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Skintone Sclerae

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Except for Scooby.

"Oh, don't look at me! My eyes aren't even fully formed yet! No eye whites! It's a problem, I can't see a lot of colors."

You may notice that some cartoon characters don't have to have whites to their eyes. Well, they're certainly not white.

Skintone Sclerae are just that: As opposed to the irises being surrounded by white space, a character's skin will apparently go on into the eyeball.

Compare Black Bead Eyes — you could alternately describe this trope as Black Bead Eyes but with a small line to indicate the upper eyelid, sometimes eyebrows, and no more detail than that.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In Gaspard de la Nuit, an obscure French comic book series, all characters are drawn like this.
  • Norby: The characters' eyes shift from tiny black dots with skin-coloured sclerae to black dots with white sclera when the characters are closer, to fully-coloured irises when closest to the "camera". This is minimized in the second adaptation, which tries to preserve eye details even at a distance, but isn’t entirely absent.
  • Superman:
  • Tintin: The protagonist and supporting characters are all drawn like this. Herge' popularized the Ligne Claire (clear line) style of European comics and as a result, skintone sclerae and Ligne Claire are more often than not seen together.
  • Valérian: This was the norm in the earlier volumes.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Save for in extreme close-ups in Harry G. Peter's art eyes are just outlines with the interior the same color as the character's skin tone.

    Comic Strips 
  • While drawn in a relatively realistic fashion, the characters in Funky Winkerbean have black-and-skintone eyes.
  • The characters from Peanuts, human and animal alike. Particularly noticeable when they made a "troubled" face.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Animated Adaptation of Batman: Year One and the DC Showcase: Catwoman features every character with these.
  • In the automobile version of Hamm the piggy bank seen at the end of Cars, his windshield is colored pink like his paint instead of white like everyone else's.
  • In The Rescuers, the mouse characters have sclerae the same color as their fur, to give the illusion of having the black eyes of real mice without sacrificing the expressiveness of traditional Cartoony Eyes, though there were a few exceptions where the mice had filled in eyes, either by accident or because they just had some strong moonshine that caused their eyes to flash red and blue for a few seconds.
  • The characters in the Disney Winnie-the-Pooh films have button eyes, occasionally drawn with eyelids but no sclerae for the sake of an expression. This is justified in the case of the stuffed characters, but the same style was used on Christopher Robin as well, perhaps to match the simple pen-and-ink illustrations of the original books.note 
  • Yellow Submarine plays this straight with the Beatles themselves, except for John, who wears glasses.

  • Everyone in the Mr. Men series, except Mr. Sneeze. When glasses-wearing characters are seen without their glasses, they count as well; when they are wearing their glasses, they have Eye Glasses.
  • In the Rainbow Magic books, all of the characters have these, but it's most prominent in the movie.

    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • On The Funday Pawpet Show, while watching an episode of "The Dukes" Lisel mentioned that this practice freaked her out.

    Western Animation 
  • This was common on Hanna-Barbera shows of the 1960s and '70s. Most of the human characters in the various Scooby-Doo shows, for instance. No doubt this was motivated by the low budgets of the shows, as not having to paint the eyes saved a bundle on paint.
    • Despite having a higher budget, coming after several series that did feature white sclerae, and it not really saving any money with digital coloration in use, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated returns to the skintone look to make the cast look more like their 1969 selves.
    • Several Scooby-Doo direct-to-DVD movies beginning with "Abracadabra Doo" followed the aforementioned show by giving the characters their original designs and giving them skintone sclerae.
      • In "Moon Monster Madness", the human characters have white sclerae when wearing their space helmets.
    • Penelope Pitstop had skintone sclera in Wacky Races, but later got white sclera in her own show.
    • Hanna-Barbera continued this practice into the early 1980s. In the animated series of The Little Rascals, only Buckwheat and Darla have white sclerae.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Alan is a balloon whose face is entirely drawn, and his eyes are the same color as his "body".
  • Human characters in Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
  • The Archie Comics animated adaptations produced by Filmation (another company that, like Hanna-Barbara, utilized low budgets for their shows), including The Archie Show and Sabrina and The Groovie Goolies. Filmation would eventually abandon this and give their characters' eyes white sclera in later cartoons such as Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983).
  • The majority of characters in Codename: Kids Next Door have Black Bead Eyes, but a few girls (usually the more glamorous ones, like Numbuh 10) are depicted with upper eyelids and lashes, which produces this effect.
  • Almost every character in Daria. The most notable exceptions were Brittany, Stacy, Jodie, Mr. O'Neill, and Mr. DeMartino. Ms. Barch, the man-hating divorced science teacher, had skintone sclerae from seasons 1 to 3. When the show's animation changed in seasons 4 and 5, she was redesigned to have whites around her eyes.
  • This trope sees plenty of use in the DC Animated Universe, most famously for Superman (except in closeups and in Static Shock) and Billy Batson/Captain Marvel (this also applies to non-DCAU production Batman: The Brave and the Bold). It's also used just shy of consistently for Asian characters.
  • Dorg Van Dango: Dorg is the only character to have these, being revealed when he's not wearing glasses, thus an example of the trope of nearsighted cartoon characters being depicted this way.
  • Monique from Kim Possible had these in the first season. In other seasons she has the same eyes as everyone else.
  • Unlike most of the other characters, which have well detailed eyes, the platypodes in Kulipari: An Army of Frogs have Hanna Barbera type sclerae.
  • Mickey Mouse in his earlier appearances in the Classic Disney Shorts. Later depictions of him portray him as having normal-looking eyes.
  • Everyone in Mike Tyson Mysteries has these to parody the art style of the original Scooby-Doo.
  • Miss Finster from Recess.
  • Eileen from Regular Show. Justified as she's a mole.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series. Most noticeable with Uhura, of course.
  • Babies in Steven Universe, unlike adults and children, have flesh-colored eye.
  • Most of the characters in Xiaolin Showdown have small round eyes with flesh-colored sclerae. Omi's eyes are more of a Black Bead Eyes since they don't even have the upper eyelid the other human characters have, while non-human characters like Dojo have normal eyes.
  • Brit Crust from My Life as a Teenage Robot.
  • Most of the Asian characters from American Dragon: Jake Long.


Video Example(s):


J.P.'s Eyes

J.P. reveals his eyes aren't fully formed yet and has no eye whites and it's a problem because he can't see a lot of colors.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

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Main / SkintoneSclerae

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