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Wingding Eyes

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"Look, when I came here, my eyes were big blue question marks. Now they're big green dollar marks."

For animated characters, the eyes are the windows to the soul—literally. So literally, that their eyes become their innermost thoughts projected in very clear symbols for all to see.

Some common eye symbols:

  • X or +: Dead or asleep without dreaming. Comical depictions of corpses or ghosts will have their tongues sticking out as well as this. Sometimes, both eyes will combine into a single, longways X. May also be a feature in depictions of clowns.
  • Spirals: Dazed, confused, terrified, dizzy, or knocked out (See also Mind-Control Eyes). Often accompanied with Circling Birdies.
  • Currency signs, usually dollar ($), yen (¥), pound (£), or euro (€): Greedy. Often accompanied with a cash register sound. Can also just be used as a sign of shock at discovering or seeing truly incredible amounts of money.
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  • Hearts: Lovesickness. Or — depending on what you're readingan orgasm.
  • Daggers/Fire: Extreme anger and/or intent to kill someone for something unforgivable. Fire could also be used for passion.
  • No Sale: Used in western cartoons after a blow to the head.note  TILT can be used if the character's a robot.note 
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  • Stars: Excitement, determination, or dreaming of fame and fortune
  • Circles around pupils and nothing else: shock, insanity, or rage. Frequently used by American comic strips.
  • Deep shaded irises with no pupils to speak of: Drugged or under mind control. The character is being forced to act against their will; alternately, it can mean despair. Spinning swirls often convey a similar effect.
  • Inverted hashtags: Brief moments of intense emotion (of any kind), exertion, or pain.
  • Upside-down U's: "Yay" moments. They could also indicate that the character is Happy, Joyous, or Blissed. Right-side-up U's can indicate sleeping. Used mostly in anime, but has fallen mostly out of favor by now.
  • Copies of an item the character is looking at: Impressed, or wants the item.

This trope is named for Wingdings, a "dingbat" typeface created by Microsoft which comes pre-installed on most modern personal computers, consisting of assorted symbols.

Compare Glowing Eyes, Fireball Eyeballs, Hellish Pupils, Henohenomoheji, Reflective Eyes, and Mind-Control Eyes. If a character's pupils are an odd shape normally, you're dealing with Exotic Eye Designs. If the eyes change color depending on mood, that's Living Mood Ring.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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  • There was a commercial for sport shoes with Don King (or a lookalike). When an athlete who didn't want to make commercial stuff finally sort of agrees, King's eyes turn into... guess what.
  • In both commercials from the Mexican anti-drug campaign Vive Sin Drogas, the boy's eyes turn into X's when he dies from a drug overdose.

    Asian Animation 
  • Akis: In "Talent Show", the girl performing in the talent show has X's for eyes when she faints from Akis shocking her.
  • It's common in Happy Heroes for characters' eyes to become certain symbols in a given situation, such as spiral eyes when they are dazed or heart-shaped eyes when they fall in love (the latter is especially true for Doctor H. when he's around Miss Peach).
  • Lamput:
    • In one episode, Fat Doc's eyes become X's when Slim Doc hits him with a bat, mistaking him for Lamput since he accidentally covered himself in orange paint.
    • In another episode, Lamput's eyes are represented as heart shapes as he is admiring a woman sitting in front of him on the bus.
  • Mechamato: Rubika's eyes turn into a question mark when Mechamato's missile attack seems surprisingly underwhelming.
  • Motu Patlu: In a New Years 2019 commercial, Motu's eyes turn into hearts.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In the first episode of Mr.Wolffy, Mr.Right!, Wolffy has hearts in his eyes when he sees a girl that he loves.

    Comic Books 
  • Billy Dogma creator Dean Haspiel does a twist on this: Billy's girlfriend often has heart-shaped reflections on her sunglasses.
  • In Supergirl story Bizarrogirl, a newspaper depicts the Girl of Steel after being curbstomped by Godship with "x"'s for eyes to show that she's knocked out.
  • Condorito and related comics use swirly eyes for lunatics, whether they are in a madhouse or whether the punchline that reveals them as loonies has just been delivered...
  • Emilka Sza - Whenever titular character Emilka is fame-struck, her eyes turn into stars while she walks around smiling in almost a "sleepwalking like" trance.
  • Green Lantern often shows people with Lantern Corps symbols in their eyes when strongly feeling the corresponding emotion (the Green Lantern symbol when channelling Heroic Willpower, Red Lantern symbol when consumed by rage, etc.)
  • Stormer from Jem and the Holograms (IDW) got hearts in her eyes when she saw her girlfriend Kimber dressed up in a cute shark costume during a Halloween party.
  • Mdga Man gets stars in his eyes in Mega Man (Archie Comics) when Hard Man punches him in the face.
  • Several times in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW), notably:
    • Rarity gets a watch-shaped eye, accompanied by a few gears popping out, at the sudden appearance of the spiders in issue #2.
    • When Twilight and AJ are fighting over leadership in #2, AJ gets a dagger in hers, and Twilight a grenade.
    • At the very end, Spike has heart eyes when meeting up with Rarity, as usual.
  • In Sonic the Comic Super Sonic has Spiral eyes which make him look even more psychotic. (They're actually repeating circles, not spirals, but the effect is much the same.)
  • Tangle the Lemur from the Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) comics often gets stars in her eyes when she is excited.
  • The Spectre is occasionally depicted with skulls for irises for dramatic effect, often when he's inflicting Cruel and Unusual Death.
  • The X-for-dead variation appears in The Superman Adventures short story "While You Were Sleeping", in which Luthor is dreaming of finally killing Superman.
  • Parodied in The Unbelievable Gwenpool. When Gwen learns how much she'll make for taking a job, she pulls out a marker and physically draws dollar signs on the lenses of her mask, to the consternation of her tailor.
  • This is enforced by Executive Meddling in the Warrior Cats comics. Too much violence is not allowed, so prey animals are depicted perfectly intact with "x"'s for eyes to show that they're dead. In Winds of Change, dead prey animals occasionally have X's for eyes.
  • In the 111 issue of W.I.T.C.H., the characters Will Vandom and Martin Tubbs will both get the X-Eyes. Will gets hit by a soccer ball in her face and Martin will get kicked around by Uriah.
  • In the Wonder Woman Vol 1 story arc Judgment In Infinity, the Adjudicator's eyes look like multi-faceted, multicolored crystals.

    Comic Strips 
  • Beetle Bailey: Though apparently just eyes is not enough.
    • Spirals and such have been spotted.
    • In one strip, the characters notice that a passed-out character's eyes really do turn into X's, even though they say that's supposed to only happen in comics.
    • Chip Gizmo has once been spending too much time on the computer, as evidenced by his right eye having turned into a :), left eye into a @, and mouth into ----.
    • Cosmo has Wingding Ears, as seen in one strip — fitting his personality, from close up, his ears contain a dollar sign (instead of the slightly similar squiggle usually drawn inside ears).
  • Both Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield use a rather western-centric technique of putting rings around their beady eyes as a shorthand for rage or insanity.
  • Foxtrot:
    • Jason has had money signs in his glasses.
    • Parodied in one strip where we see Jason with a number of odd symbols, before going to harass his sister Paige ("Your's mesmerizing!" he says with spirals in his eyes). Paige yells at him to stop drawing on his glasses.
    • One strip had Peter's eyes turn into "A+++" when he gets teamed up with Morton Goldwaith on a school project.
  • The women in the Norwegian comic "M" all have stars instead of eyes. The author says this is because it's harder to read the mood of women. Other explanations include mixing pills with alcohol.
  • My Cage: Apparently in this universe, such pupils are medical conditions. When Maureen learns her date makes 500K a year, her eyes bug out with dollar signs, and she has to be taken to the emergency room for treatment.
  • Good old Charlie Brown from Peanuts had these too, of course.
    • One distinctive Peanuts example was using commas instead of full stop eyes to indicate eye-rolling reactions or sarcasm.

    Fan Works 
  • In Aki-chan's Life -the sequel to The Second Try- we have this scene where Shinji and Misato are blinded by a camera's flash and their eyes turn into tiny spirals.
  • Happens in the Animal Crossing fanfic Rocky Road, where Kid Cat ends up with spiral eyes after he tries (and fails) to break a rock that Suter was trying to smash with an elbow drop.
  • Evangelion 303: Here, when Asuka learns Jessika likes Rammstein. Her eyes turn into giant hearts.
  • My Hero Playthrough:
    • In chapter 5, Izuku sees the kanji 孫note  is his mom's eyes after he tells her Tsuyu wants to practice swimming with him. Alone. In the forest.
    • In chapter 15, Izuku sees the kanji 肉note  in the study group's (six of his female classmates) eyes when he enters the room. Including invisible Hagakure.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, All Might isn't sure if the stars in Izuku's eyes are showing up out of admiration or a side effect of his Kryptonian Super-Vision.

    Films — Animation 
  • In All Dogs Go to Heaven, Charlie's pupils become dollar signs—complete with a "cha-ching!"—when he realizes how much money he can make betting on animal races by having Anne-Marie talk to the animal participants.
  • In The Aristocats, Edgar gets dollar signs in his eyes when plotting the cats' demise.
  • The audio commentary to Disney's Beauty and the Beast notes that Gaston has skulls visible in his eyes as the camera zooms in on his face while he's falling to his death. (It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment — try going through the scene frame-by-frame.)
  • Cats Don't Dance:
    • Darla Dimple is so infuriated at the animals trying to get attention that her eyes fill with fire and (cat) Skull and Crossbones at the same time.
    • Earlier, when Danny's offered the chance to be in a film with the above-mentioned Dimple, he gets stars in his eyes (pun not intended).
  • The Emperor's New Groove: Kuzco's pupils are replaced with tiny spirals to signal that he is going "Oh, Crap!" when he sees that the hole he has gotten his head stuck in is full of bats who don't look happy.
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox has several variations. The opossum has spiral eyes when he zones out. Dogs and humans get asterisks for pupils when they eat drugged blueberries. The dead poultry have their eyes X'd out.
  • At the end of Ice Age: The Meltdown, Scrat's pupils become acorns for a moment when he sees the giant acorn in his acorn heaven.
  • In The LEGO Movie, Vitruvius gets Xs in his eyes after he dies.
  • Monsters University: When the belief that human children are toxic creatures that can kill monsters with a mere touch is first mentioned, the viewers are shown a picture with a child doing it and the monster having X-shaped eyes.
  • In Shrek 2, if you look very closely during the scene where Puss in Boots shows Shrek and Donkey his Puppy-Dog Eyes, you can actually see two little Re/Max hot-air balloons reflected onto his pupils.
  • In Turning Red, when Meilin Lee and her friends get the idea to make money off Mei's panda form after seeing how popular it is at school, they all get blue dollar signs for pupils.
  • In Dingo Pictures productions such as Wabuu, the Cheeky Raccoon, characters sometimes "shut" their pupils to horizontal slits while their eyelids remain open.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell's eyes burst into flame when his hair is insulted.
    • This is repeated in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues when Ron gets angered again. This time, in his eyes is shown a man screaming, which could possibly be one of the contestants from the cock fight that he went to with his son, Walter.
  • In A Christmas Story, when Ralphie fantasizes about defending his family from a band of clearly delineated bad guys with his official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, said villains end up with X's drawn over their eyes after they're dispatched.
  • A Running Gag in Hot Rod, where the titular pseudo-daredevil will "summon" the essence of some animal, followed by an image of said animal appearing in each iris.
  • Discussed sarcastically by Saunders in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, saying that while her eyes used to be "big blue question marks, now they're big green dollar marks."
  • In Velvet Goldmine, when Brian Slade and his manager Jerry Devine discuss a collaboration project with Curt Wild and Curt responds not only favorably but flirtatiously, we zoom in on Brian's eyes to see pink hearts, then zoom in on Jerry's to see green dollar signs.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit:
    • Judge Doom's eyes literally stare daggers. And not get daggers in them mind, they actually extend from his skull and get pointy! They also display spiraling swirls, starbursts, etc. in brilliant red and yellow. Shudder.
    • Also from this film, Lena Hyena demonstrates the "heart eyes" variation.
      • As does Roger, while watching Eddie and Dolores about to kiss.

  • In the Dragonlance book, Raistlin's pupils are hourglass-shaped.
  • House of Robots: Robots Go Wild!: E has swirl eyes during most of the illustrations of his rampage.
  • Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse: Lilly's eyes turn into orange spirals when she's really mad about Mr. Slinger confiscating her purse.
  • Max & the Midknights: Anyone who gets knocked out has their eyes replaced with plus signs.
  • A lot older than you might think: The "Medieval Housebook", a manuscript from ca. 1480, features the "X eyes = dead" variant for a horse in one picture (at the bottom).
  • A plot point in Moving Pictures, where eyes are windows of the soul. Those touched by the "Holy Wood" bug have actual stars in their eyes, a small golden star in each pupil.
  • Samurai Santa: When the snowball war is over, some of the Snowlems have Xs in their eyes.
  • All the animals that pile upon the title character's antlers in Dr. Seuss' Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose (which he breaks off for some approaching hunters who mount them upon a wall) end up with the fate of plus-eyes, all still perched upon them and "stuffed, as they should be".
  • Time To: When the blonde girl in "Time to Say, 'Please!'" wants a cookie, her eyes turn into cookies.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Series/Becker: When Becker is incredulous that his girlfriend Megan is more eccentric than he can tell himself, he introduced her to Regi and Jake. After a brief conversation with her, Jake remarks that although he couldn't see her due to his blindness he imagined her with "pinwheel eyes and a cuckoo coming out of her forehead".
  • The Basil Brush Show: Dave gets pound-sign pupils in one episode when Anil mentions he'll give anything to have his plumbing fixed.
  • Referenced by Jack in Midnight Caller: "I've heard so much about money lately, I could puke. You know, multi-million dollar ballplayers, multi-million dollar business deals... What the hell is wrong with this country? It's like everybody's wearing contact lenses shaped like dollar bills or something."
  • In many episodes of The Monkees, whenever lovesick Davy locks eyes with a beautiful girl, both he (the Chick Magnet) and the girl get starry-eyed.
  • The dollar sign version happens in an episode of Mr. Show with several characters (including a firefighter after seeing a burning house), as part of one of the show's many "links" that connect the sketches.
  • Penn & Teller did a card trick on the Today Show and revealed the chosen card by having Teller open his eyes wearing scleral shells that appeared to replace his pupils with a 3 and a club. They repeated the trick on Hollywood Squares, during the infamous "You Fool!" episode.
  • "No Sale" eyes were used in the "boxing" episode of Police Squad!.
  • Usagi got these in the fourth episode of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. Despite being Live-Action, it was well done since the heart she displayed in her eyes looked like reflection in the same way that certain types of lighting give circular reflection in the eyes, but heart-shaped.
  • In the Sabrina the Teenage Witch episode "Five Easy Pieces of Libby", both Hilda and Zelda show dollar signs in their eyes when they realize how profitable Zelda's cleaning formula is.

  • The oddly titled "Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But..." by the Arctic Monkeys, advocating art for art's sake:
    Well I ain't got no dollar signs in my eyes
    It might be a surprise but it's true
  • Billy Talent's anti-consumerism song "Pocketful of Dreams" contains the line "Still when I look into your eyes they're full of dollar signs".
  • Lupe Fiasco's character "The Streets" constantly has glowing green dollar signs in her eyes. "The Game" has glowing red dice.
  • Primal Scream - "Swastika Eyes". A reference to Weimar Republic political cartoonists who drew Nazis with swastika Wingding Eyes.
  • Nirvana's logo has the X-eyes version.
  • Pepe Deluxé's ''Go Supersonic" video uses X-eyes for death. Glowing, neon X-eyes.
  • Referenced in the lyrics for "Rhythm Section Want Ad" by They Might Be Giants:
    For every one with dollar signs in his eyes
    There must be hundreds that look at you as if you're some kind of
    Rhythm section want ad
  • The original design for Deadmau5' Mau5head (seen on the cover of Get Scraped) featured X-eyes. This was abandoned for most subsequent incarnations.


    Puppet Shows 
  • In Muppet Treasure Island, upon discovering Billy Bones' treasure map, Gonzo gets dollar signs in his eyes as he says "We're gonna be rich!" Meanwhile, the nervous Rizzo has X-eyes as he says "We're gonna be dead."
  • In the Sesame Street sketch Beginning, Middle, and End, which is one of many sketches animated by Sally Cruikshank, when Seymour gets on a pterodactyl who acts like a taxicab, his neighbor Mrs. Bazini gets X's in her eyes from hitting the side of her head with a trash can lid due to complete and utter shock of witnessing it right next to her backyard.


    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • In the opening cutscene of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, Athena and Widget get swirly eyes after Athena trips and falls down a staircase.
    • In the first case of the same game, Juniper Woods' "damage" animation has her pull her pigtails so hard that they snap back and deck her in the eyes, leaving Xs.
    • A Dummied Out sprite for the first game shows Phoenix with heart eyes. This was originally used to show his reaction to seeing April May for the first time in court, but after the script was rewritten so that Phoenix first meets April in an investigation segment, where the player character's sprite isn't visible, the sprite went unused as there was no need for it anymore.
    • Still regarding Phoenix, his eyes turn into a large X whenever he sneezes in the first case of Trial and Tribulations.
  • Danganronpa:
    • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc: When the Mastermind eventually appears, several images show said mastermind with spiral eyes, apparently as a signifier of the lunatic obsession with despair that drives their actions.
    • In the sequel, Komaeda Nagito gets them once or twice due to a parallel fanatical obsession with hope.
  • Finley from Hustle Cat gets literal stars in her eyes when she is excited, frequently about something adorable that another character is doing.
  • Claude Trilleo from Sunrider occasionally gets hearts in her eyes when she’s feeling particularly... amorous towards Kayto Shields.

    Web Animation 
  • The Father Tucker short "Death Do Us Part" has Father Tucker's pupils turn into Stars of David when he ogles at a Jewish boy.
  • In Happy Tree Friends:
    • In "Mime to Five", after finally getting enough money to buy the unicycle he wants, Mime gets the dollar sign version followed by a version with unicycles.
    • In "We're Scrooged!", Lumpy gets the dollar sign version. The annotated version says he should really see a doctor about that.
    • In "I Nub You", Petunia gets the heart version.
  • Hazbin Hotel: Alastor's pupils turn into old-timey radio dials when he puts on his Game Face. The effect is horrifying.
  • MGT School:
  • Minilife TV: In "A New Terror Arrives", after Baby Crotchrash causes a car crash between Wilkins and Jack, an unconscious Jack has X's for eyes, which is lampshaded by Wilkins.
  • Vivi from Mystery Skulls Animated gets excited stars in her eyes when she sees that the mansion she just entered is unquestionably haunted.
  • In the RWBY episodes "The Shining Beacon (Part 1)" and "Players and Pieces", Ruby gets the spiral version.


    Web Original 
  • For Sesame Street's 40th anniversary, the Google logo has been different for each day. This one has Elmo on it... It seems they were attempting that Anime "Upside-down U" look on him, but... though it looks a lot more like Kermit The Frog's eyes. Maybe that's what they were shooting for?
  • This simulator for predicting circumstellar habitable zones has a model planet (icy, wet, or bone dry depending if it's too far from its sun, in the habitable zone, or too close, respectively), which develops a face with X's for eyes when the simulation has it ceasing to exist.

    Web Videos 
  • Bronies React: In the episode for the Season 5 Finale of MLP:FIM, when Deadpool shows up in Jaxblade's house (Makes Just as Much Sense in Context), he gets hearts over his eyes at the mention of My Little Pony, and then thin white stripes as he leaves, dejected.
  • Screen Rant Pitch Meetings had in the episode for The Mandalorian the Executive getting dollar sign eyes upon hearing about Baby Yoda. It doesn't go unnoticed by the Executive and the Writer, with the former leaving to diagnose what caused that to appear (it was simply a love of money, given how much of a merchandise opportunity Grogu was).

    Real Life 
  • In the Macintosh "Sad Mac" error message, the icon's eyes form an "X", which means that your computer has crashed. The Google Chrome "Sad Tab" error is a homage to this.
  • Unsurprisingly, there are novelty contact lenses out there that let you achieve this effect.
  • The stock Emoji available on most smartphones include smiley faces with heart eyes for love, with dollar eyes for greed, and with x eyes for shock.

Alternative Title(s): Wingding Pupils


Donatello gets kissed by April

Donatello is reduced to mindless babbling after April kisses him on the cheek.

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