A Master Post of Celebrities Who Can’t Wink

Somehow my life has reached a point where I started collecting gifs of celebrities who can’t wink. I don’t know why, except I know exactly why, and it’s that Alice was reading some Person of Interest fic and said that a lot of it mentioned the fact that Root (played by Amy Acker) can’t wink. And because I cherish Amy Acker, I went on a hunt and found the following very endearing gifs as proof:

ahahaha I love Amy Acker
ahahaha I love Amy Acker


Next I discovered that Kit Harrington can’t do it.

do people who can't wink know they can't wink?
do people who can’t wink know they can’t wink?

Good try, kiddo!

When BuzzFeed employee Ben Henry broke the story that Rihanna also can’t wink, I decided it was high time for me to make that compilation post a reality. You’re all welcome.

her ensemble is very fetching though
her ensemble is very fetching though
her wink failure only makes her more adorable
her wink failure only makes her more adorable

Also, when I started googling, I discovered that Idris Elba is a known wink failure, and I found that very soothing in terms of, like, how intimidated I will feel if I ever meet him.

that is squinting. you just squinted.

Sure, he’s inhumanly beautiful and looks better in a suit than I will ever look in anything. But I can wink. Really well, actually. And I’d like to think that ultimately makes us equals.1

Alice said she had a gif of Barbara Stanwyck failing to wink, but I’m going to say this counts as a wink. Judge for yourself:

I don't know, this one's hard to judge
I don’t know, this one’s hard to judge

She doesn’t hold her non-winking eye perfectly still, but the lid on that eye doesn’t actually close. I’m calling it a successful wink. I think? Right? Ish? Sure, it’s not to Kate McKinnon standards, but who among us could be?

Do you have more to add? Drop a line in the comments! I will be updating this post until all wink-impaired celebrities are represented in gif format.

  1. N.B. It does not.
  • Ana @ things mean a lot

    I want to read the rest of this post there’s Amy Acker gifs and I can’t move past them. HER FACE, JENNY. WHY IS HER FACE. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  • helen from a gallimaufry

    Alas Jenny I cannot help you in your quest. But I agree Barbara Stanwyck is definitely winking successfully there.

    Also, Idris Elba – should you happen to read this and be in need of, I don’t know, a biro or someone to carry your suitcases or anything, do feel free to let me know.

    • I had to google “biro,” but I am pretty sure that Idris Elba is too much of a gentleman to let a lady carry his suitcase for him. Just, like, based on his beautiful face and demeanor.

      • helen from a gallimaufry

        Oh now that’s interesting, I thought biro was American English too but obvs not.

        It’s very sweet of you, Jenny, to imply that I am a lady. 😀 I am sure you’re right about Mr Elba though.

  • I can’t wink either but of course this is good since it obviously means I am SOUL MATES with Idris Elba….

  • Funny! I think Barbara Stanwyck did it that way on purpose. She was so extremely in control of her every move.

  • This is hilarious. Also, Idris Elba can do anything he wants. <3

  • Libraryhungry

    Barbara Stanwyck totally winked there. It definitely counts. And not just because that’s how I wink.

  • This cracks me up. You do ask a great question. Do people who can’t wink know they can’t wink? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • Well if you ever meet someone who can’t wink, ask them. I am also curious if it’s genetic, like being able to roll your tongue, or if it’s something you can practice.

  • Maureen E

    I winked a bunch of times while reading this post, fyi.

  • I think people who can’t wink usually don’t know it. They feel like their face is doing what they’ve seen other peoples’ faces doing. It doesn’t matter unless, like the genius Amy Acker, you’re an actress and you realize your face can’t express that particular thing and so you come up with your own version. She is so good.

    • She is GREAT. I had no interest in Person of Interest based on the premise, but now that I know it eventually stars Amy Acker as some kind of evil psychopath person who eventually maybe fights on the side of good, I’m kind of sold.

  • This is exactly what I needed to find in my Feedly this morning. Also, I, like Maureen, practiced winking a whole lot while reading this. I don’t often wink because I feel extra cheeky when I do it, and I always barrel to the edge of cheeky and then stop in my tracks out of anxiety.

    • I’m trying to think how often I wink. Pretty rarely! I am good at it but I rarely do it. This is all of a piece with how I am constantly making a resolution to do finger guns more often and then immediately forgetting that I’ve made that resolution. I could wink while doing finger guns.

      • I highly recommend using more finger guns. My boyfriend and I use them all the time!

  • Alley

    I love this so much. And look at McKinnon, winning at everything (in this case winking and rocking Egon hair and man, she’s great).

    • I SO want to be her for Halloween but we’ll see.

      • Alley

        Do iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!! And share pictures

  • Kristen M.

    This is THE BEST POST.

  • Currently winking like mad 😉

  • Vasilly

    LOVE THIS!!! I was winking so much while reading this post, my eye is starting to hurt. Maybe I don’t know what I’m doing?!

    Missed you like crazy! If I ever meet you IRL, I’m giving you the biggest hug EVER!

    • Oh my gosh how fun would it be to meet in real life? I would be so delighted, I would die of delight and brag to everyone and be really obnoxious. Also I would cuddle the shit out of your kids. You’d be like “stop buying them books, Jenny, this is too many books.” :p

  • Read Diverse Books

    BLESS THIS POST. I love your blog, Jenny. <3

  • Sharlene

    I am reading this on a Friday morning before 7 and you have already made my day. Amy Acker! Idris Elba!

  • Stefanie@SoManyBooks

    Oh this is great! I think Stanwyck manages a w ink but she is definitely not very good at it. I don’t know of any celebrities but if you have ever read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books, Jamie Fraser can’t wink.

  • Akilah

    This is amazing. Stanwyck is totally winking. And I can wink with only one eye, but I’m sure I do not look as adorable as these celebs when I try to wink with the other, alas.

  • Haha! This is great! Thanks for making me laugh!
    Unfortunately, I have no one to add to your list – I have never ever thought about/noticed this before until right now.
    You could add me to the list, if I was a celebrity. 🙂

  • ElizabethNeedMoreShelves

    Gah, this makes me happy. Also, I’m sitting at my computer winking back at all the non-winkers like a weirdo with an eye twitch, so thanks for that….

  • I read this on mobile and JUST REALIZED I never came back to comment. Shame, me. Shame. This is important work.

    One time, I spent about ten minutes trying to teach a baby how to wink. She kept blinking at me REALLY DELIBERATELY and it was the cutest thing ever.

  • Nishita

    Love this collection of gifs. I always admired people who could wink easily. My wink is more of a double eye blink and I was so amused to see Jon Snow do the exact same thing in that gif. Pity I don’t look as cute as him doing it. I just look moronic.

  • kibulfoij

    Another Kit Harrington one at 1:45 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Wsb4b8CjRs