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I Can't See Myself

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This phrase, or something to the same effect, is uttered by someone who discovers, upon looking in a mirror, that he or she has just become invisible. Extra credit if the character's clothes, jewelry and accessories are still visible, or if the character was already nude. Bonus points if it's two invisible characters talking to each other, or if their invisibility causes them hardship: stubbed toe, hands where they shouldn't be, walking into a door, etc, etc.

If you start wondering how their retina is able to function when light goes straight through them, you're thinking too hard.

Compare You Can See Me?.


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    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the film Hollow Man, the main character says, "You'd be amazed what you're capable of when you don't have to look at yourself in the mirror any more." as he starts to go insane from the procedure.
  • In the film version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry, upon first trying on his Invisibility Cloak, looks down at himself and exclaims, startled, "My body's gone!"
  • Averted in Mystery Men with Invisible Boy. He can become invisible only when nobody is looking, not even himself.

  • The Ganymede Takeover by Philip K. Dick and Ray Nelson: One of the Neeg-parts who's using an illusion machine to make himself invisible says he can't see himself even after the machine has been turned off, though everyone else can see him. In this case, it's a result of the psychological effects of the weapons, which send the users crazy.
  • Andrew Clements' novel Things Not Seen opens with the main character looking in the mirror and realizing he can't see himself. Bonus points because he states the trope to his parents shortly afterward.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel
    • A variation occurs in the episode "Spin the Bottle", where a spell causes Angel to forget he is a vampire. When he looks in the mirror, he thinks he is invisible, but he actually isn't.
    Angel: I'm invisible!
    Cordelia: No, you're not.
    Angel: Oh.
    • The same thing happens in an earlier episode, "Carpe Nocturne", where an old man steals Angel's body... and only later discovers he is a vampire.
  • Eureka
    • In an episode, Carter is exposed to a chemical that is slowly turning him invisible (including his clothes) and they have him wearing a special suit to let other people see him to deal with the issue.
    • In another episode, a camo-paint is applied to a cat's fur, causing the feline to become invisible.

  • The superhero serial in Son of Cliché was called The Adventures of Captain Invisible and his sidekick, the See-Thru Kid! The Captain and See-Thru would discover their superpower had drawbacks. At the barber's shop, perhaps, or when driving The Invisible Car down a typical freeway. Or indeed finding The Invisible Car after parking it...

    Tabletop Games 
  • From an RPG session:
    Player: How did I fall off the bridge?
    DM: Because you were invisible and didn't know where are you ending.

    Western Animation 
  • Tales From The Cryptkeeper: One episode featured a spin on the tail of Sleeping Beauty with an incredibly vain prince coming to waken her but forced his smaller, weaker twin brother to do all the work of entering the castle while he admired himself in the mirror. Then they discovered that the "princess" was actually a vampire. In the end, the abused brother ended up with the real princess and the vain prince ended up being turned into a vampire, a fate that horrified him because he could no longer admire his reflection in the mirror.

Alternative Title(s): I Cannot See Myself