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You have just gotten into a fight with another character, resulting in punches, kicks, brawls, half-nelsons, and any other fighting move you can think of. Just when the enemy has you held up, what's the best way to counter back? Poke him in the eyes, and while he's holding his eyes in pain, you make your getaway.

Essentially, this is a type of fighting style that can be used in about any form of media. The only defense to an Eye Poke is holding your hand vertically in front of your nose to block it (then again this could be countered by using the index fingers of both hands, as Curly of The Three Stooges was painfully aware).

Compare Eye Scream. Contrast Eye Pop. See also A Handful for An Eye.



Film — Animated

  • Susan does this to Gallaxhar in Monsters vs. Aliens. He attempts to block, but that is complicated by the fact that he has four eyes.

Film — Live Action

  • In It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, J. Russell Finch (Milton Berle) does this to Col. Algernon Hawthorne (Terry-Thomas) during a dispute.
  • In The Three Stooges films, this is Moe's signature move.
    • At the end of the 2000 TV biopic, Moe Howard shows a friend that the move is done by poking the eyebrow of the target, it looks real enough for the camera.
  • Used against Dick Steele in Spy Hard. He blocks them successfully but he's punched out immediately after anyway.
  • Used in the climax of Dracula: Dead and Loving It by Mel Brooks against the titular vampire (who had just tempted fate.)
  • The Waterboy, because "Captain Insano shows no mercy."
  • Ash, in Army of Darkness, gets a number of these in the cemetery scene.
  • Taken to the max in Kill Bill. Beatrix Kiddo plucks out Elle Driver's eye, to win their fight. Since Elle Driver only had one eye, and plucking must hurt a lot, this is very effective. We don't actually see Elle Driver being killed, but she is left thrashing around in a trailer containing a black mamba. The conclusion is obvious.
  • The Mask. Stanley Ipkiss does this to Dorian Tyrell during their fight.

Newspaper Comics

  • This Garfield strip featured a televised face-slapping tournament that ended with one of these from one of the athletes.

Professional Wrestling


  • The "Disco Eye-Poke" is one of the first moves you can learn as a Disco Bandit in Kingdom of Loathing; it lowers the opponent's attack and defense power by a small amount. It's later surpassed by the more effective "Disco Face Stab".

Video Games

  • In Banjo-Kazooie, repeated eye-poking is the method needed to defeat a giant hermit crab in Treasure Trove Cove.

Web Original

  • In Suburban Knights, during the first fight against the Cloaks, Brad pokes a Cloak in the eyes and runs away.

Web Comics

  • A variation in Rusty and Co: Prestige Perkins tries this on the Illithid door-keeper Handsome D'an, who has enough good sense to step back. Too bad she still use the extended fingers to cast "Melf's Acid Arrow" right in his face.

Western Animation

  • In an episode of Aladdin, a magic disembodied hand is sent to attack Al. Inevitably, it pulls this move on him, but Aladdin is Genre Savvy enough to use the hand block on it.
  • In a Robot Chicken spoof of Star Trek the Original Series, Spock tries to knock out Scotty with a Vulcan nerve pinch. When that doesn't work, he goes for the eye poke.

Real Life

  • This is actually a recommended method for surviving a shark attack.
  • You learn how to do it when practicing Krav Maga.