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Kaleidoscope Eyes

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Some characters have a range of eye colors that change for no reason.

Minor sight gags such as Blank White Eyes don't count and neither do contacts. The latter would be Eye Colour Change in Real Life, because there's a reason behind it.

Sister Trope to Eye Colour Change, and this trope may be subverted into that, if a reason for the changes are revealed. Not to be confused with Technicolor Eyes, where the eyes are just different from the humanly possible. A common trait of a Mary Sue.

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Kaleidoscope Eyes apply when the author clearly intends for the eye color to change in-universe, instead of having something like the lighting alter their perceived color. That would be Inconsistent Coloring.

The use of this trope usually adds a bit of mystery to a character or a world because something weird happens without clear explanation, usually occurring in settings with magical elements.

Compare and contrast Wingding Eyes, where the eyes have pupils that are symbols.

Mood Ring Eyes is for when the color changes based on their mood or if a different personality comes to the fore.


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Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Death Note: Misa Amane, whose eyes change from brown to blue to even green in one instance. There is no mention of why this occurs, though the circumstances where her eyes switch from their natural brown imply that she wears the contacts for idol-related work.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: The amateur film has this happen In-Universe to one of Mikuru's eyes. The second novel explains this as Haruhi putting in different contact lenses every day they shoot the film. It turns out this actually causes Mikuru to fire something from her eyes depending on the color of the lens, from ultraviolet lasers to micro-black holes to rifle bullets.
  • Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls: Yagyuu Jubei's eyes randomly turn into Supernatural Gold Eyes.
  • Katteni Kaizo: The main characters seem to swap between brown, green and blue eyes every episode.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: In extreme close-ups, Catherine Bloom has eyes that appear to shimmer, changing color constantly.

    Comic Books 
  • The Sandman Endless Nights: With the Eternal who was previously Delight:
    • Delight's eyes change from green to blue during her brief appearance. This was probably the norm for her, before she turned into Delirium and acquired her present heterochromia.
    • Delirium: After her change of status from being Delight, it's subverted: While the rest of Delirium is highly mutable owing to her nature, her eyes are almost always the same. They only change when she briefly pulls herself together to help Dream, both eyes becoming the same color to represent her temporary sanity.

    Film 
  • The cute French vampire from Innocent Blood has literal kaleidoscope eyes that go all swirly with different colors when she's aroused/in full vamp mode.
  • C Me Dance: The Devil's eyes inexplicably change from red to brown to white.
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    Literature 
  • Airosian eyes in The Peace Keeper Force are limited to shades of blue, but they do shift from almost-white blue to almost-black blue, sometimes in the span of a single panel, and with all the shades in between.
  • In A Hero Born and A Hero Reborn, this is a mark of a ChaosRider, called Chaosfire. Considered a stigma because, "Once you're touched by the Chaosfire, you're considered capable of anything."
  • In the Jason Bourne series, the titular character has eyes that mildly change color depending on the clothes he wears.
  • New Jedi Order, from the Star Wars Expanded Universe: Yuuzhan Vong Supreme Overlord Shimrra Jamaane has these, due to mqaaq'it implants.
  • Door of Neverwhere has "fire-opal" eyes of ever-changing/unclassifiable colour.
  • Charlie Bone in the Children of the Red King series has a "cousin" who can do this. She is, in fact, a very old shapeshifter and her eyes can't remember what color they are supposed to be. In the story it is unnerving to other characters and is treated more as a Glamour Failure.
  • In the Stephen King novel, Needful Things, Leland Gaunt's eye colour changes depending on who sees him.
  • Wynne in Beansidhe's Wail is said to have eyes that change from "pale grey, to sky blue, to sea green, to violet to silver."
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Gods Of The North", the woman (who is obviously magical) also has eyes that change.
    Her eyes were likewise neither wholly blue nor wholly grey, but of shifting colors and dancing lights and clouds of colors he could not define.
  • Eighth Doctor Adventures:
    • The Doctor apparently has eyes like this, although they're usually blue (and the descriptions aren't usually this overwrought).
      [...]his eyes were something else again. As he strode towards her, they glittered, seeming to change colour from moment to moment — first an honest brown of earth and nature, then a peaceful green of inner strength and eternal hope, then finally a piercing electric blue.
    • Also, Fitz's eyes are almost always grey, but are inexplicably described as blue shortly after he's introduced. To be fair, grey and blue are a lot alike. Sabbath's eyes can be brown, green, or black.
  • Rick Riordan:
  • Yasmini, the Femme Fatale of Talbot Mundy's King of the Khyber Rifles has lovely blue eyes ...which can also turn brown, or green, or hazel, or yellow, or reflective, or glow. It's notable that King, the hero, finds this to be extremely creepy, and not at all alluring.
  • Furious Tide of Light, a sorceress from the Garrett, P.I. series, has eyes that have changed color practically every time Garrett looks at her.
  • Codex Alera: Alera, a Physical God has eyes that cycle through just about every color imaginable.
  • Illivais X: And Mood Ring Eyes. Iriana's eyes normally go through a literal kaleidoscope of color, but change to a set hue to represent emotions, and it's the only way she expresses herself unless her feelings are really strong.
  • City of Bones by Martha Wells: The Krismen, a Bio Augmented human offshoot, have eyes that continually shift through a range of colours. It overlaps with Mood Ring Eyes as physical distress and some strong emotional states can provoke specific reactions.
  • The Witches: Among other Red Right Hand features, the titular malevolent Witch Species has colour-changing pupils where a very careful viewer can see fire and ice dancing in the centre.
    Look carefully at the eyes, because the eyes of a REAL WITCH are different from yours and mine. Look in the middle of each eye where there is normally a little black dot. If she is a witch, the black dot will keep changing colour, and you will see fire and you will see ice dancing right in the very centre of the coloured dot. It will send shivers running all over your skin.

    Music 
  • "Swan Steel", a song by Aquarium, mentions that "our eye colour is unstable like the ice in March". Being psychedelic rock, the song doesn't elaborate further on what it actually means.

    Myth And Legend 
  • Loki, Trickster God of Norse Mythology is occasionally described as having these. Kaleidoscope eyes seem unique to Loki; despite being able to change his form, his eyes result in at least one Glamour Failure (eye-related glamour failure is common in Norse myth; Odin's shapeshifted forms were always one-eyed). This attribute possibly relates to his mental instability, rather than simply adding mysticism.

    New Media 

    Tabletop RPG 
  • Cyberpunk 2020, as well as presumably other systems with a similar setting, includes colorshifting as a decorative option for cyberoptics, aka artificial eyes.
  • Magnus's remaining eye is a different color every time it's mentioned in A Thousand Sons.

    Video Games 
  • Yandere Simulator: Mai Waifu's eyes change between many different colors, but they have a consistent timing and pattern that they go through. If setting "green" as the first color, the pattern starts on green, then goes through blue, purple, red, yellow, then back to green. If you dismember her head, the colors stop changing and become pink, causing Curtains Match the Window.

    Webcomics 
  • Bloody Urban: Cherry, one of the Renfields has eyes that can be blue, brown, one of each, or both at the same time at any given point.
  • Ensign Sue Must Die: It's a Star Trek Parody Sue comic, and the title character has eyes that change color in every strip along with her hair highlights and beauty mark, but In-Universe happens at random times. This gets lampshaded in the eighth strip, when Ensign Sue narrates her own actions, 'limpid blue' eyes gets crossed out and replaced with 'stunning violet' eyes.
  • Girl Genius:
    • The eyes of Feetmen ("zuper-engineered sqvirrels or zumting") sometimes are white and sometimes green.
    • In "Fanfiction" sidestory where a teenage girl is telling her younger siblings the stories of the Heterodynes and inserts her own Mary Sue. She embodies many Sue tropes including this one.
  • Homestuck: Played with using "eyes" that aren't actually organic spheres of visual perception. The Eldritch Abomination Lord English's eyes are pool balls that rapidly flicker through all the different colours. In the final act, they stall on a pair of eight balls when his Complete Immortality is negated and he's about to be killed.

    Web Original 

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