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Mood Ring Eyes

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Some characters have a range of eye colors and combinations, linked to their emotional or mental state. Their eye color changes with their mood or their particular personality, giving a visual cue of what's going on in their head at the time. People rarely stop and think about how a fully functional "Mood Ring Eyes" would negatively impact the possessor's life. She would never be able to lie about her feelings or secrets. Any crush, any secret resentment, any boredom during somebody's story, would instantly and undeniably be aired.

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This trope refers to when the character's eyes change on their own to suit something mental. Minor sight gags (har, har) such as Blank White Eyes don't count and neither do contacts.

Subtrope to Eye Colour Change and Colour-Coded Emotions. Not to be confused with Technicolor Eyes. A common trait of a Mary Sue.

In subtle cases, this can actually be (sorta) Truth in Television. Some eyes might be predominantly one color, but have flecks or even a whole ring of another. Irises constrict and dilate under certain conditions such as lighting or, yes, mood. This can cause some eyes to appear to change color, even though they don't actually change. For instance, blue eyes with flecks of green may appear to turn green when the eyes dilate.

Compare and contrast Wingding Eyes.


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Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • The most notable example in Death Note are Light's eyes; they are red when he thinks about killing others as Kira, otherwise they have a pretty brown color. However, since this is more a benefit for the viewer (and stylistic eye candy), other characters don't notice the change.
  • Super Saiyans' eyes in Dragon Ball Z change to turquoise/green-blue as part of their Super Mode.
  • In Fairy Tail Zeref's eyes go from pitch black to blood red whenever he's pissed off.
  • Kurapika from Hunter × Hunter, whose eyes turn scarlet red upon rage. This is actually characteristic of his clan, that has been slaughtered so those eyes could be stolen and sold as a jewel.
  • In InuYasha, both the title character and his half-brother, Sesshoumaru, have eyes that go completely bloodshot-red when their demonic powers are fully released (in the latter, this only happened once with his transformation. The rest of the time, he's only been decidedly angry, and his transformation was stopped/interrupted.)
  • In Katekyō Hitman Reborn!, Tsuna's eyes are normally brown. However, when he goes into Dying Will Mode, they change into an orange-ish yellow.
  • Meta Knight's eyes do this in Kirby of the Stars depending on what emotion he's experiencing. Justified since the mask hides his face, and they needed SOME way to show his emotions. When he's unconscious, they're a dull, dark yellow.
  • Subaru and Ginga's eyes in Lyrical Nanoha turn a bright yellow when they use their combat cyborg abilities. The first time we see this Subaru goes absolutely berserk and takes down/drives away three of the Numbers, including one who is one of the strongest among them. But this also comes with ignoring all attacks directed at her and likewise ignoring all defense or dodging, resulting in massive damage to her devices. Likewise, Ginga is also later unable to use her normal magical abilities after being brainwashed and only has her enhanced cyborg capabilities. This is possibly one reason they don't use them generally.
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew, the Mew Mews all have fairly normal eye colors when not transformed, but when they are their eyes are the same colors as their hair and outfits (Ichigo's are pink, Minto's are blue, Retasu's are green, Bu Ling's are yellow, and Zakuro's are purple). In the manga, their eyes are always color coded even when they are not transformed.
  • Judai in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX gains either Supernatural Gold Eyes or heterochromia whenever he swaps personality.
  • In Yumeria, Neneko has violet/purple eyes, but when mental time traveler Neito takes control of their shared body, they turn green.
  • Usually downplayed in the Pretty Cure franchise.
    • Most of the girls just get brighter eye colors. The only one who invokes the trope is Ako Shirabe when she transforms into Cure Muse. Her eyes changes from orange to a reddish pink.
    • Regina keeps changing her eye color from blue to red and back. If they're blue, she's in the least evil mood. If they're red, she's very evil.

    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.
  • Green Lantern: Hal's eye change from brown to very light blue whenever he has the mask on, when his ring signals danger and when he first learns the oath. Hammond has a version of this too, overlapping with Supernatural Gold Eyes.
  • The Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's version of Alice in Wonderland. Whenever he's angry, his eyes go from neon green to a fiery orange, and that would be your cue to run.

    Literature 
  • Dragons and firelizards in Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern books have these, with their eye colors reflecting their mood.
  • In Alan Campbell's Deepgate Codex series, angels have eyes that change colour according to their emotions. This makes the angels unable to hide their emotions, which can be impractical, but also makes it easier for others to trust them.
  • Older Than Television: Wolf Larsen from The Sea Wolf.
  • The Shang Dragon in Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness has a severe case of Mood-Ring eyes.
  • So does Briar from Pierce's Circle of Magic books, although they're mentioned so inconsistently that it seems like a Retcon half the time.
  • The title character from the novel The Moorchild has eyes that change color depending on her moods, a telltale sign that she is actually a half-fairy changeling. This and other signs of her obvious otherness cause her fellow villagers to fear and shun her.
  • In the early Magic: The Gathering novel The Prodigal Sorcerer, the elves are all martial artists with eyes that reflect their mood.
  • Aliera e'Kieron in the Dragaera series has eyes that change color according to her mood: they are normally green, change to grey when angry, and then to ice blue when very angry. Since Aliera is violent even for a Dragaeran, this feature allows her eyes to be used as a barometer of one's personal safety. In this case, the bizarre color is partially explained by the fact that Aliera's mother is the Demon Goddess Verra.
  • Kir Bulychev has in one of his books a race whose eyes change based on personality - blue and gray for good ones, yellow for bad, orange for the worst.
  • In the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, the character Anomander Rake has eyes that change color depending on his mood. This is actually a quality of his entire race, the Tiste Andii, may however be a case of Early Installment Weirdness, as it's mentioned about twice, then forgotten.
  • Rachel from Cliff McNish's The Doomspell Trilogy has eyes that change color depending on the spell she is using, these eyes are said to be a wizard trait.
  • The vampires of Twilight. Their eyes go from (dark, coal, midnight, ebony) black when they're hungry to (liquid topaz, liquid gold, liquid amber, burnt umber) gold (for the "vegetarian" vampires) or blood-red (for those that drink from humans).
  • The Kressari are given these in the Star Trek Novel Verse, the trait having been introduced in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch and referenced in the Star Trek: Voyager Relaunch. On screen, the Kressari makeup gave them very stiff, inflexible faces. The books gave them colour-changing eyes as the primary means of expressing themselves.
  • In the Black Jewels novels: Jaenelle Angelline's eyes turn from "summer-sky" blue to "sapphire" when she's in Witch mode.
  • From Truancy: Origins, the albino Milady usually has blue eyes, but in the right lighting (read: when she is threatening somebody or the mood is intense) her eyes flash red.
  • In Devon Monk's Magic to the Bone, Zayvion has brown eyes with flecks of gold — until he leaves the magic grid, whereupon they are brown. When he drives back, his eyes turn pure gold with only flecks of brown.
  • In The Dresden Files, White Court vampires' irises acquire silvery streaks when they use their powers or grow hungry for human life force, and the sheen spreads as their Horror Hunger intensifies.
  • Furious Tide of Light, a sorceress from the Garrett, P.I. series, has eyes that've changed color practically every time Garrett looks at her.
  • Inverted in Discworld, where not even gods can change their eye color, which always have to show their true nature in any form they take.
  • The Kingkiller Chronicle:
    • Bast's eyes change when he is angry, causing the color and shape of his pupils to change. As he is a member of The Fair Folk, this seems to be a case of Glamour Failure.
    • Kvothe's green eyes change shade based on his mood. which is commented on by a number of characters. This is one of several implications that Kvothe has fairy blood.
  • The eponymous protagonist of Emily of New Moon. Her eyes sometimes appear black because of the dilation of her pupils when she's taken by strong emotion.
  • In the New Jedi Order, Supreme Overlord Shimrra has glowing eye-implants that change color depending on his mood; considering what he's like, they're usually red with rage, though they cycle through other colors often enough for rebels against Shimrra's rule to mock him as the "Rainbow-Eyed Enemy".
  • The Maarin from Dark Shores have eyes that change color (within the range of sea colors) to indicate their mood — blue is peaceful, stormy gray is angry and black is desperate.
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    Live Action TV 

    Tabletop RPG 
  • In previous editions of Forgotten Realms, the god Vhaeraun had this according to mood (gold for triumph, blue for amusement, red for anger, green for curiosity), accompanied by Kaleidoscope Hair to match.

    Video Games 
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker gave Link these in early beta versions - his eyes would flash red when he got into a battle. This was dropped for the final version, though.
  • Doom: When the protagonist is invulnerable, whether because of an invulnerability sphere or the invulnerability cheat code, his eyes change to glowing yellow.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, Colette's blue eyes turn red when she loses her soul; they return to blue when she gets it back again.
    • And in the sequel, Emil's normally green eyes turn red whenever his "Ratatosk-mode" personality is in control (usually during battle only).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In the 3D Sonic the Hedgehog games, Sonic's eyes turn a deep red/maroon/brown when he goes Super. They're normally green.
    • Starting with Sonic the Hedgehog 3, they turn from black to green.
  • In the Xenosaga games, KOS-MOS's eyes will change from their default red to blue when Shion is in mortal peril and Mary Magdelene decides it's time to step in and save her. In the third game they turn blue with the defeat of T-elos and remain that way until Zarathustra has been destroyed.
  • During any given cutscene in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, one can tell when a kombatant's Unstoppable Rage kicks in — his or her eyes turn yellow.
  • Touhou: Sakuya was given red eyes in her first appearance, but blue eyes in her later ones. This would normally just be an art error, but the fighting games decided that her eyes actually turn red for certain attacks.
  • The MMORPG Aion has a playable race called the Asmodians, whose eyes glow yellow normally but change to red while in combat.
  • In StarCraft II, the various Adjutants have color-changing eyes, but they are usually blue. Confederate Adjutant 23-46 changes its eye colors to reflect different individuals during its playback — yellow for Edmond Duke, purple for Sarah Kerrigan, green for Jim Raynor, and red for Arcturus Mengsk.
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • Grunty from normally has yellow eyes, but when she turns beautiful during the Game Over screen, her eyes turn brown.
    • Also, Tooty, Banjo's younger sister normally has blue eyes like her older brother Banjo, but when Grunty turns her ugly during the Game Over screen, her eyes also turn brown.
  • In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, if one of your Dream Eater allies has a change in their personality, their eye color (and shape) also changes to reflect it.

    Webcomics 
  • Girl Genius: When Klaus was really mad at one and devised a rather devious punishment his eyes turned from white (on the previous page) to yellow.
  • In Chimneyspeak, Chelsea Grinn's eyes colors change depending on which of her personalities is in control. When she gets red rings around her pupils, everyone around her tends to die horribly.
  • Jareth in Roommates has a mild case of this as his (normally slightly mismatched) eyes tend to always remain blue(ish), but the shade shifts with his mood or expand into parts where it shouldn't. All of this has to do with the fact that he is a Fair Folk with human motivations and these two are highly incompatible. The more inhuman his eyes are the more fae he acts and dangerous he is... when his eyes go solid dark blue (on the black and white pages this looks eerily like Black Eyes of Evil) his Super-Powered Evil Side took over (happened precisely two times to date).
  • Robots in Gunnerkrigg Court default to green "eyes" that turn orange when they're ready to fight and red in rare moments of serious danger.
  • To Prevent World Peace: In Chapter Twelve: Commentary one of the listed possible born mage powers is:
    eyes that change color depending on mood

    Web Original 
  • One of the first signs of a mutant manifesting in the Whateley Universe is their eye color changing to something unusual, like amber, red or violet — but only the one time, then it becomes permanent. Being a Superhero series, however, there's also other variants of this trope in effect with some of the characters.
  • RWBY: The Schnee family butler is called Klein Sieben. His name means 'Little Seven' and is an allusion to the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Weiss Schnee, one of the show's main characters, is based on Snow White and Klein puts on little skits with his different personalities to cheer her up whenever she is down. He has seven different personalities, with an eye colour to match each personality. In his first introduction, he has light brown eyes and behaves in a formal, professional manner. When his eyes turn blue, he sneezes a lot in a goofy way. With yellow eyes, he seems overly cheerful and when he has red eyes, his behaviour is grumpy. The eye colours and personalities match the eye colours and personalities of Disney's Seven Dwarfs.

    Western Animation 
  • Danny Phantom: His human side has blue eyes, his ghostly Super Hero alter ego has green eyes, but whenever he turns evil (either Brainwashed and Crazy or meeting his evil alternate-future self) his eyes turn red.
  • Transformers:
    • In some incarnations Autobots all have blue eyes, while Decepticons have red. Guess what usually happens when somebody switches sides. There are a few exceptions even in these series, where a few characters (usually Decepticons) have unique eye colors.
    • An interesting mention must go to Megatron from Transformers: Prime, whose eyes were originally blue, but changed to red when he became evil. When Megatron, or anyone else, uses Dark Energon to power themselves, their eyes turn purple.
    • Another Prime example: when Ratchet tries out his Synthetic Energon formula, his eyes turn green to match the color of the Synth-En.
  • Gir of Invader Zim had three different colours for his eyes as well as other parts. His default colour is light blue, red for focused and/or violent, and black for asleep or dead.
  • Strip "The King" Weathers from Cars normally has brown eyes, but when Chick Hicks crashes him at the end of the film, they somehow turn blue. They revert back to brown after he is helped by Lightning McQueen into reaching the finish line.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: When the Grinch turns good, his eyes actually change from red to blue.
  • In the 101 Dalmatians: The Series episode "DeVil-Age Elder", Rebecca has light pink eyes while hypnotized under the curse put on DeVil Ville, and blue eyes when the curse is lifted from her.

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