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Lightning Glare

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The atmosphere between them is charged with tension.

A Comedy Trope in which two rivals lock gazes, snarling at each other but not yet at blows, the intensity of their shared enmity manifests as crackling streamers of lightning arcing back and forth between their eyes as sparks begin to fly.

See also Death Glare. Compare Eye Beams, which can be this trope except when it's not just for dramatic effect.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Happens between Ikki and Buccha in Air Gear. It starts out as Ikki giving ramen to Buccha, seemingly innocent... Until onlookers get hit by their killing intent, apparently creating an illusion of them being on fire and words appearing behind their backs.
  • Bleach: Retsu and Mayuri do this once in the anime.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura:
    • Though not specifically rivals per se, Shaoran Li and Touya Kinomoto Lightning Glare at each other more than once.
    • Also between Shaoran and Kero.
  • Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun has a scene where, after Tsubasa quits the Judo club for the football one, his old coach and new coach fight over him while glaring at each other with lightning between them.
  • D.Gray-Man: Occurs repeatedly between Allen, who can normally get along with anyone, and the notoriously grumpy Kanda. Even their golems get involved, with Timcanpy and Kanda's golem also engaging in a crackling glare contest of their own as they hover over their respective masters' heads. Until Timcanpy just goes ahead and eats Kanda's golem.
  • In Don't Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro, Nagatoro and Gamo do this when Gamo is teasing her about her attraction to Senpai.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Bulma and Chi-Chi do this at least twice in the series. Once in the Garlic Jr. Saga when Maron calls them old ladies and they're arguing about their beauty for their ages. Another time is during the "Bojack Unbound" film when they're fighting over which son will win the tournament that is hosted by Hercule. There's also a DBZ trading card called "Bulma and Chi-Chi's Stare Off", which has a picture of them doing this trope in the "Bojack Unbound" film.
  • In Fairy Tail, this often happens, usually between Natsu and Gray. In flashbacks, Mirajane and Erza also get this.
  • More than a few times on Fruits Basket. Nine times out of ten, it's Kyou and Yuki.
  • Done by Nagi Sanzenin and Ayumu Nishizawa almost every time they meet in Hayate the Combat Butler.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: When America first introduced England to his alien friend, Tony, it was apparent that the two of them didn't like each other. Apparent to everyone except America, that is.
  • Infinite Stratos: A 3-way version happens between Houki, Cecilia, and Rin during a lunch date with Ichika.
  • Inuyasha: In one episode, Kagome explained the concept of family reunions to Inu-Yasha. He imagined what such a thing would be like for him. Cue a picture of Inu-Yasha and Sesshomaru exchanging a Lightning Glare over sushi.
  • Chizuru and Nozomu do it to each other in Kanokon, while rubbing against a passed-out Kouta.
  • When Vita and Signum get into an argument after Signum reprimands Vita for throwing her clothes on the floor of a public bath in the first Sound Stage of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, the viewer can hear them shooting lightning glares at each other.
  • Tamami and Buchou in Mahoraba.
  • Yurika and Megumi from Martian Successor Nadesico.
  • The use of this trope is conversed in Chapter 2 of Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun. Japan's anti-duelling laws criminalize even just issuing or accepting duel challenges, and the government is keen to use this clause to combat teen crime. Since Nozaki writes manga for the Shōjo Demographic, any explicit challenges are, as a result, out of the question. Hence, if scenes involving Japanese Delinquents require a duel challenge, they can only deliver it non-verbally through this trope.
  • In Mr. Fullswing, Saruno and Kotetsu do this in an early chapter, and Saruno uses the sparks to grill food.
  • Grandis and Electra on Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water.
  • Naruto and Sasuke in Naruto. Sakura and Ino as well. It's parodied with Naruto and Sasuke, the first time they do this a random guy bumps into Naruto sending him face first into Sasuke's lips resulting in an Accidental Kiss between the two.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Ayaka and Asuna, frequently. In Negima!?, it's bad enough to seriously injure anyone that get between them.
    • Also, Anya vs. Ayaka, in chapter 180.
  • One Piece: Zoro and Sanji do this to each other all the time.
  • In Pokémon: The Series, Misty and Jessie do this in the "Princess vs. Princess" episode. This also occurs between Serena and Miette in "A Battle by Any Other Name!", and between Ash and Kiawe in "Tough Guy Trials!".
  • Ukyō and Shampoo in the Ranma ˝ animated version.
  • Moka and Kurumu exchange this in episode 6 of the Rosario + Vampire anime as Kurumu gives Tsukune a heavy dose of Marshmallow Hell.
  • Sailor Moon: Happens on occasion between Rei and Usagi.
  • Sakuragi and Rukawa in Slam Dunk.
  • Sonic and Dr. Eggman on Sonic X in an Imagine Spot when the potential for an Enemy Mine situation between them is discussed.
  • Happens between Ran and her rival in the opening of Super Gals.
  • Ryoko and Ayeka in Tenchi Muyo!
  • Words Worth: Sharon and Mew exchange one upon realizing they've each slept with Sharon's fiancee, Astral and that they both have feelings for him.
  • In YuruYuri, Himawari and Sakurako engage in this feud often, mostly stemming from sexual tension, their competition for class vice president, and Sakurako's immaturity.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, Kuwabara does this to the enemy team leader in the first round of the Dark Tournament.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: One occurs at one point in Season 7 episode 3, with some lightning spawning between Lele and Keke as they stare angrily at each other over having to sit with each other at the same desk in school.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Asterix album Asterix in Corsica, the trademark Death Glare of Corsican men is represented with a little lightning bolt.
  • Roll gives one to Doctor Albert Wily when the latter goes to the bathroom to call his minion Blues in Mega Man (Archie Comics).

    Fan Works 

  • From The Lord of the Rings:
    [Denethor] turned his dark eyes on Gandalf, and now Pippin saw a likeness between the two, and he felt the strain between them, almost as if he saw a line of smoldering fire, drawn from eye to eye, that might burst suddenly into flame.
  • From Shadow of the Conqueror.
    "And you won't abuse them?" she asked.
    "No more than you," Daylen said, not flinching from the woman's gaze. She stared back at him as if their eyes were in a duel.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Brazilian comedy show CQC uses this as a comedic, computer-inserted (obviously) cliche every time they ask embarrassing questions to the people they interview, and they glare. Of course, half their special effect cliches are anime related...
  • In Chinese Paladin 3, the two male leads have one of these after simultaneously pushing each other's Berserk Buttons. Played for comedy in this case, because neither actually wants to admit the loss.
  • In Kamen Rider Fourze, Sitcom Archnemeses Yuuki and Miu engage in this from time to time. Gets a lampshade in episode 5 when another character asks how long they plan on keeping this up.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Sting and Jake "The Snake" Roberts do this in the promotional mini-movie hyping their match at Halloween Havoc 1992.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • One of the tropes parodied in the Weebl & Bob episode "hentai".
  • In the Equestria Girls webisode "Queen of Clubs", Applejack and Rainbow Dash exchange an electric glare while their competition is in full swing, showing how serious they are.

    Web Comics 
  • Buttlord GT takes it to another level, with Kevin and Snowflake projecting dotted lines from their eyes, which create a little explosion when they meet. For however small the explosion is, it's intense enough for Brad to deem it "the sweetest thing ever".
  • In El Goonish Shive, Susan and Tedd share a glare here that is intense enough that it probably would have had lightning between their eyes if it were not for the fact that it would have obscured Sarah and Elliot talking in the background. Dan settles for making the growling they make fiery.

    Western Animation 
  • Teen Titans:
    • Although more of an Eye Beam Glare, Cyborg and Gizmo do this once.
    • A better example would be Robin glaring at Starfire in the origin episode "Go!"
    • Robin and Cyborg did this during "Divide and Conquer".
  • In Wakfu season 1 episode 5, this happens shortly between Sadlygrove and Evangelyne while they disagree on the best way to defend the village.
  • In X-Men: Evolution, as Storm and Mystique glare at each other, actual lighting flashes across the skies in the background because Storm's just that pissed.


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