That's what they wanna give me!,
Psycho therapy, psycho therapy, psycho therapy!,
All they wanna give me...
I'm a teenage schizoid, the one your parent despise,
Psycho therapy, now I got glowing eyes..."
Glowing eyes are a character designer's shorthand for power. Want to show that someone is about to unleash a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown? Give them Glowing Eyes of Doom. Has a robotic creature been activated? Better turn on their Glowing Mechanical Eyes. We all know that Power Glows; presumably since eyes are the Windows of the Soul, glowing eyes are a good way to show off someone's Life Energy. May be an indication that someone's just triggered their Super Mode.
This is a supertrope of:
- Eye Lights Out
- Glowing Eyes of Doom
- Glowing Mechanical Eyes
- Throat Light
Other related tropes:
- By the Lights of Their Eyes has eyes visible in otherwise complete darkness — presumably because they glow just a little bit?
- The Darkness Gazes Back is a sister trope to the former.
- Fireball Eyeballs can glow, since fire does anyway.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning often glow ominously for added effect.
- Scary Shiny Glasses aren't actually eyes, but serve much the same purpose.
But not all glowing eyes are necessarily one of these.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, Alphonse Elric is forced to exist for several years as Animated Armor. The eyes glow to show that he's "in there." During the few instances when his consciousness is separated from the armor, or he is possessed by another force, the eyes cease to glow.
- Interviews with Monster Girls: Hikari gets these in any sort of flash photography. Takahashi speculates that vampires have the same additional reflective membrane in their eyes hat most wildlife with nightvision have, leading to this effect. That said, she's a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire, and there's no suggestion that she's in any way evil.
- K: The Red King, at least the one in season 2.
- In the last episode of season 1, Rikio's sunglasses come off and his eyes glow as he uses his powers. None of the other Clansmen and Kings, Red or otherwise, show this, although some (e.g. the Silver King) glow all over. Though, Kusanagi could be hiding it under his Cool Shades, like Rikio.
- Superman's eyes glow red when angry or about to fire his heat vision, but sometimes it glows blue or white when using X-Ray Vision.
- In Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker, whenever Poet's powers activate, by his own will or otherwise. Also shows up prominently in the short film the comics are a prequel to.
- In the Buffy/Stargate crossover fic All Your Base Are Belong To Her, Dawn's eyes glow emerald whenever she activates her link to the Stargate Network. In an effort to maintain a low profile, she obtains a pair of designer sunglasses to wear whenever she's forced to do so in a public situation.
- In Child of the Storm, Doctor Strange tends to have these when he wants to appear more eldritch and otherworldly.
- Harry's eyes have been known to glow gold and Thor's have been known to glow electric blue/white. In both cases it is a very good idea to start running.
- RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: The cultists in Nightmares Yet to Come have glowing golden eyes, though not all the time, allowing their members to pass for normal.
- One of The Twelve Tasks of Asterix involves being able to resist the hypnotic gaze of Iris the magician, who has glowing eyebeams he can switch on like car headlamps. Iris tries to hypnotize Asterix into believing he's a boar, but keeps getting distracted by the Gaul's comments about his eyes. ("How do you do that?", "Can you make them light up one at a time?" and "They must be handy for reading in bed.") Eventually Iris becomes so confused he ends up hypnotizing himself.
- In The Scribbler, the main character - who suffers from Split Personality syndrome - uses an experimental electroshock device (the "Siamese Burn") to systematically erase her excess personalities. Trouble is, it also causes blackouts - during which she upgrades the device with whatever scrap electronics she can find. By film's end, using the device gives the user near-superhuman powers, of which Glowing Eyes are but a side effect.
- The Incredible Hulk Bruce Banner sports these when he transforms into the title character.
- In WarCraft, whenever a magic user casts a spell, their eyes glow in appropriate color.
- In Ghostbusters II, a possessed character finds this trope handy for walking down a corridor with the lights out.
- In Smallville, Doctor Fate gets glowing golden eyes during this transformation sequence and dimmer red eyes in other times.
- Clark's eyes tend to flash red when he's using his heat vision or blue when he's using his X-Ray vision.
- In the Doctor Who serial Doctor Who S10 E4 "Planet of the Daleks", the animals surround the fire with glowing eyes. The eyes go out when the people frighten them off.
- In Sapphire and Steel, Sapphire's eyes glow bright blue when she's using her powers. Interestingly, the same is not true of Steel, or indeed any of their colleagues.
- In Helix, Doctor Hiroshi Hatake hides glowing silver irises behind brown-tinted contacts, suggesting Professor Guinea Pig hobbyism apart from the unregulated viral research Arctic Biosystems is conducting.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- The eponymous Majora's Mask of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has glowing yellow eyes in contrast to the inert eyes of the other masks in the game.
- Crossed with Glowing Eyes of Doom, the HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker adds in a new graphical effect where enemies have a noticeable glow in their eyes.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, the spirit form of Princess Zelda accompanies Link on the adventure and has the ability to possess Phantoms, who are suits of Animated Armor in the service of the Big Bad. When she possesses one, the normally gray suits turn pink, complete with pink Glowing Eyes.
- In Mass Effect 2, when Samara is using her biotics in some cutscenes her eyes will glow blue.
- And, starting from Mass Effect 2, all quarians get glowing eyes that can be seen through their faceplate, though it's possible that they've always had them but you couldn't see them through the opaque faceplates that you saw in the first game.
- Mass Effect 3's synthesis ending gives glowing eyes to everyone in the galaxy.
- Mass Effect 3 also added a faint blue glow to the iris any time a biotic uses his or her powers.
- World of Warcraft sure loves its glowing eyes. A lot. Lots of races have glowing eyes. (See also Glowing Eyelights of Undeath and Glowing Eyes of Doom.)
- All members of the Draenei race have glowing blue (or white, depending on the artist) eyes. Their fellow Eredar who made a Deal with the Devil to turn into demons have their eyes turn glowing yellow as well as gaining red skin and Spikes of Villainy.
- Male Night Elves have glowing golden eyes and female Night Elves have glowing silver eyes in-game. In the original cinematic for World of Warcraft, a night elf's eyes reflect light like a cat's, not glow. This makes sense, as the night elves live up to their name by living where it's always night. Still, almost all official art shows their eyes as glowing like in the game graphics, which also makes them like the other elves, below.
- In the Burning Crusade expansion, Blood Elves had their eyes retconned from ghostly white to glowing green eyes that are a side-effect of their addiction to demonic magic. High Elves also had their eyes changed from white to glowing Blue. This was probably related to Color-Coded Characters.
- And, for all races, several headpieces (usually tier set headgear) confers glowing eyes, especially Rogue and Warlock sets, but found in the odd Paladin and Hunter sets too. The exceedingly odd hunter Tier 6 Gronnstalker set, is covered in glowing, moving eyes.  (Click on the screenshot.)
- The Death Knight Hero Class has glowing blue eyes, to signify their reanimation by the Scourge. If you play a race that already has glowing eyes, the Death Knight eyes will overwrite them.
- Virtually all the epic mounts in the game have glowing eyes, even the common ones that can be purchased. How did all these beasts of burden get these glowing eyes? No one in-universe seems to notice or care.
- The five (six counting Malygos) Dragon Aspects all have glowing eyes. Once they lose their Titan gifted powers at the end of Cataclysm, after Deathwing's death, the four remaining Aspects lose their eye glows. In a cinematic, too, so it's definitely not a model quirk.
- In Runescape, there is a whole set of auras that produce the purely cosmetic effect of glowing eyes in your choice of black, orange, white, red, purple, yellow, blue, or green.
- The Glukkons from the Oddworld series have glowing eyes. It's explained that Glukkons developed them after shutting themselves away, so they didn't have to see the moon with the Mudokon pawprint on it. Which opens a whole 'nother can of fish...
- The Little Sisters in BioShock have green glowing eyes. The Big Daddies' helmets, meanwhile, also glow for some unknown reason, though glowing eyes are the most likely explanation, and it has the same effect either way. (They're also Color-Coded for Your Convenience.)
- The Deer God has eyes that glow blue. Combined with the God's bright white avatar, the effect is unsettling.
- In Final Fantasy VII, the hallmark of someone who has been infused with Mako energy and Jenova cells is permanently glowing irises. Downplayed in the visuals of the original game and in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, where the glowing eyes are just rendered as an unusually bright eye colour, but Final Fantasy VII Remake makes Cloud's glowing eyes very obvious and disturbing.
- A costume item in LittleBigPlanet 2.
- In The Elder Scrolls, glowing golden eyes are a trait of Vampires, as revealed in Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC. It's implied that this is a trait which is Invisible to Normals, and can only be seen by certain other supernatural beings (such as the Dragonborn, who has a draconic Aedric soul).
- In Impure Blood, normally hidden by Opaque Lenses. They can glow red as well as blue, when she's annoyed.
- The White Spirits of Off-White have glowing blue eyes and the Black Spirits have glowing red eyes.
- In Remus, everyone has these as a part of the art style.
- In Endstone, the angel statue.
- In Blue Yonder, Jared's eyes start to glow.
- In Far Out, a lizard's glow in the evening.
- In Dragon Mango, the princess vanishing is complicated by a phantom dragon with glowing eyes haunting the castle.
- In Everyday Heroes, Summer doesn't quite have full control over her eye beams.
- In El Goonish Shive, the character that goes by the screen name "Tengu" has them as seen here.
- In Marooned if a Mindstone chooses you, you get these, along with Power Makes Your Hair Grow and Power Dyes Your Hair.
- In Plume, Corrick's eyes glow golden with magic all the time, but truly flash when he uses his powers.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent: Lalli, from time to time. Since it tends to show up in his nightime scouting scenes, it is possible that it is some kind magical night vision.
- Slightly Damned: Demons eyes glow to augment their already good night vision to the point where they can see in total darkness (extremely useful since total darkness is what Hell has at night) but they're eyes also glow when angry or about to kill. The demon's eye color also determine what color the eye glow is, so far there have been seven colors (Red, Yellow, Blue, Purple, White, Orange and Green).
- In Castoff both Vector and Arianna have these. It seems to be tied to magic somehow. Arianna's eyes glow when she casts spells, but Vector isn't a trained mage and has permanent glowy eyes. He does, however, have a lot of magical potential.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- Princess Luna will occasionally have glowing silver eyes as well, usually when she's being especially spooky or dramatic. It's Glowing Eyes of Doom if she's angry.
- BIONICLE: Almost every single character has glowing eyes.
- Ninjago: When the Ninja reach their full potential their eyes glow.
- The Life and Times of Juniper Lee has two cases of this for the protagonist:
- "Adventures in Babysitting" shows Juniper gaining her powers accompanied by this. Her little brother Ray Ray gets these when some of the power is accidentally transferred to him too.
- In "Out of the Past", when trying to defeat the ex-protector Kai Yee, both June and her grandma tap into the natural magic of the realm of the Magical Elders for a power boost.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Nightbrothers, Darth Maul's kin, all have golden irises that glow in the dark.
- Gargoyles' eyes glow red or white when they come out of stone sleep. It's Glowing Eyes of Doom when they're making threat displays.
- Star vs. the Forces of Evil: When channeling especially powerful magic (such as to overpower Toffee's Anti-Magic prison in "Storm the Castle" and to cast magic without her wand in "My New Wand!"), Star Butterfly's eyes glow bright blue. As do her heart-shaped Blush Stickers.
- Inhumanoids: The titular Inhuminoids eyes will sometimes glow when they are attacking and it's a legitimately terrifying image, the ones who do it the most are Tendril and D'compose.