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Exactly What It Says on the Tin, this is when someone doesn't like to be looked at, with the title being the Stock Phrase you're most likely to hear them bellow to underline the point. Compared to Hates Being Touched, this one tends to be a more temporary state of being, often triggered by a Heroic BSOD, transformation into a Body Horror, or revealing a Red Right Hand - after all, it can be understandably difficult to write a character who actively seeks to go unnoticed. Such situations are often remedied with The Hero giving the afflicted Love Interest a Cooldown Hug and telling her that he still loves her, or that her wings are beautiful.

In a more mundane setting, this can be merely indicative of body image issues, warranted or otherwise. This version is almost Always Female.

Another version is a character being caught doing something they're ashamed of, for example if they've been Caught With Their Pants Down.

Not to be confused with the remarkably similar, defensive stock phrase said when everyone in the room labels a character as the most likely culprit of some misdeed of which he's not (entirely) guilty by leveling him an accusing stare -- "Don't look at me!" rather than "Don't look at me!" -- which is... another trope entirely.

Something to keep in mind when adding examples: it only counts as an example of this trope if it is used to imply that a character is ashamed of his or her appearance. Thus, it's not a Don't Look At Me if it's yelled at an Accidental Pervert stumbling upon a girl taking a bath, but it is if it's a girl disrobing in a Hentai embarrassed at the prospect of being naked in front of her boyfriend.

Examples of Don't Look At Me include:


Anime and Manga

  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Envy keeps yelling this when he first reveals his true form in the manga and second anime.
  • Fruits Basket: When Kyo's true form is revealed in front of Tohru, he yells this before he runs off.
  • In Fushigi Yugi, Miaka yells this at Tamahome, covering herself after nearly being raped. In a later four-paneled parody at the end of the volume, Tamahome does the same.
  • In Spice and Wolf when Holo transforms fully into her wolf form, she says this specifically to Lawrence. Notably, she didn't mind Lawrence seeing her stripping naked, but she didn't want to frighten him with the transformation.
  • Black Butler: In the anime, Sebastian tells Ciel to close his eyes when he transforms into his demon form in order to kill Ash - a surprising (and yet disappointing) non-romantic version of this trope.
  • A heartbreaking example occurs during the climax of the Eclipse from Berserk. During her horrific rape by the new demon lord Femto, the last sane thing that Casca says to her lover Guts is "don't watch," despite the fact that he is being Forced to Watch by the demons who dog-piled him after he severed part of his own left arm in his last attempt to save her. After she passes out from her defeat and humiliation, Casca awakens only to have become insane and mute and has not spoken coherently since the events of the Eclipse.
  • Was a pretty important moment for Jiro's mental state in Kikaider when he ran off screaming this.
  • Happens in the Martial Arts Dining arc of Ranma ½. Before Ranma goes into the bathroom to train for a match, he tells Akane to not look inside. She doesn't, until she hears screams of pain. She runs in to find Ranma turned into a boy and in a feminine, iron corset too small for his male body. He yells at her to stop looking.
    • When Ranma loses the Dragon Whisker that stops his hair from growing rapidly, Akane runs after him. She finds him alone in a dark room and moves to get in closer, but Ranma shouts at her, "Don't look at me, Akane!"
  • Ryoshi from Ookami-san has a severe aversion to being stared at, and will yell these words whenever he becomes the center of attention. He gets better as the series progresses.

Comics

  • Doctor Doom as regards his unmasked face.
  • In X-Men: Inferno, Illyana said this line to her brother, Colossus, after being turned into a demon. Colossus looked anyway. And after that, the beaten demon, though he is responsible for the death.
  • In Empowered, when Sistah Spooky is briefly depowered and returned to her mid-puberty appearance, she screams this as she traded her soul to become forever beautiful.
  • Secret Six: Horrifyingly done by Junior, due to the heavily implied sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her father and a policy to kill anyone who does.

Film

  • Hellraiser: Frank tells this to Julia before stealing flesh from his victims.
  • Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense keeps telling people, "Don't look at me like that!"
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula has Mina walk in on Dracula ravishing a spell-ensnared Lucy. Since he's not exactly looking his best in any number of ways, he tells her "Do not see me!". It works due to his hypnotism powers, and Mina seems to have no memory of what she saw.
  • Said frequently in Blue Velvet. One of the film's most iconic lines is Frank Booth's "Don't you fucking look at me!". Thanks to an extremely disturbing case of Stockholm Syndrome, Dorothy has ended up enjoying abuse, and so uses the same line when the power positions are reversed with another character.

Literature

  • In The Elenium and The Tamuli series by David Eddings, the goddess Aphrael is normally in the form of a six year old child. She has several different forms, including her "real" form as an adult woman, which she never uses except when changing forms. She doesn't like anyone to see her changing forms.
  • In Discworld, Angua von Uberwald, a werewolf, hates anyone seeing her change from wolf to human and vice versa. It's hinted to be a Brown Note for canines and humans alike, since Gaspode was reduced to a whimpering mess the last time he didn't shut his eyes in time.
  • In Kingdoms and Conquerors, T'zinkin refuses to look at Ryan, and begs him not to look at her, because she 'isn't worthy' when he explains for the thousandth time that he isn't a god, she replies that she isn't worthy- because she wasn't able to save the others.

Live Action TV

  • Angel: Angel says this when he sees his true demon form in Pylea.
  • Shouted word for word by Kramer on an episode of Seinfeld after a bout of chain-smoking ruins his appearance.
  • Spoofed In Just Shoot Me, when Finch cries about King Lear twice, and says this both times.
  • In the Scrubs episode "My Bad Too," Dr. Kelso says this to J.D. and Elliot when they find him eating a chocolate cake he had thrown away before out of the trash.

Tabletop Games

Theatre

  • In Follies, Sally says sings this when she meets Ben.

Video Games

  • The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past contains a very quiet guy just sitting there in the desert. He is a retired thief who wants his old reputation to just go away already. Next to him is a sign:

 I'm just an average guy. Do not try to talk to me. DO NOT remove this sign.

  • Happens when you take a picture to scandalize and show the PC's mom (no, seriously) of a rival Mafia member in a diaper with prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, Collette uses this phrase when her clothes are torn, revealing that her Cruxis crystal is taking over her body.
  • At the end of Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh the grossly mutated real Curtis Craig says this to his player-controlled clone before summoning his spectral puppet for the final Battle in the Center of the Mind
  • Played for drama in Fallout: New Vegas by the Nightkin. Their nature as stealth experts who spent all their time shrouded by Stealth Boys makes them despise being stared at, and the trope phrase is their reaction to the player character even glancing in their general direction. The side effects of prolonged Stealth Boy use also all but guarantee they'll develop debilitating mental disorders such as schizophrenia (on top of being Super Mutants).
  • In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, this is one of the things the Professor's ward Flora says if she gets a puzzle wrong.
  • In Minecraft, looking directly at one of the Endermen (as in, moving the reticule in the center of the screen over them) causes them to freeze and turn to face you. The moment you look away, they attack, moving very fast and teleporting if necessary to close the distance.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • The Simpsons.
  • Beauty and the Beast: The Beast is angered by Belle's father's intrusion into the castle, saying that he's "come to stare at the Beast".
  • Batman: The Animated Series
    • Two-Face tries to hide his disfigurement when his girlfriend comes to see him, and gets mad when she removes the cloth covering half his face.
    • There was also the former starlet who covered her face with a mask at all times, at the risk of her Berserk Button. When she's unmasked at the end, Batgirl whispers that "She's beautiful," but Batman coolly replies that to the woman herself, all she can see are the flaws.
  • Venture Brothers: Grand Galactic Inquisitor doesn't want anyone to interact with him in any way. His catch phrase is "Ignore me!"
  • On Chowder, Gorgonzola said this once so that no one would look at his shame!
  • Spoofed on Invader Zim by Chickenfoot, a man stuck in a chicken outfit who's convinced that he's a hideous abomination. During the retelling of his backstory to Dib, he screams "Don't look at me!" at random intervals.
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