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Poke in the Third Eye

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"A palantír is a dangerous tool, Saruman.... They are not all accounted for, the lost seeing stones. We do not know who else may be watching."note 
"Do you have anything you wish to say to me," he asked the air, "or shall I simply strike you blind where you sit?"
Gromph Baenre, Condemnation

It's a pretty well established fact that the Invisible Jerkass is a Jerkass. Being able to see and do things without ever possibly being detected, much less identified, gives one a dangerous sense of omnipotence. The same is true for psychics or magicians who can use a Crystal Ball, Astral Projection, precognition, empathy or Telepathy to snoop where even the CIA can't... and with no possibility of detection! They'll gather even private information with impunity, because really, what is a Muggle going to do to stop him or her?

Give them a Poke in the Third Eye.

Turns out the "undetectable" Sinister Surveillance the Mad Scientist cooked up ain't so undetectable. Somehow the subject can detect Being Watched and does not take kindly to it. The voyeur will slowly be creeped out when the subject does not break eye contact with them despite supposedly being invisible, kilometers away, or centuries in the future, only to follow it up by somehow overloading the system, killing the Animal Eye Spy, or jamming the transmission. If the viewing method is mystical or psychic (or sufficiently advanced cyber implants), it can get painful for the voyeur.

The reason is that the subject has a rather painfully full bag of counter-surveillance techniques. Mystical and psychic voyeurs will be hit with the equivalent of a Brown Note beamed directly into their brain (or Crown Chakra, whichever). If that doesn't make the voyeur go comatose, it will likely at least make them faint. Especially sadistic mental traps will use Things Man Was Not Meant to Know in place of a Brown Note... because people with Power Born of Madness enjoy making oracles go mad.

Another frequent trap, usually employed by powerful villains on foolish good guys who attempt to scry their foes, is to overwhelm the seer and use Mind Control to really mess with them. This is a favorite ploy of Sealed Evil in a Can.

When the "third eye" belongs to the audience, the "fourth wall" is being broken.

See also My Significance Sense Is Tingling, Butt-Dialing Mordor (which can result in accidental pokes in the third eye), A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read (when the poke is something disturbing rather than something painful), Psychic Static, and Psychic Block Defense. Compare Move in the Frozen Time.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: During the climactic fight against Yhwach, Aizen is able to use Kyoka Suigetsu's power of complete hypnosis to throw off The Almighty's power to set whatever future Yhwach sees in stone, blinding him to the fact that he's attacking Aizen instead of Ichigo; the latter exploits the opening Aizen has given him and attacks Yhwach from behind.
  • In A Certain Scientific Railgun T, one of the Tokiwadai girls uses her telepathy to coordinate her teammates during the "Balloon Hunter" game. However, their opponents studied up on the Tokiwadai students and found her weakness: arachnophobia. By dropping a fake spider in her face, she not only screamed externally, but internally as well - and all her thoughts were being beamed directly into the minds of her teammates with a fair amount of reverb. It had a similar effect to a sonic weapon.
  • Darker than Black the "observatory" uses observer apparitions produced by catatonic mediums that are invisible to anyone except other mediums and Contractors, to spy around. Then they run into one Contractor who can catch these.
  • The Demon Girl Next Door had an arc that involved Shamiko reliving the memories of her best friend Momo in a Pensieve Flashback.note  The main thrust of the flashback is Momo's past dealings with another magical girl, Suika Nayuta. Suika appears to be nice at first, but is actually a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist. At the end of their confrontation, Suika is reduced to a black shadow, heals Momo's wounds... and tells "the horned demon who's been peeking in on them" that she will kill her some day. A bit of an Ambiguous Situation because, considering the specific rules of this flashback, this could either be this trope, or Present Suika was able to sneak into the flashback as an observer alongside Shamiko and Momo, inhabiting her past body like Momo did.
  • Dragon Ball Super: When Goku tries sensing Moro's ki, he's deeply shocked to discover Moro can sense this in turn, acknowledging Goku from across the universe with wicked amusement.
  • Nana in Elfen Lied can temporarily block other dicloniuses' vector usage with an unusually literal poke in the third eye, as it targets the pineal gland, the mutated part of the brain responsible for their psychic abilities.
  • Expecting to Fall into Ruin, I Aim to Become a Blacksmith: When interrogating some assassins sent after him, the protagonist Kururi learns that one group was sent by a Tribe of Priests to kill him specifically because anytime they try to use their magical visions to spy on his Kingdom of Kudan, they just see images of him. Kururi is incredulous of this, but the assassin says he tried it himself and only saw Kururi's nostril. This is followed by a God Test where he successfully turns a glass of water into grape juice, poking fun at Kururi's Messianic Archetype traits.
  • Natsu of Fairy Tail is able to overwhelm Cobra's ability to "hear" his thoughts by basically screaming really loud. Despite Natsu's claims, he did this completely by accident (otherwise Cobra would have literally heard it coming).
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Dio can tell whenever Joseph is using his Stand Hermit Purple's ability to observe him, though only on one occasion does he actually bother to answer when it happens, which causes the TV Joseph used as a medium to explode in his face. It's implied this is the result of Dio (having his head grafted onto the body of Joseph's grandfather, Jonathan) being able to use Jonathan's Stand which has similar, albeit superior abilities to Joseph's.
    Dio: Joseph Joestar... You're watching me, aren't you?!
  • Kotoura-san plays it both for drama and comedy.
    • This is exploited with much glee by Hiyori in episode 2, to the point that the local telepath Haruka vomits.
    • Daichi does this as well, with ...better intentions, in Episode 3. He feeds Kotoura images of her strapped to a table and him ready to dissect her, thinking that neither Manabe or Yuriko will be coming ...30 seconds before they arrive with lunch and Kotoura realizes that he was teasing her.
    • Manabe also regularly does a much milder form of this to Haruka. He readily admits that he'll sometimes fantasize about her (including imagining a bust upgrade) just to get a reaction out of her - it's just a form of playful teasing to him. He even internally notes that fantasizing about her isn't as fun if she can't react, such as when she's briefly Brought Down to Normal due to a cold.
  • Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation: Rudeus acquires a Demon Eye which allows him to see a few seconds into the future, which he uses to foresee attacks and respond early. This works against him twice.
    • Rujierd, having experience with similar abilities, tricks the eye so it sees multiple future attacks overlapping one another. Rudeus is so thrown he fails to block the actual attack.
    • Orsted launches an attack which Rudeus barely escapes. He's unnerved by a white void his demon eye saw after the attack, concluding he just saw death.
  • In an episode of Night Raid 1931, the protagonists face another super-powered individual who, in addition to several other powers, can read minds. He's defeated by the telepath of the group falsely broadcasting a message that another's powers have run out, which he doesn't realize is a lie, since his powers don't allow him to separate unconscious thoughts to truthful sounding ones being deliberately broadcast.
  • Harry's attempts to hack Melfina in Outlaw Star. They aren't successful once Melfina starts fighting back.
  • Overlord (2012): Ainz, being The Paranoiac, has anti-scrying abilities and Counter Detect spells enabled as much as possible. It's heavily implied Miko Princess of Earth has died by Ainz's explosion spell he remotely used on whoever was observing his first battle.
  • In an episode of the Ranma ½ anime, a young boy named Satori is gifted with telepathy, and eager to prove it to the family, who don't believe him. He tries to prove it by reading Nabiki's mind, but is scared by an illusory wave of money crashing on him. Then Satori makes the mistake of trying the same thing on Old Master Happōsai, but just a glimpse into the Dirty Old Man's mind is enough to give him a nosebleed.

    Comic Books 
  • Kingdom Come: The Spectre has Norman McCay as an ethereal observer to all of the events of the comic. However, The Flash's Re-Power allows him to see Norman, and he plucks him into the "real" world, which leads to a confrontation with Superman. It's hinted that Spectre may have allowed Flash to do this so Norm would impart a specific prophecy to him.
  • The Invisibles:
    • A sequence where King Mob is captured by the Conspiracy and is being tortured and mind raped by Sir Miles, who's trying to tear through the fictions King Mob makes up in his head in order to find out who he really is. Once Sir Miles starts hitting pay dirt, however, King Mob reveals he's been trained to set up mental traps for whoever fucks with his head...
    • Happens twice over in the "Black Science" arc. Mr. Quimper manages to take control of the squad leader who's got the Invisibles at gunpoint, but Robin manages to overwhelm the connection, taking control of the leader and giving Quimper a serious bout of psychic trauma. Then it turns out at the end of the arc that something of Quimper got in her as well, and it has repercussions for the rest of the series.
  • A not-so-direct example: An issue of JLA had Martian Manhunter trying to spy on a Senate meeting as to ascertain if perhaps the current crisis in Gotham City (plagues, quakes, and a federal quarantine) had any political connections... but the second he started using his mind-reading powers, he was struck by a telepathic backlash, the result of anti-telepathy measures installed by the Department of Extraordinary Operations.
    • Klarion the Witch Boy once sensed the Martian Manhunter spying on him, and gave him a near-stroke by yanking his mind the rest of the way through.
  • In Universe X, the mysterious Ronin is aware that Nighthawk is observing him clairvoyantly (and possibly precognitively). Nighthawk has no idea how Ronin is able to do this; apparently it's a small bit of magic that Ronin aka Wong, Doctor Strange's manservant picked up over time. Ronin doesn't get to attack Nighthawk, but it's good for freaking him out.
  • The world of Transmetropolitan has so many nanites floating in the air at all times, including cameras, that it's practically impossible to go anywhere within civilization (barring the Reservations) without being detected. In one story, Spider manages to escape notice from the police with the help of an EM device that temporarily overloads the memory buffers of all ambient cameras. He also uses an experimental remote control device in the Farsight reservation to slip into California undetected at one point. The villains, of course, generally get around this by being the ones who are responsible for the cameras.
  • Promethea has the telepathic member of the Five Swell Guys reading Sophie's mind as she goes on a Vision Quest to learn from the previous Prometheas. As Grace leads Sophie through a Conan-inspired land scape, she realizes they're being watched. "What do you think you're doing, you pervert?"
  • A Conan the Barbarian comic Crossover with Elric of Melnibone had a literal example on the poking part. A magician is using his scrying pool to spy on the Big Bad... who senses it, and tells his Dragon to thrust her magical sword in the direction of the magician's point of view. Cue water leaping out of the pool and a lost connection.
  • In Thunderbolts 19, when a telepath tries to get into Doc Samson's head, he notices and blasts her with his gamma rage.
    Doc Samson: Hello. Did you really think one of the best psychiatrists in the world wouldn't be able to tell when a telepath's trying to slide in the side door?
  • In Tales of the Jedi, Nomi Sunrider and Aleema Keto do this to each other at different times during their long-distance, Force-to-Force battles.
  • The original The Books of Magic has a non-violent but effective version of the idea. The Phantom Stranger takes Tim Hunter on a walk through history. They aren't, technically, time traveling — just looking at the past. Nonetheless, Tim gets a chance to talk to some of the powerful magicians they see. As one Atlantean sorcerer says, sarcastically, "No. Of course I can't see you. Or hear you either, for that matter. But you ought to be here at this time, or so my spells have said."
  • In the X-Men/ClanDestine crossover, Kay Destine impatiently decides to get answers from the X-Men by just grabbing the info from one of their minds. She chooses Professor X. Xavier responds with a psychic swat to the nose and a scolding for her rudeness and crudeness.
  • Black Science: telepathic superhero Antom makes the mistake of trying to read the mind of Doxta, an insanely powerful dimension-hopping witch. She proceeds to savagely Mind Rape him and start reading his mind back, which is so horrific that he claws his own eyes in a desperate attempt to stop it.
  • Moon Knight: The Profile, a villain who’s able to discern a person’s entire personality and thought pattern by looking at them, tries to do his thing on Moon Knight. One problem; Moon Knight is severely mentally ill and suffers from Split-Personality Disorder, on top of being the chosen champion of a literal god. Profile only narrowly avoids being driven insane by the experience of “reading” him and is overwhelmed with fear afterwards. Interestingly, this is only an issue when Moon Knight is in his superhero personality; Profile is able to read him perfectly fine when he’s in his civilian identity, Marc Spector. The implication seems to be that Marc has different weaknesses and strengths depending on which personality is running things; Moon Knight is immune to mind-reading and can counter it, but Marc can’t.
  • Secret Wars (1984): As the two teleporters go whizzing through the cosmos, Professor Xavier tries to assess the occupants of the other teleporter. He's able to identify most of them before Amora the Enchantress detects the psychic link. "Mortal fool! You dare probe the mind of a goddess?" she taunts before putting the kibosh on Xavier's efforts. Xavier suffers no ill effects from Amora's psychic block, and Ben Grimm sums up the results: "So we got a Who's Who of bad guys over there, eh?"

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • At the end of the third chapter of Broken Bow, Armani forces his mother, the goddess Artemis to experience all of the self-loathing he's experienced due to the nature of his birth (she's the maiden goddess and known for hating men) before revealing to her that he's her son. Played for Drama in that he realizes immediately how badly he's hurt her.
  • In With Strings Attached, the Raleka wizards cover the entire dead city of Ehndris with Psion Protections. The moment Ringo tries to scry anything there, he screams and falls over, having had the equivalent of a knife in his thoughts. Worse, when the four are forced to enter the city, Ringo endures constant crippling pain, leaving him unable to do anything except stumble along holding his head.
  • Unintentionally occurs in The Power of Seven; when Harry and Ginny form the first of Harry's seven spiritual bonds, Voldemort wakes up screaming in agony. He feels some pain for a time later, implied to be the love bonds formed by the ritual traveling down his psychic link with Harry.
  • In The Keys Stand Alone, in a rare example of a hero poking a villain, Ringo turns out to do this naturally to unshielded telepaths who try to read his mind while he's using his mindsight. Besides giving them the mental equivalent of a sunburn, he also instantly addicts them to his mindsight! He's also so "loud" and pervasive that if he's looking at someone that mental scanners are trying to locate, they have to raise their shields so strongly to protect themselves that they can perceive only him. Which turned out to be quite useful at least once....
  • In Happy Families Are All Alike, Evangeline tries to look into Naruto's mind. The Kyuubi... objects. Or eagerly embraced the opportunity to hurt someone.
  • In chapter 44 of Child of the Storm, Harry Dresden gets a nasty surprise when looking at one of the veidrdraugar, which was created by a necromancer using the Darkhold, through the Sight, gaining the attention of Chthon, who mocks him and shuts him down hard. All this does is piss Dresden off.
    • It happens to Dresden again in the sequel, when he tries it on Harry, trying to see if there's any way he can help. Since the person in question is on the verge of snapping and becoming the Dark Phoenix, he gets shoved back into his body hard and can barely vocalise the basics of what he saw.
    • Later, Surtur pulls this Sauron style on Harry from the future. Arguably, however, he ends up getting the worst of the bargain.
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, when King Kai attempts to telepathically talk to Mr. Popo, he falls over and his antennae explode. He then complains of a really nasty headache. Mr. Popo didn't even do this on purpose, apparently his mind is so evil and malevolent it will hurt you if you so much as touch it.
  • On Fallout: Equestria, Pinkie Pie is able to have a decent conversation with LittlePip... Nevermind the latter is watching her memories two hundred years after her death.
  • In a chapter of A Study In Magic, Sherlock Holmes does this accidentally to anyone who tries to read his mind. He thinks too fast for anyone else to follow. He later reveals that they're "slowing [[his]] thought process to an agonizing crawl". Yes, for Sherlock, thinking too fast for anyone to follow is slow.
  • Naruto does this to Karin in Reaching for a Dream when he simultaneously releases a seal that suppressed all his chakra and opened the first four Chakra Gates. Given that Naruto naturally has roughly as much chakra as the Yonbi and Karin had been straining her sensor abilities, she screams in agony before collapsing unconscious.
  • In Hell and Back, the first Uchiha experienced this due to his ability to gaze into the Pure World. Eventually, something started gazing back.
  • In This Bites!, Soundbite's Gastro-Scramble move fills the air with white noise, blocking out anyone who's listening, even Eneru. Or so he thinks...
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami Into The Darkness Azzathra gives Ami one when she sees him, in her Keeper Sight, which allows her see things without needing her physical eyes. It's described as "a hot poker being shoved into her inner eye".
  • In The Rise of Darth Vulcan, Ted discovers that Luna has put some king of tracking spell glyph on Dodger and is using it to spy on Ted and his minions. He transfers the spell to himself and, knowing they will cause him to have some vivid nightmare hallucinations, partakes of certain mind-altering substances.
  • In the chapter 'Soul Searching' of The Mighty Warrior of Epicness, Twilight tries to read Gilgamesh's mind. It doesn't go well for her, as he counters with some of the weirdest Memetic Mutation the internet has devised. Turns out Luna had tried to do so, as well, by reading his dreams: the first thing Gilgamesh did there was punch her while shouting 'Kaio-Ken'.
  • My Hero Playthrough: Accidentally happens to Izuku. He attempts to use his new Clairvoyance ability to check out class 1-B. Only he sees Hagakure Toru in her Hero costume. The result causes his power to snap and he almost falls over.
  • In Constellations, Sunny does this to Tattletale's power to the point where all the latter can do is point at Sunny and say "Dog!" She also 'photobombs' it.
  • Ring-Maker: Emma Barnes is frightened into helping Empire88 after attempting to use her Thinker powers on Taylor and- because Taylor is the reincarnation of Sauron- she instead sees visions of Mordor and Barad-Dur, and the Lidless Eye.
  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear: WXD Unlimited: Tattletale's power is unable to get any sort of reading from the Alca-Noise, and receives massive headaches when trying to read either of the Symphogear users.
  • In Son of the Western Sea after the Olympians combine their powers to scry Percy's location five years after the end of the Second Olympian War and the image shows him in bed with Amaterasu, the infuriated goddess wakes up and blasts the connection apart for daring to spy on her in her sleep.
    • Percy gets drawn into a vision of the Rainbow Serpent in Australia while touching ancient water in a dried riverbed. The Serpent smacks him out of the vision with their tail hard enough to send him flying, landing him on his mortal spot (causing him to black out) and leaves him drenched in rainwater… in the middle of a desert with not a cloud in sight. He is noticeably rather freaked out by this. The author notes at the end of the chapter point out that, given the circumstances, that was actually rather gentle.
  • In chapter 9 of Harry Potter And The Rune Stone Path, the rune that Harry put on his glasses to bounce away the magic of the basilisk's gaze also bounces away Dumbledore and Snape's attempts to read his mind, making them both collapse in agony from headaches.
  • In Ere we go, Pluz Ultra!, Aizawa erases Izuku's Quirk. Izuku's Quirk responds by punching him in the face.
  • Played for Laughs in this The Owl House fan-comic by MoringMark. Luz tries scrying on Emperor Belos, but he's powerful enough that he can detect her spell and make it work both ways. Luz decides to exploit this by scrying on him in the middle of the night and playing loud music.
  • After Draco and Harry investigate a crime scene with scrying spells set and transmitting everything to Voldemort in The Awakening of a Magus, Harry does the magical equivalent of shorting the cameras. Then he feels pain in his scar from Voldemort's displeasure, and decides it was Worth It.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Happens literally in The Beastmaster, when the hags scry on the heroes using the eye-symbol of an enchanted ring one is wearing. One of the heroes spots the ring opening and stabs it with a burning stick, which strikes the spying hag blind.
  • In Big Trouble in Little China, Lo Pan has a spherical spy monster with eyes on eye-stalks all over it; Lo Pan can see through the eyes, using it to detect intruders. When it is killed, Lo Pan clearly feels it.
  • The Cell: Catherine goes into the mind of the Serial Killer Carl Stargher to find where he hid his latest, still-living victim. The first time she goes in, Stargher is surprised to see her and angrily demands to know where she came from, having not conjured her up himself. The second time she enters his mind, it's a fake-out where Catherine thinks she's still awake until she realizes she has shrunk. In other words, now that Stargher has learned he's being kept in suspended animation he's become fully aware of his surroundings, enough to start playing mind games with Catherine.
  • Constantine (2005): Constantine is using The Chair to magically spy on the Mexican man possessed by the Spear of Destiny. When the man realizes he's being spied on, he somehow grabs Constantine by the throat and tries to strangle him.
  • In Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans, the evil wizard kills one of his failing minions by thrusting his sword into the scrying pool he's using to communicate with him.
  • Déjà Vu (2006): When first using the Snow White device to look into the past, Carlin is unnerved by Claire's apparent ability to sense that she's being watched from the future as at the time he thought he was watching surveillance footage from satellites, not realizing they were looking three days in the past.
  • Doctor Sleep: Abra attempts to spy on the True Knot by projecting herself into their minds. However, Rose knows she's being watched, and tries to reverse the spying before being rejected by the more powerful Abra.
  • The movie Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God, sequel to the first movie, has Damodar repel a scrying spell in a Nightmare-tastic way, complete with Large Ham Evil Gloating.
  • The main characters of Inception thought that the tough part of the job would be working around established theories: Namely, they needed a way to enter a character's dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream, and once they figured out how to do so, the mission would be cakewalk. As it turns out, their target has trained his subconscious to attack dream-raiders, turning the mission into a desperate struggle for survival.
  • The Beast in Krull could detect hostile scrying attempts by the Emerald Seer and crushed his viewing emerald.
  • In The Magic Sword, Sybil, a benign witch, is using her magic mirror to keep tabs on the progress of her foster son George in his quest to defeat Lodac, an evil sorcerer. Lodac catches wind of this, appears in the mirror to taunt her, and then defeats its magic in the form of a television outputting white noise.
  • Pacific Rim: Newt comes up with the idea to take the "neural drift" technology that allows Jaeger pilots to coordinate, and use it to link up with the still-living brain of a Kaiju. Good news — it works! Bad news — like all neural drifts, it's a two-way street, and the kaiju are a Hive Mind. Which means every kaiju now knows that Newt's tapped into their heads. And they didn't like the intrusion one bit...
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse: At the very end, Alice, being watched via security camera while trying to escape, abruptly pauses, looks straight into the camera, and crushes the guard's brain.
  • Pretty much the whole point of Scanners. Trying to listen in on somebody's thoughts can be very dangerous.
  • In The Two Towers, when Gandalf frees Théoden from Saruman's telepathic occult control, miles away in his tower Saruman is thrown to the floor by the force of Gandalf's exorcism.
  • In X-Men: Apocalypse, as Charles uses Cerebro to telepathically contact Erik, his psychic signal is picked up by Apocalypse, who is standing nearby. He then overrides it and addresses Charles directly from across the planet, expressing fascination with his power, before taking over Charles' mind and using his power through Cerebro to send every nuclear weapon on the planet into space so that they can't be used against him.

  • There's a tale involving The Fair Folk where a house maid is taken into a faerie's household and given an ointment that allows her to perceive them; however, she must wash it off when her durance is completed, otherwise she'll pay a hefty price. Thing is, she only washes it off of one eye, and is therefore able to perceive the world of the fae. At least, until she goes to market and spots one of the faeries, who realizes that the house maid can see her and decides to enact this trope — literally.

  • In Book 19 of the Lone Wolf series Dawn of the Dragons, Lone Wolf can opt to contact his friend Banedon telepathically with Telegnosis to confirm whether or not he survived the crash of his skyship. If he does, he discovers a wall of sorts in the astral realm blocking his attempts. During his attempts to break through the wall, he senses that the Unseen Evil Naar is using his own power to repair it. Lone Wolf immediately ceases his attempts to avoid giving Naar any chance at attacking his mind.

  • In The Bartimaeus Trilogy, demons who scry on a powerful sorcerer or a high-ranking demon run the risk of discovery and... retribution.
  • The protagonists of The Belgariad use this a few times when the local Religion of Evil's priests get too intrusive with their Psychic Radar. Garion merely sends his shadow along the mental connection to shatter the priests' Crystal Ball and knock them around a bit. Polgara Mind Rapes them until they jump off the nearest cliff.
  • In "The Blood Red Game" by Michael Moorcock, the survivors of an imploding universe challenge aliens to a game of "who can Mind Rape the others the most?" So, the game is a constantly increasing series of these between the sides.
  • The Candy Shop War (aimed towards kids 7 to 12) includes a scene where the characters find out that the witch has been watching them with a floating eye disguised as a bubble. They shoot it, causing it to pop in a mess of blood. The witch only has one eye after this point.
  • Stephen King's The Dark Half has a scene where Thad links his mind to George to get information. George figures out what Thad is doing and uses the link to make him stab a pencil through his hand.
    Oh, you son of a bitch, get out of my HEAD!!
  • Discworld: Played for Laughs and Zig-Zagged in Wyrd Sisters. The good witches send prince Tomjon away from his kingdom as a baby to protect him. The witches use magic to scry on Tomjon as he grows up. Unfortunately their crystal ball gets poor reception, so Tomjon grows up experiencing scary dreams of witches arguing over a faulty crystal ball.
  • In one of the Doctor Who New Adventures, the Doctor has been keeping snooping telepaths out of his head via Psychic Static for most of the book. He finally resorts to this after a direct attack. Cue one catatonic would-be attacker.
    The Doctor: She wanted to see what was on my mind. I'm rather afraid I let her.
  • Happens a few times in The Dresden Files:
    • Harry does this to the Big Bad in Storm Front, to prove his point that Council wizards know more tricks than "independent" warlocks. And to piss him off.
    • Harry Dresden suffers a rare villain-to-hero example while scrying through Little Chicago in White Night. He notes in the RPG that not only is physically harming someone through a scrying normally impossible, but the villain Cowl essentially did it through two different scryings, since Harry was himself spying on a scrying. Harry is not surprised by the fact Cowl was able to do something doubly impossible.
    • A variation in Small Favor; Miss Gard senses Mab psychically spying on Marcone's safehouse and manages to block her sight. Mab is unharmed, but both Harry and Mab are somewhat surprised that Gard was able to interfere with something as powerful as Mab.
  • As Agnes Nutter, witch and prophet, is burnt at the stake in Good Omens, she looks up and throws a cheerful insult at the sky. Onlookers take it to be some strange blasphemy, never once taking into account that she might be staring directly at one Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell who is watching from a dream three hundred years later.
  • In Green Rider, Karigan views Captain Immerez through the telescope at Seven Chimneys, through a large distance. He proceeds to look up, speak to her, and try to gouge out her eye with his hook-hand.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Snape attempts to teach Harry a Psychic Block Defense against Legilimency (mind reading). The first few times Harry fails utterly. On one occasion he accidentally casts a Stinging Hex, which startles Snape and breaks his concentration. Finally, he gives up and angrily uses a standard Shield Charm, which effectively reverses the feed and dredges up Snape's own worst memories. Snape isn't happy about this. Voldemort, whose psychic intrusions are the reason for the whole thing, also has it backfire when he possesses Harry and the boy is overwhelmed with grief over his murdered godfather. Voldemort never attempts to possess him again, since feeling any strong affection seems to hurt him.
  • "The Hounds of Tindalos", a story by Frank Belknap Long intended as part of the Cthulhu Mythos, depicts an experiment in mental time travel that goes horribly wrong when the traveller is spotted by the eponymous beings, spectral creatures from another plane of existence who follow him back through time and eventually kill him.
  • Inheritance Cycle: In Eldest, Eragon arrives at the Varden's base, having finished his training. A Varden magician tries to surreptitiously mind-probe him, and Eragon replies with one of these hard enough to make the man drop.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • The Fellowship of the Ring. When Frodo sits in the seat at the top of Amon Hen while wearing the One Ring, he sees many things with the seat's scrying ability, including Sauron's dark tower. Unfortunately Sauron detects him, and sends his will to locate him. Frodo barely manages to take off the Ring in time and Sauron's attack (in the form of a black shadowy arm) misses him.
    • The palantíri, Middle-earth's variety of crystal balls, allow their users to scry afar and communicate with each other. The downside being that one has fallen into Sauron's possession, allowing him to intercept and Mind Rape anyone who tries to use one of the others, with varying results:
      • Saruman is corrupted in a distinctly More than Mind Control fashion, swearing allegiance to Sauron but plotting to betray him and become the Dark Lord in his place.
      • Sauron is unable to corrupt Denethor to evil the way he does Saruman, but by forcing him to see only the might of Sauron's armies, drives him to despair and ultimately madness.
      • Pippin gets away with nothing more than a terrible fright, but only because Sauron believes Saruman will send Pippin to him and is saving the real horror for an in-person interrogation.
      • Aragorn is (barely) strong enough to resist and actually manages to wrest control of the palantír away from Sauron, but he is visibly shaken from the effort afterward. It goes both ways: the experience unnerves Sauron enough to accelerate his timetable.
  • In the novel Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card, an Arawak woman recites her dream of being watched through forty generations. The future people freak out and rewind their instrument twice before they continue. "I dreamed that they watched me three times," says the woman. The planet freaks out.
  • In The Pilo Family Circus, while surveying the grounds with the stolen crystal, JJ finds that Kurt Pilo can detect his attempts at scrying, and while JJ isn't actually attacked, Kurt's mocking little wave is enough to make him stop watching.
  • In A Practical Guide to Evil, the Gray Pilgrim has a combination of empathy and divine insight that equates to mind-reading. When he's conversing with the captured Black Knight and gets a little too chummy, Black chastises him by crafting a mental image of himself beating Pilgrim to death with a rock. Later in the same conversation, Black describes his analysis implicating Pilgrim and his ally the Saint of Swords in the appearance and success of the current Big Bad, and enjoys watching Pilgrim blanch upon sensing that he meant every word of it.
  • Rachel Griffin: This happens in one of Nastasia's visions: an Eldritch Abomination sees her and tries to keep her from returning to her body. When this fails, it follows her across universes and into her dreams.
  • Isaac Asimov's Second Foundation has a mechanical version, devised to jam the mental abilities of the second foundationers; the device generates a field of static that prevents the second foundationers from sensing (and changing) the emotions of others. However, when the you increase the intensity of the field, it becomes incredibly painful to whoever can sense emotions. The inventor calls it a "Mental Static Generator".
  • The Larry Niven short story "The Soft Weapon" gave this method to torment Kzinti telepaths: think about eating vegetables. The Kzinti, being a race of carnivores, find this disgusting to the point of traumatization, actually refusing to read the mind of herbivores.
  • Star Wars Legends: According to the Jedi Academy Trilogy, Force-sensitive people have a certain part of their brain that will reflexively do this during any attempts to probe said area, psycho-kinetically pushing the one doing the probing. The stronger the person is in the Force, the farther the one doing the probing will be hurled.
  • Who Fears Death: Onyesonwu impulsively projects her spirit to spy on her Archnemesis Dad, who grabs it and scars it with a deadly Curse. She's saved only by having a highly skilled ally nearby to Dispel it and by her father's desire to kill her slowly.
  • Wild Cards:
    • Modular Man is an android. When a telepath tries to peek into his mind he is reduced to an empty shell that can only repeat an infinite string of zeroes and ones until he is put out of his misery.
    • Mark Meadows cannot be jumped, probably due to his power involving multiple personalities; when Blaise tries it, he is knocked out for some time.
    • A downplayed and rather convoluted example with Lazy Dragon, whose power involves the ability to project his consciousness into animal effiges and control them while he enters a sort of coma. When a jumper girl attempts to switch minds with him, her consciousness is destroyed and she becomes an Empty Shell, while Lazy Dragon is abruptly thrown back into his original body.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrowverse:
    • In The Flash (2014), after Cisco gains more control over his "vibing" powers, he is able to get more precise visions of his targets. However, he is freaked out to learn that Zoom can somehow sense being watched this way, even though it has never been previously established that a speedster can do this. Later, Cisco is able to use this to send a message to Zoom. In Season 4, the new Big Bad DeVoe learns to do this by using Dominic's psychic powers. The mental blow physically hurls Cisco backwards. Before that, he somehow redirected or booby trapped his personal items. With the former Cisco just gets a read on his dinner and no evidence of wrongdoing. With the latter any attempt to vibe off them rebounded on Cisco, he found this out when he was forced to witness his own birth.
    • In the Elseworlds (2018) crossover, the Monitor detects Cisco's vibe and is surprised to learn that anyone on Earth-1 has this power. He still tells Cisco that it won't help him.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Lyta Alexander loves to do this. In one scene, she creeps out the rest of the cast by directly looking into the camera that they were using to watch her. When they switched cameras, so did she. In another scene, Bester and other PSI cops are confronting her, and she retaliates with telekinetically slapping them. Bester tries to call her bluff. She blusters and says that she really doesn't know what she's doing and might "accidentally" kill someone by popping a blood vessel in their brain.
    • The Shadows have their own anti-PSI defenses as well, almost catching Lyta when she was trying to spy on their home planet. At one point, she purposely sets this off... and the planet explodes.
    • Also happens when Ivanova is connected to the Great Machine on Epsilon III in order to find other First Ones using the planet's advanced sensors. She happens upon the Shadows, who sense her and begin to do this. Thankfully, she's able to "avert her gaze".
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the First Evil briefly possesses Willow when she tries to scry it.
  • Cloak & Dagger (2018): Tandy has the power to see the hopes of people she touches, and they are only aware of it if she allows them to be. When she enters the mind of Evita, apprentice to New Orleans' top Vodun priestess, she tries to devour her hope. Evita throws her out.
    Evita: NO.
  • Doctor Who: In "Planet of the Spiders", the psychic Professor Clegg is killed by the feedback when he tries to use the Metebelis crystal while, at the same time elsewhere on Earth, a Spider is using the psychic link between the two planets to cross over.
  • Farscape:
    • In "Die Me Dichotomy", the Scorpius neural clone in Crichton's brain does this to Zhaan when she attempts to connect with his mind — after baiting her into it, no less.
      Scorpius neural clone: Hello, Delvian. 10th-level Pa'u? Pity. 12th could break this bond. Time to pray.
    • Crichton gets a chance to poke the clone back once the neural chip's hardware is removed from his brain, naming him "Harvey" and tossing him into a dumpster just to show how impotent the clone now is.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In "The Door", Bran uses his greenseeing abilities to get a glimpse of the activities of the White Walkers and the Night's King. The Night's King sees him in the vision and grabs him by the arm. Things go poorly from there.
    • In "Eastwatch", Bran tries to look at the Army of the Dead once again, this time by warging into a flock of ravens. As soon as the Night's King sees them, he breaks Bran's control over them.
  • In Heroes, Matt and Mohinder have Molly use her power of Clairvoyance to locate Matt's father, Maury Parkman. In return, Maury uses his power to basically put Molly in a coma.
  • Downplayed in Just Add Magic when the Mind-Peering Peppermints used on Mrs. Silvers are met with her saying telepathically "I know you're there, girls. Stay out of my mind!"
  • In Knightmare, this occurred with routine frequency. Whenever the players scry into other areas of the dungeon to spy upon its many villains, the villains have diabolical countermeasures in place to kill the wearer of the Helm of Justice if he pries for too long.
  • In the Smallville two-parter "Absolute Justice", Clark Kent meets Kent Nelson, who is always clutching a bowling bag suspiciously. Clark uses his x-ray vision to look into the bag, and sees the Helmet of Dr. Fate — which suddenly turns to look at him...
  • Stargate Atlantis has Teyla, who can enter Wraith minds, and as her powers increase, even control their bodies. The catch? It's a two-way connection with an inherently telepathic alien on the other end. Her attempt to control a Wraith Queen nearly results in it killing her unborn son.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series has Spock using his Touch Telepathy several times on different species, including humans and some very alien aliens. Occasionally, the attempt goes wrong.
    • In "The Devil in the Dark", he mind-melds with the Horta and ends up downloading the horrible pain the wounded creature was suffering. He does better on the second attempt, though, once he's managed to brace himself for it.
    • In "The Changeling", the meld with the artificial mind of the NOMAD begins to go seriously bad, to the point that Spock is sent into a near catatonic state as NOMAD takes control of the meld. Kirk (who NOMAD fortunately respects as its creator) has to order NOMAD to let go of Spock and drag the Vulcan out into the hall to recover from the experience.
    • In "By Any Other Name", the attempt to influence the mind of one of their alien captors goes somewhat wrong, as the mind in question is too alien for even Spock to handle. While his attempt to distract the captor works, he is literally flung out of the meld and seems badly disoriented for a considerable amount of time afterwards while he tries to make sense of what he just saw.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, Kes has numerous psychic abilities, most of which she doesn't understand how to control. One of these seems to be scrying, and it happens to activate at a very inopportune time — when Voyager encounters Species 8472 for the first time in "Scorpion", a violent reaction follows that knocks her out.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Lazarus Rising", Pamela attempts to find the being that raised Dean from Hell. Unfortunately for her, Castiel is an angel. Seeing his true form ends in Eye Scream for Pamela, although in a variation, Castiel did not harm her purposely and in fact tried to warn her away.
    Castiel: It can be... overwhelming to humans.
  • An interesting case in The X-Files when person that kills people in their dreams appears with a third eye and consistently deals damage to his victims' foreheads.

  • In Shadow Operations: Resurrection (set in the Star Trek universe), the five species of the Carnora have a network of devices that allows them to telepathically communicate across lightyears. The Federation manage to get a hold of a node, and try to test it. The first sign something has gone wrong is when the hapless Betazoid who is doing the initial test pulls out his phaser and blows the device apart, then surrenders himself to security, repeating a phrase in an unknown (even to him!) language. Then a powerful Telepath from the Carnora shows up and makes it abundantly clear this incursion was both unwelcome and unwise and they are not amused; furthermore the next person who pulls this stunt is simply going to become a mental vegetable. To drive it all home, the language this Betazoid is babbling in is a Carnoric language the Federation has never encountered before, and the phrase is a plea for forgiveness.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu. The spell Create Scrying Window enchants a glass window to allow viewing of the past. If the window is used to observe a creature able to cast spells, the creature can cast a spell that takes effect on the viewer's side of the window (in the future).
  • Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting: The Remnant Cultist enemy has a trait called "Unknowable Secrets" which causes any attempt to read their mind or magically monitor them to fail while the telepath or spellcaster takes about 20 points of psychic damage. As the followers of a self-proclaimed god of secrets, it's a very fitting ability.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • A creature being watched by a Crystal Ball has a chance to detect the observation. If a Dispel Magic spell is cast on the viewport, the Crystal Ball is rendered non-functioning for an entire day.
    • Any being that tries to use a Crystal Hypnosis Ball would have its mind influenced by the Ball's true owner. Probably inspired by the palantír from The Lord of the Rings.
    • Some scrying spells have a chance of the scryer being detected. In earlier editions some also had the vulnerability that certain spells could affect a scrier... which could be taken advantage of, for e.g. Mind Control.
    • "Live My Nightmare", a Spelltouched feat in Third Edition's Unearthed Arcana book of variant rules, allows a character who survived (or was revived from) a phantasmal killer spell to unleash a phantasmal killer attack born of their very worst nightmares upon anyone trying to pry into their mind by magic or other means.
    • "Hostile Mind", a feat from Third Edition's Expanded Psionic Handbook, can inflict damage to anyone trying to use a power from the telepathy discipline on the subject — even with beneficial or harmless effects.
    • The purest form is the spell terminate scrying, closing links with backlash which causes direct damage to curious spellcasters and explodes offending crystal balls, introduced in relatively obscure sourcebook College of Wizardry. After all, scrying spells seem to be safe when they work properly, but they all use at least as much power as a fireball, usually more.
    • Third Edition's Book of Vile Darkness has the psychic poison spell (which despite its name is more akin to a curse, although it mostly follows the mechanics of poisons) for this very purpose. When cast on a creature, item or area, it means that anyone next trying to use divination or mind-affecting magic on the subject is exposed to the psychic poison. The effects are variable, but always involve some reduction of mental stats, which can be very debilitating for a spellcaster.
    • 3.5th Edition Dragon Magic introduces the spell mind of the labyrinth. Any mind-affecting spell or effect attempted at the subject will result in confusion for the caster, or even a dominate person effect if the subject of mind of the labyrinth sacrifices the remaining duration of the spell.
    • Forgotten Realms novels popularized this practice. Though usually it happens when secondary functions (such as communication) are used. In The Making of a Mage, an elf given an enemy spy's crystal ball claimed "Properly used, it can burn out one magelord's mind." Archmage of Menzoberranzan Gromph threatened those spying on him with blindness (see the page quote). It's rooted well enough that Counselors and Kings has a subversion: the wizard who fell for this ends up merely dazed instead of blindly flailing through his room, burned and bleeding from a dozen of shrapnel wounds.
    • Mind-reading a Daelkyr from the Eberron campaign setting renders anyone doing so permanently insane.
    • Ravenloft setting:
      • To preserve suspense, the rules for surveillance spells are modified so that they create a visible, ghostly eye (viewing spells) or ear (listening spells) at the location being spied upon. Anyone who takes the time to watch out for such manifestations can thus detect when they're being observed via magic. A Dragon magazine article establishes that the same thing goes for psychic powers. Also, creatures with gaze-based attacks can send them "back through" the ghostly eyeball!
      • Mind-reading some of the nastier Ravenloft creatures (like darklords, aberrations or intelligent undead) or the insane can provoke a Madness Check.
      • Adventure RQ3 From the Shadows. The PC party may find a 5-foot-wide magical Crystal Ball in Azalin's palace. If one of them uses it to scry on Azalin, the lich can attempt to charm that person. If he succeeds, when the party faces him later the charmed PC will betray the party and help Azalin against them.
    • The remote view trap psionic power shoots lightning back through scrying abilities, and there are several powers, feats and class features that do nasty things to the users of Telepathy powers.
    • There are several magic items and spells designed for people who enjoy their privacy. Some merely hinder attempts to scry on the wielder. Others alert the user to scrying spells used on him. Some make a stronger point by dealing significant damage to anyone scrying on the user. One in particular allows the user to express his displeasure more personally — by teleporting directly to the location of the voyeur.
  • The Exalted 2nd Edition supplement Dreams of the First Age gives the Lunar Exalted a unique Charm that detects and defeats the normally very-hard-to-detect usage of Sidereal Exalted's special astrology that allows them to scry their targets and read their destinies. This Charm can also, at the user's option, give the would-be scryer false readings.
  • GURPS Magic contains a few spells that counter invasions of privacy, including magical ones.
  • In Mage: The Awakening, if a mage is being scryed (or having any form of sympathetic magic cast at him) and is able to detect it, then he can cast spells back through the connection, even if he normally wouldn't be able to cast sympathetically.
  • Palladium Fantasy the Crystal Ball on page 256 can be countered by those who can sense it (dragons, mages about 3rd level, "most" creatures of magic and greater supernatural beings) by spending PPE to cloud it for an average of 10 hours after turning to "look directly into the camera".
  • The Pathfinder-compatible sourcebook Necromancy Spells features a spell that protects a given area so that anyone scrying into it is either killed outright or stricken permanently blind.
  • Princess: The Hopeful: Princesses of Storms gain the ability to wreath their mind in a protective aura of roiling hatred, such that any attempt to read or influence their mind will provoke a nasty psychic backlash.
  • In a Shadowrun campaign, the wizard can leave his body to scout a source of dangerous magical energies. He finds the small and cozy house of a passionate cat owner. All the cats are staring at him.
  • Played with in Warhammer 40,000: Tyranid Hive Fleets travel through The Warp using special means only available to them, which casts a "shadow" in the Warp as they travel. This shadow disrupts Warp travel and blocks Astropathic communication from any location close to the Hive Fleet, isolating their next victims from revealing the Hive Fleet's next target. With one exception, every human Psyker who has ever tried to psychically scan or pierce through this shadow to divine the Hive Fleet underneath has been driven insane.
  • A common theme in a lot of World of Darkness games is that powers allowing you to see through the eyes of other creatures also allow you to feel their pain, and may have bad things happen to you if they die. Savvy players who notice themselves being followed by a rat will often shoot it without a second thought.

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed II has Desmond using the Animus (a device that allows him to see the lives of genetic ancestors) to watch the life of 15th century assassin Ezio Auditore. When Ezio finds a recording of Minerva, she answers some of his questions, then turns right to the camera and addresses Desmond directly. While Ezio is confused since there's no one else in the room from his perspective, Desmond is justifiably freaked out.
  • Baldur's Gate:
    • There is at least one seer in Baldur's Gate and its sequel who you can consult about your future and the seer will be noticed by someone in the vision.
    • In Baldur's Gate 2, when the protagonist and the rest of his/her party reaches Spellhold, a resident Cowled Wizard takes the group on a brief tour, introducing them to Mages who have been driven mad through incautious use of their abilities. One Mage tried to scry beyond the known planes of the Forgotten Realms, but, as the guide lampshades, "Apparently whatever he saw didn't like him looking."
    • A seer in Trademeet will offer to read you and your companions' fortunes. The companions' fortunes are fairly interesting and hint at their personal quests, possible epilogues, and in one case a betrayal. Trying to read your future traumatizes the poor woman so badly that she won't read anyone else's fortunes for the rest of the game. Of course, you are carrying a rather powerful piece of Murder god inside yourself.
  • In Diablo IV, the Wanderer uses the Sightless Eye to scry on Lilith and learns her plans, but is spooked when she turns and glares directly at them. The second use of the Eye results in a now prepared Lilith trapping the Wanderer inside their own mind unless they agree to join her until Mephisto offers a way out.
  • Dominions:
    • The spell Fate of Oedipus in Dominions 3 lets you burn out the eyes of whoever was foolish enough to cast Eyes of God to scry on the entire world.
    • Scrying with weaker methods in provinces where an enemy astral mage is situated has a chance of the scryer's mind basically being snapped in half by the defending mage leaving him feebleminded and unable to use magic.
  • Played with slightly in the obscure game Falling Stars. When your party consults a seer in regards to the Big Bad, she starts rattling something off. The BBEG notices her probing and kills her from halfway across the world to keep her from saying too much.
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age:
    • Trying to Mind Read Alex will result in him either telling you to cut it out without letting you know anything, or thinking a rebuff instead of any real thoughts. There's only one place in the entire game where you can actually mind-read him.
    • When you first run into Karst, an attempt to Mind Read her has her smile at you and threaten you in her thoughts for attempting it.
    • There's one woman who, rather than thinking it, snaps at you, out loud, for thinking she would hide anything from you. She is a good person, so her reaction is justified.
  • A major quest in Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark is centered around the results of some queen trying to spy on an archmage. In this case, he poked her with a big enough stick to turn her entire city into a Bizarro World.
  • The Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Pokédex entries for Xatu state that it is silent and unmoving because it is so horrified by its visions of the future.
  • RuneScape:
    • If the player uses the NPC Contact spell from the Lunar spellbook to contact random NPCs, there's a chance they might contact the Wise Old Man. They moment they do so, however, the player is hit by a fire spell out of nowhere as the Wise Old Man tells them to "keep their foreign magicks out of his head".
    • During Defender of Varrock, the player is tasked with seeking the Imcando dwarves' Sacred Forge in order to learn how to use the Shield of Arrav to protect Varrock from Zemouregal's zombie army. After the player gets the info they need, however, Zemouregal is somehow able to both detect and interrupt the vision, after which he taunts the player over the fact that his invasion has already begun.
  • In Sam & Max: Freelance Police episode 304, it's a very bad idea to try to read the mind or future of Charlie Ho-Tep.
  • The Secret World: A regular example, followed by a much stranger one, when you attempt to spy on John/the Black Signal. He catches you peeking, and decides he might as well return the favor and subject you to some invasive Mind Rape, scouring through your memories like it was a powerpoint presentation on a projector, being his usual self throughout. And then comes the unintentional example when he stumbles upon your memory of your encounter with Lilith, someone John has met before and is utterly terrified of, not to mention is convinced just the memory of her will be enough for the real deal to reach him. His Trauma Button is slammed, and he turns his mental violation on himself by accident.
  • Shining Force II has protagonist Bowie talk to a former Devil named Creed about Zeon, the ultimate evil unleashed on the land. He summons Evil Spirit, a giant floating head to provide input on the situation. Zeon channels himself into Evil Spirit, giving the Shining Force an ultimatum, and then departs. Evil Spirit is completely destroyed in the process.
  • In Stellaris, among the many random events that each foray into the Shroud can trigger is one that has your psykers accidentally listen in on some meeting of a Fallen Empire's leaders from halfway across the galaxy. If successful, you get a nice boon like some end-game tech. More often than not, however, the aliens will notice the cross-dimensional intrusion and slap you with a hefty opinion penalty that can potentially end in them declaring war on you.
  • Touhou Project: Koishi Komeiji was so troubled by the hatred brought upon her due to her mind-reading (and her species' tendency to blurt out what they read) that she closed her third eye. This has the unintended side-effect of making her unable to read her own emotions and thoughts. This did give her the ability to manipulate people's subconscious, and she cannot be perceived by any being unless she allows it.
  • In one cutscene in Vagrant Story, Romeo slaps Samantha across the face when he realises Ashley is scrying on her. When Ashley recovers from his vision, he has the same stream of blood flowing from his mouth Samantha had after taking the blow.
  • Bloody Mary from The Wolf Among Us can tell when other characters are scrying her with the Magic Mirror, and can hurt the mirror to end the scrying session prematurely.
  • One of the gene mods available in XCOM: Enemy Unknown allows your soldiers to send a psychic feedback pulse at an enemy Sectoid Commander or Ethereal attempting a psychic attack or Mind Control. While this doesn't decrease the chance of the attack succeeding, it might not matter if the alien is already weakened to the point where the feedback pulse finishes it off. This is an alternative to the gene mod that puts up a Psychic Static shield that drastically reduces the chance of an enemy psychic attack succeeding and makes the soldier immune to Mind Control.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Spirit Hunter: NG, when Akira uses his psychometry to witness one of Killer Peach's killings, she seems to be aware of his presence despite being in the past. She glares at the spot that Akira is viewing from and attacks it with her katana, causing Akira to panic and back out of the vision.

    Web Animation 
  • In LEGO Marvel Superheroes: Maximum Overload, Loki tends to spy on our heroes through special powers. One instance has him spying on the Hulk and the Hulk, having realized it, punches him, giving Loki a black eye.


    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-096 ("The Shy Guy"). SCP-096 knows when someone has seen its face, either directly or in photographs/videos (but not drawings), and also knows exactly where they are and will immediately make a beeline straight for them so it can murder them. During this time, it is an Implacable Man that cannot be stopped by any means. Incident 096-1-a occurred when the offending target spotted SCP-096's face in a mountaineering photo he took in 199█, where it made up a grand total of 4 pixels in the entire photo. Said photo had been displayed in the guy's house for years without incident because nobody had ever looked at those exact 4 pixels before.
    • SCP-1529 ("King of the Mountain"). SCP-1529 once used its signature "death by freezing" attack on someone watching through a telescope from miles away.
    • SCP-2582 ("Hammer & Nail"). SCP-2582 occurs to people who are in the men's restroom in a sports bar in Raleigh, North Carolina. They see a large, flat grey surface and hear the sounds of a handyman at work. In one case an experimental subject had a nail hammered through their pineal gland (an organ that some consider to be a "third eye" and involved in psychic abilities).
    • Inverted with SCP-2521 ("●●|●●●●●|●●|●"), who can be seen or depicted safely, but can immediately tell when anyone is talking or writing about it in words, and phases in to carry them awa-
  • Apparently not so uncommon in the Whateley Universe. For example, even as a freshman fairly new to the school, ki mistress Chaka once tricked the infamous "Don" Sebastiano into allowing himself to be found out trying to use his mind control on her by first closing her relevant chakra to stop his attempt and then distracting him enough that he completely forgot to drop the link as he would otherwise have — cue detention. Ironically, she didn't plan the second part. Eldritch (nee range instructor Erik Mahren) is not just certifiably crazy, but has deliberately turned her mind into a kind of psychic "minefield" for snooping telepaths to run into and experience some of the unpleasant parts of her former life as a marine firsthand ...and Phase has now figured out a way to do this. She drove off the most powerful psychic on campus. By concentrating on a Britney Spears song until said psychic begged her to stop. As he automatically reads the minds of those present, even if he doesn't want to, Phase was told off for doing this to the poor guy.
  • Chakona Space has a very good example in Tales of the Folly ch. 7. Neal Foster burns Windsong's tail. Later, Quickdash threatens worse if Windsong doesn't get out of her head.
  • Caleb from Critical Role carries an Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location, which prevents scrying spells from getting a lock on him. When a scrying spell targets someone else in the Mighty Nein, Caleb is able to counter the spell by holding the amulet up to the invisible scrying sensor, dispelling it. Fjord and Jester have also, on separate occasions, dispelled a scrying sensor once they noticed it following them.
    • When Jester later scries on Lucien in Eiselcross, he notices it, directly addresses her, and at one point shuts down the spell.

    Western Animation 
  • In the American Dragon: Jake Long episode "Supernatural Tuesday", the ogre gladiator Maximinus has a helmet that allows him to hear his opponent's thoughts and thus counter his fighting moves; Jake bests him by having the sorcerer Nigel pull the school alarm bell and overwhelming Maximinus with a blast of tween angst.
  • Justice League:
    • This happens so many times to J'onn J'onz in that he may as well not ever bother using his telepathy. In "A Knight of Shadows", he attempts to use his abilities to look across the world for Morgaine Le Faye. Being a powerful immortal sorceress, Morgaine doesn't look kindly to the intrusion and overpowers him with her magic. The rest of the episode involves her tormenting him with images of restoring his family and homeworld in exchange for a powerful artifact. In "Starcrossed", he does decide that the situation is critical enough that he'd rather force his way through the poke, but the results are unpleasant for everyone involved, especially the guy getting read.
    • In a bit of an inversion, Gorilla Grodd has placed telepathic safeguards in each member of the Legion of Doom that prevents them from having their minds read... unfortunately, the "safeguard" is shorting out the villains' synapses!
    • In "The Great Brain Robbery", two simultaneous attempts by villains and heroes results in a "Freaky Friday" Flip between Lex Luthor and the Flash. Hilarity ensues.
  • Star Wars Rebels: In "The Siege of Lothal", Ahsoka and Kanan attempt to use the Force to identify the lone pilot who is singlehandedly wiping out the Rebel fleet. At first, Ahsoka looks serene and focused, but as she makes contact with Vader's mind, her expression becomes increasingly uneasy. When he recognizes her, the emotional and psychic shock makes her fall unconscious.
    Darth Vader: The apprentice lives.
  • Teen Titans (2003) plays with this trope in "Haunted". Robin keeps seeing Slade wherever he goes and to make matters worse, he's the only one that can. Disturbed by Robin's increasingly erratic behavior, the Titans try unsuccessfully to convince him that what he is experiencing is all in head. He insists that they're wrong, citing his many bruises as evidence and asking if they think he did this to himself. Raven uses her powers to psychically connect with Robin and see Slade for herself. The next punch that Slade throws is so strong that it breaks the connection and sends her flying backwards.
  • The Venture Bros.: In the episode "The Doctor is Sin", Doctor Orpheus attempts to probe the mind of Doctor Killinger, only to for it to backfire on him, causing him to suddenly faint and suffer an explosive nosebleed. It's left open-ended whether or not if Killinger is simply immune to psychic probing and Orpheus overexerted himself trying to read, or if Orpheus accidentally discovered something that even his mystical mind could not fathom. Given what we learn about Killinger's true nature in "All This and Gargantua-2", it's likely that Orpheus wasn't able to see anything at all and Killinger simply overpowered him.
  • Done as a case of Mugging the Monster and then Bullying a Dragon to Miss Martian in Young Justice (2010) when psychic villain Psimon attempts to mentally assault her with her worst fears and insecurities. He wound up in a catatonic state for about five years.

    Real life 
  • Two words: Radar detectors.
  • There are devices that detect enemy snipers based on light reflections from their scopes.
  • Hackers are known to use tools like nmap to scan ports and detect devices on networks. However, there are tools that systems administrators can use to detect such scans.


Video Example(s):


"You're Watching Me~?"

Joseph attempts to use Hermit Purple to read DIO's mind via television, only to receive a red herring and a taunt from his nemesis.

How well does it match the trope?

4.96 (24 votes)

Example of:

Main / PokeInTheThirdEye

Media sources: