Follow TV Tropes


Puppy-Dog Eyes

Go To
It's not just for puppies.

Hobbes: I still don't think giving your mom "Bambi eyes" is going to get you a flamethrower.
Calvin: Maybe I should sniffle a little too, huh?

Be they cute little girls, or perverted old men, if they want to play on your sympathy, they'll turn eyes huge and shining with unshed tears upon you.

Generally, the younger the character doing it is, the more effective.

The reason this trope exists is because in real life children's eyeballs will have grown to their full adult size by age 3, making them look disproportionately big at that time.

Often a forerunner to Ocular Gushers. Tareme Eyes enhances the effect. Surprisingly, plays very well with a Cat Smile. Occasionally, the "victim" will respond with something along the lines of, "Don't try that trick on me: I invented that trick".



    open/close all folders 

  • In an old commercial for Kellogg's Corn Pops a teen has to resort to this because there's nothing else he can use against grandma to get the last bowl of cereal.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In episode 30, Little Cutie, a cleaning robot invented by Doctor H. that went rogue, attempts to distract Happy S. from attacking her by making cute-looking eyes at him. It distracts Happy S. for just long enough to give Little Cutie a chance to attack him back.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons episode 14, Tibbie has Wilie play a game called "Rescue the Hostage" (read: she wants to free the others from a cage Wolffy has them in). As they leave, Wilie makes puppy-dog eyes at his dad Wolffy when he refuses to let him and the goats play anywhere besides the area he points out, but it doesn't work and Wilie resorts to Crocodile Tears as a distraction.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Spider-Man: It's said that the reason why Peter Parker attracts so many women is because he has big brown puppy dog eyes.
    • X-Men: The art style in the "Childhood's End" arc of New X-Men tends to give all of the kids these, but Comic Book/X23 particularly stands out. Especially when she comes to join them in the "Danger Cave" while the others are blowing off steam cosplaying old X-Men missions, as seen here.
  • Plastic Man: The one-short villain Sadly-Sadly uses his permanently sad face to sway crowds to his whim, even getting one to beat Plastic Man to death. He's done in when he laughs it up at the funeral, getting a sock from a very-much-alive Plastic Man and a trip to jail.

    Comic Strips 
  • Adam@home: Katie practices doing this in the hope of getting a puppy dog, aptly enough, and later she actually uses it on her father, to his dismay. Then Adam's wife demonstrates that she can do it as well.
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Parodied in a strip where Calvin practices "Bambi eyes" in preparation for asking his mother if he can have a flamethrower.
  • Garfield:
    • In the August 4th 2013 comic, Garfield does this to Liz for a snack... and she does it right back at him. Garfield's response is to give his food to her and tell Jon "She's good."
    • In the January 6, 2016 comic, Garfield scoffs at Odie for using a cute puppy face to beg for food. When Odie gets a sandwich, however, Garfield decides to try it too, asking Odie if he's doing it right.
  • Mutts
    • In the strip for February 12th 2013, Earl and Mooch use this technique on a butcher.
    • In the March 12th 2013 strip, Earl tries to use this tactic on his owner as part of his "When are we going to play?" face.
    • In the strip for May 11th 2013, a dog in the pound does this to the reader.

  • Bloody Jack: Jacky Faber calls this technique "the big eyes" and employs it to subvert the Double Standard in her favor.
  • Cobra: Action Girlfriend Flood pouts at Burke at one point when she's sassing him. He thinks in response, I'd have given her a smack if I hadn't been afraid of permanent injury.
  • Eli's List: Eli gives this look to Iria to persuade her to take her up Mt. Corcovado.
  • Family Skeleton Mysteries: Sid is somehow able to give off this look, despite being a skeleton.
  • Lonely Werewolf Girl: A curiously literal version is performed by Kalix when she transforms fully into her wolf form to look cute for Moonglow at one point.
  • In Maximum Ride, Fang lets Angel keep Total when she gives him "the bambi eyes."
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
    • In The Last Olympian, Annabeth does "her big pleading gray eyes thing" on Hermes to get him to give her her mother's message.
    • The Heroes of Olympus: In The Mark of Athena, Percy deploys it to get a favor from Piper. She wonders how Annabeth says no to anything coming from somebody who can make himself look like a baby harp seal.

  • The Pillows released a song titled "Tokyo Bambi" that seems to imply this trope. Roughly translated, a line from the second verse is "Whatcha smiling about with those Bambi eyes?"

  • Cool Kids Table: In the Harry Potter-themed game Hogwarts: The New Class, Jake tries to convince McGonagall to buy him a pygmy gryphon by giving these to her, stating that he was adorable at eleven.
  • In Wolf 359, Eiffel's attempt at an intimidating expression is described by Hilbert as his "angry kitten face".

    Tabletop Games 
  • Arduin: Kill Kittens look like normal kittens. They pretend to have broken limbs and use whimpering and their big soulful eyes to lure victims into picking them up.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Larry Butz does a rather odd variant when he's sobbing.
    • Maggey Byrde also does this when she is extremely happy.
    • In Spirit Of Justice, Rayfa does this a few times, but only in the last case.
    • Also in Spirit of Justice: Ellen Wyatt in the bonus case does this in a manner similar to Larry when her Ocular Gushers start flowing.
  • Doki Doki Literature Club!: Sayori is also guilty of this, and tries to get the player character to buy her a snack. Unfortunately, she's tried this trick so many times that the player character doesn't fall for it.
  • Katawa Shoujo: Emi Ibarazaki is very fond of this trope. Hisao notes just how effective it is at making him relent.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Puppy Eyes, Puppy Dog Pout


Healin Good Pretty Cure

Nodoka tries to convince her parents to let her keep Latte, the princess of the Healing Garden, at her home. Latte gives them the cutest expression possible...and it works!

How well does it match the trope?

4.62 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / PuppyDogEyes

Media sources:

Main / PuppyDogEyes