Does Mike Wazowski Wink or Blink?


Art by Mariam Keita

Mariam Keita and Stephanie Le

He’s your favorite round, one-eyed, green monster. However, if you don’t know who Mike Wazowski is, you definitely were not raised on steady doses of Disney. I strongly encourage you to check out Pixar’s Monsters Inc. Perhaps you’ve seen the memes floating around on the internet. Perhaps you’ve come face-to-face with the existential dilemma that accompanies the life-altering question: Does Mike Wazowski wink or blink?


Winks (Stephanie Le)

I’ve been asked this question way more times than I’d like to be asked, and my answer each time is the same: Mike Wazowski winks.

Before this was mentioned on the internet, I had no opinion on it, but once it became well known, a few of my friends came to me to ask what I thought about it. I told them that I thought that Mike Wazowski winked and I’ve believed that he winks ever since then.

Most of my friends told me they thought that he blinked, and they kept trying to convince me that he blinked, but their explanations didn’t really sway me. The Google definition of blinking is to “shut and open the eyes quickly.”

The definition says “the eyes,” referring to them as a plural. If you only have one eye, you can’t really blink because you lack the correct number of eyes to do so, and so you wink. The definition of winking is to “close and open one eye quickly”, which is exactly what Mike does since he only has one eye.

Some believe that closing his whole eye is a blink and closing his eye half-way is a wink. But that doesn’t work. Referring to the previous definitions of a wink and a blink, that’s irrational. Both a wink and a blink requires someone to close their eyes, or in this case, their eye.

If you were only going to close your eye halfway, that wouldn’t be a wink or a blink, if we’re going with the Google definitions. Rather, that would pretty much be a squint, and I’m pretty sure we can both agree that Mike Wazowski doesn’t squint. Well, it’s not like he doesn’t ever squint. Everyone squints, one time or another. But that’s not the problem here.

Still other people think that Mike does both at the same time, saying that he “bwinks”. But that just doesn’t really seem reasonable, does it? You either blink or wink or don’t at all. You can’t do both. If the question was broader and just asked what Mike does in general, saying that he “bwinks” would be a decent answer, assuming there was evidence to support it. However, this question isn’t isn’t that broad. This question specifically asks if he winks or blinks, and saying he “bwinks” is the coward’s way out of answering this question.

During a Q&A with Pete Docter, the director of Monsters Inc, someone sent in this question,

“Does Mike Wazowski wink or blink?” asked a viewer.

“We actually storyboarded a sequence where Sulley and Mike are at a restaurant. Mike is blinking, and Sulley says, ‘What’s wrong? Something in your eye?’ Turns out Mike is flirting with a girl. ‘I’m winking!’” Docter said in answer.


Blinks (Mariam Keita)

Steph is clearly wrong, just like everyone else that subscribes to this ridiculous “winking” phenomena. She even disproved her own argument by telling us that there was a joke about Mike Wazowski’s inability to wink when he was being storyboarded. That line explicitly states that “Mike is blinking.”

And another thing; if a person had only one eye, would you assume that they were winking every time that they performed the involuntary act of shutting that eye? The answer: you shouldn’t.

Winking is defined as “an act of closing and opening one eye quickly, typically as a signal” by Google. The two acts are functionally distinct. Winking requires not only the closing of one eye, but the actual intention of performing a “wink”. No one thinks, Oh man, time to blink now!  Winking, on the other hand is something that you choose to do.

Even Little Hawk Executive Editor Maya C. Durham agrees.

“Winking is keeping one eye open. If you only have one eye, you don’t have another eye to keep open,” Durham said.

The first step to winking is making eye contact. Isn’t it true that you can still make eye contact with one eye? That’s right. Winking is a form of eye contact that establishes a common link between two people. It’s a form of nonverbal communication.

You don’t need two eyes in order to close one of them. If someone closes one eye to, say, look through a telescope, would that be considered winking as well? The answer is an obvious no as intention is arguably 50% of the act, with the other 50% being the actual closing of the eye in question.

A wink is used as a way to form a non-verbal bond with someone. I will reassert that without the intent to send a message, closing one eye (especially when it’s the only eye that you have) is functionally different from winking.

Mike Wazowski blinks. That isn’t to say he couldn’t wink if he wanted to, but it’s fairly ridiculous to claim that every time his eye lids come in contact with each other, it’s a deliberate gesture.