Winking at someone to secretly get a message across. There are numerous reasons for this method: it's quick, it's discreet, and you don't need your hands — all you need is eye contact. Since winking often indicates that one is not being sincere, it's a good way to get across that you're just acting. If the person being winked at is simpleminded, expect them to ask if there's something wrong with the winker's eye.
This can also be achieved with two characters simultaneously winking at each other, which visually represents both parties knowing they're on the same page. If they're actually thinking of completely different things, it will often lead to an Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering? situation.
Subtrope of Meaningful Look and Facial Dialogue. Often used in an Aside Glance, to signal to the audience that the character knows he's in fiction. Might be combined with a Wink "Ding!" if the wink needs to be extra noticeable. If the character wants to make their own wink obvious, such as in a Lampshaded Double Entendre, they might say "wink!" Compare Once for Yes, Twice for No, which is often used with blinking, and see Hint Dropping, Prompting Nudge, "Be Quiet!" Nudge, Eyebrow Waggle, and Nose Tapping for other types of signalling gestures. See also Oblivious to Hints when the recipient fails to notice the wink, and I Do Not Speak Non Verbal when the wink is misinterpreted.
- In chapter 9 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, Kaguya winks at Hayasaka to signal her to come up with an excuse so she can walk to school by herself and experience being a normal student for once in her life.
- In issue 4 of Planetary, team leader Jakita and new recruit Elijah have an argument about how to handle a situation, which Elijah cuts short by taking the action he's been arguing for and silently daring Jakita to stop him. After he storms off, the third team member winks at Jakita and she smiles back; she actually agrees with Elijah, but she needed to see if he would propose the solution unprompted, and stick with it despite opposition, as part of assessing how well he's suited to the team.
- Calvin and Hobbes:
- One sequence has Calvin faking amnesia to get out of doing homework. He keeps up the act throughout dinner and bedtime. When he's closed inside his bedroom, he knowingly winks at Hobbes before yelling to his dad, "MISTER, THERE'S A TIGER IN MY ROOM!"
- When Calvin and Hobbes get invited to Susie's birthday party, Hobbes insists on dressing up for it, to Calvin's disgust. At the party, Susie acts indifferent to see Calvin but gives Hobbes a big hug and compliments his tie. Calvin admits Hobbes was right and begs him to stop winking to show his self-righteousness as Susie carries him around.
- Dungeon Keeper Ami: The Avatar winks at Cathy right before they throw the fight, getting him out of a fight he didn't want.
- The Last Son: In the climax of Book 3, Superman apparently decides to join up with General Zod, on the grounds of being sick of people who distrust him and even try to destroy him despite his efforts to do good. He then says to Agent Pryor "After today, things will get better for Earth" before winking, cluing her and Nick Fury that he's actually pulling a Fake Defector on Zod.
- Story Shuffle: From "Aftershock", when one Rainbow Dash is being dragged away from another one to keep them from interacting:
As she was being dragged back to Equestria, she exchanged a wink with her counterpart. This wasn't over. It was just the beginning.
- Yesterday Upon The Stair: Izuku does this multiple times. He winks at a ghost during the Quirk Apprehension test to convey that he can in fact see them. He winks at Aizawa during the USJ Incident to convey that he is stalling for the UA Faculty to arrive. And he winks at All Might to convey that his apparent alliance with All for One is a lie.
- Despicable Me 2: After Lucy saves Gru from a disastrous blind date by tranquilizing his date, she later tells Gru she just passed out drunk...or maybe got hit with a moose tranquilizer, and winks.
Lucy: Yeah, I'm winking because that's what actually happened.
- In Finding Nemo, Nemo pretends to go belly-up in his plastic bag to avoid being gifted to Darla. The other tank fish freak out at first, but are quickly calmed when Nemo discreetly winks at them.
- Luca: Right before Giulia leaves on the train for Genova to start school, she gives Alberto a quick wink while saying a heartfelt goodbye to Luca, showing their shared knowledge that she isn't actually leaving Luca, since she and Alberto planned for Luca to come to Genova and start school with her. Alberto winks back to show Giulia he knows what she's thinking about and will miss them both.
- In Robin Hood (1973), while disguised as the stork for the archery tournament, Robin gives a flower to Maid Marian and gushes about how it's an honor to be shooting "for the favor of a lovely lady like yourself." He adds that he hopes he'll win her kiss (part of the promised grand prize) and then winks, which tips her off as to his real identity.
- Toy Story: After a nightmarish few days at Sid's house, Woody and Buzz escape and drop into Andy's car from a rocket, where he finds them and concludes that they must have been in the car the whole time. The two toys share a wink signifying their shared knowledge that Andy's conclusion couldn't have been further from the truth.
- Elf: When Buddy expresses interest in asking Jove out, Michael tells him to just ask her, calling it a secret code girls have. Buddy asks Jove out in an unknowingly uneasy way and awkwardly winks at her, thinking he's passing on the "secret code" to her. She's visibly confused until Michael gestures at her to say yes.
- Enemy of the State: Robert winks at Brill after telling him, "Watch out for the FBI." Brill shows he understands by winking back.
- Twice in Ferris Bueller's Day Off:
- Ferris fakes being sick to miss school in front of his parents, but when his sister Jeanie walks in, he gives her a wink while acting like he's too dizzy to see her.
- At the end of Ferris' day off, Principal Rooney is about to punish him with another year of high school, but Jeanie steps in and acts concerned for him as if he's sick, giving him a wink to let him know she's helping him avoid punishment.
- Field of Dreams: Former baseball player Moonlight Graham tells Ray his one wish: if he ever got to bat in the major leagues, to stare down the pitcher and wink, "making him think you know something he doesn't." Later, Archie bats at his first game and gives a wink to the pitcher—giving a hint that young Archie and Moonlight are one and the same.
- In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Rocket stealth insults the Sovereign, then winks at Peter to signal that the insult was intentional. Unfortunately for Rocket, he fails at the "discreet" part by winking with the wrong eye, thus doing it in full view of the Sovereign.
- In I, Robot, Sonny pretends to take Dr. Calvin hostage, but winks at Spooner to let him know he's bluffing, a gesture that Spooner explained to him earlier.
- It's a Wonderful Life: After George finds Clarence's gift with a thank-you note, a bell on their Christmas tree rings. Zuzu explains that "every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings," leading him to realize it meant Clarence finally got promoted. Unknowingly to everyone else, George looks up and winks as a secret thank-you to Clarence.
- The Kentucky Fried Movie, as with everything else it does, parodies this relentlessly in the Show Within a Show, "A Fistful of Yen" (itself a parody of Enter the Dragon and similar martial arts movies inspired by Bruce Lee). During Klahn's Korean speech at the fighters' orientation, Loo makes a series of winks and facial gyrations to his secret contact who stands about 30 feet away facing him at Klahn's side. There's no way such a display could be kept secret in a garden full of fighters and guards, but no one else sees it anyway.
- The Last Jedi: Before going out to confront Kylo, Luke gives a wink to C3PO to remind him that he's got it under control. As a droid, C3PO can tell Luke's not really there, but plays along.
- In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: When Gandalf's party arrives at Rohan, the guards demand they disarm before meeting King Theoden. When they then ask Gandalf for his Magic Staff, the wizard implores them that they not "part an old man with his walking stick". When the guard relents, Gandalf shoots the rest of his group a quick wink, since they're now the furthest thing from "disarmed" they could probably be.
- In Pitch Perfect 2, Bumper asks Fat Amy if she wants to have sex later. She yells "No!", then shoots him a wink. Confused, he asks whether that meant yes or no. She replies, "Absolutely not," then winks again.
- Spy Kids:
- Floop winks at one of his Spy Kids to cue her to drop-kick Mr. Lisp.
- The kids enlist help from Machete to get spy gear, but don't hear from him again until he joins the final battle. When he enters, he turns to the kids and winks to remind them he hasn't forgotten about their mission.
- In Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox, as Artemis pulls off a scheme to help Holly, he looks her in the eye and winks to signal her to play along.
Play along, the wink said. I will get you out of this.
At least Artemis hoped this was what his wink communicated and not something like Any chance of another kiss later?
- Bridge to Terabithia:
- Jess' baby sister Joyce Ann bursts into tears, worried Santa won't know how to bring gifts to their chimney-less house. As Jess reassures her that Santa knows the way, he winks at his wiser sister May Belle to tell her that he bought all their Christmas gifts.
- When Jess helps Leslie and her parents redo a room, Leslie calls the room "worthy of..." Jess looks up, fearing she'll let the secret of Terabithia slip, but she finishes with "...of a palace." She looks over to Jess and winks, reassuring him that Terabithia is still their secret.
- This often happens in The Famous Five, when the children covertly communicate in front of the adults. In one such moment, Julian says he's tired, so they should go to bed. He then winks at the others, who yawn exaggeratedly, so Aunt Fanny sends them off to bed.
- Frank Einstein: Towards the climax of Frank Einstein and the Brain Turbo, T. Edison mind-controls every person in the stadium. He summons Frank to reveal how to get the Brain Turbo, which he stole from Frank through Klank, to maximum power. Frank monotonously explains how, but also states that it could cause Klank's head to explode. As Edison commands Klank, who's wearing the Brain Turbo, to do as Frank had explained, Klank sees Frank wink — Frank was not brainwashed unlike the others and was signalling to Klank to prompt him to think for himself.
- Good Omens plays with this when Sister Mary Loquacious and another nun try to switch out one baby with the baby Anti-Christ. Their winks to each other are intended to communicate long, complex statements such as "What are you doing wasting time here for? Kindly indicate which baby is the Anti-Christ and I'll go make the switch," and both misinterpret the other's winks.
Narrator: As methods of human communication go, a wink is quite versatile. You can say a lot with a wink.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: When Harry comes across a snake at a zoo, the snake signals to Harry that it can understand his speech by winking at him (somehow, despite snakes lacking eyelids.)
- Her Royal Highness: After Flora's Bait-and-Switch Comment where it looks like she's going to report Millie for her earlier rudeness, she winks at her, seemingly indicating that that was her way of getting back at her.
- In I Funny, Jamie is choking with fear at the stand-up comedy tournament semifinals, but he catches Cool Girl's eye in the audience and she shoots him a secret wink to reassure him, which helps him remember his set. Later when Jamie performs to the kids in his old hospital, he riffs on a joke his foster mom told him and gives her a quick wink to thank her for the material.
- Junie B. Jones: In "Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime," Junie B. receives a huge valentine from an anonymous secret admirer, and tries to figure out who it is by thanking each boy in her class and very badly winking at them. She finds out it was actually the class bully, Meanie Jim, who admits to teasing her because her funny comebacks make the class laugh. Their teacher catches them and reprimands them for teasing, and Jim secretly gives Junie B. a wink back.
- Discussed in Little Women, when Meg and Jo are attending a fancy party. Jo is concerned about her ability to maintain proper decorum, which is very important to Meg, so she suggests that if Meg spots her doing anything wrong, "just remind me by a wink, will you?" Meg immediately vetoes the idea because "winking isn't ladylike," and they work out a different code instead.
- My Teacher Is an Alien: In the third book, Hoo-Lan is seemingly comatose in sick bay after a psychic incident, but while Peter is visiting him, he briefly opens one eye. The movement immediately strikes Peter as significant, but it's not until half the book later that he realizes Hoo-Lan was winking at him, to signify that the coma was fake.
- In The Night of Wishes, Jakob, raven pet of the witch Tyrannia, keeps winking at Maurizio, cat pet of the wizard Bubonic, to clue Maurizio in on the fact that both are sent from the Council of Animals and were told to keep an eye on their masters. Of course it goes straight over Maurizio's head, who is flummoxed as to why the strange bird is trying to act all chummy. Bubonic, though, is the one who asks what is wrong with Jakob, and not Maurizio.
- In Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet wants Kitty and Lizzy to leave the room with her so Mr. Bingley can propose to Jane, so she winks at them. Lizzy, who knows what she's up to, just looks the other way, but Kitty innocently asks her mother why she is winking at them.
- Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: In Princesses in the Darkest Depths, Tim is given a wink and a thumbs up by Uncle while everyone else is distracted, to indicate what action he should take.
- Ramona Quimby: In Ramona Forever, Ramona asks her mother if she's keeping a secret from her, and Mrs. Quimby responds in the negative but winks at Mr. Quimby.
Ramona: You winked at Daddy!
- In the famous poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, the protagonist is afraid that St. Nick is up to no good, but he reassures the protagonist with a friendly wink and smile, letting him know that though the situation may seem strange, he means no harm.
- In The Westing Game, Sandy the doorman playfully winks at his game partner Turtle whenever he secretly references a past clue that might help them solve the game, and she loves it when he does. This turns out to be important when he winks as he appears to be dying, revealing that he isn't actually dead, his identity as Sandy is fake and he wanted to pull his character out of the game.
- Arrested Development has a variation. In "Top Banana", Michael visits his father in prison and laments that he needs to find a way to inject some money into the Bluth Company. His father tells him, "There's always money in the banana stand," and clicks his tongue. Unfortunately, Michael ignores the tongue click and fails to interpret his statement as there's literally money in the banana stand.
- Played with in El Chavo del ocho. Don Ramón gets a winning lottery ticket but can't find it, so Sr. Barriga, his tenant, doesn't believe he will pay him. While searching for it he hurts his eye and starts winking to lubricate it. Hilarity Ensues when El Chavo arrives and Don Ramón asks him some questions, and El Chavo thinks he wants him to lie since he is winking at him.
- Doctor Who: In "Journey's End", Captain Jack Harkness intentionally gets himself shot by a Dalek, as he possesses Resurrective Immortality that they don't know about. As the Doctor and Rose are being escorted out of the room, Jack, Playing Possum, gives a discreet wink to the Doctor to let him know that he's going to use the opportunity to sneak around.
- How I Met Your Mother: In "Bachelor Party", Ted makes Barney promise not to bring strippers to Marshall's bachelor party. Barney promises... and does a very obvious wink.
Ted: Barney, I want you to promise me. No strippers.
Barney: Okay, I promise. [wink]
Ted: I'm serious. No strippers.
Barney: So am I. No strippers. [wink]
Ted: Now say it without winking.
Barney: No strippers. [wink]
Ted: You just winked.
Barney: No I didn't. [wink]
- In "Sportacus Who?", Sportacus gets amnesia, then he gets better but pretends to still have amnesia. He winks at Stephanie to let her know he's just pretending.
- In "Who's Who?", Robbie Rotten creates a robot duplicate of Stephanie, leading to a Spot the Imposter scenario. The townspeople suggest a dance-off to determine which is the real Stephanie. The robot goes first and ends her routine with a flashy jump move; when the real Stephanie goes, she does an equally-impressive routine, but doesn't do a jump, instead winking at Trixie. The adults think that, since the robot did better, she must be the real one—but Trixie correctly realizes that only the real Stephanie would deliberately miss a move that she could easily do, because she has enough faith in her friends to know the truth. The wink was Stephanie's way of telling Trixie this plan, and it works perfectly.
- Loki (2021): In "Glorious Purpose," Loki reveals himself to be famed plane hijacker D.B. Cooper's true identity. A flight attendant asks him if she can get him anything, and he responds "I suppose we'll find out, won't we?", hands her a note, and winks—alluding to the knowledge he's hiding a bomb.
- In The Secrets of Isis, Andrea (or Isis) often gives a knowing wink to the audience.
- The Seinfeld episode "The Wink" is about George getting grapefruit juice in his eye and everyone misinterpreting his involuntary winking.
- In the Supernatural episode "Point of No Return", Dean is pretending to give in to the demands of the evil angel Zachariah to become the host for the Archangel Michael. While Zachariah recites a spell to summon Michael, Dean looks over at Sam and gives him a winking nod to assure him he's got an ace up his sleeve.
- Threat Matrix has the NSA coax a captured Soviet spy into revealing his contact, promising he'll be traded for Americans held captive in the Soviet Union. The man is given papers to sign agreeing to this, which he's told is basic boilerplate legalese. However, at the rendezvous as the clock strikes 11:00, the man removes his hat, which an alert agent recognizes as an "abort" signal. The Soviet agent knows that his contact will not get the same deal, because she is an American citizen, guilty of high treason.
- "The Cold Hard Facts of Life", a 1967 Murder Ballad by Porter Wagoner, has a lyric where a young, traveling salesman stops at a local liquor store to buy flowers and a bottle of champagne (to surprise his wife) and overhears a conversation between the clerk and a stranger in front of him in line. The stranger explains, as he buys his own liquor: "Her husband's out of town and there's a party," before winking at the clerk "as if to say, 'You know the rest.'" The salesman has a growing suspicious — then bad — feeling that his wife might be part of that "secret message wink"… confirmed when he walks in on his wife and the stranger having sex, leading to a brutal double murder.
- In the Parlor Game "Wink murder", the murderer kills the other players by winking at them, trying not to be noticed by the others.
- Westeros: An American Musical: Done with lampshading in "Small Council"; when a character with Chronic Backstabbing Disorder is introducing himself to another character, he turns and winks to the audience, indicating the insincerity of his prior words:
Petyr Baelish: Petyr Baelish, at your service, [turning to the audience and winking] I say with a wink.
- My Little Pony (Gameloft): In "The Pinkie Parents Problem" event, to get around not being allowed to tell Pinkie about the Cake family in the future, Lyra tells her a "hypothetical" story about "two totally made-up twin ponies" and their parents. At the end of the story, Pinkie winks at Lyra to show that she understands the charade.
Pinkie: Hmm… I see! And, just to make extra specially sure, these "parents"… they're "made up" and "hypothetical" too. "Right?"
Lyra: Stop winking at me every other word, Pinkie.
- The Simpsons: Tapped Out: The questline "Making a Racket" follows Homer and Kent Brockman's wife Stephanie in a doubles tennis tournament. However, Kent and Stephanie keep cheating by disadvantaging their opponents, and make this known by winking at each other. Homer thinks they're just winking for fun and continuously winks at both of them.
- In Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, Sly appears to have amnesia after taking a hit for Carmelita. Later, Bentley sees them together in Paris. Sly looks back at Bentley and shoots him a wink to signify he was faking the amnesia to be with Carmelita.
Bentley: That sneaky devil!
- In Quake's episode of Marvel Rising Ultimate Comics, she goes undercover to get close to the supervillain Taskmaster, and ends up having to help him fight Iron Man. When Taskmaster lets her finish him off, she stands over Iron Man, then winks before turning on Taskmaster.
- Awful Hospital: In comic 637, Scissie and Scissane use winks along with Scare Quotes to indicate that they know "Tori" is not really "Tori":
Scissie: [winking] Oh, of course, "Tori"... you really oughta be more careful with that stolen I.D!
- In Homestuck, Roxy frequently types out *wink* (usually misspelled as "wonk") while making innuendos and transparent hints, such as on several occasions when she drops messages that Jane likes Jake.
- Unsounded: When Hetr send Abby along with a local Peaceguard to "make certain all the detail are correct in his report", she winks at a captive Emil as she passes him indicating that she's going to kill the Peaceguard member, to Emil's horror.
- The Adventures of Tintin (1991): In "The Blue Lotus (Part One)", Tintin is captured by Big Bad Mitsuhirato, who injects him with the Madness Poison. When Tintin is released, he stands stunned for a few seconds, before noticing Mitsuhirato's servant, who delivered the poison, winking at him. Tintin then proceeds to feign insanity until he gets a chance to punch Mitsuhirato out. As it turns out, the servant was one of Wang Chen-Yee's moles who switched out the poison for something harmless, which was why Tintin was stunned at noticing himself not turning crazy.
- The Amazing World of Gumball: In "The Flakers", Gumball and Darwin get into a fight and Anais devises a blindfolded trust exercise to help them reconcile. As she explains the test, she winks to the camera showing she rigged it so forgiveness is the only option.
- Angelina Ballerina: There's an episode where the eponymous mouse girl is asked to hang from a wire as part of a school play. She's afraid to do it, especially because it's only one wire, and pretends to pass out to get out of doing it. Just before lying down, she winks at her friends to let them know she's not really passing out.
- Parodied in the Futurama movie The Beast with a Billion Backs when Leela brings the imprisoned professors a Smell-O-Scope disguised as a cake. She tries to wink at them to hint at what it really is, but given that she's a cyclops, they just think she's blinking. She then puts on some special glasses that simulate a wink, so they get the message.
- Gravity Falls: In "Into the Bunker", the Shape Shifter impersonates Wendy and brawls with her, forcing Dipper to determine the real one. Shifty gives a wink, but Wendy gives a more convincing signal, and Dipper sends an axe towards the impostor's chest.
- Green Eggs and Ham (2019): In "Mouse", Sam gets arrested and Guy wonders how to bail him out. Sam tells Guy with a wink that it "looks like a two-man job to me, if you know what I mean!" Guy gives Sam a knowing smile back, showing he gets the plan, and dashes off.
Narrator: Guy knew what Sam meant by that mischievous wink. He'd have to get caught, and thrown into the clink!
- Looney Tunes: At the end of the short Honeymoon Hotel (1934), the ladybug couple, who are in a murphy bed, wink at the audience and go back into the wall. On the bottom of the bed is a calendar with a baby on it, who also winks.
- Ninjago: In "The Forgotten Element", it appears Kai has betrayed his friends and is now helping Master Chen, the Big Bad of the season. In one scene, however, he lets his allies know by winking to them that it's all part of a plan.
- The Penguins of Madagascar: In "Kaboom and Kabust", after Rico and King Julien are told to stop making things explode, they agree but wink to each other to show they don't intend to change. Private asks why Julien winked, to which he tries to make an excuse before shoving the penguins away.
- Pound Puppies (2010): In "Once a Ralph, Always A Ralph", Ralph winks at Lucky and Ace on various occasions, as if imparting some unspoken meaning, though he claims that it's caused by his conjunctivitis. He also winks at the audience at the end. The true meaning behind his winks is left ambiguous, as are his motives in general.
Lucky: Did he just wink at me? What does that even mean?
- She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: In "An Ill Wind", Entrapta explains this trope to Wrong Hordak:
Wrong Hordak: You appear to have a facial tic. Is it cause for concern?
Entrapta: Oh, I'm winking. It indicates unspoken intent behind my words. In this case, our mutual deception of the Horde.
- The Simpsons:
- In "Trilogy of Error," Lisa attempts to bail herself and Homer out of eating Marge's disgusting organic breakfast with a wink, but he ruins the secrecy:
Lisa: Yech! I'll get us out of this. Say, Dad. Wanna go see my project for the school science fair? [winks]
Homer: No, Lisa. [winks] But I sure don't wanna eat this crappy breakfast. [winks]
[Homer and Lisa run out of the kitchen and Homer turns around to playfully wink at Marge]
- In the episode "Bart Star", Homer is furious at Bart for quitting the football team and pretends to quit his job to prove his point. He gives Mr. Burns an impromptu call, announces he's "quitting," and winks to signal that he's lying. Only after Marge tells him that Burns can't see him winking does he realize his mistake.
- In the episode "Bart Carny", Chief Wiggum tries using a series of winks to get Homer to bribe him into overlooking their rigged ring toss game; when even these less-than-subtle efforts don't get through to Homer, he shuts down the carnival stall.
Chief Wiggum: Let me put it this way. I'm looking for my friend, Bill. [looks at cash box] Have you seen any "Bills" around here?
Homer: No. He's Bart.
Chief Wiggum: Ugh. Listen carefully and watch me wink as I speak, okay? The man I'm really looking for, wink, is Mr. Bribe. Wink, wink.
Homer: [pause] It's a ring toss game.
Chief Wiggum: All right. That's it, I'm shutting this place down.
- In "Trilogy of Error," Lisa attempts to bail herself and Homer out of eating Marge's disgusting organic breakfast with a wink, but he ruins the secrecy:
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
- "Pull Up a Barrel" has Mr. Krabs tell a story about his old navy days. At the end of the story, he narrates that he freed a trapped pirate captain, whom he is implied to have a romantic relationship with; in the present day, Krabs and SpongeBob wink to each other over this fact, to Squidward's confusion.
- In "Evil Spatula", Mr. Krabs realizes that SpongeBob's new spatula is part of Plankton's latest scheme after he hears that it needs the Krabby Patty secret formula. He plays along as giving SpongeBob a formula but instead hands over another recipe (his explosive money-cleaning formula) and winks.
SpongeBob: Mr. Krabs, I think your blinker's broken.
Mr. Krabs: Just read it.
- Voltron: Legendary Defender: In "The Fall of the Castle of Lions", Allura finds out that Pidge is a girl disguising herself as a boy. She tries to get Pidge to open up to her about this by dropping heavy hints and winking conspiratorially.
- In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Big Day", Wander indicates that he's "doing a thing" (i.e. running a game on Lord Hater) with an exchange of winks with Sylvia ("Wink!" "Wink!"), leading to this dialogue later when Sylvia realizes that he got caught up in the trick he was playing to the point of taking it as seriously as Hater.
Sylvia: But the—the "wink!" What about the "wink!"?
Wander: It started as a "wink!"
- Rugby player Tom Williams was infamously caught on camera winking at a teammate during the Bloodgate Scandal, in which he faked a blood injury so that his team could make an illegal substitution.
- Jeremiah Denton, an American soldier captured by the Vietcong, blinked "T-O-R-T-U-R-E" in Morse code during a North Vietnamese propaganda broadcast, confirming that captured Americans were being tortured.