Lord MacGuffin appears like this, through a combination of Big Ol' Eyebrows and smaller eyes.
  • In Turning Red, Mr. Gao's eyes are typically closed, fitting with his laid-back personality. However, he does occasionally open them when surprised.

    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 the old version and the 2003 one) is a Blind Weaponmaster who walks around with his eyes closed all the time. At the end of the 2003 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?".
  • Janice, Lips, the Swedish Chef, and Pops 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 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wang Koh-San from Art of Fighting 3.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A running gag/design choice in the Etrian Odyssey series is that the innkeepers in every game has their eyes closed in their character art.
  • 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. 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.
  • The Seeq Head Editor for the Bonga Bugle newspaper in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is this.
  • Kliff Undersn in Guilty Gear (he has one eye open in his VS portrait in GG1).
  • Juno in Mega Man Legends.
  • Harvest Moon:
    • There are typically a couple for every game in the 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.) can make him seem quite unnerving, 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 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 has 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.
  • Most 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. Eventually averted with their leader Ysera the Dreamer, who keeps hers open at all times in order to focus on the threat of the Cataclysm and Deathwing.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Likewise justified with Komala, which literally spends its entire life asleep.
    • 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.
    • Mayor Es Case of Phenac City in Pokémon Colosseum. When he reveals himself to be the true head of Cipher, he opens them to reveal black sclerae and red irises.
    • Mr. Verich in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness always has his eyes closed, until the Final Boss battle with him, where he opens them to reveal Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness.
  • October from the Richman series has his eyes always closed in 4 and 11. He can still roll dice, walk forward, and react to bad gods possessing him.
    • In Richman 3, A Tu, his son, also has his eyes shut all of the time.
  • 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 bangs.
  • Ms. Accord and Lemres from Puyo Puyo never open 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.
  • 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, seemingly for cuteness reasons..
  • 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.
  • Big Ben and his Palette Swap clones in the Streets of Rage games have his eyes always closed due to the low resolution. In the fourth game, which sports much higher resolution, he's still designed with his eyes always closed.
  • In Bug Fables, several characters have their eyes always closed, such as Chubee, Libren, Mayor of the Defiant Root, Kina and Acolyte Aria (though the latter two do open their eyes, the former when her Berserk Button is pushed, and the latter when fighting).
  • Sonic Adventure: Tikal's father Chief Pachacamac always has his eyes closed.
  • Club Penguin has Sensei, who only ever opens his eyes when you challenge him in Card Jitsu.
  • Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil: Tat, who has a Duality Motif with one white side and one dark purple side, always has an eye closed on the purple side which represents her more serious, jerkish side.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Frank Sahwit, the first witness of the series, whose closed eyes, fake smile and constant Hand Rubbing paints him as an obviously dishonest person. His eyes fly open when he drops the facade.
    • Marvin Grossberg only has two sprites, and the default one always depict him with his eyes closed. He opens them whenever he gets sad/nervous.
    • Ini Miney from 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, a stoic Professional Killer, is never seen opening his eyes.
    • Winfred "Big Wins" Kitaki from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, whose Big Ol' Eyebrows look like Hidden Eyes because of it.
    • Both ambassadors in the fifth case of Ace Attorney 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.
  • In CLANNAD, Naoyuki Okazaki a.k.a. Tomoya's father is pretty always seen like this. He rarely opens his eyes for more than a second or two.
  • 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.
  • Majikoi! Love Me Seriously!: 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.
  • ONE: A downplayed example appears on the show, as one of the contestants, Charlotte (or Moldy, rather), has her right eye always closed. The fifth episode reveals that her mold is the reason behind this.
  • Otherworldly Ravenous Beast: Only three characters have constantly-closed eyes throughout the show's run: ORB, Yaw, and Zo.

  • Security from The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred.
  • Grant Kyokasho from Angel Moxie, until his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Dante from Angst Technology has permanently screwed-up eyes.
  • Frisk from Ask Frisk and Company is drawn like this, but when an ask brought attention to it, Frisk said their eyes weren't actually shut, they just looked that way because their eyes are narrow and have long lashes.
  • For a long time Munchie Bear from Charby the Vampirate was like this, though in his case it was because someone had stitched his eye lids shut. There is a good reason someone sewed them shut. Currently he has one eye always open and one eye always closed.
  • Reiko's mom Fumiko from Contemplating Reiko.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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).
  • Flying Man from Flying Man and Friends. It is his only expression.
  • Freefall: Mr. Kornada seems to do it as a matter of arrogance and willful ignorance. Only a major alarm opens his eyes.
  • Simon from Fruit Incest. His mother wore glasses and always has her eyes half closed, so it could just run in the family.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court:
    • Anja Donlan. 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.
  • Esa from Handsome Fungus is almost never seen with her eyes open. She talks about it a bit...
  • I Don't Want This Kind of Hero: Lampshaded by Naga's teacher, who comments that he can't tell whether he's sleeping or not because his eyes are always closed anyway. Because of his psychic powers, Naga can see with his eyes closed.
  • Rocko Sasquatch from The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! has enormous bushy eyebrows but no visible eyes.
  • Ambar the High Prime from Las Lindas.
  • 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.
  • Mias World '44 is a perfect example of this trope. Despite having her eyes closed nearly all the time, she has been shown to look directly at people (making what would’ve been eye-contact had she actually had hers open) in a way that seems like she can still see even with them closed. In the side comics ‘Oh’ and the Closet comic, she is seen with them open. Long story short, it’s terrifying. Just look at her here. Also after World is forced to kill Mia by Lyer, she has her eyes open for presumably the rest of the plot.
  • Keegan from My Impossible Soulmate, though on a rare occasion you can spot him opening his eyes a bit.
  • 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.
  • Cal, from Phantomarine, always keeps his eyes closed unless he's surprised. But he doesn't get surprised very easily.
  • Meena's ex-boyfriend-cum-roommate in Questionable Content. Combined with his behavior, it gives him a beatific air.
  • One wonders where the anachronistic Princess from Rusty and Co. gets all that eye-obscuring mascara.
  • Lt. Cmdr. Shodan from Schlock Mercenary (the martial-arts instructor), which makes his look of shock in this strip all the more impressive.
  • Bud from Sleepless Domain is like that in her "civilian" form, while her "magical girl" form instead has Blank White Eyes. Despite the closed eyes she still manages to wink at HP.
  • Nario from Supah Nario Bros.
  • Parodied in this Super Effective strip. And taken to its logical conclusion.
  • Michael the Missionary and test Administrator Noma from Tower of God.
  • Mia in Unintentionally Pretentious is blind and has her eyes closed about half the time.
  • In Weak Hero, Jared's constantly shut eyes gives him a cunning, fox-like appearance. When they open, it's usually a sign that he's deeply upset or deeply smug.
  • 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.
  • In Welcome to the pharmacy!, Mrs. Ping is always depicted with her eyes shut.

    Web Original 
  • 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.
  • Elinor Wonders Why:
    • Or squinted, it's hard to tell, but Ms. Mole always has her eyes closed, even with her glasses.
    • Koa's eyes are usually shut due to his excessive fur. Sometimes he opens them. For some reason, in "The Seed of An Idea", his eyes are open the whole time like everyone else.
  • Dr. Rip Studwell from The Fairly OddParents! was depicted with constantly shut eyelids in his first appearance.
  • Cosgrove in Freakazoid! is drawn like this to accentuate his stern, no-nonsense personality. He opens 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 Farmer from Shaun the Sheep always has his eyes shut. His glasses often obscure them, so when he has them on, it almost looks like he doesn’t have eyes at all.
  • 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. Including a man who is actually white, but closes his eyes all the time to look Chinese.
  • 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.
  • A trademark for Gilbert Gottfried, adopted after his brief stint on Saturday Night Live. According to him, it was 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.
  • US Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) appears to have this in most of her photo ops.
  • A Japanese camera maker (Nikon) ran afoul of this trope in Real Life: Racist Camera! No, I did not blink… I’m just Asian!. (Note that Nikon is headquartered in Japan.)
    Keith (a commenter): You would think that Nikon, being a Japanese company, would have designed this with Asian eyes in mind? You’d think.
  • Yuzuru Hanyu has fox-like eyes that squinch up into two arcs when he smiles, which is very often. Appropriately, one of his programs portray Abe no Seimei, who is said to be the son of a kitsune.

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


Captain T. Ode

Captain T. Ode never opens his eyes.

How well does it match the trope?

3.6 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / EyesAlwaysShut

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