Blind and the Beast

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Blind Frankenstien 1925.jpg
"With the way she sees and the way he looks, it's a perfect match!"
—Yente the Matchmaker, Fiddler on the Roof.

A character with a freakish appearance, experiencing loneliness, happens to stumble into a blind person who doesn't realize that the freak is not quite human. They strike up a friendship or even romance, and the audience learns An Aesop that blind people might be better than we are because they are quicker to recognize inner beauty. Of course, there are also the Unfortunate Implications that you'd have to be completely blind to fall for someone so ugly, or that it's okay to lie to blind people.

Compare Freaky Is Cool, Mailer Daemon.

Examples of Blind and the Beast include:


Anime[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Buu of Dragonball Z meets a blind kid who didn't know his appearance. After realizing he wasn't frightened, Buu figured out the problem and used his magic to heal the boy's eyes. Afterwards the boy was very grateful, and still didn't find anything unusual about Buu's appearance because he had lived among anthromophic animals his entire life.
  • Turned on its head in Detective Conan; a rich blind woman states her surprise that Conan is a seven-year old, as she had previously believed him to be a teenager whose voice hadn't cracked yet. Of course, Conan really is the latter, and gets even more tense when the lady whispers to him that "I can see things others can't see".
  • Hunter X Hunter The Chimera Ant King Meryem and the blind girl Komugi.
  • A variation happens in Franken Fran, when Fran operates on a painter's eyes and gives him the ability to see a wider spectrum of wavelengths. He is utterly horrified by the things he sees and flees into the woods, when he meets a fair and elfin woman-like being and falls in love. He later returns a happy man and presents Fran with a painting of his lover; although the reader can't see it, Fran's assistant can, and he is utterly horrified.
  • Bleach: Sajin Komamura (monster) and Kaname Tōsen (blind). The interesting twist is that Komamura is a good guy while Tōsen pulls a Face Heel Turn. When Tōsen regains his sight, he calls Komamura ugly. As he dies, he apologizes for saying that.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Fantastic Four
    • This is how the Thing and Alicia Masters started their relationship in the series. There were many times, though, that he worried that the only reason she was with him was because she couldn't see how ugly he was (never mind that she has felt his face, knows it's rocky, and she is also a sculptor who has seen fit to use him as a subject a number of times.)
    • Subverted with his later girlfriend (and eventual fiance) Debbie Green who could see just fine and still thought he was attractive.
  • Arseface from Preacher (Comic Book) eventually meets a girl who doesn't see reality quite as it is, as she's severely inbred and has a neurological disorder. She thinks he's gorgeous, and it looks as if they're going to live happily ever after.
  • A short piece in a Mirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles special has this happen with Raphael and an old blind woman; the sequence was later adapted as part of an episode of the 2003 cartoon.
  • In an early issue of Superman: The Man of Steel, Lois Lane's sister Lucy tried to commit suicide after being blinded in an accident. She was rescued by Bizarro, but she thought it was Superman. This was an homage to the first appearance of Bizarro in Superboy back in the 1950s, where Bizarro's only friend is a blind girl who doesn't realize he's a monster.
  • In the early run of Spawn, the only one who recognized Al for who he used to be was his blind Grandmother.
  • Underground Comics artist Carol Lay once made a comic about a woman who was orphaned and raised by an African tribe where all women have plate lips. She gets them too. Then, a group of whites find her and return her to civilization. She finds out that her parents were rich and she inherited everything. Still, she has trouble finding a man. Then she tries this trope by dating a good-looking, ambitious blind man. But then he wants to feel up her face.
  • In Superman Batman Generations III, one of Darkseid's new Parademons gets separated from its unit and encounters a old blind woman who treats it kindly. In return it tells her its story, including the fact that it's part of a new breed designed with the ability to think and reason for themselves. Subverted when it's revealed that the woman is actually Supergirl, disguised using a Mother Box, and she snaps the Parademon's neck so none of the other heroes learn of their sentience and have qualms about fighting them.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Bride of Frankenstein features a sequence where the monster is befriended by a blind hermit, inspired by a similar sequence in the original novel (see below).
    • Young Frankenstein: Heavily parodies Bride of Frankenstein, even unto the point of subversion. The blind hermit's hospitality to the monster proves rather painful, as he keeps unknowingly injuring his guest (by, for instance, pouring hot soup into his lap instead of into his bowl).
  • The Curse of Frankenstein: Subverted -- the monster is taken in by a blind hermit, whom he later callously murders.
  • Red Dragon; Francis Dolarhyde falls in love with Reba McClane partly because she's blind and can't see his harelip, although it's strongly implied that most women he knew were attracted to him already - he's in very good shape. He just thinks of his harelip as being a much greater problem then it actually is, because, well, he's not a very emotionally well man.
    • A moment of irony when she says she could tell he had some mouth abnormalities by the way he talked, but she of course didn't mind.
  • Mask:[1] The main character has a degenerative disease which has greatly disfigured his face, but this doesn't stop him from finding romance with a blind girl during a summer camp job.
  • Toxic Avenger (a mutant) has a blind girlfriend. A smokin' hot one. When she is finally given sight for the first time, she sees her hot doctor and screams in horror, but thought that her freaky mutated beau was the sexiest man alive.
    • Subverted in the cartoon show based on the series. The girlfriend is not blind, just really stupid.
  • The Face Behind The Mask, a '40s B-Movie starring Peter Lorre, centers on a Hungarian immigrant who is horribly disfigured in a fire, and turns to a life of crime since nobody will hire him. He changes his ways after falling in love with a blind girl he runs into on the street, but she is killed by his former hired goons, who are envious of his new life. Needless to say, he doesn't take this well.
  • Used in Fantastic Four: Ben Grimm's fiancee leaves him after his transformation into The Thing. Later, he's drowning his sorrows in a bar and meets Alicia Masters, a blind girl. Brings up a valid question:

Johnny: So how do you... you know.
Ben: That's none of your business!

  • Played with in a deleted scene from the remake of The Wolf Man. The beast crashes a masked party, drawn to the voice of a blind singer's solo. The party members don't scream because they think he's in (excellent) costume. The blind singer delicately reaches out to feel his face, having stopped singing to inspect the huffing and growling in front of her. Just when the wolf man is about to let her touch his face and establish the only nonviolent interaction the beast had in the entire movie, a guest suddenly tugs on his sleeve to interrupt. The rampage continues, starting with that guest having werewolf fangs in his skull and leaving the party with the singer intact, splattered with blood that isn't hers.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In the original Frankenstein, the monster learns to speak by hiding in a house where a blind old man, his son and daughter-in-law live and listening to them talk. After a while, he approaches the old man while the others are out and asks for his help. But the rest of the family returns at this point and chases the monster away. This experience leads the monster to vow revenge on Victor Frankenstein.
  • In Robert Silverberg's short story "To See the Invisible Man", a man sentenced to a year of "societal" invisibility manages a brief conversation with a blind man, who ends up rejecting him just like everybody else. (The story was also adapted as an episode of the '80s Twilight Zone revival.)
    • Though, in this case, the blind man could have been arrested for talking to him. That's the point of the sentence, after all(to the point that the "invisible" man was able to waltz into a women's spa and gawk at them, and they can't do anything about it).
  • Invoked and then subverted in Timothy Zahn's short story "The Giftie Gie Us," in which a war vet with a badly damaged face takes a blind woman into his home; he grows to care for her, but believes if she could ever see his face she'd be repulsed. It is then revealed that she can telepathically see through other people's eyes, has always known what he looks like, and doesn't care.
  • In Things Not Seen, the invisible main character befriends a blind girl.
  • In the Discworld novel Feet of Clay, one of the regulars at a bar for the undead is Mrs. Gammage, a nearly-blind gray-haired and rather senile old lady who thinks it's the same (normal) bar she patronized decades ago. She thinks the other monsters are just regulars and is friendly to all of them, and they take care of her in kind; anyone who bothers her won't live long enough to regret it.
  • Victor Hugo's The Man Who Laughs has this with Gwynplaine and the blind Dea.
  • I'll Be Seeing You plays this for angst—the male lead is only temporarily blind from an injury, and the horribly scarred female lead is afraid of what will happen when he recovers and sees what she looks like. He ultimately decides he doesn't care.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • ALF befriends a blind woman in one episode of that series.
  • The Dark Angel episode "Hello, Goodbye" deals with a friendship between genetically engineered dog-man Joshua and a blind girl named Annie. She spends much of the episode talking about wanting to "see" him by feeling his face, something that he's understandably reluctant to do. He ends up having one of his more human-looking friends "stand in" for him. He eventually lets her "see" his real face and she accepts him even though he's obviously not all human. Later, The Men in Black from the Ancient Conspiracy learns of their friendship and snaps her neck to frame the only ones that the public knows has Super Strength for the murder.

When she does find out the truth, she brings up the potential Unfortunate Implications of this trope. Although she doesn't hate him, she's miffed that he took advantage of the fact she couldn't see.

  • The Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode The Brute Man had the large-faced Rondo Hatton befriending a blind girl. When the police discover their relationship, they talk her into luring him into a trap (which she feels bad about doing, even if he is a crazed killer.)
  • Done in an episode of the In the Heat of the Night series, where one of the deputies considers himself hideous because he's overweight and awkward, and he falls for a blind girl who couldn't care less.
  • In a late episode of the sitcom Taxi, Louie DePalma falls in love with a blind girl. While she undergoes an operation to restore her sight, he frets about whether she will reject him when she sees him. One thing he does while stewing is pluck out some of his eyebrow hairs. When the woman finally sees him, he's exactly like she expected, except that she pictured him having more hair in his eyebrows..
  • Subverted on Thirty Rock: Kenneth falls for a blind woman who rejects him after feeling his face.
  • Inverted, or subverted, or perverted, or...something on Becker, when Jake (a blind black man) ends up going out with a blind white woman, but it ends in tears when he mentions his skin colour offhand several weeks later and she turns out to be a racist.
  • Somewhat similarly twisted on Chappelle's Show with Clayton Bigsby, the blind white supremacist who doesn't realize he's black. His entire KKK chapter serves as the Magoo to his Monster, because he is hooded in all public appearances.
  • The Criminal Minds episode "The Big Wheel" partly focuses on the UnSub's friendship with a blind boy. The UnSub doesn't look particularly threatening let alone hideous or monstrous, but then again, the kid was there when the UnSub killed his mother.
  • On Star Trek: The Original Series, the crew once had to transport an alien called a Medusan, who was so hideous you would go mad if you saw it. The Medusan's human companion, however, is a blind telepath, who describes his mind as the most beautiful thing she had ever experienced.
    • This episode's title is "Is There in Truth No Beauty?"
  • Subverted on an episode of Will and Grace in which Will, who is a good-looking man, is set up on a date with a blind man. (Leads to a sort of Who's on First? incident when he realizes it's a literal blind date.) The man asks to feel Will's face so he can "see" him, which Will permits, and then the guy complains that just because he's blind, people always set him up with ugly dates.
  • Beauty and The Beast: Catherine has her eyes covered with bandages when she first meets Vincent, and has fallen in love with him by the time her eyesight has been restored.

Music[edit | hide]

  • The Vocaloid song The Ogre and the Maiden is about a lonely forest monster who is befriended by a blind woman. She eventually learns what he really is, but doesn't care, since she knows he's a good person inside. The music video, for its part, represents the ogre as a handsome human youth, but there are a few scenes where he looks like a traditional oni.
  • The song "Hello" by Lionel Ritchie.

Video Games[edit | hide]

Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • Hanako from Katawa Shoujo was left disfigured (but not horribly so) in an fire. Lilly, her best friend, is blind since birth. However it's actually reversed, as with her severe emotional scars to go along with her physical ones Hanako seems to be the only one who thinks that she's a monster. While not everyone is repulsed by her appearance, many of those who are not, such as Hisao, often act awkwardly while trying to avoid looking at her scars, and Hisao suspects that as that does not apply to Lilly, it was easier for her to befriend Hanako.

Webcomics[edit | hide]

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Starship: When Bug, the main character and a young bug, first meets February, a human Starship ranger who has been "wrangled" (taken captive and temporarily blinded) for the purpose of having eggs implanted in her chest, they fall for each other. This is at least partially owed to the combination of Bug's impeccable English and the fact that February can't see that he's not actually human.
  • Gorgeous Gorgons can find love too.
  • This Not Always Romantic post has a blind guy charmed by the "ugly" girl, rather than her vain friends. He even drops the appropriate aesop.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Hudson befriends Jeffrey Robbins, a blind veteran, in Gargoyles. Like every character in the series, he ends up becoming a recurring character. Though in a twist, Robbins reveals that he suspected Hudson wasn't human all along.
  • Something similar happens to Beast in the '90s X-Men cartoon. Oddly, Hank thinks Carly is unaware he's a mutant, even though she previously made a joke about his fur.
    • And when her sight is eventually restored (thanks to Beast's help), one of her first comments is how nice she thinks his soft blue fur looks.
  • In an episode of Aaahh Real Monsters, "Monster Blues", Ickis befriends a blind old man and ends up saving his life.
  • Subverted in Futurama, in which the blind guy was one of the kids who picked on Leela for only having one eye. "My eyes may not work, but at least I have two of them!"
  • Gummi Bears: Tummi Gummi briefly befriended a blind lady.
  • An episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 had a subplot involving Raphael seeking refuge in the home of a blind old lady, who mistook him for a volunteer worker sent to help her. As you might imagine, it mainly focused on Raph's Jerk with a Heart of Gold status.
  • The Simpsons: Groundskeeper Willie (basically used as an expy of Dick van Dyke's chimneysweep) was previously engaged to Sherry Bobbins. She dumped him after she had surgery that restored her eyesight.
  • Family Guy rather dickishly parodies Mask.[2] A man with degenerative disease, which has greatly disfigured his face, finds romance with a blind girl during a summer camp job. She touches his face and promptly gets grossed out.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Joseph Merrick, better known as The Elephant Man, expressed on several occasions the desire to go to a home for the blind and pick up chicks.
  • Roald Dahl fell in love with the nurse who treated him after he was temporarily blinded during an emergency landing in World War II. Upon regaining his sight, he saw that she was quite attractive, but still decided he no longer loved her.
  1. the 1985 film starring Cher, not the 1994 comedy with Jim Carrey
  2. the 1985 film starring Cher, not the 1994 comedy with Jim Carrey