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To put quite simply, a character or creature that only has one eye naturally.

Monocular vision is symbolic of metaphorical narrow vision and lack of depth perception. As such, many human villains have one eye as an indication of their simplistic worldview. This also provides an excuse for an Eyepatch of Power. Characters who lack perspective on a temporary basis might sport Peek-a-Bangs or some other occular obtrusion.

It should be noted that Cyclops more accurately translates to "circle-eye" or "wheel-eye", referring to its size. Therefore Cyclopean technically means huge, and not one-eyed (not to mention Cyclops themselves were giants).

For other deviations from normal eye structure, see Eyeless Face, Third Eye, Oculothorax, and Extra Eyes. Compare to the robotic version, the Cyber Cyclops, and Eyepatch of Power.

Examples of Cyclops include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • X-Men member Cyclops, so named because of his large visor spanning his head. (Underneath the visor he's actually got two eyes, though. Getting a look at them can be rather dangerous, however.)
    • In the Age of Apocalypse timeline, he really did only have one eye, since Wolverine gouged out the other one.
  • A couple appear, as minor characters, in Preacher (Comic Book). They're the kids of an isolated family living in the swamps of Louisiana, after generations of in-breeding.


  • Mike from Monsters, Inc.: He basically consists of a giant eye, a mouth underneath, and limbs.Mike's girlfriend Celia fits as well. Also, the logo of the titular company.
  • The cyclopes in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, which looked like a giant one-eyed satyr with a horn on its head. A second one also in that film is easy to spot—it has two horns.
  • The Golden Voyage of Sinbad had a one-eyed centaur.
    • So does 2007's TMNT.
  • The Cyclopes in The City of Lost Children are a group of religious zealots who are all blind and see through the aid of Borg-like eyepieces called "Optacons" that they emphatically only wear over one eye (their left). Their temple which features huge open furnaces and mountains of coal is also a reference to the cyclopes in Callimachus' hymn in Greek Mythology where they were blacksmiths who assisted Hephaestus.
  • Rell in Krull.
  • B.O.B. in Monsters vs. Aliens.
  • Many of the minions in Despicable Me.
  • There is a giant cyclops in |Hercules as one of the Titans. The series also included smaller cyclopes. The Fates from the same movie also shared one eye between the three of them, with one even having only one eye socket in the middle of her face.
  • Agent Wendy Pleakley from Lilo and Stitch.
  • The Bert I. Gordon film The Cyclops, although there, the titular beast is a normal (albeit giant) man who is just missing his left eye due to half his face having melted off (similar to Gordon's War of the Colossal Beast).
    • The scarred, one-eyed Glenn Manning in that film also probably counts.
  • In The Lord of the Rings adaptations, Sauron is represented as an enormous fiery eyeball. The Great Eye is also his symbol in the book, though he's implied to still have a physical body that presumably has two eyes.

Live-Action TV

  • In Classic Doctor Who the ambassador from Alpha Centauri in the "Peladon" stories is from a Cyclopean species.


  • Long time fans of Dr. Demento will remember the song "Cyclops" by David Little, which received some airplay on his show in the 1980s.


  • The trope namer are the cyclopses of Classical Mythology, the most famous of which is Polyphemous from The Odyssey.
    • There were two types—one group were people-eating giants, the others were also giants, but worked in Hephaestus' forges.
    • The other kind of giants were the Hekatonkheires, hundred-armed giants. Now imagine a Hekatonkheir playing tennis against a Cyclops...
  • Sinbad the Sailor has met a Cyclops in the Polyphemous mold before.
  • Japanese Folklore is full of one-eyed creatures, including the Hitotsume Nyuudo (one eyed monk), the Aobozu (Blue Monk) and the Ippondatara (a giant with one eye and one leg).

Tabletop Games


  • Cyclops, by Euripides, tells the story of the most famous man-eating cyclops - the one who went up against Odysseus in the Odyssey.

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation

Real Life

  • Cy, the internet-famous one-eyed noseless kitten, who was born December 2009 and died a day later.
  • A cyclops goat was also born in Nigeria. It caused quite a stir - they even accused the owner of an act of bestiality.
  • A one-eyed piglet with a severely deformed nose was also born in China in 2005.