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"I've seen starers in my time, many of them, but never one that came within a mile of putting up the performance which Chuffy did then. The eyebrows had shot up, the jaw had fallen, and the eyes were protruding from one to two inches from their parent sockets."
Bertie Wooster, Thank You, Jeeves

Happens when a cartoon character is so shocked (shocked!) that his eyes stretch far from his eyesockets or even pop from their sockets, connected only by a thin muscle, or not stay connected at all and fall to the floor, or a myriad of things. Blowing up is optional. Often accompanied by an aooga horn.

Subtrope of Wild Take. Compare Eye Take, the realistic and more characterizing form of this.

Examples of Eye Pop include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Bobobobo Bobobo, Don Patch and Jelly Jiggler do this in shock after seeing Giga's true form. In fact this is every characters' reaction to all the weird stuff that goes on.
  • Most of the cast of One Piece do this very frequently along with the Jaw Drop.
  • Chisame of Mahou Sensei Negima did this when she saw Negi and Kotarou innocently checking out a Yaoi Doujinshi. Her eyes smashed the lenses of her glasses along the way.
  • The Slayers are quite famous for this trope (with the exception of Xellos). One notable example from the second season was when the crew were hunting for a lake dragon. Zelgadis emerges from the lake, covered in barnacles, and Amelia invokes this trope.
  • Dragon Ball has an example with Master Roshi when his eyes popped out through his sunglasses upon seeing Goku and Krillin budging a giant rock late in their first martial arts training.
  • In one episode of Nerima Daikon Brothers, when Mako sings of the expensive champagne she wants to drink, seeing the price makes Hideki's eyes bug out so far, they tower above the buildings in town. He even sings "My eyes are bugging out!" ("Medama booon!") as this happens.

Live Action TV

  • A woman who could do this in Real Life demonstrated it on David Letterman's "Stupid Human Tricks" segment. She ended up doing it for a living in T.V. commercials, popping her eyes out at a competitor's prices and etc.
  • A common gag in Whose Line Is It Anyway?, usually performed by Ryan while playing the "Props" game whenever he had objects that could even vaguely mimic the effect.
  • Jess from New Girl imitates it by moving her glasses back and forth, complete with sound effects.


Film

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EEK!

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Pop goes the weasel

  • Happens often in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? with Roger. Other characters do it as well, including the weasels and Judge Doom.
    • Remember me, Eddie?! In regards to the above spoiler.
    • When Eddie first lays eyes on Jessica Rabbit, his own eyes look as if they're about to do that.
  • The title character in The Mask does it three times: once in his apartment building, once in the Coco Bongo club (at about 2:00), and finally when confronted by a lot of cops with guns at 1:00.
  • A strange live-action variant occurs in Twilight Zone the Movie when John Lithgow reacts to the monster staring at him through the window of the plane. While it's pre-CGI, his eyes bug out in a completely inhuman way. Just five frames long, and you can see a screencap of the most extreme eye-bugging here.
  • Happened in Drop Dead Fred, when Fred slid under a lady's skirt.

Literature

  • Odd Joe, the comedian aka the Psychic Vampire Dandelo can do this in the last book of The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, just by smacking his head in a certain way. Because of his psychic influence, Susannah and Roland take a good long while to realize just how impossible this should be for a human.

Newspaper Comics

  • Calvin and Hobbes likes to show several extra pairs of eyes jumping out of shocked characters' heads.
  • Garfield's Law of Cartoon Physics: "The size of one's eyeballs is directly proportional to the weight of the anvil landing on one's tail."
  • Subverted in a Bloom County strip where Opus does this in response to a high phone bill. The next panel is him sitting down, holding his eyes while saying to the audience "Do you have any idea how painful that sort of thing is?" And subverted again in another strip where Opus has received some shocking news, and it shows him "not taking it well" by cutting to him with his eyes popped and bowties spinning around. Milo then points out "You know, when Roger Rabbit does that, he usually goes back to normal in a second or two..."
  • Occurred at least once in Zits (and even wound up on the cover of a collected volume), when Jeremy's eyes not only popped out but then rolled into the next room. His father, seeing them, thought, "That must have been a really stupid question!" just as Jeremy's mom shouted, "Don't you roll your eyes at me, young man!"
  • Lambik's eyes do this in the Suske en Wiske album "De Dolle Musketiers" when he first sees Jerom.

Video Games

  • The characters in the Donkey Kong Country game do this when bosses arrive.
    • The Battletoads characters do this, too.
    • Conker as well. Rare seem to like this trope
  • In certain Metal Gear Solid games, in addition to an exclamation point appearing over their heads, a guard's eyes will bug out of their head when they see Snake.
  • In King's Quest VI Heir Today Gone Tomorrow, this is Alexander's reaction to the hunter's lamp bubbling and boiling for the perfection of the Make Rain Spell... while locked in a cage over the druids' bonfire!

Web Comics

Ren

Western Animation

  • In one episode of Arthur Buster dreams about aliens, and when he sees them his eyes pop out.
  • Early use by Tex Avery in the MGM wolf cartoons like Red Hot Riding Hood (1943), in reaction to a beautiful woman.
  • There is an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures where Plucky practices an over-the-top version of the trick but loses control and gets stuck as a giant eyeball.
    • The Eye Take in question is from the classic Looney Tunes cartoon "Book Revue". The more seasoned Daffy, of course, is able to snap back to normal after a second.
  • Happens in SpongeBob SquarePants regularly, usually to Spongebob, Patrick, or Squidward.
  • Looney Tunes does this, especially as an Unusual Euphemism for Something Else Also Rises.
  • Happens in one of The Simpsons' Halloween specials where Bart and Lisa are caught in Itchy & Scratchy's show. While their eyes are still out of their sockets they run away causing their eyes to follow up only later.
    • In another Treehouse of Horror episode Bart becomes Stretch Dude and is able to stretch everything, including his eyes.
    • Deconstructed Trope in the episode "The Scorpion's Tale" where a drug overlubricates the eyes of Grampa Simpson, causing them to pop out. Gruesomely.
  • Happens in The Ren and Stimpy Show, naturally.
  • Not frequently used in Disney's canon, but it does happen to Donald Duck in Mickey MouseWorks.
  • In one episode of I Am Weasel Weasel and Baboon are Animated Actors and one of the things their director makes them to do is have this reaction to mundane objects. ie. "Oh look, an egg" * Eyes pop out of sockets*
  • Tom and Jerry has used this at least a few times.
  • A standard of Saturday Morning Cartoons.
  • No discussion of the Eye Pop would be complete without mentioning Tex Avery, who, although he may not have originated it, certainly developed it into an art form.
  • Futurama features a version of this with Bender, who is able to telescope his eyeballs, complete with whirr sound effect. Not used so much to indicate shock, but rather to get a better view of something (usually a shapely fembot). In one occasion, he extends them too far and they fall off.
  • Done often in Rocko's Modern Life; one memorable example involved an eye doctor intentionally provoking this by frightening Rocko and then making him hold the pose while he examined them.
  • A version of this happens to Enzo in the Evil Dead game, but it only happens to his right eye. This is used to foreshadow the fact that Enzo loses that eye three episodes later.
  • Wylie Burp from An American Tail: Fievel Goes West weaponized the Eye Pop. By the end of the movie, Fievel, Tiger, and even Wylie take it to the extreme.
  • The titular character of Courage the Cowardly Dog would react with this, sometimes with some atypical twist on the classic gag. Which is ironic given of Eustace's alternate methods of scaring Courage is using fake eyeballs to invoke the trope other than his signature scary mask.
  • Used on Jimmy Two-Shoes, when a Creepy Crossdresser is discovered.
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