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Thousand-Yard Stare

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He's not staring right at you, he's staring right through you. note 

"This is where Cameron's soul snaps like a Twix bar."

The lights are on, but nobody's home. Not anymore.

A character who has just gone through some sort of trauma, learned something they probably didn't need to know, or seen something they really shouldn't have had to, will often have an unfocused, vacant stare into a vast abyss of nothingness, slipping into a shock and weariness from which it is very hard to escape.

Note that this trope describes the stare/facial expression itself, and not what causes it or anything related.

The term "thousand-yard-stare" is believed to have originated in World War I, and was coined for the faces of battle-weary soldiers. It was popularized in World War II and named for the perception that such stares really do seem to be able to see very far ahead. Eyes cross a little when focusing on something reasonably close, but eyes not looking at anything will behave like eyes looking at something very far away. Dull Eyes of Unhappiness can look similar to this, but they're chronic while this trope tends to be transitory.

See also Heroic BSoD, for what usually goes hand-in-hand with this. A character who exhibits this may be on their way to developing post-traumatic stress disorder and thus may develop into a Shell-Shocked Veteran. Such a veteran though may show it as well, particularly if it's something which helps them feel comfortable and cope after their duty is done.

Compare Empty Eyes and Blank Stare. Not related to the "Thousand Yard Stare of Impending Flashbacks", an affliction near universally shared by the characters of Lost.

Very much Truth in Television, and common in PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) patients.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Discussed during the initiation of new recruits. One officer notices the Drill Sergeant Nasty completely ignores some of the recruits during his hazing process, and wonders over this. His companion points out the ones being ignored have already been broken down, with their blank stares revealing them to be survivors of previous Titan attacks, and to tear them down any more would be pointlessly cruel.
    • Eren makes this face at the beginning when Hannes asks him about his father's whereabouts.
    • Armin exhibits this multiple times throughout the series, especially during the Battle of Trost after watching his squad mates, including his best friend, get crunched by Titans.
    • After Levi returns from the mission that the Female Titan had sabotaged, he is greeted by Petra's father, wanting to discuss his beloved child's future, not knowing Petra had died. Levi's face is completely frozen, not speaking or even blinking, during the whole time the father was talking.
      • Played for Laughs during the Survey Corps reconnaissance tour in Marley, where a clown mistakes Levi for a kid and demands his attention.
    • Both Eren and Mikasa experience this in Chapter 49 when they see the Titan that killed their mother five years ago slowly approaching them. Cue Roaring Rampage of Revenge...
  • In Azumanga Daioh, Chiyo-chan does this whenever Yukari's driving is mentioned since she barely survived it.
  • Berserk:
    • This serves as another deconstruction for Casca's post-Eclipse behavior. After going through a very heinous ordeal of being raped by her former captain-turned-demon lord Griffith right in front of her lover Guts, Casca shows very realistic signs of rape trauma syndrome, one of them being that she often vacantly zones off and stares at nothing. Prominently shown on the hilltop scene when she miscarries her baby.
    • Guts showed very similar signs the morning after his own traumatic rape at Donovan's hands back when he was a little boy.
  • In A Cruel God Reigns Jeremy displays this very often, every morning after his stepfather sexually or physically abuses him. As the series progresses, his gaze becomes like this most of the time, especially when he is close to one of his several instances of Heroic BSoD.
  • In Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, David makes this face after he and Lucy escape from the bloodbath the Tanaka Sr. data heist turned out to be. Despite David's best efforts, Maine ends up killing himself and MaxTac agents after he crosses the Despair Event Horizon by accidentally killing Dorio. The only things David has left after this debacle are Lucy and Maine's cybernetic arms, and the events kick off his own gradual descent into cyberpsychosis.
  • Death Parade, being a show about emotions and trauma, has many instances of this. Notably:
    • Misaki in episode 4 stares blankly at the ceiling while breastfeeding her baby, with her two older kids sleeping in the background. She is a victim of Domestic Abuse and there are very clear bruises on her face, while she narrates about having almost given up hope.
    • Yousuke glares the sunrise before jumping out of his window and committing suicide.
    • The guests in episodes 8 and 9 both get these after they remember there was someone they wanted to kill. At the end of episode 9, Decim also has these while he stares blankly at Tatsumi’s mangled body, though it likely has more to do with Chiyuki’s "The Reason You Suck" Speech that came just before.
    • Chiyuki herself does this twice: Once in a flashback after finding out she’ll never be able to skate again, and again in the finale before she almost decides to sacrifice someone else’s life in order to live again.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Mustang and Hughes discuss it during the Ishvalan war. Hawkeye approaches, and Mustang laments that Hawkeye has the stare too.
  • In Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, this happens when Sōsuke believes he's failed in protecting Kaname. This happens again after Gauron tells Sōsuke that Kaname was killed by Yu-Lan and Sōsuke snaps.
  • Gundam:
    • Amuro Ray of Mobile Suit Gundam develops one after extended combat on Earth. Even a Bright Slap ain't fixing that. His recovery doesn't really start until the next series.
    • Chibodee Crockett of G Gundam has one while wandering around in a (somewhat violent) daze resulting from his clown phobia.
    • Kira Yamato of Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny looks like this following the conclusion of the Bloody Valentine War. He spends most of his time sitting on his porch, staring off into space, and flashing back.
    • Setsuna F. Seiei of Gundam 00 has a permanent one. Being an ex-Child Soldier will do that to a guy.
    • Asemu Asuno of Gundam AGE does this briefly after his No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of Decil Galette, who just killed Woolf.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Joseph gets one at the end of Battle Tendency when he learns, to his absolute horror, that Lisa Lisa is his mother, when he had previously done multiple perverted acts around her.
  • Kaiju Girl Caramelise: After a thoroughly awkward date with Arata capped off by undergoing a Partial Transformation right in front of him, Kuroe hides in a Destinyland bathroom with this look on her face while feeling convinced that she has totally blown things with him.
  • Fate from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has this look after being whipped by her mother.
  • Monster Rancher: Displayed by Hare when it looks as though his rival Tiger was killed in "Tiger Meets His Match". While the others are all gathered around and looking at Tiger's lost disc in despair, Hare stares off into the distance with a slack expression, only reacting when Genki addresses his apparent murderer and Jagd Hound responds "What are you going to do about it?" Cue tears and Hare charging in an Unstoppable Rage.
  • In Naruto, victims of the Tsukuyomi generally end up like this.
  • In No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!, Kii-chan gets one when her pedestal gets broken in terms of her idolization of Tomoko.
  • One Piece:
    • In the Marineford arc, after Ace gets killed.... oh God, the look on Luffy's face, of all people.
    • Zoro's expression after taking all of Luffy's pain in Thriller Bark. It even got to the point of almost being a case of Died Standing Up until Zoro speaks up and says "Nothing happened."
  • Oz Vessalius from PandoraHearts sports this expression while in a Troubled Fetal Position after having one of his best friends disappear in front of him, getting shot by the other best friend, and then proceeding to realize everything he thought he knew about himself and his connections to other people was a lie, thus triggering Tomato in the Mirror, Heroic BSoD, Loss of Identity, and a bunch of other unpleasant tropes.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The face Mami gets before getting eaten.
  • Tsukune Aono of Rosario + Vampire has one halfway through the second manga season. It's desolate, and if it looks like he's given up... it's because he has. Cue Carnage and mayhem.
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • The titular protagonist starts doing this when his angst level picks up late in the manga, though his first uses are after taking absurdly heavy damage in the Shishio arc. Maxes out during his especially persistent Heroic BSoD and 10-Minute Retirement to the slum of despair. Scares everyone in its first major appearance right after Enishi formally declares his Jinchuu.
    • A less pitiful-looking version was also employed back when he was Hitokiri Battousai, aka Teenage Kenshin, and attempting to put off his moral crisis and shellshock for as long as possible so as to fulfill his duty.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Simon develops this after the death of his "big brother" Kamina, and keeps it for a few episodes until he experiences a He's Back!.
  • Vash the Stampede of Trigun is prone to this expression when pushed far enough. Even leaving aside his Heroic BSoD after Legato's death, he will do this while smiling sometimes. Nothing emphasizes his isolation from humanity better or more tragically than a sad-Vash thousand-yard-smile, especially if he's doing something like hugging Miss Elizabeth while she breaks down over his not being evil, after trying to blow up the town to kill him.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yami has the stare twice after That Duel — i.e. the one where he uses the Seal of Orichalcos. The first is when Rafael defeats him; the second is when he's wracked with guilt after Yugi sacrifices his own soul to save him.

  • The Trope Namer and page image is That 2,000 Yard Stare by Thomas Lea, set at World War II's Battle of Peleliu.

    Comic Books 
  • Depictions of Batman's origin often show young Bruce with this look as he stares at the bodies of his parents in the alley after they're shot.
  • Black Hammer: Colonel Weird sports a perpetually haunted expression due to his deeply unpleasant experiences with the Para-Zone.
  • Maus: Vladek recounts one young guard in the Auschwitz work camp who was unusually friendly (most guards wouldn't even be willing to talk to the prisoners), but was gone for a few days because he pulled a few shifts in the Birkenau extermination camp. When he returned, he looked pale and kept staring into the distance because of what he had seen. When Vladek tried to ask him what was wrong, the guard nervously yelled at him to shut up and keep moving. The guard never spoke to any of the prisoners again.
  • NYX: The very first appearance of X-23 in the comics is of her staring blankly at the blinking "Vacancy" sign of the seedy, rundown motel where she has just finished a session with a John. She spends the rest of the issue in virtually mute catatonia, and is visibly traumatized for much of the series. She'll occasionally lapse back into this once she joins the X-Men after a particularly brutal Trauma Conga Line.
  • The Punisher: In a Fictional Document, the soldier who was the first to find Frank Castle in the middle of hundreds of dead Vietcong and Marines mentioned thousand-yard stares as common enough in Vietnam, so you can imagine what he felt like when describing Franks as a million-mile stare.
  • In Supergirl storyline Many Happy Returns, Kara does this when she meets Post-Crisis Superman and tries to talk him into being partners but Clark — who doesn't know she is his cousin and mistakenly believes her to be an obsessed fan — turns her down.
    Linda: By the time we found her up on the roof, she was just... sitting there. Staring off into space. She wouldn't talk to us... wouldn't even look us in the eye.
  • Superman's Pal: Jimmy Olsen (2019): Jimmy sports a rather traumatized expression during the last panel of "Doc Mantel's Final Theorem" after seeing the doctor obliterated just before the emergency mechanism yanked him back to safety.
  • In The Walking Dead, Sophia has one after her mother commits suicide in front of her.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): The PTSD-afflicted Vivienne and the ancient, weary Godzilla both have moments where they display this gaze. Vivienne observes that Godzilla's gaze often looks tired and world-weary as if he's looking right through someone. Whilst the look in the now-Titan Vivienne's eyes is compared by the human characters to the look of a soldier coming home from war for the first time.
  • Azula often gets a glassy eyed stare in Ash and Petals. This is in part due to her mental illness and in part due to trauma.
  • The Bridge: Xenilla sports this look after King Sombra made him hallucinate his greatest fear. It takes several days and then a huge pep talk from Blade Dancer to snap him out of it.
  • A Crown of Stars: Shinji recounts that one time Asuka allowed him to have sex with her (a while before their reconciliation and Relationship Upgrade), she was more akin to a mannequin, and that when he saw this look in her eyes, it completely killed what little mood there was.
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Days Of Future Smurfed", Empath's friends notice this happening to Empath whenever he witnesses a time jump in his memory that he experiences firsthand, taking him to whatever future point in time the time jump takes him.
  • Fallout: Equestria:
    • Fallout: Equestria - Occupational Hazards: Twintails develops a nice healthy case after the second battle of Pripytrot, after charging across the enemy trench lines he'd only just had strafed with high-velocity White Phosphorous shells.
    • Fallout: Equestria - Empty Quiver:
      • The years haven't been kind to Twintails following the finale of Occupational Hazards, as while looking north towards where NEAMO was he falls silent, and when Night Strike prompts him to come back to his senses he jumps about and levels both of his automatic rifle barrels upon her. Mercifully, he refrains from opening fire on his own daughter.
      • Night Strike's no stranger to this either, especially following a harrowing moment wherein she ends up stuck in the middle of a tunnel as the entrance is struck with a fuel-air bomb. When a song comes over the radio that happens to feature a jet engine roar followed by an explosion, she ends up screaming and trying to save herself from the lack of danger, much to the worriment of her friends.
  • The Night Unfurls:
    • Being a Shell-Shocked Veteran hunter, Kyril does this a lot in front of almost anyone or when in deep thought, something that disturbs the people around him.
    • During Maia's narration in Chapter 12 that shows her coping with the Rape as Drama from the previous chapter, she at one point gazes emptily ahead while doing a Troubled Fetal Position.
    • Olga stares blindly ahead while drinking for nights as her loyal servant and surrogate daughter Chloe is in critical condition, and she could do nothing but hope that she wakes.
  • In the Free! fic seen everything there is to be shown, Seijuurou walks in on Rin and Haru having sex in the pool office and runs out "sporting a 900-meter-stare more commonly seen in war veterans than in swim team captains."
  • In the fanmade prequel story of Girls und Panzer Koume's Road, Koume developed a Thousand-Yard Stare no thanks to the trauma caused by the increasingly hostile student body that saw her as the cause of their recent defeat against Pravda, as well as her own personal guilt and self-loathe. She got better in the end of the story.
  • Riding a Sunset: All of the Autobots (even Prime) have these after Ratchet's impromptu lecture on how the human body works.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, Victoria does this during and after her wedding to Lord Barkis.
  • Used in two ways in Fantastic Mr. Fox. First as a Running Gag for maintenance man Kylie who keeps slipping into these over the course of the film but it's never stated that he suffered from some kind of trauma that would explain it, it is just accepted as a personality quirk. The second is in the finale where Mr. Fox must run for his life from a rabid beagle for several minutes before narrowly escaping, the trauma of which gives him one of these for a moment.
  • In A Goofy Movie, PJ gets one in the principal's office, as he dreads facing a harsh punishment from his father in an equally vacant tone.
  • In the final segment of The Iron Giant, a soldier is seen with this expression holding a walkie talkie, staring at the scene before him in shock. Even after the general drives by and grabs the communicator from him, the man remains standing with the same vacant expression after they drive away.
  • In Rango, one of the supporting characters goes into this as a "defense mechanism" to keep her from recognizing her abandonment issues with her dead father.
  • In Turning Red, Mei has this expression on her face while walking out of the Daisy Mart right after Ming severely embarrasses her.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, Calhoun's eyes snap forward in a stare when Felix calls her "one dynamite gal." Cue the Troubled Backstory Flashback.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Animal Kingdom, Darren, the youngest Cody brother, develops one after getting raped in jail.
  • In Apocalypse Now, Willard sports one right at the end, after he completes his mission.
  • Jason in April Showers has one of these on his face a lot of the time after the school shooting.
  • Tony Stark's reaction to the Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the most infamous examples of this trope in modern history during Avengers: Infinity War. While on Titan planning to deal with Thanos, after Peter Parker asks what it is that the Guardians do, Mantis responds with, "Kick names. Take ass." Drax nods and agrees proudly, "That's right." The camera swings back to Tony, staring off into the distance in stunned, disbelieving silence for several seconds, and the expression on his face clearly says Surrounded by Idiots before he eventually snaps out of it and has to just accept his fate. It's positively hysterical.
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Lois Lane has one after Clark's Heroic Sacrifice. It's especially notable when she's lying on Clark's bed during his wake, staring up at the planets hanging from the ceiling.
  • In Battle Royale, Yuko has one just before she tries to poison Shuya and ends up killing all of her friends.
  • Boogie Nights: During the scene at Rahad Jackson's house, a drug-addled Dirk stares into space for what seems like an eternity.
  • Robert the Bruce in Braveheart, during a My God, What Have I Done? moment when seeing the carnage on the battlefield of Falkirk he helped to commit.
  • Color Out of Space (2020): In the final scene, the Sole Survivor of the movie's events is left staring out over the dam built atop the site of the Color's infestation, visibly haunted.
  • In The Dead Center, John Doe is a reanimated corpse who escapes from the morgue and collapses into the nearest hospital bed he can find. The nurse attending to the bed next to him find him the next morning, laying on his side, eyes wide open, and catatonic.
  • In District 9, Wikus has one of these in the back of a MNU van after he has crashed Christopher's command module and has been apprehended by Koobus.
  • Dredd. Judge Anderson's reaction the first time she executes a criminal. She snaps out of it on catching Judge Dredd staring at her.
  • Edge of Tomorrow. William Cage is stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, condemned to fight the same bloody battle, get killed, then be woken at the start of the day by a kick from a Drill Sergeant Nasty. After watching his female colleague die yet another horrible and pointless death he wakes up yet again, and the drill sergeant forgoes his abuse and silently hands Cage his gear in recognition of this trope. Then when Cage is being strapped into his Powered Armor, he's told off by fellow soldier Griff for not wearing a helmet. Cage says the helmet is a distraction during combat and demands extra ammunition, grenades and power packs. Griff looks like he's going to object, but one look at Cage's crazy eyes convinces him otherwise.
  • Full Metal Jacket:
    • Payback gives an extended speech about this:
      Payback: The thousand-yard stare. A marine gets it after he's been in the shit for too long. It's like... it's like you've really seen beyond. I got it. All field marines got it.
    • Joker himself gets to do the stare after shooting a sniper as a Mercy Kill.
  • In Godzilla (2014), Dr. Ishiro Serizawa acquires one in the aftermath of the male Muto's awakening.
  • Harry Potter:
  • In Jurassic World, Owen has one after seeing his youngest Velociraptor, Charlie, blown to pieces right in front of him. Only the sounds of Barry screaming knock him out of it.
  • Directors like to get shots of Christopher Lambert doing this. Given he's pretty much blind in any role in which he isn't wearing glasses, it's because Lambert literally can't see much of anything in front of him.
  • Marius from Les Misérables (2012) sports one of these after the events in the barricades. It takes a love song from Cosette to pull him out of it. He sports another at the end of the film due to (Word of God confirming this) him hearing his dead comrades from the barricades singing to Valjean from Heaven.
  • The very first shot we see in Melancholia is Justine in her wedding dress, giving the audience a disconcerting stare while dead birds fall from the sky in super slow-motion.
  • Thomas Andrews in A Night to Remember. When a steward finds him alone just before the sinking and asks, "Aren't you even going to make a try for it, sir?" Andrews shoots him an absolutely terrifying one of these.
  • Jan in None Shall Escape has a permanent one on his face after the Polish defeat by the Nazis.
  • In Paths of Glory, General Mireau inspects his troops in the trenches before an assault. One soldier is just standing there with a vacant stare, unable to answer questions about his family. The general sends him off for "cowardice."
  • In Platoon, Chris after he kills Barnes. And just as dramatically, when Chris first arrives in Vietnam, one of the soldiers boarding the plane back to the States sports a doozy of one.
  • In Predator, Dutch delivers one in the final shot of the movie after he's picked up by the rescue helicopter, most likely reflecting on the fact that his entire squadron is dead at the hands of the Predator.
  • Towards the end the Turkish film Propaganda, the Villain Protagonist Mehdi falls into a Despair Event Horizon after arresting his own son and ordering the shooting of the local village madman. Even as his dragon is trying to rouse him, all he can do is to play with the bullet that shot the madman with an empty expression.
  • Rafiki: Ziki in the police station, after having been beaten up by homophobic guys before being arrested, stares vacantly at nothing.
  • Invoked in Rambo IV when an Australian mercenary informs Rambo that he's seen the thousand-yard stare before. He's not impressed, but his opinion changes after the shit hits the fan.
  • WWII veteran and B-movie star Audie Murphy, who saw many of his comrades in arms killed and is credited with personally killing, wounding or capturing more than two hundred Axis soldiers, had a particularly bleak and distant stare, which director John Huston put to good use in The Red Badge of Courage. Murphy developed a warmer and somewhat more animated screen persona around 1953, perhaps due to the birth of his beloved son Terry, but he never really lost the thousand yard stare.
    • Murphy's use of this became a bit of a problem for co-star Sir Michael Redgrave during the filming of The Quiet American (1958). Redgrave asked Director Joseph Mankiewicz if he could get Murphy to blink more often. Mankiewicz didn't take any action, possibly feeling that Murphy's stare suited his character in the film.
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife opens with Patient Zero of the Zombie Apocalypse, a J Pop Girl with an empty stare, standing in the middle of the Shibuya Scramble Crossing heedless of the rain. However this changes when she suddenly locks eyes with a passing salaryman and does a Deadly Lunge for his throat.
  • If there is a fetish for thousand-yard stares, the film version of The Road is your fuel.
  • The Sack Of Rome (1993). After German mercenaries break into his home, rape his wife and kill her brother, then destroy his paintings, the artist and his young wife are shown staring listlessly while the mercenaries party in the ruins. He barely reacts when a sympathetic authority figure shows up to remonstrate them for harming this famous artist.
  • Commonly, the expression on some of the characters in Saving Private Ryan (indeed, the beginning graveyard scene ends with this). This was a case of Enforced Method Acting: the entire cast was run ragged, interminable military exercises — except Matt Damon (who plays Pvt. Ryan). It even made the cast resent Damon, which was entirely the point.
  • Actually the subject of a joke in Shaun of the Dead: Diane is giving her impromptu zombie-acting lesson, and compliments Barbara for successfully displaying one of these. Barbara: "Sorry dear. I was miles away.." It eventually turns out Barbara has been bitten by a zombie.
  • Angela in the original Sleepaway Camp has one of these. It's one of the most memorable aspects of the film.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:
    • Captain Terrell has one when they find him on Regula I.
    • And then Admiral Kirk when Spock dies.
  • The little girl found at the beginning of the movie Them! She is the sole survivor of giant ants that attacked the trailer she and her parents were in. Formic acid fumes revive her screaming "Them!"
  • Superman: The Movie: After sending Zod and his friends to the Phantom Zone, Jor-El participates in a council session where his warning that Krypton will explode within a month and recommended evacuation are shot down by the Council and he is threatend with criminal prosecution if he warns anyone. Jor-El has a thousand yard stare as he realizes that not only are he and his wife doomed to die in the very near future, but the entire planet and Krypton's entire civilization will as well. Unless...
  • Thor: Ragnarok:
    • When Loki attempts to talk to Thor in the dungeons the evening before the Gladiator fight, Thor just throws rocks through Loki's illusion, not answering him, and when he runs out of rocks he just stares into space.
    • Played for Laughs: When Thor gleefully tells Hulk that Loki is alive, it seems that the entire life flashes before the God of Mischief's eyes. He blankly stares into vast nothingness as if his soul is leaving his body, recalling his previous experience with the friendly green monster.
  • Teenaged Rosetta reacts this way in Two Women after she is gang-raped by some French Moroccan soldiers. She stares blankly for a while, and even after snapping out of her catatonia she shows this look a lot.
  • Plenty in The War Game due to its docudrama portrayal of a nuclear attack on Britain. Most interviewees After the End just stare listlessly into the camera when answering questions.
  • The movie made of Antti Tuuri's The Winter War ends in Martti's apathetic stare while the Russians loudly celebrate the cease-fire.
  • Wonder Woman (2017):
    • Steve momentarily stares glassy eyed when regaling the Great War's horrors to the Amazons ("It's like nothing I've ever seen... it's like the whole world's gonna end!")
    • When the crew-assembled-so-far is wading through the returning wounded soldiers, several of them are in such a state as well, most prominently a helmetless young soldier being led through the crowd by another one.
    • Diana is left in such a daze after watching Steve's Heroic Sacrifice, teetering dangerously close to the Despair Event Horizon, and then vanquishing Ares. She's just emotionally spent after all that.

  • The Black Ice: Detective Bosch has an 18-year-old petty criminal drug pusher thrown into the adult lockup overnight, in an effort to get him to divulge information. When the boy comes out he's showing the Stare. Bosch is so ashamed that he immediately cuts the kid loose.
    "He looked like he had aged ten years in the last ten hours. Now he had a distance in his eyes that reminded Bosch of men he had seen and known in Vietnam."
  • In Dragon Bones the empty stare is a sign that Oreg is not quite there at the moment. He is older than he looks and has been a slave for most of his not-life. With all that implies.
  • In Harmonic Feedback, Naomi has a glassy, vacant stare when she arrives at school on speed.
  • In Mrs. Dalloway, Septimus Warren Smith, a WWI vet suffering from "shellshock" makes a habit of trying to people-watch with a thousand-yard stare, eventually committing suicide.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Altered Carbon. In "Clash by Night", Takeshi Kovacs has one after The Reveal that his sister Reileen betrayed the Quellists in the past and is the Hidden Villain behind events in the present. Unusually for this trope, he actually manages to hold a conversation while maintaining it.
  • In Angel, Faith spends much of "Sanctuary" in this state, and is so detached from herself, that she picks up a butcher's knife without even realizing it at one point.
  • One of the soldiers on leave in Band of Brothers (the whole episode focused on various soldiers dealing with the sudden change from battle to civilian life) has this.
    • Lieutenant Buck Compton, who had already been severely affected by his wounding and hospital stay in Holland, has this after seeing Toye and Guarnere both get hit by artillery, which causes him to finally snap.
    • A member of Meehan's stick goes catatonic just before the jump. Meehan snaps him out of it... not that it made much difference in the end.
    • This is Blithe's default expression in "Carentan".
    • Malarkey starts to fade in and out of these at the end. They are frequent by "The Last Patrol," which Webster takes notice of.
    • Roe does this more than once in episode 6.
    • Subverted with Speirs who has a permanent creepy stare, but is entirely in command of his faculties. In fact, there's some indication that he's consciously affecting his creepy stare to unsettle people.
  • Better Call Saul: Following the deaths of Howard Hamlin and Lalo Salamanca, when Mike is drilling Jimmy and Kim on how to deal with the mess they helped indirectly create, Kim sits there staring forward in utter shock and utterly traumatized by what she witnessed in the last few hours.
  • A little girl on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, who came downstairs to find her relatives butchered and her mother missing, mutely prepares her own breakfast, selects a favorite book from the shelf, and goes outside to sit on a bench in the yard, staring silently into the distance. She's still staring and clutching her book hours later when D.B. questions her.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Some (canonical) DVD specials have noted this about Rory Williams. He spent almost two thousand years guarding a box as an immortal centurion. It happened in a defunct timeline, but he still has the memories, which he must suppress for his own sanity, though as the Doctor points out "Sometimes you catch him just staring..."
    • The Doctor himself does it sometimes, but usually only when he's alone or his companions aren't looking. Eleven in particular.
      • During an appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures, the Eleventh Doctor does this when Jo innocently makes a joke about the Time Lords.
      • The War Doctor, however, is almost permanently locked in one of these, only breaking out when he's actually talking to someone (but not necessarily when someone is talking to him). It's one of the ways, along with his Beard of Sorrow, that it's made clear how utterly broken centuries of fighting the Time War have left him.
    • Amy does this after the Doctor is apparently killed.
    • Clara does it after her lover Danny Pink dies.
  • Mal Reynolds has an empty shocked stare in the Firefly pilot at the end of the Battle of Serenity Valley. One minute he's giving a Rousing Speech about holding the line in The Rebellion's Last Stand against the evil Alliance and then shooting down an enemy airship to clear the sky for their own air support, the next minute, as they hear their own ships approaching, the radio comes in... his superiors have surrendered, the war is over and lost. That sound of incoming air support? Actually several more ''enemy'' ships arriving to cover another ground assault. All he can do is stare slack-jawed as their position is overrun and everything he believes in dies.
  • Game of Thrones universe:
    • Game of Thrones.
      • Catelyn Stark after she gets the news of her husband Ned's death, though it only lasts until she gets out of sight of the Northern soldiers, then she breaks down in anguish.
      • Catelyn also gives one of these after seeing her firstborn son murdered before her eyes.
      • When discovered as a lone survivor of a 200-people massacre, Qyburn can only stare in the distance and upon hearing that he's lucky to be alive, he just repeats: "lucky..." with a feeble tint of sarcasm.
      • Subverted in the first episode of Season 4. Jaime and Brienne discuss Sansa Stark as she stares listlessly out to sea. The moment they leave, she drops the vacant look and walks off, implying she's not the Broken Bird they all imagine, but is only pretending to put her captors off their guard. Played straight during Joffrey's wedding, when her family's demise is mocked with the dwarf show.
      • After a large amount of time being sadistically tortured and Mind Raped by Ramsay Bolton, or just seeing what he does to other people, Theon Greyjoy's face becomes almost permanently fixed with this expression.
      • Stannis Baratheon demonstrates such an extreme example after seeing Shireen die that it resembles anime-style Dull Eyes of Unhappiness.
      • After becoming the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran Stark spends a lot of time creepily staring at various characters that arrive at Winterfell. Actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright has stated that in order to achieve the unsettling stare, he removes his contact lenses on set, so he can't actually focus on the person he's staring at. He also stated that his co-star Sophie Turner finds it impressive as he stated that "She said, 'Isaac, your stare is like you're staring into my soul!'".
      • Arya Stark as she views the aftermath of Kings Landing being laid waste by dragonfire.
    • House of the Dragon: Rhaenyra Targaryen after she learns of the death of her second son Lucerys due to her half-brother Aemond. It means the war of the Dance of the Dragons is on.
  • Goodbye My Princess: Xiao Feng wears one after she regains her memories and remembers watching as her husband murdered her grandfather.
  • In Horatio Hornblower:
    • Archie would stare blankly when troubled in Series One quite a lot. Being ruthlessly tormented by a shipmate followed by being presumed dead, imprisoned by the enemy, and punished painfully for escape attempts and then getting caught up in someone else's war where the chances of survival/victory are extremely low will have an impact on a person.
    • Horatio Hornblower gets this unfocused look when he's troubled by something or somebody and when he goes into his "questioning my abilities" mode.
  • M*A*S*H: In the episode "Heal Thyself," after a particularly grueling couple of days of trying to patch up injured soldiers, The Ace stares off into the distance, broken, while compulsively scrubbing away invisible blood.
  • Outlander: After nearly dying when he's hanged for being mistakenly condemned as a rebel, Roger gets this along with his PTSD. The trope is explicitly mentioned as something a Vietnam veteran friend of Brianne's also had after he got home from the war.
  • At the beginning of the Poirot adaptation of The Mysterious Affair at Styles, one of the lead characters can be seen staring straight ahead as a film reel of scenes from the front plays, suggesting he may be suffering from shell shock.
  • Princess Silver: Rong Qi stares blankly ahead for hours after he sees Rong Le (apparently) kill Wu You. He doesn't react while having his hand bandaged, or even when his mother arrives and speaks to him.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • The Cat has on in "Backwards" after taking a crap on a world where time runs backwards.
    • Adding to the general creepiness of Rimmer revealing just how bonkers he's gone in "Quarantine" is that he's not looking at the others, just staring into space.
  • The Rise of Phoenixes: Ning Yi reacts with this when he thinks Zhi Wei is dead.
  • Seinfeld: Played for Laughs with David Puddy, who would be seen inexplicably staring blankly into space whenever he's shown alone in his apartment or while on a plane (this was an in-joke on Patrick Warburton going over his lines in his head with an intent look before filming).
    Elaine: You're just going to sit there staring at the back of the seat?
    Puddy: Yeah.
  • Steve Austin has this look at the end of the The Six Million Dollar Man episode "Burning Bright". He’s carrying the body of his friend, Josh Lang, (William Shatner) after he’d burned out from his brain boost.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • In "The Doomsday Machine", Commodore Decker has this when he's found on his wrecked ship, having just watched his entire crew get killed.
    • In "Amok Time", Spock ends up with this reaction, clearly deep in Heroic BSoD and apparently about to commit suicide after 'killing' Kirk in his madness.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In the two-part series finale "All Good Things...", Captain Picard is notably doing this whenever he experiences a jump to whatever time period he is being taken to. Picard notices this with Commander Riker when he was trying to relay important information to him, only to find out that Riker was just merely distracted and heard what Picard had ordered him to do.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. The Two-Part Episode "Dark Frontier" has a Nightmare Fuel sequence where a fleet of Borg cubes forceably assimilate an alien race into their Hive Mind. As the survivors are brought on board a cube for Unwilling Roboticisation they've already given up and have this trope, traumatised by The End of the World as We Know It. Seven of Nine is able to help a small group escape, but one of them doesn't even look at her, just staring listlessly at the nearest bulkhead the entire time.
  • Star Trek: Picard: In "Nepenthe", Hugh's gaze is totally vacant when he's sitting near the bodies of the xBs who were slaughtered by Narissa and her mooks, a horror which he was forced to witness.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "The Shelter", Dr. Bill Stockton exhibits one after he emerges from the shelter, having seen and heard everything going on with the people that he considered friends for twenty years.
    • In "A Quality of Mercy", Lt. Katell has one when he returns to August 6, 1945 as he has seen World War II from another perspective and has come to realize that killing a weakened enemy is not as black and white as he initially believed.
    • In the final scene of "One More Pallbearer", Paul Radin exhibits one as he believes that the world has been destroyed by a nuclear war and he may be the Sole Survivor. The nuclear devastation is in fact a hallucination that he is experiencing.
    • In "Death Ship", Lt. Mike Carter has one after he, Captain Paul Ross and Lt. Ted Mason discover their own bodies in a crashed duplicate of the E-89 on the thirteenth planet of Star System 51.
    • In "Uncle Simon", Barbara Polk has one when her uncle Simon's lawyer Mr. Schwimmer turns up to inspect the premises and ensure that she is abiding by the terms of his will.
  • The 2015 UK General Election coverage on May 8th showed Danny Alexander with such an expression after it became clear that he had lost his seat.
  • The final shot of Wolf Hall is Thomas Cromwell being embraced by Henry for having so neatly arranged the execution of Anne Boleyn. All Cromwell can do is stare dead-eyed over Henry's shoulder — possibly seeing four years ahead to his own eventual fate.

  • Referred to in the song "Assassing" (sic) by Marillion.
  • Shown in the music video for "Ghost of You" by My Chemical Romance, much of which is set during the landings at Normandy during World War II. The music video ends with a shot of the lead singer's stunned eyes.
  • Referred to more humorously in "Rich Fantasy Lives" by Rob Balder and Tom Smith:
    That waitress at Pete's who took so long to seat you,
    And left you to stand in the doorway,
    With her stringy red hair and her thousand-yard stare,
    In her mind, she's the Princess of Norway.
  • Referred to in Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" from Wish You Were Here (1975)Now there's a look in your eyes / like black holes in the sky — describing the look Syd Barrett sometimes wore on his face during his Creator Breakdown.
  • Referenced in Judas Priest's "Beyond the Realms of Death":
    Withdrawn he'd sit there
    Stare blank into space
    No sign of life
    Would flicker on his face
  • In "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Ruined a Whole Generation of Women", Negative XP sings about the song's subject having a thousand yard stare for all the guys she fucked and sucked before you came along.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Wrestlers who take powerful blows to the head are often described as having this, and it is usually an accurate description. Randy Orton, during his brief face run a few years ago, was involved in a story line where he was taking too many bumps to the head, and had this blank stare after each one.
  • In particular, Chris Benoit was described as having this for much of the last year of his life, outside of the ring.
  • Angelina Love had one on TNA Impact as a result of being drugged by Winter.


    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Played for laughs in one of Bill Bailey's routines, wherein he describes a conversation with someone about swimming with dolphins; apparently, the dolphins the other person had swum with were ex-military dolphins which had been used for underwater bomb training, and had "a glazed, faraway look in their eyes".
    Bill Bailey: [As the dolphin] You weren't there, man. You weren't there.
  • Bill Burr has a similar joke, about old men. In it, he claims that the look is not because of anything truly traumatic, but because they've become so old and feeble, they can no longer get away from their annoying wives.
    Bill Burr: Oh shit! Dude, I can't get up! You mean I gotta listen to this the rest of my life!? (old man face)

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Space 1889, there are a few pictures in the main book that show shipwrecked people who are going through an arduous wilderness journey. Some of these have a person looking at the reader with this stare.

  • It's a toss-up between this trope and Mind-Control Eyes, but in the Toho production of Elisabeth Rudolf sports these on and off during the show. He's definitely staring after Death as the latter walks away from their kiss, though.
  • At the end of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts, Oswald has this stare as he tonelessly asks his mother for the Sun. He has just lost the woman he loved, who turned out to be his half-sister, and now his mind is being destroyed by syphilis.
  • In the Nijinsky version of The Rite of Spring, the Chosen One spends some minutes staring numbly out at the audience after she is selected for the rite.

    Video Games 
  • In Battlefield 1, Daniel Edwards, the Main Character, is pictured in a cutscene where he is in the driving seat of a car. He looks at his hands, which are covered in clean white gloves. The gloves suddenly turn bloody and the scenery changes to a WWI battlefield. The camera then zooms out from his face, and he initiates a Kubrick Stare, then lifts his head, looking ahead of him.
  • Billy vs. SNAKEMAN has it as a bloodline power; you attain it after working retail for too long. After dealing with dozens and dozens of awful customers for hours on end, it's a natural response.
  • The loading screen for "Breaking Point", the final US Marine campaign level in Call of Duty: World at War, shows footage of a shell-shocked Marine giving off one of these.
  • In Dragon Age II, Hawke sports one after his/her mother's very gruesome death.
  • Craig Boone, a companion in Fallout: New Vegas always stares in the direction he's facing, not even looking at the Courier when they walk within his field of vision. Given what he's been through, it really makes sense for him to have one.
  • Hiveswap's Creepy Twins Barzum and Baizli "communicate through telepathy and unbroken dead-eyed stares".
  • Done very creepily with Luna during the end of the second act of Lunar: The Silver Star which doubles as a Heroic BSoD.
  • In the NES Mega Man (Classic) games, Mega Man's normal sprite has this same, void expression most of the time, even in some close-up sprites from Mega Man 3. It would make sense in that A: He's a robot, and B: a lot of his media plays with the idea that destroying other robots isn't something he takes easily, But most cutscenes throughout the series (and even sprites in later games) show that he normally has at least an angry glare on his face, or some exaggerated anime-style expression like shock or excitement.
    • Taken to its logical conclusion in the fourth Super Smash Bros. title where Mega Man is a Guest Fighter; his expression is not only almost always blank, but his eyes seem to have a rather vacant stare at all times...note 
  • Raiden sports one of these after killing Senator Steven Armstrong, who was both the Big Bad and quite possibly the one person on the planet who understood Raiden at the end of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
  • Mystic Warriors: Once the dust has settled, the remaining four stare at the burning Skull HQ with such expressions, knowing full well that they'll never be five again.
  • Adrienne Delaney at the end of Phantasmagoria as part of her Heroic BSoD.
  • Pokémon:
    • The Psychic-type cat Espurr from Pokémon X and Y sports one. According to its Pokedex entry, it probably looks like that because it has to keep a constant lockdown on its psychic powers as its brain can barely handle the strain.
    • Gen II Pokemon Xatu also has one. It is said to be horrified by its visions of the future.
    • Ingo perpetually sports one in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. While he doesn't seem unhappy with his life in Hisui, he's still very much bothered by his lack of memories - only faintly recalling his previous partner pokemon Chandelure and his twin brother Emmet, whom he has been seperated from. Despite evidently being there for quite some time, he still doesn't know how or why he is in Hisui. It's implied that he somehow got transported through a time rift or wormhole from modern-day Unova.
  • Part of the arena banter in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal refers to Ratchet having one of these, making him extra dangerous.
  • Ride to Hell: Retribution shows lead character Jake Conway this way during a cut-scene right after the opening montage. While this was apparently meant to indicate that he was a Shell-Shocked Veteran after his tour of duty in Vietnam, this plot thread is never brought up again, making it just one more of the many things that feel out of place throughout the game.
  • Walker in Spec Ops: The Line has two, one each at a significant moment in the plot. The first is when he finds the corpses of civilians among those of the enemy soldiers he ordered to be bombarded with white phosphorous mortar. Walker delivers his lines with steely calm, but the moment at which he snaps is still chillingly clear. The second is the climax, when he realizes the man he hunted down and committed atrocity after atrocity to find is already dead; Walker has been imagining a taunting voice to create an enemy to blame for his own crimes.
  • Lara Croft ends up sporting one of these after her hellish experience on the island in the 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider. The ship captain who picks her up to save her at the end even mentions it.
    Ship Captain: Don't really know what happened to you on that island. An' judging from those wounds and that look in your eyes, I'm guessin' I don't wanna know.
  • Season 2 of The Walking Dead opens with Clementine giving one straight into the camera, thanks to all the suffering she's seen in the past two years in the zombie apocalypse.
  • If your protagonist's Stamina and/or Reason dip too low in World of Horror, they tend to develop one of these. The highlights in their eyes vanish, and Exhausted Eye Bags tend to form dark circles beneath their hollowed-out gaze.
  • If the player chooses to enter SNAP Mode in Yandere Simulator, Yandere-chan gains this expression after being rejected by her Senpai, and she keeps it as she walks through the school to get a knife to commit Murder-Suicide with.

    Visual Novels 
  • Among other characters, Ayumi Shinozaki and Naomi Nakashima both wear these expressions in Corpse Party.
  • During the last chapter of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, every survivor gets this once they realize that they are the Remnants of Despair, and Hajime gets one when he finds out he is Izuru Kamukura.

  • Ariel from Drowtales has this expression after she's forced to choose between killing an enemy who tried to kill her and fighting her cousin to the death. She chooses to kill the enemy, and it's strongly implied this leaves her with PTSD. Even worse, she's physically the equivalent of a seven year old child when this happens and the victim is the same age.
  • Susan from El Goonish Shive sports one in a flashback after killing an aberration. And it's eerily similar to the half-lidded expression she usually has.
    Commentary: I have frequently seen Susan described as having a "bored" look on her face. For a long time now, I have seen it as something else.
  • Sciona from Grrl Power gives one after the reveal that her entire race has just been obliterated by a galactic peacekeeping force.
  • In Knights of Buena Vista, the characters have learned that if Adriana does this it means she's about to do something that will potentially wreck the campaign, but if Walter does this it means the players are about to do something monumentally stupid.
  • During the Voodoo fete scene in Lackadaisy, Archie sits perfectly still next to Serafine the entire time, staring into space. None of the Maitre Carrefour cultists find this odd.
    • A side comic has Rocky doing this after drinking his "special coffee" that apparently induces hallucinations. He also does this as a child when he gets a sugar high from syrupy pancakes.
  • In this strip of Manly Guys Doing Manly Things the Commander's new drinking buddy jokingly asks him if he's ever killed a man while looking him in the eyes and watching as everything leaves him, not just his life but all of that man's memories, experiences, and emotions are gone forever. The Commander answers yes as he gets this exact look on his face and it takes a moment for his friend to realize that the Commander isn't joking.
  • Sun from Nebula, who's just been staring emptily out into the dark, looking at nothing. Mars finds it incredibly unnerving, especially since Sun doesn't seem to hear when he tries to talk to him.
  • In this episode of Pocket Princesses, several of the princesses were deeply affected by watching Avengers: Infinity War. Elsa and Anna demonstrate this trope while clinging to each other for dear life. Fortunately for her, Snow White was watching Ready Player One at the time.
  • Cacko in Realm of Owls keeps sitting and staring into distance, frozen in place and nobody knows what she has seen or gone through.
  • Unsounded: When one of Lemuel's friends gets blown up right in front of him with his teeth flying as shrapnel and cutting Lemuel's face, right after trying to cheer Lem up about a friend who fell in battle the day before, he sits and stares into the distance with an empty expression for a bit.

    Web Original 
  • In the second campaign of Critical Role, Caleb Widogast has this as a built-in mechanic. If he kills an enemy with a fire spell, he has to roll a Wisdom save. If he fails, he goes into a "stunned" state, having a Troubled Backstory Flashback to burning his parents to death by setting their house on fire.
  • Parodied in Duffel Blog where the Pentagon decides to have the Thousand Yard Stare go metric.
    “By standardizing the vacant, unfocused distance that troops scarred by the horrors of war peer into with that of our NATO allies, we can better treat the afflicted with more efficient economies of scale,” said Wormuth. “Plus, the 1000-meters gives the tormented soul an additional 280 feet with which to relive the soul-crushing sights that torture them nonstop.”
  • Epic Rap Battles of History: In "Thanos vs Oppenheimer", Oppenheimer has one of these for most of the rap battle, and it has nothing to do with his opponent; kind of understandable given how much both sides' raps emphasize his role in, and subsequent guilt over the creation of the Atom Bomb.
  • This hamster sports one after losing a game of tug-of-war and falling into a sitting position. Naturally, this being on the internet, people responded by adding war-footage to make it look like a Shell-Shocked Veteran, like in this video.
  • In the first episode of Helluva Boss, Blitzo gets a phone call from Stolas, who then describes sexual desires so graphic that even in a show that doesn't censor profanity, it becomes a Cluster Bleep-Bomb. Blitzo stares off into space, snaps the phone in half, smashes it, and puts it in a blender, all with this blank look on his face.
    • A dramatic take on the trope is used by Blitzo in the recent episode, Western Energy after he learns that The all powerful demon owl Stolas can indeed be hurt plus the fact that his encounter with Striker got him bed ridden by the episode's end, to the point where its implied he didn't text back to Stolas when he was texting to him in his hospital bed out of sheer shock of what he just learned
  • Jared is prone to this in his Hot Pepper Gaming reviews, usually a sign that he's in extreme pain. His Destiny review with the Szechuan peppers has him do this randomly as the more...interesting side effects of the pepper kick in.
  • Staiens the dog, also known as the "cupcake dog," has become an internet meme due to sporting one of these when trying to resist a plate of cupcakes on one episode of It's Me or the Dog. Enhanced by the dog's blue eyes, being an Australian Shepard.
  • In a Bad Future where he's Snob's Sex Slave, The Nostalgia Critic looks even more permenantly traumatized than usual.
  • In RWBY, done heartbreakingly by Yang at the end of "Fall" when she is arrested by Atlesian army troops after being goaded into breaking Mercury's leg... seemingly.
  • An apparent Thousand-Yard Stare on the face of a picture of a boy in band uniform holding a clarinet led the internet to dub him "PTSD Clarinet Boy", imagining him as a veteran of a terrible war (usually Vietnam) and haunted by the memories of what he had seen and done there.

    Western Animation 
  • Used in Adventure Time frequently. Finn gets one in "Susan Strong" when he contemplates being the last of his kind for too long. He gets another one in "Marceline's Closet", when he sees Marceline naked.
  • Archer has one of these at the end of "The Wind Cries Mary" when Sterling's friend Luke confesses on his deathbed that he raped Sterling when he was passed out during a mission together. Smash Cut to Sterling, Cyril, and Lana all sitting silently in the car on the drive home with blank, horrified stares, and Sterling only breaking the silence to meekly ask Lana to turn on the radio.
  • Carmen Sandiego: In The Egyptian Decryption Caper, Tigress gets trapped in a sarcophagus with scarabs, which she hates. Several minutes later, she has one while she is strapped in a helicopter seat as her team evacuates, and does not react to one more bug crawling on her. She has apparently mentally shut down to the point where she would have had to be rescued and hauled to the helicopter (which, given the action during those minutes, is probably what happened).
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: In "Remembrance of Courage Past", Courage goes into the stare when he starts having flashbacks of when his parents were sent to he moon by an evil veterinarian. He remains frozen all night and into the next morning, and he doesn't even flinch when Eustace pulls out the "Ooga-Booga-Booga" mask as a "cure". That seems to draw the farmer's outward curiosity, if not necessarily concern, as he lifts the mask afterward.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In the episode "Aye Aye Eyes", this is the Creepy-Eyed-Girl's default expression. Dexter and Dee Dee are very disturbed by it.
  • Donald Duck's stuck with one at the end of "Up A Tree", after Chip n' Dale blew up his house into smithereens.
  • "Finnegan's Flea", a Noveltoon from Paramount, was about a guy who discovers a singing flea. Unlike Warners' "One Froggy Evening", this flea will sing for anyone. Finnegan takes the flea to a talent agency which signs them up for a lucrative stint. He goes to celebrate at a bar, but when the bartender sees the flea, he swats it. Finnegan goes catatonic, staring out into whatever frozen in place. The bartender realizes what he did and spent the rest of Finnegan's days keeping him nourished and hydrated.
  • In Invincible (2021), Omni-Man has an outstanding one at the end of episode 1, where once he's done killing the Guardians of the Globe, he can only ponder upon the carnage he's inflicted both exhausted and remorseful before fainting and collapsing to the ground from his wounds.
    • It's eventually revealed in the penultimate and season finale episodes that he was acting as an agent of the Viltrumite Empire and deliberately murdered Earth's strongest heroes to pave the way for an invasion. This could indicate that the look was one saying "The hard part's over. Now I wait for the invasion". But thanks to the influence of his wife and son, Nolan gained something of a soft spot for humanity, so it might have truly been one of remorse, if only for a moment, like "I don't like it, but I have to follow orders".
  • Mild example in Kaeloo: After Kaeloo forcibly kisses Mr. Cat in the episode "Let's Play Peace Man", he sits under a tree and stares into the distance. A few minutes later, he recovers after she asks him if they can do it again.
  • In the Grand Finale of The Legend of Korra, while everybody is out looking for Korra, who vanished in the spirit energy explosion that destroyed downtown Republic City, Asami just stands there looking stunned and profoundly lost. Losing first your father, then the girl you're in love with on the same day will do that to a person.
  • In Rick and Morty, in the episode "Rick Potion #9", Morty gets this at the ending. With that ending, even the viewer has the same face. Burying a corpse of yourself and then replacing their lives while you leave your own reality to die off in an apocalypse does that to people.
  • Spongebob Squarepants:
  • Star Wars Rebels: At the end of "Zero Hour", the surviving members of Phoenix Squadron onboard the Ghost for the trip to Yavin IV pretty much all have this look on their faces, after the Battle of Atollon resulted in heavy losses for the rebels, including Commander Sato.
  • Steven Universe:
    • In "A Single Pale Rose", the Pearl in the war memories has a thousand yard stare.
    • Connie briefly slips into this when Steven reveals that he accidentally spoiled the "Unfamiliar Familiar" series for himself by reading them out of order, starting with "the one with the coolest cover".


Iggy Arrives

The group is introduced to their sixth member. Jotaro isn't pleased with him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / SixthRanger

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