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File:225px-Superman Heat Vision.jpg
Nonetheless, she had the sense of eyes following her -- given the existence of such creatures as beholders, not a comfortable feeling.
Victor Milan, War in Tethyr
Staring contest! You lose!

A Stock Super Powers (and also a classic Super Robot weapon) that allows characters to shoot blasts out of their eyes. Blasts of what, you ask? Sometimes the generic, all-encompassing term of "energy." Sometimes "heat," in which case it is known Heat Vision. Sometimes "lasers," in which case it is known as Laser Vision. The point is, they hurt. These are the real Glowing Eyes of Doom.

This is the stock power of the Mecha-Mooks and those with powers beyond mortal ken. Also, a stock joke about "laser eye surgery" fad, or a type of girder (I-beams).

(Seldom is it explained how a beam which can burn or injure just about anything else is contained when trapped behind the character's eyelids, but let's not think about that....)

Compare X-Ray Vision, Evil Eye, Breath Weapon, and Hand Blast. Often The Glasses Come Off for this. A favorite attack for the Oculothorax.

Examples of Eye Beams include:


Anime and Manga

  • Dejiko of Di Gi Charat has these. Puchiko does as well, but hers rarely work, instead spouting weird things from her eyes, like mud monsters.
  • Many Super Robots sport this power, dating all the back to the granddaddy of the genre, Mazinger Z.
  • Combattler V: Combattler V itself was not endowed with that weapon, but several Slave Beasts did. A good example is Kiira from episode 9.
  • Strangely enough, eye beams are rarely seen as a commodity in the very energy-based Dragon Ball Z anime. The only characters out of the Loads and Loads of Characters who exhibit the ability are Piccolo, Nappa, Freeza, Dr. Gero, and Cell.
    • Also known as 'the bad guys' (at the time, for Piccolo).
  • Mi...Mi...MIKURU BEAM!! Like so many other tropes, this is parodied in the Show Within a Show Episode 00 of Suzumiya Haruhi.
    • In The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya, the arc that depicts the filming of the fictional movie shown in that episode, the eye beams were for real, and nearly killed Kyon at least once. Even Nagato Yuki was caught unaware at how many types of Eye Beams Haruhi can imagine.
  • Chachamaru of Mahou Sensei Negima frequently uses these for her ranged attacks.
  • Subverted in The Five Star Stories. The first time the colossal Jagd Mirage uses its eye lasers it ends up burning out its main cameras.
  • Afghanis-Tan has Meriken suddenly pull these out to attack Afganis after being bitten by her cat Al-Nyaida. If you haven't figured this out already, this is the comic's portrayal of 9-11 and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan.
  • In Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure vampires can shoot rock-smashing water pressure through their eyes. In an extremely unpleasant looking manner.
  • In School Rumble, the freakishly huge head editor of where Harima's manga is being published has Eye Beams as well.
  • Yakitate!! Japan: The latest chapter features Eye Beams of bread. Eye Beams... of BREAD. What
  • In Seto no Hanayome, the finale reveals that Lunar's father is capable of firing Eye Beams.
  • In Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance, Unit 01 does this during the Zeruel battle when Shinji becomes pissed enough. Interestingly, it behaved like an actual beam rather than Zeruel's "deadly gaze" (i.e. its eyes twinkle, then the target is blow to hell and back with Creepy Cool Crosses).
    • Speaking of Zeruel, other angels in Neon Genesis Evangelion have access to eye beams. Sachiel has the same "deadly gaze" that Zeruel has, complete with cross shaped blasts, and Israfel Kou and Otsu can both shoot simple eye beams.
  • The Big O has a pair.
    • The other two bigs, Big Fou and Big Duo also sport these. At the end of the series, Big Duo even gets its upgraded.
  • In Shinzo Mushrambo was able to instantly incinerate a mook with black fire just by glancing in his direction. He was of course evil and brainwashed at the time but that didn't change how powerful he was so chances are he could still do it.
  • In Digimon, the eyes are as good a place as any from which to launch one's beam attacks, but special mention goes to Duskmon. His suit has eyes on it at various places, and his Deadly Gaze attack involves all of them focusing on you and firing death ray. Using this attack at far less than full strength can put Mons of higher levels in their place (and a Digimon being able to take on a higher-leveled one is extremely rare. If you don't count the clear Worf Had the Flu situations, you can count on one hand the times it's happened in franchise history. Dusky was something of a Game Breaker.)
  • Let's not forget Pegasus and Bakura's Shadow Game from Yu-Gi-Oh: Ancient Egyptian Laser Beams!


Card Games

  • At one point, the silver golem Karn in Magic the Gathering vaporizes a Phyrexian who has latched onto his arm with,"A blinding light from his eyes".


Comic Books

 Superman (to Mongul): Burn.

    • In The Silver Age of Comic Books, Superman had to wear glasses made from Kryptonian glass in order to use his heat vision while disguised as Clark Kent (otherwise the glasses would melt); post-Crisis, this power was reinvented as pyrokinesis and thus that's not necessary anymore. Naturally, the TV versions tend to simply discreetly move his glasses out of the way.
  • And almost every Captain Ersatz of Supes, obviously.
  • Power Girl isn't quite as restrained in her use of heat vision as Big Blue. When Satanna (mad scientist / surgeon) kidnaps her best friend to experiment on her, PG blasts her arm off. She then tells the horrified Satanna that she can pick it up and reattach it after telling her where to find Terra.
  • The Homelander, The Boys' Captain Patriotic Expy of Superman has them, which he uses to discipline fellow superheroes and take down airliners. Billy's wife died when a superfetus used its Eye Beams to get out of her womb, killing her (and making the Homelander the most likely candidate for Billy's wife's rapist).
  • Martian Manhunter has his Martian Vision.
  • The extreme end of the trope may be the The DCU's Darkseid, whose "Omega Effect", at full power, removes anything it hits from existence, and can travel any path he desires to hit something. In Final Crisis, he uses a variation of the "Omega Effect" called the "Omega Sanction", which he uses to condemn Batman to be trapped in a cycle of death and rebirth, with each life worse than the last.
    • On the Marvel side with a similar character, Thanos of Titan has eye beams that seem to be similar to but more powerful than the energy blasts he shoots from his fists.
  • An example from Grant Morrison: in his 2000 series Marvel Boy, employees of Hexus the Living Corporation would sacrifice their own body heat to fire lasers from their eyes--becoming desiccated corpses in the process.
  • Apollo, from The Authority, has these--makes sense as he's a Superman homage. In the story where he's introduced, writer Warren Ellis tries to Hand Wave this as saying he's got "weird eye structure" which can cause light to lase.
  • The eye beams of the 1990s Marvel character Sleepwalker, known as his "warp beams", can be used to alter the physical shape, and to a lesser extent the physical characteristics, of anything he hits with them. Ironically, living entities are the only things Sleepwalker tries not to use his warp vision on, because of the horrible effects his beams can have on them.
  • Painfully Deconstructed in the comic Archaic: it kills the character's enemies but also destroys his eyes.
  • The Emerald Eye Of Ekron...obviously.
  • Vermin the Cybernik of Sonic the Comic has them, and even calls them Eye Beams as does Supersonic.
  • Redglare of No Hero can use heat vision to burn.
  • Masked Marauder in Daredevil.


Film


Folklore

  • Buddha (yes, the founder of Buddhism himself) was said, after being denied access to the scrolls at a temple, to have sat down and stared at the wall until a hole was burned into it. The monks caved in and gave him full access after that. Considering the realism in most of Buddha's stories, this stands out quite a bit, although it's nothing compared to most of too-Anime-for-Goku higher mythology.
  • Older Than Print: Before the Tuatha De Danaan moved into Ireland in Celtic Mythology, the giant Fomor were led by Balor of the One Eye, whose deadly gaze could burn men "like leaves cast into a forge." When Balor was slain by his grandson Lugh, he fell face first to the ground with his eye still open, and burned a hole into the ground. It's still there today, as a lake.
    • Another version of the above myth has Balor's eye be bashed out the back of his head, which cast its deadly gaze on his own army. Needless to say, they didn't win.
  • Shiva got an extra eye when gods tried to make him stop mourning for Sati and marry Parvati (he didn't know she's the reincarnation of his ex-wife, and no one thought to tell him). He opened his two eyes, noticed her, the god of lust Kama shot Shiva with a bow to stir up passion in him (sounds familiar?)... and then the plan backfired: to everyone's surprise he opened a Third Eye eye and incinerated Kama with an eyebeam (Parvati found another way to become his wife and asked him to resurrect Kama). Scorching gaze of annoyed ascetics is a recurring motif for Hinduism, but mortals' anatomy doesn't change.


Literature

  • The Star Wars novel Queen of the Empire had a human replica droid (essentially a Robot Girl), who impersonated Leia Organa and actually killed a villain with laser beams from her eyes.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing With Fire. Baron Vengeous has a glare which causes the recipient to explode.
  • In The Plot Of The Black Mass by Andrei Belyanin, Baba Yaga (a witch-like good character) uses Heat Beams from her eyes to kill an evil Catholic priest, who was attempting to summon Beelzebub.
  • Baron von Munchausen gained the ability to shoot fire out of his eyes when hit in the face.
  • What Fire Cannot Burn uses this trope mostly straight for a minor villain, but mocks a surprising aspect of it. According to the narration, eye beams that are powerful enough to hurt somebody should be at a frequency invisible to the human eye--so unlike in the comic books, you don't see the blast, you just see what it does to people.
  • In Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light, the mutant power of at least two of the "gods" -- Yama and Kali -- focused through the eyes. It was described poetically as "drinking life" with their eyes ... and if you actually met the death-gaze with your own eyes, it was particularly powerful.
  • The unnamed Culture terror weapon briefly followed at the end of Look To Windward, a Do-Anything Robot made from a nanomachine swarm can form pretty much any weapon it wants from its body, but isn't anywhere near as limited as the T-1000. It adjusts its eyes to lase in order to blind an opponent, but only in order to kill him in a more unpleasant way; this being Culture super science, it could have easily formed a Wave Motion Gun had the need arisen.
  • In one of the oldest examples in fiction: the One Hundred Eyed Demon Lord from Journey to the West emits hot beams of light from the various eyes located on his body. Sun Wukong manages to escape by this light trap by turning in a pangolin and digging his way out.


Live Action TV

  • The Doctor Who episode "42" has the bad guy running around with these (beams of heat, in this case), with a visor that seems to be a direct Shout-Out to Cyclops.
  • One of the villains of the week on Farscape was a blind Mad Scientist specializing in light, so naturally, he could shoot lasers out of his eyes. And cling to walls.
  • Although Heroes, surprisingly given the many different superpowers, does not have any characters with eye beams, in the season 3 episode "It's Coming", Elle shoots Sylar with so much lightning at one point that lightning actually comes out of his eyes while he's being electrocuted. Good Thing He Can Heal.
  • Olly, from The Sifl and Olly Show, has a pair of these installed at one point. They come with the ability to read minds. Side effects include extreme curiosity.
  • In one of the later The Six Million Dollar Man made-for-TV movies, Steve Austin's long lost son suffers a tragic accident and gets a bionic eye -- that can shoot lasers.
  • Red Dwarf's Rimmer contracts a holovirus in the episode Quarantine, it drives him mad(der) and he puts on a red and white checked gingham dress, army boots and a penguin puppet, Mr. Flibble. The holovirus gives Rimmer Hex-Vision, with which he can shoot beams from his eyes. He can also transfer the Hex-Vision to Mr. Flibble...
  • On How I Met Your Mother, Lily has the "You're dead to me look", which causes her eyes to glow and the object of her glare to (appear to) vaporize. Given the look's similarity to Dark Willow eyes, this is possibly an Actor Allusion to actress Alyson Hannigan's former character.
  • Nightman's costume includes (among things like a bulletproof bodysuit, an Anti Gravity belt, and an Invisibility Cloak) an eyepatch of sorts that grants him night vision and can fire a laser. He's not shy about using it to kill, though. At one point, he uses it to merely stun a bad guy, knowing the guy was going to take a two-story fall headfirst.


Music

  • Ok Go song Invincible have this in lyrics:

 When they finally come to destroy the Earth

They'll have to deal with you first

And, now, my money says they won't know about the

Thousand-Fahrenheit-hot little lights behind your eyes

 Ninja warrior, master of disguise

He could melt your brain with his laser beam eyes

Oh yeah

Oh yeah


Tabletop Games

  • In BattleTech and it's PC simulator adaptation Mechwarrior, Battle Mechs with head mounted weapons sometimes have it set up as an eye-beam. The Atlas, which has a skull for a cockpit, can mount a laser in one of the eyes (the other is occupied by the actual pilot), and the Mechwarrior 4 Cyclops has a huge glowing red "eye" where a head should be. You can mount a (light) Particle Projector Cannon there, making it fire lightning bolts
  • The Beholder (and various Beholder-kin creatures) in Dungeons and Dragons are living embodiments of the whole Eye Beam trope, being literally floating balls of optical destruction.
    • And a handful of arcane spells like 'Eyebite' (gaze attacks with minor enchantments like charm or fear), 'Dead Man's Eyes' (caster's eyeballs turn black with white skull-shaped pupils and kills people by looking in their eyes), 'Fire Eyes' and 'Basilisk Glare'.
    • Later sourcebooks even provide a Metamagic Feat that allow player characters to store ray spells in each eye for convenient simultaneous blasting for a later date.
    • The spell Lantern Light gives clerics and paladins the ability to shoot eye beams.
  • Commissar Sebastian Yarrick from Warhammer 40000 got a laser-firing bionic implant for his left eye to build on the stories fearful Orks told of him being able to kill with a glare.
    • Lords of Change, the greater daemons of Tzeentch, use their gaze as their ranged attack.
    • One of the psychic powers available to the Ork Weirdboy is an eye beam attack, with a strength comparable to the anti-armor melta weaponry used by the Imperium.
  • In Shadowrun, cybereyes with built in lasers (or projectile weapons) are available. But, it is made very clear that they are very ineffective, especially in combat. In fact, the only effective use is low end tool uses.
  • "Lightning Stare" from GURPS: Magic, which probably isn't a cool as it sounds since you have to make "certain facial motions" in order to cast the spell.
  • The Champions RPG has a villain named Occulon who has several eye-based powers.
  • Warhammer fantasy battles likes to use these as magic missiles with gaze of Gork, gaze of mork and Gaze of Nagash as spells with such a name and a description of a light magic spell says that it's a kind of eye beams.


Toys

  • In Bionicle, Heat Vision is one of the 42 Makuta powers. Other users include Rahkshi of Heat Vision and Tahu.
    • Most Skakdi, including the Piraka, have some variant of this as well.


Video Games

  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the Arcade Game, Krang's mechanical body had them.
  • C'thun, Final Boss of the Ahn'Qiraj raid dungeon from World of Warcraft, is a stock Eldritch Abomination boss with a particular affinity for eye beams. During the first phase of the encounter you're fighting an enormous eyeball (the "Eye of C'thun"), which uses an attack called -- you guessed it -- Eye Beam. During the second phase, C'thun will spawn so-called Giant Eye Tentacles. I'll give you three guesses as to what kind of attack these have...
    • While the game hasn't seen another Cthulhu Shout-Out since, demons suspiciously similar to Dungeons and Dragons Beholders and more eye tentacles uphold the Eye Beams quota.
    • The game now has another Cthulhu shout out with the Secrets of Ulduar patch -- the final boss is named Yogg Saron and is very much an Eldritch Abomination. In the instance leading up to Yogg Saron is a boss named Kologarn. He guards the bridge (well, he is the bridge) to further areas of the instance. He has a particularly nasty attack called Focused Eyebeam that he uses occasionally. (He is a construct and part of the strategy to defeat him involves destroying his arms. When he loses an arm he will yell "Just a scratch" or "Only a flesh wound!" among others, but that's another article.)
    • In the Plague Quarter of the Naxxramas instance there is a gauntlet through trash mobs with Eye Stalks that have a kind of eye beam attack. I'm not sure what the attack does as the guild with which I run Naxxramas makes every effort to not stay around them long enough to find out.
  • A number of powersets in City of Heroes and City of Villains include laser eye beam attacks.
  • ROB from Super Smash Bros Brawl has these, and his Final Smash turns them into a whirling laser helix of death. They also bounce.
    • Don't forget Tabuu.
  • In the Kirby series, Waddle Doo's got... one of these. Makes you wonder about its biology, considering it is nothing but a huge eye on a tiny circular body with nubby arms and feet.
  • A microgame from Wario Ware: Smooth Moves gives you laser eyes and instructs you to "Destroy them all". It's a blast, pardon the pun.
    • Other microgames earlier in the series employ this trope, starting with Dr. Crygor's boss game, "Alien Laser Hero."
  • If you lose a stage in Katamari Damacy, it cuts to a scene of the King of All Cosmos doing the Looming Silhouette of Rage thing while lecturing The Prince (or whichever Cousin you're playing as in the sequels) and shooting Eye Beams at them.
  • The King Oni Humongous Mecha from Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 has these.
  • Viy, one of the bosses of La-Mulana, has a Wave Motion Gun version of this from his single eye that he can use as his most powerful attack.
    • The character himself is based of Viy - a monster from a horror story by Nikolai Gogol. While the Viy did not have eye beams per se, looking at his face is what breaks the holy protection circle the protagonist uses to keep the demons away when he is forced to spend several nights in a haunted church.
  • Zetta from Makai Kingdom has his GETTER ZETTA BEAM! eye lasers, which is about the only way he can actually hurt someone following his unfortunate transformation.
  • Vince Carter from Barkley Shut Up and Jam Gaiden has two forms of these.
  • Archmages in Warhammer Online get them.
  • In the Sengoku Basara Battle Heroes opening, thousand-foot-tall versions of primary antagonists Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi are given eye beams, for no other reason except that it looks awesome.
  • Oh, Super Robot Wars... Mazinger did it, so of course they did it. The Grungust series' Eyesolid Laser, RyuuKoOu's Rastaban Beam, the SRX's Gaun Genocider and the Rushbird's Maser Eye, for example.
    • Subverted in the Grungust Types 2 and 3: their "Eye Lasers" are actually fired from a Power Crystal located above the eyes.
  • Kano from Mortal Kombat has an artificial eye that could shoot a laser in later games of the series.
    • He kills Stryker with one in Armageddon's intro.
  • In a demonstration video for Starcraft II, Stone Zealots from the Terran campaign are seen firing energy beams from their eyes.
  • Reisen of Touhou can fire these in the fighting games. Comes in different varieties too, from the garden variety straight blast, to expanding energy rings, to short range energy bursts.
    • Yuugenmagan and Kikuri had eyebeams too during their boss fights.
  • This is one of the available monster powers in Crush Crumble and Chomp
  • In I Robot, the eye who's watching you, kills you with an eye beam if you're caught jumping.
  • A bit of a variation on this trope in Star Fox 64 when Andross shoots lasers from his eyes. Why is it a variation you ask? Because his eyes detach from his brain and chase after you, spewing red laser beams.
  • In a platformer video game adaptation of The Great Gatsby, they took the symbolic eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg and ran with it as far as they could, turning it into this craziness.
  • Quistis's Laser Eyes Blue Magic Limit Break.
  • Silent Hill 3's Heather Beam and Sexy Beam.
  • Killer 7: As if creepy explosive Heaven Smile weren't bad enough, the Laser Smile variety can fire a long range beam as powerful as a normal smile's up-close detonation. Fortunately they are immobile and die after a single discharge.
  • The Praetorian from Mass Effect 2.
  • The X-Bot boss from Heavy Weapon has these. Strangely, Eyebot does not have this- his eye only shoots out regular shots, it's his Combat Tentacles that have the beams instead.
  • Metatron, an optional boss in Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne has these as his ultimate attack in the form of Fire of Sinai, in which he lets out an Evil Laugh beforehand. Did I mention he's supposed to be the voice/face of God?
  • Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning takes a page out of Celtic Mythology by making one of the Tuatha's (here an army of evil Fair Folk) deadliest weapons a Balor (here a Greater Niskaru). The game's Balor is similar to the one from myth, right down to having one eye that unleashes a powerful Eye Beam when opened. The Balor also has a rider that keeps its eye shut with a harness to keep it from killing its own army with its gaze.


Web Animation

  • Burnt Face Man from the flash animation series by the same name, attempts to use "his laser eyes" to catch a falling baby. He does not have said power. Baby go splat.


Web Comics

  Massey: Shh. I'm trying to kill you with my eyes.


Web Original

 I am not a thing! My name is Leonard Church AND YOU WILL FEAR MY LASERFACE!

  • "Recently we picked up a Dennis the Menace US storybook with charming Bob Paplow illustrations. What we didn't bargain on, however, was that the original owner had used a pencil and his or her imagination to turn a prosaic story of Dennis and Ruff into an orgy of BLASTING MUTANT-STYLE EYEBEAMS!!!"
  • The Griffon, a hero in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, can fire beams of pure mystic energy from his eyes. Victory can do the same but with a relatively undefined "cosmic" energy.
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: The stolen Neutro is equipped with these. Used to blow Mechakara's right hand off.
  • Uncyclopedia articles judged to be "bat fuck insane" feature a photomanipulated image of Pope John Paul II shooting eye beams while shouting "Eye Beams!".


Western Animation

  • The Powerpuff Girls have this as part of their stock of superhero powers.
    • In one episode they had to fight a Giant Ant. In the same episode, Bubbles got glasses. The ant was invincible until Bubbles' glasses amplified the beams, melting the ant in one shot. Blossom and Buttercup, who were in the line of fire, only got singed.
  • Starfire, from Teen Titans, after she goes through alien puberty.
    • And prior to that, her older sister Blackfire, having already gone through said puberty.
  • Uglor, the Big Bad of Hanna-Barbera's Space Stars.
  • Despite these being a common Super Robot Genre power, few Transformers have these. The only examples that spring readily to mind are Dinobot, Waspinator, Terrorsaur, and the altered clone Dinobot, all from Beast Wars. Only the two Dinobots used them frequently; Terrorsaur's only saw use in a handful of episodes, and Waspinator's only in the first.
    • Unicron fired off several eye beams in the 1986 movie. Notably, he only fired beams from one eye because Hot Rod had already crashed the Quintesson ship through his other eye.
  • Zok, the dragon from The Herculoids.
  • Parodied in The Fairly Odd Parents. When Timmy wishes for his parents to have super powers, his mother gets Heat Vision, while his father gets Meat Vision, the ability to shoot meat with his eyes. Timmy himself has heat vision courtesy of a prior wish, but forgets it most of the time.
  • The power of the Pig Talisman in Jackie Chan Adventures is the ability to shoot heat beams from the user's eyes. In one episode, Jade notes that it's hard to accurately see when you're shooting beams from your eyes. In another, a character gets the talisman and accidentally destroys his prescription sunglasses. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Affably Evil Emperor Zurg from Buzz Lightyear of Star Command uses these apparently solely to look cool.
  • Aku uses these frequently in Samurai Jack.
    • In "Aku's Fairy Tales", Aku tells a version of "Little Red Riding Hood", making the protagonist into an amalgam of Little Red Riding Hood and himself.

 Aku: The wolf attacked Little Red Hood, not knowing that Little Red Hood had... LASER EYE BEAMS!

    • When Aku attacks Jack in his dragon form, he uses both eye beams AND a mouth beam to combine them into ONE GIANT BEAM.
  • Rather inexplicably, the Futurama version of physicist Stephen Hawking can shoot lasers from his eyes. Even he was surprised.
  • In the short-lived Road Rovers, one character, Exile, had both heat vision and freeze vision. One episode even showed him with night-vision.
  • Krypto the Superdog.
  • The Walking Eye from Jonny Quest.
    • Naturally, whatever JQ has, The Venture Brothers has to get too. But subverted, in that the one Venture built does not seem to actually shoot beams (or even work, for that matter, other than being able to stand). He later attaches Helper's head to it.

 Doc Venture: He just wants to give you a hug!!!

  Oglethorpe: You prance around like you have laser eyes!


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