When one sees too many good/tempting things at the same time, it can be said that their eyes __________ ?

Is there such an idiom in English?

In Russian one says: глаза разбегаются (lit. eyes scatter)

For example: There are so many ice cream flavors to choose from, my [eyes scatter] (глаза разбегаются).

The only similar English idiom I know is "like a kid in a candy store", but it is not eye-related.

  • 1
    I can't think of one. "Spoilt for choice" is the usual phrase for such a situation. Dec 26, 2018 at 9:38
  • 3
    You might say your eyes popped out or your eyes were on stalks.
    – pbasdf
    Dec 26, 2018 at 9:44
  • There were so many ice cream flavors to choose from -- I could hardly belive my eyes. Or something pleases my eye.
    – Stefan
    Dec 26, 2018 at 10:22
  • 1
    "What do your eyes become when you are "spoilt for choice?" -- that, @KateBunting, is the Q I think.
    – Kris
    Dec 26, 2018 at 10:33
  • You might get away with using the phrase eyes agog in the right context, but you should note that that can also be applied to eyes widened in horror, shock, awe, or any other emotion that would cause you to widen your eyes. In the particular context you’ve given here, the most natural expression to me (indirectly involving eyes) would be, “There were so many ice cream flavours to choose from that I didn’t know where to look”. Dec 26, 2018 at 11:10

4 Answers 4


I agree with eyes popped out, but I would add "of their heads"--Their eyes popped out of their heads.


I suggest you use a more appropriate expression such as mouth-watering in your sentence:

(of food) having a very good appearance or smell that makes you want to eat

  • There are so many ice cream flavors to choose from, my mouth is watering.
  • 2
    That might work with ice cream flavours, but it wouldn’t work if the good things are not food-related. Dec 26, 2018 at 11:04
  • 1
    @JanusBahsJacquet Maybe in case of girls.
    – Kris
    Dec 28, 2018 at 6:14

It would seem the best answer to this would be "cross-eyed" or "seeing double." That's what I have said and heard said when we see lots of things that we weren't expecting to see. These could be good things or bad things- just unexpected things. It can also refer to illusions of too many things.

  • Thanks, I also thought of "cross-eyed" but couldn't find a good reference work to verify that it's common or many examples with it. Can you provide some examples and a source, if possible?
    – Ynhockey
    Dec 27, 2018 at 8:45

Maybe you could use "eye-watering"? (compare to mouthwatering). I've seen it used in a "negative" sense like in "The costs are eye-watering", but maybe it could be here in a "positive" sense. Like having so many good options to choose from that your eyes start to water...

  • 2
    Not really, no. Unlike mouths, where watering is a positive thing (your salivary glands increase the production of saliva in anticipation of food), eyes watering is rarely a good thing – it indicates irritation or pain in the eyes. Dec 26, 2018 at 11:06
  • Jep, this isn't a forum, so please don't ask what others think. Also, it's best not to post as an answer a suggestion you're unsure about ("Maybe you could use..."), since an answer on EL&U is expected to be authoritative, detailed, and explain why it is correct. For further guidance, see How to Answer. :-) Dec 26, 2018 at 12:20

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