The Subtle Art of the Side-Eye

Everybody knows what the side-eye is. The side-eye is the expression that people who have manners employ in lieu of howling “Bitch Please!” every time they hear something so stupid that they can’t believe their ears. As a matter of fact, I side-eyed my husband just this morning because he told me that I looked older than Justin Bieber’s dad. In retrospect, I should probably be embarrassed to mention that conversation.

There’s a subtle art to delivering an effective side-eye. Each one must convey a proper amount of disdain and “bitch please”, while also adding nuance. To that end and because it makes me laugh, I have collected a number of celebrity side-eye pictures for every occasion. Feel free to employ one of these next time you need to express your disgust in a unique and classy(ish) fashion.

1. The Audrey

Perfect for expressing general disapproval of someone’s appearance. You can almost hear her thinking “I canNOT believe he/she left the house looking like that.” Applies to: People of Wal-Mart, people who wear white after labor day.

Look at Audrey, thinking “Look at that dirty tramp, flashing her boobs all over the place. Bitch oughta be ‘shamed!”

2. The Aunt Esther

This one is more of a “You did NOT just come into my house and say that!” look. Applies to: Judgmental relatives, Jehovah’s Witnesses.

My ass that pot roast was too dry!

3. The Bernie Mac

I can’t see Bernie Mac’s face without hearing “Amurr-kah? I’ma KILL them kids.” However, this side-eye says “You’ll shut your mouth and get your ass out of here if you know what’s good for you.” This one almost makes you want to apologize for whatever you did. Applies to: Loudmouth drunks, your children.

What did you just say to me? Nothing? That’s what I thought.

4. The Betty White

This is not to be confused with Betty White as Rose Nylund, which we’ll get to later. This side-eye is the “I may look like a sweet, tolerant person, but I have a limit and you are testing it right now.” Applies to: Karaoke singers, performance artists of any kind, the DMV.

I’m not sure what the fuck is going on here, but I can assure you I don’t like it.

5. The Blanche

The Golden Girls all have classic side-eyes. Blanche was always a good sport about her sluttiness and Southern idiosyncrasies, and the woman could take a joke, but she wasn’t one to suffer fools gladly. Note the little ‘up-and-down’ she adds at the end for extra disdain. Applies to: People who say stupid things.

Darlin’, your daddy should have pulled out.

6. The Claire

Claire Huxtable is the undisputed mother of all wife and mom side-eyes. Hers range from “Did I just hear what I think I just heard?” to “Get out of my sight!” to “Are you kidding me right now?” Applies to: Your husband, your kids, your idiot son-in-law.

Cliff, WHY did we have five children? Because we didn’t want six!

7. The Diana Ross

Diana Ross has perfected the diva side-eye. This one is reserved for the kiss-ass antics of those trying to ride your coattails, often while secretly hoping you’ll fall on your face. Applies to: Groupies, yes men, hangers-on, haters.

Is there some way you could be making yourself USEFUL?

8. The Disney

The Disney lady above clearly thinks that whomever she’s looking at has no manners. She’s questioning your upbringing and secretly suspects that you smell bad. Applies to: Homeless people, orphans.

Oh, dear. I don’t care for this bit of unpleasantness at all.

9. The Doris Roberts

The Doris, best seen on her character in Everybody Loves Raymond is utilized for general disapproval of someone else’s attitude, lifestyle, or actions, particularly if it applies to someone whom you believe is raising their kids wrong. Applies to: Your adult kids, the spouses of your adult kids, other people’s kids, damn meddling kids.

I don’t care for your tone. Doesn’t your mother love you enough?

10. The Dorothy

Dorothy is the Queen Mum of the “I’m too polite to mock you to your face, but if you say one more thing I’m going to have to start” side-eye. This is the “If there was any justice in the world, it would be literally painful to be as stupid as you are.” Start with Dorothy at your own peril. Applies to: Optimists, Mary Sunshines, bastards, morons.

Maude’ll get ya.

11. The Little Girl with Hillary Clinton

This child is clearly not suckered in by your rhetoric, madam! This one is the “If you had the first clue what you were talking about, you’d be as disgusted as I am” side-eye. Applies to: Politicians, evangelists, bald-faced liars, Ann Coulter.

Are you listening to yourself? I don’t think you are.

12. The Ice Cube

This is the “Do you think I’m some kind of an idiot?” side-eye. He’s saying, “I don’t know who you think you’re convincing, but you’re barking up the wrong tree.” Ice Cube is not buying what you are selling. You are full of shit and possibly insane. Applies to: Con artists, car salesmen, Octomom.

What do you mean, WE?

13. The Michelle

If Michelle Obama were any more disgusted with you, her lip would be curled. Michelle’s side-eye is the “I don’t know who you think you’re talking to, but you’d best reel it in, son.” If you think you can talk to Michelle any old way, you’ve got another thing coming. Applies to: Everyone.

If this bitch says one more word, someone’s gonna have to hold my earrings.

14. The Niles

What you have just said, sir, is preposterous! This side-eye is the “I’m aghast at what just happened, because I am refined and you are common gutter trash!” This pretentious version has a side-order of shock and disbelief with it. Applies to: Anyone with less than a PhD, anyone with less than a six-figure salary, anyone with a discernible personality whatsoever, the help.

I never! You are now dead to me.

15. The Oprah

The Oprah is the “I am skeptical about what you just said, but I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and move on.” Particularly useful when you’re a classy lady who routinely deals with the Dr. Phils of the world. I love the tiny smile at the end. Oprah suspects you are pulling her leg, but is going to let you get away with it, just this once. Applies to: Charlatan autobiographers, Dr. Phil.

Are you sure about that?

16. The Prince

Prince is, well, the prince of the old “Did I say you could talk?” side-eye. Prince doesn’t want to hear what you have to say. Not now, not ever. Applies to: People who give unsolicited advice.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to shut it.

17. The Rodney

The Rodney is more of a wide-eye, but it’s perfect for when what you’re trying to say is “What you just did is so wrong that I’m actually a little afraid of you right now.” When the offense is so bizarre that the culprit might actually be from another planet, the Rodney is the side-eye of choice. Applies to: Stiffs, the clearly insane, Judge Smails.

Looks good on you, though.

18. The Rose

Rose, the most innocent and naive of the Golden Girls, has a side-eye to rival any of the four of them. The Rose says “I know that there’s something funny going on here, and when I find out what it is, you’re gonna get it.” As soon as Rose figures out what’s going down, it’s on. Applies to: Your sneaky-ass kids, your sneaky-ass boss, general sneaks.

I kicked your ass once back in St. Olaf, and I’ll do it here, too.

19. The Sherri Shepherd

This is the “Do you believe this bitch?” side-eye. This was originally reserved completely for anything Elizabeth Hasselcrack says, but is also useful for general ignorance on any subject. Applies to: Conservatives, racists, nutcases.

I can’t believe this bitch.

20. The Sonya Sotomayor

Chief Justice Sotomayor isn’t having one ounce of this shit. This is the “I have heard just about enough out of you, and I’m not hearing any more” side-eye. Applies to: liars, damned liars, and statisticians.

One more word, and one of our asses is going to prison.

21. The Sophia

The Sophia is the “I’m older than you and a hell of a lot meaner than you, and messing with me is the stupidest idea you’ve had all day long.” Sophia will straight hide a razor blade in your cheesecake. She doesn’t fuck around. Applies to: Anyone born after 1930.

Congratulations. Now you can get any job involving a cardboard hat.

22. The Tea Lady

I have no idea who this woman is, but this is the quintessential and all-too-common “I don’t BELIEVE you’re fucking with me before I’ve had my caffeine” side-eye. Applies to: Anyone living in your house who won’t shut the hell up.

I’m sorry, did you start your day HOPING someone would shove a coffee mug up your ass?

Aaaaand, last but not least…

23. The Igor

This one is harder to pull off, but is reserved for those occasions when one side-eye simply isn’t good enough – this particular offense requires two.

What hump?

About Miz Parker

I'm a musician, writer, web developer and avid reader who maintains two blogs. For Bucket List Book Reviews (formerly Bucket List Media), my goal is to read and review each book on the popular list "1,001 Books to Read Before You Die." This blog is intended to chronicle my experiences and thoughts on each, and share opinions with other bibliophiles. Bucket List Media is a semi-serious blog which is appropriate for all ages. For Live At E's (see the menu), I rant in general about pop culture, life, celebrities, and current events. Live At E's contains foul language and is deliberately offensive. Turn on your sarcasm detector.
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31 Responses to The Subtle Art of the Side-Eye

  1. I am not sure I have ever loved a blog more.

  2. Lil billy says:

    I get the ice cube or the Huxtable from my wife all the time, but I’m the master of the diminishing nod!

  3. LD Michaelis says:

    That’s Sophia Loren looking disparagingly at Jane Mansfield’s cleavage, not Audrey.

  4. Pepp says:

    Hey the “tea lady” is tanisha from season 2 of The bad girls club. And she always backed her side eye up with the choice phrase “Pop off son”

  5. 25wordnovel says:

    All four Golden Girls AND Ice Cube on the same list…I love it!

    Check out my blog at:

  6. Adrianna says:

    Correction. Not Audrey, it is Sophia Loren

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  9. Terrence says:

    I give a lot of people (particularly children) the Clair Huxtable — IT STILL WORKS.

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  12. Kyleranne Trimachi says:

    Anyone know where I can find more of these hilarious expressive gifs. I’m building a little collection!

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  19. AnitaTaco says:

    Marvelous! Just marvelous! You are an excellent writer! When I can picture and relate to everything you said, it’s just marvelous writing. Thanks for this genuine laugh, I needed it today after my landlord walked in using his key with zero notice.

  20. Lee Russell says:

    Love this, but the lady in the second photo is Sophia Loren

  21. marcellaandre says:

    I am crying with laughter here. I Love them all and I’m a master giver of side eyes. I would like to see a post on “diminishing nods” though. LOL

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