Moe Greene Special

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
You bastard, these are my favorite glasses!

Ralphie: No, I want an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle!
Santa: You'll shoot your eye out, kid.


A character is shot in the eye. Inevitably leads to death or an Eyepatch of Power. Also works with arrows or knives.

Named after the memorable death of Moe Greene (based on Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel) in The Godfather. (Also, the redirect is named after what Ralphie was told over and over and over again in A Christmas Story.)

See also Eye Scream, Pretty Little Headshots, I Just Shot Marvin in the Face. For videogames, please see Go for the Eye. Scope Snipe is when a sniper fires a shot through an opposing sniper's telescopic sight. Subtrope to Boom! Headshot!.

Examples of Moe Greene Special include:

Anime and Manga

  • In one Case Closed movie, Conan wards off a near point blank gunshot to the eye by the specially reinforced lens of his glasses.
  • In Gunslinger Girl, Elsa shoots herself in the eye because that's the only way to destroy her for good. Later, Henrietta seemingly attempts the same thing.
  • Vice's little sister in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S gets shot in the eye by an energy bullet he fired. She survived since it only deals Magical Damage but she was still blinded in that eye. She ends up getting a replacement which is a slightly different colour.
  • Gungrave, both anime and video game: when Harry MacDowell shoots his best friend Brandon to death, he finishes him off by pushing his gun through the left lens of his glasses and puts a bullet through his eye.
  • Although with less modern weaponry, Berserk features lots of people getting an arrow lodged in the middle of their eyes.
  • Golgo 13 serves up a double Moe Greene to a spy satellite image analyst who tried to set him up to become a Boxed Crook; breaking from his usual style to deliver a Karmic Death.
  • In Hellsing, during the final battle, Integra is shot in her glasses. The glass fragments hit her eye. In the post-time skip epilogue, she is seen with a patch over that eye.
  • In the final volume of the Read or Die manga, Joker shoots Yomiko at point blank range, hitting her glasses. Not only is she not hurt, the bullet doesn't even scratch the lens. The fact that Yomiko can see with those glasses at all when you consider the fact that they originally belonged to her boyfriend is amazing enough without them being indestructible as well. What did Donny have those glasses made out of, anyway?

Comic Books

  • Hellboy: The Baba Yaga. Hellboy shoots her in the eye. It doesn't kill her, but it does banish her from the physical world.
  • In Jonah Hex, Tallulah Black's eye is shot out when thugs storm her family's frontier home. She survives, but the rest of her family is killed.
  • Batman does this with a Batarang in The Dark Knight Returns during his final confrontation with the Joker
  • In Seduction of the Innocent, the 1954 attack on Comic Books by Fredric Wertham, Wertham claims that he was able to find repeated instances of what he called the "injury to the eye motif" in the comic books of the time.
  • Inverted with the DC Comics mercenary/supervillain Deathstroke (Slade Wilson). His wife (a highly-trained soldier in her own right and his instructor in the Army) tried to kill Slade by shooting him in the back of the head. It exited through his eye. And he lived.
  • Subverted in Silent Hill: Dying Inside, after Christabella is shot in the eye she doesn't care in the slightest, since she can't feel it. The only thing she cares about is that the blast from the gun lit her hair on fire.
  • In Sin City, this is how Mort kills Bob.

Fan Works


  • Moe Green of The Godfather is the Trope Namer and page image.
  • The page quote comes from A Christmas Story. Ralphie wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, and every single adult tells him "You'll shoot your eye out."
  • The African dictator Wombosi is killed this way in The Bourne Identity.
  • RoboCop 2: Robocop shoots a sniper through the scope of his rifle and right into his eye
  • One of Woody Allen's films - Broadway Danny Rose - has a scene where Woody hears about somebody getting shot in the eye. "He's blind?" "No, he's dead." "Oh, right... because it would have gone right through..."
  • John Woo's Hard Boiled - Tequila Yuen kills Johnny Wong this way in the climax.
  • Attempted in Superman Returns.
    • Parodied in Epic Movie: the bullet enters Superman's eye with a messy-sounding squelch, and leaves him cursing in agony and disbelief.
  • James Bond kills Gettler in Casino Royale by shooting him in the eye with a nailgun. Like Moe Greene, Gettler was wearing glasses. With an eyepatch over one of the lenses, so it must have happened before!
  • One of the ways to dispatch a Neo-Viper from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is by stabbing him through the weaker eye-guards.
  • Escape To Athena (1979). David Niven shoots a German scuba diver through the lens of his goggles when he uses a woman as a Human Shield.
  • In Plunkett and Macleane, evil General Chance suffers this courtesy of Plunkett. He definitely had it coming.
  • How the main antagonist in Flyboys gets killed.
  • In Enemy at the Gates, Vasily Zaytsev's grandfather teaches him to always aim for the eye when shooting his rifle.
  • Hard Rain - One of the Mooks trying to rob the armored car in gets dispatched this way, he's wearing a pair of thick glasses that only make it messier.
  • Luz in Machete. She ends up sporting the Eyepatch of Power that can be seen in the opening credits.
  • Cheech Marin gets this in Desperado. Apparently he survived, since in Once Upon a Time In Mexico he shows up with an eyepatch.
  • The unstoppable Michael Myers gets a double dose at the end of Halloween 2, which succeeds only in blinding him, rather than splattering his brain. His eyes are miraculously restored (along with his skin, his life, and his late arch-enemy) in Halloween 4 (Halloween III: Season of the Witch was not Myers-related).
  • Jason shoot one the teens in her eye with a Harpoon Gun in Friday the 13 th Part III. IN 3-D!
  • Donnie Darko uses this near the end when Donnie shoots human-Frank. This is foreshadowed by the scene where Donnie stabs at a watery barrier towards rabbit-Frank, causing ripples and then a glow around the eye.
  • Colonel Graham loses an eye when his ambush of the 10th goes wrong in Posse. He spends the rest of the film sporting an Eyepatch of Power.



"I have never needed more than one .25-calibre bullet to kill. I shoot at the right eye, Mr Bond. And I never miss."

  • The Redwall book Salamandastron had a shrew get shot in the eye with an arrow. He dies.
  • In the Dale Brown novel Act of War, Zakharov gets shot in the eye, but his escape vehicle gets away before the kill can be confirmed. The characters are Genre Savvy enough not to count him out yet, and indeed he does return in Edge of Battle.
  • Orson Scott Card has used this a couple of times. In both Shadow Of The Hegemon and Empire, a major character is killed with a point blank .22 shot to the eye. In both cases, it's because the killer needs to smuggle the weapon into a secure area. A .22 handgun is small and light, but doesn't have much penetration—if a head shot doesn't go through the eye socket, it's pretty likely to just bounce off the skull.
  • A young soldier in All Quiet on the Western Front, coerced into signing up for the military by his teacher, is shot in the eye almost as soon as the battle starts. The worst part is that he doesn't die until another enemy shoots him again.
  • Subverted in Larry Niven's Ringworld Engineers. Chmeee gets shot in the eye socket with an arrow while having sex with a large number of other people's wives, but the autodoc fixes him up with no more than some missing fur.

Live-Action TV

  • In Deadwood's very first episode, Wild Bill Hickock takes out a bad guy this way.
  • Firefly - Mal shoots Dobson in the eye at the end of the pilot. In the comic continuation "Those Left Behind," Dobson returns with an Eyepatch of Power and Mal shoots out his other eye. Plus a few more in the brainpan, just to ensure that he won't be coming back again.
  • Heroes: Bennet gets shot right through the lens of his famous horn-rimmed glasses. He dies, but then he gets better.
  • Big Pussy specifically uses the phrase "Moe Greene Special" to describe one of the mob killings on The Sopranos.
  • Battlestar Galactica. Tigh, soon after he discovers he is a Cylon, dreams that he shoots Adama in the eye. Note that by this time in the story, Tigh had already lost his eye.
  • Deadliest Warrior - In the Samurai vs Viking episode, the samurai expert shows off the effectiveness of the Yumi, the samurai bow. He does so by calling his shots on a practice dummy, then hitting them perfectly. Then the expert calls "Left eye" and after that "Right eye"... plus you get to see it happen in slow motion on the replay.
  • Lost - Flash-sideways Mikhail dies like this. For bonus irony points, it's the one he lost and wore his Eyepatch of Power over in the main timeline.
  • In Brimstone, a cop who goes to Hell for murder (he killed the criminal who murdered his wife and child) gets sent back to Earth by the Devil with a promise of a new life for him and his family. All he has to do is send 100 demons who've escaped Hell to Earth back to Hell. He has to shoot them in the eyes (cause they are the windows to the soul).
  • In a flashback in season two of Arrow, we see Oliver stab Slade in the eye with an arrow.

Video Games

  • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, The Sorrow's broken lens and the blood leaking from the eye behind it heavily imply this trope. Seeing as his assassin was his lover The Boss, her method of execution was probably meant to be as quick and painless as possible in addition to professional.
    • Contrary to popular belief, this isn't (quite) what happens to Naked Snake's eye in the same game; the bullet skims the skin surrounding his eye which leaves a scar leading from under the eye-socket to the side of it, rather than penetrating it outright. The muzzle flash from the gunshot certainly didn't help either what with burning his eyeball and rendering him blind in his right eye.
      • Well if the bullet had penetrated Snake's eyeball then it would have either have gone straight through his brain, or have exited through the side of the eye-socket and have severed the optic nerve on its way out taking a chunk of flesh from the side of Snake's head with it. Death would have been almost instant. We can infer from this fact alone that the bullet only grazed the skin which is where the blood spray comes from and the actual damage to the eyeball came from the muzzle flash which is very hot (the heat from a muzzle flash is hot enough to severely burn a user's hand and has on occasion outright severed people's fingers off when guns have been mishandled by the shooter) and would justify blindness in Snake's eye.
  • Devil May Cry 4 sees Dante, following the last Agnus boss fight, killing the latter in just this manner. In a cutscene, of course.
  • A couple characters in Grand Theft Auto IV go out this way. Most memorably, your first execution involves Niko putting his gun up to Jerkass loan shark Vlad's eye and pulling the trigger, which results in his brains being blown out and a fountain of blood spraying out of his eye socket. Needless to say, Vlad wasn't in Grand Theft Auto V.
  • In Fallout and Fallout 2, the player could target enemy characters' eyes. "Crippling" someone's eyes would cause his/hers/its Perception stat' fall to almost nothing. Fallout 3 removes this option, but players can still target enemys' heads. Do this to a supermutant, and he'll grab his eyes and scream, implying that that's where the bullet hit him.
  • In Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, Phoebe inflicts Blind on enemies that she attacks with her Bow of Grace.
  • In Dynasty Warriors Xiahou Dun lost his eye when Cao Xing shoots him with an arrow. He then pulls out the arrow out, and eats his own eye. Just as he supposedly did in Real Life.

Web Comics

  • In Erfworld, it happens to Lord Manpower the Temporary, Stanley the Plaid's last warlord here.

Western Animation

  • In a deleted scene from "Burns' Heir", The Simpsons inflicted this on a Richard Simmons-esque aerobics robot. It regenerated the eye à la Terminator 2. The deleted scene was shown during "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" clip show.

Real Life

  • Supposedly happened to Osama Bin Laden when he was killed by Navy SEALS.
  • Attempted, at least according to legend, on Rasputin, among other things.
  • Rapper Bushwick Bill from Geto Boys was shot in the eye. He survived. And they put it on the album cover.
  • Cherokee outlaw Ned Christie was blinded in one eye when a gunshot tore through his nose and exited through his temple, taking the eye with it.
  • Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov was shot during one of his early battles with Turks. The musket ball hit him in the temple, wounded his eye from behind end exited through other cheek, and everybody assumed it fatal. Surprisingly he recovered, and even didn't lose the vision in that eye—his Eyepatch of Power was due to the fact that the eye still was wounded and ached if he used it for an extended time.
  • There are conflicting accounts of the 1066 Battle of Hastings, but according to some of them King Harold of England was hit by an enemy arrow to the eye, which either killed him outright or at least incapacitated him so he couldn't get away or otherwise prevent being hacked to pieces by Norman knights. The Bayeux Tapestry shows Harold attempting to yank an arrow out of his eye right before a mounted Norman cuts him down.
  • Israel Defense Forces General (and later Israeli Minister of Defense) Moshe Dayan gained his trademark Eyepatch of Power while doing reconnaissance for the Haganah (the predecessor to the IDF) in Vichy France-controlled Lebanon during World War II: while casing a police station, he was hit with a French bullet through his binoculars.