They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the seaWhere fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be
—G. K. Chesterton, Lepanto
Imagine you're drawing a face. You draw an oval, perhaps a jutting chin, some ruffled hair. Give him (or her, it doesn't matter) ears and a nose and a nice big smile. And then stop.
What does it look like? Well, not human, that's for sure. Without eyes (even just the sockets), our faces are unrecognizable and unreal. Without eyes, how can we see? More importantly, we as human beings normally use eye contact to connect with others on an emotional level (with a few exceptions). It is said that eyes are windows to the soul, so intuitively it is impossible to connect with something/someone that has no eyes.
Creatures without eyes can be downright creepy, let's face it. Seeing a Faceless Eye chasing you is scary, sure, but seeing an Eyeless Face is usually more scary, since it looks so close to human but there's something not quite human about it. Be warned and keep an eye out.
Compare with Hidden Eyes, which is a temporary, metaphorical implementation of this. Contrast Extra Eyes, where the character in question has too many eyes. Related to The Blank. And if something doesn't have eyes on their face, they may have them somewhere else. Not to be confused with Youngblood's disease. Justified if Bizarre Alien Senses are used in place of vision.
- The Mass Production EVAs from End of Evangelion. It isn't a human face though. Take a snake. Paint it white. Give it massive red lips, and a big block of square teeth. Now take its eyes away. And make it constantly smile, even when having its head blown off, back snapped, stabbed through the head.
- Sailor Moon manga features a lot of moments where the characters (mostly villains) are drawn in with only eyelashes instead of the full eye. This looks quite creepy.
- If you're not a main character in Saiyuki you were born with no eyes.
- Truth from Fullmetal Alchemist. He/she/it usually appears as The Blank. Sometimes we see a grin on Truth's face, but never any eyes.
- Mercuremon's "face" is just a mirror with lips painted on it. No nose. No eyes. Just a mouth.
- Also Kuwagamon, the first enemy in the first season.
- Ghost Stories had the mirror spirits, who dragged people inside a mirror and took their forms. However they had no eyes, so they wore eyeglasses, that had their eyes on/inside the lenses, to disguise themsleves.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- The Corinthian from The Sandman. Not quite, though—once he whips off the shades, his eye sockets are twin tiny mouths, with teeth. Ow. For his victims, though—he can see just fine...
- Likewise, in the few pictures of Destiny where the top half of his face isn't in total shadow, he doesn't appear to have eyes, though it's difficult to say for sure.
- Hell, even Dream is sort of an example of this. He has... stars for pupils in pitch-black eye sockets, but they are not legit eyes. Neil Gaiman, why do you love this trope so much?
- Because he knows he'll get this reaction from readers and also from the people he works with. Seriously - he happily admitted to it in an interview.
- Actually, it's seen several times that Destiny does have eyes, although they are often depicted as being blank white or cataracted, and Dream also has what might be called eyeballs, only they're black and starlit, and even Delirium wonders why he doesn't have "proper eyes". Owing to Dream's Emo Teen manner, however, his eyes are almost always in deep shadow.
- X-Men villainess Destiny was a Blind Seer who wore an eyeless mask, which Spiral used for Nightmare Fuel purposes when she literally NAILED the mask onto X-Man Dazzler's face during the Fall of the Mutants X-Over in order to keep Dazzler from using her eyebeam laser attack.
- Years later, another blind precog (Blindfold) came along and joined the X-Men's junior team. More true to the trope, she doesn't even have sockets for eyes. She wears a strip of cloth across her face at eye level (a 'blindfold' as it were) to hide the fact.
- Marvel's Batman-Expy the Shroud had his eyes burnt off by means of steaming hot iron being pressed in his face. To prevent the readers from spazzing out by seeing burnt eyes and molten flesh it's toned down to just scarred flesh. He's a Daredevil-esque hero, with supersenses and a Disability Superpower.
- Probe from the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle has psychic powers and no eyes, which she disguises with sunglasses. She mentions that she hasn't had any easy time growing up without eyes.
- Doug's wife, Maggie "Shadowwalker" Sangnoir in Drunkard's Walk. Instead of eyes she has a patch of "fur" which is part of the active sonar system she uses to "see".
- This trope forms the entire premise of Bruiser. A man wakes up one day to find that his face has taken on the appearance of a smooth, featureless mask; no eyes, nose, mouth or facial hair.
- The Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth actually has eyes. Just not in his face!
- Also on the subject of Doug Jones playing creepy characters in films made by Guillermo del Toro, we have the Angel of Death from Hellboy II. It has eyes all over its wings, but none on its face. It was perhaps the most memorable moment in the film.
- The major creep factor in Coraline is that everyone in the Other World has black buttons sewn into their eyes.
- And the other mother doesn't have any at all.
- To be honest, she used to have some... but not when the cat is done with her.
- And the other mother doesn't have any at all.
- This trope is partially used in The Goonies when the Goonies discover the lost pirate ship, and Mikie finally finds the skeletal remains of One Eyed Willy, the ship's former captain, still sitting in a chair. Curiosity leads Mikie to lift up Willy's eyepatch, and he is visibly spooked by the discovery that One Eyed Willy didn't earn his nickname by way of any injury, but rather by way of never having a left eye in the first place. There was no eye socket where it should have been.
- The Miraluka in Star Wars are gifted Force users, and usually light siders...
- ...with the exception of Jerec from the Dark Forces Saga, a powerful and truly evil Dark Jedi.
- ...and Visas Marr from Knights of the Old Republic 2, who starts out as evil but can become a Light Sider or stay Dark Side depending on the actions of the player.
- The tie-in comic story "Unseen, Unheard" shows Visas Marr without the veil that she never takes off in the game. She has no eyes, just skin over the sockets.
- When she was captured by the Sith, they must have found it creepy as well. She woke up to find her new master had carved out large pockets of flesh to imitate eye sockets. The scars apparently never faded. This is why she never takes off her hood.
- The main character in Jacobs Ladder is haunted by the supremely disturbing figures pictured above, though you eventually learn that they're actually Angels helping him leave his past behind and enter heaven.
- Xenomorphs in the Alien series.
- The grim oracles in Clash of the Titans had no eyes, but traded a single crystal between them to see.
- This is based on the mythical Graeae, or 'Grey Ones'--three women who were born old, with one eye and one tooth between them.
- Event Horizon's Dr.Weir pulls this off around the time he goes Axe Crazy, gouges his own eyes and starts blowing up stuff and gutting fellow team members apart. He gets his eyes back though in time to beat the snot out of Laurence Fishburne.
- Let's not forget the vision Weir has of his dead wife.
- In the J-Horror movie Apartment 1303, Mariko is telling a ghost story to her friends. This story features the ghost of a woman in a kimono, who stands by the elevator doors on the 13th floor. Her face is concealed, as she hangs her head and faces away. Whenever someone goes to use the elevator, the ghost first asks them if they are currently on the 13th floor. When they respond "yes", and start to move towards the elevator, the ghostly woman grabs their arm and reveals her face - pale, sickly, and with the eyes covered in bloody bandages. She then demands for the person to "Give me back my eyes", before the bandages suddenly fall away - to reveal an eyeless face.
- In the film of V for Vendetta, during the Dr. Delia Surridge's diary segment, V has no eyes.
- The Engineer in Hellraiser Inferno.
- And The Chatterer somehow manages to combine Eyes Always Shut and this trope.
- Minority Report. The dealer whom John Anderton buys drugs from has no eyes. According to him, his father used to say that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
- This incidentally is because in this world everybody is constantly traced by long distance retina scanners that are used in everything from paying train fare to bombing people with personalized advertisements. Not having eyes is the best way to hide, especially when it's always possible to buy a new set from the black market if you need them.
- The sinister Mouth of Sauron in Return of the King wears a rather painful-looking helmet that covers most of his face except his mouth.
- Humma Kavula, closest thing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has to a villain, has what appear to be perfectly normal eyes behind goggle-like glasses... until he takes them off and wipes them on his sleeve...
- The Fates in Disney's Hercules had to share one eye and usually fought over who would use it. They even dropped it once.
Literature[edit | hide]
- In Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser, Sheelba of the Eyeless Face is a maybe example - he always hides his face under a hood, but considering his name, maybe that's a good thing.
- The inhabitants of Ixchel in A Wrinkle in Time. Subverted in that they turn out to be very nice people. Apparently, vision is an alien concept for the entire planet, because even the plants are gray.
- The McDonald's employee in the created universe in The Andalite Chronicles. The Andalites themselves are kind of an inversion: two eyes on the face, another two above the face, but no mouth.
- To be specific, the employee was created from the memory of a character who never noticed anything about his "real" incarnation but his acne. Therefore, his face is a solid mass of oozing pimples.
- The Myrddaal from The Wheel of Time.
- Star Trek: The Original Series novel "Planet of Judgment. A security guard (Bill Hixon [dead link]) is taken by a group of aliens and physically altered: one of the changes is that his eyes are removed and covered over with flesh.
- The Harrowing in Simon R. Green's Nightside series.
- Moonbeasts from H.P. Lovecraft's Dream Quest to Unknown Kadath have no eyes. Or even a face—just a tangle of writhing slimy tentacles where it should be. The god Nyarlatothep is also occasionally described as having an eyeless face (or a mask that covers his eyes)...when he doesn't have one huge tentacle instead of a face.
- The Miraluka in the Star Wars Expanded Universe have eye sockets filled with flesh. They see through the Force.
- The character Victor Farkas (he's on the cover of one edition) in Robert Silverberg's novel Hot Sky at Midnight.
- The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant has two examples. Ur-viles the stock monster in The Land, have eyeless faces. However, the hero Hile Troy also has an eyeless face, having been born disfigured in the "real world." When he comes to The Land, he gains sight despite having no eyes.
- The Waynhim, the non-chaotic-evil version of the Ur-viles, are also eyeless.
- In the text version of Elf Quest, Leetah's offer to mend One-Eye's lost eye is declined, as a Wolfrider healer, less skilled than her, had treated his injury long ago by sealing the socket completely.
- The inhabitants of H. G. Wells' The Country of the Blind are born like this due to a congenital illness. Not only do they consider their condition normal, but upon feeling the face of a sighted man, they conclude that the pair of soft masses above his cheeks are tumors that should be removed surgically.
- In Skulduggery Pleasant, the Faceless Ones turn out to be so named because humans they possess have all of their facial features melt away.
- To a less creepy extent, we have Billy-Ray Sanguine, who would, in different circumstances, be described as handsome...except for the two empty sockets where his eyes should be.
- Lights Out from the Hard-hitting novel Angel Blood was born like this. She, as well as three other severely deformed or disabled children, is living in a hospital, where she is frequently mistreated and tranquilised. During the course of the book she never verbally communicates, yet shows a sweet and innocent nature.
- The Dementors in Harry Potter normally have their faces hidden by hoods, but are described as having faces with no eyes (only skin over where the eye sockets should be) and giant round sucking mouths.
- The aptly-named Blind Io of Discworld, of which he is arguably the chief god (or once was, real estate in Dunmanifestin moves around fairly quickly). He has eyes, but they don't spend any time in his head.
- The Cunning Man from I Shall Wear Midnight is a curious variant of this. Instead of empty sockets or smooth skin where his eyes should be, he has holes straight through his head, through which can be seen whatever is behind him. As, on the Discworld, the eyes are literally windows to the soul, this is a very bad thing indeed.
- In the future-evolution book After Man, most bats have completely lost their eyes, making room on their faces for additional echolocation-enhancing folds and depressions.
- There's a Doctor Who novel called The Eyeless. Although that is not the creepiest thing about the Hive Mind aliens who harvest "trophies" and absorb them into their transparent bodies. In fact, the creepiest one does have eyes.
- In Perdido Street Station, the slake-moths have antennae positioned where a normal creature's eyes would be.
- Every creature in Wayne Barlowe's Expedition is eyeless, save for one creature that sports what might be a single (retractable!) eye. Semi-subverted in the case of those species whose nostrils or breathing-spiracles are positioned so they resemble eyes.
- The Harbingers or Bringers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer have scarred flesh instead of eyes. "Crazy alphabet eyes".
- A consequence of the horrific Helvetica Scenario in the first series of Look Around You. In the second series of Look Around You, Prince Charles falls into this category.
- Tom Servo is the only robot on Mystery Science Theater 3000 without eye parts. And if you're now asking, "Then how does he watch the movies?" well...
- The Trickster in The Sarah Jane Adventures.
- In a non-creepy example, Professor Honeydew of the Muppets. It's not clear why he wears glasses.
- Because if he didn't, he would be creepy. The Swedish Chef lacks eyes as well, but likewise has "indications" of eyes, in his case bushy eyebrows.
- Plus its hilarious when he raises his glasses in order to check his work.
- Scooter is another Muppet example, seeming to have eyes while wearing glasses, but having an Eyeless Face when he removes them.
- Janice is another like the chef, who has indicators (eyelashes)but no real eyes.
- On sketch involve a face-lift machine had Muppets with their facial features temporarily removed, resulting in nothing but a mouth.
- The alien rebels from The X-Files have their eyes, ears and mouth sealed up so they can't be infested with the 'black oil'.
- Technically, Davros from Doctor Who has an eye, but as a blue light on his forehead. Not that that's better, but....
- The Demon Mephistopheles ends up like this in Hex after defying his masters. They put him on "a permanent loop through the nine circles of Hell", and one of his punishments is having his eyes sewn shut.
- One Ultraman story has a race of subterranean humanoids kidnapping Hayata (Ultraman's human form) as part of an attempt to take over the surface world.
- This happens to people on one episode of Fringe. Or more specifically, happens to every opening of their body.
- The three Graiae (Gray Sisters) from Classical Mythology have only one eye and one tooth, which they take turns using. When one of them is using the eye, the others look like this trope.
- The drummer for Australian band Rudely Interrupted was born without eyes.
- Daniel Amos, on the cover of their album ¡Alarma!.
- The Mujina from Dungeons & Dragons has little in the way of facial features at all.
- The Grimlocks are another eyeless D&D race.
- Doppelgangers are an inversion, they have eyes but no other facial features in their natural form.
- The Lesser and Greater Minions of the Eyeless Face in Exalted.
- EverQuest -- Cazic-Thule the Faceless is a malevolent four-armed god whose worship is dominated by fear. His spiny head lacks any eyes (or nose, or teeth, or eyes for that matter).
- The angry god also has his Avatars of Fear who bear his likeness.
- The Scarred Lands—After the gods won the war against their parent Titans, they sealed them since they could never be killed. One of the Titans, Kadum the Mountain Shaker, was chained and flung into the deepest oceans, where the sea now runs red from his constantly bleeding wound where his heart was cut out. As a result of the exposure, all nearby sea life became tainted by the Titan's blood. One of these beings were the Blood Maidens, who look like beautiful women with long black hair and pale skin. When seeing their faces, the creature's monstrous nature becomes clear. Instead of a normal face, the blood maiden has only a giant circular, eyeless maw, like a lamprey.
- Every native species on the planet of Jorune, good or bad, is like this, because they navigate by sensing life energy instead of light.
- The Ur-Ghuls from the Dark Eldar army of Warhammer 40k are eyeless, but they can sniff out their prey.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Ash Zombies and Ash Ghouls in Morrowind, the former with a hole gouged out where their upper face used to be, and the latter seeing it replaced with some sort of proboscis.
- Also, the Falmer in Skyrim.
- Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation One, due to technical limitations.
- Same with Silent Hill 1, outside of the pre-rendered CGI.
- NPCs in Suikoden Tactics who aren't important to the plot have eyeless character portraits.
- Many creatures in the Silent Hill series, if they have a face at all.
- The Pokémon Zubat
- It lacks legs, too, but gets both when it evolves.
- Deino and Zweilous from Pokémon Black and White may seem to have Blinding Bangs at first glance. Until you find out that their Pokedex entries state that they have no eyes and cannot see, instead relying on their sense of smell to move around (Which Justifies their Hustle ability, increased attack power for lowered accuracy).
- In Skullgirls, Peacock can classify as an eyeless face. What look like her eyes technically are fake and don't work at all, as her real eyes were gored out. The eyes on her arms are the only way she can see now that she's a cyborg.
- In Spore, making your creatures this way causes the screen to be dark while playing.
- Until the Civilization phase.
- In Wrath of the Lich King, the expansion pack to World of Warcraft, there is an old Titan base called Ulduar, which has been corrupted by the villainous old god Yogg-Saron. The beast in question is known as the "Beast With a Thousand Maws" because, in addition to its main mouth, it has several other mouths all over its body, including where its eyes would normally be.
- The Licker monsters from the Resident Evil series.
- The Puppets from Thief: DS. Of course, they're mostly lacking faces entirely, showingly merely the vague shape of a face beneath the cloth wrapped around their faces. But the effect is the same.
- Enjoy playing Runes of Magic? Does your computer barely meet the minimum requirements? If so, like me, you'll probably have to play with the lowest display settings, with the side effect that NOBODY has eyes. Not you, not any other player avatars, not NPCs, and not monsters. Have you SEEN a fucking eyeless wolf?!
- The Final Fantasy IX version of Bahamut seems to lack eyes for some reason.
- All of the Asura demon forms in the Digital Devil Saga series are notable for having no visible eyes.
- The Wannamingo in Fallout 2 were modeled similar to the Alien xenomorphs.
- Half-Life's Xenian organisms pretty much either have too many eyes, or none at all. Examples include Antlions, and Headcrabs.
- The True Final Boss of Shadow the Hedgehog shares one eye between two heads, and the eye has to constantly switch between the two heads. Which means that one of the two heads just has an empty eye socket where its eye should be.
- Theresia does everything it can to avoid showing people's eyes in cutscenes, but whenever we get a glimpse they're shown as having small inward curves with no actual eyes in them. This is probably stylistic rather than literal.
- Many of the Eldritch Abomination monsters in Quake.
- The Imps in Rule of Rose just have a pair of asymmetrical, black eye sockets on their face.
- A technique used all the time in Visual Novels. The main Always Male protagonist will usually not have an actual visual design. This is to make it easier for the player to imagine themselves as that role. If the protagonist absolutely needs to be depicted in a scene, he'll be drawn without eyes so that his face appears featureless.
- The Aqua Demon monsters in the Disgaea series lack any visible eyes, and instead use the horns on their heads to sense things in their environment. A bunch of them had Blank White Eyes on one instance, though it was presumably just to emphasize how badly they had gotten beaten up.
- Piranha Plants in Super Mario Bros., seeing as they're based off of Venus flytraps, which consist of nothing but a "mouth" and a stalk.
- Crazy 8's driver No Face from Twisted Metal Black. He is still able to drive, because he can somehow sense what's around him.
- Some H-Games depict the player character this way, presumably to somehow help the player imagine himself in the role. Often just ends up creepy as hell.
- Futurama: "The Farnsworth Parabox" featured numerous alternate universes, among which was one where nobody had any eyes.
(The eyeless Fry, Leela, and Hermes are facing away)
Alternate Amy:"Hello? Did you see two smelly lobsters?"
Eyeless Hermes: "We didn't see anyt'ing..."
(They turn around)
Eyeless Hermes: "...Ever."
- One of the Nightmare Dreams from the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "Nightmares and Daydreams" featured Toph without any eyes. It was creepy.
- Mr. Lunt from Veggie Tales is a gourd with no eyes. More silly than creepy.
- Many characters from Veggie Tales don't have eyes. Most cover them with hats, Pa Grape switches between glasses and hats.
- Notably, Mr. Lunt has been seen without either glasses or a hat. His eye-indicators were two locks of his hair that fell down on his brow. That brow crinkling with passionate song was creepy, though.
- Eye Guy from Ben 10 has eyes everywhere on his body except his face.
- Wildmutt doesn't have eyes at all. He "sees" using gill-shaped nostrils on either side of his head.
- Lampshaded in both of Everett Peck's cartoon series Duckman and Squirrel Boy, where Duckman and Andy both remove their glasses, revealing no eyes at all, while the eyes are still in the lenses.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- The first monster to appear in Silent Hill: Promise only has indentations where its eyes should be.
- All of the adult characters in Homestuck are drawn with eyeless faces. Some - Jade's Grandpa, John's Nanna, and Dave's Bro - wear glasses, but the eyes still can't be seen through them. This has been confirmed to be only stylistic: they do actually have eyes. On a more literal level, Doc Scratch has no eyes at all, since his head is a blank cueball; fellow Physical God Becquerel doesn't either, but no-one's sure if he really doesn't or if it's also stylistic.
- Dead characters have blank, white eyes without pupils, but can still see. Sollux had his eyes burned out, leaving him with only empty sockets, after losing a duel against Eridan.
- It does seem likely that Becquerel has no eyes, since the only difference between him and Harley is the eyes. Given that Scratch and the GCat seem to lack eyes too, and Jadesprite complained of the Green Sun's light in her eyes, it's entirely possible that all First Guardians are engineered without eyes.
- The Turikasuul alien race from Carpe Chaos.
- Iralbe the Hell Hound in Wurr. It's surprisingly expressive.
- Palmaster in L's Empire has a mutation that makes it where he doesn't have eyes. Since eyes are the only thing male Kayoss have on their faces in the first place, this also makes him The Blank.
Web Original[edit | hide]
- This YouTube video, which is based on one of Cyriak's many disturbing animated GIF files.
- Appears in this video
- The Operator from Marble Hornets seems to lack eyes...and a face.
- The Xuile'solen of Drowtales are a subspecies of drow that lost their eyes to adapt to living in the dark, and most outside the drow cities are living Nightmare Fuel that are essentially feral animals.
- This Fraggle Rock fanart. So that's why Boober hid his face...*shudder*
- When you open the eyelids of the man in Room 16 of The 99 Rooms, he has only empty sockets.
- Several cave animals lack eyes, since they'd be useless in a pitch black environment and would therefore only serve as a waste of resources and vulnerable entry point for parasites and pathogens. Some are also socketless.
- Moles, mole-rats, and similar burrowing creatures often feature eyes reduced to such an extent that they are overgrown by a layer of skin and fur. Marsupial moles and Golden moles take this to an extreme, having just vestigial remnants of retinas where eyes would have once been. This, however, doesn't make them scary, instead it makes them balls of fur with legs, and therefore extremely huggable.
- Does the Biting Pear of Salamanca, aka the LOL WUT Pear belong here?
- Well, the "creepy" factor comes from the fact that it has ANY facial features when it shouldn't, not the other way around...
- Bilateral anophthalmia is an extremely rare medical condition where children are born without eyes.
- A similar symptom is when a child is born with their skin covering over their eyes. This can be a result of radiation in the environment. This looks actually freakier than bilateral anophthalmia (who look like their lids are permanently closed), since the children born with this condition appear to have nothing but smooth skin where their eyes should be.
- Laura Bridgman was one of the first deaf-blind Americans to be educated, decades before Helen Keller. Usually she wore a silk band around her eyes, or dark glasses, but there is one picture taken for medical reasons that shows her without them. It takes you a minute to realize you're looking into nearly empty sockets. She actually did have eyes, but the rest of the story is moderate Eye Scream.
- Rarely a cat will be born with one eye not properly developed. For example, this kitten. Even rarer still when a cat is born with no eyes at all.
- The late Raymond Robinson, aka the Green Man aka Charlie No-Face.
- A mature flounder embodies both this trope and Extra Eyes, as one of its eyes shifts to the other side of its body as it grows up.
- How about Dallas Wiens, the man that recently got a whole new face?