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Go for the Eye

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It's bad when you get blinded by a nobody.

"The eyes are the groin of the head."
Dwight K. Schrute, The Office (US)

No matter how thick the hide, hard the chitin, or magically impervious the body, the eyes are a naturally more vulnerable spot for virtually any creature that has them.

If you ever encounter a monster in a video game with a single, enormous, glowing eye, you can often bet dollars to donuts that said eye will be that monster's only part that is often called a weak spot. The rest of its body will be Made of Iron, and even the Infinity +1 Sword won't damage it. Often, part of the strategy to beat the boss will be figuring out how to make it open its eye or to get the eye low enough so you can hit it for massive damage that counts against it.

Compare Eye Scream (which this trope encourages to defeat a boss) and A Handful for an Eye. For more human characters getting their eyes whacked, see Moe Greene Special.

Although it might sound like it, Eyes Are Unbreakable is not an inversion of this trope. Also, do not confuse with Finger Poke of Doom.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In a particularly badass moment from the Eclipse from Berserk, Guts uses the broken-off horn of a demon this way to devastating effect on several of the horde of monsters trying to eat him alive. In the Advent movie, after freeing himself from the jaws of a demon by chiseling off his own arm, Guts is this close to doing the same thing to Femto as he's having his way with Casca before the bastard hurls him away telekinetically and lets his minions dogpile him and make him watch.
    • This trope also sets up Casca's only Apostle kill during the Eclipse before she's overtaken, when Judeau puts out one of its eyes with his last throwing knife, just before Casca slices the demon in half.
  • Bleach: Kenpachi Zaraki lampshades this trope during his fight with Nnoitra Gilga. The trope itself, however, ends up being subverted. Kenpachi fails to cut Nnoitra's eye (his blade passes harmlessly through Nnoitra's hollow hole which is hidden behind his Eyepatch of Power). Also, in the end, Kenpachi manages to get through Nnoitra's Hierro by other means.
    "I've had several encounters with guys who wouldn't shut up about how my sword couldn't cut them. But... I have yet to meet someone whose throat or eye I couldn't cut!!!"
  • Mustang employs this tactic against Envy in Fullmetal Alchemist. It's not that his opponent's eyes are especially vulnerable ( they're subject to the same Healing Factor as the rest of Envy's body); rather, he targets them because having the fluids in your eyes boiled by flame alchemy is excruciatingly painful. Which is exactly what Mustang's is going for, since he just learned that Envy was the one who killed Hughes.
  • In the second episode of Future Diary, Yukiteru uses one of his signature darts to stab and completely ruin Minene's eye. Fortunately she gets a badass eyepatch from this event and all is well. (She almost blocked the dart with her phone, but seeing as if the phone is damaged she will be killed, it was a smart move to drop her guard.)
  • Gunslinger Girl. The one weak point of the eponymous cyborg girls, though one of their handler's claims they're working on bullet-resistant optics. The girls know this and will use their non-firing arm to shield their eyes during combat. Shooting oneself in the eye is also used as a means of suicide.
  • Early in ½ Prince, the main character's party runs into a giant high-level monster with very tough skin. They eventually realize that the eyes aren't protected, just very difficult to hit with melee weapons.
  • In one episode of Inuyasha, while trapped in human form and fighting (losing horribly) against a plant demon, Inuyasha snaps off one of the demon's thorns and stabs him in the eye with it. Subverted as it doesn't actually kill him.
  • The manga adaptation of Kingdom Hearts, in a break from the game's events, has Sora use a quote from Battle of the Bengal Tiger (When you encounter a giant enemy, aim for the eye. No one can train one's eyes...) against the giant Heartless.
  • Mazinger Z: Gumbina M5 armor was completely impervious to Mazinger-Z's weapons. Kouji not even was capable to scratch it or dent it. Its weak point were its large eyes located on the chest. Sayaka ended up the battle when Aphrodite-A's Torpedo Tits managed to hit them. Ouch.
    • In the "Mazinger-Z vs Great General of Darkness", Kouji was sword-dueling against a clearly superior Warbeast had pinned Mazinger-Z on the ground and was trying run its sword through it. Kouji shot Mazinger's drill missiles and managed hit one of its eyes. The Warbeast crumbled down due to the missiles boring into its head and exploding. Double ouch.
    • Ozones B3 subverted the trope. It had a huge, glowing, single eye on its head... but it was not its weaker point, and Kouji did not try to destroy it.
  • Borderline case with Aizawa from My Hero Academia. He had already had to amputate his own leg to stop a quirk erasing bullet from destroying his quirk and was unable to do his Fights Like a Normal stuff but he was still nullifying Shigaraki’s Decay with Erasure. Shigaraki knew he could take Aizawa out of the fight entirely by going for his eyes. He gouges Aizawa’s eyes and face with his bare hands and likely some of his Decay quirk. Aizawa only loses one eye, but it leaves Erasure shaky and almost useless, so Shigaraki did achieve his goal. Aizawa later found a work around with Monoma though.
  • Near the beginning of Ninja Scroll, Jubei confronts Tessai, a bad guy with the ability to harden his body like stone. Jubei casually mentions that he can't be invulnerable everywhere, right before throwing a needle into his eye.
  • Clementine, in true psycho fashion, tries this in her attempt to finish off Ainz in their duel in Overlord (2012). Unfortunately for her, Ainz is a lich disguised as a warrior, and there are no eyes there to stab out.
  • Rooster Fighter: A good way to stun a giant demon is to poke it in the eye.
  • Subverted in the first chapter of Shanghai Youma Kikai, where Jack uses his last bullet to shoot the demon in the eye. The demon tells him that even that won't work. Turns out Jack's real intention was to create a blind spot.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki is told that even ghouls are vulnerable to eye injuries... which Yamori promptly demonstrates by stabbing a needle into his eye. He keeps this lesson in mind, and later jabs for Shachi's eyes when normal attacks don't seem to work. Shachi anticipates this and counters by smashing his forehead into Kaneki's fingers, breaking them in the process. In the sequel, Matsumae is defeated when a clever opponent shoves his fingers into her eyes, blinding her.
  • This is how Toboe kills the giant walrus in Wolf's Rain, the other factor being his utter refusal to let go.
  • In Yaiba, Silver's body is rubber-like everywhere, but his eye do bleed and is his weak spot. His brother Gold, however, avert this by having a rubbery eye too.
  • In YuYu Hakusho Kurama throws blood in Hiei's Jagan eye (or Third Eye) in order to help Yusuke win. It works. Subverted because no one dies.

    Comic Books 
  • Fray: Inverted. After being swallowed whole by a giant demon creature, Fray hacks her way out of its eye.
  • Ghost Rider: The All-New Orb (whose entire head is a giant eyeball) is taken out by a trap that flung a board with a nail in it into his eye. He survived, but was temporarily blinded and gravely hurt.
  • Silver Sable and the Wild Pack: In issue #13, Silver Sable stopped Luke Cage by knocking him to the ground and aiming a gun at his eye, saying that she was willing to bet that his eye wasn't as bulletproof as the rest of him.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Deliberately averted in the Alien series of films. Making the Xenomorphs eyeless not only heightened their highly bizarre appearance, but it also removed what could seem to be a massive weaker point that could be targeted when fighting them. You can't go for the eyes if the threat you're facing doesn't have any.
  • In the original Clash of the Titans, Perseus instructs this of his mechanical owl Bubo.
  • In Demon Knight this is one of the only ways to kill a demon, the other being to use the blood in the Key. This only works on weaker demons though — the Collector is only mildly annoyed after Jeryline stabs him in the eye. Splashing the special blood into his eyes does the trick.
  • Parodied in Galaxy Quest when Jason Nesmith is being chased by the Rock Monster. "Go for the eyes!" "It doesn't have any eyes!" "Then the nose, the throat, its vulnerable spots!" "It's rock, it doesn't have any vulnerable spots!"
  • The opening of Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla has Maser pilot Akane aim for Godzilla's eyes during a Battle in the Rain. It only pisses Godzilla off and leads to the deaths of several people in her squad.
  • Gunhed instructs Brooklyn to "go for the eyes" to defeat the enemy Aerobot, which has three red eyes in a triangular array. Once Brooklyn has shot out all three eyes, Aerobot explodes.
  • Hulk. Glenn Talbot wants a sample of the Hulk's DNA, but the drills won't penetrate his skin. So Talbot gets his mooks to trap the Hulk in sticky foam and prepares to jab a nasty-looking drill-syringe in the Hulk's eye.
  • In It! The Terror from Beyond Space (an inspiration for Alien), the Martian monster is Immune to Bullets and everything else the crew can throw at it, but one man is stuck in a hard-to-reach area and is able to repeatedly hold the monsters off by waving a burning blowtorch at its eyes whenever it tries to grab him.
  • Jurassic World Dominion: During the Giganotosaurus rampage, its massive head destroying the tower the protagonists are hiding in, Claire is only armed with an anti-dino taser that seems pretty pointless against its tough hide. Until she manages to get close enough and targets the eye, sending a shock through it. That does the trick and the Giganotosaurus briefly retreats.
  • Kill Bill: This is how The Bride defeated Elle Driver, who had bad luck when it came to this trope.
  • In the climax of the martial arts flick, Killers Five, the heroine and her ally (a Fake Defector revealed to be on her side) needs to split up, him releasing the rest of their captured comrades, and her going after the powerful bandit lord who's said to be "completely invincible". The fake defector advises her to "aim for his eye, it's his only weakness"... and indeed, she did exactly that, blinding the bandit lord via hairpin in the eye.
  • The Meg. Suyin has herself lowered in a shark cage where she plans to fire a poison-tipped harpoon into the megalodon's eye. Unfortunately, she's using a Laser Sight which causes the light-sensitive predator to suddenly turn away, then attack the cage from below. The second megalodon is killed by Jonas with a harpoon in the eye—not through choice, but because he's used up all his other options.
  • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Black Knight defeats his enemy by driving his sword through the poor bastard's eyeslit. (See below under "Real Life".)
  • Pacific Rim. After the Jaegers Striker Eureka is immobilized, the two surviving pilots climb out onto its hull and take potshots at the Kaiju's eyes with flare guns because it's the only weapon they've got left. The creature has six eyes though, and getting hit in one only pisses it off.
  • The Specials: "Tell your brother the next time he wife-beats her, hit her in the eye. Her eyes are normal."
  • Star Wars: In Revenge of the Sith, R2-D2 spars against a buzz droid with his electric prod. A few zaps don't kill it, but Obi-Wan recommends R2 aim for the droid's "eye" and thus it's instantly fried.
  • In The Suicide Squad, Starro's eye takes up a large portion of the center of its body, making going for it pretty much automatic. As a result it is extremely tough, shrugging off machine gun fire without apparent discomfort. While Harley Quinn pierces its eye with Javelin's special javelin, it might have been equally capable of penetrating the rest of its body. However, creating an opening in the eye grants access to a much larger portion of its insides, allowing an enormous swarm of rats to get in and kill it by chewing at the much less durable interior.
  • Subverted in Superman Returns: as always, Shooting Superman fails. He shrugs off not only a full burst from a Gatling gun, but the operator then fires a point-blank shot into his eye with a .45 pistol that just flattens against his cornea. The scene is parodied in Epic Movie (2007) when Superman reacts like anyone else would if someone poked them in the eye... and then falls off the building while stumbling about in agony.
  • What the human snipers do exactly against several Decepticons in Transformers: Dark of the Moon during the climatic battle in Chicago, allowing NEST to take down a couple of them without Autobot aid. It's not just the Decepticon mooks that fall victim to this. Starscream is killed by having his eyes taken out and a grenade dropped inside his head through one of his now-empty eyesockets.

  • Fighting Fantasy:
    • The Bloodbeast found in a number of books, perhaps most notably Deathtrap Dungeon, is described as a loathsome creature with blisters, which burst to reveal fake eyes, all over its body. It is utterly invulnerable (to attack by a sword, at least) unless they player intentionally or luckily hits one of its real eyes, in which case it dies immediately. The "fake eyes" evolved as protection against this weakness.
    • Eye stingers are floating, spiked Oculothorax enemies, showing up in books like Temple of Terror. Their spiky body structures cannot be harmed by weapons, and they can only be killed by stabbing their central eye.

  • Animorphs: While everyone on the team gets a large angry Earth animal with which to fight (or in Ax's case, have a naturally weaponized body), Tobias is stuck in hawk morph and can't do as much damage. Instead, he gouges out their eyes with his talons.
  • The Book of the Dun Cow: The only exposed point on the monster Wyrm is his enormous eye. Mundo Cani manages to defeat him by jumping onto this eye and slashing at it with a cow's horn until Wyrm is blinded.
  • Bravelands: Unable to fight off of a crocodile on his own, Fearless claws its eyes in order to get it off of his friend Mud.
  • Codex Alera: Lampshaded and averted. It's noted that if the Vord hulks had eyes, attacking them would be a good way to take them down.
  • The Colour of Magic: Did this to Bel-Shamharoth just before it could devour Rincewind, the camera that Rincewind was holding flashed into its giant eye causing enough pain for it to retreat to the chthonic planes.
  • The Day of the Triffids. It's noted that triffids always strike at the eyes, because a blind man is vulnerable regardless of their intelligence or adaptability. This sets up the plot where the majority of the world's population is struck blind overnight, instantly turning the triffids into the dominant predator on Earth.
  • Dragon Queen: Dragons can only be killed by shooting out their eyes.
  • Ender's Game: How Ender finally gets past the Giant's Drink in the fantasy game. This is homaged in Kingdom of Loathing. The Giant now wears a steel-reinforced eyepatch.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The eyes are a dragon's weak point. In the fourth book, Viktor Krum distracts the dragon he needs to steal an egg from by hitting it with a curse in the eye. It doesn't entirely help, though; the dragon is blinded, but tramples some of its own eggs in its agony, costing Viktor some points.
    • While not a fatal move in itself, Harry is greatly aided at the end of the second book, when the basilisk he is facing gets its eyes plucked out, rendering it unable to use its One-Hit Kill (and even still petrifying when reflected) gaze.
  • The Horse and His Boy: The Hermit (remotely watching a battle) observes that one of the Narnian Giants is down, "shot through the eye, I suppose."
  • The Lord of the Rings: The only way to reliably take down a Mûmak is to aim for its eyes. The skin of the great elephant ancestor is thick and extremely tough, deflecting arrows and blunting swords.
  • Pip and Flinx: Pip prefers to aim at the eyes for her one-hit kill venom.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: The eyes, and the brain behind them, are the only vulnerable point on a dragon's body, and most dragons to be slain by humans were killed through arrows or scorpion bolts to the eye. Folklore claims so other weak areas, such as the belly or the mouth, but in reality these are just as well-armored as the rest of the creature.
  • Star Trek: Brought up by a Klingon hunter in one novel: while hunting a particularly large and aggressive beast as part of a contest with a just-discovered warrior race, he muses on how it's good sense to aim for the eye. Best-case scenario, your shot goes straight into its brain. If you hit, then you've at least partially blinded it, giving yourself an advantage.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Kaladin manages to kill a Shardbearer by ramming a spearpoint through the visor slit in his armour.
  • The War of the Flowers: The preferred goblin method of killing dragons is to shoot them in the eyes with poisoned arrows.
  • Warrior Cats: Cats who train in the Dark Forest learn this technique, which is considered dishonorable to use against other cats. In Spottedleaf's Heart, Spottedleaf sees Thistleclaw encouraging his apprentice to use the move on his own son. In A Forest Divided, Slate's brother attacks a fox by clawing it in the eye.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Defied in "Apocalypse, Nowish". Team Angel find themselves in a melee with the Beast, an unstoppable demon covered in impenetrable bone-plate armour. There's a Hope Spot where Angel jabs a wooden stake at one of its eyes, only for a close-up to show the Beast has grabbed Angel's wrist, stopping the point an inch from his eye.
  • Black Mirror: In "Metalhead", the protagonist is hunted by an implacable Killer Robot Dog, and is able to blind it by throwing a tin of paint over its radar, though it's still able to track her by sound.
  • Brennan uses this on a criminal on Bones. She finds that "very few people are still scary after being poked in the eye".
  • In Brimstone, the eyes of the fugitives from Hell are their only weak spot (because eyes are the windows to the soul), thus Zeke has to shoot their eyes to send them back. Interestingly enough, he's also immune to everything except the eyes. As the Devil points out, that's because Zeke is also a damned soul himself.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The Nigerian masked zombie-demon in the episode "Dead Man's Party". Buffy didn't know it was the monster's only weak point, but you'd be surprised how many things don't like having their eyes gouged out.
    • This could be applied somewhat to Xander as well. Sure, he's had an arm broken here and there, and has been beaten with a Troll God's Hammer, but all to little actual effect. It was only an attack on his eye that really harmed him. Right after telling his fighters to "go for the (...) eyes. Everything's got eyes." Ouch. Also... their opponents didn't have eyes.
    • At one point, Buffy lectures potential Slayers about dealing with monsters. She says to avoid things like tentacles and go for the brain, heart and eyes. It is then pointed out to her that Bringers don't have eyes.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Daleks' eyepiece is the most susceptible to gunfire, though only comparatively. On more than one occasion, Daleks have been incapacitated by damaging or covering their single eyestalk: "My vision is impaired! I cannot see!" The show parodied this once in "Remembrance of the Daleks": after the Doctor repeatedly tells soldiers to shoot the Daleks in the eyepiece throughout the story, Ace ends up blowing one up entirely with a rocket launcher.
      The Doctor: You destroyed it!
      Ace: I aimed for the eyepiece.
    • Parodied and subverted in "The Stolen Earth": Wilf attempts to blind a Dalek with a paintball gun, only for the paint to burn off in seconds. "My vision is NOT impaired."
  • In Gotham, this is Selina Kyle's go-to attitude towards fighting, since she's a 13-year-old girl fending for herself on the streets of Gotham City. Shown to disturbing effect in the second episode of the first season, where she attacks one of the guards of the kidnappers trying to abduct her and claws his eyes clean out of his head, leaving only bloody sockets.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Subverted. Arondir fights a Giant Uruk and pokes his eye out quite graphically with a wood splinter, but still doesn't defeat the beast.
  • This comes up twice during the second season of Luke Cage (2016), although it fails both times. During one of Luke's fights with Bushmaster, Bushmaster tries to stab Luke in the eye, (one of the few ways Luke wouldn't be Nigh-Invulnerable) but after a struggle and the knife coming dangerously close, Luke manages to force the blade away. Later Shades attempts to shoot Bushmaster in the eye when Bushmaster is attacking Mariah's club while practically invincible thanks to his nightshade, but Bushmaster dodges the bullet thanks to his heightened powers.
  • Eye Guy, from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. His only weak spot was the giant eye (his "Main Eye") that made up his face.
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles episode "Mr. Ferguson Is Ill Today", when Cameron is confronting Cromartie, she aims shotgun slugs at his eyes, and manages to damage him enough to disable him.

    Myth and Legend 
  • Despite being primarily a video game trope nowadays, this is actually Older Than Feudalism. How does Odysseus defeat the Cyclops Polyphemus? By shoving a burning stick in his eye. A version of this scene is depicted in the page image, even.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • A very common heel tactic is to rake or poke his opponent in the eyes.
  • In his commentary, Jesse Ventura regularly pointed out that no matter how tough someone is, a finger to the eye will stop anybody.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In several (though not all) editions of Dungeons & Dragons, beholders are among the few monsters with special-case rules for targeting individual body parts — which in their case means their various eyes that are both more vulnerable than the main body and thanks to the varied magical effects they generate also the primary reason why what's otherwise a slowly floating big ball with a mouth is actually a major threat.
  • Magic: The Gathering has Eye Gouge, depicting a spear being hurled into a cyclops' eye.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the Tyrant Guard species of Tyranid lack eyes completely, in order to avoid this trope.

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate
    • Minsc has this in one of his attack quotes — he orders his pet hamster to, well...
      "Go for the eyes, Boo! GO FOR THE EYES! EYYAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!"
    • In the Legends of Baldur's Gate comic book by IDW, Minsc and Boo finally pull this off. After losing his sword fighting a dragon, Minsc hurls Boo at its head, who then kills it by biting it in the eye.
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • In the original game, a miniboss, Nipper, is a Giant Enemy Crab, and you defeat it by attacking its most sensitive point, for massive damage.
    • Lord Woo Fak Fak in Banjo-Tooie, once he's opened his eyes (apparently his eyelids are grenade-proof).
  • Borderlands:
    • Headshots result in large amounts of critical damage. For enemies that have armored heads you need to aim for the eyes.
    • Borderlands 2: Critical hit locations can be anywhere depending on the monster — headshots for most humans, joint shots for Gun Loaders, abdomen shots for bug monsters — but threshers and the nastiest Loader variants, such as SGT and ION Loaders, are mostly vulnerable to eye shots.
  • The miniboss Eyeclops in CarnEvil has seven eyes which must be shot out before you can get past him.
  • Castlevania:
    • Final Dracula in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon.
    • Eligor from Order of Ecclesia. Easier said than done as Eligor is a gargantuan stone centaur armed with a massive sword, mounted crossbows, harpoon tail and powerful kicks and his eyeball is located on the back of his head.
    • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow has the demon boss Balore, who protects his eye with his right hand while trying to punch/squash Soma with his left. The only vulnerable spot is the eye, which also occasionally fires a laser.
  • Cave Story has the Core and the Undead Core who is only vulnerable at the little opening in its shell where the eyes peek out. The Bonus Level of Hell (literally) also has Ballos, who in his second and third forms can only be harmed by shooting his eyes.
  • Chimera Beast: This is the weak spot of the second boss (a Giant Squid) and the Final Boss (a bigger, meaner version of the Villain Protagonist Eater). Of course, like other Eaters, the final boss has multiple, and you must destroy all four of them to defeat it.
  • Crysis Warhead: "This fucker has to have eyes...or something!", although the boss in question doesn't actually have eyes as a weak spot.
  • Densetsu no Stafy 3: Muga has an eye that's its weak point; to defeat it, you have to make it dizzy first by swimming in circles.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening has the boss Beowulf. While it's not compulsory to hit him in the eye to damage him, and he does have a light-blast to try and deter your doing so, striking him in the eye does more damage and causes him to flail about for a bit, allowing one to get a bit more distance from him. More importantly however, striking him in the eye for the hit that causes his Turns Red response will cause him to fall to the ground briefly, allowing for some more hits to be delivered against him. You will need those hits.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Overlapping with Eye Scream, one of the finishing moves against dragons is for the Dovahkiin to jump onto the dragon's head and stab or slash it in the eye.
  • Epic Boss Fighter: The final boss can only be hurt in it's eye.
  • Fallout:
    • In Fallout and Fallout 2, it's possible to aim specifically for the eyes of your opponent (or appropriate sensory organ). It's usually the most difficult shot to connect with, but landing a critical hit to the eyes will almost always kill or blind a creature, making it mostly harmless or dead.
    • Fallout: Harold mentions that a Deathclaw's eyes might be its weakness. It's true. Using this knowledge you can actually go kill one at a low level. However, since it's still so tough you need to hit it dozens of times even so, this leads to perhaps the most ridiculous Death of a Thousand Cuts ever. Deathclaws have incredibly sharp senses of smell and hearing, but rather weak eyesight. So blinding them is only a minor annoyance, but it's still the softest part of their surface and has a possibility of piercing to the brain. Damaging them anywhere else generally requires anti-tank weaponry.
    • Fallout 2: The Chosen One can do this to Rose's domesticated Mother Deathclaw in Modoc, ending the B&B's serving of Deathclaw Omelettes. This is canon according to Jas Wilkins(Rose's grand-niece) in Fallout: New Vegas
    • Fallout: New Vegas: One character claims to have done the impossible and shot a Brotherhood of Steel Paladin through the eye hole of their Powered Armor. If you've met the Brotherhood and gotten in their good books you can challenge these Blatant Lies by pointing out that their eye protection is bullet proof. He also claims to have killed a Deathclaw (misidentified as "Deathjaw") this way, earning him the nickname "Dead Eye". As with 3, however, it's not actually possible to target the eyes.
  • Final Fantasy XIVL Ishgardians are trained to target the eyes of their mortal enemies the Dravanians. A dragon's Magic Eye's are the source of their power and longevity, so it is one of the sure-fire ways of killing a dragon.
  • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia: The Lord character finishes off the Big Bad with a stab on his giant eye.
  • From the Depths: Ships and aircraft need sensors such as cameras, radar domes, and infrared viewers to detect targets and get accurate firing solutions. Typically, as on real ships, they are mounted on a single big fragile antenna as high as possible for maximum field-of-view. Knock out that antenna, and even the most heavily armored battleship is left blindly firing its guns in every direction. However, more advanced and damage-resistant designs also have supplemental sensors, such as narrow field-of-view cameras on gun turrets.
  • Gauntlet: Dark Legacy: If you found the Javelin of Blinding, your character would throw it into the Plague Fiend's eye, temporarily reducing his near-perfect accuracy.
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game does this at least twice. The first time is with the Collector (and it's a VERY SMALL eye), and the second is the Juvenile Slor. The JS is a double example, as you must slime the single eyeball on its head and contend with the four orbiting "eyes" which threaten you and the others. Naturally there are about a hundred eye-puns throughout. The Sega Genesis game does this a few times, too. There's a One-Hundred-Eye Centipede, which is nothing but eyes, and a floating egg with an eye/mouth that can shoot lasers.
  • The Cyclops in God of War II, although rather than being shot, the eye is ripped out as a Finishing Move.
  • The first boss in Golden Force is a massive, one-eyed Krakken, whose weak point is - you guessed it - it's eye.
  • Gradius Galaxies/Generation: The stage 6 boss is simply a giant eyeball. Naturally, the off-screen announcer that usually tells you to "Destroy the core!" when a boss shows up will instead tell you to "Shoot it in the eye!"
  • Half-Life expansion Opposing Force :
    • The end boss Gene Worm. The boss itself is invulnerable but hitting the eyes makes the boss' belly open and briefly reveal the only vulnerable area, accompanied by the boss teleporting in a Mook to keep the attacker occupied while regenerating its eyes. While blind, the boss is unable to attack but blindly thrashes around.
    • The earlier Pit Worm Puzzle Boss had this trope as well; while not actually inflicting any damage, shooting it in the eye causes the worm to shriek in pain and protectively cover the eye for a moment, making it unable to use its Eye Beam for a short while.
  • Heavy Weapon: You have to defeat the Eyebot by attacking the eye when it is open.
  • Hero of Sparta has a kaiju-sized Cyclops as a boss, which you can only damage by performing some Quick Time Events. Your killing blow on the monster, unsurprisingly, is through it's sole eye.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit: Bolly is a hovering machine that is Made of Iron. The boss can't take any damage unless you shoot its only weak spot, the eye (and even that needs a lot of shoots to take damage, especially if your blaster isn't powered up).
  • In Kingdom Hearts, the Cave of Wonders gets possessed, and the only spot you can hit and do actual damage is its eyes.
  • Kirby
    • Kirby & the Amazing Mirror: This is the most obvious weak spot on the final form of Dark Mind. However, you can actually cause more damage by attacking the mirrors it periodically summons for attacks, as they lack Mercy Invincibility.
    • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards: The eye is the first part of O2 that you need to aim for, in order to stun it. Afterward, its halo needs be destroyed, which then exposes a spiky growth that can be attacked to cause lasting damage.
    • Kirby Star Allies: The Final Boss has five eyes on various parts of his body which act as his only weak points. Interestingly, only one eye is present at the time, one appearing only when the previous one is destroyed, except for the Soul Melter EX rematch, in which four of the eyes are always open and the fifth opens after the other four are destroyed.
  • Legacy of Kain: The final boss in Legacy of Kain: Defiance. Not surprising as he seems to be composed entirely of eyes and tentacles — you attack both, but only the eye counts for the Life Bar.
  • The Legend of Zelda sure likes this trope. It's especially common for Gohma, a recurring boss resembling a giant cyclopean spider, but shows up for several other enemies and bosses as well.
    • The Legend of Zelda:
      • Gohma is a massive, hard-shelled crab-spider monster. Its only weak point is its huge single eye, which Gohma usually keeps it closed.
      • Patra is a large, winged eyeball surounded by a circle of tinier floating eyeballs. His eye is the only body area you can hit.
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link:
      • Arurodas can only be harmed in their giant eyes, which they usually keep closed.
      • Girubokku, giant floating eyeball enemies, can only be harmed by striking them in their eyes when their eyelids are open.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past:
      • This is so common in the series that it was incorporated into puzzles starting in this game, in which a statue of a cyclopean monster acts as a switch when shot in the eye. In the first 3-D games, an ornate eye on the wall would act similarly.
      • Vitreous, the Misery Mire Boss, is nothing but a giant eye, surrounded by innumerable smaller ones. What else are you going to hit?
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: The Gohmas can only be harmed by shooting them in the eye, which can only be done when they open their eyelids to attack.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: For the 3DS remake, all the bosses were redone with this trope in mind. All of them now sport an eye similar to ones on Majora's mask. Weakening the boss exposes this eye as a weak point.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: Subverted with Vaati, whose entire villain motif revolves around eyes. Vaati is a Glass Cannon who can be hurt anywhere on his body once you take down his defense. Said defense usually consists of eyes, however.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Gohma has an eye as its weak point, but it also has an armored lid that comes down every time you try to hit it — at least, until you drop a huge rock on its head enough times to break its armor.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: All of the Fused Shadow-created bosses have giant eyes that must be attacked, as do two of the Mirror Shard bosses. The devs even have some fun with this. The boss of the Temple of Time is Armogohma, a giant spider with an eye on its back, which also serves as a point of true damage and a weapon. Hilariously, the eye is revealed to be a smaller spider that was controlling the bigger spider! Even Link has a stunned look on his face.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
      • The Phantoms, which are invulnerable except for the eye in their back, and even that can only be used to stun them for most of the game.
      • Bellum has many, many eyes in octopus form which you must attack; when he possesses Linebeck and becomes a superpowered version of the Phantoms, and, like the Phantoms, has an eye on his back (albeit a much bigger one).
      • Most of Bellum's monsters have the same eye as Bellum. For the big blue cyclops monster, you can't go near them at all unless you fire an arrow in its eye first, thus stunning it. The six-eyed Sky Whale miniboss needs to be shot twelve times, twice in each of its six eyes.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks:
      • Rocktites are one-eyed, armored enemies that can only be defeated by being shot in the eye.
      • The Ocean Temple boss, Phytops, can only be harmed by shooting its eye, which begins the battle covered in rolls of flesh that Link must cut off by throwing its own thorns back at it.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: A lot of bosses, including Scaldera, Moldarach, Tentalus, and Bilocyte-infested Levias, can only be harmed by being struck in the eye. Most possess a single one, but Moldarach has two — one in each claw, oddly enough — that Link must slash at with his sword.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: If an enemy can't be shot in the head for extra damage, you can shoot them in the eye instead.
      • Chuchus don't have heads, the target normally used for dealing critical hits, so if you want to do extra damage to them, you can shoot their eyeballs. Of course, most of them die in one hit anyway, and the eyes are hard to hit when their bodies get bigger, so unless you're using them for target practice, you're better off just using a remote bomb.
      • Hinoxes are giant cyclops monsters that can be shot in the eye to stun them and attack with other weapons. However, they eventually catch on — once their health has been reduced by half, if they see Link draw his bow when they're not in the middle of an attack, they use a hand to shield their eye.
      • For Stalnoxes, the undead version of Hinoxes, the eye is their only vulnerable part. Link has to hit the eye enough to knock it loose (to then attack with melee) to defeat them unless Link has a lot of patience, arrows, or a very strong bow. Similar to their living counterparts, they will start to guard their eye at around half health if Link draws his bow and the Hinox isn't attacking.
      • Guardian lasers can only be aborted by shooting them in the eye or leaving their sight (either by taking cover or through Stasis). Fire an Ancient Arrow at their eye, however, and they be instantly destroyed. A shot in the eye will also stun any guardian for a few seconds, allowing the player time to either get closer or hide as they see fit, and will triple the damage of whatever hit it (which stacks with the double damage of your Breakable Weapons expiring if you're lucky).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom:
      • In addition to the Hinoxes and Stalnoxes returning from Breath of the Wild, this game adds Froxes in the depths: enormous one-eyed frog monsters that need to be stunned by either shooting them in the eye or throwing a bomb in its mouth.
      • Marbled Ghoma's rocky body is invulnerable except for its single eye. As this is normally too high for Link to reach, the player needs to get Yunobo to smash its legs and send the beast toppling to the ground, allowing Link to attack its eyeball until the beast can reform its limbs and stand back up.
    • Hyrule Warriors: Gohma shows up again. Guess which strategy you have to use to defeat it? This game's version of Ganon also gains properties of every giant boss except The Imprisioned, and as part of the package gains Gohma's eye on his gauntlet. Again, you have to strike it to beat him.
  • The Brain boss in the first stage of Life Force.
  • Light Crusader: The first boss consists of a meteor with a ton of craters and an eye that pops up in random craters. Aiming for the eye is the tactic to defeat him.
  • La-Mulana: Viy is only vulnerable when the lid of his eye opens, which is also when he can unleash his most powerful attack.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2:
      • The final boss in has to be shot in one of three misshapen eyes. Or in the mouth. The stomach weak point isn't as easy, as it only rarely appears and is really hard to hit.
      • The Oculus at the beginning of the final mission is essentially a giant floating eyeball that shoots laser beams.
      • One of Tali's lines to her combat drone is "Go for the optics, Chiktikka! Go for the optics!"
    • Mass Effect 3:
      • Completed Reapers are mostly impervious to weapons under dreadnought-grade, except for the firing chamber of their Frickin' Laser Beams, which sits in the center of each Reaper's "face" and happens to resemble a single giant, baleful red HAL eye. Of course, the Reapers aren't totally stupid, so they cover this weak point with thick armor plates when not firing, meaning anyone hoping to get a lucky shot off will generally have to do it while dodging laser beams that can cut through warships with ease.
      • The Cerberus Guardian enemy carries a large riot shield to protect itself from attacks from the front. To kill them, you need to either neutralize the shield somehow (use a forceful attack to stagger the Guardian, use Biotic Pull to rip the shield out of their hands, attack them from the flank where the shield doesn't protect them, or bring a weapon with enough cover penetration to bypass it) or carefully aim a shot through the narrow slit that they look through. You even get an achievement for killing 10 Guardians by shooting them through the shield's view-slit.
  • MechWarrior 4:
    • The Atlas Assault Battlemech has the cockpit occupying only one eye (with a laser cannon in the other. Trying to kill the pilot requires you to try and core through the eye armor with your weapons. In several games, the eyes also glow a bright red color.
    • Ironically averted by the game's version of the Cyclops, which boasts an incredibly obvious red eye on its head. Unlike its mythological namesake, however, shooting out the eye isn't going to do more than inconvenience the 'Mech somewhat, as the 'eye' is actually an isolated and ultimately expendable weapon pod. The actual cockpit and sensors are hidden deep in the chest.
  • Mega Man ZX Advent: Dogu the Giant's weakpoints are its two huge eyes, from which it also shoots Eye Beams. Shoot an eye enough and it will shatter, rendering it unable to use the laser from that eye, and destroying both eyes makes it explode.
  • Metro 2033: The best way to kill a human opponent is to shatter his gas mask, encouraging yout to aim the eyes. Or melee him.
  • Metroid
  • The Yellow Devil and its different incarnations in the Mega Man series. There are also a huge number of minibosses and fortress bosses that can only be damaged in the eyes (if they lack a glowing spot).
  • Pac-Man World: King Galaxian has four eyes. You defeat it by destroying its eyes, but it becomes faster, uses more shots, and summons more difficult enemies after each eye is destroyed.
  • Portal:
    • In the first game, you fight GLaDOS by shooting missiles to knock off and incinerate the cores attached to her, all of which look like eyeballs.
    • Portal 2: Inverted when you have to add cores to Wheatley in order to defeat him.
    • It should also be noted that even though both Wheatley and GLaDOS both have cores that look like eyeballs, they can be hit anywhere to knock cores off/add new ones.
  • Purple : The second form of the final boss can only be hurt by throwing a frisbee on his pair of enormous eyes.
  • Resident Evil 4: The final boss is an extremely odd creature with eyes on its articulated limbs. While you do have to shoot it to keep the fight moving, you kill it with the staple Resident Evil anti-boss weapon: a rocket launcher. And if you do shoot the eyes on the limbs, it gives you the opportunity to shove your ubiquitous knife into its main eye. Repeatedly.
  • Shadow of the Colossus: Notably subverted. While the entire game is made up of boss battles against giant creatures, most of whom have glowing eyes, they are almost never a weak point. Even when facing the one where you actually are supposed to aim for the eye, it's only a preliminary attack and not what actually kills him.
  • Shantae:
    • The Dribble Fountain boss is a giant, floating, horned, tentacled... thingie with a prominently large eye at the center of its huge head. Make three guesses where its weak spot is.
    • Shantae and the Seven Sirens: Water Lily Siren has multiple eyes that are only exposed to attack when sunbathing.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In Sonic and the Secret Rings, one of the bosses is an enormous, purple scorpion with four eyes (two on its tails, one on its back, and another in its mouth). Of course, Sonic must use the Homing Attack on the scorpion's eyes to defeat it.
    • Previously, there were the Black Bull and Devil Doom in Shadow the Hedgehog, with the unskippable obvious hint "The eye is its weak spot" in both fights. Thanks, Einstein.
    • Finally, Dark Gaia in Sonic Unleashed. In this case it's because there's no other place on the Kaiju's body he can hope to hurt it. His Super Mode has better luck doing damage elsewhere, but again the eyes are the most sensitive areas. Sonic's partner Chip is only able to do damage anywhere else because he's piloting a giant stone colossus almost the same size as Dark Gaia.
  • In both Star Fox and Star Fox 64, you must shoot Andross' eyes in order to reveal his brain or the robot duplicate on 64's Easy route. In 64, you first have to destroy Andross' hands, but shooting the eyes would stun him momentarily, making that far easier. Additionally, the Bacoon from Star Fox 64 is a giant one-eyed clam, prompting Peppy to call out this trope verbatim.
  • Star Trek: Bridge Commander: An atypical example. While it's not necessary, any enemy ship can be rendered harmless by disabling or destroying its sensors, making it incapable of firing back.
  • Many of the bosses in Stinkoman 20X6.
  • Summon Night Swordcraft Story: The King Crabber boss, whose only weak points are its eye stalks.
  • A variation is played in several Super Mario Bros. games:
    • Super Mario 64: one of the enemies is simply a huge eye, and you defeat it by running around in circles. Thres's also the pyramid boss with two hands, having an eye each; you have to punch the eyes to win.
    • One of the mini-games in Mario Party does this exactly the same as well.
    • It's also played straight with the boss of Shifting Sand Land, two giant stone hands with eyes in the palms. Whacking 'em in the eye causes damage, but only when the eye is open.
    • Mario Kart DS has the same hands as one of the bosses in mission mode and just like in Super Mario 64, you can't damage the eyes unless they're open.
  • Terraria: The Wall of Flesh can be attacked in the eyes or the mouth, but the eyes have no Damage Reduction and hence take much more damage from attacks.
  • World of Warcraft: One of the final bosses of the old world was the EYE of Eldritch Abomination Cthun. Merely defeating Cthun's eye was for a long time considered more difficult and hardcore than any of the raids that followed it.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess has a cyclops boss which is invulnerable to all attacks - save for the eye, which Xena targets with her chakram from a distance away. Hitting the eye wouldn't cause any damage to the cyclops' health, but as the cyclops is grabbing at Xena with his right hand while holding a cliff with his left, Xena can attack the cyclops' left hand while he rubs his eye in agony with his right, causing the cyclops to fall to his death.
  • Yo-kai Watch: In the first game, the first boss is an enormous hydra with three eyes. When it opens an eye you have to target the eyes so your yokai will attack it and do more damage.

  • Awful Hospital: Fern defeats the Kidney Stone Mother, a gigantic living Spike Ball of Doom, by tossing a can of spray-cheese into its single massive eye and then stabbing the eye with a poisoned stick while it's blinded.
  • Referenced in Faulty Logic. When asked for advice on a Zelda boss, Jalyss recommends shooting it in the eye without bothering to look. She then provides a surprisingly reasonable-sounding explanation of why (apart from the obvious) Zelda bosses work that way.
  • Flaky Pastry: Nitrine defeats a troll by shooting him in the eye.
  • Hitmen for Destiny attempted this, but the attack was a feeble punch that didn't do much damage on the monster.
  • Lampshaded in Schlock Mercenary, when a human sniper hits the massively exposed eyeball of Ebbirnoth, member of a cyclopean species called Unioc. Bizarre Alien Biology proves him wrong, as the Unioc eyeball is just an eye, and although the attack blinds Ebbirnoth (and probably hurts a lot), it has less effect on him than an attack in a similar location would have done to a human (Unioc brains are located in their pelvis). Later played straight when the sniper tries to shoot Schlock, whose eyes really are his only vulnerable point.
  • Done against the Mind Wedgier in this Sluggy Freelance strip.
    Zoe: I threw Bun-Bun right into that thing's eye! That's so cool!
    • But subverted in that it didn't actually work. Which is all right, because that was necessary to set up Riff's moment.
    • Averted and lampshaded in this one. And then played straight immediately after.

    Web Original 
  • Hadriex sees an eyeball monster. He immediately invokes this trope, as seen in Zelda, and shoots it with a bow. ...Too bad arrows have hardly any effect on it.
  • Subverted in Red vs. Blue, where Sister and Tucker are fighting a Cyclops. Sister observes that the Cyclops has one of something and that is its weakness, but Tucker misinterprets her as to instead attack its one testicle, which takes out the Cyclops.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • While it may just decide to bite its attacker with venomous fangs, the spitting cobra will usually target a spot where its projectile venom will be easily absorbed (and thus disable the opponent). Guess where that spot is.
  • The eye is usually a good, susceptible point to attack in real life. It's softer, more easily damaged, very painful, and can cause a loss of vision, even when folks have endured injuries there. It's one of the first places you're taught to aim for in a self defense class. And on a similar note, "When someone stares at you, don't be intimidated. Eyeballs are soft, sensitive and filled with goo. They cannot hurt you."
  • On a similar note as above, at least one worst-case survival guide has this little number: "When fighting an alien creature, go for the eyes. It's the only vulnerable point you can be sure of."
  • This trope is sufficiently widespread in nature that many species of insects, and a few small vertebrates, have evolved markings that resemble false "eyes." These markings are a decoy for predators, ensuring they'll direct their attacks towards the marked animal's tail or other less-essential body part, rather than its actual eyes. It also doubles in usefulness as it's intimidating as hell; at least one species of moth can flash its wings outwards, making it suddenly look like an angry owl is glaring at you.
  • In medieval plate armor the eye slit of the helmet was a very vulnerable spot. If it was too small the fighter would be almost blind. If it was too big, an arrow or crossbow bolt could pass through it and kill the fighter. During a battle a knight might lift his visor to get a better look at what was happening around him only to get shot right in the eye.
    • "Lucky" lance hits to the head during cavalry charges or jousting tournaments could also go through the visor and the eye at times; the results were not pretty. Just ask King Henry II.
    • The usual method for dealing with a mounted knight in the Middle Ages: A) stop the horse and pull him off B) dogpile him C) slot a dagger through the eyeholes.
    • Remains symbolically true of armored vehicles: any sort of viewing slit provides a gap in the armor. Downplayed that the slit is normally an extremely tough "vision block" made from very thick and tough glass layers, though of course it's still weaker than the surrounding armour. Cameras or other remote viewing systems are themselves vulnerable to being damaged or destroyed by targeted attacks or as collateral damage from other attacks.
  • Several surfers and swimmers attacked by sharks have managed to get away after landing a lucky punch in their eye. In fact, this is exactly what you have to do in order to repel a shark: punch it in the eye or the gills (which is like punching a person in the throat). Punching a shark in the nose will simply make it angry.
  • In fiction, trained hawks and falcons are often shown perching on their owner's shoulder. In Real Life, one of the first things a budding falconer is taught is, keep the bird away from your face unless you really like eye-patches. This is why more accurate depictions of falconry have the falcon perching on a thick, padded glove that covers the falconer's entire hand, as well as most of his forearm.
  • Many advanced weapons systems, from long-range artillery to guided missiles, can be rendered useless if their radar guidance system is disabled. During World War II, more than a few warships were rendered blind and unable to effectively return fire when a lucky hit took out their radar.
    • More modern systems are specifically designed to neutralize this tactic by not being permanently slaved to one particular radar. If one radar goes down, many other radars in a wide area network can instead provide targeting guidance.
    • This was the primary goal of the beginning of the first Gulf War — completely knock out the Iraqi radar net at the border in order to blind them, allowing the Coalition to move in unimpeded. Denial of enemy radar continued to be a top priority during the entire operation.
  • Wrestling in the south didn't always involve Kayfabe. It used to be nastily brutal, with fighters growing their thumbnails long for the purpose of gouging eyes. They also bit off ears [1].
  • Not the eye, but a potential giveaway for snipers using the old-school type of optical gun-sight is the flash of sunlight off a lens. Mess up and position such a device where light can strike it at an angle, and the lens becomes your enemy's target.
  • Flashbang grenades serve this purpose during Close Quarters Combat scenarios. They momentarily blind and deafen an assaulter's adversaries, so the assaulter can shoot them before they even become aware of his presence. This is necessary, particularly because a doorway is an area of vulnerability, where an entire assault team can be gunned down before they even enter a room.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Aim For The Eye


Paper Macho Gooper Blooper

The Gooper Blooper is invincible until the Olly seal on its eye is hit.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / GoForTheEye

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